CALL THEM PUNKS...
CALL THEM ANIMALS...
THE TURNED-ON GENERATION...
HOPPED-UP ON ROCK & ROLL!
SPEED DEMONS WHO LIVE FOR KOOKY, WAY-OUT KICKS!
Hot Rods to Hell, the motion picture that featured the most clean cut, mother approved teenage hoodlums you'd ever want to meet. Take a look!
Kids misbehavin' with cars was a common spectacle in movies dealing with teen rebellion and delinquency. In Rebel Without a Cause (1955) James Dean chose to be a live chicken rather than a dead duck in a "chickie run" toward a cliff!
Boys love dragstrips and in this 1957 teen flick the boys also flipped for a Dragstrip Girl.
Dragstrip boys + dragstrip girls = Dragstrip Riot (1958).
The year was 1962 in the 1973 movie American Graffiti.
The George Lucas film classic culminated in a drag race on Paradise Road on the outskirts of town. It was John Milner
in his little Deuce Coupe (1932 Ford) vs. Bob Falfa in his
bad ass black '55 Chevy. At stake...bragging rights as the Fastest in the Valley!
In case you haven't guessed by now you're
cruisin' through another installment of
Summer Means Fun!
Welcome to Part 8, another nitro burning,
fuel injected, wheel standing, tire smoking
post dedicated to America's obsession with
the automobile in the 1950s and 60s!
It was American Graffiti White Rose City style back in the 60s when I was a teenager. On warm spring and summer nights muscle cars in all shapes and sizes cruised the loop
in York, Pennsylvania.
in York, Pennsylvania.
Most of the clean machines that entered the lot at Gino's Hamburgers kept right on going. Few of them ever pulled
into a parking slot even if one was available.
1. Why take the risk of some clod
dinging your door?
2. Got places to go and people to impress.
Hey, listen to what's playing on the dashboard radio! It's
Jan and Dean with their 1964 car classic "Hot Stocker!"
"Hot Stocker" - Jan and Dean
(from 1964 album Drag City)
To complete the double play, here's a track from the Jan and Dean album Dead Man's Curve/The New Girl in School which was released in the spring of '64 and ruled all summer long. It's the original of "Three Window Coupe," a song that was turned into a top 30 hit single by the Rip Chords. I like the J&D version better!
"Three Window Coupe" - Jan and Dean
(from 1964 album Dead Man's Curve/
The New Girl in School)
The Beach Boys gave us many great car songs. "409" was their first, charting in October of 1962 as the original A side of "Surfin' Safari" which became a much bigger hit. Before Formula 409 became a popular household cleaner, the 409 cubic inch V8 Chevy was cleaning up at the dragstrip and wiping away the competition!
"409" - Beach Boys (October 1962,
highest chart position #76)
In 1960 Bobby Rydell boasted that he attended a "Swingin' School." In 1964, the Hondells, a studio-created group put together by surf rock songwriter/producer Gary Usher, dubbed their school "Hot Rod High" on the B side of their hit single "Little Honda." On their 1964 album Fun City USA, the Surfaris took the Gary Usher/Roger Christian penned car song out for a spin. The following year the Surfaris performed their version of "Hot Rod High" on Shivaree, the Los Angeles based syndicated teen music variety show. (Note: Teri Garr, the blonde actress featured in Tootsie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Young Frankenstein, got her start as a go-go dancer on shows like Shindig, Hullabaloo and Shivaree. I'm guessing that the blonde dancer in this clip is Teri!)
"Hot Rod High" - Surfaris
(1965, live on Shivaree)
Don't go away! Plenty more classic cars
and car tunes are coming up in Part 9 of
SUMMER MEANS FUN!
Have a Shady day!