Under Queensland’s new VLAD (Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Bill) http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2013/10/15/tough-penalties-for-criminal-gang-members – legislation supposedly aimed at bikies, but can be used against any organisation – a man was arrested for wearing a Sons Of Anarchy t-shirt, which is a television show. The laws are so stringent, even fictional bikies face being outlawed. In another case, a man was denied bail for wearing a Rebels belt buckle.
So here are 20 songs that have a connection to motorbikes – which probably won’t get a lot of love from the Queensland government.
– WARNING: may contain language which may offend some readers –
1. Lil Death
by Imperial Crowns from the Sons Of Anarchy soundtrack (“Albification” episode 1, season 2). I can find little information about this song or this Los Angeles band online, however, Lil Death (or “La petite mort” for those who speak French) has also been in used in the infamous censored “softball” scene from Coyote Ugly which puts this song at 2000 or earlier.
genre: dirty blues, blues rock
sample lyrics: Rolling hard, riding low,
come on baby, your daddy’s coming home
Love come collect me, please, come collect me
I’m so damn high, I can’t come down…
when it’s time to go, this is the way that I want to die
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBNkPAj3PP0
2. Ride Me Down Easy
by Waylon Jennings (written by Billy Joe Shaver) in 1973. Waylon Jennings was one of the most famous proponents of the Outlaw Country movement. Although it is probably safer to not use the word “outlaw” in Queensland. A song about life on the Highway.
sample lyrics: Hey ride me down easy Lord,
ride me on down
Leave word in the dust where I lay
Say I’m easy come, easy go
Easy to love when I stay
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XS3IE3ktJ8
3. Let The Day Begin
by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (touring Australia mid November) probably best to avoid the tour merchandise if live in Queensland. The original version by The Call was used by Al Gore as his campaign song in the 2000. (Also available as a free download from BRMC from their website http://blackrebelmotorcycleclub.com/letthedaybegin/.
genre: indie rock, alternative rock
sample lyrics: Here’s to the teachers in the crowded rooms
Here’s to the workers in the fields
Here’s to the preachers of the sacred words
Here’s to the drivers at the wheel
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmtQwtcaqLM
4. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
by Queen, written by Freddie Mercury in 1979, (and for fans of Doctor Who, this was the wedding song for Amy and Rory).
genre: classic rock
sample lyrics: I gotta be cool relax, get hip
Get on my track’s …
And take a long ride on my motor bike
Until I’m ready (Ready Freddie)
Crazy little thing called love
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE34cSvZCd8
5. This Wheel’s On Fire
by The Band written by Rick Danko in 1967. This song was later used as the theme song to the TV show Absolutely Fabulous. The linked version (below) features Rick Danko on lead vocal, bass, Levon Helm on drums, backing vocal, Garth Hudson on Clavinet, Lowrey organ, Rocksichord through a telegraph key, Richard Manuel on acoustic piano, backing vocal and Robbie Robertson on hair styling products.
genre: classic rock, Americana
sample lyrics: This wheel’s on fire,
rolling down the road
Best notify my next of kin
This wheel shall explode!
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVoIjPUTC6o
6. White Out
by Boss Hog, featuring Cristina Martinez of Pussy Galore on vocals and her husband Jon Spencer of The Blues Explosion on guitar. According to Wikipedia, Boss Hog, named after a desirable (“boss”) motorcycle (“hog”).
genre: post punk, indie rock
sample lyrics: I’m coming to see
I was born to see
I’m coming to see the lie
And I’m going to see it
I’m going to see it
I was born to see the lie
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeS_IBJRlD8
7. Leader Of The Pack
by The Shangri-Las in 1964, (written by George “Shadow” Morton – with or without – Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich), but apparently took until 1990 to make it to Number 1 in Australia. Features revving motorbike sound effects throughout. A song about Betty and Jimmy not finding true love because he is the “leader” of the “pack”. Ah! the innocent days of the 1960s when bikie gang leaders could pick-up teenage girls at candy stores.
genre: 60s, girl group, pop
sample lyrics: He sort of smiled and kissed me goodbye
The tears were beginning to show
As he drove away on that rainy night
I begged him to go slow
But whether he heard, I’ll never know
Look out! Look out! Look out! Look out!
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McvWodRXA7k
8. Eddie’s Teddy
from Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Picture Show, a science fiction musical homage to 50s shlock horror movies about a Sweet Transvestite from Transylvania, who is actually from another planet, with lots of catchy songs. Movie version sung by Jonathan Adams, Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn.
genre: glam rock, musical
sample lyrics: All he wanted
Was rock & roll porn
And a motor bike
Shooting up junk
He was a lowdown cheap little punk
Taking everyone for a ride
When Eddie said he didn’t like his teddy
You knew he was a no good kid
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJtT877xBz8
9. Born To Be Wild
Yep, you knew this was coming somewhere on this list… by Steppenwolf in 1968 by Mars Bonfire (that’s a name? wow, they did a lot of drugs in the 60s). From the Easy Rider soundtrack.
genre: 60s, psychedelic, classic rock
sample lyrics: Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJS8j9YYB9w
10. Farewell Aunty Jack
by Grahame Bond, Rory O’Donoghue in 1973, the closing theme song for the ABC’s The Aunty Jack Show, described by Greg Hunt’s favourite research resource, as a show about “an obese, moustachioed, gravel-voiced transvestite, part trucker and part pantomime dame… dressed in a huge, tent-like blue velvet dress, football socks, workboots, and a golden boxing glove on her right hand. She rode everywhere on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle” (source).
sample lyrics: So remember, you better listen to this song real close coz I’ll tell you what, if you don’t,
I’m gonna jump through your speakers and rip your bloody arms off… and I will too…
Don’t forget it… especially you stupid.
She rides a black bike (I do)
And drives through the night (right)
She’s big, round and fat
But don’t dare tell her that (I bloody well aren’t)
Coz she gets so mean
Her glove starts to gleam
There’s a scream as she plummets away (goodbye me little luvlies)
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQbsW3-DSvk
11. Acoustic Motorbike
Luka Bloom 1991, an acoustic motorbike – would be a pedal bike? perhaps? But, Queensland cops can’t tell the difference between a tv show and a real bikie gang, they’d probably get confused by an acoustic motorbike.
genre: Irish, folk rock
sample lyrics: I work my legs
I pump my thighs
Take in the scenery passing me by …
A motion built upon human toil
Nuclear free needs no oil
But it makes me hot, makes me hard
I never thought I could have come this far
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wylkmlFtSCY
12. Black Boys On Mopeds
by Sinéad O’Connor in 1990, it is hypothesised this is about the killing of black youth, Colin Roach at Stoke Newington police station, UK, and / or UKs Nicolas Bramble who was chased to his death by police on suspicion of riding while black, on a stolen moped, which turned out to be his own bike.
genre: Irish, alternative, rock
sample lyrics: Margaret Thatcher on TV
Shocked by the deaths that took place in Beijing
It seems strange that she should be offended
The same orders are given by her
These are dangerous days
To say what you feel is to dig your own grave
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n14lwdpYkAA
13. Motherfucker On A Motorcycle
by Machine Gun Fellatio from Sydney, the song is basically the title repeated in various ways, over and over.
genre: indie, alternative
sample lyrics: Shes’s a mother fucker on a motorcycle
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAw_qV_kayE
14. Silver Machine
by Hawkwind by Robert Newton Calvert, Dave Brock, in 1972, with Lemmy from Motörhead on bass and vocals. Calvert has described the inspiration for the song “I read this essay by Alfred Jarrey called, “How to Construct a Time Machine”, and … I seemed to suss out immediately that what he was describing was his bicycle.” (source). Although inspired by a bicycle time machine, the lyrics suggest a motorbike.
genre: space rock, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, psychedelic
sample lyrics: I just took a ride
In a silver machine
And I’m still feeling mean.
Do you wanna ride…
I got a silver machine.
It flies side ways thru’ time
It’s an electricline
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfniG-AdSC4
15. The Boys Are Back In Town
by Thin Lizzy by Phil Lynott in 1976, if not about the Hells Angels, it has become associated with Hells Angels over the years. This song was used without permission as a campaign song by Mitt Romney in the 2012 elections, which the Thin Lizzy guitarist says “You have to ask the question: did the Republican Party not consider that they should seek permission before using music in this way? This sort of arrogant and disrespectful treatment of any artist reflects very badly on any Presidential candidate.” (source)
genre: hard rock, classic rock
sample lyrics: Friday night they’ll be dressed to kill
Down at Dino’s bar and grill
The drink will flow and blood will spill
If the boys want to fight, you’d better let them
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpDO_JPuWkY
16. Jeans On
by David Dundas, began life as a jingle for an ad for Brutus Jeans, by David Dundas, Roger Greenaway in 1976. Dundas then stretched his 30-seconds of fame into a career as a one-hit-wonder. This song was later covered by Australia’s very own, New Zealand born Keith Urban.
genre: 70s pop
sample lyrics: You and me, we’ll go motorbike ridin’ in the sun
And the wind and the rain
I got money in my pocket, I got a tiger in my tank
And I’m king of the road again
I pull my blue jeans on, I pull my old blue jeans on
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWdcZqG02Ls
17. Born To Run
by Bruce Springsteen in 1975. The use of the phrase “suicide machine” would suggest the vehicle they are riding is a motorbike on the highway, and not a car. Springsteen’s guitarist Little Steven played one of the mobsters on TVs The Sopranos, during one random scene in Long Term Parking (E12, S05), another associate of Tony Soprano was late, and the reason given was “highway was jammed, with broken heroes, on a last-chance power drive” lyrics from this song.
genre: classic rock
sample lyrics: In the day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages out on Highway 9,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected and steppin’ out over the line
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while were young
’cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxuThNgl3YA
18. Ezy Ryder
by Jimi Hendrix, with vocal help from Steve Winwood and Chris Wood of Traffic, in 1971,> If not directly inspired by, the movie Easy Rider (which featured another Hendrix song “If 6 Was 9” on the soundtrack), then this song draws parallels with Easy Rider.
genre: classic rock, blues, psychedelic
sample lyrics: There goes Ezy
Ridin down the highway of desire
He says the free wind
takes him higher
Tryin to find his heaven above
but he’s dyin to be loved
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbh0F-90N-M
19. Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting
by Elton John and Anastacia, written by Elton John, Bernie Taupin in 1973, this live (or “live”) version from 2000.
genre: classic rock, piano pop
sample lyrics: Don’t give us none of your aggravation
We had it with your discipline
Saturday night’s alright for fighting
Get a little action in
A couple of the sound that I really like
Are the sounds of a switchblade and a motorbike
I’m a juvenile product of the working class
Whose best friend floats in the bottom of a glass
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-Tb0i42k5U
20. Wild Ones
by Waylon Jennings (yes, two Jennings songs in one list) from the 1995 album “Waymore’s Blues Part II”, no connection to The Wild One the 1953 American outlaw biker film starring Marlon Brando.
genre: outlaw country
sample lyrics: We were the wild ones
The ones they couldn’t control
We were survivors
Good hearts, body and soul
We were the winners
‘Cause we didn’t know we could fail
We were the wild ones
And we had the world by the tail
watch Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF9jubKjVAk
Marlon Brando, publicity still from ‘The Wild One’ 1953