Saturday, 4 February 2012

Long May You Run

I’ve never had a cool car. Never had cause to scream “I’m in love with my car!” as does Roger Taylor in the Queen classic of the same name. The airwaves are rife with guys immortalizing their rides, second only to the girls they've loved.
The list is endless. The Beach Boys alone could fill an entire album of car ditties with Little Deuce Coup, Fun,Fun,Fun, 409,I Get Around, Shut Down  and many others that place cars right up there with cruising chicks and surfing. (You need a cool car to do both)  
Prince loved the Little Red Corvette and we know where Springsteen’s heart lies as he has penned both Cadillac Ranch and Pink Cadillac. The Camaro comes in as a top favourite with Bitchin’ Camaro by the Dead Milkmen, Camaro by the Kings of Leon and Go lil Camaro Go by the Ramones. We’ve even been told by Colin James that the only three things worth fighting for are “chicks and cars and the third world war.”
I love the simplicity of Geddy Lee’s introduction to “Red Barchetta”, forever immortalized on the live album Exit Stage Left.  “This is a song about a car” he says.  Oh? Is that all? Sorry Ged, I had the speakers on eleven and my brain was trying to reconcile the visuals I was conjuring up with the sonic barrage the three of you were throwing down.
I have to admit that my all-time favourite has nearly brought me to tears on occasion. Long May You Run by Neil Young. There is no doubt that such a car ever existed in his life but somehow that doesn’t really even matter. The song is so heartfelt and so plainly Neil that it’s painful. His well-documented love for cars borders on fanaticism and goes back to his early days when he drove a hearse from Canada to California. His ranch is overflowing with all kinds of classic cars and he is currently driving a bio-deisel powered hybrid version of a 1959 Lincoln.
Long may you run is about memories and adventures and the car that got you there. With Neil you get the feeling it’s a genuine appreciation of the classic machine and not the flash that comes with it. This is no pissing contest about engine size and we never hear the make or model and that’s what makes it so Neil. You just know he loves that car, warts and all. For a man with two kids afflicted with cerebral palsy, that’s speaks volumes. He talks about the car in human terms with its “chrome heart shining” and lamenting, “it was back in Blind River, in 1962, when I last saw you alive.”                                                                       
Bob Dylan wished of his children that they stay forever young, and the sentiment rings true with Neil’s beloved car. This is a man pleading for the machine under his care to outlast its life expectancy. You can trust a guy in ripped jeans and a flannel shirt to polish up that chrome with love. I doubt that Paris Hilton even knows where the parking brake is on her Hummer.
So on your next road trip, whether you’re getting there in a Lada or a Lexus, remember, it’s all about the journey my friends.
"We've been through
some things together
With trunks of memories
still to come
We found things to do
in stormy weather
Long may you run"

Here is your homework if you choose to accept it:

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