Updated: Feb 3, 2022
By Joe Florance:
One of my favorite things to do is to drive by myself with all the windows down while listening to great music. I am an extrovert, the type of person who when he says, "Hit me up anytime about anything" means it, and I'm bummed when no one does.
The greatest resource on this planet is people. I believe this planet exists for us, its inhabitants. We are more valuable that gold, silver, oil, all of it. The fruits of this planet are here for all to partake and enjoy.
We, as people, create as well, and I think our greatest creation/invention/innovation is music.
I was thinking about writing this while driving by myself and got choked up a bit. Driving without music is just driving. With music, I'm flying. I'm in another world. I'm the singer, the dancer, the hero, the champion. Without the car, the windows down, and the music, I'm just me, a mere mortal.
Driving, I'm tapping the door, the steering wheel, and shouting out some lyrics I may know. So great. I think I'm harmonizing. I wouldn't know, but when Fleetwood Mac hits the lyrics for "Love in Store," I shout out with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, "Instead of bringing me down . . ." and add, "Never take your love away!" and continue to shout that as I drive down Culver Drive in Irvine, CA—my hometown.
I shake my head as I go under the 5 freeway and enter the Colony, but I wouldn't be so brazen in Green Tree or The Willows for fear of my very life. The reality is that all these songs would do wonders around The Loop where I grew up and learned how to drive.
Colleen Keeley taught me to drive after my dad freaked out after our one driving lesson in the empty parking lot at Irvine Valley College circa 1988. He told me that my friends could teach me, so they did. And they did with Depeche Mode, Blue Order, The Cult, and other 80's faves. I learned alright.
Funny thing, my dad drove using both feet. He told me that is how he learned and that I could not learn that way because only he knew how to correctly drive with both feet. He also told me that he learned how to drive by sitting in his dad's parked car and pretending to drive. Thanks for the tip, you weirdo.
I learned through a girlfriend, and my safety-conscious dad decided that he didn't care because at least he didn't need to drive me around. It's so funny to me now because this is the same dad who when driving with my uncle in the back of his cherry El Camino told me that I couldn't ride on the wheelwell because that wasn't safe.
The "rules" boggled the mind, but I listened and didn't ride on the kick ass wheelwell. Back then I'd say, "Dang it!" Now I say, "Fuck! I missed out riding on the wheelwell" listening to Grand Funk fucking Railroad. I didn't even know they existed back then, but now I do because of Wikipedia, but I missed the sick tracks of "Closer to Home" and the funkadelic hit of "I'm Your Captain." That would have changed my life back then, but it wasn't allowed, so my life wasn't changed until about 2013 while listening to now-defunct station 100.3 The Sound. Then I heard it and felt it and saw it in my soul and realized that I was forever changed by rock 'n fuck'n balls. That was a great day, there. But where does that leave me now? In a really great position because I can look back to the great songs of a different time.
Listen to "I'm Your Captain" by Grand Funk Railroad. Do it while driving. Do it by yourself. Not a drive to the store but a good drive where the song won't be interrupted:
You are now on a quest. You're in a movie, and this is your soundtrack, and it's righteous and brave and real. The music is true and not overly produced and sung and played by actual musicians who actually know music. The 70s have a shit ton of songs like this one. Long and epic, it's a 10-minute masterpiece.
A few others that are killer: "The Year of the Cat" by Al Stewart, "Do You Feel Like We Do" by Peter Frampton, "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" by The Temptations, give 'em a listen but start with "I'm Your Captain."
Listening to it now. . . now, where are my keys?
Joe Florance owns and operates Circle of 10 Talent. He encourages people to pursue their dreams, and helping them do that fulfills his own.