Don Jamieson is a guest contributor to Loudwire. He is the co-host of That Metal Show, which recently completed its 14th season on VH1 Classic. You can also catch Jamieson on the stand-up comedy circuit. Keep up with him at his official website or his Twitter page. Please note that Don Jamieson’s opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Loudwire. Check out his picks for the Top 10 Songs About Motorcycles below:
From biker movies like Easy Rider to biker anthems like "Born to Be Wild," motorcycles have always been romanticized in American popular culture. When I was a kid the whole family gathered around the television to watch our American Idol, Evel Knievel, jump cars, buses, trucks, canyons and break numerous bones in the process. Forget being like Mike, I wanted to be Evel.
If you ride a motorcycle you are instantly cool. Unless Kim Kardashian is on the back and it’s accompanied by a laughable hip- hop “song.” I thought my friend Joe was cool because he always talking about going out riding. Turns out he owns a Vespa. Even Johnny Depp couldn’t be cool riding one of those things. I mean, how terrified would you be if the Hells Angels rode into your town on Vespas? Listen fellas, we don’t want any trouble here. No need to get your ascots in a bunch.
No, there’s nothing like burning rubber with a big, ole hog between your legs. But enough about my sex life. Here are 10 odes to the open road by your favorite hard rock and heavy metal bands.
"Electric Gypsy"L.A. Guns
Two-wheeling words: “I need the highway wind blowin’ in my hair, five thousand miles I’ve roamed now, I’m getting there…”
Back in ’88, Tracii G and the boys were the real deal. They’d ride into town, steal your sister and bang your motorcycle. Or vice versa. Or maybe both.
Two-wheeling words: “Ride the wind / Never gonna stop until I touch the midnight sun…”
Say what you want about Bret and the boys but tell me what song you wrote that got you a TV show where you’re in a house with strippers, porn stars, booze and an unlimited supply of condoms?
"Desert Plains"Judas Priest
Two-wheeling words: “The road is straight cast, wind’s in my eyes, the engine roars between my thighs…”
Love the imagery of the lone biker racing through the desert in the dead of night on a quest to meet his lover. I’m not nearly this cool. Nowadays my quest to meet a lover starts with swiping right.
"Wanted Dead of Alive"Bon Jovi
Two-wheeling words: “I’m a cowboy / On a steel horse I ride, I’m wanted dead or alive…”
Simply put, Bon Jovi got more teenagers laid in the '80s than cheap beer. This song and album are a big reason why.
"Ride to Live, Live to Ride"Twisted Sister
Album: You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n‘ Roll
Two-wheeling words: “You’ve got to ride to live, live to ride, feel the flames burn inside…”
Dee Snider may be the only rocker alive who can get on his bike and tear up the asphalt, then put on makeup and lingerie and tear up the stage. And still be cool. He also organizes rides to raise money for charity, which is so cool it almost makes me forget about that show tunes album he did. Almost.
"Bad Motor Scooter"Montrose
Two-wheeling words: “Get on your bad motor scooter and ride, come over to my place and stay all night…”
It’s the opening motorcycle-sounding guitar riff that Motley Crue later “appropriated” for "Kickstart My Heart." Not to be confused with my friend Joe’s SAD Motor Scooter.
"Iron Horse / Born to Lose"Motorhead
Two-wheeling words: “On Iron Horse he flies / On Iron Horse he gladly dies…”
On No Sleep Til Hammersmith, Lemmy dedicated this song to the Hells Angels, who were Motorhead’s unofficial bodyguards at the time. When this outlaw biker gang volunteers themselves to be your protector you have officially reached maximum cool. So don’t expect to see them at a Barry Manilow concert anytime soon.
Two-wheeling words: “If you see me riding by, do not stop me do not try, cause I’m a motorcycle man, I get my kicks just when I can…”
Besides motorcycles Saxon are also into denim and leather and wheels of steel. They’re motocross racing, The Warriors and The Fast and the Furious all rolled into one band.
"Hell Bent for Leather"Judas Priest
Album: Hell Bent For Leather (Killing Machine)
Two-wheeling words: “There’s many who’ve tried to prove that they’re faster but they didn’t last and they died as they tried…”
This tune is so motor-epic that Rob Halford rides a motorcyle on stage during Judas Priest concerts just to sing it. The song that should be playing on a constant loop at the Harley-Davidson factory. Also the inspiration for my comedy album Hell Bent For Laughter available on iTunes and donjamieson.com (cheap plug).
"Born to Be Wild"Steppenwolf / The Cult / Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction
Two-wheeling words: “Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway, looking for adventure, in whatever comes our way…”
Sure Mars Bonfire and his gang wrote the original but out of the countless remakes of this motor-masterpiece, The Cult and Zodiac Mindwarp are among my favorites. For this list, an automatic No. 1. As opposed to an automatic No. 2 which happens after a late-night trip to White Castle.