The Session 5.5–music, maestro

It’s hard for me to fathom, but somehow, when writing last Friday’s Session on Atmosphere, I managed to blow off music, one of the most integral parts of my soul. I focused on people and places, but missed a huge element of atmosphere: the tunes.


I drive my wife crazy with music on all the time. Zeppelin, AC/DC, Flogging Molly. And more mellow stuff, too: Stan Getz, Sinatra, Solas. For her, it causes sensory overload when accompanying a conversation, meal preparation, Jake bugging Tom while Tom’s watching The Simpsons and the occasional barking dog. I tune the other stuff out and the music sheds the muck of a long, ugly day. She needs quiet for that task.


In any case, music’s a big part of beer drinking I’d say. I’ll never forget the atmosphere the local musicians created in the pubs of Ireland. And if George Thorogood doesn’t make a party better, I don’t know what does. With beer and music on my mind these last few days, I thought I’d share my iTunes playlist entitled “Dirt Road.”


Dirt Road harkens back to my younger days, when lacking anything better to do, a few of us would gather on an out of the way dirt road and make our own little party. Dirt Road is the soundtrack of our Bruce Springsteen-like “Glory Days.” It proved difficult to create, as I had to leave off whole albums. How many times did we listen to Back in Black, High Voltage and the rest of the AC/DC catalogue, for that matter? Can you have a playlist that simply repeats “Have a Drink on Me” for two hours? In the end, I came up with a relatively comprehensive list of anthems that set the tone for our revelry. With the exception of the opening three tracks, which always started the evening, I tried to limit it to one track per artist. I hope it sparks memories. And I hope that, like me, you drink a lot more responsibly these days.

Here ‘tis, somewhat annotated and in no particular order:


“Back in Black,” AC/DC

“You Shook Me All Night Long,” AC/DC

“Have a Drink on Me,” AC/DC

“Gypsy Road,” Cinderella (Hair and silly clothes pigeon-holed the rapsy, bluesed out Tom Keifer, one of the most under-rated songwriters of their era)

“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” George Thorogood (these days it’s John Lee Hooker for me, but this is just a great beer drinking song)

“Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers,” ZZ Top (that was then…)

“Bang a Gong (Get it On),” T. Rex (I have bigger influences, but if I had a band, this is how I’d want to sound)

“Honky Tonk Women,” The Rolling Stones (more than one way to gimme shelter)

“Wanted Dead or Alive,” Bon Jovi

“Fly me Courageous,” Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ (where’d Rodney ever end up?)

“Authority Song,” John Mellencamp

“Hair of the Dog,” Nazereth (these days, give me some Adam)

“Slow Ride,” Foghat

“I Love Rock & Roll,” Joan Jett (I once named a beer after a Joan Jett song)

“Rock ‘n Roll All Nite,” Kiss (and we partied every day)

“Slide It In,” Whitesnake

 “The Lumberjack,” Jackyl (two words—chainsaw solo)

“Epic,” Faith No More

“Night Moves,” Bob Seger (we grew up on a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha, and my first car was a ’60 Chevy)

“Refugee,” Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

“Black Dog,” Led Zeppelin (but give me Led Zeppelin III any day of the week)

“Wasted Rock Ranger,” Great White (great accompaniment for the life of danger)

“Paradise City,” Guns N’ Roses

“Stroke,” Billy Squier (I don’t know why Hedstrom didn’t like this one)

 “Ice Cream Man,” Van Halen

“Werewolves of London,” Warren Zevon

“Pour Some Sugar on Me,” Def Leppard (I didn’t drink tequila for years)

“Rocker,” AC/DC (you’re crazy if you thought I wasn’t going to include something from the Bon Scott years)

“Life’s Been Good,” Joe Walsh

“Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” Georgia Satellites (I never get tired of this song)

“Unskinny Bop,” Poison (Hair today, gone tomorrow)

“Everything About You,” Ugly Kid Joe

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen (party on, Wayne)

“The Joker,” Steve Miller Band

“Free Bird,” Lynyrd Skynyrd (now that I’ve moved away from the South, I can stomach these guys again)

“Hard to Handle,” The Black Crowes

“Fire Woman,” The Cult

“Takin’ Care of Business,” Bachman-Turner Overdrive (thank goodness Carlos didn’t die–not good for the foreign exchange program)

“Mother,” Pink Floyd

“Purple Haze,” Jimi Hendrix

“Gettin’ Better,” Tesla (another under-rated band, in my opinion)

“Seven Bridges Road,” The Eagles (the ultimate dirt road song, if ever there was one)

 To atmosphere, to music, to friends old and new. Cheers!


2 Responses to The Session 5.5–music, maestro

  1. Matt says:

    Brings back memories………I think if you ad a Pink Floyd Track and something from The Police, we have a comprehensive list. We used to have three different spots in various corn fields in my hometown that were our drinking holes. Those were the days!

  2. […] one of the most crucial parts of having a beer. I followed that post a day or two later with my own Session #5.5–Music, maestro. It delved into the old days of AC/DC, cheap beer and dirt roads. If you missed it, I’d […]

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