While I’ve never been enough of a ZZ Top fan to buy one of their albums (although I did own “Eliminator” on cassette as a child), their contribution to car-guy music cannot be underestimated. Fast cars and rock and roll have long been intertwined, but rarely to the degree and with the regularity that occurs in the ZZ Top discography. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard, aside from being excellent musicians – Jimi Hendrix famously called Gibbons his favorite guitarist – also feature hot rods in their lyrics, album imagery, and most visibly, in their iconic early-80s music videos.
I was thinking about this last week, when I decided to listen to some music in the Tempest. The car hasn’t had a working radio for as long as I’ve owned it (and in fact now has a block-off plate in the dash instead), so I’ve never actually had the chance to listen to anything, let alone music. But I got a shiny new iPod touch for my birthday, and it has an external speaker, so I thought I’d put it to use. I knew I needed to pick an appropriate soundtrack for the inaugural ride, and the first thing that came to mind was “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide,” which I’m not nearly cool enough to make my personal soundtrack, as much as I’d like to. I don’t think I could call the Cameo White Tempest “cold blue steel,” and Mrs. Magicboltbox isn’t a beautician, but I think I made the right choice.