Ah, summer (unless you’re reading this from Australia). Sun, surf, swimming, BBQs, long nights and…road trips! Yes, yes, what’s more fun than piling into a car and hitting the open road? What’s a little traffic when you’re stuck, I mean, willingly sitting in a car with 5 other people, hoping the driver pulls over soon so you can run to the bathroom? As Clark Griswold once said mid-road trip, “I’m just trying to treat my family to a little fun.”
National Lampoon’s VACATION may be the blueprint for a family road trip, but who could forget when “The Brady Bunch” drove to the Grand Canyon and Bobby and Cindy went missing, landing the whole family in a Wild West jail? What about that road trip Tony Soprano took with Meadow to visit colleges that cemented (pun intended) the fact that Tony was not really a nice guy? And forget family for a minute, who wouldn’t have wanted to drive along with “Thelma & Louise” (except for at the end)? Or been on the “Almost Famous” tour bus to sing along to “Tiny Dancer”? Bottom line – road trips rule.
A great road trip needs great music, of course. There are many songs about going somewhere, anywhere…here’s a small sample to add to your next road trip playlist:
“On the Road Again” – Willie Nelson
“Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
“Ramblin’ Man” – The Allman Brothers Band
“Hit the Road Jack” – Ray Charles
“Road Trippin’ ” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Take Me Home” – Phil Collins
“Truckin’ “ – Grateful Dead
“Road to Nowhere” – Talking Heads
“King of the Road” – Buck Owens
“Born to Run” – Bruce Springsteen
“Like a Rolling Stone” – Bob Dylan
“Take Me Home, Country Roads” – John Denver
“Route 66” – Depeche Mode
“Free Falling” – Tom Petty
And what about if you’re an artist or in a band? Road trippin’ to the next gig in a car or van can be a massive opportunity for content! And content is everything these days!
Film everything for your TikTok or Instagram page. Do an IG Live or Facebook live stream from the vehicle (so long as you’re not the driver of course!) Offer to send a postcard from your next rest stop to one lucky follower you pick at random who has retweeted your tweet. Do a roadside show with an acoustic guitar and sing a few songs. Live stream yourself (or your band) busking. Do a “road diary” each night on your website (and we hope you have a website and don’t rely 100% on social media) and then post the link to your social channels. Do fun ‘reviews’ of roadside restaurants you’ve visited. Record you and your band mates going vinyl hunting in local record shops. Or better yet drop off your own vinyl to sell and let you fans in every town know where to get it! Tell followers where your next stop is and ask for recommendations on what to do there. Make a playlist of road songs you’re liking (see above) and share it. Hey, write your own road song! And of course, TAKE PHOTOS…lots and lots of photos and POST THEM!!!
If you’re a Play MPE member, a road trip might present the perfect opportunity for you to promote a new song you wrote from the road. Maybe even a song about being on the road! There are a lot of relatable things you can discuss about a road trip that could make your song exactly what a music supervisor is looking for, or even a blogger writing about road trip songs. See what I did there?! You could even record a fun DIY video to put on your website, YouTube and socials to go along with it. The right track (geddit?) in the right hands may pay for gas for a long time!!!
And in the words, err, lyrics of another road trip soundtrack favourite by Tom Cochrane: “Life is a highway. I wanna ride it all night long. If you’re going my way. Well, I wanna drive it all night long.”
Now go write your future classic road trip song!