|DJ Sue and one of her Harley Davidsons|
The song became a biker anthem early on and was even featured in the 1969 biker movie, Easy Rider. The lyrics fully grasp the feeling of hopping on a Harley Davidson motorcycle and riding free. Here is an excerpt of the lyrics with the “heavy metal” reference in bold.
Get your motor running;
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for adventure,
And whatever comes our way.
Yeah darlin' gonna make it happen;
Take the world in a love embrace.
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space.
I like smoke and lightning,
Heavy metal thunder,
Racin' with the wind,
And the feeling that I'm under…
“Heavy metal thunder” refers to the sound of a Harley Davidson. If you have ever heard one, you understand what the lyrics mean. That is exactly what my set is about each Tuesday, music to ride your Harley to. I had noticed earlier this year that when I played a hard driving set, with few slow songs, that I got positive comments from those present, so I began doing it from time to time. It was preparing for the Queen B’s MC 4th Anniversary that I got the idea to formalize it into a weekly set and call it Heavy Metal Thunder.”
So, what can you expect to hear at a Heavy Metal Thunder Tuesday set?
Let’s start out with a good dose of 1970s hard rock, like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Grand Funk Railroad. Add to this some 60s bands like Iron Butterfly and Steppenwolf. These bands are all considered early Heavy Metal bands or precursors to Heavy Metal. So let’s round it out with a good dose of Heavy Metal like Iron Maiden, Van Halen and Mötley Crüe.
It’s no wonder that people assume that it is a Heavy Metal set, since it does embrace Heavy Metal from its roots on forward. It really throws people when I play a slower, mellower tune. Remember, this set is about motorcycles, so add to the above any songs about bikes or riding on the highway, whether they are fast and hard-driving, or slow and mellow. A great slow and mellow bike tune is Unknown Legend by Neil Young, and you might just hear it. I also include songs that are featured in biker films or in any way associated with biker culture. Many of these are hard driving, but some are not like the Ballad of Easy Rider by the Byrds.
I suppose I should warn you that I might include Country tunes, provided they are on topic. I have in the past included tunes by Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. There are also the Fryed Brothers, who are bikers themselves and sing about it a lot, yet they are a Country band.
It comes down to this. What would you find if you went into a real biker bar and looked at the selection in the jukebox? You would probably find Marshall Tucker, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the like. But you can be damn sure you won’t find any Boy George or Enya. You won’t hear either during Heavy Metal Thunder Tuesday.
So come join me at AWT every Tuesday from 2-4 PM SL time for Heavy Metal Thunder Tuesday. Bring your bike if you want and feel free to dress the part. Finally, remember that most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that attaches the handlebars to the seat.
|Sue has ridden since she first came to SL. Here she is with her first bike in July 2010 at Fearless Nation.|