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Boomer Road Trip MixTape: 3 Variations of Radar Love

One of the greatest, if not THE greatest, driving song ever recorded. In Radar Love, we have the perfect melding of lyrics and music and a driving driving high hat beat. When Radar Love blooms on the radio at highway speeds the whole universe seems to get in sync. About 50 years back I was hanging out at Greil Marcus’ place before he became a big deal in intellectual rock criticism. We’d just had something to smoke and were listening to a reel of unknown Dylan songs I’d brought back from England that would later be known as “The Basement Tapes.”

We were listening to The Mighty Quinn when I remarked, “Hey, check it out. The clouds are moving in time with the music.” There was a long stoned pause and Greil said, “Well, it’s a good song. It’s got the groove.” 

Radar Love’s got that groove too. And when you’ve got that groove, man you gotta go.

I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hand’s wet on the wheel
There’s a voice in my head that drives my heel
It’s my baby callin’, says I need you here
And it’s a half past four and I’m shiftin’ gear

When she is lonely and the longing gets too much
She sends a cable comin’ in from above
Don’t need no phone at all
We’ve got a thing that’s called radar love

We’ve got a wave in the air, radar love

The radio is playing some forgotten song
Brenda Lee’s comin’ on strong
The road has got me hypnotized
And I’m speedin’ into a new sunrise

When I get lonely and I’m sure I’ve had enough
She sends her comfort comin’ in from above
We don’t need no letter at all
We’ve got a thing that’s called radar love

We’ve got a light in the sky, radar love
No more speed, I’m almost there
Gotta keep cool now, gotta take care
Last car to pass, here I go

And the line of cars drove down real slow
And the radio played that forgotten song
Brenda Lee’s comin’ on strong
And the newsman sang his same song
Oh one more radar lover gone

When I get lonely and I’m sure I’ve had enough
She sends her comfort comin’ in from above
We don’t need no letter at all
We’ve got a thing that’s called radar love

We’ve got a light in the sky
We’ve got a thing that’s called radar love
We’ve got a thing that’s called radar love

And then there’s the original 70s version:

Then, just for bragging rights, let’s wait a few decades and add 1,000 other drummers…

[Depending on your mental condition, I’d advice going speakers up and full screen on this one to get the full flavor.]

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Nunnya Bidnez, jr August 13, 2019, 5:48 PM

    Ahhh, Quinn the Eskimo.
    Anthony Quinn in “Savage Innocents”.
    Al’s wife told Bobby it was a great flick.
    http://beatlephotoblog.com/photos/2015/11/135.jpg35.jpg
    There’s Al in the back on the left.

  • Cloudesley Shovell August 13, 2019, 6:08 PM

    Far and away the best Radar Love video is that produced by VX-5, the Navy test and eval squadron out of China Lake.

    https://youtu.be/9H6u_0mor8M

    Kind regards,
    CS

  • ghostsniper August 13, 2019, 7:06 PM

    My brother and I were sitting in my 70′ Camaro eating sub sando’s and slurpin suds at lunchtime in a dirt parking lot at the German American club on Pine Island road. We had just roasted a stout bomber before sauntering into the bar next door and grabbing the grub. It was about noon on that mid June day in the 100 degree screamin’ heat while working for Pulte Construction pouring concrete tie-beams the old fashioned way on this 2 story building. The concrete truck shot the mud into a wheel barrow and one of us wheeled it to the side of the building, dipped a 2.5 gal steel bucket into it then hoisted to the other guy up on the scaffold who then held the bucket over head and dumped it into the concrete block cavities, slowly filling them. Know how much a bucket like that full of concrete weighs? Me neither but they get pretty heavy after you do a few hundred of them in a row, and there was no end in site. I was 19 and my brother was 18 and we were both tired of this shit. Surely there had to be something else to do.

    So we sat in my ride with that buzz on and now our bellies were full and after a spell I looked at my brother and said, “Fuck this shit.” I fired up the SS and threw up a rooster fishtailing out onto Pine Island road headin’ for the house down in Iona. Radar Love was playing LOUD on the Pioneer “high power” cassette player through bi-amped Jensen tri-axles. 2 days later I was the best man at my best friends wedding and 2 days after that I shipped out to this mans army not to return for 4 years. I didn’t even collect my last paycheck, I already moved on. My brother stole some shit and went to jail for a few years. This song always makes me think of that time period. Just by hearing it 45 years can vanish just like that. Amazing how that happens idn’t it?

  • Nori August 13, 2019, 11:02 PM

    Celebrity Theater,in the round,small venue,Phoenix,AZ,1974.
    Dutch band called Golden Earring headlines with backup Brit band called BeBop Deluxe.
    Bill Nelson blew everyone in that arena out of their …there. Guitar Master. Entire theater on their feet,applauding,stamping feet,whistling,wanting what they had just heard to go on and on…
    Golden Earring’s lead singer comes out,once the noise dies down,and asks “How do we follow up THAT??”
    Then Golden Earring comes out and Radar Loves their audience to nirvana in the desert night.
    It was absolutely,positively,a glorious night of music.

  • Jim August 13, 2019, 11:29 PM

    Follow this by playing Golden Earring’s “Bullet to the Bone”.

    On a Gold Wing’s stereo at full crank.

    Or the ride of your choice. Doesn’t matter. You’re speeding ticket fodder, all the same.

    Jim
    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  • bob sykes August 14, 2019, 4:47 AM

    Both old versions and somewhat new versions are on YouTube. The differences in the band’s performance are interesting. It must be my age and waistline, because I prefer the old, fat Barry Hays.

  • OD August 14, 2019, 7:53 AM

    Mr V …. respectfully …. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers … Running down a Dream

  • Mark August 14, 2019, 9:52 AM

    Steppenwolf “Born to Be Wild”, I like the Cult’s version too!

  • H August 14, 2019, 3:57 PM

    All fine songs for which I have great affection.

    But I am a somewhat xenophobic Texas Native and would be remiss and maybe even downright traitorous if I did not mention LaGrange in this context.

  • ghostsniper August 14, 2019, 6:47 PM

    How, how, how, how.
    They gotta lotta nice gurlz down there.

  • Suburbanbanshee August 14, 2019, 8:29 PM

    1. There are verse lyrics? And they make sense? I thought there was just nifty growling, screaming, and a chorus. (In my defense, pretty much every stereo my family has ever owned has turned into mono within about two days. Especially the ones in the family car/s.)

    2. The song’s not called “Redeye Love”?

  • Callmelennie August 14, 2019, 10:53 PM

    Hey Nori, Feng E will be playing the Celebrity this coming November, wanna go? And yes, I mean the Celebrity Theater at 32nd and Van Buren. I grew up 5 miles away, but the only concert I ever saw there was New Riders

    And to H, you’re only remiss for not posting a link to “La Grange”. How can you bring that subject up and not post a link? BTW, I heard that song on the radio this afternoon and I turned it full blast

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vppbdf-qtGU

  • ghostsniper August 15, 2019, 3:41 AM
  • H August 15, 2019, 4:51 AM

    Jay-bus, Lennie, no offense, but to quote Homer Simpson, “they have the internet on computers now”; I merely assumed everybody here knew that already…………….

  • Christopher L Hunt August 16, 2019, 2:31 AM
  • Larry Geiger August 16, 2019, 6:15 AM

    That’s disgusting. I just totally fail to understand the whole idea of flashing stage lights into the audiences eyes. I can’t stand it. Went to one Trans Siberian Orchestra “concert” in Kansas City. Never again. Fortunately I had the foresight to bring some ear plugs. Should have brought sunglasses also. Totally ruined the whole evening for me.

  • Vanderleun August 16, 2019, 8:12 AM

    Hunt, that drum cover is amazing. Thanks.

  • Nori August 16, 2019, 9:19 PM

    Hey,Lennie,wish I could.Love to see Feng E at the Celebrity. Most of my favorite concerts were right there. Saw Al Stewart 3 times,and he was just amazing. Sat maybe 4 ft away from him after one show in the downstairs pub area,but was too shy to say hello! Great concert!

    Life today is consumed by elder care and the everpresent menace of Sauron.

    Go enjoy Feng E and report back to us. Curious how the Celebrity looks and feels these days.

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