My buddy Scott wrote this for his music class...
Can’t Drive 55
When a man who has countless
speeding tickets, failure to control, and other random traffic violations on
his driving record gets behind the wheel of a high horsepower automobile
capable of going so fast that it is on the verge of taking flight, there is
only one song that can be on the radio and that song is I Can’t Drive 55 by
Sammy Hagar. Needless to say, the only way to play it is loud.
I first heard this song when I was about 5
years old on the radio. It instantly turned my direction in life. I put my
Tonka trucks and Lego’s aside and started playing with models of sports cars and
motorcycles all while this hardcore fast tempo song was playing in the
background. My mom and dad would get upset that it was cranked too loud and I
would simply reply “I can’t drive 55 and I can’t hear you!” It made me rebel so
much that I talked my parents into growing a serious rat tail haircut to start
to resemble Sammy’s ultra 80’s mullet. The rat tail did not last too long, as I
forced to cut it off and start to clean my life up at age 7. Shortly after I
got myself under control I got into regular adolescent activities, but I always
retained the edge of toughness that I learned from this song.
The lyrics to the song start by
saying “one foot on the brake and one on the gas”. That starts the song and
instantly gives you a feel for the singer’s intensity level. He is on edge the
entire song, obviously being a dangerous driver in traffic. Me on the other hand,
I like to go fast but when danger to other people may be a possibility, I stay
cool and slow it down. Sammy stresses through the song that he doesn’t care if
they give him a ticket or not, and he definitely doesn’t want to drive 55. In
the song, Sammy goes to court for speeding in his car. The judge gives him a
ticket but it is unclear in the song if he loses his license or gets one more chance with them because he sings
about driving so slow that it’s hard to steer and the what use to take him 2
hours now takes him 16 hours to drive to L.A.
With this song being made in the
80’s and of course being a rock song, it is needless to say it is loud, lots of
shouting, it is very “in your face” and has the screaming guitar throughout.
Listening to it is a good way to relieve some tension and just rock out when in
a lame mood. The song is pretty basic since the main lyrics are about speeding
and dealing with the law enforcement. ALthough myself have done my fair share
of speeding, I have never had any trouble with the law other than with the
speeding tickets. Sammy on the other hand has had some major run ins with the
law, well within his song anyways.
At this point in my life, I look
back and realize just how tacky and distasteful this song really is to me now,
especially if you watch the music video. It is interesting how my taste in
music changes through the different parts of my life. However this song will
always remain as a monumental ornament in my life growing up. I only wish that
someday I could relive my childhood and be as hardcore as when I was 7. But for
now my music taste has changed to a more alternative variety.
Hagar, Sammy. “I Can’t Drive 55.”
US: American Beat Records, 1984
So...what's your inspiration?