My Top 1000 Songs #582: I-94

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

Australian first-wave punk band Radio Birdman never got much attention in the US (did they get much in Australia? Dunno), which is a shame, as they were pretty damn great. Sure, the obvious indebtedness to Iggy Pop & the Stooges gets them in the proto-punk lane, but they owe at least as much to the Stones and classic 50s & 60s rock & pop, with plenty of killer hooks.

Those old-school roots shine on "I-94" (first released on their 1976 debut EP, then in slightly different form on 1981 LP Living Eyes). It's more surf-rock than anything one would call punk, a twangy Link Wray guitar riff and solid jamming conjuring a late-night drive through heavy fog. (How has this not shown up on a million soundtracks and Volkswagen commercials? Crazy!) The lyrics are pretty loopy, the Aussie's conjuring Iggy's Detroit hometown, with a splattering of random beer-run madness, congealing in the chorus' celebration of Eskimo Pies, but that doesn't mean you can't sing along. "I gave you a six-pack of Stroh's, you never drank 'em down. You keep drinking Rolling Rock, you know I can't hang around."

Do they still make Stroh's? I had a few of those in my beer can collection, but haven't seen it in forever. Anyway, great song for your next road trip.

Still going, 2018:
1991 cover from punk/hardcore band Celibate Rifles (and why aren't there more covers out there???):