SONGS FROM ‘THE POINT’ [Part 3].
Everyone’s heard of ‘THE POINT’. Even if you don’t know from personal experience, surely you’ve heard the stories, the legends, moments and magic that supposedly happened up on that hill. Old timers, friends, parents, older bothers, townies, local icons, denim warriors….hell, even your sister probably has something to say about The Point that you might not want to hear.
Basically The Point aka “Make-out Point” is a sacred, promiscuous location that is spiritually engineered for turning up the heat and getting frisky with a loved one, your crush or random stranger of the night. The real old-timers called this activity “parking”.
It’s that spot up on the hill that typically overlooks a stretch of woods, city skyline, valley or body of water. But history has shown that it can be anywhere you want it to be. Parking lots, old farmhouse, drive-in theater, the 50-yard-line of your high school football field, under the bleachers. You name it. All you really need is the right ride and the right tunes.
To quote Part 1 of this series, there are some simple ground rules when choosing songs for your night at The Point. “When it comes to picking songs, don’t choose anything too obvious. NO TYPICAL LOVE BALLADS. NO TOP 40. NO STAIRWAY! Deep cuts and hidden gems are the key. Nothing dorky or too progressive though. You need to impress your hellcat. You want chunky riffs that also boogie. You want swirling, celestial guitar solos that sound like they’re being played by long-haired, bong-ripping angels in heaven. Essentially “dad rock”…but not corporate dad who drives a Saab and can’t even build his own campfire. We’re talking about Union Carpenter dad. The one who spends his free time in the garage with the music blaring over a crappy stereo that he refuses to part with. He’s in there doing blue-collar activities like welding some cast iron with his shirt off, engulfed in fumes as a cigarette dangles from his bottom lip.
Ease those seats back, crack some beers and listen loudly under the open sky…”
6) Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Sunburst
This song represents “the great escape”. Mom’s upstairs sleeping and dad’s passed out drunk on the La-Z-Boy chair. You tip-toe out of the house, open the garage door, hop in the station wagon and set the gear in neutral to reverse as quietly as humanly possible out of the driveway without starting the ignition. If your older sister comes home and witnesses this, she’ll rat you out in two seconds flat, so time is of the essence. After all, Jenny is waiting.
The wood-paneled doors glisten from the street lights as you push the car a little further past the house. Precisely when the 2:08 minute mark happens in Bob Seger’s “Sunburst”, you peel out into the night. Your mother’s 8-track player rattles and hums like it’s going to explode and you also think a hubcap just rolled off one of the tires, but there’s still not a care in the world. What’s important is that bottle of 151, Brut cologne and the Astroglide. Jenny is waiting.
Moment of Climax: 2:08 in the song
Preferred ride of choice: 1976 Chevy Chevette
Buy the album: Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Night Moves (1976)
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5) Thin Lizzy – Wild One
This song plays directly when twilight hits and those purple and orange skies meet. Maybe it’s really as beautiful as it seems, or maybe it’s that ancient ziplock bag of mushrooms you found under your car seat speaking now. Whichever the case, you want this feeling to last forever. The dream woman by your side, a pack of smokes, the open sky and a cool breeze. Every so often when you go for another sip of warm Lowenbrau in between necking, you hear the sweet echoes of Scott Gorham’s guitar and Phil Lynott’s vocals lifting you up to new dimensions of immortal freedom.
Moment of Climax: The opening, soaring lick
Preferred ride of choice: Unknown crusty van
Buy the album: Thin Lizzy – Fighting (1975)
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4) Wings – Let Me Roll It
If that bassline within the first 20 seconds doesn’t turn your lady into a snake-charmer before your crystal eyes, I’ll be damned. The quiet and naïve girl you picked up during daylight hours has turned into a ritualistic voodoo child. The two inches of ash dangling from the skinny joint she’s smoking is dangerously close to falling on your purple shag carpet interior but you just let it go. Statistically it’s a known fact that songs like this transform everyday people into the sex panthers they were destined to be. There’s a very good reason why these songs mostly come from the 1970s. There’s a certain grit and groove from the guitar that summons a primal instinct. Play this one LOUD.
Moment of Climax: The call and response when the bassline stops and guitar crunch begins
Preferred ride of choice: 1965 Buick Riviera
Buy the album: Paul McCartney and Wings – Band On The Run (1973)
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3) Joe Walsh – The Confessor
This is one of those monumental songs that you remember an uncle playing when you were 8 years old in his smoky basement. He tells you he’s blown out several copies on cassette and this one was “for his old lady”, even though you don’t remember him ever having an old lady. Then one night he confesses that one time during the war he visited a prostitute and his life has been a living hell ever since.
The title track to Joe Walsh’s 7th studio album “The Confessor” is a monster that will zonk your brain out whether you ate that handful of ‘ludes or not. Walsh was 7 studio albums in at this point in his career, plus the 3 James Gang records that preceded those. As much of a household name Joe Walsh is from The Eagles, his solo albums do not get the praise they deserve. Hop in the front seat and rev the engine a few times when that riff comes crashing in.
Moment of Climax: The moment you realize you should be listening to more Joe Walsh
Preferred ride of choice: 1980 GMC Jimmy
Buy the album: Joe Walsh – The Confessor (1985)
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2) Blue Öyster Cult – Divine Wind
Here comes the moment in the night when you and the lady friend start talking about astronomy, burritos and laser beams. You bring up the repeated story about how ever since you got shot in the head by that massive laser beam at the BÖC show last year, life hasn’t been the same. The feeling was scary for a while but now you’ve just accepted it. She usually laughs when you tell this story but this time she pauses and gives you a look that makes your leather pants shift to the left.
The only issue with choosing a BÖC song for this list is there are too many to choose from. They are truly the ideal band for Songs from The Point. One of the most underrated bands in rock history with some albums that I consider to be masterpieces. Songs about death, ancient mysteries, women, bikers, vampires and the occult.
Moment of Climax: “If he really thinks we’re the devil, then let’s send ’em to hell”
Preferred ride of choice: 1976 Dodge Tradesman Van with the little teardrop window in the back.
Buy the album: Blue Oyster Cult – Cultosaurus Erectus (1980)
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1) Balearic Sabbath Mix
When someone talks about Black Sabbath they’ve probably never used the term “Balearic” in the same sentence because A) it’s not relevant and B) they might catch a beating. But think about all the little acoustical numbers Sabbath has peppered into their albums through the discography. Balearic music occupies an island state of mind and is a broad range of music that fits best by a poolside or a mystical beach. “Still, how does this relate to Sabbath’s music?” Just listen.
A producer by the name of Robert E Lee rounded up all of Sabbath’s slower, folky songs and put together an excellent mix that you won’t believe after 35 minutes that you’ve been listening to the inventors of heavy metal.
A perfect wee-hours/early morning listening session as you drive home from The Point…
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