Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Dune Buggy Racing Instrumentals

Interesting to see Kelly Gordon and (especially) Shorty Rogers attempt to muscle in on the hot rod scene with a late 60s concept album — contemporaneously titled Bug-In! — that pays musical tribute to the hot rod’s off-road counterpart, the dune buggy.  Gordon and Rogers splurge on a gatefold album design packed with photos – but alas, no musician credits.  Can only conclude that Los Angeles studio musicians (á la., “Wrecking Crew”) are the unnamed members of Gordon ‘n’ Rogers’ Inter-Urban Electric A & E Pit Crew and Rhythm Band.

Capitol LP – 1969

Bug In LP

The final track on side one, “Baja Boot,” caught my ear — here is an edited version (just under two minutes) that makes the song even more radio-friendly:

Pssst!   Click on the link above to play a (shortened) version of “Baja Boot” by Gordon n’ Rogers’ Inter-Urban Electric A & E Pit Crew and Rhythm Band

The barely-legible text on the front cover points out how Gordon & Rogers’ contribution to the racing community fills a dunester niche that only now is being filled:

The newest [illegible] on wheels … actual sounds of the various buggies in action … musical themes capturing the total emotional input of the drivers … music recreating the unique visual characteristics of the different dunesters.

Silodrome – a website that highlights aspects of our “Gasoline Culture” – reveals the fascinating story behind the Baja Boot:  a 450 hp dune buggy built in complete secrecy by top GM automotive engineer, Vic Hickey (in just under 4 weeks) and then raced by Steve McQueen in 1968 and then again in 1969.  How did the “King of Cool” (and cinema’s own Cincinnati Kid) fare with the massive 4×4 dune buggy, the ‘Baja Boot’?  Click here to learn the hilarious outcomes of both events – more info at Steve McQueen Online.

Steve McQueen (or possibly Mad Max) racing his Baja Boot

Steve McQueen & the Baja Boot

James Glickenhaus would buy Steve McQueen’s renowned dune buggy in 2010 – although ScoutDude would loudly question its authenticity on this blog’s comment section.

Sad to discover that the dune buggy is the neglected stepchild of the musical hot rod world, as very little has been written since The Surfaris released “Dune Buggy” in 1964.  Other notable songs that celebrate the lowly dune buggy?  Zero to 180 wants to know.

Shorty Rogers (Zero to 180 readers might recall) released a “Tequila” cash-in 45, “Cerveza,” in 1958, using the alter ego, Boots Brown.

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