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Common Tread

Wanted: Favorite motorcycle songs

Jul 15, 2020

Avid readers of Common Tread know music plays a large role in my life and thus my motorcycle experience. I am constantly trying to infuse more musical references into my articles while Lance is simultaneously reminding me that I don’t write for Rolling Stone.

Over the past few years I’ve incorporated my music playlists into the theme of my Baja articles, wrote about chasing Gram Parsons' ghost on a SCR950, and most recently got into an Allman Brothers Band debate in the comments section of my Ténéré 700 review. So when the request came through to have Common Tread help build out a Spotify Roadtrip Playlist for RevZilla, I snatched the assignment from the desk before anyone else had a chance to even blink.

To be clear, I volunteered to build the playlist myself, but my boss (ol’ Brett Walling, not Lance) didn’t trust this long-haired, country boy (RIP Charlie Daniels) to pick all the tunes on my own, as he was afraid of my musical bias. So I’m reaching out to you.

We’re creating a RevZilla playlist on Spotify and I want our Common Tread audience to build it.

What we’re looking for is your favorite road trip songs. What songs help make your super-slab treks across Oklahoma more enjoyable? What music gets you pumped up to tackle the Tail of the Dragon? What do you listen to in the paddock at a track day or in the pits at the motocross track? What are your motorcycle songs?

Keep in mind that these don’t have to be motorcycle-related songs. While I love Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” (yes, I know the video above is a cover version, but I like the animation), that’s a Sunday morning coffee-sipping song in my book. It’s not really a motorcycle trip playlist tune. At least for me, but hell, maybe that works for you! Hence why I’m not allowed to put my picks in without soliciting yours!

For me, I much prefer songs that theme out the trip that I’m taking. For example if I’m lane splitting down the 405 in Los Angeles chances are I’ll have Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” cued up. (Didn’t see that one coming, did ya, Walling?) During my Baja trip I gravitated toward “outlaw” themed songs: Eddie Money’s “Gimme Some Water” and Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns, and Money.” My go-to for blasting at an ADV event while prepping in the morning is STRFKR’s version of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

You get the idea.

None of these songs have motorcycles in the lyrics, per se, but they are my favorites to listen to when jamming out inside my helmet on a com system or unloading my bike in preparation for the day’s ride.

So let me have it. Light up the comments section below with your favorite songs. Feel free to tell me why you dig ‘em. We’ll then be using your selections to build a RevZilla Spotify playlist.

And to further prove that Lance has completely lost control, I’ll be arbitrarily doling out ZillaCash to those of you who really impress me.