The motorcycle outlaw has been a potent archetype since Brando. Hunter Thompson’s Hell’s Angels birthed two legends–theirs and his–when it was released in ’67, and then the Angels’ legend was cemented two years later at Altamont. Easy Rider was released that same year, the high water mark of the ’60s biker movie genre.
Motorcycle outlaws became kids’ stuff in the ’70s thanks to the popularity of Fonzie and Evel Knievel, and Harley-Davidson’s rebirth in the late ’80s turned billionaires like Malcolm Forbes into clean and polished bikers. That’s pretty much where we’ve been ever since–celebrities and suburbanites living to ride and riding to live.
But don’t kid yourself: The outlaws are still out there, and just like Thompson found out back in ’66 you don’t want to cross them. So no matter how much of a badass you might think you are, if you happen to run into a Hell’s Angel in a bathroom doorway, “Pardon me” remains your best option.
Anyway, motorcycle songs:
“Motorcycle,” Love and Rockets.
“Motorcyle,” Iggy Pop.
“Motorcycle Man,” Saxon.
“Ezy Ryder,” Jimi Hendrix.
“Motorcycle Mama,” Neil Young.
“Gypsy Biker,” Bruce Springsteen.
“Little Honda,” Hondells.
“Angel On My Bike,” The Wallflowers.
There you have it: Eight songs when you don’t want a pickle but rather a ride on your motorsickle. What did I miss? I’m listening.
Categories: Deep Cuts
“Leader of the Pack” – The Shangri-Las
“Outlaw” – WAR
“New Sensations” – Lou Reed
“Panheads Forever” – David Allan Coe
“Summer Running” – Billy Idol
“Desert Plains” – Judas Priest
“Bad Motor Scooter” – Montrose
“Roll Me Away” – Bob Seger
“Motorcycle Song” – Arlo Guthrie
“Born to Be Wild” – Steppenwolf