Month: July 2016

Rocket 88 the First Rock and Roll Song

Long before Tina, Ike Turner and the Rhythm Kings went into Sun Studios in Memphis and recorded a jump blues song called Rocket 88. It rose to be a #1 song on the R&B charts in 1951.

Some say…this was the first rock and roll record. That’s debateable. Jump blues and swing combo music had been around for awhile, but Turner made the style even rawer. The song features one of the first examples of fuzz guitar ever recorded, as a result of dropping the guitar amplifier before the recording session.

Determining the first actual rock & roll record is impossible, there are simply too many candidates for that distinction. Rocket 88 with lyrics about cars, booze, and women with a big rocking beat, certainly gets the song up there as a prime candidate.

Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets would probably get the most votes for the first rock and roll song, but it’s not the first. Haley’s recording did became an anthem for rebellious 1950s youth and brought rock and roll into mainstream culture around the world.

I’ll leave it to old Ike Turner to put Rocket 88 in it’s historical place, “I don’t think that “Rocket 88” is rock’n’roll. I think that “Rocket 88” is R&B, but I think “Rocket 88″ is the cause of rock and roll existing …”

I love car songs from “She’s real fine my 409 to Little Red Corvette. What rhymes with Tesla? I’ll have to work on that one.


How to Rent a Car


Consumer Reports is one of my favorite magazines. You’re always going to get an honest appraisal of a product or a service from Consumer Reports.

They recently did an article entitled Rent a Car Without Getting your Wallet Emptied. It was fine as far as it went, but I don’t think it emphasized where you can save the most when renting.

I start by going online to any of the travel sites that compares the pricing of the various agencies. Sites like Expedia, Travelocity, it doesn’t seem to really matter. The prices are about the same. I like to get the biggest car I can that doesn’t cost much more than the cheapest. I’ll upgrade if it’s reasonable and no it’s not the above Porche. Think Nissan Altima.

The biggest expense for renting a car is the insurance, the collision damage waiver or CDW and it’s the trickiest part of renting a car. The CDW can double the cost of renting. The Consumer Reports article touches on this, but doesn’t spell it out specifically. “American Express and many Visa and MasterCard programs also supply rental-car insurance, so long as you pay using that card.”

Here is the deal, you have to rent with a credit card not a debit card. Use a Visa Credit Card and the CDW is covered for three weeks.

The counter people will work you over for the CDW and additional insurance. It’s how they make their money. Ignore them.

I was just looking at renting a car in San Francisco on Expedia and the CDW was included in the rental, no Visa credit card required. I advise everyone to be careful. Call your credit card company and make sure of the coverage and read the insurance portion of the Rental Agreement. They’re usually trying to screw you some how.

And agree to bring the gas tank full rather than any of the other options.

That’s it. Be careful out there! If you’re renting a car in Thailand, remember it’s the most dangerous place to drive in the world. I would avoid driving here, if possible. Driving in a third world country is a different cup of tea.