Night Music: The Cars, “Good Times Roll”

I have a memory of waking up one morning in 1978 or 1979 and the clock radio was playing this song. Or maybe it was another Cars song. What I remember is that it marked the beginning of a format on WPLJ called “The Next 25 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and at the time I didn’t know that the drummer in this band had been the drummer in the Modern Lovers. I remember thinking that this was weird music for the radio, though now the Cars don’t sound weird at all. But the next 25 years, according to WPLJ, which had had a progressive rock format until that morning, was going to be jangly new wave and punk, when the weird became normal.

I was in Boston last week and heard the Cars on the radio, and it all sounded homespun.

One thought on “Night Music: The Cars, “Good Times Roll”

  1. Cool. Several thoughts:

    1) Nice shots of various drum accessories, like the triangle.

    2) Live sound is kind of tinny compared to the richly produced album version, but most of the live multi-part background vocals are very nicely done. I never saw The Cars live.

    3) I worked my last two summers of college sandblasting at a factory where my uncle was a boss. I remember an older fellow employer, who was quite a partier, singing one Friday, “Let the good times roll. . . in about four hours.” Don’t know why that’s always stuck with me.

    4) Spent many hours driving around back roads in my friend’s giant Chevy packed with three or four of my friends listening to those first two Cars albums on 8-track and drinking beers. Back when the good times really did roll.

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