Motorcycles in Music — Jeans On by David Dundas

"Serena" was Dundas' sister.

“Serena” was Dundas’ sister.

Jeans On is a mild-mannered mid-70s pop song about the simply joys of getting up, pulling on a pair of blue jeans, climbing on a motorbike, picking up your girlfriend, and spending the day tooling around the back roads.

The song, performed by David Dundas, seems as American as a pair of Levi’s or a Harley-Davidson. It’s anything but.

Lord David Paul Nicholas Dundas, born in Oxfordshire, England, originally wrote the tune as an ad for Brutus Jeans, a brand favored by mods and skinheads and other rowdy soccer fans.

To be fair, the original 1976 ad stopped with the idea of pulling on a pair of Brutus Jeans.  The parts after that (including the motorcycle and girlfriend) were all added for the 1977 single.

The song reached #3 on the UK Singles Chart and #1 in Germany, but only #17 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart. However, it spend a total of 13 weeks in the Billboard’s Top 40, so the song had unusual longevity, probably because of it’s easy-going groove.

Dundas was a one-hit wonder in the U.S., but he had a moderate hit in the UK with his follow-up, Another Funny Honeymoon.  Both songs were included on Dundas’ self-titled album from 1977.

The song gained a second life when it was covered by Australian country-pop singer Keith Urban for his 2002 album, Golden Road.

Lyrics for Jeans On by David Dundas and Roger Greenaway

When I wake up
In the morning light
I pull on my jeans
And I feel all right

I pull my blue jeans on
I pull my old blue jeans on
I pull my blue jeans on
I pull my old blue jeans on

It’s the weekend
And I know that you’re free
So pull on your jeans
And come on out with me

I need to have you near me
I need to feel you close to me
I need to have you near me
I need to feel you close to me

You and me, we’ll go motorbike riding
In the sun and the wind and the rain
I got money in my pocket
Got a tiger in my tank
And I’m king of the road again

I’ll meet you in the usual place
I don’t need a thing
Except your pretty face

I pull my blue jeans on
I pull my old blue jeans on

Lyrics © 1977 Kobalt Music Publishing

Motorcycles in Music — Motorcycle Mama by Sailcat

Album Cover - Sailcat - Motorcycle Mama - 1972Sailcat was  a one-hit wonder, formed in late 1971 by two veterans of the Southern rock scene,  John Wyker and Court Pickett.

The duo recorded a demo of “Motorcycle Mama” which led to a contract to record a full album of the same name.

Despite an album filled with backing performances by notable performers (including Chuck Leavell and the Memphis Horns), the title track was the band’s only Top 40 single, peaking at #12 on July 15, 1972.

The song is easy-going, sounding like a hybrid of Donovan’s 1967 hit single, “Mellow Yellow” and The Lovin’ Spoonful’s 1966 hit, “Daydream”.

The due broke up later in the same year. In 2002, Wyker released an album, “Wild Water-ski Weekend” under the Sailcat moniker. He died in 2013 at age 68.

The album is a loosely-constructed song cycle about a “Easy Rider” styled motorcyclist who meets his perfect match (the titular Motorcycle Mama) and settles down to more conventional life as a husband and father.

While the album’s concept and packaging were designed to evoke the rootless “Easy Rider” lifeastyle, the album’s laid back country-rock pop comes from a much more conventional world.

Today, the original album is collectible for its gatefold sleeve, with cover and interior art by Jack Davis. Davis was a founding cartoonist for Mad magazine. Davis’ interior art includes an illustration for each track, making the threads of the semi-story more apparent.

Lyrics for Motorcycle Mama by Sailcat

Tell your Daddy and your Mama too
You got something better to do
Than stick around the house the rest of your life
You’re eighteen, you can do what you like
You’ll be the queen of my highway
My motorcycle mama
We’ll see the world through my Harley

We’ll get matching jackets and helmets too
We’ll get respect from the towns we ride through
We’ll sleep at the roadside in the soft green grass
And if the squares walk by we’ll let them pass
You’ll be the queen of my highway
My motorcycle mama
We’ll see the world through my Harley

And maybe in a year or two
We’ll have a little one
She’ll look just like you
We’ll add on a sidecar
Electric guitar
We’ll be a trio
Baby makes three-oh

Tell your Daddy and your Mama too
You got something better to do
Than stick around the house the rest of your life
You’re eighteen you can be my wife
You’ll be the queen of my highway
My motorcycle mama
We’ll see the world through my Harley
We’ll see the world through my Harley
We’ll see the world through my Harley
(If the chain don’t break!)

© John Wyker & Court Pickett

[Motorcycles in Music] The Storey Sisters / Bad Motorcycle (1957)

Bad Motorcycle was a hit single on the Cameo label, performed by the Storey Sisters in Philadelphia in 1957. Its infectious chorus and naive, confessional lyrics still charm today.

Ann and Lillian Storey originally recorded under “The Twinkles” and the song was initially released with that credit. The 1958 re-release hit #45 on Billboard’s pop charts.

In the song, a girl gossips about a boy she just met, and describes him as “a bad motorcycle”. He’s bold enough to ask for her phone number and to ask her out on a date, but he calls her when he said he would, so he can’t be all bad.

The song plays off the 1950s view of motorcycles as being wild, edgy, non-conformist. (Perceptions that still persist today with some cause.)

The chorus has a refrain of “voom voom voom” that’s echoed by a bass drum beat, with a rhythm that recalls jump rope songs. In the middle is a short but peppy guitar solo by “Wild” Jimmy Spruill. Spruill played on dozens of rhythm and blues and rockabilly hits and had a hit of his own with the 1959 single Hard Grind.

The sisters had a total of four singles (or eight tracks) to their credit, but Bad Motorcycle was their only hit.

Bad Motorcycle is available on the Cameo Parkway 1957-1967 boxed set. Fans of singer/comedienne Tracey Ullman make recognize the song from her cover version on her 1984 album You Caught Me Out. Ullman’s version is campy and silly, while the Storey Sisters’ version is a better performance with much better instrumentation.

Bad Motorcyle

I was on my way to school
When a fellow I did meet
Took me by the hand
And he told me I was sweet

And I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom
Yes, I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom

As we walked home alone
He asked me for my phone
He told me his name
And I told him the same

And I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom
Yes, I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom

Girl, I’m not jiving about a thing
He knew just what was happening
He had my heart just a pumping
Girl, he was really saying something
He had my heart up on a shelf
Girl he was really something else

As I went home
Sat down to wait
He called me at eight
Not one minute late

And I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom
Yes, I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom

Original © Thornett Music

[Motorcycles in Music] The Storey Sisters / Bad Motorcycle (1957)

Bad Motorcycle was a hit single on the Cameo label, performed by the Storey Sisters in Philadelphia in 1957. Its infectious chorus and naive, confessional lyrics still charm today.

Ann and Lillian Storey originally recorded under “The Twinkles” and the song was initially released with that credit. The 1958 re-release hit #45 on Billboard’s pop charts.

In the song, a girl gossips about a boy she just met, and describes him as “a bad motorcycle”. He’s bold enough to ask for her phone number and to ask her out on a date, but he calls her when he said he would, so he can’t be all bad.

The song plays off the 1950s view of motorcycles as being wild, edgy, non-conformist. (Perceptions that still persist today with some cause.)

The chorus has a refrain of “voom voom voom” that’s echoed by a bass drum beat, with a rhythm that recalls jump rope songs. In the middle is a short but peppy guitar solo by “Wild” Jimmy Spruill. Spruill played on dozens of rhythm and blues and rockabilly hits and had a hit of his own with the 1959 single Hard Grind.

The sisters had a total of four singles (or eight tracks) to their credit, but Bad Motorcycle was their only hit.

Bad Motorcycle is available on the Cameo Parkway 1957-1967 boxed set. Fans of singer/comedienne Tracey Ullman make recognize the song from her cover version on her 1984 album You Caught Me Out. Ullman’s version is campy and silly, while the Storey Sisters’ version is a better performance with much better instrumentation.

Bad Motorcyle

I was on my way to school
When a fellow I did meet
Took me by the hand
And he told me I was sweet

And I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom
Yes, I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom

As we walked home alone
He asked me for my phone
He told me his name
And I told him the same

And I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom
Yes, I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom

Girl, I’m not jiving about a thing
He knew just what was happening
He had my heart just a pumping
Girl, he was really saying something
He had my heart up on a shelf
Girl he was really something else

As I went home
Sat down to wait
He called me at eight
Not one minute late

And I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom
Yes, I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom

Original © Thornett Music

[Motorcycles in Music] The Storey Sisters / Bad Motorcycle (1957)

Bad Motorcycle was a hit single on the Cameo label, performed by the Storey Sisters in Philadelphia in 1957. Its infectious chorus and naive, confessional lyrics still charm today.

Ann and Lillian Storey originally recorded under “The Twinkles” and the song was initially released with that credit. The 1958 re-release hit #45 on Billboard’s pop charts.

In the song, a girl gossips about a boy she just met, and describes him as “a bad motorcycle”. He’s bold enough to ask for her phone number and to ask her out on a date, but he calls her when he said he would, so he can’t be all bad.

The song plays off the 1950s view of motorcycles as being wild, edgy, non-conformist. (Perceptions that still persist today with some cause.)

The chorus has a refrain of “voom voom voom” that’s echoed by a bass drum beat, with a rhythm that recalls jump rope songs. In the middle is a short but peppy guitar solo by “Wild” Jimmy Spruill. Spruill played on dozens of rhythm and blues and rockabilly hits and had a hit of his own with the 1959 single Hard Grind.

The sisters had a total of four singles (or eight tracks) to their credit, but Bad Motorcycle was their only hit.

Bad Motorcycle is available on the Cameo Parkway 1957-1967 boxed set. Fans of singer/comedienne Tracey Ullman make recognize the song from her cover version on her 1984 album You Caught Me Out. Ullman’s version is campy and silly, while the Storey Sisters’ version is a better performance with much better instrumentation.

Bad Motorcyle

I was on my way to school
When a fellow I did meet
Took me by the hand
And he told me I was sweet

And I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom
Yes, I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom

As we walked home alone
He asked me for my phone
He told me his name
And I told him the same

And I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom
Yes, I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom

Girl, I’m not jiving about a thing
He knew just what was happening
He had my heart just a pumping
Girl, he was really saying something
He had my heart up on a shelf
Girl he was really something else

As I went home
Sat down to wait
He called me at eight
Not one minute late

And I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom
Yes, I knew by the way he smoked
He was a bad motorcycle, voom-voom-voom

Original © Thornett Music