Favorite moment with music in your car.

1970. I had one of Norelco’s first car cassette players. I’d connected it to 4 box speakers. Had my honey at my side, driving 8 kids up the hill to school every day. We’re in my yellow 1955 Ford Station wagon, dubbed ‘The Bus’. Music blasting, kids singing along to:
Aretha, Van, Uriah Heep, Supertramp, Beatles, Stones, Black Sabbath, Doors, etc

Please share your own.



This is going back many many many moons ago, but I remember one Friday night  in  early to mid autumn, a buddy of mine and I dropped some pretty good acid and we were cruising around  enjoying the sights and also the tunes on the radio with a designated driver for a wheel man.. I still remember the DJ (KSHE95 in St. Louis) playing Legend Of A Mind.  It was like a revelation for me.

1980 I'd just broken up with a girl named Joyce.

My buddies and I hopped into a friend's car. They had a surprise for me.

One guy put on Devo's 'Freedom of choice', and they all began to sing alone with it using slightly tweaked lyrics, "Freedom from Joyce!"

Not one of them could hit a note, but it sure made us laugh.

not my car, but my buddy's nissan hardbody mini truck. does anyone remember those?  he built a giant subwoofer box with 2 15 inchers and some horns for the back, covered by a shell.  may have been like a 300 watt cheap amp too.  we drove around with the cure's primary blasting for about 30 mins.  if anyone knows the bassline, you'll understand.  i was in the back taking it all in.  damn, that was loud, hit me in the face and in the gut. i will never forget that.  to be young and dumm. 

My most astounding moment was listening a Russian mathematician turned musicologist chanting old primitive Gregorian hymns as it was supposed to be song before the Gregorian reform.

I missed  the road accident by few inches because it put me in a trance and ectasy.😊

Some can with their voice induce modified consciousness as hypnosis.

It takes almost 9 minutes with a deep bass  soloist voice to go out of the letter "A" of the word alleluia and the same for "A" in amen..

It was so different that what most people call gregorian singing that it is one of the greatest musical event in my life ...I discovered after that he used what is called "harmonic singing" voicing and overtone singing in the acoustic of Monastery to recreate gregorian hymns before the standardization of Saint Gregory the great.





Here’s Rodney Crowell recounting his first hearing of "I Walk The Line" in 1956, driving in a car with Pa and Grandpa. Johnny Cash makes a cameo appearance on the chorus.




Finally a post has struck a nerve.  It was 1960 - that's right, 1960 - and a car full of my buddies and I were barreling down Pacific Coast Highway singing (actually screaming)  along to Alley Oop by the Hollywood Argyles at the top of our lungs. Truly a prime moment in my musical memory.

About that time I had a record player installed in my '54 Chevy Bel Air.  It was an option, I think, on the 1960 Chrysler. It held about 10 45's and played them with the tone arm under the records. Oh my God.  Imagine all the 50's rock and roll played,  what seemed to us, flawlessly and at a deafening volume.  It also played Johnny Mathis equally well, which served me beyond measure in  my post-adolescent dating activities.  I kept the 45's in a plastic trash can; I had about a 100.  One night my friend, Jerry (last name withheld)  barfed in that bucket.  Recriminations ensued.

Things took a turn when my grad school girlfriend acquired  a '56 Mustang with an 8 track player.  "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll"  moved me like no music I had ever heard before.  Even now, over 50 years later, I still get chills when I listen to it in comfort of my own living room.  But no esoteric stereo ever conceived will equal that thrilling 4 minutes on a rainy day in 1967 when I heard it the very first time on that lowly 8 track player

In mid 80's finally decided to make the big move to leave Boston.  Checked a U.S, map to see how far away it was possible to get from Boston.  On the map it was clear, San Diego was the furthest away.  Quit my job, bought a new car,and John Mellencamp, Steve Winwood, and Creedence tapes.

Played them non-stop on the 2 week drive through New Orleans, Texas, across the Rockies, to San Diego.  Best decision I ever made...


A post from 2018:

Weather report: A Remark you Made (heavy weather) and I am transported back to a moonlit night sometime around 1984 driving a 1976 Monte Carlo with Heavy Weather in the 8-track, accelerating up the on ramp from 422 in Girard Ohio, getting on to I-80 West, past the dark, disused steel mills in the bright moonlight. The song sounded slower and sadder then. 

1976. Cruising to Warren Dunes (Michigan) in my '73 GrandAm listening to the Motor City Madman on cassette full blast on the way up. Allman Brothers and Santana on the way home.

Sorry, not in a car, not even involving a stereo.  But I'm posting anyway.

My remember-forever moment came at a live listening experience. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center hosted the Philadelphia Orchestra every summer when I was younger and one season, Ormandy scheduled a concert with the group Oregon.

I still remember the band playing "Distant Hills" on stage with the Philadelphians. A beautiful rendition of a composition so well suited for orchestration. And the stunning, open-air acoustics of the SPAC amphitheater also certainly played a part in the quality of the experience.

But my personal key moment came toward the end, as the piece was slowly building to a climax, when a solo trumpet unexpectedly assumed the main melodic line. It’s impossible for a forum posting to truly convey the emotion impact of that moment -- the perfect phrasing and timbre, the expressiveness of the arrangement -- sorry. I still get carried away. I still mourn the fact that these shows were not, to my knowledge, recorded.

Today, even after 35 years, whenever I play Oregon’s "Distant Hills" album on my stupidly expensive stereo, I’m always reminded of that sublime moment. The studio recording is beautiful enough, especially when reproduced on a high-end system. But nothing will ever equal that live experience.


I got my driver license @ the beginning of 1971.

Aside from 8 track tapes of "A space in Time", Almond Brother's @ the Fillmore, Johnny Winter,  Santana, Procal Harem et cetera I have fond memories of listening to Beaker Street late @ night while returning from concerts in neighboring cities, states and Canada.

I recall receiving it clearly as far North as 100 miles into Canada during a major rain storm (ended up staying there after attending a concert in St. Paul, MN. as opposed to a grueling drive back to Des Moines).

The people we were staying with (met them @ the concert) said that they had never picked the station up near their home before.

Think is was the same station (maybe not) but I also recall "the night tripper" along with a repeated segment of trippy music - though not certain if it was Dr. John.



We did a trip to Memphis and Graceland a few years back and the music on the way got us primed. In addition to the album Graceland, John Fogerty’s “Blue Moon Swamp” got our Hot Rod Hearts racing.

Way back in college, during a summer geology field course in Montana, The B52s and Bob Markey’s Rastaman Vibration cranking in the school van  was background music for some great times out in the wilderness.

Mid 90's in a black 94 T-Bird, I pulled the worst OEM poor excuse for a stereo out of the dash, and began a custom install. In the dash went an Alpine cd player, 5 1/4 ADS separates in the front doors, 5 1/4 Audax co-axes in the rear side panels, and two Seas 10" woofers in a sealed box in the trunk. The amp was an ADS 630x driving four channels up front, and two channels bridged driving the subs. With all that work, the midrange was mud. I went back to the selling dealer, and he swapped out the Alpine for another of the same. The mud remained. The $500 Mitsubishi was no better. Then I listened to a Pioneer Premier CD player, AHHHHHHH! The rest is history! 

Around 10:00 am on a beautiful day in the summer of 2011 on one of our 4 swings out west to national parks, driving through Wyoming with no one in sight and no cell service, I find a radio station who plays Old Cheyenne by Ian Tyson. I'm not a fan of country music, but I immediately recognize how good this song is. If you've never heard it, I highly recommend it because it might just make you want to be a cowboy or maybe not if you hear what happened to Charlie.

1975. Riding in a 1970 Corvette on the center console, with my older brother and his friend, on the way to high school sports night. Ported, polished, blueprinted 454 engine, headers, dual quad carbs. Huge speedometer and tachometer gauges glaring. Suzy Q by Creedence comes on the FM radio and plays to the end. It was sublime.


I second the opinion regarding Tesla S audio system. Absolutely magnificent.

I forgot to mention regarding my first post. That cassette deck in the car had a mic jack. I still have a tape or two filled with my 17 year old self and friends hamming it up. I even recorded a cop giving me the 3rd degree when he pulled me over. I was so nervous holding the mic just under the open window to pick up his voice.

Good times.

Just a couple years ago. Imagine a very rainy day near Portland Oregon. The rain has just ended, there were puddles everywhere. I turn up the car stereo, some classical station. A very lively song comes on, can't remember which one.

At that point all the stars aligned and I witnessed an incredible dance. Some middle aged man was crossing the street illegally. The music built. ting ting BOOM BOOM, TING TING ting...this guy was synchronized exactly to the music as he skipped, leaped, took tiny steps, and splashed trying to avoid the puddles. It was incredible. I laughed my ass off! It lasted all the way across the street.

Circa 1990.  La Villa Strangiato (Rush). 1988 VW Fox.  Nakamichi-recorded metal tape cassette.  Nakamichi mobile cassette deck in car.  Amplifier and speakers surprisingly forgotten.  I seem to recall the amplifier was in the glove compartment.

Odd, because systems before and since are more remembered in their specifics, but for some reason that song in that car on that system sticks in my memory.

Memory is a strange thing indeed.

Pre-8 Track days, I had a brand new '65 Comet Cyclone in which I installed an RCA car record player I ordered from a J C Whitney catalog. I added a pair of 6x9's on the rear shelf. The unit played a stack of 45's with an upside down tonearm, jukebox style, that skipped every time I hit a bump or divot in the road. But it beat the heck out of AM radio and I could choose my own music. I was cool before cool was cool, or thought I was.

you youngster,

The 1st time I played an 8 track in the car!!!!!!!!!!

8 track was a revolution, the 1st time our music was so easily transported, listened to so easily anywhere, like you say, blasting down the highway!

The player's heads got misaligned, the tape's broke, stretched, 

they were actually to be used for advertising at radio stations, just enough tape inside for that ad campaign (thus lighter, easier to move the tape), use until that ad campaign was over, in the trash can!

cassettes were for dictation, not music, single track, each way, then 2 track forward, then 4 track. It was improvements in the physical parts, cassette innards, player's innards, tape formulations, dolby ... that made them successful for music, of course the same portability as 8 tracks, but far more reliable and very easy to made duplicates or mix your own tracks.

That is when Programmable Turntables were introduced, scan the lp, find the blank spots between the tracks, you pick the tracks, in the order you want, record only those on your cassette.

Back in 1971 while I was still in the USAF I owned a 1967 Pontiac Le Mans that had the standard AM radio with one dash speaker and two rear deck speakers. The Base Exchange got some car AM/FM/FM Stereo units in stock and I picked one up. It came with several trim plates so installation was fairly straight forward and looked great installed. FM stereo in cars was still relatively new back then, so I was anxious to hear what difference it would make. I decided to make the front speaker the left and the rears the right which worked quite well. My 'moment' came with the first FM stereo rock station I tuned in that illuminated the red 'Stereo' indicator on the dial. Glorious stereo music filled the interior and I was blown away with how great it sounded. I went on to include an 8 track player into the system and to this day I still have fond memories of that car and the many road trips I made with it while listening to my favorite tunes. 

 BTW, here is an interesting timeline concerning automotive sound systems.


I don't listen to audio of any kind in the car. You'd be amazed how distracting it is when you become used to focusing exclusively on the road.

1975 - 8th grade new kid at school used to take his dad’s Grand Prix... we’d go joy riding up and down Revere Beach blasting Golden Earing, Big Star & Aerosmith - we were 14 & 13yo - 8-Track

1977 - HS blasting around in Rocky M dad's Cadillac playing Bowie, nothing but Bowie - 8-Track

1979 - Graduate HS and busting around the beach again with The Cars, The Knack & Blondie in his Trans-Am - Cassette Deck

1997 - riding my H-D back & forth to work with an FM Walkman Sport headphones on blasting WBCN & WFNX

2008 Back & forth to my son's boarding school in my Landcruiser turnt way up on Jimmy Page w/The Black Crows and old The Jam - CD

I don't listen to music in the car anymore - just talk radio. I play enough music at home... memories, so good and the music always sounded great through very mediocre car systems. Always the laughs and the people you were with. 



In the late 70s I was driving north from Baltimore to New Jersey listening to a decades long folk music show from Philadelphia, Folklore, emceed by Gene Shay. He played a song sung by Priscilla Herdman, who had an utterly gorgeous , angelic voice, called, And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. This was not the classic Australian Waltzing Matilda but an anti war song about an Australian at the World War I battle of Gallipoli  who is gravely wounded and about the wasted lives at the battle. The words start with the glory of going to battle and end with the total horror of war. And the contrast of Priscilla's gentle, angelic voice and the horror of the story make the story even more poignant.

This was before the internet and Priscilla was not big box office. It took me years to finally find the album in Baltimore when I was again visiting my friend.

I went to work for the old Ma Bell AT&T and for 5 years my constant habit was to buy the New York Times on my way to work, get to work early, page through the Times and try to do the daily cross word puzzle. Finally one Friday I stopped to pick up the times and it wasn't there. I was pissed and started to walk out of the store but turned around and for the very first time bought a New Jersey paper. I paged through it and at the bottom of the page saw a few paragraphs saying Priscilla Herdman was singing that evening at The Princeton Fold Song Society. Needless to say I went.

Priscilla is retired now. She never wrote her own songs she jus made carefully chosen songs more beautiful with her straight forward approach to singing and with her beautiful voice. I do have every album she ever made. And her version that first song I heard on the car radio is among my most special musical moments.

@allenf1963 +1

Your VW van story was great.

I had a used ‘62 VW camper van that was electrically 6 volts, so I had to buy a 6V to 12V converter which bolted under the dash and powered my Tena 8 track tape player.

With four people in it, going uphill, the underpowered 40 HP engine meant I’d have to drop down to second gear to move at all.

One particularly long, uphill interstate stretch so stressed out the entire van that half way to the top the converter couldn’t take it anymore and just blew up….freaking us out and robbing us of tunes…but, hey, it wasn’t the engine.

Wish I could remember what tape it was.

The year was 1977, and my buddy and I were in his 1968 VW Microbus nicknamed "Old Blue" driving down Black Mountain in Kentucky, after leaving a gig in Cumberland.  He was the drummer in our pretty successful regional rock band, and "Old Blue" was used to haul his drum kit.  It took just about the entire Microbus for his drum kit, because he had a Slingerland set that was identical to Neil Peart's drum kit on Rush's "2112 Tour" -- including Wind Chimes, Wood Blocks, and a freaking Gong.  What...didn't every High School drummer have a Gong in the 1970's? 😂  His dad was an Electrical Engineer and as a side business he owned a popular musical instrument store in town that also sold Hi-Fi gear.  So we had access to some pretty fancy gear for our ages.  We rigged up a set of JBL monitors in the middle of "Old Blue" (all the seats except for the front two Captain Chairs were removed to make hauling space), strapping them in where the middle seat normally bolted to the frame.  Had it wired so we could play a Jensen car AM/FM Cassette Deck through the JBL using a hefty A/D/S amp.


So there we were, the end of January, at 2:00 a.m. in a blinding snowstorm, creeping down the mountain, following the tail lights of the other band members.  We weren't playing any music, because my buddy was freaking out trying to concentrate on driving down the mountain and had wanted it quiet.  He finally said, "Man, put some music on so I can calm down!", and I told him I had just bought Pink Floyd's new release that morning and before we left my step-brother had burned me cassette copy while we were loading the gear.  Needless to say, hearing "Animals" for the first time in that situation and in those conditions, was one of the few life-altering moments I've had in my life.  We actually felt like we were tripping during "Dogs" -- the head lights reflecting off the snow in front of the VW appeared to be flickering in tempo with the voice echoing "Stone, stone, stone, stone...".  After it finished, we both just sat in silence for what seemed to be half an hour.  Finally my buddy just said, "Play that again."


I've listened to "Animals" hundreds of times, own the original pressing, a Japanese pressing, the Remaster, the Remix, several bootleg live recordings -- but nothing compares to what I felt hearing it for the first time in that blinding snowstorm, not knowing what was real or imaginary.  To me, that is the magic of certain music.

One evening, high school ‘70, and the 5/8” thick homemade plywood boxes with 5” round speakers in my VW bug’s backseat well (dampened with plexiglass lathe shavings) somehow harmonically synced to ELP’s “Lucky Man” and the whole car seemed to shake…only happened that once!

A close second involves, back in the day, thinking of a song, turning on the radio, and it’s playing!

Happened more than once.

Oh there’s been so many! I’ll go with this one…

1978 and I’m driving from OH to a new job and life in CO. I was in my Le Car in which I’d added 200 watts of stereo complete with 6x9s in the back and some small boxes bolted to the doors. Driving through the night I was listening to Jean Luc Ponty’s Cosmic Messenger as I contemplated the stars and my future…

Happy listening. 

Current Tesla S Model....best fidelity i’ve had in a car (for a car that is!) with the lowest noise floor. All the coal rolling junk 30 years ago sounded like a screeching banshee coupled with all the obnoxious cabin noise...no thanks, no nostalgia there, certainly don’t miss it!

Late 1998. My client in Italy gave me a new company car. Audi R4. I had a music system installed. One ZZ Top song had such low bass it gave me goosebumps. Had more impact than my JBL L222 Disco towers at home.

When I went to school in LA back in the 80’s, my friend told me she once saw me singing at the top of my lungs on freeway 605 lol.

Best memory is before I could afford a stereo, other than my clock radio, the car was all I had. So I’d go out in the garage and crank the hell out of it. Sort of like my first home stereo will balls.

Second was in the city and cranking the hell when I noticed the guy next to me was motioning and smiling. I guess he was digging the tune too.

I was 13 and sitting in my Dad's car while he picked up dry cleaning. The DJ on the radio said the next song is from an English group with funny haircuts. 

"I Wanna Hold Your Hand" came on and my life was changed forever. 

When my Dad returned I was all excited and he couldn't understand why. 

It was in the limo. I don't remember what was playing, because I was drunk and high, but the limo was shaking not from loud music tho!

My first year of college I made a friend who drove a Maverick with these amplified 6x9s called mind blower speakers.  We blasted Boston and Queen 8 tracks to insane volume levels. ( Probably why today my hearing isn't as good I would have hoped).  One summer we took a road trip from California to his home state of Missouri.  Being a California kid who lived in the desert his whole life the first time I saw a southern forest I shouted "stop the car" and got out and ran thru it as I'd never seen anything like that before.  Then again drugs may have been involved it was college in the 70s.  50 years later we still are friends which is the best part of the story.

1986 Transcanada Hiway - Neil Young - Old Ways cassette 1983 Camaro with a Concorde deck, Visonic amps and a mix of KEF and Madisound drivers…. I still have the cassette 

spring break from College in 1971, driving down Highway 101 from Grant’s Pass, Oregon to Crescent City, California through the coastal mountains in my 1964 MGB convertible with my college roommate. It had been raining all the way from Seattle, we had camped out in Grant’s Pass, and then on our way the sun came out, i put the top down, and we were in a great mood enjoying the morning air, and on my 8 track was playing "Here Comes The Sun".

life was pretty damn good at that moment. that trip was a fine one i like to think about.

i could also mention all the vacation road trips with my kids when they were young. we always had music going and that music still grabs me as a associate it with that wonderful time. i tear up just thinking about it. and a few ’R’ rated moments in my younger days i’ll just not mention.

music can be a powerful trigger for our memories. 

I am afraid that most of mine included illegal and irresponsible behavior.   

As a geologist in Southern Nevada passing through Goldfields (abandoned mining town) at sunset (on left) whizzing along up and down hills listening to Passport’s Infinity Machine on my Sennheiser headphones connected to my top of the line Sony Dolby C Walkman. 1982? Goosebumps and shivers from complete immersion into the tune. Still one of my favorite tunes.