Thanks to my wonderful friend Rob M. for the songs I've learnt and the ride along the scenic Canadian Highway:
My own knowledge of heavy metal or rock bands is hardly enough for me to write any decent posting on the genre. But I truly appreciate my first ever heavies when I listened to Deep Purple in the 70s and except for a few songs like Smoke On The Water, Highway Star and Black Night the interest stopped there because I could not take too much of the cacophony and extremely high decibels emanating from both the powerfully voiced singers and their amplified instruments. It was only by chance that I listened to this genre of music again.
"You seem to love loud music?" I asked on the second day of our journey.
"To keep me awake Andy," he replied. "You don't wanna drive the car since you guys drive on the wrong side of the road in Singapore and I have to keep myself awake all the time. Besides, BTO music is truckers' music and drivers keep themselves awake and entertained with heavy metal and CBRadio."
I understood what he meant. It was hard for him to keep awake during the long and quiet drives (image 2), especially after lunch. I kept my mouth shut for the rest of the journey realising that if it weren't for my good friend I would have to suffer a bus trip that would take more days. But I always made sure he was awake and chatted with him when the player was switched off.
The baptism of gutter guitar filled me with fire and after some driving practice I took over Rob's car on the fourth day. I learnt a few songs on the road like, Taking Care Of Business, Roll On Down The Highway, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, Take It Like A Man, Let It Ride, a favourite American Woman and other rock hits.
I also realised that the growling guitars and gruff grinding of voices from heavy rock kept me awake while we were on the long Canadian roads from two o'clock in the afternoon, sometimes under a blazing Canadian sun in the middle of June. But when the eyes just would not open, we would shade under a large tree on a side road and take a cat nap.
I was sad, not glad, when I had to leave Winnipeg again and missing the BTO stuff that I never got to collect. I am still learning about this genre of music. Anyone got any vinyls or CDs of truckers' music to spare?
*"Bachman–Turner Overdrive (frequently known as BTO) is a Canadian rock group from Winnipeg, Manitoba, that had a series of hit albums and singles in the 1970s, selling over 7 million albums in that decade alone. Their 1970s catalog included five Top 40 albums and six Top 40 singles.
The band has sold nearly 30 million albums worldwide, and has fans affectionately known as gearheads (derived from the band's gear-shaped logo). Many of their songs still receive play on FM classic rock stations (Wiki)."
Images 1, 2, 3, 4/original article: Andy Lim Collection.
Image 5, 6: You Tube and Google.