12 December 2011
Driver 67 - Going My Way/ (Theme From) There Is No Conspiracy
Year of Release: 1979
We've already partially explored the output of Driver 67 on this blog with a sniff at the sinister, horrible and downright wrong record about female-stalking truckers that is "Headlights". Enough has been said about that little disc that I don't really feel I need to add any more at this juncture.
Whilst it may have seemed as if Paul Phillips and Pete Zorn were trying to alienate radio stations and their entire female listening audience with "Headlights", "Going My Way" puts things back on the proper track, being a fizzbomb of a pop record with the same pub sing-along effect and pounding rhythms that Dennis Waterman delivered (to a much more convincing degree, actually) with "I Could Be So Good For You" the following year. The world-weary, Craig Charles-on-Coronation Street weepiness of "Car 67" isn't apparent in this instance, and if you regard the three singles as being a trilogy (and God help you if you do) it could be argued that "Headlights" focusses on Phillips' post-dumping misogyny, whereas this one represents his recovery. "Look," he is essentially saying to us, the good listeners, "we're pulling in different directions, but we could make this work. But if you can't be bothered, I'm off down the pub to sing along with the jukebox with all my mates. Whatever will be, will be."
The B-side in this instance is another perplexing piece of Driver 67 work, this time involving Zorn and Phillips discussing the noisy A-side neighbour who has moved in upstairs, and holding a naturalistic dialogue about the benefits and drawbacks of easy listening which sounds slightly like a Dexy's "Don't Stand Me Down" out-take. What a peculiar pair they were.
Pete Zorn is still an active session musician whose CV is the envy of anyone involved with folk and roots music. He is almost a permanent fixture in Richard Thompson's touring band, and has also played with Gerry Rafferty and Steve Tilston. Paul Phillips eventually became disillusioned with the music business after endless disputes about royalties owed to him from "Car 67". Record company failures to press up enough copies of that single to keep up with demand also won't have helped. The record dropped to number 11 mid-way through its climb up the charts only to continue climbing the following week; apparently this blip was purely due to the lack of copies available in the shops, and may have cut short its potential performance. He now works as a partner in a design business based in London, and imports vintage guitars.
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