Tempus Fugit

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The other day, I found myself behind what – to me – is a relatively new and certainly modern Mustang GT from the mid-’90s wearing “antique” tags. Holy tempus fugit!

Was 1994 really 25 years ago?

Yup. It was.

And this ’94 Mustang  GT is now  . . . an antique. Which means I am, too.

Both of us began our careers at the dawn of the Modern Car Era. Port fuel injection was just then replacing Throttle Body Injection – which was basically an electronic carburetor – often mounted on an intake manifold the same as the ones that actually had carbs underneath them since the era of the Model T.

They were “wet flow” – air and fuel – just like a carb except more accurate and finely sprayed.

No more choke. And no more “warming up,” either. You just got in – and went. The switchover to TBI – and the overdrive transmission – changed everything and ushered in the era of the Modern Car.

Overdrive gave the best of both worlds. Leverage down low, for good acceleration – and gearing reduction once rolling, which made it possible for a car like the Mustang GT in this short video to cruise-control for hours at 90 with its engine turning the same RPM as a pre-modern car with a non-overdrive transmission would have at 60.

High speed legs – and great gas mileage.

I drove a brand-new same-year Mustang GT press car from the DC ‘burbs to my sister’s wedding in Tahoe – almost all the way across the country. It averaged 28 MPG on the open road. With a V8 under its hood.

Have cake – and eat, too.

This was a glorious time for cars. They were just modern enough to be vastly better as cars than all the cars which preceded them, in terms of ease of use, ease of starting, absence of stalling and long-haul running . . . but without the suffocating, nudging, nannying electronic effrontery which afflicts current cars.

There were no “assists.” No one seemed to feel the need. You got in, drove. Often having a lot of fun in the process.

The Safety Cult had not yet risen.

People still loved cars back then, too. They formed emotional bonds with them. Kept them. Like this Mustang, which still looks new despite being almost too old to be drafted.

Part of the reason for the forming of bonds was that the cars weren’t yet disposable appliances  – as new cars are. Wrenching on cars was still common – because people could. Ordinary people; not people with engineering degrees – or the operational equivalent. This Mustang GT still had a 302. The same basic small-block Ford V8 (no overhead cams, variable valve timing or turbos)  that was available in the 1964 Mustang GT – just fuel-injected rather than Holley carbureted. But probably two-thirds of the parts interchanged.

Also the knowledge.

If you knew enough to wrench competently on the ’64, you knew enough to do most of the wrenching on the ’94.

That’s no longer the case.

Or the budget.

A 2019 Mustang GT costs about $6,000 more – in inflation adjusted dollars – than the ’94 GT stickered for. It’s much more powerful – and much quicker. But its power and quickness don’t matter much if you can’t afford them.

For most people under 35  – formerly the age bracket that bought cars like the Mustang – ponying up another $6k is not feasible, especially when must also come up with the mordita payment to the insurance mafia and (in many areas) the annual we’ll-let-you-hold-onto-it tax (property tax) which is based on the car’s value.

So, today, older guys like me drive the new Mustang – and throw it away after a a few years.

Ordinarily, younger guys would step up for seconds – but the new Mustang is a as complex and expensive to fix and keep running when almost used up as it was when it was new and warranted and most younger guys haven’t got the means, tools or skills to fix them and know it and therefore don’t buy because they can’t afford to pay someone else to keep their used Mustang going.

It becomes a throw-way about 12-15 years out.

It is doubtful that, 25 years from now, any the new cars I am test driving today will be seen wearing “antique” vehicle tags. They will have been recycled long before then.

But unless they outlaw them, cars like this ’94 GT will probably still be around.

Hopefully, I’ll still be around then, too!

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  1. Can certainly relate Eric. It just doesn’t seem capable that 94′ was 25 years ago. I can remember my dad had a 88′ Mazda MX6 at the time and was looking at the new 94′ Mustang along with a few other models. Me and my sis were hoping he was going to go for it but he ended up getting the stodgy 94′ Mercury Cougar instead. Heck, I can remember buying my 84′ Dodge Daytona Turbo new and that was 35 years ago last month ughhh!

  2. I had a 89 GMC 3500 dual wheel utility body with throttle body injection for 15 years never had a speck of problem with it. it was 50 billion times better then a junk carb which to me was the worst single item put on a motor

      • I’ve had plenty Chevy pickups and only one gave me a warning that the module was going. I just went to the parts store once back in town and did a quick replacement. Never even considered carrying an extra and that’s on SBC and BBC’s alike.

        While I liked the Q Jet, it gave up plenty bottom end on everything I had that was the same except for the fuel management compared to the TBI.

        • My 89 quit on the way back from town a few years ago. It just shut off like somebody had turned off the key. I got the former GMC dealer who I had just bought a new battery from to bring out a new module, $75 plus $75 labor/service call. It sort of took me by surprise because I never had a carb and points/condenser just quit me without warning – well, except for down on the beach in TX after camping for several days in the salt air, but I had spares.

          The HEI modules also could just up and quit, though I never had it happen on one of my vehicles. They had a bit of bad reputation when they first came out, and some were DOA brand new. There was a new Blazer that I couldn’t get started, and everyone scoffed and said I just flooded it. It started later for someone else and they delivered it, then it came back the next day on the tow truck! The dealer would have had one less unhappy customer had they listened to the kid.

          • Yeah, like those MoPar electronic ignition systems where you always carried a spare ballast resistor. Never had the module or trigger coil die, but the 2-part ballaast, oh yes.

      • I need to look around and see if I still have the book. I read it as a kid and it made a big impression on me. My cousin and I were always reading each other’s scifi and we went through a plethora of them.

      • Except Tempus Fugit in Puppet Masters was a drug…

        There was a garage owner in East Texas named J. T. Fugate, so the first time I heard the Latin phrase Tempus Fugit, I thought he was J. T.’s son 🙂

  3. Eric, will you get to review the new 2019 Mazda3? I think you might appreciate Mazda’s effort to be different and build a small car with character, rather than an appliance.

    • I’ve had mazdas in my life one way or another for over thirty years. They are better than other offerings from Japan but they never seem to develop the character that really gets you attached to a car. The kind of thing that happens not only because of how they drive but by working on them. I think it’s the Japanese engineering where the whole car starts coming unglued all at once after a certain age.

  4. Eric, nice article. I had a conversation with a body repair shop today while picking up my car for repairs after some Ahole vandalized it last week. We discussed today’s new autos and he in agreement with you also stated that they were throw always after a minimum of 5 years. Anyway, I informed him of your website and it would be of interest to him. Keep on with the truth, the whiners be damned!

  5. When I’m not on my bike or working out of my van I drive a ’92 Mustang GT 5.0L 5-speed manual. It’s not cherry by any means, but the engine’s still tight, and that thing moves. A lot quicker than traffic permits, that’s for sure. It doesn’t hold a candle to my motorcycle for excitement, but compared to the hermetically sealed automatic transmission techno-cages my friends drive, it’s old school thrill. Almost every single day someone asks if they can buy it. (Nope!)

    I looked into getting antique tags for it, but the rules around here are very strict, and apparently enforced. Whether I ever do that or not I intend to keep my one owner Mustang until the end!

      • Yep. Sun’s fading the red some and my Mom (yep, almost 80 but she still asks to drive my ‘stang from time to time!) put a dent in the front quarter panel, but still a good looking car. Eric’s got it right: It’s a nice balance between the old and the new. Only thing I don’t like is the air bag right in front of me, but other than that it’s great!

        • The Fox body ‘stangs are light, quick, and agile. I know because one STOMPED me on RT 9 in Lakewood, NJ one night. I was on my bike, and as we pulled away, I decided to gas it. The guy in the ‘stang did likewise; I heard his pipes open up, and that was ALL she wrote!

          • Man, you must have a mighty slow bike, Any of the four bikes in my garage, from my ancient Suzuki ’83 GS1100-E to my ’99 Hayabusa would crush any car in a drag-race. And I know of no car that could match the old ‘busa in top speed.

            • I had a Yamaha Seca 750 at the time, which wasn’t exactly a sportbike, but it was no slouch, either. The big problem is I didn’t get the engine tached up before racing the GT. I took of normally with fairly low rpm, then decided to gas it. That thing, you had to get it up to 3-4 grand before she would wake up at all.

              Now, the ZRX1100 I used to have about 10 years ago, that would pretty much stomp anything, 2 or 4 wheel. The only bikes I’d have to worry about were liter bikes, a Hayabusa, or a ZX-14. As for cars, anything short of megabucks supercar couldn’t keep up.

              Even so, a fox body Mustang GT is no slouch of a machine…

              • Hi Mark,


                My ZX1200 – a 2003, so almost 17 years old now – will still out-accelerate anything short of a Hellcat – and the Hellcat isn’t going to outrun me. We’ll be side by side, bumper to bumper… and my bike only cost $7,500 brand new!

                • If I still had my ZRX, I reckon a Hellcat could give it a run for the money. Back when I had it though, the Hellcat didn’t exist; the only cars that could keep up had 6 or 7 figure price tags. How common are those?

    • Funny thing is, Bill B., my sister has a ’92 too- a 4cyl; and my cousin has a ’71 6-cyl. that she’s owned since it was new- and people are always approaching both of them also, asking if they want to sell.

      My neighbor (same guy who now has a ’67) had an early 90’s 4cyl Fox body also- a real rat- Busted windshield; body in various shades of primer gray and in various stages of repair; rear-end going bad; bald tires; exhaust trashed; interior ratty, etc. Sold the darn thing within hours for $1500.

      I can even see the interest in the 5.0’s, especially with a stick…but ratty 4-bangers?! Someone offered my sister $4K for her ’92 about two years ago- and the paint is peeling, and the car has not been well-maintained. (People get excited when they see less than 100K miles…)

      • We’re at the point that a 4cyl fox body that’s straight and rust free is desired to build something else from. But whomever was talking $4K was nuts. For twice that one can still buy a decent V8 car.

        • Brent, my sister was even crazier for not taking the $4K! The car is a dog- sits parked 99.9% of the time, and is just driven a few blocks when used. Worst possible life for a car…and it’s 27 year-old original parts!

          She recently spent $700 to get the A/C fixed!

          If she would have taken the $4K, she could have bought herself a nice newer Corolla, Camry or Accordion. If anybody were to actually drive that ‘Stang, it’d likely fall apart within a week.

          • Nobody would buy it to drive as is. They would either buy it to strip it and build it back up from the ground up with an entirely new driveline, suspension, brakes, etc or to slowly replace everything as they could afford it.

            Nobody really wants a non-SVO or turbo GT 4 cylinder fox body except to make it something else.

            • True dat, Brent- but why pay $4K for that? Just buy a junker.

              Opposite side of the coin:

              When I was a kid, an old Jew who owned a local store (Really nice guy, too) got himself a gorgeous new burgundy Mach 1 ! I’d see him driving it occasionally when I was riding my bike. Had louvers on the rear, and sounded really cool- one of the nicest ‘Stangs I’d ever seen.

              Seemed funny that an old man named Murray had the coolest car around! (And he wasn’t the type- he was a soft-spoken easy-going guy…)

        • Hi Brent,

          An ’80s-era Fox is on my list of candidates to become my daily driver once the truck becomes to rusty to do more than haul garbage to the green boxes. I love everything about these cars… and I’m a Pontiac guy!

          • There’s probably no greater automotive lego set out there.

            I would still like to get a plain looking ’79 and put a modern ecoboost 2.3L in it if I had the time….

            I stick with Mustangs because I enjoy the fact that everyone competes to provide me parts and modifications at reasonable price including Ford.

            • Morning, Brent!

              I have a picture on my ‘fridge of the ’95 Cobra I had one of the best weeks of my then-young life in. I will try to post it sometime…

          • I had an 86 Foxbody convertible LX(302 model) and a 1995 GT. Those two and my 1997 Miata gave me a lot of driving pleasure over the years.

            I rented a nanny mobile last year while the F-150 was in the shop. The sorry experience led me to buy a street cruiser motorcycle instead of a new car.

            I can say I’ve never hated a damn car so much in my life.

            • Hi Phil,


              I have a a grand view of events because I’ve been doing this long enough now to have been in the middle of the changes – like a guy in a hot tub where the water is slowly turning brown.

              I began test driving new cars in the early ’90s. And here I am today. The past 25 years have seen the near-destruction of America’s love affair with cars as the Safety Cult (and lately, the Green Cult) ruined it all.

          • I’m about a year out from having a fully refurbished 93. It started life as a 4cyl auto and has now morphed into a 306 trick flowed beast with all new paint, interior, road race suspension, and bad ass brakes. Oh, and AC will be blasting. I love these cars.

  6. Newer cars have their virtues, here is a glowing review written at the time of the 1973 Firebird SD-455:


    On the seventh of February, 1973, our test Firebird Trans Am SD-455 swept through the quarter-mile at Orange County International Raceway in Irvine, California in an elapsed time of 13.751 seconds and at a terminal speed of 103.56 mph. That is fast. That, in fact, is outrageously fast even within a five-year-old frame of reference. And it was done in a street legal car—a 1973 street legal car—with a full tank of gas (3854 lb. curb weight), street tires and, wait for it . . . automatic transmission.

    And here’s my car, a Toyota Avalon, an ordinary family car which you can currently buy for about $4k or so used in the model year I own:


    2007 6.4 sec 14.9 @ 95 mph

    It’s about a second slower thru the quarter mile, stock versus stock, but I’m guessing if you throw in some curvy roads, they’d be about dead even.

      • Mark3,
        Liked! Exactly! (about the T/A)
        Mark3, do you own a VW? Mark 3 in VW talk means ’93 thru ’99 Jetta/Golf.

        • Vwadam I used to own a rabbit gti circa 2004 or so. wasnt that great of a car actually. looked cool but the build quality wasnt there. Surprising for a german car. my handle is just to distinguish myself from all the other marks here ha.

  7. I had a 1996 model with the 4.6L SOHC engine. 215 HP. 0-60 in 7 seconds. Not a rocket, but faster than most Mustangs built since 1972 or so. Yes, the gearing was insane. I had 2.73 gears that went with a 0.67 OD transmission. The thing was good for 2000 RPM at 80 mph At that speed plus a little, I got around 28 mpg. With the 99 cent a gallon 100 percent gasoline, no oxygenates, at the time, those were salad days. I owned the car from 1996-99 (until it got hit). I wish I still had the silver car. Best overall car I ever owned.

  8. Ya know,,, never cared much for the Mustang (except for Eleanor (Gone in 60 seconds)) or the others growing up in the era,,, they were just… cars. Not until the late 1990s and 2000s. By then I could see the slow death of American cars for the supposed better Euro and Jap Models. They were good mind you but had their own looks and personality. The one thing they weren’t…… American.

    Today, See someone pass by in a 1990s Nissan or a BMW brings little fanfare…. But watch people when a really nice 1965 Pontiac GTO or a 67 Camero, or a 69 Challenger, Roadrunner, or AMC Javelan passes by…. Most smile. That’s Americana and I am proud to be part of that time.

    That’s part of what made America great. American Cars designed by American engineers, built in America by Americans for Americans. Everybody got a piece of the pie. All lost now,,, globalism,,, everything we buy is foreign or mostly foreign whether it’s in Walmart, Sears, or your local car dealers.

    The really painful part for me,,, most Americans like it this way. Many today are dependents of government because of the government assisted desertion by American Corporations,,, so their dependence on foreign goods is second nature. 🙁

    Yes Tempus Fugit :!

    • I never could see the appeal of the Mustang either Ken (O-K, the Mach 1’s looked cool at least…). They’ve always been small, cramped and rather crudely built.

      Fuggit! I want a Tempest- about a ’67.

      • Hi Nunz,

        Like the old Beetle, the Mustang is a car with character. It was built for fun. This made up for its many deficits. It is one of those cars that becomes a companion.

        • “… becomes a companion.”

          I’ve been with mine for 27 years, 7 years longer than I was with my wife!

          The Mustang’s more fun and more loyal, btw

        • Heh, yeah, Eric- I guess it’s a matter of personal taste, too.

          My neighbor picked up a ’67 Mustang about ten years ago, for $4500, Looked pretty cool- but after poking around it for a bit, it lost it’s charm, other than that of being built when I was 5 years old.

          I find the bugs much more interesting- even though they are pokey…and even more cramped than the ‘Stangs! -THEY just have so much character (Half of which probably comes from the hippies who used to drive ’em! 😉 )

          • Hi Nunz!

            The sad thing is cars in general used to have character. Something original or different that made them almost human in that they possessed individuality to a degree as well as charm.

            Today’s cars are mostly homogenous appliances. Well, except for the one I’m about to post a review of!

            • Amen, Eric!

              The thing is too- even the humblest car (like Bugs) from the good ol’ days, had character, just because they were ‘real’- Real metal, even on the dash and trim and interior handles! They felt substantial! Instead of being encased by the seat…you sat ON the seat; the steering wheel and other controls were substantial, and transmitted the actual feel of what they were doing; you could hear the road noise and the wind, and could actually see out….you weren’t isolated from the environment….

              Ah, what we have lost!

      • Bobster, I’ll never understand how Fox bodies came to be accepted as cool, muscle, guy cars….. To me, they scream old-lady car!

        70’s T/A? Guy car!
        60’s GTO? Guy car!
        Fox Body? When the only thing differentiating your car from your grandma’s or sister’s car, is what’s under the hood….uh..well……

        Grandma ain’t likely to be driving the T/A or GTO, even in it’s most neutered form with a 6 cylinder…..but ya see ’em driving 4 and 6 cyl. Fox bodies every day…..

        • True, the body style lacks “Mustangability”, but the attraction was the light weight, and the 5.0L V-8. High performance parts readily available, and cheap. Street racers, drag racers, and racers of all kinds went for the little 5.0 “sleeper”.

      • Used to think the same, now I actually like them.

        As RCR pointed out, it’s the only gen that did it’s own thing rather than replicate the first gen in one way or another.

        Real question is keep the original 5.0 or get a new one if I get one.

        The SN-95/New Edge to me however doesn’t do it for me, you have to find one just done right, or it’s meh meets cheapo

  9. Nice time capsule, Eric!

    I need to note one shortcoming of that 5.0 GT that seems to have been overlooked in the warm glow of nostalgia…….With only 215 BHP, they just were not that fast.

    Sure, they didn’t have to lug around all the tech/safety poundage that modern cars do. And sure, they were “relatively” peppy compared to the pedestrian K-Cars, et al, that rolled the roads.

    But for those would-be buyers suffering long term speed deprivation, who jumped in for a test ride, hoping to discover that “the thrill was BACK,”…………It Was Not. Even by mid ’90s standards.

    • Hi Mike!

      True… but… that 5.0 had speed potential. A cam swap – about $300 in parts – would do for it the same (or better) that it did for my ’76 TA’s 200 hp (stock) 455.

      Easy (and cheap) 75-100 horsepower increase over a weekend of wrenching.

      That was the beauty of those cars. You could double the horsepower without spending thousands. That made it realistically feasible for young guys like me (at the time) to amp them up.

      And that’s what’s missing today. Well, one of the things that’s missing.

      The new stuff is startlingly powerful/fast bone stock. But it’s also haltingly expensive to buy – and modifying these cars is hugely expensive.

      That makes them less fun in my book.

      • I am a Mopar guy and basically any Mopar from a 340 small block to the big 426 HEMI gained 75-150 hp by carburetor jetting and headers ! Hemi’s gained up to 150 hp over stock numbers or more by just that alone! 440’s easily were 75 – 100 hp .. Dad was a Drag racer,his buddy had a dyno so I put my feel of the pants to test in the dyno…Pretty accurate!!

        Heck you can recurve the distributor on a 318 2bbl and gain 13 – 20 hp!! So,many tricks to really make those old cars go for cheap without camshaft or heads..Just playing with spring rates and carburetor jets!

        Back in 1970 my Dad took his new 70 Cuda 440 6bbl,automatic,3.54 gear ratio down high 11’s in the 1/4 mile..Tires were a big issue for people who look at old car specs and say,hey they were not that quick lol,they dont know the stock tires at widest were 205 – 60 series lol..His Cuda had so called slicks that were equal to a new modern radial ,he added headers and tuned/jetted the carbs..Cam etc was stock! Car was basically stock,headers the only non factory item!!

        Those 455’s were very quick/powerful even smog era cam swap gained a lot of power!The 73 Trans Am 455 SD(or wa sit SD455?) Ran high 12’s from a low compression smog engine,now camshaft swap on that and a few low buck trucks easy 11 second car! If you knew what to do adding headers,intake manifold,cam and head job would bring even a 1975 smog engine to 500 hp range!!

        I had a 1977 smog 440 in my 68 Charger RT (I blew up the original,now rebuilt) The smog,low compression 440 was kept low compression but a cam swap,intake manifold,bigger carb and jetted the 440,auto and 3.23 gear ratio ran mid 12’s@114 mph!! with street tires! it was parts left over from my Dads buddies and all used parts,the engine was a $70 special from the junkyard (I got lucky and was able to hear the engine as it was a new purchase by them,usually you cant hear them but they let me,well being a young 20 year old then probably helped)

        I’ve owned many cars even later 70’s non performance cars and removing the computer,changing the carb gained more performance than people would think..A new car would need a $1000 tune to get that power what you still can do for cheap with old swap meet parts!!

      • Young fellers in general seem to not get a kick out of any form of mechanical/real electronic work. If they can’t hack the software, or download a patch to do what they want, it’s not “real” to them. Partially, it’s the self-eating watermelon effect. When the car is so close to perfect for most folks use, and any modifications are difficult/discouraged/banned by law, young fellers won’t do them. How many of us learned HVAC because we had to, to keep our auto A/C cold? Or, electronics, to keep the 8-track stereo playing BOC? Neighbor kid got an old car, with no radio. What did he do? Go to Best Buy and have them install it. Too complicated for him to figure out.

        • The kids employed by places like Best Buy are know nothing hacks. You learn to do it yourself to avoid having your car’s wiring hacked up. The reason I learned to do so much was because I just don’t like dealing with other people and most of them are less competent than me or simply don’t have the desire to do a good job.

          Speaking of radio installs the last time I did one I bought it from crutchfield with the installation wireharness kit they had for my car. So much easier. Put everything together inside and then brought it out to the car and it was plug and play. The worst part remained disassembly and reassembly of the interior. Although at least this time I only had to take apart enough to replace the speakers and head unit. I didn’t have to put in my own wiring like I did for changing an AM dash mounted speaker system to a four speaker two amp stereo.

    • Not a Ford fan but Mustang 5.0 of 87-94 ran 13’s in the 1/4 mile and 5 second range 0-60..Then people added,exhaust,gearing etc…The average slub could get 14’s with a long pause in shifting lol…

      Now its not the low 12 second new 2019 Mustang GT,but back int he day guys ran low 12’s with their Mustang GT’s that had a few modifications,camshaft,heads,gears,pullies,exhaust,headers etc..

  10. Slightly off topic. Ford has some HUGE bill board presence in Houston these days. I see some nice looking boards with interior and exterior shots of the new Expedition. Not sure the purpose of it or the frequency but they are all over my commute.

  11. If you want to feel young again, visit a construction site. The boombox radio will be tuned to the classic rock station, playing all the hits from the 70s and 80s. The men working will probably be pretty grey and grizzled though.

    Of course around here you have pretty good odds of hearing the mariachi station too. For sure you won’t hear a woke Spotify playlist, the kids are pumping that directly into their brains (and ignoring the aural cues that might keep them from getting whacked by a 2X4).

    • Around these parts you usually hear “KAH KUKU KAH, PURA NORTENA!” coming from those construction site radios. The mariachi gets saved for Ninfa’s.

      Your other thought is spot-on…very very few twenty-somethings go into construction nowadays, and that is where a young man used to be able to earn some scratch while figuring out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, and do the sort of physical work young men need to do. It is partially responsible for the state of things here in these USA.

      • What is the “slow, sappy 70’s shit”? There was a great deal of fine music in the 70’s. Ever heard the Asleep At the Wheel “Live from the Armadillo Hq’s”? Listen any to Ry Cooder or Leon Russel? What about “Umagumma” by Pink Floyd. So much great music in the 70’s I get depressed just thinking about what came afterward.

        I recall lots of good music from Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, another good ol boy from Lubbock, Waylon Jennings.

        I trucked all the way through the 70’s and never had a radio but had a plethora of great music. The wife and I were listening to Waylon’s Green Gables one day going through Harlingen going down Sunset Drive when low and behold, there was Green Gables. I never did get back there during a time they were open.

        Too much great music in the 70’s to list.

        • Hello 8S. I started college in 1973 and met some older nogs who introduced me to Waylon, John Prine, Steve Goodman, Arlo Guthrie, AATW and Leon Russell. Still listen to all these singers. Great stuff!!! 1970s was a great decade for music.

          • joeallen, I had a banner day one Sunday when I had a hotshot load I could handle in the 5500 Dodge truck. When I began was at the beginning of an interview with John Prine on Willie’s Roadshow. It went for 6 hours, almost exactly the time it took for the entire run. Prine did a lot of his songs and even other’s. It was great.

            When I was in college Joe Ely and I lived 2 blocks apart and I got to know all the Lubbock musicians. Decades later Joe came out to a friend’s house where we partied all night. I held that friend’s (my best friend)hand till he died June 26.

            We used to talk every day, sometimes for hours. I haven’t gotten used to it but I know, as Bob Wills wrote, time changes everything. I missed a turn the other day thinking of him. It was a hassle finding a place to turn around in an overloaded belly dump.

            • Joe Ely has written a few songs for Tom T. Hall. Prine is an American treasure, wonderful songwriter and that lovely raspy voice.

              • Joe is a friend, Prine is a legend. The wife’s great grandmother used to babysit Willy Nelson, another one of my favs. I can’t just pick out one style of music.

                One of my favs to play on trombone is I’m Gettin Sentimental Over You. Skip a couple decades and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is another killer.

                I’ll admit I was never a fan of the The Village People.

            • What are you talking about ? There were AT LEAST ten good songs from the 80s. I just don’t remember them right now…

              • The best of contemporary music happened in the 80’s. The 70’s ushered in some innovative sounds and techniques, but the 1980’s had its shit together in terms of utilizing those sounds and techniques. Not a matter of opinion nor taste.

                • Not sure what “contemporary” music is. I can’t think of a decade except for maybe the last two that didn’t have plenty good music. But then again, I’m a musician and I think classical is great. Country is just white soul.

                  And the 60’s, wow what a great amount of music along with the 70’s.

                  But those who think the 80’s were the best probably don’t know Patsy Cline, Leon Russel, Willy Nelson, The Who, Pink Floyd….who spanned decades, Dogs of War. The list just goes on and on.

                  Love is a burning thing, and it makes a fiery ring. Bound by wild desire, I fell into a ring of fire. And you would tell me that’s not good music?

                  I forgot, the Stones did absolutely no good music for countless decades. Neither did the Beatles. They only wrote a couple songs. Too bad they had no talent. I’m amazed at those who can pick one decade and make any statement as to No good music or the Best music. You didn’t wake up and you’re damned sure no musician.

                  John Prine tried and tried but could never write a “good” song. Neither could a guy who did a song called “Purple Haze”. He never got the hang of playing a guitar. I’m ashamed of all of you who think there’s only one decade or two that had good music. Beethoven must have been an idiot.

        • The music of the 70s PALES incomparison to the music of the 60s. The early 60s were a vacuum, into which came the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Byrds, and the Who. Instead of being merely pop singers who sang songs from the record companies’ songwriters, they wrote their own songs and played their own instruments. This started a revolution in the music industry. And speaking of revolution, soon came Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and Cream. These guys and chicks were excellent musicians. They made some of the most incredible music ever, and I still listen to it. In the 70s, thanks to listening to the Grateful Dead and the Byrds, I got into Country music. To me, most of the best music of the 70s was country. I heard Waylon Jenning’s album, the one with I Don’t Think Hank Done It This A Way- I think it was called Dreaming My Dreams, (Waylon Jenning’s first semi-hit album.) I was into Willie, Waylon, Johnny Cash, the Eagles, Jackson Brown, Linda Ronstadt, and others. Sure, there was some great rock music in the 70s, like Traffic, the Electric Light Orchestra, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pink Floyd, and Fleetwood Mac, but the really great music of the 70s was country. Just my opinion.

          • How could I forget the GREATEST GUITARIST/ RECORDING ARTIST OF ALL TIME- JIMI HENDRIX ?!?!?!? Oh yeah, I forgot…it musta been the parties…

            • Jimi Hendrix is way overrated. Give me Larry Carlton or lee ritenour. Or steve vai, or Jeff beck, or Jeff skunk Baxter.

              • Oh, yeah, Jimi only did things with a guitar everyone else could later do(to some degree) with specialized equipment.

              • I do like some of Hendrix’s music- but I do agree; he is highly overrated. Also, knowing what a POS he was as a person, kinda ruins the enjoyment of hearing his music- same as with Frank Sinatra. (Hendrix was a demon-possessed alcoholic drug-addicted pervert!).

          • The thing about the 60’s AND 70’s, was that there was still plenty of REAL music- Organic; made by people with actual talent; real bands with real instruments- instead of electronics, autotune and endless manipulation of sound.

            I can’t listen to anything made in the last 20 years- and there may be 3 or 4 good songs collectively from the 80’s and 90’s, when everyone imitated everyone else, and it was more about marketing than music- with record co. execs being more responsible for the music we hear than are musicians.

            Rick Beatoff explain s a lot in this vid:

            • There are a LOT of new bands playing their instruments and writing their own musics these days. I’m a BIG fan of the older stuff for this reason, but some of this new stuff really rivals the old stuff. These kids sound like the albums on stage and truly have their shit together.

              Check out these dang kids.


                • My thoughts exactly, 8. Sounded like an imitation of early 70’s Curtis Mayfield or something.

                  Not bad though- better than your typical modern music….but I’d just as soon listen to Curtis Mayfield or Gene Chandler, or the Partridge Fambly….

                  While Hendrix was highly overrated, for a studio group, The Partridge Fambly was underrated!)

                  • @ NUTZIO-
                    “While Hendrix was highly overrated, for a studio group, The Partridge Fambly was underrated!)”
                    NOW I GET IT ! You are a f#cking JOKE commenter and totally computer generated…
                    I was worried about your sanity all along, but now I am relieved that you are not a real human walking around.

            • The 80’s had plenty good music, you just didn’t hear it on the radio since it was mostly musicians that had never made pop music. Country had a good resurgence, not that it ever lost its audience, it was just a different audience to some degree.

              Red Headed Stranger started a movement that ran right through the 70’s and into the 80’s without missing a beat. Huey Lewis and the News gave me hope that even rock wasn’t dead…..and even got radio play.

              I had a friend who was a DJ in Lubbock who took my then GF’s Warner Bros. limited release albums with various groups and played it in the wee hours including the Fugs, “Wide, Wide River” and the world didn’t stop and he really didn’t get any shit for doing it. That was back when play a song with lyrics decrying presidential politics and referring to it as a “river of shit” wasn’t done via the FCC. It was done that night and we loved it.

          • Nathan Hail, Tommy Tedesco and countless other musicians like Glenn Campbell and lots of other unknowns did nearly all the recording music for countless groups who were only make-believe musicians ala the Monkees and Paul Revere and the Raiders to mention a couple.

            It really was the 60’s when groups began writing and playing their own music. Back in their early days the Beatles went to work and wrote 20 songs per day.

            In the 80’s Elton John was still going strong as were some others first known from the 60’s and 70’s. Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. Gary played lead guitar and sang lead vocal. Johnny Rivers, Righteous Brothers, the list goes on and on were doing it all on their own in the 60’s and the last I knew of Gary Puckett, they were still knocking em dead all over the world in the 90’s.

            Not to mention MoTown with the countless groups who gave us great music. The present day Temptations are arguably better than the originals. They do an acapelo version of My Girl on the movie Walk Hard, the Dewey Cox Story. It’s a comedy but has a lot of great music. If you buy the DVD is has one disc devoted to full songs only partially sung in the movie. I heartily recommend the movie on DVD because of all the great entertainment from real musicians like Jackson Brown, Jewel and Lyle Lovett who did a version of Walk Hard.

            The King of Soul, James Brown and so many other great black groups did their own thing back in the 60’s. I don’t think any other decade by itself quite compares to the 60’s. And then there was that slow, sappy stuff by groups such as Pink Floyd who were still turning out great songs such as Dogs of War a decade later.

            I grew up listening to 30’s, 40’s and 50’s music. I admit there were some bubble gum stars from the 50’s that are easily forgettable but that was when the Everyly Bros., mostly singing the Louvin Brothers songs happened and later Emmy Lou and Gram Parsons did Love Hurts years after the Everyly Brothers written by Boudleaux Byant.

            I could sit and think and list musicians all day from the 60’s. Or I could just go dig through hundreds of albums. Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band changed my life and I’m not alone in that. I’d Love to Turn You On was a truly unique song.

            Another great video is when Paul and his son and Ringo got together to make the Beatles tribute concert with Circ du Solais with Linda and Yoko Ono pitching in ideas.

            Damn, it makes me feel old…..and young again at the same time.

            • And let’s not forget a good ol west Texas boy name Slim Willet and the West Texas Playboys doing Don’t let the Stars Get in Your Eyes.

              • Morning, Eight!

                As a child of the ’80s, I miss the epic – often operatic – quality of rock anthems that were common back then. Also the distinctiveness. Queen didn’t sound like Springsteen didn’t sound like Van Halen didn’t sound like Journey didn’t sound like the Eagles.

                Today, whenI am forced to endure “Top 10 hits,” all I hear is a concatenation of auto-toned, synthetic androgenized homogenized noise. The same boom boom boom beat, plus a few hackneyed crinkling tinfoil sounds. It’s horrendous. Auditory cancer.

                • eric, I like all types of music, well, nearly. I listened to “alt” music, great musicians that just didn’t get radio play during the disco era. I was that guy with I Hate Disco bumper sticker.

                  Country still has a few new good artists but it’s eaten up with what they’re calling the “new” country, just one after another of the same sound. Seems like everything is the performer’s own voice singing a couple more “harmonies” that never differ from the original melody. Nobody seems to be able to sing with a single voice and there’s no need for harmony that compliments the melody or counter-melody. It gets old quickly. There are still country stations here that play Hank Williams and all the rest including Hank Jr. but throws in some new “real” country.

                  Every now and then you hear some country artist doing a song that wasn’t originally on the country charts but instead on some other chart.

              • @8Southman- Do you mean Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys ? I thought so. Don’t insult the King of Texas Swing, please. And Glen Campbell WAS a member of the Beach Boys- interesting story there. The leader of the Beach Boys and songwriter, Brian Wilson was a brilliant musician and songwriter, but he had “problems”. He was paranoid about people. So much that he rarely left his own room in his own house- for years. He wrote songs for The Beach Boys, and recorded with them in the studio, but he refused to go out on tour with them. And then there was his Brother, Dennis, who was into drugs and partying so much that he often failed to show up for recording sessions and live gigs. So Brian put together a ‘touring’ version of the Beach Boys- minus himself and Dennis. Although the record albums still listed the original personnel and pictured the original band, the touring band included Mike Love, Al Jardine, Carl Wilson, Glen Campbell, Bruce Johnston, who replaced Campbell when his solo career took off, Daryl Dragon (the Captain of the Captain and Tenille) and bassist Ron Brown, and other musicians. So much so, that on tour, the promoters signed contracts specifying that the band would consist of “Carl Wilson and at least four other musicians” but the lineup from tour to tour was too fluid to be more specific.

                • Glen Campbell was a studio musician who was one of the forces behind the group’s instrumentals among many other people. He was finally asked to go on stage with them. Somebody had to be the instrumentalists since there were no instrumentalists in their group.

                  I didn’t mention Bob Wills who came along long before Hank Williams. I used to see Bob at the Bob Wills birthday celebration in Turkey Texas every year till his death. His wife took over for him after that and some of the Playboys still performed with other people.

                  I was a chosen to be a parade marshal one year which means everybody expects you to lead them in drinking cold ones while the parade is taking place. Got to kiss this cute little thing I was helping off a float while the B&C watched. And yes, it did piss her off. I figured she could get glad in the same drawers she had on when she got mad.

                  BTW, you’ll enjoy this :https://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/the-wrecking-crew-the-best-music-documentary-youve-never-seen/2/

            • I generally abhorred The Beatles, but they were so eclectic sometimes- they had something for everyone- that even I could find a few things of theirs to like- like A Day In The Life (I’d Love To Turn You On) and I Am The Walrus.

              After the Beatles split, Ringo and George had the best/most interesting music, IMO- but creepy John, and [admittedly very competent]Paul seemed to get all of the attention- just like with Simon & Fartfinkle- Paul Simon got the attention when they split, but ya never heard of Art Fartfinkle anymore, even though he was just as talented as Simon- and a far better singer.

              • What I hate about Simon and fartfinkle is fartfinkle just stands there and sings.. at least hold a tambourine. I’ve been trying to learn that tune, for Emily where ever I may find her. Chords are straight forward, but I CANNOT figure out what simon is doing with them. I hate music.

                • Have you looked on Youitube for “How to play [title of song]”? Someone showing ya just makes it so easy.

                  I can never figure out how to play anything- even with the sheet music. But the value of being shown was driven home to me when I lived nextdoor to this pot-head once who was a decent amateur music guy… He showed me in less than a minute how to do the Doobie Brothers [figures!] Long Train Running…it was so freaking easy, once shown.

                  And yeah, I love Steely Dan! Now I must listen to Deacon Blues! To youtube!

                  • Nunz,

                    There are some vids that break it down.. I just like the challenge of figuring it out by ear. If I learn songs visually, I’m constantly watching my hand on the neck, and I forget what I’ve learned faster than if I work through it myself. I suck at reading music too. As a classically trained horn player, I’m great if it’s one line at a time, but stacking chords with passing melodies… fuhget about it!

                    Babylon sisters is my favorite SD tune. Followed by bad sneakers.

                    • AHhhh! Don’t mention horns!

                      When I was young, someone brought me an old trumpet they had found in a scrap metal place (Same place my ancient Milwaukee drill came from!).

                      It had a small hole in the bell (Is that what ya call the big end?) and the valves were a little sticky- so I rebuilt them. I bought a mouthpiece for it, and tried to play…and tried…and tried….but I never could get the damned thing to make a trumpety sound!

                      Wish it had been a trombone…I love trombones! It would be much more satisfying to fail at playing something that ya love! 😉 (Other than the Odd Couple soundtrack, where can one find good trombone music?)

                    • I got my first trombone when I was ten. No sheet music, none needed. Once I had mastered it to some extent, I got bored and quit playing the trombone sheet music, would switch to sax or baritone. I gave up playing what I thought the ‘bone should be playing and just made my own arrangements and never had a band director complain.

                      Then I learned the baritone, easy compared to a trombone, then the French horn, and the mouthpiece was the hardest part. I played sax a bit but that reed thing wasn’t something I could pick up well without a lot of practice so I switched to the Xylaphone and that was some fun. I bought a harmonica and wasn’t good which is unacceptable for me. One day I was thinking about it and it suddenly became clear. I dug it out of the console and just started playing. I need (another) new harmonica. They don’t seem to hold up well for a long time. But hell, my lip’s so gone I couldn’t play that part of a trombone worth a shit right now. Get my lip back and I’d be right in the mix. BTW, tried to play the snare drum. Flamadiddle wasn’t my forte. I gained a lot of respect for drummers.

                    • Nun, you find it in your brain. Sheet music is just so you can play something the way someone else wants you to.

                      You have ears and know what you want to hear. Just keep at it till it sounds the way you like.

                      I don’t know a single guitarist who learned from sheet music. Hell, sheet music wasn’t even available for poor people up to recently.

                      All that great music you like was in the mind of the person who may not have even read sheet music and whatever you find is just somebody interpreting the song as readable notes.

                    • 8, to me, that’s the whole point of do-it-yourself music- to do it your own way. A million people can learn to follow a score and do it like everyone else…..BORING.

                      That’s what’s always held me back as far as music goes- from childhood- when I learned the basics of guitar from an old Mel Bay book- I’d get bored, and never learn to actually play a whole song, ’cause…what’s the point? And I wasn’t good enough to improvise/do what I want.

                      Recently started working on it again, now that I realize that.

                      Thanks for the tromboner list! Lots of stuff to check out there! When it comes to the ‘bone, I (uncharacteristically) like slow, sad stuff- any recs?

                    • Oh, I know it, 8- I just need a place to start (Sheet music)- ’cause I don’t have a good ear….but enough practice can improve that. I’ll be the next Hendrix….if I live to be 147.

                    • Nunz, you want slow and pretty? Try a little ditty by a west Texas boy called Blue Bayou. Linda Ronstadt did it too and they both did it together.

                      I don’t know about slow but I sure like Wayne Toups and the Zydecajuns. Saw him in concert in the Paramount theatre in Abilene Texas and it was might fine. Buckwheat Zydeco plays some good stuff too.

      • 70’s “slow, sappy shit”? Hmmm…like BOC’s “The Red and the Black”? Or, “Then Came the Last Days of May”? Or maybe you’re referring to Van Halen “Ain’t Talkin Bout Love”? Or anything from Kiss except maybe “Beth”…”Strutter” is slow and sappy? I never knew!

  12. My ’97 is only a couple-three years behind that ’94 (depending on build date or model year). It will be around when what’s left of these fancy new Tesla Motors things are long since taking up valuable toxic materials landfill space.

    • Seen in a fire tower cabin atop Snowy Mountain, NY, circa 1983…”Time is a Jet Plane”. Deeper wisdom one will never find below 3900′ AMSL.


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