Hawaiian guitar girl

So while the Hawaiian girl on my campervan dashboard loves to dance about she doesn’t unfortunately sing or play her guitar.  This is a real shame since I think this would be a great accompaniment to my roadtrips.

This got me thinking … what would be the perfect campervan playlist ?  What would you put on your ideal campervan playlist ?

Search the web and you’ll find lots of people posting up their favourite playlists to sing along to while they’re driving their bus.  But tastes in music are so personal:  what rocks one person’s boat is likely to sink like a lead balloon on another person’s stereo (if you get my drift).

No, what I was after wasn’t other people’s favourite songs but songs about campervans; songs that were inspired by campervans and roadtrips.  This narrows the search considerably.

So the two criteria I chose for my playlist were:

  • there has to be a connection with campervans (including the VW California), buses and roadtrips; and
  • the songs have got to be worth listening to (this criteria was selected to prevent “The Wheels on the Bus” getting on to the playlist, suggested by my other half …).

So in no particular order, here’s a starter-for-ten for 20 songs that should appear on the perfect campervan playlist:

Willie Nelson On the road again

The Proclaimers King of the road

The Eagles Hotel California

Katy Perry California Gurls

James Taylor Country Road

John Denver Take me home, country roads

The Who Magic Bus

James Morris Camper van song

The Adventure Babies Camper van

Joni Mitchell California

The Mamas & the Papas California dreamin’

Dwight Yoakam Wheels

Dave Dudley Six days on the road

Aretha Franklin Eight days on the road

Bruce Springsteen Does this bus stop at 82nd Street ?

Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams Big 8 wheeler

Dave Manning Lets roll the windows down

Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris Across the border

Nanci Griffith Ford Econoline

Elvis Presley Promised land

So I’m intrigued to know: what’s missing from this list ?

Sure, maybe this isn’t to everyone’s taste – my daughter is much more of a fan of Katy Perry than Joni Mitchell (and that’s putting it lightly !) – but there are some cracking songs here.  Since I’ve had Joni Mitchell’s California and Aretha’s Eight Days on the Road playing in my head for the last week I’ll leave you with a couple of videos.  Joni’s an acquired taste, I grant you, but the slightly more up-tempo album version is great to drive to – and the Willie Nelson video will hopefully get you in the mood for a roadtrip in your bus …

Also see Dave Manning’s website and Kickstarter page for his new album being recorded here in Scotland.  Dave is the singer/songwriter featured in The Bus Movie driving his ’65 VW bus around the States.

So which great songs are missing from my (almost?) perfect campervan playlist ?

6 Comments on “The Perfect Campervan Playlist

  1. The Mrs always plays Kludo White’s ‘Campervan Driver’ at the beginning of every trip… Other trip favourites are RHCP’s ‘Road Trippin” and the Dead’s ‘Trucking’. Think Dave Manning’s ‘Vincent’ is worth a listen too 🙂

    • Excellent – thanks for some great suggestions ! I must admit these are all new tunes on me … and I did enjoy watchin the Kludo White video !

  2. https://kludowhitemusic.bandcamp.com/ This is brilliant.

    I got the “Freedom on Four Wheels” CD for Christmas and we have it on in the CD player in our Bay for EVERY trip – even down to the shops! It’s the PERFECT VW Campervan CD. “Splitscreen Driver” is hilarious and all the music so clever and reminiscent of so many things – Beatles, Who, Kinks, Hendrix, Pogues, Elvis, Beach Boys, Stone Roses… all Classic Rock, Ska, Blues, skiffle, sixties surf pop and Reggae.

  3. A suggestion by Melanie e-mailed to me:

    We filmed the video for my partners ‘campervan’ song whilst travelling through Spain and France this year. It was a great adventure 🙂

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