On the buses

by royalpavilion

When Chuck Berry was motorvatin’ over the hill and Eddie Cochran was proudly proclaiming that ‘My car’s out front and it’s all mine / A ’41 Ford, not a ’59’, where were British rockers? On the bus, of course!

In Rock Around the Town (1957), Tommy Steele sang: ‘We got in a monster, it was painted red. / A guy in blue turned to me and said / His words were followed by quite a stare. / I said, ‘What’d you want?’ He said, ‘I want your fare.’

However, the most redolent evocation of the domestic rock scene (literally, as he goes home for his tea with mum), has to be Wee Willie Harris’s Rockin’ at the 2i’s (also 1957). ‘Now, I rushed out the gate, went walking down the road. / I got to the bus stop, put on my overcoat. / Along came a bus, a number 54. / When I got inside they were rocking on the floor.’

Curiously, perhaps even remarkably, what brought this to mind was seeing Thin Lizzy on a BBC Top of the Pops compilation performing Dancing in the Moonlight (It’s Caught Me in Its Spotlight). Even as late as 1977, Phil Lynott was singing, ‘And I’m walking home / My last bus has gone.’ Rock on!