Boneyard Media


Archive for the ‘Racing’ Category

Miriam Linna and Randell Fuller, I Fought the Law (2014)

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

lifeanddeathMiriam Linna’s 1988 Kicks magazine cover story about Bobby Fuller brought him to life in a way few other writers could do. This is because her enthusiasm for – and knowledge of – Fuller’s records and the music that inspired him revved up her feature like a V8 engine. The gloom surrounding his mystery death couldn’t possibly enshroud the euphoric sound she celebrated. (It was also packed with historical details available nowhere else. I remember a Saturday I spent in the early ’90 zigzagging across El Paso with a copy of the magazine on the dashboard, locating all the sites she pinpointed.)

Her new book, titled I Fought the Law: The Life and Strange Death of Bobby Fuller, is a different, darker sort of prospect, which it perhaps has to be. It includes much of that first Kicks piece but adds material from Bobby’s brother Randy and lots of extended quotes from other first hand sources. While the death doesn’t get solved, you get a clear sense of the motivating factors and which parties likely qualify for the hayride to hell.

A sense of desolation takes the forefront in I Fought the Law to the extent that you wonder if that, too, wasn’t as crucial to the Fuller sound as its trademark euphoria. Tiger Moody’s foreword gives the doom Bobby sings of in his most famous song an alternate, but no less stifling, context. (This instantly made my personal racing lit Hall of Fame.) Randy’s introduction recounts the devastating ride home to El Paso from Los Angeles in the never-to-be-impounded death car, reeking of the gasoline that once drenched Bobby’s dead body. Also included is the stark and detailed revelation that the Fuller family had already suffered through the murder of Bobby and Randy’s older stepbrother.

Then there’s passages like this, spoken by Randy who ruminates on his decision to join his brother’s band full time and to go wherever it would take him (p. 57): “In El Paso, there was nothing for me, period…You’d get days when the wind would blow, and sand would be blowing across the street, and the clouds were a certain way, and it just seemed like there was never anything good ever gonna happen. It was a hopeless place. It was hopeless from the day we got there…[A]ll I would do is get in my car, and I’d drive all the way to northeast El Paso, watching the sand blow across the desert by the airport, and watch rabbits and wild things run across the road, and then I’d drive all the way over there where the teen club was and turn around and drive home. That was my thrill.”

If a second edition of I Fought the Law is ever in the works, I hope that a “where are they now” appendix makes the cut, especially since Randy’s introduction stokes reader interest for such after-the-funeral info. (Maybe, too, some of the long transcribed quotes can get a trim.) The best reason for a second edition, though, would be that positive developments in the Bobby Fuller story would call for one, and I wouldn’t want anyone but Miriam Linna or Randy Fuller to deliver the news.

Super Moon Racing, 8/29/15

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

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Full moon mayhem at the Central Texas Speedway tonight in Kyle, Texas. Yellow flags and car parts flying all night long. No. 80, with the Confederate flag on his hood, lost control on the last lap of the street stocks race. It looked like something on Bewitched, as though someone wiggled a nose and made him crash. When they towed the car back all you could see was charred and tangled machinery where his flag used to be.

Song ID: Mel Tillis – “It’s a Long Way to Daytona” (1982)

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

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It was Bobby Allison’s year when this NASCAR track came out. (How many NASCAR tracks are there? I don’t think too many, which is surprising.) Congrats to Matt Kenseth here in 2009, who couldn’t have won in less dramatic fashion.

Mel Tillis – “It’s a Long Way to Daytona”

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posted by Kim Simpson

Sports Cars in Stereo (1958)

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

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“This album combines two of the most fascinating and incredible achievements of modern technology: stereophonic sound and the high-powered racing car.” (liner notes)

This was one in a handful of real-life-sounds LPs that the jazz label Riverside put out in the late 50s/early 60s. I’m still on the lookout for Coney Island in Stereo, the one non-automobile-oriented release.

Side 1

Technical Inspection
(movement from right to left): “The process by which each car is authorized to compete. Brakes, tires, fluid leaks, general running condition, etc., are checked. At Sebring (which is run under rules of the F.I.A.), such other items as headlights, working top, seat size and windshield are also checked.”

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Slow Corner
(movement from left to right): “A 90 degree right-hand turn. From top speed, drivers shift down through the gears to second for this tight corner, then shift back up for the next long straight.”

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Side 2


The Esses
(movement from left to right): “The difficult and dangerous bends where the incredible Ferraris and Jags and Porsches slam through the gears, sliding from one side of the road to the other, tires screaming, and zoom away.”

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The Straight
(movement from left to right): “Here the cars emit the loudest noise of full acceleration as they pass through all the gears. Note the different shifting points of the different cars.”

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