We bought our faithful van, Hap Anthony Parker (his initials ARE his name), in the summer of 2010. He was born in 1993 and spent most of his life in the service of the clergy. Since then, we've driven 60,000 miles with him. Stepping inside Hap's double doors, you are immediately transported to the “Red Velvet Summer”, a strange world named after his lush upholstery. Hap Parker acts as both shaman and sanctuary for road-weary musicians, offering his cure-all mantra: walkinalapandahalfandtakinganapinHap. Say it five times and feel relieved!
We've heard so much music while driving inside the King of '93, but here are some select songs that we've jammed to time and time again.
Raunchy re-start to any day, in any region of the U.S.A.
This song signals the beginning of one of our top five records of all time, Z. This record is a perfect rock record that anyone can dance to, even if you're just sitting in a van. It's like comfort food for us. When we hear this song, we know we're in a good place. A few times, we've had about 12 people in the van screaming along to Jim James's hysterical and euphoric vocal outro.
We listen to full records inside of Hap, because that's the best way to enjoy music, and because the rides are long. We also have a penchant for singer-songwriters leading rock bands. Their records seem to provide a nice meandering soundtrack that mirrors being on tour. Furthermore, Hap's driver-side speaker is completely non-functional, and albums like Ryan Adams's Cold Roses are strong even with only one channel blaring. “Dear Candy” isn't off of that record, but we really dig it.
The broken speaker is definitely Hap's biggest weakness. Once, I tried to listening to the Smiths' “How Soon Is Now”, but the iconic guitar smear from Johnny Mars was nowhere to be found. It's a pretty long and aimless song when all you hear is that dancy staccato ping pongy part. When is that guitar coming?How soon is never?
Great records by great singersongwriters. This song is the prettiest. It reminds us of Vivian and she's the queen.
Another one of our favorite records of all time. “I'm so blessed to have spent the time with my family and my friends I've met in this short life I have met so many people I deeply care for.”