Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Unbecoming Levity | Driving Miss Vanessa

Never had a car named in my honor, but there's always a first :-)

Part of what I love about being an artist in these predominately virtual days is reading about how my music intersects with the lives of listeners and comes into play ...

Driving Miss Vanessa

  In yesterday's “Springtime in New England” post I mentioned that my car had a name. Not “The Purple Rocket”–that's just a nickname. No, my car's name is “Vanessa”. Vanessa is a 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser GT 2.4L Turbo in a metallic burgundy-purple shade that Chrysler calls Deep Cranberry Pearl. She's my very first new car (since 1983 I've owned/operated many used vehicles, some junky, some not so junky–topic for another day). I love this car.
I'm not really a car nut. At least I thought I wasn't. I've always liked the look of the more shapely vehicles (Corvettes, Miatas, Porsches, both versions of the Beetle, the Neon, etc.) but I've never gone bonkers over an automobile. My wife got her first new car (a forest green 2003 Subaru Outback) a year ago, and I think it is a very full-featured vehicle, but I certainly didn't go nuts over it. Vanessa is a different story. 

I purchased Vanessa from Robert's Chrysler of Fitchburg, sight unseen. I walked in there with a grocery list of features that I wanted...


The car has a 6-disc CD player mounted in the dash, and the night before picking it up at the dealer I burned six CDs with my favorite tunes. I like a lot of different stuff, but I am partial to sultry female singers, and as a result sprinkled in many places on the discs were various such artists. In fact disc 3 was entirely devoted to such talents as Suzanne Vega, Dido, Madonna, Enya, Fiona Apple, Kirsty MacColl, Merril Bainbridge, and Vanessa Daou

If you've never heard of Vanessa Daou, and you like sultry femme vocalists, I heartily recommend her, but you may find her somewhat shocking. She's definitely not something to listen to when the kids are around. One of her early albums “Zipless” was basically a collection of Erica Jong poetry set to music. That one was a little too shocking for me, but her later CDs, swimming with bisexual lovesongs, are amazing IMHO. Her voice is low and beautiful, her lyrics are poetic, and she sings in a haunting half-whispering way. Great stuff to listen to when you are alone with someone you love. It was after Miss Daou that Vanessa was named, because she too was sleek, graceful, beautiful, and had a whispery song of her own. 

Within a week “it” became “she”, and “the car” became “Vanessa”. I say hello to it in the morning. I thank it for a nice ride when I get out. I love taking it to the carwash. I even washed it by hand in 40 degree weather, using special cleaners on the rims, and a rubber-polish on the tirewalls to make them shiny. Am I crazy? 

Read more @ Unbecoming Levity

No comments: