Born To Be Wild

Steppenwolf

A bad trip?

We’re all feeling a bit cooped-up at the moment, with the Covid-19 lockdown in place, so time to get out on the open road with this riff rock classic, credited with the introduction of the term ‘heavy metal’.

I’m focusing on the song, really, but the context in the video is the 1969 film ‘Easy Rider’. In it, the characters are escaping with the proceeds of a drug smuggling enterprise. Just a bit of a spoiler – it doesn’t end well. So despite its countercultural portrayal of sex, drugs and er… some other drugs, the film is a kind of morality tale.

The song wasn’t written for the film however and I’m interested in the way it speaks to me about life and how to live it. The 60s were a time when people were trying to find new ways of living and ‘head out on the highway’ is obviously a metaphor for that. I’m involved with Christian friends who are trying to pioneer new ways of following Jesus and so the message of the song is relevant to that calling.

Get your motor runnin’

Head out on the highway

Lookin’ for adventure

And whatever comes our way

Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen

Take the world in a love embrace

AZ Lyrics

Among many religions, there is tradition of journey as a picture of life and that is the meaning behind the act of pilgrimage – deliberately going somewhere with other people for a spiritual purpose. The destination is not really the point of it, so much as the travelling together and the adventures on the way.

“I like smoke and lightning, heavy metal thunder”. If that’s for you, I hope you enjoy this Bible reading about the prophet Elijah.

Here’s your homework!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_to_Be_Wild
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easy_Rider

Author: Andy Meek

Guitarist and singer-songwriter trying to make more love in the world using rock 'n' roll. "Hold on tight to your dream!"