John Denver and the Datsun 200B

Yesterday afternoon I just happened to be listening to @TunnRocks as I frequently do. And suddenly amidst the twists and turns of rock and/or roll I heard something that made me think I had inadvertently changed the station.

John Denver.

Yes that’s right. He of Grandmother’s Feather Bed fame. Leaving on a Jet Plane. Rocky Mountain High. Sunshine on my Shoulders. Annie’s Song, Take me Home Country Roads. Classics all.

Do you think it’s strange I am familiar with so many John Denver songs?

In the first half of the 1980s my parents, brother, me and our labrador/kelpie cross Goldie would pack ourselves into our sunshine-y yellow Datsun 200B and drive from Bundaberg to Brisbane to visit my Grandparents. And on the cassette player in the car we would listen to John Denver’s Greatest Hits. Over. And over. And over. For what seems like years. In fact it probably was years.*

We would stop at Gympie at the duck park as that was half way. We would eat our home-made corn beef sandwiches. We would snack on fruit and have some cordial. Or perhaps some tropical fruit punch drink (when tetra packs of fake juice made their way into our sheltered lives). If we were very lucky Dad might buy us a chocolate Billabong when he stopped for petrol. One amazing trip we were allowed to get Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner. We would drive past the Big Cow and Big Pineapple and the Super Bee as desperately plead to be allowed to stop. Once on my birthday we stopped at the Pineapple for a special treat. I had received a strawberry shortcake doll house for my birthday. The pineapple was indeed big. And if I’m being honest, a little boring.

All the while, John Denver sang us along the Bruce Highway in our Datsun, with the brown velour seats (classy), with the windows down (because no air-conditioning). I was reminded of these childhood memories yesterday afternoon just with the beginning of a song. Daggy? Yes probably. Beautiful? Yes that too. So enjoy this gem and think of the 1980s, when life was simple.

*Our other driving music staples were: Godspell soundtrack, Muppet Movie soundtrack, Neil Diamond Hot August Night, Best of Barbra Streisand and later in the 1980s, The Travelling Wilburys. Good times.


4 Responses to “John Denver and the Datsun 200B”

  1. Sarah says:

    Hot August Night! The soundtrack to my childhood too 🙂

  2. seanfish says:

    Magic stuff. Two great losses to the world.

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