“Waitin’ for the Bus” / ” Jesus Just Left Chicago” – ZZ Top
My car radio is set to four stations: WETS (the local public radio station), the local AM sports station (which I only listen to during football season), the local ‘modern rock’ station (for the Bob & Tom morning show, when I just can’t take listening to the news some mornings), and WQUT, our local ‘classic rock’ station. I was raised on FM/rock radio — specifically WIMZ out of Knoxville — and it’s in my blood. Mention just about any AC/DC, ZZ Top, Bad Company, or Lynyrd Skynyrd song, and I could half-a$$ play it for you right now. I’m not bragging; it’s just the truth.
All that being said, I can’t stomach everything on classic rock radio. Some things will make me change the station immediately. I will not bear another airing of Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold,” for instance. So, I interpreted this one as “a song that you hear often on the radio … that you don’t switch away from automatically.” My all-time keeper is ZZ Top’s double-sided single “Waitin’ for the Bus” / “Jesus Just Left Chicago” from Tres Hombres (1973) — what a great record, by the way: probably their best, with Eliminator a close second. Billy Gibbons was one of my first real guitar idols, and his lead and rhythm playing on these two tunes is absolutely primo. Recorded in Memphis at Ardent Studios, just FYI, and the rhythm guitar on “Jesus” has some of that Big Star glisten to it, in my opinion, while that rhythm guitar on “Bus” is fatter than Booker T and the MG’s all standing on the scale at the same time!