From “Country Roads” to Randy Rhoads
With Red Herring Productions gearing up to premiere Athol Fugard's “Road to Mecca” at the Franklinton Playhouse this week, we thought we'd take time out to present our definitive ranking of roads. (Apologies, John Denver fans.)
12. John Denver's “Take Me Home, Country Roads”
The mellow folkie will always receive bonus points from me for speaking out against Tipper Gore and the Parents Music Resource Center (PRMC) in his testimony before Congress, but this limp, sickly puppy of a tune can go die in a fire.
11. Rocky road
Chocolate ice cream and nuts (OK, I'm following you here) … and marshmallow (WHY, GOD? WHY?). Is there a more overrated foodstuff — and I use that term loosely — than marshmallow? Name another “edible” where the best part about it is the ability to set it on fire?
10. Jack Kerouac's “On the Road”
Still the novel most likely to be introduced to you like a line lifted from “Garden State.” (“This book will change your life, man.”)
9. Rhode Island
Providence is awesome. But actor/blossoming Twitter troll James Woods was also born there, so I'm knocking it down a few slots.
8. “Road to Perdition”
Once you get past Tom Hanks in a fedora this is actually a pretty good flick.
7. The Road Runner
6. The Yellow Brick Road
Quick list-within-a-list ranking Oz-related films: 1. “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) 2. “The Wiz” (1978) 3. “The Muppets' Wizard of Oz” (2005) 4. “Return to Oz” (1985) … (unranked) “Oz the Great and Powerful” (2013).
5. Cormac McCarthy's “The Road”
Confronted with Smell the Glove's cover art, Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel said, “It's like how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.” He might've changed his tune if he'd read this bleak Cormac McCarthy novel, which can leave one questioning if the sun will ever again rise.
4. “Road House”
Still the best Patrick Swayze movie, and if you feel differently you can FMIRL.
3. Talking Heads' “Road to Nowhere”
This song, which appeared on the 1985 album Little Creatures, is one of Talking Heads' most successful singles — and with good reason. Opening as a gospel-ish tune, it transforms into a driving, rhythmic wonder once the music kicks in. And it's probably playing on the radio somewhere right now.
2. Dusty Rhodes
“The American Dream” might've died in 2015 at the age of 69, but his body of work lives on via YouTube. For starters, search out his 1981 bout with “Nature Boy” Ric Flair — a match that kicked off a rivalry that spanned the wrestler's career.
1. Randy Rhoads
Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist might've died young — he was killed in a plane crash in 1982 at age 25 — but he left behind a body of work that would be the envy of many musicians. For just one example, cue his solo on “Flying High Again,” which arches ever skyward, living up to the song's title.