Harry Motors Away


The NV edublogger crew had all drifted off from Van Rock City by midday Sunday, and I confess to something that felt like empty nest syndrome. Bereft, with a massive sleep debt, a few cold frosty beverages, a back deck, blazing Vancouver sunshine(!) and a huge amount of information to process.

My spirits were lifted by the sound, drifting up from the yard below, of five year old Harry singing songs with our downstairs neighbour Josh strumming along on guitar. HarrySingsGVB


The song they’re singing is “Motor Away” by a band that to me is the purest embodiment of all that is wonderful about rock music, Guided by Voices. And yeah, Harry trips up on a few lines. But so does Robert Pollard (especially towards the end of his shows after the 20th or 30th beer)…

Here’s the original (after the short intro of “Auditorium”):

I know what you’re probably thinking… No, I didn’t force-feed Harry this song like some pathetic showbiz Alternadad wannabe. I don’t even think I’d played the song in months. I was simply gobsmacked when he started belting it out walking to school a few weeks ago. He knew the lyrics better than I did.

And just because Harry and I love to crank this song, and because the video has an educational theme, here’s GBV’s “Bulldog Skin“:

6 thoughts on “Harry Motors Away

  1. Man, that must be a pretty cool moment to hear Harry singing tunes you love. If I could understand what Miles said, I would look forward to such a moment.

    So Guided by Voices is among the top for you. I’m gonna have to pick some of their stuff up and give it a whirl. What are you favorites by them?

  2. Harry is a Major Dude by any criteria.

    My favorite moment among many is near the end, when he says “Come on!”

    I’m trying, Harry. You set a brisk pace, but it inspires me to try.

    Come on. Rock on. Let’s go!

  3. Gardner, I’m so pleased to have you drop by that I’m just going to let that Steely Dan reference pass without sanction.

    Hopefully you, me and Harry Dupree will get a chance to make some music next week. (Next week? YES!)

  4. “COME OOOOOONNNNN!!!!!” Very cool.

    Great moment, reminds me of when Colin about about 6 years old and belting out The Kinks’ “Alcohol”in the back seat of the car

    Oh demon alcohol,
    Sad memories I cannot recall,
    Who thought I would say,
    Damn it all and blow it all,
    Oh demon alcohol,

    Somehow not as educational in its message…

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