Tag Archives: Workout Songs

Workout Songs: Red Barchetta by Rush

Pump up song extraordinaire!  With my friends Jeff and Shane, we went to see Rush on the Moving Pictures tour in April of 1981 at Kemper Arena.  Tickets were $10, if you can believe that, a steal even in 1981.  It was a Friday night, a beautiful spring evening.  Magnificent show to say the least.  Magical.  These three men were, and still are, absolute masters at what they do.   We loved Rush.  Shane’s older brother Kyle, now a most excellent physician, was almost a god in our eyes back in the 1979-1982-ish time frame, but not because of his academic prowess or his desire to cure the sick.  His two claims to fame for us rested  solidly on the facts that he, one, almost flunked out of college because he and his friends were making a “monster movie” out in the country instead of going to class, and two, Kyle could play the 2112 Overture on his guitar by heart.

I was so fired up, especially when Rush played Red Barchetta.  The animation video you see was projected on a 25-30 foot screen behind the stage.  It was cutting edge animation straight from the basic Atari race game.  So cool.  The song played in my head all night long.  We walked on air back to the car in the free parking lot four blocks away, down by the old stockyard bottoms.  We sang and tapped the heads of the cows as we passed them line up at the fence of the stockyard waiting to be loaded out come sunrise.  The next morning Jeff and myself competed in our home track meet, The Washington Relays.  I took the meet championship with my best throw ever in the shot put that day and Red Barchetta became one of my favorite pump up songs for life.

“I strip away the old debris that hides a shining car.  A brilliant red Barchetta from a better varnished time.”

“Drive like the wind, straining the limits of machine and man.”

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Workout Songs: Flashlight by Parliament

Don’t think fat, middle aged, no rhythm, white guys can enjoy the FUNK?  Well, my friend, you are absolutely wrong.  This is a GREAT song, maybe one of the greatest funk songs of all time.  Used to dance to this song in the locker room and at school dances.  My favorite.

Imagine a young, lineman-type kid going from Christ The King Catholic School to the very public, desegregated ninth grade of Eisenhower Junior High in Kansas City, Kansas.  I was dead dog scared to say the least.  It didn’t help at all when a girl at the locker next to mine OD’s and collapses in convulsions before the start of the FIRST DAY of school.  But it all worked out.  I learned a lot about life, learned that viewpoints can vary and learned that “home” means many different things to many different people.  I ate chitlins and greens, toured the projects, saw my first .38 caliber pistol (in art class!) and was introduced to a whole new world of music.  Without sports and all the friends (from all sorts of origins and backgrounds) I made from sports, the transition would have been disastrous and my life a whole lot less interesting.

Okay, okay, back to exercise and workout songs.  I like to use this song,  and other long, rhythmic songs like it, for a circuit timer.  I will pick three or four exercises, (i.e. squats, push-ups and pull-ups) then do 10 reps of each for one round with the goal to see how many rounds can be completed before the end of the song.  Try it, you’ll like it!  Na na na ne na na ne na.

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