Music: we all love it. Those tunes, notes, riffs, and beats make up the literal soundtrack of our lives, whether we’re burning rubber on our way to a show at the 40 Volt Club (West Stanmore’s beloved, historic music venue) or prepping sales funnel reports at Davis & Jones Supply Co. (West Stanmore’s 3rd-leading wholesaler of office supplies).
And if there’s one band I want on my life’s soundtrack, it’s everyone’s favourite Boston power-pop-new-wave-synth-pop-rockers, The Cars. Why? Four words: lead guitarist Elliot Easton. With his signature, pocket-sized solos popping up in nearly every one of the band’s tracks, this left-handed guitar god has a wide range of rockin’ licks to pair with life’s most memorable moments – from rocking & rolling ‘til the break of dawn to pulling all-nighters at Davis & Jones.
#10 – Shake It Up @ 1:20 (Shake It Up, 1981)
Better take advantage of those “use ‘em or lose ‘em” vacation hours or else all those late nights at the office will be even more meaningless. Put yourself first for once, take a week off, and crank this classic Easton solo as you embark on an unforgettable summer road trip!
#9 – Since You’re Gone @ 1:57 (Shake It Up, 1981)
After a long day of driving down the scenic, beachside 905 highway, you’ll want to wind down and take in your thoughts; use some time to crank this Shake It Up classic and reflect on the questions that have been eating at you: What exactly does Davis & Jones Supply Co. mean to you? Is it just a paycheque? Or do you find pride in your work? You want something, but what? A promotion? Or to simply get by and rock out to your favourite tunes? Take an evening to think things over with this nostalgic axemanship from Easton.
#8 – Just What I Needed @ 1:49 (Self-titled, 1978)
It’s the last night of your break and you’ve decided: it’s time to stop feeling sorry for yourself and show Davis & Jones what you can do! Feeling invigorated and ready to please, a five-day vacay was just what you needed to light a fire under you. Keep your newly ignited determination alive with this energetic E.E. solo from The Cars’ debut single. Promotion, here you come!
#7 – Touch and Go @ 1:18 (Panorama, 1980)
So you’re back at work, updating spreadsheets like a well-oiled machine and making five times the sales calls as before – Mr. Davis even CC’d the team to congratulate you for landing the Stevenson account! He’s usually a man of few words, so this is a huge ego boost. And don’t mind the glare from your cubicle mate, Ronald – if he wants attention from Davis, he’ll have to earn it, just like you did.
With its bouncy rhythm and soaring high notes, this Double E solo from the 1980 release, Panorama (a departure from The Cars’ early sound) perfectly captures the feeling of finally getting the props you deserve.
#6 – Magic @ 2:55 (Heartbeat City, 1984)
What’s that you hear? No, it’s not the ever-familiar “ka-ching!” sound of a cash register – it’s Elliot’s upbeat, feel-good solo from the 1984 hit “Magic” because you, my dude, just got a raise! (Eat dirt, Ronald!)
It’s been six years since you started at Davis & Jones Supply Co. – even though you were never planning on staying over twelve months – and getting a sudden increase on your paycheque feels pretty darn validating. Go ahead and check out that artisanal ice cream truck Mr. Davis always raves about on your lunch break – you deserve it!
#5 – Night Spots @ 1:32 (Candy-O, 1979)
This Elliot Easton shredfest absolutely kicks ass, which is why you’ll want to turn this one up to 11 as you flagrantly dominate the 2021 Team Building Cornhole Tournament. Ronald usually gets the high score, but his game seems a little off this year… maybe because everyone in your department is calling you the “Kyrie Iriving of cornhole.” Looks like there’s a new Davis & Jones cornhole king to be crowned!
#4 – Down Boys @ 1:28 (Panorama, 1980)
Working at your full potential has made you confident enough to start giving notes on your colleagues’ strengths and weaknesses. Talking strategy over sliders and sangria sounds like the perfect opportunity, so when you’re invited out for post-work drinks at Bahama Barry’s with the rest of the sales team, the precision and skill of this Easton solo will complement your own precise, skilful words of wisdom. All while a half-dozen piña coladas enhance your self esteem, just like a Cry Baby wah-wah enhances your favourite guitarist’s pedal board!
#3 – Double Trouble @ 2:40 (Door to Door, 1987)
Easton’s melancholy guitargasm on “Double Trouble” is the perfect tune for when negotiations over the Stevenson account stall – you didn’t even know Stevenson could “go a different direction” at this point!
Feeling betrayed, desperate and exhausted from the previous night’s piña colada session, you hastily respond by leaving an expletive-filled tirade on Mr. Stevenson’s voicemail. Next thing you know, he’s gone directly to Mr. Davis to cancel the deal. Not only has your “complete lack of professionalism” caused Davis & Jones a huge loss, but you also overheard Ronald call you a “fucking asshole” in the cafeteria.
#2 – Dangerous Type @ 1:35 (Candy-O, 1979)
You feel like total shit for losing the Stevenson account, but at least Bahama Barry’s 2-for-1 Summer Spritzer Special is still going strong! Dip out a couple of hours early and drown your sorrows with 2, then 4, then 6 of Barry’s tropical refreshments while Mr. Easton solos the night away on 1979’s fun, yet moody, epic “Dangerous Type.” Speaking of The Cars, you’d better call a taxi.
#1 – (She Made It) New For Me @ 2:22 (Change No Change, 1985)
So you blew chunks all over Mr. Davis the next morning, and immediately got fired and dragged out by security, completely covered in your own spew.
Their loss! What were you thinking anyway, spending six years at that sterile snooze-fest? Giving in to that pathetic office lifestyle for squares… I mean, who are you – Ronald?!
This inspiring Elliot Easton guitar work from his 1985 solo release will give you all the encouragement you need to follow your real dreams. Forget about the rat race once and for all, go back to frequenting the 40 Volt Club (instead of Bahama Barry’s), and finally start “Chris St. Clair’s Rock ‘n Roll Music Review Blog” like you always wanted. Next stop? Rolling Stone!
Check out the short-lived 1994 sitcom Bakersfield, P.D. There are episodes on YouTube!! And if you know where to find all the episodes let me know! heh heh.