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Jesus Built My Hotrod (or get off of my back about my AirPods)

Here’s my truth for you today: When I’m rolling solo on trails, I wear AirPods and I make no apologies for it.  


I’m honestly a little sick of the hate headphone wearers get from the etiquette police (of which I count myself a member and have a badge and everything). The assumption that listening to a podcast or music makes it impossible to hear anything else is absolutely ridiculous. There are way worse trail etiquette offenders out there. I’m looking at you Let your dogs off leashers; Leave No Trace violators; Self-important rock and tree defacers; and those unable to grasp the concept of yielding to other trail users. Just to name a few.


If it’s your jam to spend hours with the peace and quiet that nature affords, that’s awesome.  But I have an insanely noisy head and I prefer to listen to tunes.


Over the past few years I’ve made it an annual tradition to make a playlist for hiking, biking or running based on my vibe at the start of the year.  There are a few staples that tend to end up on the list each year, but I mostly add songs as I either discover or rediscover them.


I’ve titled this year’s list The 24 Club. The first addition to it was United States of Whatever by Liam Lynch after I rediscovered that song while watching Scott Pilgrim Takes Off on Netflix.  There are of course staples like Less Than Jake, Tool, Rancid and Metallica but also artists like Elliott Smith, Neil Diamond and Peter Gabriel. 


But for some reason this past February I stumbled back upon the band that dominated my Junior year in high school: Ministry.


My fling with Ministry was hot and fast.  One of those deals where you go from listening to almost nothing else for 18 months to that band being put in some sort of musical purgatory and you almost forget about them entirely.  


During the peak of my fandom I argued that Ministry was the superior Industrial band. Better than Skinny Puppy.  Better than Nitzer Ebb.  Better than KMFDM or Front Line Assembly.  And yes, even better than Nine Inch Nails (I regret this opinion).


This argument hinged mainly on the fact that there was one Ministry song that simply ruled. To my 16 year old brain it had to be the greatest song ever written. It was somehow hardcore and angry bit also funny.  Its lyrics simultaneously made no sense and completely made sense.  I am of course talking about: Jesus Built My Hotrod.


And I am also of course talking about what has been renamed the Redline/Whiteline Version of Jesus Built My Hotrod. Not the neutered version found on Psalm 69, but the version released as a single and is 8 minutes and 13 seconds long.

I recently found the Redline/Whiteline version on Apple Music and it was like running into an old friend at the airport.  Completely unexpected and completely welcomed. I immediately added it to The 24 Club.


And let me tell you folks every so often the universe abides. Because the other day I was on my local trails having a dandy of a mountain bike ride and just as I about to drop into a sweet unsanctioned flow line that someone has built on the mountain near my house, Al Jourgensen's gravelly introduction started piping through my AirPods:


Soon I discovered,

That this rock thing was true.

Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil.

Jesus was an architect previous to his career as a prophet.

All of a sudden I found myself in love with the world

So there was only one thing I could do.

Was ding-a-ding-dang my dang-a-long-ling-long.


I paused to hear Al finish and realized that what I just heard for probably the 17,000th time was true. The only thing left for me to do in that moment was ding-a-ding-dang my



And as the engine roared in my ears and the drums kicked in, I dropped in as the sweet dulcet tones of Brad Dourif from the movie Wise Blood was saying:


Listen. Get this.  Nobody with a good car needs to worry about nothin’, you understand?




Drips & Dregs is the weekly column from Rock Fight Founder Colin True.

Sometimes outdoorsy and always outdoor adjacent, check in weekly to see what is on his mind.


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