In Which the Prof Answers the Garage Signal

I’m watching yet another set of Law and Order episodes (one of my favorite weekend activities) this morning, and was checking Facebook during a commercial break when I heard “my kind of music.” There was a tough-sounding instrumental bed, with a vocal that showed the influence of Del Shannon — as in fact does the song.

My attention caught, I glanced up at the screen. It was an ad for Bacardi Rum, as part of a campaign with the slogan “There’s Nothing in the Way.”

A bit of Googling later, I found the backing track was cut in rock and roll’s greatest year of 1966. As was so often the case, the song, Jack Wood’s “Born to Wander”, disappeared with hardly a ripple. The original single has become quite the collector’s item, bringing in $1000 on occasion. But now the Bacardi commercial has prompted a fresh level of interest in the song (as this post demonstrates), which has led Mr. Wood to reissue the track, both on vinyl and in mp3 format. He also gives us a bit of his backstory, and I hope the whole business brings him the recompense he missed 50 years ago. And even though I don’t drink, I appreciate whoever at Bacardi’s ad agency found the track and gave it a new audience.

Long live garage rock, and thanks for a really cool song, Mr. Wood.


About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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