5 Famous Songs About Car Crashes


  1. “Last Kiss,” Wayne Cochran, rerecorded by Pearl Jam: When Wayne Cochran first recorded the song in 1961, it received little success. He had mainly recorded it knowing the popularity of teen tragedy love songs and having a near death experience on a dangerous highway. The story followed a teenage couple who borrowed a parent’s car to go on a date. They crash and the boyfriend holds his dying girlfriend to give her their last kiss. Pearl Jam rerecorded the song in 1999 for a charity album and spent a few thousands dollars in the process. It helped to earn $10 million for Kosovo relief and received heavy radio play.

  2. “Dead Man’s Curve,” Jan and Dean: Released in 1964, the song details a street race that begins in Los Angeles and winds through the hills. Dead Man’s curve is on Whittier where the road makes a sharp turn. The song is well known because, on top of hitting the top ten on the charts, it was prophetic for Jan. The rocker nearly died crashing a Sting Ray, the same car mentioned in the song, into a parked truck near Dead Man’s curve.

  3. “Leader of the Pack,” The Shangri-Las: Another 1964 hit about a tragic teen crash, this single hit number one on the Billboard charts. The song is from the perspective of the girlfriend to a motorcycle gang leader. Her parents make her break up with him and he promptly crashes his bike on the rainy road. According to record making lore, the motorcycle sounds on the song were created by driving a motorcycle through the lobby of a hotel. It earned the driver a ticket.

  4. “Detroit Rock City,” KISS: After a fan died on the road to a KISS concert, the band decided to write and dedicate a song to their fallen follower. It was released in 1976 to little success outside of Detroit, however it later became a fan favorite. The song tells little story beyond the driver getting behind the wheel drunk, smoking and then crashing into headlights. It’s a popular opening theme for the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings.

  5. “Through the Wire,” Kanye West: This isn’t a rock song at all, but it deserves an honorable mention for telling a true car crash story from the perspective of the real survivor. West was nearly killed in 2003 after being cut off by another car and then heading into oncoming traffic in Los Angeles. He was taken to the hospital and his mouth was wired shut. Despite the impediment, West rapped this song only two weeks after the car crash. 


Source by Robert Koenig