Hot August Nights 2016


Attention all car and music lovers! The best way to beat the hot summer nights is by attending this upcoming cool event in the American Southwest. The Hot August Nights 2016 will feature car shows, drag races, live entertainment, poker games, and more fun activities. Witness the streets of Virginia City, Reno and Sparks get filled with classic cars, hot rods, muscle cars and 60’s fashion. It’s just like entering the movie set of “Grease” or “The Blues Brothers”.

Hot August Nights will celebrate its 30th anniversary from July 29 to 30 in Virginia City and from August 2 to 7 in Reno and Sparks. The much-awaited nostalgic event honors America’s love affair with cars and rock n’ roll, but have you ever wondered how it all started? Here’s a brief history of one of Nevada’s most colorful events:

More than 10,000 people gathered at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on the hot evening night of August 1, 1986 to catch the live performances of Wolfman Jack, Jack & Dean, and the Righteous Brothers. Due to the hot weather and date of the concert, the organizers decided to call the event Hot August Nights, and it became an annual celebration.

Hot August Night Reno

The event was created to improve Reno’s tourism and also to raise money for various charitable institutions. The first concert was more focused on music where live bands play under the stars and attendees get to dance like they were still in high school. The main event was the parade of classic cars, where car collectors get to show off their cool rides. After watching the parade, you’ll end up wishing that car rentals will be as cool as those vintage cars.

In celebration of Hot August Nights 2016, we would like to help you create a playlist of what music to play during your road trip to Virginia City, Reno and Sparks. Here are some popular songs that talk about cars:

“Drive My Car” by The Beatles

Lyrics: I told a girl I can start right away/ And she said listen babe I got something to say/ I got no car and it’s breaking my heart/ But I’ve found a driver and that’s a start

Trivia: According to Paul McCartney, “Drive My Car was an old blues euphemism for sex.”

“Mercedes Benz” by Janis Joplin

Lyrics: Oh lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?/ My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends./ Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends/ So lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

Trivia: According to R&B artist Bobby Womack, “Joplin was inspired to come up with the lyrics after going for a ride with him in his Mercedes Benz.” She recorded the song in one take.

“Cars” by Gary Numan

Lyrics: Here in my car/ I feel safest of all/ I can lock all my doors/ It’s the only way to live/ In cars

Trivia: According to Gary Numan, the song was inspired by a road rage incident that he experienced in London.

“Drive” by The Cars

Lyrics: You can’t go on/ Thinking nothing’s wrong/ Who’s gonna drive you home tonight

Trivia: Actor Timothy Hutton directed the music video and it featured the model Paulina Porzikova, who later became the wife of the band’s rhythm guitarist, Ric Ocasek.

“Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett

Lyrics: Mustang Sally, think you better slow your mustang down/ Mustang Sally, think you better slow your mustang down/ You been running all over the town now/ Oh! I guess I’ll have to put your flat feet on the ground

Trivia: The R&B song was originally recorded by Mack Rice in 1965. Music historian Tom Shannon revealed that the song was an inside joke for Della Reese who wanted to get a Ford Mustang. The song was first called “Mustang Mama”, but Aretha Franklin suggested renaming the title to “Mustang Sally”.

I hope that this playlist will get you in the mood for the Hot August Nights 2016. Can you think of other songs that talk about cars? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

If you enjoyed this article, you may want to read 30 Perfect Songs for Your Road Trip, According to Musicians.


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