Earthquake Shakers: Tunes to Help Shake up an Earthquake

So some of my local pals may have felt the earthquake that occurred just a little while ago and clocked in at a small but respectable 4.1 on the good old Richter scale. Right away I logged on to Facebook and enjoyed the fun of guessing the size and getting confirmation that there was indeed an earthquake, and I was not going crazy.

It’s hard to explain the mystique and reaction to California earthquakes to anyone outside of California. So I won’t bother trying.

A few years back I wrote the following post for JamsBio.com. Within a couple of hours of submitting it  SoCal had a doozy on an earthquake. After today’s quake I decided to republish it just for fun. Here’s a few tunes to blast while we outwardly make jokes about the quake and inside breathe a sigh of relief that it wasn’t the big one…

1) Shake Your Foundation – AC/DC – 1986

This was a tough call because though “Shook Me All Night Long” does fit in with the theme of the list, it’s the foundation shaking that usually concerns those of us with earthquake insurance.

2) I Feel the Earth Move – Carole King – 1971

Of every earthquake I’ve ever been through, I always remember someone singing the chorus to this son. A post-earthquake staple.

3) Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys – 1966

California residents spend every day living with the ever-looming fear of the next big quake. It’s always comforting to turn on the news and hear about all the small quakes that are always happening beneath the ground. All those good vibrations are releasing the pressure and keeping the next big quake at bay.

4) Earthquake Song – Ventilator -1996

Maybe not the most well known song, but I love these guys, and this tune. It was written specifically about the 1994 Northridge earthquake that rocked southern California.

5)     California Earthquake (Whole Lotta Shakin Going On) – The Grateful Dead – 1989

Two days after the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake, San Francisco’s favorite sons, the Dead, were performing at The Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA. They performed this Rodney Crowell tune at the show as a tribute to their bay area brothers and sisters on the west coast dealing with the aftermath. It was later released on the 2004 reissue of Built to Last.

6) Earthquake Weather – Beck – 2005

Earthquake weather is a strange phenomenon that is hard to explain to people outside California. Earthquakes can truly happen at any time of the year, no matter what the weather or season. The myth surrounding earthquakes is that the only way you can tell a big one is coming is by a strange eerie movie-like quality in the air. Cats and dogs go crazy people start acting weird, and BOOM, the earth starts to shake.

7) Shake It Up – The Cars – 1981

Earthquakes are part of our culture around here and after the 1989 Loma Prieta quake people actually walked around wearing “I survived shaky Tuesday” (as it came to be called). Only in California do we turn our natural disasters into pop-culture events.

8) Shake, Rattle, & Roll –Bill Haley (Big Joe Turner) – 1954

Growing up in California (along the San Andreas fault line at that) we learn early that there are three types of earthquakes. Shakers, rattlers, and rollers. Each one with it’s own unique and different feel to it. That’s why this song has always well been well-suited to the feel of a quake.

9) The Earthquake Song – The Little Girls – 1983

An obvious choice, and a classic tune from the classic California movie, Valley Girl.

10) Earthquake – Graham Central Station – 1977

If you truly want to know what an earthquake feels like, put in GCS’s Earthquake, turn up the bass, and feel the earth move. California native, Larry Graham knew how to shake it up when he wrote one of the most incredible bass lines, EVER.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 16:56:27

    These are ALL great songs! And fitting…glad you are well…didn’t hear of the quake as yet.

    Reply

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