If you buy that "Star Trek boogie van" on Craigslist, this has to be your soundtrack

Check out this listing for a 1978 GMC G15 Custom Star Trek 'boogie' Van - $9500 (east vancouver). Holy mother of Frazetta, how sweet is that customized van? (As a child of the '70s, I have seen more than a few of these things out in the wild, and I've always referred to them as "Star Wars vans" myself. But of course you couldn't do that here, unless you were trying to greatly upset a nerd.)

You'd have to travel a bit to acquire this thing, and I'm dubious it could make the trek all the way back here without needing some work. But who doesn't want to make this thing their own? Just think of how much "magic" has happened in that interior! Wait, maybe don't think about it. 

I asked my friend James Trotter in Kansas City what suggestions he'd have for a soundtrack for this thing; what's the best space boogie music? He's an artist and DJ. And that's an example of James' charged, dense work right there, below. 

His first, immediate suggestion was "Wooooo Wooooo" by Starship Commander, a super rare electro record from his neck of the woods. 

Trotter recently tracked Mr. Commander down, and discovered that the guy's hobby for years was to build custom choppers. "The one drawn on the cover was a real chopper he built to look like the mother ship," Trotter says.

He also suggests Shuggie Otis' hit song "Strawberry Letter 23".

I'll counter with two other songs — the first for the sake of historical accuracy. No kids, that's not Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," it's an earlier hit by Boston, the band!

Anyway, imagine actually driving this thing, late at night, just cruising. How about one of the funkier songs by Sun Ra and his Intergalactic Arkestra? How about, "Fuck yes!" Man, I'd almost forgotten how great this record is, Lanquidity. When the Arkestra laid down heavy grooves, they were so fricking heavy. I saw them about 27 times, in the 1980s. 

Anyway, so this van needs to be patriated to America, and to be driven by a true American space patriot. The Canadian loonie is at its lowest point in years, so take advantage of that fact and make this beast your own! 

(Just please don't be a creep, 'cause the thing is already a bit creepy.)

Mike McGonigal

Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...
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