Saturday, October 17, 2015

Country Cars and Reggae Trains

If you grew up in India in the 70s the only cars you'd know would be the Fiat (Premier) and Ambassador. While Maruti brought Suzuki and Japan into the country in 1983, today we see almost every car from every part of the world on the Indian roads - from Germany, Korea and of course, the USA.

The global automotive markets are topped by Toyota (my first car) and followed by the Germans. The American Auto Action has been always the battlefield of Ford, GM and Chrysler. During my CRM stint in Dubai, I had the opportunity to work on all of these brands at some point or other. And something that caught my attention is that these automotive companies have serious connections with Country musicians. Is this getting too serious? Let's listen to a song. 

My elder son who is 12 is quite a fan of cars. While travelling in the school bus in the UAE, he would play a game with his friends on who would see the most exclusive car on the day. My profession of Marketing and Communications also seems to be rubbing off on him. He tends to notice 'Product Placements' in every music video we watch, while I tend to pay more attention on the audio aspect. 

Alan Jackson (a #MusicalBirthday boy today) is a legendary car collector owning a diverse collection, with a lyrical bias towards Ford. 
The Greatest Hits Collection has even a song called 'Mercury Blues'  - and 'Mercury' has been replaced by 'Ford Truck' in one of their commercials.  

While Alan is a Country 'car'boy, the other #MusicalBirthday boys are Reggae artists. First on, the Prince of Reggae (the son of the King of Reggae) is more into trains - 'This Train'.

I've worked with this song preparing and accompanying a group of fifth graders of Our Own English High School Sharjah (Boys) to a winning 'Train' performance.

Another reggae singer who also shares the #MusicalBirthday is Wyclef Jean and here he is on a jazz trip, "Take the A-Train".

While I have enjoyed riding in the best of cars - the BMW, Audi, Porsche and my own Toyotas and Honda...I'm back in Mumbai riding what the guy who sits right next to me at work called the limousine - the 12 car one - the A Train. Today being a Saturday, I missed my train ride. Will get back to the squeeze right after the weekend. 

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