Continuing with our mini travel theme, let’s go right back to where so many songs began from – the pen of Kinsmen hit Louie Louie writer Richard Berry. Nailing the idea of wanderlust, Berry wrote Have Love, Will Travel in 1959. The title was based on the TV and radio series, Have Gun, Will Travel, and the original chord structure was G-Am-Bb-Am in a doo-wop / early R’n’B style. It politely hides the lustful urges of the narrator to travel far and wide to get satisfaction, but the most famous and breakthrough version came with The Sonics, those garage rock pioneers from Tacomi, who also covered Louie Louie. They lifted this driving passion to a whole new level with fuzz guitar, a big drum sound, screaming vocals and a dirty, stuttering saxophone break. They also simplified the chord structure to a basic G-C-D-C.
Well I travel from Maine to Mexico
Just to find a little girl that'll love me so
No matter where, no matter where Ill be
I'm looking for a woman that'll satisfy me …
Well I might take a boat, or I'll take a plane
Might hitchhike, or jump a railroad train
Your kind of lovin' drives a man insane
So look for me a walkin' just any ol' way
Have love will travel. Whoa!
Have love, yea baby will travel
If you need lovin
Then yeah, yeah, I’ll travel.
So powerful the urges it captures, song has also been covered an incredible number of times by diverse artists ranging from Blood Sausage to Thee Headcoatees, The Black Keys to Jim Belushi, Paul Revere and the Raiders to Japanese group Portugal Japan, Diesel to Stiv Gator, and it is regular performance favourite for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. But here’s the Sonics first:
And now let’s have a listen to the softer, but very charming Richard Berry original:
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