Route 66 has always been synonymous with the culture of cars, and today, the Mother Road gets its vintage groove back with a hefty helping of Rat Fink, rockabilly and pinups during the Hot Rod Hop. Hit up a free classic car show on Central between Fourth and Fifth Streets from 3 to 6 p.m. Afterward, head to the KiMo Theatre (423 Central NW) for a screening of Robert Mitchum's 1958 carsploitation classic Thunder Road. After the 7 p.m. film, watch retro-style performances by Burque Burlesque featuring special guest Miss Orchid Mei from Colorado. Tickets are $10 for the film and performance. If you have anything left in the tank, the Alibi will host a Rockabilly Blowout at the Launchpad (618 Central SW) beginning at 8:30 p.m. featuring the music of The Hi Lo Tones, Cowboys and Indian, the .357's, Jakob Insane, and DJ Lucky. Tickets are $5 at holdmyticket.com.
Music to Your Ears
It’s the child of country and Western and rhythm and blues, the hell-raising brother of rock and roll. Rockabilly roared into its own in the mid-’50s. Its rise was propelled by Sun Records owner Sam Phillips and his work with Elvis, which essentially repackaged a black sound for a white audience. Sixty years later, outfits here in Albuquerque keep that music alive—the acoustic slap bass, the electric guitar twang and the big, jumping beat.
Scene and Heard
Rock Around the Clock
Rubber, Meet Road
Hot rods for drivers
Trailer queens. That's what you call classic cars put on trailers and driven to car shows. They live in locked garages, Nan Morningstar says. "People buy antique cars as an investment and spend thousands making them beautiful."
Albuquerque is a safe haven for passionate gearheads and DIY mechanics. On top of the endless days of radiant sunshine and mild, salt-less winters, it also boasts a thriving car culture built on the rock-solid foundation of old Route 66. On the last Saturday of each month through October, bring your pre-’65 auto project and your own tools to Free Radicals (300 Yale SE) for Wrecks, Rods and Wrenches. Meet up with like-minded wrench-turners and swap tricks of the trade to make that old hot rod or muscle car road-worthy once again. For more information, call 254-3764 or visit freeradicalshq.com. (Adam Fox)