Studio Night

A trip down psycho-minivan-driver lane

I’ve been spending time working on the other side of town recently, and decided to head home one day using the route I took when I was working a temporary job across town a number of years ago. The route goes through several old east side neighborhoods, past universities and churches, and it has countless traffic lights, stop signs, and bizarre intersections.

As I was attempting to navigate rush hour in that spaghetti of suburban streets, the memories came back in big flashes: here’s where I spun out during a shitty winter storm; there’s where I used to have lunch all the time; where the hell did this intersection come from, I don’t remember this?

And then it hit me. That road, full of big old houses with their landscape service trucks parked at annoying intervals in the right lane during peak traffic times, was where I had been inspired to write the song “Psycho Minivan Driver”.  If you haven’t listened to it, go ahead, I’ll wait.

Yes, that was pretty much what was going through my head as I was repeatedly cut off by a minivan driver who was clearly out of his or her mind. I spent a good thirty minutes by myself during the drive just repeating the phrase “psycho minivan driver” in mantra-like fashion.  Somehow by the time I arrived at my temporary job, most of the song had crystallized in my mind. It’s one of a very few times that a song has spring from nowhere almost fully-formed, and then amazingly managed to come to life almost exactly the way I heard it in my head.

So to that zany driver, wherever you are, thanks. And f#ck you.