Thompson’s Vincent Black

Out for a drive late yesterday afternoon, Richard Thompson’s song, Vincent Black Lightning, started playing. It was just another song brought to us by iPod’s random song selector.

Now, we’ve listened to this song at various times while driving across the country, and never really spoke about it. Yesterday, however, I suddenly felt it important to let Sheryl know that the motorcycle mentioned in the song was also the subject of one of Hunter S. Thompson’s pieces that I had read as a teenager.

A genuinely hellish bike. Second gear peaks around 65 — cruising speed on the freeways — and third winds out somewhere between 95 and 100. I never got to fourth, which takes you up to 120 or so — and after that you shift into fifth.

Just a passing comment at the moment … later that evening we heard the news about his passing away.