Awesome Mixtapes #2 – It’s Immaterial and ‘Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune)’

I’m having a bit of a wistful morning. For the last three years, my best friend and I have gone on a wee trip at this exact point in the annual calendar, during the Scottish ‘tattie holidays’. Over the years these trips have been documented here on the blog: Amsterdam in 2017, Belfast in 2018, and last year, Bergen.

I have just been revisiting my pictures from last year, and will share some of them here. We were incredibly lucky with the weather as it can be very wet in Norway during the month of October, but what with autumn in full swing, and blue skies, our first experience of a Nordic country was a really good one.

Bergen in Norway

Well, what a difference a year makes. I’ve not had a single night away from home all year so a song that came to mind when I was revisiting these pictures was this one, Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune) by It’s Immaterial. It was the first track on my favourite mixtape, which was written about here when I considered it as an idea for a new series. Somehow, Ariel from Argentina found that post, and got in touch recently to let me know he had put together a playlist on Spotify of all the songs on the IC2 mixtape. I will embed that playlist here in case you are a subscriber. I haven’t set eyes on IC for over 30 years and can’t help thinking he would find it amusing to find his cassette insert, written back in October 1986, on that platform.

Spotify Playlist courtesy of Ariel from Argentina

As for the song, it occurred to me I know nothing either of its backstory, or the band It’s Immaterial, so time to find out. Well it seems they come from Liverpool and were formed in 1980. Today’s featured song was the one they are best-known for but surprisingly it only reached No. 18 in the UK Singles Chart. I still remember it well so thought it had done better, but all down to the sheer number of hours spent listening to music back in those days I suppose. The song was originally recorded in Milwaukee with Jerry Harrison from Talking Heads, but the band were unhappy with it so returned to England to record a new version with producer Dave Bascombe. It seems the ‘Jim’ in the song’s title refers to Jim Lieber, a harmonica-player from a blues band they saw performing in a bar in Milwaukee. He was invited to record with them and they were so happy with his contribution, they credited him in the title.

Driving Away From Home by It’s Immaterial:

So, ‘What’s It All About?’ – I would like nothing more than to drive away from home at the moment (and not just to go to the supermarket or for a walk on the other side of town), but not easy to plan for with new restrictions coming in every day. Let’s hope there is a breakthrough soon and we all get to spread our wings a bit more in the not too distant future.

Until next time….

Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune)
(Song by John Campbell/John Whitehead)

now just get in
And close the door
And put your foot down

You know, I like this suburb we’re going through
And I’ve been around here many times before
When I was young we were gonna move out this way
For the clean air, healthy, you know
Away from the factories and the smoke
I like that shop, too
You can get anything there

So just get in
And we’ll go for a ride

‘Cos we’ll go driving away from home
Thirty miles or more
And we’ll go moving away from home
Without a care

I’ll tell you what
Why don’t we cross the city limit
And head on down the M62
It’s only thirty nine miles
And forty five minutes to Manchester
And that’s my birth-place, you know

Driving away from home
Thirty miles or more
And we’ll go moving away from home
Without a care in the world

Driving away from home
Thirty miles or more
Yes, we’ll go moving away from home
Without a care

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days. I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 57 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team, Bacharach and David. The opening line to that song was, "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

8 thoughts on “Awesome Mixtapes #2 – It’s Immaterial and ‘Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune)’”

    1. No, not spotted that one – Another to add to the list!

      Really enjoyed my trip to Norway last year and the fjords were spectacular. One day I might be able to return with Mr WIAA.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Bergen looks beautiful (as does Glasgow). Even the Troll is quite photogenic….although his companion far more so 🙂
    I was thinking about your friend the other day and wondering how she is getting on, I hope she’s able to find some positives in life in spite of everything and that you’ll be able to make more trips together a bit further down the line. I worry too about the psychological toll on everyone, especially those most vulnerable.
    That’s a lovely snippet about Jim Lieber, he was obviously just in the right place at the right time. And how sweet of Ariel from Argentina to make that playlist – now it just needs IC to stumble across this blog and find it too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, this date last year was our first day in Bergen so I got all nostalgic about it and was remembering those two autumn trips from last year, before everything started to go all wrong. I met up with my friend today actually but as you can imagine (for many reasons) her life is very different now, so the lightheartedness of last year has definitely gone.

      I always liked that song but had never thought to questions why it was Jim’s tune – Nice now to know the answer and to appreciate Jim’s fine harmonica playing (it does add something doesn’t it). It was lovely to get that email from Ariel with the playlist and find it weird to see IC’s handwritten cassette box insert now on Spotify. Doubt if IC will ever stumble upon it but yes, he would not doubt find it amusing, and question why I have kept it all this time. As I said in the original post in this series, when I first met Mr WIAA it was our favourite cassette for road trips, so thanks again IC.


  2. I love quirky bands and quirky records, and It’s Immaterial/Driving Away From Home certainly fitted that particular bill quite nicely. I’d seen that I’d commented on this in your previous post and made a reference to your friend’s handwriting! (A dying art now, alas).
    Henry Priestman from It’s Immaterial has popped up on my blog a couple of times; so much so that I asked him if he’d tell us the story about his time in Itsy (as he called It’s Immaterial) and he kindly obliged. Henry was in the middle of packing up his goods and chattels at the time, leaving Liverpool and moving to Holy Island; so you could say he was driving away from home.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha – Yes I thought that was a bit of a radical move, but Anglesey not so much. All of us are suffering from fcuked up brain syndrome at the moment. Hope your lockdown isn’t proving too bad – Ironically I think our measures up here are even stricter than yours at the moment. Joy of joys, our local theatre/arts centre is opening again on Thursday so think I’ll have a look and test the waters. We’ll be all masked up but I spent so much of my time there it was like my second home – It’s been greatly missed.


    1. I missed that post of yours from the summer but have read it now and like the sound of Mr Priestman very much. Is he one of the musicians in the clip I shared do you know? From back in 1986 (scary how well I remember those days).


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