David Byrne and Barry White: Their Rides

I love David Byrne and Barry White, and I love cars too.  I have all my favorites.  1953 Packard Caribbean convertible.  Henri Chapron Citroën DS 23 Pallas, 1956 Buick Roadmaster, Ferrari 365 GTB, Maserati 3500 GT…..all cars I can ill afford to own let alone properly maintain.  When David Byrne once visited me at KCRW during a nightly show I briefly did, he ran in all agitated, saying he parked his car outside in a no-parking area. School was in and parking was always scarce.   I told him I’d move his car.  He told me “no, you won’t know how to drive this car!”.  I asked him what kind of car it was.  He told me it was a Citroën.  I told him that I once owned a DS 19 with the “citromatic” hydraulic clutch.  He handed me the keys and I parked it.

A few months later, Barry White visited me at KCRW.   Similar situation.  I wondered what kind of car he drove?  Cadillac?  Rolls Royce?  No, this time it was a metallic gold Stutz Bearcat.  The kind of car you might see in a Blacksploitation film.    It would go well with the shiny chartreuse suit he wore that night.

The great bluesman Robert Johnson once observed “a man with a fine car has no need to justify hisself”.   Certainly that would be true for David Byrne and Barry White.


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