CD Album - Diesel - Sausalito Summernight - Rotation - Netherlands

Sausalito Summernight by Diesel

Lyrics and music by band members Mark Boon and Rob Vunderink

Released in 1981, reached #25 on the US Billboard chart  

As I’ll further discuss below, this song has been part of my runs and workouts since my early Sony Walkman days, when I recorded the song from the radio onto a mix tape. Its catchy beat and melody and fun lyrics are great for keeping a positive head and energy level during a workout.  

The song was written and recorded in The Netherlands, which was the band’s home country. It only reached #33 in the NL. In Canada it reached #1, and in the US #25. On the original NL release, Sausalito was misspelled as ‘Sausolito”.

  From Wikipedia: The song was written in 1979 by Diesel members Mark Boon and Rob Vunderink at Boon’s parental home in the Hague: (Rob Vunderink quote:) “I came up with the riff, [Boon] added some chords, and then I came up with the melody”, the song’s tune being completed in roughly an hour’s time. The lyrics were written the following day by Boon who in 1962 – at age 11 – had moved to Los Angeles and had lived in California until 1967, and had also sojourned in California prior to joining Diesel in 1978: Boon would later recall that he had spent time in Sausalito the summer before writing the song.”


I was surprised to see that it only reached #25 in the US. In my region, I swear it achieved earworm status, which was my only reservation in picking it for the draft.

  The song: https://youtu.be/C60kcAzmbAU   The Lyrics (from lyrics.com):

We left for Frisco in your Rambler

The radiator running dry

I’ve never been much of a gambler

And had a preference to fly

  You said “forget about the airline

, Let’s take the car and save the fare.”

We blew a gasket on the Grapevine

And eighty dollars on repairs

  All aboard (Sausalito summernight) All aboard (Sausalito summernight) All aboard (Sausalito summernight) All aboard  

Hot summer night in Sausalito

Can’t stand the heat another mile

Let’s drop a quarter in the meter

And hit the sidewalk for a while

  I’ll have a burger and a root beer

You feed the heap some of the grape

A shot of premium to boot, dear

We’ll get across the Golden Gate

  All aboard (Sausalito summernight) All aboard (Sausalito summernight) All aboard (Sausalito summernight) All aboard

  Cashin’ all my checks

Straightenin’ out my bank?

Spend it on a Rambler

With a wormhole in the tank  

Look out over here

Watch out over there

Can’t afford a blowout

‘Cause we haven’t got a spare

  All aboard (Sausalito summernight) All aboard (Sausalito summernight) All aboard (Sausalito summernight) All aboard

  Sticking with my categories format to narrow down my choices for this draft, this category was ‘fitness songs’. Other songs in this category that I almost picked were: This Beat Goes On/Switchin to Glide by The Kings, Industrial Disease by Dire Straits, Senses Working Overtime by XTC, and two Rockpile songs–Teacher Teacher, and Girls Talk. They have all been with me on nearly every run and workout; making the transition from my Sony Walkman mix tapes, to mp3 player, and now smartphone. There are many more songs that have gone with me on my runs all of these years, but they’ve either gone off the list at times, or have interludes that don’t fit the running format, or they fit better in another one of my categories.



  2. wow, I like all the songs on that fitness list of yours… surprised by how many Americans seem to know “Switchin’ to Glide’ …I’d had the impression it had only been a hit in their/my hometown area of Toronto, but apparently not. Anyway, “Sausalito Summer Night” is a good one too, it was big in Canada (as the charts show) but seems to have now been lost by oldies radio, which is too bad.

  3. Peppy song, reminds me a lot of Steve Miller Band. I can see where it would motivate you on runs. I like the bassline in this and neat sound effects. Cool choice, Diana!

  4. I hear the Steve Miller link too. There’s a YouTube comment from someone (Whammy Pammy?) who says something like ‘The guitar solo is like a drunken Steve Miller sitting in with Steely Dan.’ This is a choice workout number.

  5. GIRL! I have not heard this in YEARS. I love it! I remember it being on the radio.

    “The engine’s thumpin’ like a disco…
    We oughta dump her in the bay…”

    Great, great song. I love the lead guitar chords. I will be digging for a download, shortly. Excellent pick!

    • I happened to read in the comments where someone said that this wasn’t Diesel but, another band that had Diesel’s drummer and a guitarist. Don’t know if true but, they still sound good.

      On a side note, I have an ex that owned a white, two-door 1964 Rambler. It was a strange car. It looked cool but, it was weird. It had an odd vacuum system that ran the windshield wipers. The bad thing about vacuum systems is, if it is raining and you are going up a hill, the wipers stop moving. When the vacuum canister went bad (rust & dry-rot damage on the gaskets), he replaced it with a Welch’s grape juice canister. I’m not kidding. Remember those things where you had to use the sharp end of a bottle opener to pry a hole in the metal top? He cut precise holes on both ends, replaced the gaskets and hooked it back into the car. When the hood was up, you could see the thing from the passenger side, attached to the top part of the fire wall. The wipers still stopped moving, going up a hill but, the new grape juice canister helped the wipers move faster when driving on a flat surface…or going down hill.

  6. I re-heard this song not long ago. Of all places…I was reading IT by Stephen King and he mentioned it in the book. After that I looked it up and of course I knew it and forgot completely about it! Great song and pick…I can’t believe it because I haven’t heard it since way back.

    • I had no idea the song was mentioned in a Stephen King book. Wow, that would have been worth a mention in my post. What a coincidence you just recently read it. I’m a bit surprised this song isn’t played on classic rock stations, but I’m also very glad they haven’t brought it back and played it to death.

    • It basically served as a point to remember when the husband bought his wife a purse (it was playing at the time)… No I don’t hear it on classic rock stations at all.
      That is why it surprised me that hadn’t heard it in so long.

  7. Like CB, this song’s new to me too. I was living in Los Angeles in 1981, which had pretty good radio stations, but I don’t remember ever hearing this. Anyway, it’s a fun, catchy tune, and I can understand why it would be a favorite song to run to.


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