Guitar Riffs On The Tracks

The Denver airport has its good points and its bad points.  The bad include being out in the middle of nowhere, miles from downtown, with security checkpoints that always seem to be besieged with long lines of bedraggled travelers.

On the good side of the ledger is the fact that the Denver airport rail system tells you that you’re approaching a concourse with a guitar riff. It’s a snarling combination of quick chords, like the guitarist couldn’t quite decide how to wrap up his solo and just wanted to end it abruptly and get the heck out of there.

On some airport transit systems, you get ethereal chimes, or gently ringing bells, or even harp music to announce that you’re at the next stop.  Usually the music is something that is consciously striving to be soothing, like the airport managers are trying to use music calm down everyone who is crammed onto the transit system trying to catch their flight on time.  Not Denver!  No, the Denver airport train guitar riff has a distinct hard edge to it, properly acknowledging that modern airline travel isn’t exactly a soothing experience.

But I found myself wondering why, if you’re going to go with a guitar approach, you pick some anonymous riff rather than something that people will recognize — like, say, the epic first chord of A Hard Day’s Night, or the first few notes of Stairway to Heaven or Layla.  Maybe it’s too expensive to use part of a well-known bit of classic rock, but I’d be willing to bet that if you played one of these snippets about half of the travelers exiting the train would do so with that particular song playing in their heads.

A Hard Day’s Night seems like a particularly apt choice for the airport venue:  It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog . . . .

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