Alan Eisenstock’s Playlist: Trying to Get the Vaccine

Editor’s note: When Palisadian Alan Eisenstock is not researching and writing one of his nonfiction books (18 thus far!), he pursues what he calls “a crazy labor of love side project” that he started in mid-March: sending a weekly Covid-themed playlist of songs to his family and friends. These playlists (which can be downloaded on Spotify CLICK HERE span rock ‘n’ roll and pop music from the 1950s to 2020, and Eisenstock adds one or two lines of commentary about each song that is clever, amusing and informative.)

Hi, Everyone,

We’ve got the vaccine! But getting an appointment is harder than scoring tickets to Springsteen on Broadway. You spend hours, days, weeks in front of the computer, giving out every bit of personal information you possess only to face these two words: “No appointments.” What to do? Idea! Here are 21 “trying to get a vaccine” songs. Listen up.

  1. “Searchin'” The Coasters. Leiber & Stoller wrote this for the group in 1957. The song topped the R&B charts for three months. “I’m gonna find her…” herbeing the vaccine.
  2. “Searching For My Love” Bobby Moore & Rhythm Aces. Alabamian Bobby Moore joined the army in his teens and formed the first incarnation of the Aces from members of the Fort Benning marching band. In 1965, Bobby wrote this song–his biggest hit–with a new version of the band. “Searching…searching…” for the vaccine… searching…
  3. “All Day And All Of The Night” The Kinks. British brothers Ray and Dave Davies formed  the core of this iconic band in 1964. You search all day and all of the night and you get nothing. No appointments. Nada. Like playing LOTTO.
  4. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” U2. From their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. Bono, of course, sings lead with the Edge, Brian Eno, and Daniel Lanois adding a gospel-like backup. You know what I’m looking for– an appointment. P.S. Is there a cooler nickname than the “Edge?”
  5. “Little Star” The Elegants. Doo-wop group from Staten Island. This was their huge, million seller record from 1958, inspired by “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” “Where are you my… appointment…?” I’ll go anywhere. I’ll even go to the Valley.
  6. “Hide And Seek” Imogen Heap. British folk and electronica singer, former member of Frou Frou writes and sings this from 2005. I LOVE this strange a cappella folk song.
  7. “Have You Seen Her” The Chi-Lites. R&B group from Chicago, they recorded several huge hits, including this one in 1971. It’s allegedly about a lost love, but I say it’s a desperate plea to try to locate an elusive appointment.
  8. “Needle In A Haystack” The Velvelettes. Sixties R&B “girl group” out of Michigan, this was their one modest hit, from 1964. I formed a band in junior high, The Velveetas. We had one modest hit, “Almost Like Cheese.”
  9. “Where Are You Now?” Mumford & Sons. British folk rock band formed by Marcus Mumford in 2007. This terrific song is about a breakup. But this week, it’s about finding a vaccine appointment and then all of a sudden it’s gone! Ever happen to you?
  10. “Someday, Someway” Marshall Crenshaw. A Detroit native, Crenshaw looks like Buddy Holly, writes songs like Buddy Holly, and played John Lennon in Beatlemania. I love this catchy rockabilly 1982 Buddy Holly-ish tribute, one of Marshall’s first big hits.
  11. “I’ll Never Find Another You” The Seekers. Australian folk-rock band from the sixties. This was one of their biggest hits, from 1964. Since we’re “seeking” the vaccine, I went with them over The Searchers. Plus, this song was written by Tom Springfield. Apropos of nothing,I grew up in Holyoke, MA, the town next to Springfield.
  12. “I’m So Tired” The Beatles. From the White Album. Allegedly, John wrote this when he was alone at a yoga retreat. He had insomnia because he missed Yoko. Touching. I say it’s about staying up all night… trying to find a freaking appointment!
  13. “It’s Too Late” Carole King. One of the greatest songwriters of all time, this from Tapestry, one of the greatest albums of all time. This year the album celebrates its 50th anniversary. It’s too late, baby, it’s too late… no appointments… I quit.
  14. “I Got A Name” Jim Croce. Philly-born pop singer. Famous song written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, who also wrote the theme for the ABC-TV show The Love Boat. Croce died in a plane crash in 1973 the day before this song was released. “I got the name of a website,” a friend says. “You might get lucky.”
  15. “When I Get My Hands On You” The New Basement Tapes. Great supergroup–Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens, Taylor Goldsmith, Marcus Mumford & Jim James–adding music to newly discovered Dylan lyrics. Taylor Goldsmith wrote this one. A tremendous song and Bobbie’s favorite. “When I get my hands on the vaccine…”
  16. “One Minute You’re Here” Bruce Springsteen. LOVE this song from the Boss’s current album, Letter To You. Sings of a lost love and seeing an appointment… and then it’s gone.
  17. “One More Second” Matt Berninger. The National’s front man wrote and sings this fantastic song from his solo album, Serpentine Prison. I cannot get enough of this song.
  18. “Luck Of The Draw” Bonnie Raitt. Clearly, the only way you’ll get a vaccine appointment! This is the title song from the pride of Burbank’s 1991 album. Love Bonnie and on this one she’s backed up by Richard Thompson singing and on guitar.
  19. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” Stevie Wonder. Got the appointment! All signed up. Going to Ralph’s Supermarket in El Guapo, California, only 4 hours away. Perfect!
  20. “Lost In The Supermarket” The Clash. Mick Jones and the late great Joe Strummer led this iconic London-based post-punk rock super band. So, you’re in Ralph’s Supermarket and where the hell is this stupid vaccine. I’m lost!
  21. “Saturday In The Park” Chicago. Like so many movies on the Hallmark Channel, we leave you with an emotional ending: Ralph’s was a bust but you have your appointment, finally, at the Fabulous Forum, or Dodger Stadium, or Magic Mountain Amusement Park. So, take us home, Chicago, the rock band of 1,000 instruments, led by Peter Cetera, etcetera.

There you have it… a story in a playlist… or a playlist in a story… either way…

Don’t Forget to Disinfect and… PLAY IT LOUD!


The link again: CLICK HERE.

Fact Check

I did not form a band in middle school called the Velveetas, although in middle school Velveeta was my favorite cheese, by a lot.

To my knowledge, there is no El Guapo, California.





Dog or cat? Who let the dogs out!? Not one vote for a cat.


Since we’re searching for a vaccine appointment–“Searchin”’ by The Coasters or “Searching For My Love” by Bobby Moore and the Rhythm Aces? Who you got?

Until next week…




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