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Musical Road Hits Sour Notes With Neighbors

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Musical Road Hits Sour Notes With Neighbors

  Local officials say it was a mistake to allow a television commercial company to grind grooves into a stretch of desert roadway near Lancaster to enable car tires to play a song -- "The William Tell Overture" -- as people drive over it.

The sounds are disturbing people in a nearby subdivision, the Daily News reports. The City of Lancaster plans to pave over the musical grooves Tuesday.

Persons driving the posted 55 miles an hour west on Avenue K, in the high desert about five miles west of the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway, hear about 38 musical notes of the well-known theme, also known as the overture to "The Lone Ranger."

American Honda has paid for the promotion as part of a television ad campaign set to air this fall, but amateurs have peppered YouTube with homemade renditions of their own vehicles rolling over the grooves.

The road is tuned to a car just exactly the length, and equipped with tires the same size, as a Honda Civic, a spokesman for Honda said. But other vehicles are also successful in playing the notes, if a little off-key.

That noise is not exactly music to the ears of persons living in a nearby subdivision, who are telling the Daily News that the notes blend into a cacophony that keeps them awake at night.

"When you hear it late at night, it will wake you up from a sound sleep," said music critic Brian Robin, who lives a half mile away from the project. "It's awakened my wife three or four times a night," he told the newspaper.

But people from elsewhere are delighted. "I think it's kind of cool," said Peggy Hager of Llano. "When you are driving out on Avenue K, you're going out to the middle of nowhere. It's a nice surprise to come across this thing."

Avenue K got its groove on Sept. 5, and the sour notes from neighbors soon reached a crescendo at City Hall, said Pauline East, the Antelope Valley Film Office liaison officer. The street was volunteered to help attract filmmakers and their dollars to the High Desert, she said.

"Was it historic? Yes," she told the Daily News.

"Maybe the wrong location? Obviously. We thought it was far enough away."

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