STMcC’s Vote On ‘2015, March 15: Battle Of The Bands'
(Or, 'War Vs. Gary Hoey')
And The Final Tally:
Howdy, Doggs & Doggettes! Look who's here!
Yep. Made the move (thanks be to God) and I'm coming to you live from Reno, Nevada, "The Biggest Little City In The Woild".
First, I wanna thank EVERYONE who voted on my last BOTB installment. I think I may have set a personal best for number of votes submitted in a single BOTB contest. Maybe I should just disappear mo' often, eh?
Lots of surprises for me in the voting: I KNEW War would win, but I also knew Gary Hoey would get a few votes, but I didn't think he'd get as many as he did.
It was a great surprise to see Sig Too make an appearance and submit a vote. No, I did NOT think DiscConnected was going to vote for Hoey, even though I first learned about Hoey from Dr. Disc Dude. I was totally floored by the fact my Brother voted for Hoey instead of War. (The ONLY thing that could have surprised me more is if Alex Cavanaugh had voted for War.)
And last but not least, I was shocked to my toes that Arlee Bird, Sheboyganboy Six and I all voted the same way: WAR. I don't know if that's ever happened before. Surely the End Times are here!
Yeah, I voted for War. Hoey's cover is a fantastic piece of guitar work (great backing on the bass and drums, too!) There's only one thing I can ding it on: Tempo too fast.
C'mon, this is "Low Rider". Anybody who knows anything about Low Riders (and I was born and raised in L.A., so I knows plenty) knows that not 1 in 8 Chicanos crammed into a '65 Chevy Impala could find the gas pedal if their lives depended on it! In fact, I doubt a single vato has ever touched an accelerator. I think they've always just put the Impala in neutral, gave it a push, and then went cruisin' by coastin'.
I have a neat little newspaper clipping about the connection between War and "Hispanics - particularly Mexican-Americans" - tucked into my compact disc copy of 'The Best Of War And More'. It's too long to type up now, but if I get enough requests for it in the next couple days, I will type it up and post it in the comment section of THIS blog bit.
So, the voting results? They were...
War = 15 votes
Hoey = 8 votes
War = 14 votes
Hoey = 8 votes
War = 13 votes
Hoey = 8 votes
I counted 3 times and got three different totals. The ONLY THING I feel pretty confident about is that Gary Hoey got 8 votes and War won. Goes to show how tired I am (in conjunction with this table that is too low, this chair that is too high, and my "computer monitor reading glasses" which are still packed in some box - God only knows which one!) Ya know, another couple hours and some Grand Marnier in my silver cup and Gary Hoey could probably WIN this Battle!
I hope to see y'all voting again in my next 'Battle Of The Bands' installment on April Fool's Day. (I'll actually be around to respond to comments on that one.)
Below is an old review I wrote about a Gary Hoey album, for anyone who cares enough to read mo'...
[From the STMcC archive; 2006, August 1st]
I'm kind of a quirky character - "unique" is the word that my friends
have used to describe me. Those who were not my friends used other less
friendly words from time to time, but those people are all dead now so
there's no point in our discussing them.
One of my little "quirks" is to occasionally ask odd questions from out of the blue. It might be a reasonable question such as, "The year of your best Summer?" (Mine was '74, how 'bout yers?) Or the question might be something totally nonsensical like, "What did you do when the crops failed?"
Now, if you expect to remain a friend of mine for very long you will be
required to consistently reply immediately with something (at least
mildly amusing) that we can develop into a full-blown, long-term
nonsensical discussion. Acceptable answers to that last question would
go something like: "We turned to cannibalism" or "I died in the famine." You get the idea?
When I suddenly blurted out, "Best guitarist?" to my buddy at work, The Great LC, he answered, "Gary Hoey."
I said, "HOEY? WHO HE?"
I thought I had heard of all the highly acclaimed guitarists but this
cat was news to me. Well, the compact disc-addicted Rams fan, The Great
LC, loaned me a copy of one of his Hoey CDs and I was turned onto truly
one of the most unjustly unknown six-string slingers extant. And it came
as an added surprise and bonus when I discovered that 'Who He Hoey' had
also written and performed the musical soundtrack for the movie sequel
'ENDLESS SUMMER II' (1994).
The first 'ENDLESS SUMMER' movie (1966) you'll remember was the original
full-length movie on surfing that - along with the fabulous music of
The Beach Boys - really pushed the sport into the American
consciousness, and it is still considered the classic, holy grail of
surfing films. (In the days before art house/cult flick movie theatres
and Beta/VHS tapes, they used to show 'Endless Summer' at the packed
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium to kids like me who rode waves all Summer
long in our quest for skin cancer. That was before the invention of
sunblock, ya understand!)
So, is 'Who He Hoey' really the "best guitarist"? Well, The Great LC
ain't no dummy, and I'd say that Hoey is darned sure in the running;
the cat can really sling it! I think I'd still have to side with Danny
Gatton because, despite his amazing versatility, I'm not sure Hoey could
quite match Gatton's exquisite finesse on numbers like 'Canadian
Sunset' and 'Poinciana.' But I'd certainly be interested in seeing the
boys duel. That won't happen any time soon though because Gatton "died
in the famine" of '94.
But let's briefly examine this soundtrack and see what 'Who He Hoey' is doing on it:
The first thing you'll be happy to find is that this does NOT sound like
your typical movie soundtrack album. There is none of that draggy
"movie music" with cheesy orchestras sawing away on strings that meander
over nondescript melodies - you know wot ahm talkin' 'bout here:
FILLER! No way dudes and dudettes, this is a SERIOUS surf guitar Rock
album! This is the one movie soundtrack album that REALLY ROCKS! I mean
this baby makes most so-called "real" Hard Rock guitar albums sound like
the "movie filler" we've been yakkin' 'bout here!
[Due to popular demand - namely FAE & Dixie Polka - I have now converted the following titles into YouTube links. Turn it UP!]
It opens with 'RIPTIDE', a highly
electrified excursion into swirling waters of sonic danger. (How many of
you blokes know how to swim out of a riptide? There's a secret to it,
but I'm keepin' it to myself.)
'BLAST' is a heavy-chorded piece of menace (think Black Sabbath or sumpin' like dat), but 'SWEET WATER' is a fluidly-picked bit of metal funk with neo-reggae rhythms.
Then we get Hoey's outrageous cover of the old War classic, 'LOW RIDER'
- the unofficial theme song of my hometown, Los Angeles (maybe you've
heard of the place?) It's obvious that Hoey's amplifiers go up to
eleven and that's where he keeps 'em set during most of these
If you don't get mental pictures of some long-haired surfer dude pulling
off spinners and hanging ten on his longboard while Hoey plays his
original composition 'WALKIN' THE NOSE' then you simply have no imagination whatsoever (and yer gonna be in big trouble when out of the blue I ask you to, "Tell me about your business with Roger O'Vernout.")
'DRIVE' has a nice little melody; it's not gonna wake the children or anything, but it's got a good beat and you can dance to it.
With 'LA ROSA NEGRA' (that means
"The White Petunia" in Spanish), Hoey gives us his Carlos Santana
impersonation; it's fairly Latinized for a White Surfer-lookin' dude,
and it's a "daisy" of a tune.
OK, yer halfway thru this disc now, Surfcats.
'LINUS AND LUCY' is a cover of
Vince Guaraldi's famous theme song for the Charlie Brown TV specials,
and Hoey launches into it with all kinds of weird harmonic shifts
and...somehow I'm thinkin' dat Linus an' da kids (and even Snoopy) would
have had a difficult time doing their goofy dances to this version!
'SURFDOGGIN' is one of my favorite
tracks. It's a bit o'tickling Country-Surf Pickin'. I dunno but metinks
'Who He Hoey' may have invented a new genre with this composition and it
really shows off his nimble fingers as they fly all over that fretboard
and make me smile - this piece has a real Sense O'Humor...SERIOUSLY!
"No, no, I'm nuh kiddin' you, uh!"
'PIPE' is an almost indescribably
moody composition with Hoey's sparking guitar trading licks with Bud
"Barefoot and Slippery" Shank's nasty Tenor Sax and Tony Franklin's
great grumbling Bass pushing everything through the whitewater -
probably my very favorite cut.
Hoey duets with one of his heroes, surf guitar legend DICK DALE, on Dick Dale's classic 'SHAKE & STOMP (Part II)' and it sounds like that wacko who used to juggle live chain saws on Venice Beach...only faster and louder. Forget about waking the children, this one's gonna getcha evicted from yer apartment.
'THEME FROM THE ENDLESS SUMMER' is
the theme song from the movie 'Endless Summer' (guess that's why they
called it that) and I've liked the tune since I first heard the original
recording by The Sandals.
'ESCAPE' is pure Heavy Metal “Shock 'N' Awe” pyrotechnics. You
might as well crank it up full blast because the manager's already on
his way over to yer unit with the eviction notice in his hand anyway.
And the disc ends with the surprisingly "spiritual" 'THE DEEP'
- it's an electric ballad with long notes of sustain. With this one,
'Who He Hoey' proves that still waters really do run DEEP - this is a
genuinely moving piece of introspection and a fitting way to end what is
otherwise an energetic assault, like an electric eel attack while
riding waves in the Big Blue. And for that reason, I love to work-out to
this disc! Yer gonna dig it too.
I'll end this review now with just one question for ya:
"What were you doing on the trail with Lewis and Clark?"
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
This is 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 1st and 15th of each month and six days later, on the 7th and 21st, I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.
Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of DOG BITE High Gravity Lager (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!
[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]