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. Two "Battles" per month, on the 1st and 15th. Six days later (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.]

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Underdogs, Comebacks, and the First Game of the 1988 World Series

STMcC’s Vote On '2015, Nov. 15th: Battle Of The Bands'
(Or, 'Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66 Versus Chris Botti')
And The Final Tally:

As I mentioned previously, the November Battle Of The Bands competitions for which FarAwayEyes and I collaborated, were conceived as a kind of major sporting event. 

The song was 'THE LOOK OF LOVE'. Each of us decided we would choose two competitors, and the winners of our November 1st Battles would battle it out for the World Series championship on November 15th.

I insisted that I get to use the Chris Botti version (I had been planning to use that since about the time the BOTB idea was first conceived) but FAE was free to use anyone else she wanted. I had Botti against a nice live version by Diana Krall. And on November 1st, FAE put the big hit version by Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66 against Nina Simone

FarAwayEyes and I had many discussions about this Playoff and World Series scenario leading up to the November Battles and we both predicted that Brasil '66 and Botti would win their respective Battles and meet for the championship on 11/15, and that's indeed what hoppened. We were also in agreement that Sergio & Company would probably beat Botti in the championship round.

Now, I'll confess that I was not overly pleased with FAE's decision to use the hit version by Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66 because I felt it would run away with the voting, resulting in shutouts or blowouts at the very least. And that proved true when Brasil '66 clobbered Nina Simone in the playoffs. 

But when the "World Series" began on November 15th between Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66 and the underdog, Chris Botti, something totally unpredictable occurred: Botti's cover version - the sound of some seriously smoldering sexualityimmediately began mopping up the baseball diamond with Sergio & Company. HOKEY-SMOKE! I never would have foreseen that!

After the first 16 votes were recorded, Chris Botti had an 8-VOTE LEAD and this contest (which FAE and I both thought Sergio & Brasil '66 would win) was OVER, baby, OVER! Nobody comes back from 8 votes down in a BOTB contest!

"Life imitates art as a badly hobbled Kirk Gibson uses his lone at-bat of the 1988 World Series to become a hero for the ages against a heavily favored Oakland A's squad". Fictional version: 'The Natural' starring Robert Redford.

But... On October 15, 1988, my brother Nappy and I were at Dodger Stadium for the the first game of the '88 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics, and we witnessed with our own eyes the most amazing comeback in sports history.

This short video will give you a brief overview of what happened: 


To watch the entire bottom of the ninth inning, fast-forward to the 2:24:00 mark:

Or catch most of the 9th inning theatrics in the following video:


In watching the votes roll in at the end of this "World Series" BOTB contest, I began to feel like it was October 15th, 1988 at Dodger Stadium all over again! I couldn't believe what I was seeing, but suddenly vote after vote began piling up for SERGIO MENDES & BRASIL '66

Was this really happening? Could they really come back from 8 votes down to tie or win this championship over the song 'THE LOOK OF LOVE'

FarAwayEyes and I were watching the voting very intently for the last few days and holding our breaths. We're both crazy about both versions of this song - Sergio's and Botti's - but we both lean very slightly toward S.M. & Brasil '66. (I love it for the absolute joy of it, the great musicianship and the harmonizing of the group vocals. I adore group harmonizing - The Beach Boys, The 5th Dimension, Spanky & Our Gang, The Mamas & The Papas, Sergio and Brasil '66 - I love, Love, LOVE it!)

With a jaw-dropping, historic BOTB comeback, Sergio & Brasil '66 received 10 of the final 11 votes (including FAE's and mine) and here's how the scoreboard looked at the end of the World Series: 

Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 = 14 Votes
Chris Botti = 13 Votes

Hoo-Wee! My own vote got to determine the winner. I LOVE it when that happens!

This BOTB installment was historic to me for two reasons: Aside from the amazing comeback that Sergio & Brasil '66 managed to pull off, this Battle received 27 votes - the most any of my BOTB contests have ever had. So... MAJOR LEAGUE THANKS TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU WHO VOTED! Y'all made this perhaps the most enjoyable Battle Of The Bands installment I've ever put together!

I hope you all have a fantabulous Thanksgiving holiday, and I hope to see y'all back here again for my December 1st BOTB contest.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy   

POSTSCRIPT: IMO, the Chris Botti album 'A Thousand Kisses Deep' (which includes his cover of 'The Look Of Love') is probably the most romantically sexy collection of songs on one disc. It saddens me that the album didn't come out until 2003, so I never got a chance to make-out with some young lovely while it played. But maybe you can live my dream for me! You'll find the entire album by clicking the link below:



  1. NOTE, Doggs & Doggettes:
    FYI, Below is the comment and vote that FarAwayEyes left in the comment section of my 11/15/2015 BOTB installment. She voted last there because she was part of this 2-4-1 contest:

    November 20, 2015 at 8:12 PM

    Before we get to the final tally and my vote, I want to tell you all that this particular BATTLE is the most fun I’ve had with in a long time. Technically, I didn’t even post for this BATTLE, but because I was a part of the original ‘Look of Love’ preliminaries, I kind of consider it my BATTLE too.

    I love both versions presented here. As far as I’m concerned when it comes to smokin’ sexy jazz, it doesn’t get much better than Mr. Chris Botti. The entire album ‘A Thousand Kisses Deep’, where the track ‘Look of Love’ is recorded, is fabulous. It makes me want to build a fire, pour a nice glass of wine, lay out the sheepskin run on the floor and snuggle up with…someone. Mr. Botti knows sexy and how to sell it with that trumpet (no innuendo intended). There isn’t anything negative that I can say about his version of ‘Look of Love’.

    When it comes to Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66 I don’t have enough adjectives to describe how wonderful I think they are. Their version of ‘Look of Love’ is iconic. To those of you who said it sounded dated, I say bah, Bah, BAH. In my opinion their version is as relevant today as the day it was recorded. It’s happy, playful and downright joyous. There is a strong feeling of love that flows out of Mr Mendes' fingers at that piano and the harmonies presented are superb. The overall instrumentation is wonderful.

    In a discussion earlier today, I finally figured out what it is about each version that strikes home with me. Mr. Botti’s version is pure ‘sex’, while the Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66 version feels more like ‘love’. Don’t think there’s a difference, well, shame on you. There is a big difference!

    As for me, today and just about every day, I like the Botti version and don’t think there’s anything wrong with some hot, steamy, sex. But as a steady diet, this lady would much rather be made love to.

    So…my vote goes to Mr. Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66.

    BTW, for those of you who think their sound is dated; head on over to YouTube and check out the version of ‘Mas Que Nada’ recorded by Mr. Mendes and The Black Eyed Peas. Afterward get back to me with your ‘dated’ comments. Ha, ha, ha!

    1. Nice! Love the comment!


    2. Well said FAE, I couldn't agree with you more!

    3. I gotta give FAE a ton of credit for this one. In this case, her instinct was better'n mine.

      I would have liked to see her use GROVER WASHINGTON, JR. or DUSTY SPRINGFIELD in her initial "Playoff" round against NINA SIMONE. I really felt that using SERGIO & BRASIL '66 was going to give us nuttin' but lopsided results.

      But look at the result we got when SERGIO went against BOTTI in the Final contest! It was pretty much a one-of-a-kind BOTB installment, which would have played out entirely differently, most likely, had it featured two other artists.

      So, FAE's decision to use BRASIL '66 (despite my warnings) directly led to this incredible contest on November 15th. ...And that goes to show everyone what I know.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

  2. Wow. This was a tight contest.

    I was shocked to see an actual "results" post from you. That was almost as surprising as the comeback;)

    I even enjoyed the short baseball clip. That bit about the best part seeing all the tail lights come on in the parking lot made me laugh.

    I thought both versions of this song were fantastic. This has been a very enjoyable BoTB from you and FAE. Great job!!!

    1. Thanks, GIRL WONDER!

      Yeah, I felt this BATTLE deserved its own Results blog bit.

      This one was fun. We had a great song to start with (so great I've never yet heard a version I disliked) and then two fantastic covers went against each other at the end with a very memorable voting pattern.

      Regarding Kirk Gibson's legendary home run: In that video when catcher Mike Scioscia (now the Angels manager) mentions 50,000 fans screaming for 45 minutes ("It was... it was incredible"), that sounds like a great exaggeration, but it wasn't. Literally, for nearly an hour after that ball cleared the fence, the screaming in that ballpark continued unabated, just like you hear it in the video.

      Long after everyone had left the field, the teams were gone, and the groundskeepers were repairing the diamond, we fans were still there yelling. Truly, no one wanted to leave, because we all knew we'd just seen something that would be yakked about whenever people talk baseball for the rest of "this world's" existence.

      I still get chills watching it. The luckiest thing that ever happened to me was that I got to see that game in-person. (Nope! Not me! I wasn't in the parking lot when that ball flew over the fence. I was standing in front of my seat and yelling like everyone else in the stadium was doing.)

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

  3. Wow, Stephen—this is the best result possible! Perfectly well-matched opponents, really different styles, both absolutely wonderful. Love this result (even though I voted for Botti... but now I don't have to feel guilty about it, haha).

    Excellent battle!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    1. Thanks, GUILIE!
      And I think you are exactly right: When a BOTBer can find two versions as drastically different in style as these two were, and yet have the winner decided by a 1-vote margin of victory, that's the sign of an A-list Battle.

      But, of course, in this case, it wasn't FAE or myself who decided who would meet in THIS Battle. It was the voters themselves. You and the others who voted in our two November 1st Battles decided who would meet for THIS one.

      And then y'all decided who would win (with a little 2-vote help from FAE and myself). FAE and I decided which 4 contestants had a chance to win the Grand Prize, but the BOTB voters really decided the rest.

      This one was a lotta fun for me.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  4. I think it's great that this was so close. Although I voted for Sergio, I really did like Bott and I'm pleased he got so many votes when facing an original version.

    Have yourself a Happy Thanksgiving Stephen!

    1. Thanks, ANNE O'. And you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too!

      Looks like you and I were composing comments at the same time.

      I told FAE the other day that if this Battle turned out to be a tie, it would be one of the very few times I would actually be pleased to have a BOTB tie. But it turned out one better (it went "up to eleven") because I got to break the tie with my own vote.

      And as much as I love Botti's version, I lean toward Brasil '66 by about 55%-45% (rounding it out to the nearest 5%).

      Thanks for returning to see the outcome. Great fun this time!

      ~ D-FensDogG

  5. Now this is a battle! You sound tickled pink (or green or blue) with the results and you should be-great battle!

    1. Thanks, BIRGIT!

      Yes, this one was memorable. Probably the biggest comeback in BOTB's 2+ years (that I'm aware of, anyway), and a lot of fun.

      Start with a truly great song and I guess ANYTHING can hOppen.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  6. This was a surprise!! I thought I knew which way it would go...whatta I know? And you got to break your own tie...it's too much fun at once, surely it's not legal. Not even in Reno.

    Hey, guess who has strep? Aren't I too old for that?? What's next - diaper rash? Sheesh.

    Hugs to the Dog.

    1. DOC CHERDO ~
      Yes, and what do I know, too? When it comes to BOTB, what does ANY OF US KNOW?!

      Awww, very sincerely sorry that you're sick, Doc! (Docs aren't legally allowed to get sick, are they?)

      I hope you feel better soon. After all, only one angel down at a time! And in case of a future case of diaper rash, better stock up on DESITIN ® .

      [Wait! How did I know that brand name and remember it? I really did, but... how? Why? OK, that's weird!]

      ~ D-FensDogG

  7. Wow! That was a tight one! I liked the baseball clips!

    1. Thanks, MIKE.
      I enjoy reliving that great baseball moment every so often. Reminds me that my life wasn't always the way it is now.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  8. Congratulations to Fae and you! Thanks for sharing her comment... well said on her part.

    I too, was surprised to see the separate posting, but certainly worth it. The clips were wow (!) and loud; great metaphor.

    Never would I have guessed this result. My own battle result was shocking enough.

    Looks like you're rightfully excited! Great job. It was a very tough choice - I enjoy both versions - nothing will change that.

    Lastly, I hope you have a fulfilling, and loving Thanksgiving Day! A little snow here, would be nice.

    1. Hi, DIXIE POLKA!
      Thanks for the nice comment.

      I really hated to have to vote AGAINST Chris Botti's version because I love it, too (not like, but love).

      Sometimes I make my own BOTB contests really hard on myself. This one, Sinatra versus Ray Charles on 'We'll Be Together Again', Aerosmith versus Roger Daltrey on 'Walkin' The Dog' - all of these (and more) were Battles where it bothered me to have to vote AGAINST someone because I genuinely enjoyed both competing recordings.

      Oh, well, it's all part of the BOTB challenge, I s'pose.

      And, yes, yer Battle turned out really good, too. Congrats again on that!

      ~ Stephen

  9. Can I vote twice for Chris and his sexually attractive horn? Well, it was a great battle, and awesome that it was so close. Lots of fun.

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING St Mac; hope you do not have to work and have lots of bird to eat. For days, and days, lol.

    1. OH DONNA ~
      It turns out that I AM off on Thanksgiving. I didn't 'spect that, so it's a nice bonus.

      However, no bird for Saint Mac. I've been a vegetarian since the end of 1985. But I'll pig-out on mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Maybe beer, too.

      You have a great holiday, my friend! And I hope we'll see you again for the December 1st Battles.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  10. Al Bondigas here. I remember the '88 world series like it was yesterday. Man, what a wonderful experience!! Too bad you missed the Kirk Gibson home run because you were busy fighting with the peanut man. Ohh well, you got a different perspective, right?

    1. JUDGE AL ~
      Ha!-Ha! Yeah, I got a different perspective on Gibson's homer.

      Well, the sum-bitch peanut guy shouldn't have tossed me a bag of unsalted peanuts when I clearly called for "Salted-In-The-Shell!" I dunno who he thought he was dealing with, but I weren't gonna take it!

      Besides, I've seen videos of the home run so many times that I almost feel like I REALLY DID see it, rather than the big nose on that peanut vendor!

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. Yeah, the peanut man learned a lesson that day. In fact, I've never brought home any unsalted peanuts since that very unforgettable and unfortunate event. Any other ballgame and you would have made Sport Center that night, but you chose the wrong game to rough up the peanut man.

    3. Yeah, but... "I had to show him a lesson".

      ~ D-FensDogG

  11. Got here a bit late for reasons you can read about on my winner's post which went up this morning. This was indeed a good contest. I'm glad it was a musical battle instead of a sports event as I would have had little interest in the latter.

    The outcome was as it should have been though maybe a few more votes were deserved in Sergio's way, but the close race made for more excitement. I like to see an underdog lag and then take the lead. Good contest.

    My winner post is up now with a closing mention that my next Battle will be one done with you in mind.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. LEE ~
      In this case, I definitely considered CHRIS BOTTI the underdog. He had to be, going against such a big hit by SERGIO & BRASIL '66.

      So it was extra interesting to see the underdog take a commanding lead, only to lose it by one vote at the very end.

      I couldn't have asked for this Battle to have been any different. Pretty cool. Very fun.

      On my way to check out your results post.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  12. Very exciting battle and outcome. I think a come-back is probably the best thing to happen in a BOTB contest.

    1. Thanks, JEFFREY. Definitely one of my BOTBs that I enjoyed most. Yours was great, too!

      ~ D-FensDogG

  13. I'm here later than expected, but I did read this when you posted it. I'll echo the others that said they like the whole results post thing. I do too. I preferred Botti, but I don't mind seeing Brasil take the win. Both were worthy competitors. I'm only ever crushed when a truly bad cover wins. Or gets more votes than it has any right to (cough Paul Simon vs B-52s cough).

    Also, you made me like baseball. How the hell is that possible? If modern baseball was more like this (and we didn't have the Rockies) I'd probably watch it more. That 8 minute video was intense. As mentioned to you before, I was on the edge of my damn seat and I already KNEW what was gonna happen. I could only imagine how it was for you guys. Well, when you weren't beating up this poor guy. Unsalted = assaulted.



      Ha! The truth of the matter is that... "no peanut vendors were injured in the making of Kirk Gibson's World Series game-winning home run."

      Nappy and I were just riffing off each other, and the kernel of truth in the whole thing is that our buddy and pal, Pooh, really DID do a stupid (nonviolent) thing which caused him to miss Gibson's home run. He later tried to diminish the embarrassment of his blunder by saying he'd gotten "a different perspective" on Gibson's legendary homer.

      We've never let Pooh live down his dumb decision nor his lame post-blunder remark. (That's what friends are for, right?)

      ~ D-FensDogG

  14. Wow, what a battle!! That was definitely a keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat battle. Isn't that cool when you get to be the tie-breaker?? That's only happened to me once.
    Although I voted for Botti, Sergio & Brasil was good too. There were no real losers in this contest. It was a fun one.

    Happy Thanksgiving Stephen. Hope you have a fabulous weekend spending time with family and friends. We all have so much to be thankful for!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. MICHELE ~
      Yeah, to me, that's the ultimate Battle, when the creator of the Battle gets to determine the winner with his/her vote.

      It's also neat when you get to save your favorite from a loss by casting the final vote which creates a tie (even though normally, ties feel like a waste of time to me).

      The fact that this one was such an amazing comeback was like the icing on the cake which I deemed "First Prize".

      I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too, my friend. See ya on the 1st of December.

      ~ D-FensDogG


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