STMcC’s Vote On '2016, January 1st: Battle Of The Bands'
(Or, 'Johnny Horton Vs. Hank "Bocephus" Williams, Jr.')
And The Final Tally, with additional stuffs I wanna yak at ya:
This is gonna be kinda "windy". Apologies to Oh Donna right from the get-go.
Well, first of all, as always, HUGE, SINCERE THANKS to each and every one of you who took the time to listen, comment and vote! This was a fun Battle for me and I enjoyed so many of the amusing and entertaining comments. This one was a blast and a lighthearted way to start my new 'Battle Of The Bands' (BOTB) year.
It was also kind of painful because I'm forced to vote against one of the two recordings I put against each other. I love both of these songs so much and have personal history with each of them. This is one BOTB contest that I WISH had ended in a TIE. Now that I have to vote, I'm sorry I put Johnny Horton's 'THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS' against Hank Williams, Jr.'s 'THE BALLAD OF HANK WILLIAMS'. (Why do I sometimes make these Battles so tough on me?)
For those not in the know, my brother Nappy also plays the part of Judge Al Bondigas in my comment sections, and the Judge Al role was inspired by Judge Roy Bean (Walter Brennan). In my 59th BOTB installment (click HERE), Judge Al wrote: " I love the 'Ballad of Hank Williams' as much as you do. ... We have so much fun using lines from that song in our conversations and in our texts that it actually makes me a little sad not rulin' in its favor. ... Last week I thought I was going to rule for Bocephus, but, after much internal deliberating in my chambers, this judge had to rule with sound judgement, seasoned wisdom and moral clarity. Johnny Horton gets my vote. That's it!! That's my rulin'."
This makes me sad, too. But the ironic part is that last week I thought I was going to vote for Johnny Horton, but in the 11th hour (yeah, it went "up to eleven"), I decided to cast my bittersweet vote for Bocephus. In these really super-tough Battles for me, I have to resort to a trick in order to find my vote. I ask myself: "If God said you could only hear one of these two recordings for the rest of your life, which would it be?" That helps me to find the bottom line.
And my reasoning was this: As much as I love 'THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS' (it's an A+), I've heard it a godzillion times and know every word. But I can listen to 'THE BALLAD OF HANK WILLIAMS' and still kinda-sorta get to hear '...New Orleans', but I also get entertained to the max. As many times as I've played it, 'TBOHW' still makes me laugh... every... single... time! And I just can't imagine never again getting to hear those hilarious exchanges between Hank and Don Helms. That gets a grade of "R" - the highest my grading scale goes up to (even higher than eleven!)
Nappy / Judge Al and I grew up with 'TBONO'. It was our Ma who introduced us to it, and we have drunk to it. Oh yes we have! It's got a great beat and you can drink to it!
But it was I who introduced Nappy to 'TBOHW'. And I think that may have been in 2008, when we were on vacation together (click: 'NOTES FROM AN UNNOTEWORTHY VACATION' and scroll down to the Monday, Sept. 15, 2008 entry.)
In some ways, you couldn't find two people more different than brother Nappy and I are. But in other ways, we're like
About 'TBOHW', he'd written: "We have so much fun using lines from that song in our conversations and in our texts."
He was referring primarily to the "Right, right" that Don Helms says at the very end of that song. And knowing for months that I was going to use this song in this Battle, I saved some old real texts to share with y'all in this Results post:
OCTOBER 3, 2015
STMcC: U gonna watch 'The Thin Man' with us tonight at 7PM?
STMcC: Cool. ...So the drinking begins again at 7PM tonight, eh? It's the law! Did you download the movie yet? It takes awhile.
NAPPY: Doing it now.
S: Drinking, downloading, or both?
N: Ha Ha. Downloading, not down and loaded.
S: U been down and loaded? "Say it ain't so, Joe!"
N: Most of my life. I don't ever want to feel like I did in this life.
[*This was a reference to my 53rd BOTB installment, a two-fer - Song & Video - featuring David & David vs. The Red Hot Chili Peppers*]
S: Now you know how I'm voting on this BOTB.
N: Yeah, I got you figgered out. Song: RHCP. Video: D&D.
S: Right X 2. ...Oops! I meant to say "Right, right".
S: You mean: Ha! Ha!
N: Right, right
S: Ha! Ha! (Monty Python? Pikers!)
Here's a shorter recent one:
DEC. 23, 2015
S: Who u predict will win the battle, Horton or Bocephus?
N: Hmmm. Not sure. Maybe Horton because it's a classic.
S: Should be a close Battle. But some people tend to vote what they know ("Familiarity Factor"), so Horton has that advantage. But if everyone gives both an honest chance, this should be a photo-finish.
N: Right, right.
So, who DID win and just how close WAS it?
Johnny Horton = 14 Votes
Hank Williams, Jr. = 10 Votes
Not a photo-finish, but pretty dern close! Thanks all y'all, for voting and making this so much fun for me! A pretty nice turnout for a holiday-time Battle. I hope you'll all be back for my January 15th BOTB installment in which I will be doing something that no other BOTBer has done before. Uncharted musical notes.
In other unrelated news...
It seems my work schedule has finally been changed to what I was promised it would be back before Thanksgiving. Phew! So, finally, all you who feel I've been neglecting your blogs, your comments, and neglecting to Email you (because I HAVE been!), know that this should be changing soon.
Pretty soon, with more free time coming, I'm going to begin a Spiritual project, which I have ingeniously named "The Spiritual Project" (or equally creatively shortened to "TSP"). I'm going to try to find God again. (It seems He got lost somehow and hasn't been able to find His way back to me.)
In order to do this, I need to purify the temple of my body and detoxify my liver. So, last night, I stopped in at what has become one of my all-time Top Ten favorite bars - ROXY'S LOUNGE at Reno's Eldorado Hotel & Casino - and I said my "goodbye". It was kind of sad. I had a Mojito and a 'Dirty Dirty Pike' (a Martini that I partially invented at Roxy's). A classy place with great drinks, great music, and friendly, real bartenders (not just beer-pourers!)
|'ROXY'S LOUNGE: ONE OF MY TOP 10 FAVORITE BARS EVER.|
And by the way, you remember my 52nd BOTB contest in which Duke Ellington and Nancy Wilson ended up in a tie over the song 'SATIN DOLL'? Well, that Battle occurred to me and was inspired by the piano player at Roxy's Lounge. Thanks to Gil, the cool, mafioso-looking man behind the keys.
Tonight I'll have a little Grand Marnier over ice in my special silver GraMar cup while I watch 'HEAVEN CAN WAIT' (1943) and 'TOMBSTONE' (1993) back-to-back, and figure out which one is going to make my '25 Favorite Movies' list. And after that, the purification process begins.
Buttermilk and Jesus, here I come!
~ Stephen T. McCarthy