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Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
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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 15th of each month and six days later, on the 21st, I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.
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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!
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[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

THE SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE (Or, 1980: INNOCENCE LOST - Blog Bit 8)



I always had a fairly pronounced moral sense and strongly felt that "lovemaking" was not something to be taken lightly. I never believed in free love and one-night-stands. And that is the reason I decided to lose my virginity in a whorehouse.

[Yes, yes, that was meant to be funny.]

Now wait a minute! That’s not quite as crazy as it sounds when you apply a little pretzel logic to it. You see, I had reached a point where I was determined to put my “virgin” label to bed. And I knew a couple of girls whom I was certain would sleep with me... if I begged enough. But I didn’t want to make love and run; I didn’t want to give some girl the false impression that I had genuine feelings for her when all I really wanted was...

So, it seemed to make sense to me that I should lose that label in a businesslike manner where emotions were not involved and no misunderstandings possible.

And let's face it, when you have a serious physical problem you don't trust it to anyone but a "professional", am I right?

This next part may sound a bit psychotic or something, but in a sense my life has always seemed sort of like a movie to me. There's always been some aspect of my mind that's remained "outside", sort of observing my life and thoughts as if it's watching - and sometimes even directing - a movie that's being filmed or played.

So, one night, I got out my LP (that was a big, round and flat, black piece of vinyl) of 'Paul Simon's Greatest Hits, Etc.' and I played Paul Simon’s song Duncan. I drank a couple of St. Pauli Girl beers (because "You never forget your first girl") and then drove to a cathouse on La Cienega in West Hollywood, located in the shadow of the Playboy Club on Sunset Boulevard. And there I took care of business, doing the wrong thing for the right reason.


WHOREHOUSE  IN  THE  FOREGROUND;  HUGH  HEFNER'S  SUNSET  BOULEVARD  'PLAYBOY  CLUB'  IN  THE  BACKGROUND.

And so that’s the story of how I misplaced my virginity. I had entered that house of ill repute, laid it down somewhere, and I never saw it again.

Innocence Lost... Pair-a-dice Found.

I can assure you that when I played 'Duncan' that night in 1980, at that point in my life I didn't have the faintest idea what "the Pentecost" was. Hokey-Smoke, have I learned a lot since then!


'Duncan' by Paul Simon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ingAKyJ3i5I
 

Couple in the next room
They're bound to win a prize
They've been going at it all night long
Well, I'm trying to get some sleep
But these motel walls are cheap
Lincoln Duncan is my name
And here's my song, here's my song.


My father was a fisherman
My mama was the fisherman's friend
And I was born in the boredom
And the chowder
So when I reached my prime
I left my home in the Maritimes
Headed down the turnpike for
New England, sweet New England


Holes in my confidence
Holes in the knees of my jeans
I was left without a penny in my pocket
Oo-we I was about destituted
As a kid could be
And I wished I wore a ring
So I could hock it, I'd like to hock it.


I saw a young girl in a parking lot
Preaching to a crowd
Singing Sacred songs and
Reading from the Bible
Well I told her I was lost
And she told me all about the Pentecost
And I seen that girl as the road to my survival


Just later on the very same night
When I crept to her tent with a flashlight
And my long years of innocence ended
She took me to the woods sayin'
"Here comes somethin' and it feels so good!"
And just like a dog I was befriended
I was befriended


Oh, oh, what a night
Oh, what a garden of delight
Even now that sweet memory lingers
I was playin' my guitar
Lying underneath the stars
Just thankin' the Lord for my fingers
For my fingers


My previous blog bits pertaining to 'The Soundtrack Of My Life' (TSOML) can be found by clicking the links below:

TSOML #1 - Prelude To An Introduction
TSOML #2- Introduction
TSOML #3 - 1959

TSOML #4 - 1967
TSOML #5 - 1974
TSOML #6 - 1978

TSOML #7 - Late 1978


For more TSOML participants, visit the blog of GIRL WONDER ('Your Daily Dose') by clicking HERE.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Monday, February 15, 2016

2016, FEB. 15: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, POST-SUPER BOWL GLOATFEST: ERIC CLAPTON AND THE BAND VS. GARY MOORE)

Yes, it’s time once again for Battle Of The Bands’ (‘BOTB’).

Alright, let’s get on it...


Most of you BOTBers weren't participating in this blogfest two years ago today, when I published my "Post-Super Bowl Blowout Special Edition" of Battle Of The Bands. That was when the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl 48, and for BOTB I used the song "Get Out Of Denver" by Bob Seger (against the Eddie & The Hot Rods cover version).

Here we are two years later to the very day, and this time the five and a half point underdog Denver Broncos have defeated the seemingly invincible and cocky-as-hell Carolina Panthers led by egomaniac jackass Cam "Superman" Newton. We're calling this one the "Post-Super Bowl Gloatfest Special Edition" (Or, "STMcC'S Excessive Celebrating").

I'll start by saying that Cam Newton's Papa and my Papa are One and the same. We were both created by the same Father in Heaven. Therefore, it is my sincere hope that someday Newton will find some humility. Instead of believing his own press clippings and being so full and overflowing of himself, he ought to take to heart the words of Jesus: "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11) 

The problem with Cam "Superman" Newton (but didn't he LOVE that nickname though?) and the rest of his cocky, over-confident team was that they thought all they had to do was SHOW UP for Super Bowl 50 and it was all over. But Denver had other ideas. 

I call him "Shaft Newton" because Cam just thinks he is So-ooooooo Coo-oooo-ool.
Shaft
Who's the black private dick
That's a sex machine to all the chicks?
(Shaft!)
You're damn right
Who is the man
That would risk his neck for his brother man?
(Shaft!)
Can ya dig it?
Who's the cat that won't cop-out
When there's danger all about?
(Shaft!)
Right on
You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother--

(Oops! The Broncos Shut yo' mouth!)


Some folks be tryin' to say that Whitey don't like Cam because he be Black. And college-educated Cam, he say: “I’ve said this since day one. I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.”

In a way, he's right. I ain't never seen no quarterback-"cat" before who "copped-out" when there was "danger all about" and didn't try to recover his own fumble when his team was down by only 6 points with 4 minutes left to play in the biggest sporting event on the planet. Yep! Cam "Superman" Newton, he be one-of-a-kind! 

As far as his being Black is concerned, I couldn't care less. When I was a kid, my favorite baseball player was this guy...

VON  JOSHUA  -  DODGERS'  OUTFIELDER

And as an adult, my all-time favorite football player is this guy...


Race don't mean nuttin' to me! I don't care what a person's skin color is. If they have no sense of humility, if they rub their opponent's nose in it every time they defeat them and dance around like a clown (or "Dab" around like a jerkwad) to celebrate their superiority over their opponent, I don't like 'em - period. 

I didn't like Muhammad Ali's antics (even though I never took them too seriously). And White athletes whom I've strongly disliked because of their "over-the-top" celebrations and/or over-inflated egos are Mark Gastineau, Brian Bosworth, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers.

All season long Cam smiled BIG for the camera, danced, "Dabbed", pretended to pull his jersey open to reveal a pretend Superman emblem on his chest. And he mocked his opponents by taking team pictures while the Panthers were still in the process of crushing their rivals.

Cam had said that if other teams didn't like his dancing and excessive celebrating, then they should just stop him from scoring. That's exactly what Denver did in Super Bowl 50 while sacking him six times and forcing him to fumble twice. Both of his fumbles resulted in touchdowns for Denver, accounting for the 14-point margin of victory for Denver. The Broncos did what Cam requested and then Cam didn't like it. He didn't like it so much that he fell to the turf in a tantrum...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deA5FOwG5po 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU0HDo_v9No 


..."Superman" decided not to risk his body to recover his own fumble... 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJhdVrnSGUE 


...and after giving very curt answers in the post-game interview, he scowled and abruptly got up and left after only 2 or 3 minutes...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld0zRn-sW0w 


"Superman" my ass! Try "spoiled rotten, race card-hustling, 'African-American' brat who's had it way too good for his own good!" (This Whitey writing this blog bit wishes he had been blessed with all that Cam Newton got free-of-charge from God!)

There's nothing wrong with Cam that a healthy dose of reality won't cure. (Let's hope that his crushing Super Bowl defeat was enough. Although I doubt it will be. Overcoming 26 years of a sense of Corporate-Socialist Entitlement is not undone in one Super Bowl loss.) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd5YvzK3zW 


The first 3 minutes of this video HERE should give you all the Cam Newton bullshit you can stomach.

After Super Bowl Sunday (which was played on neutral turf in San Francisco), the Social Media was awash in anti-Cam comments. Here are some I liked...

 Sing it, Cam: "I left my cape in San Francisco..."
✈ Superman turned into The Incredible Sulk.
 "Superman" Cam jumped back from that fumbled football like it was kryptonite!
 I cam, I saw (stars), I didn't conquer.
✈ Q: Why is Cam Newton like a Fig Newton? A: They are both soft and crumble under pressure.
 The guy could cure cancer and he'd still be a dick.

I woke up the morning after the Super Bowl with the following song in my mind. It had been on my "To Use In BOTB Someday" list since Day 1. I had no idea why I woke up with it on the brain that Monday morning, but when I played it, suddenly the "Bad Karma" lyrics answered the riddle.

Further on up the road
Someone's gonna hurt you like you hurt me ...
Further on up the road,
Baby, just you wait and see.


You gotta reap just what you sow;
That old saying is true ... 

Just like you mistreat someone,
Someone's gonna mistreat you.
 

You been laughing, pretty baby,
Someday you're gonna be crying ... 

Further on up the road
You'll find out I wasn't lying
 

Cam, all da crap you DO gonna come back to YOU! 

Here are your contestants; choose the version of this Blues-Rock classic you prefer. But remember, it's about the music ONLY, and not the visuals. 

First, the influential 'THE BAND' (one of my favorite Roots Rock groups ever). On Thanksgiving night in 1976, they played their final concert together (called "The Last Waltz") and guesting on songs with them was a slew of really famous friends - A-list Rock and Blues artists.

I really like how at the 49-second mark, when Clapton's guitar strap suddenly popped off, Robbie Robertson - like the pro he was - immediately stepped in with a blistering impromptu lead until Clapton was put back together and ready to resume the lead guitar spot. For anyone who's worked in theatre, you know it's like being ready to step in and save the day when a fellow actor has forgotten their line. You always gotta be able to ad lib if necessary: 

'FURTHER ON UP THE ROAD' - Eric Clapton with The Band
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WDmMWF83x4


In my 37th BOTB contest one year and two weeks ago, Gary Moore went up against guitar god Stevie Ray Vaughan and beat him 11-6. Can he pull off another upset underdog victory against the legendary Eric Clapton backed by the equally legendary "THE" Band? Can Moore play Broncos to Eric's Panthers? We'll see...

'FURTHER ON UP THE ROAD' - Gary Moore
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bzi7WCfD0nI


After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.) 

Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JANIE JUNEBUG, RIGHTING & EDITINGby clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'NOVELBREWS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE
@ 'REINVINTAGED' by clicking HERE.
@ 'HOLLI'S HOOTS & HOLLERS' by clicking HERE. 
@ 'EVIL POP TART' by clicking HERE.

As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections. 

~ Stephen T. McCarthy 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

TRIBUTE TO BOB AND ANDY (Or, TRIBUTE TO ANDY AND BOB)

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The comedic genius BOB ELLIOTT (one half of the genius comedy duo Bob [Elliott] & Ray [Goulding]) has passed away. Shoot 'n' beggorra! There are so few comedic geniuses that we can't afford to lose any o' dem!


I learned this sad news the other day from my good friend Sheboyganboy Six (you read his comments in my comment sections every time you go to read my comment sections).

"Why", you ask, "did Sheboyganboy Six send you this sad news?"

Well, because it was Sheboyganboy Six who introduced me to the old time radio comedy brilliance of BOB & RAY a number of years ago. (He also sent me his cassette collection of their comedic genius when he upgraded to compact discs.)

"Why", you ask, "do you call him Sheboyganboy Six when his real name isn't Sheboyganboy Six?"

Well, because I fell in love with BOB & RAY, thanks to Sheboyganboy Six, and the theme music for the BOB & RAY radio comedy show was a tune titled 'Mention My Name In Sheboygan'...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vLj1-ZPR3M


"Why," you ask, "does the mention of---"
OH,  STOP  ASKING  SO  DAMNED  MANY  QUESTIONS,  WILL  YA?!

These next two pictures were taken by me, personally, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, circa 2010 exactly! Copy 'n' paste 'em on yer own blog and see if I don't sue the crap outta ya! (You'll never read a newspaper again!)

DAIRY  QUEEN  -  SHEBOYGAN,  WI.
POLITICAL  PARK  -  SHEBOYGAN,  WI.

There were way, Way, WAY too many wonderful BOB & RAY radio skits for me to mention here, but one of my favorites of their ongoing series of stories - which were never really going on to any particular conclusion - was 'Matt Neffer, Boy Spot-Welder'

Consarn-it all! I still haven't decided which I love more, 'Matt Neffer' or 'Tippy, The Wonder Dog'.

'Tippy' was protly funnier, but 'Matt Neffer' was more weirder. And God knows how much I love bizarre comedy:
 
'MATT NEFFER, BOY SPOT-WELDER' - BOY & RAY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCWwNalykBY


And while we're yakkin' 'bout bizarre comedy, I'm reminded of the comment I just left on my friend Dixie Polka's blog:

>>... "The theme from TAXI, MASH, HILL STREET BLUES, BARNEY MILLER, MOONLIGHTING, THE ROCKFORD FILES - man, I love dat stuffs! It's "REAL" music!"

My own comment inspired me to go to YouTube and listen to some of the theme music I'd mentioned. And that somehow led me to the following video which had me laughing so loud and so long that I began to fear my trailer park neighbors would begin banging on my front door and yelling at me to STFU! (How loud are you laughing when you disturb the trailer trash around you?!)

Like Bob & Ray, ANDY KAUFMAN was a full-on comedic GENIUS! I loved the guy! ("John Wayne!-John Wayne!") I caught him on the Johnny Carson show at the start of his career (well before 'Taxi') and the guy totally knocked me out wrestled me to the ground!

'Tony Danza Discusses Andy Kaufman' 
You GOTTA click this link, because they won't let us embed it on our blogs. But it's friggin' hilarious, so click it, damn-it! Click it and wake up the trailer trash around ya!...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZWDB5rUWEg

Andy, please come back now! We know you faked your death and you can come back "ONLY when it's funny". But it'll be funny NOW! So, please come back... and bring Bob Elliott with you!

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Monday, February 1, 2016

2016, FEB. 1: BATTLE OF THE BANDS / LOST AND FOUND VALENTINE'S BLOGFEST (Or, TONY BENNETT VS. ASTRUD GILBERTO)


There are some things that just naturally work well together. (Don't worry, I'm not going to go there!) Some of those elements that come immediately to my mind (aside from that!) are...

Simon & Garfunkel; Laurel & Hardy; Rocky & Bullwinkle; Andy & Barney; Peanut Butter & Jelly; Roy Rogers & Trigger (Roy probably loved Dale Evans a little bit, also); Rock & Roll; Rhythm & Blues; Cheech Y Chong ("We're just here together and, uh - I mean, like, we're not TOGETHER, you know, like, THAT way!" ~Cheech Marin); Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn; Lewis & Clark; Fish & Chips; Chips & Dip; Peas & Carrots; Gin & Tonic; Romeo & Juliet; Jane & Tarzan; Lady & The Tramp; Me & Bobby McGee; Me & Mrs. Jones; Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard; Batman & Robin & Catwoman (there's something to be said for an A-list comic book ménage à trois!); Cats & Dogs; Nick & Nora Charles; Bob & Ray (genius radio comedians well ahead of their time); Yo-Ho-Ho & A Bottle Of Rum; Baseball & Beer; Peanuts & Beer; Pizza & Beer; Beer & Beer; and The Beer Boys: Bryan & Brandon of the website 'A Beer For The Shower'.

I believe another good match is the bi-monthly 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') blogfest and the new kid on the block - the 'LOST & FOUND VALENTINE'S' blogfest. Heck, even their respective logos look good together:


When Arlee Bird asked me if I wanted to participate in 'Lost & Found Valentine's' blogfest, I immediately said, "Hell no!" 

Naw. Actually, I said, "Sure. Why not?" I mean, all I needed to do was use a BOTB song related to the theme of the blogfest (Lost Love, Found Love, or Lost & Found Love). How difficult could it be? (Although I opted for "Love Found & Lost".)

And as a matter of fact, I already had an entry on my list of "Songs To BOTB Someday" that is one of my favorites of all time, and it had been patiently relaxing on my list for over two years, just waiting for the perfect moment to make its BOTB grand entrance.

But there is no "i" in "Romance", therefore "i" have decided to use a love song that is NOT about romantic love. At least, my personal history dictates that this song is about familial love rather than romantic love, although most of the world "shirley" interprets it differently.

When I was a boy, we had a portable music-playing machine - something my Maternal Grandpa probably picked up at a garage sale and gave to my Ma. It was either an 8-track player or small, portable reel-to-reel tape player. We only had a couple of tapes we could play on it, but one of those tapes contained the beautifully haunting song 'THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE', which was a huge favorite for my Ma. And over time, that haunting melody permeated my soul. 

Today, 'The Shadow Of Your Smile' must be one of my Top 30 favorite songs ever composed. 

"The shadow of your smile, when you are gone..."

Naturally, it instantly reminds me of my Mom, Shirley, who has been "gone" since July 9, 2005 at 8:21 PM - the moment when she went Home to God. I think of her often, even though I KNOW I'll see her again someday (my Pa, too), and sooner than later.

Alright, let’s get on it...

EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER

Wackypedia sez:
"The Shadow of Your Smile", also known as "Love Theme from The Sandpiper" ... was written by Johnny Mandel with the lyrics written by Paul Francis Webster. The song was introduced in the 1965 film 'The Sandpiper', with a trumpet solo by Jack Sheldon [remember that name, you'll need it later] and later became a minor hit for Tony Bennett (Johnny Mandel arranged and conducted his version as well). It won the Grammy Award for the 'Song Of The Year' and the Academy Award for 'Best Original Song'. In 2004 the song finished at #77 in 'AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs' poll of the top tunes in American cinema.
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GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS


Let The Battle Begin...

'THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE' -- Tony Bennett

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2J59SFM4iY
>
   
GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG

Astrud Gilberto is a Bossa-Nova singer best known for the best known version of the song 'The Girl From Ipanema' (it went to #5 on the Billboard chart in 1964).

'THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE' -- Astrud Gilberto

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clokKSK_0AQ

RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN

Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whoever you are) to vote for your favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. 

After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JANIE JUNEBUG, RIGHTING & EDITINGby clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'NOVELBREWS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE
@ 'REINVINTAGED' by clicking HERE.
@ 'HOLLI'S HOOTS & HOLLERS' by clicking HERE

As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.

I urge you to visit other participants in the 'LOST  &  FOUND  VALENTINE'S' blogfest by clicking HERE, which will lead you to Arlee Bird's blog with the official blogfest 
Linky-Link... I thinky-think.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy