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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.]

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

THE SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE (Or, 1980: A FRIEND WITH A VIEW - Blog Bit 9)

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In 1989, one of my two best friends was killed when a carjacker trying to outrun the cops in Los Angeles ran a red light. Marty Brumer, my acting buddy and as good a friend as anyone ever had, just happened to be coming through that intersection on the green light. He was killed instantly.

Newspaper story HERE.
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PUBLICITY  PHOTO
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INTERSECTION  WHERE  MARTY  DIED
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MARTY'S  GRAVESITE

Marty ("it rhymes with party!") and I sometimes made cassette mix-tapes for each other. Circa 1980, he put one together for me titled 'ODE TO STEPHEN T. McCARTHY', and it's that very same cassette tape you see pictured above, toward the top of the page, with my mug on the cover of it.

I used to tell Marty that "no one will ever REALLY know me". For some reason, I think that used to infuriate Marty to some degree, which, of course, made me say it all the more often. I used to love dogging him with that line and with the Bob Dylan song 'POSITIVELY 4th STREET', but that's a story for another time.

I guess one day "Party" Marty decided he was going to PROVE to me that he REALLY knew me, so he recorded 'ODE TO STEPHEN T. McCARTHY' and gave it to me. This was basically a musical soundtrack of Marty Brumer's personal insights into the real me. 

I gotta admit it - considering the fact that no one will ever REALLY know me - Marty captured my essence pretty well. 

Here's the Side Two song list:

'Epitaph' by King Crimson
'Hide In Your Shell' by Supertramp
'Rock 'N' Roll Suicide' by David Bowie
'Friends' by Elton John
'He's Misstra Know-It-All' by Stevie Wonder
'The Great Gig In The Sky' by Pink Floyd

But it was really Side One where Marty humorously went after me and got it spot-on... [Yeah, laugh it up, funny boy!]

Side One contained only ONE SONG, played over and over and over and over - it was thirty straight minutes of...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKY-smJ6aBQ

'I AM A ROCK' by Simon & Garfunkel
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My previous blog bits pertaining to 'The Soundtrack Of My Life' (TSOML) can be found by clicking the links below:
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TSOML #1 - Prelude To An Introduction
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TSOML #2- Introduction 
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TSOML #3 - 1959  
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TSOML #4 - 1967
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TSOML #5 - 1974
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TSOML #6 - 1978
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TSOML #7 - Late 1978  
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TSOML #8 - 1980
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For more TSOML participants, visit the blog of GIRL WONDER ('Your Daily Dose') by clicking HERE.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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26 comments:

  1. That is so sad about Marty. Why is it that the driver who kills others never seems to even get hurt in the accident?? I love the "I Am a Rock" idea on one whole side of the cassette! And were you REALLY known at Stephen T even way back then?? AND, did you ever smile in any of your photos since you were a kid? I'd like to see some.....one....

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    1. BROWN-EYED BECKY-O! ~
      Sorry I'm a bit late responding here. Been kinda busy (trying to get my life back together again).

      Funny you noticed that. Yes, it's pretty rare to find me smiling in photos. Although I guess many people think of me as goofy, humorous, light-hearted, there's a real serious side underneath, and that's the part that seems to come to the surface most when the camera clicks.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  2. I remember reading this on your Stuffs blog. You know that I included this in my SOML, too. I discovered S&G in high school. I bought The Sounds of Silence record via Columbia mail-order (remember that???) Anyway, I would listen to that song over and over again. Kind of a pain really, because I'd have to get up off my bed and move the needle back on the record to replay the song.

    I think maybe we all feel a bit unknowable. Like someone may know us to a degree, but we are largely unknown to even the people who love us best/most. I support that argument with the fact that so many people resonate to this song. Which says that if even if we're all wrong (and more knowable than we think), we all still feel lonesome.

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  3. I almost meant to say in that last comment that your friend Marty looks so kind in his picture. Something about his eyes, I think. I look at him and think, "He looks like a really nice person." I don't know how he got away with those "criminal" roles they mentioned in that article you linked to... I guess he was also a really fine actor!

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    1. GIRL WONDER ~
      Dang! I didn't remember you using 'I AM A ROCK' in your TSOML. Hey, you wanna be an island, you wanna be TOTALLY ALONE... together? Ha!

      I believe you have some valid insights in that second paragraph. I think one thing that always convinced me that no one could really know the "me" of me was the "GoldenShadow" thing I knew and felt. I always believed that was unique to me because I had NEVER seen or heard anyone else attempt to describe it.

      But then when I discovered that C.S. Lewis felt it, too, and afterwards learned that my Brother knew it also, I felt a lot less "unknowable".

      Yeah, Marty was a great guy; there wasn't anything he wouldn't do for me, there was no trouble he wouldn't help me through. And, yes, he was a talented actor - probably would have had a lifelong career.

      That photo I used, however, always looks "odd" to me, because Marty did not usually wear a beard. Therefore, it looks out of place to my eyes. And he had a goofy kind of personality. We had a couple big arguments, but we always got past them. And then there would be Marty again, asking me, "HOW'S YER URINATION?" Ha! Like I said, goofy!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    2. http://yourdailydose-robin.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-soundtrack-of-my-life-me-myself-and.html

      That is the soundtrack post to which I was referring. You'll probably remember it when you see it again.

      There is another song I'll use later in my soundtrack journey. Believe it or not, this thing is going to start moving a lot faster. And then slow down and speed back up. There are times in my life wherein it feels like so much is happening, but there are other times in which it feels like NOTHING happens for years at a time. I'm in a stagnation period right now. Have been for a long time. I must not hate it too much or I'd change it. It's been almost seven years. I'm starting to feel itchy. That's about how long they usually last before I decide to do something and shake the box.

      I veered off the track.

      I will share with you one of my future songs, since it's still fairly far into the future. But, it also addresses this feeling of being unknowable... or have sides that no one really sees.

      There is a line that goes, "There is a me you would not recognize dear, Call it the shadow of myself."

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oete0_3i7Q

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    3. GIRL WONDER ~
      Yep. I remember that blog bit. And see how thoroughly I forgave you for stealing my song? That was only a year ago and I had forgotten about it completely.

      But now that you've reminded me...

      I'd never heard of that band before, nor heard the song. It's pretty slow but the sincerity in the singer's voice makes it good.

      In fact, there are points in her singing that really reminded me of Rickie Lee Jones and the character her voice takes on when doing ballads.

      Believe it or not, I'm hoping (hoping, not promising) to get another TSOML blog bit posted BEFORE the next BOTB on May 1st. We'll see if that happens.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  4. That is so sad about your friend. He sounds like he was an amazing friend. He knew how to put a smile on your face and he showed he cared. So tragic about the senseless death.

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    1. Thanks, JEFFY.
      I also still have another cassette mix-tape he made for me called 'A SMILE A DAY MAKES HAPPINESS STAY', and it's filled with a lot of fun stuffs.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  5. I remember reading about this in past blog posts. It is truly a story filled with so much irony that it's almost a "where else but L.A.?" type of story. This could be a movie script which would add even more irony to the story if a film about the incident and Marty's life actually came to fruition.

    Any idea what happened to that driver Toraino Leon Young? What ironies surround that guy's life?

    Side One of the mix tape was a perceptive and witty move. Such a shame that the world lost such a cool guy as Marty.

    Have you considered writing something more than a blog post about this? The story would make such a great film.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. LEE ~
      Regarding the car thief who killed Marty, I do know what happened to him because I attended the trial.

      He was found guilty and went to prison for some very extended period of time. I can't recall the number of years - it wasn't "life" but it was decades.

      I attended the trial to MAKE SURE that something resembling justice was done. Because if it HADN'T been (which is so often the case), I was going to take care of Toraino myself with a little "street justice".

      It was also kind of ironic that from the intersection where Marty was killed you can see the "Hollywood" sign on the hillside in the distance.

      I can't really imagine writing a screenplay about this story, but it WOULD be a fitting tribute to Marty. His life story (short as it was) becoming a Hollywood motion picture would be wild. He'd get a helluva good laugh out of that.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  6. So sad about Marty. Sounds like a great friend,

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    1. EPT, he was as good a friend as anyone has ever had. What a loss to so many people!

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  7. Stephen,

    Ahhhh, Marty. Can't believe it has been so long. He died when I was away, I think in Ireland and England. I remember Jacinda said I'd better call you and I did. In a way I'm glad I was away. I missed alot of the grief. I remember Marty's intensity as he tried to talk me out of drinking way back when. I also remember his kindness in sharing his Photography talents with me. A true American tragedy. Keeping a stiff upper lip is difficult when your lower lip is trembling.
    JW,
    Pooh

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    1. AND POOH...
      I don't remember the phone call, but everything was blurred by a haze of grief and disbelief.

      He really had his work cut out for him in trying to convince you to give up the booze, what with "those McCarthy boys" being such a bad influence on ya. :o)

      Did you notice the bottle of orange juice in the photo of his gravesite? I left that there for him (NOT from concentrate!) Remember how he'd be drinking orange juice and bottled water while we were juiced on the "juice"? How bizarre that the guy who took the best care of himself was one of the first to go!

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    2. Guardian Angels, Guardian Angels, and proably the prayers of our Mothers is what saved us.

      I remember the juice, we did a redux of that I believe on one of your visits years ago. It was eerie as the shadow of the Juice pointed to Marty's Name. I do remember giving him sh*t about drinking orange juice. I guess his work in this realm was done. Sad too that he had the safest car among us as well. As they say, its good to be good but its better to be lucky! Or better said, its good to be good but its better to be blessed.
      JW,
      Pooh

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    3. Oh, Lelly posted a link to Mink DeVille's Cadillac Walk. Brought back some memories of the old days. For some reason I thought that was ZZ Top. Up! I'm an Idiot.
      Pooh

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    4. AND POOH, THAT'S NOT ALL!...
      Yeah, now that you mention it, I DO remember the "O.J. Redux".

      Also, now that you mention it, I can see how you might have thought 'CADILLAC WALK' was ZZ Top. I never thought about it before but there IS a kind of similar sound on some songs.

      'CADILLAC WALK' is great, but 'SHE'S SO TOUGH' will always be my favorite Mink DeVille song.

      Tune in here again soon because I'm hoping to have a new 'Soundtrack' post up tomorrow and you WON'T want to miss this one!

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  8. This must be something you cherish greatly and deeply. It's nice that you have it and I hope you still listen to it. It is so very sad that you lost such a great friend all those years ago but now we know just a little bit about him through you. It's nice that he is still here with you even if it's not physically.

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    1. Thanks, BIRGIT.
      Unfortunately, yesterday I discovered that the tape doesn't play well anymore. Then again, it could be the player. I'll have to try it on another.

      But I'm glad I made a listing of the songs in their order, so I can always recreate the listening experience. And certainly the cassette and its case I will have until the day I also die, regardless of whether or not it can still be played.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  9. It is a very sad story, and reminds me of several similar experiences in my own life and family. A cousin, an aunt, and my son's best friend were all taken before their time in car accidents. Two of the perps were drunk and speeding. One ran a light. No carjackers, though. This sort of thing is like an unexpected electric shock of evil.

    Marty does indeed look very kind, as Robin said. He also looks... happy.

    I am very surprised at the list of songs!! A couple I would not have expected to by anywhere CLOSE to a story of your life. Guess that shows you how little I know you!

    Bowie? I thought you hated Bowie! King Crimson? You HATE prog rock! I am also surprised to see Elton John and Stevie Wonder on any list of "your essence"!!!! !!!

    Shocked, I tell you.

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    1. SHEBOYGANBOY #6 ~

      >>... an unexpected electric shock of evil.

      That expresses it quite well.

      Another good insight: I would say that Marty was perhaps the happiest person I knew back then. Sure, he had his down moments like everyone does, but overall he was nearly always in a good, happy mood. He had a pretty good life, and I don't think evil or great disappointments factored into his experiences much, until... he unexpectedly met Toraino.

      >>... Guess that shows you how little I know you!

      Well, for one thing, I've changed some since 1980. Quite a bit, actually.

      And bear in mind that those songs were MARTY'S impressions of me. They aren't necessarily songs I would have selected to represent myself (with the exceptions of 'I AM A ROCK' and 'THE GREAT GIG IN THE SKY').

      And, yes indeed, I do dislike Bowie's music, and I do hate ProgRock. And not coincidentally, those are the two songs on the tape that I really just put up with. They go down a little easier though knowing that Marty so profoundly associated them with me.

      I actually like a good amount of Stevie Wonder's music and own 2 CDs of it.

      I don't own any Elton John, but that song, 'FRIENDS', is unique on this tape. I don't think Marty ever told me this, as it would have been unnecessary, but... just as he was "giving me the business" with 'HE'S MISSTRA KNOW-IT-ALL', I always took 'FRIENDS' to be a testament to our friendship.

      'FRIENDS' was a nod to the great relationship Marty and I had. That song was more about "us" than it was about "me". Or maybe it was his reminder to me about his genuine feelings toward me. [JOHN WAYNE! JOHN WAYNE!]

      And incidentally, I LOVE that Elton John song. Always have. I had the LP it came from (a soundtrack for an obscure movie that I've never seen but would like to someday). I played that album quite a bit. Particularly the one side with songs. (The other side was an instrumental suite of pretty boring neo-Classical "movie music".)

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  10. HA!

    I also love that EJ song. I bought (and still own) that same soundtrack LP, I bought the sheet music even though I didn't play music, and in fact I HAVE A COPY OF THAT MOVIE on VHS! It was a fav of my cousin, so I bought it for her and copied it before giving it to her.

    You, ah... want I should send it to ya? I still have "the bad penny" on the shelf waiting for its next trip south.

    I saw the movie in an art theater in my college days. It really was sort of a "tone poem" for the eyes. I liked it although it was not "great." I thought it was good. It was shot backlit, often fuzzy; it had a very nebulous love story and some good music. I even like the long, wordless number EJ/BT composed - which you mentioned you did NOT like. I really liked Elton in those early, early days. He lost me after Yellow Brick Road.

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    1. SHEBOYGANBROTHER SIX ~
      I didn't know Elton's earliest stuffs but I owned most of his albums from 'FRIENDS' to and including 'ROCK OF THE WESTIES'. And that's where he and I went our separate ways.

      Six, I would LOVE for you to send me the VHS copy of 'FRIENDS'! I'll watch it (twice if I like it) and then ship it back in "The Bad Penny". Man, that would be GREAT!

      That's so funny because yesterday, after typing my comment response to yours, I went looking for it. I found that the entire 'FRIENDS' soundtrack is available free at Spotify as part of a collection titled 'RARE MASTERS'. I saved that to my account and listened to it twice yesterday. (Surprisingly, I even liked the instrumental suite better'n I used to. Before, it struck me as just typical "aimlessly sawing away on strings Movie Music", but this time it sounded more structured. I guess my ears needed to mature. But I still like all the songs best.)

      Then I went looking for the movie. First, I checked to see if it had been released on DVD since I last searched for it years ago. Nope. But I found that it DID exist on VHS, however, no one had it. I would have purchased a reasonably priced used copy if one existed.

      I did find that you can stream it via AMAZON, but you KNOW I won't go there.

      So, by the end of the day I was thrilled to have the soundtrack free on my Spotify page, but disappointed that I still can't see the movie. I was resigned to the fact that I would die without ever seeing it.

      BUT!... then today I learn that you have it AND you have "The Bad Penny"! YES, PLEASE!

      Aside from the fact that I love the soundtrack songs, I've always wanted to see the movie mostly because the female spoken lines on the soundtrack always intrigued me. I LOVE that young woman's voice. I always thought she sounded like my Emily would / should.

      Thanks a million! I totally appreciate the offer, which I'm taking you up on.

      OK, I'm gonna post this comment and then go right outside and check my mail box...

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  11. Hey, I know those guys pictured above, both of em. One maybe better than the other, although I've never met either 'in the flesh' so to speak.

    A tragedy like this serves to teach us that we need to love those who are dear to us, while we have the chance and keep them close, because one never knows what awaits at the next intersection of life.

    BUT, I have some good news, Marty is still your friend and loves you dearly. He wants what's best for you in what you have left of this life. Now, all you need to do is sit still and listen, 'Misstra know-It-All'. Ha, ha, ha, I love that one the best. Yeah, you're a rock, with a soft marshmallow center. Hey, maybe you're more like a tootsie pop; you know, hard candy shell with a soft gooey tootsie roll center.

    Just so you know, I had to take the time to find a 'hot spot', so I could comment to this post before it got covered up. (things here are a monumental trail wreck.) Marty wouldn't have it any other way. What a great smile he has!

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  12. NITRO ~
    Sorry I'm so late in replying to your comment. Somehow I missed this one. You know I ALWAYS reply to comments, and if I were inclined to ignore any commenter, surely you know it would NEVER be YOU.

    This was a very good post, and the lesson you described in the second paragraph is one I learned prior to Marty's death:

    Kelly (aka Andy) and I had a disagreement and didn't speak to each other for quite some time. Then one day I found some rare (at that time) Van Morrison LPs I'd wanted for awhile and I returned home with them in a very elated mood.

    Kelly just happened to pull up to my house right after I did, and being in such a fine mood, I instantly forgave him and we spoke for awhile, reestablishing our long friendship.

    That was the last time I saw him. Not long later I learned he'd committed suicide. With horror do I think back on that and wonder how I'd have lived with myself if I'd spoken harshly to him and not forgiven him on the spot. I likely would have followed in his footsteps eventually.

    Hey, don't be calling me a "Tootsie Pop"! Nutty "Filbert" is bad enough.

    Yes, I know Marty lives and we will meet again someday. He'll call me "Misstra Know-It-All" and I'll beat him at arm wrestling just to prove to him (again) that he'll never overcome my strength. Ha!

    Thanks for the wonderful comment. I apologize again for missing it (NOT ignoring it)!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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