Monday, July 22, 2024

BOTB RESULTS: 2024, JULY 15 (Or, PINA COLADA Versus MARGARITA)


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My sincerely sincere gratitude to everyone who took the time to visit & vote on my July 15th BOTB's Battle Of The Booze installment which happened HERE.
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Warren Zevon's zong 'Werewolves Of London' (pina colada) went up against the other Warren Zevon's 'Desperados Under The Eaves' (margarita) and it was a very good Battle (meaning "a very close Battle").
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I really like a lot of Warren Zevon's zongs, and still own four of his albums on compact discs. My music collection wouldn't be complete without songs like 'Poor, Poor Pitiful Me'; 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead'; 'Carmelita'; 'Bad Karma'; 'Even A Dog Can Shake Hands'; 'The Heartache'; 'Ain't That Pretty At All'; 'Looking For The Next Best Thing'.
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And although 'Werewolves Of London' is essentially just a novelty song, I happen to love novelty songs. (Anything that can put a smile on my face in this pathetically sad world is A-OK by me!)
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However, 'Desperados Under The Eaves' has always been my very favorite Zevon zong. I won't drone on and on and on and on and on and on and bore you with all of the details that make 'Desperados...' my favorite of Warren's recordings. But I do want to say that I find the song very anthemic, in the way that it builds up, through the down-'n'-out paranoia of the beginning, to that very hopeful chorus and orchestra at the end.
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"LOOK AWAY DOWN GOWER AVENUE!"
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I've also always been intrigued by the mystery of this song. "Gower Avenue" is really a "Street", but I suppose Zevon called it an avenue for the additional syllables in the lyrics' meter. I don't know what Gower looks like today, but when I lived in helL.A., Gower was a very dirty, grungy, impoverished looking street that ran through the center of disappointing Hollywood. The only notable thing about Gower that I'm aware of is that it runs right alongside the western edge of Paramount Studios and the Hollywood Cemetery, which abuts Paramount to the north.
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I've always wondered what Zevon found hopeful (and maybe even salvational?) about Gower Street. Was it the fact that a historical dream-making facility like Paramount was located there, right in the middle of slumsville? Perhaps Warren found it funny that there in Hollywood, smack-dab against a major movie studio was a cemetery (the final resting place for Rudolph Valentino, Judy Garland, Cecil B. DeMille, Mickey Rooney, Tyrone Power, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mel Blanc). 
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At any rate, I've always loved the lyrics, the melody, and the strange, positive ending of 'Desperados Under The Eaves', so naturally that is where my vote landed, giving us this...
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FINAL TALLY:
Zevon's 'Werewolf' = 5 votes
Zevon's 'Desperados' = 6 votes

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'Desperados Under The Eaves' will advance to BOTB's Battle Of The Booze playoffs, while the 'Werewolf' drowns his sorrow in pina coladas at Traver Vic's.
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Thanks again, y'all. Please return for my next Battle on August 1st. "We are going to drink... > WINE!"
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Monday, July 15, 2024

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: JULY 15, 2024 (Or ZEVON Vs. ZEVON & PINA COLADA Vs. MARGARITA)


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Welcome to my Lucky 13th installment of BOTB's Battle Of The Booze
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My headbone went through so many different idears for this BOTB installment that I began to feel like a horse's patootie switching jackasses in midstream! I finally rolled the dice, flipped the coin, consulted my Magic 8-Ball and then settled on this: Zevon zong versus Zevon zong!
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I've always loved me some Warren Zevon. The dude had a twisted, sardonic sense o' humor, much like mine own. Warren has to be one of the most famous One-Hit-Wonders in music history. 
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1978: Zevon's zong 'Werewolves Of London' was just starting to get some radio airplay when I walked into the Licorice Pizza store on Wilshire Blvd. in helL.A. (Any of you old-timers remember that record store chain?) 
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Zevon's album 'Excitable Boy' was on display next to a sign that said if one bought the LP and didn't like it, they could return it for a FULL REFUND! That was exceedingly unusual in '78. Since I'd heard and liked the 'Werewolves' song, I purchased the album. 
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Did I return to Licorice Pizza? Yes, I did. But NOT to return the LP I'd purchased. I returned to buy his earlier album, the self-titled 'Warren Zevon', which I liked even better than 'Excitable Boy'. 
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Fun Fact: Zevon wrote the hit song 'Werewolves Of London' while in a friend's house in Venice, Italy helL.A. According to one source, the house was actually located along one of the Venice canals, where I used to hang out playing "Huckleberry Sawyer" on borrowed rafts in the very early '80s. I'd usually bring a bottle along to keep me company. The canals looked like this then:
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Venice canal in helL.A., photo by "Huckleberry Sawyer" (STMcC), circa 1982.
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Today, the rebuilt houses along those same canals go for multiple millions of buckaroos! (Look HERE! and dream on.)
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I saw a werewolf drinkin' a Piña Colada at Trader Vic's
And his hair was perfect! 
~ 'Werewolves Of London'
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In 'Desperados Under The Eaves' (1976), Zevon zang about drinking a whole lotta Margaritas, see?... 
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I was thinking that the gypsy wasn't lyin'
All the salty Margaritas in Los Angeles
I'm gonna drink 'em up
~ 'Desperados Under The Eaves'
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Fun Fact: Zevon's favorite place for Margaritas in Los Angeles was El Coyote Mexican restaurant. And I agreed with him on that point. It was El Coyote for Maggies but it was > Antonio's for Mexican cuisine. (Enchiladas Oaxaca! Hot-Dog!! Best food whole the world.
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OK, you know what to do: LVV! 
(Listen, Vote & Visit... the other BOTBers.)
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Alright, let's get on it. 
Let's get ON this thing!
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WEREWOLVES OF LONDON 
by Warren Zevon 
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DESPERADOS UNDER THE EAVES 
by Warren Zevon 
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I'll be Bach on or about July 22nd with my own vote & the final tally.
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~ Stephen T. "AAOOOOoooo" McCarthy

Monday, July 8, 2024

BOTB RESULTS: JULY 1, 2024 (Or, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Versus WAR)


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My sincere thanks to everyone who participated in my special 4th of July Battle Of The Bands contest which took place HERE. The songs were '4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)' by Bruce Springsteen & 'Whose Cadillac Is That?' by War. The music theme was related to The League Of Soul Crusaders sneaking into a big L.A. Fourth of July parade in 1983. 
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I really enjoyed reminiscing in the blog bit & comment section. The voting, however, was as one-sided as I'd anticipated. (The fake "working man" who, according to multiple sources never had even one real job in his entire life, took a beating!)
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FINAL TALLY: 
Bruce Springsteen = 2 votes  
War = 11 votes (including my own) 
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Miller & Mickie Darlin' - The League's "official" dog, who was even crazier than The League members were!
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"Filly-Waggit" ready for installation.
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Cranium, Napoleon & Torch on the roof of the Bay Street house. ("Filly-Waggit" is in the chimney.)
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STMcC (73.6% hungover) in line for Springsteen concert tickets, 1984.
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Torch & Lynthy-Pooh - June, 2024
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THE LEAGUE OF SOUL CRUSADERS 
Chapter 18: Eye Of The Storm 
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It is my wish to take this opportunity to shed a new light on the individuals who comprised what had become known as The League. I want to reveal a new dimension that will add more insight into our personalities and counterbalance our wild, barbaric exploits with something of a more civilized nature. And therefore, I go on record as stating that in all honesty there were indeed hours, even days, when not one vulgar word or noise (of mentionable volume) was emitted from the house on Bay Street. There were days when not so much as a sip of alcohol passed the lips of a single League member. There existed times when a great amount of intelligence was displayed, a concern for fellow human beings and, yes, even an astonishing sense of maturity. It is equally true, however, that these times were fairly rare.... which accounts for the brevity of this chapter. 
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Thanks again to everyone who "boted" in this Battle! I intend to return with a new Battle Of The Booze installment on July 15th, so y'all come back now, y'hear? 
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Monday, July 1, 2024

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: JULY 1, 2024 (Or, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Versus WAR)


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"The great ones have always broken the rules." 
~ Martin Crane (episode: 'Motor Skills')
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This time, we are taking a break from Battle Of The Booze in order to do a special 4th of July 'League Of Soul Crusaders' themed BOTB installment.
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As most of you already know, in the early 1980s, I was a member of a group of friends known as The League Of Soul Crusaders (TLOSC) in the Santa Monica "Dogtown" area. Sowing our youthful, wild oats, we were loud, rowdy & funny, and everyone wanted to party with us. Even people who didn't drink much wanted to party with us!
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The League was comprised of 6 primary members: Torch (the unofficial leader), Napoleon (a.k.a. Nappy), Twinkie, Lynthy-Pooh (a.k.a. General Poohregard, or Pooh for short), Cranium & myself. Each of us had a Ph.D. in Carpe Diem. There were also occasional fill-ins, or "pinch hitters" (a baseball term), such as Wally, Oscar, Dean, Kelly & Marty, et al.
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The genesis of TLOSC occurred on the day when Torch introduced himself to me on the set of the Gene Wilder movie 'The Frisco Kid'. Later, he introduced me to his buddy Lyle (Pooh) and, both of us being Thin Lizzy fans, we hit it off immediately. 
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The  League's comedic heroes were W.C. Fields, Laurel & Hardy, Monty Python, Benny Hill, The Three Stooges, Deputy Dawg & Wally George.
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We led the league in Most Amount Of Energy Expended In A Single Night, Most Number Of Jokes Told In A Night, Fastest & Funniest Ad-Libbing, Most Dangerous Stunts Involving Old Cadillacs & Other Autos, Highest Number Of Chess Pieces & Coconut Heads Knocked Down In A Night & other feats of astounding athleticism!
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The trunk of Cranium's 1959 Cadillac. RCA Victor's dog Nipper & his many 80-proof friends!
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The League Of Soul Crusaders inspired the creation of 2 poems, a 196-page single-spaced book manuscript, and a great Rock song (HERE).
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L-R: Twinkie, Nappy, Wally, Torch, Stephen (me) & Pooh, sitting on the roof of a bank, July 4, 1983.
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Two Things You Must Know For This Song Battle
1) At that time, all of the League members were big fans of Bruce Springsteen. One night in 1984, The League even rented a Winnebago and went to a Springsteen concert together. 
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2) We were most often seen together riding in Torch's 1964 Cadillac. Torch had taken a blowtorch to the Caddy and removed the metal roof, making it permanently topless; and he named the car "Tiburon" (Spanish for shark). We rode in Tiburon rain or shine!
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The League in Tiburon - 4th Of July Parade, 1983.
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Nappy in a Springsteen shirt & giving the "Beee!" sign.
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In Los Angeles there's a fancy-schmancy area called Brentwood, where an annual 4th of July Parade was held. In 1983 the parade included floats, marching bands, mounted cowboys, a motorcycle stunt team, mayors & various other city officials, as well as famous celebrities (Chevy Chase, Ted Knight & Dick Butkus).  The League decided that Tiburon should be in that parade so... we sneaked in.
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And that explains why this BOTB installment is between two radically different songs: Bruce Springsteen's 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) and WAR's Whose Cadillac Is That? 
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4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) 
by Bruce Springsteen
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1984: Stephen T. McCarthy & Lynthy-Pooh (both tired & hungover) waiting in line for Springsteen concert tickets. The night before, we'd ordered pizzas & had them delivered to "the six guys sitting on the couch at the intersection of 4th & Colorado in Santa Monica".
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Whose Cadillac Is That? 
by WAR
 
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Please vote in the comment section for the song you prefer, and then please visit the other BOTBers and vote in their Battles.
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🐝👌 EXTRA! EXTRA! ðŸðŸ‘Œ
READ ALL ABOUT IT!
4 or 5 weeks before Christmas in '83, I got the idea to write the full story of The League Of Soul Crusaders and present a copy of it to each of my friends as a Christmas gift. So, I disappeared from their lives during that time, and a couple of them mistakenly thought that I was snubbing them & acting stuck-up.
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Boy, were they in for a surprise when I gave each of them a copy of "the book" on Christmas Eve
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I had to write & type the 196-page manuscript as fast as possible. Time was of the essence, and there were occasions when I was mentally composing the chapters while simultaneously typing them! It was the roughest of rough drafts. And therefore, "the book" contained countless typographical errors, improper punctuation, and incorrect words. I had no - zero, zilch, nada - time to make corrections on the typewritten pages. It was an AS-IS project. 
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Should anyone be interested in reading the pages from 'The League Of Soul Crusaders' which addressed our sneaking into the 1983 4th Of July Parade -- to learn how it happened & how the police and parade spectators reacted to our intrusion -- you'll find links below:
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{Click on the images to enlarge them for reading}
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy 

Sunday, June 23, 2024

BOTB RESULTS: JUNE 15, 2024 (Or, THE BLUES BROTHERS Versus VAN MORRISON)

 
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The outcome of my latest BOTB's Battle Of The Booze came as a surprise to me. The contest took place HERE and it was between 'Hey, Bartender' by The Blues Brothers and 'If You Only Knew' by Van Morrison. I half-expected The Blues Brothers would have some difficulty keeping up with Van-The-Man, but in this case, the underdog didn't know it was a damn show, they thought it was a damn fight!
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My own vote was never in question because for many years I was a major Van Morrison fan (and owned all of his albums up to and including 1995's 'Days Like This'). And the last several notes that Pee Wee Ellis plays in his tenor sax solo on 'If You Only Knew' can literally send a shiver up my spine!
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However, even with my vote, Van wasn't able to match the Blues Brothers' vote total.
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FINAL TALLY: 
The Blues Brothers = 6 votes 
Van Morrison = 5 votes 
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Unfortunately, this wasn't a great turnout. (My sincere gratitude to every one of you who did take the time to visit and participate!!) Hopefully more voters will show up for my July 1st Battle Of The Bands installment, because I have something very special planned for that one. I'll be taking a one-Battle break from the booze and featuring the exploits of my ol' pals, The League Of Soul Crusaders. Meaning, of course, that the post will be extremely serene. ;^)
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"If You Only Knew" > related blog bit HERE.
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May you all... 
Bless & Be Blessed!
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy 

Saturday, June 15, 2024

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: 2024, JUNE 15 (Or, THE BLUES BROTHERS Versus VAN MORRISON)


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DogGs & DogGesses, welcome to my 12th installment of Battle Of The Bands' Battle Of The Booze
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This time we have The Blues Brothers going up against Van Morrison, or beer versus gin & vermouth (also known as a "martini").
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You probably recall that The Blues Brothers were "Jake" (John Belushi) and his brother, "Elwood" (Dan Aykroyd). What you may not have known was that their backing band included some really good musicians, such as Steve Cropper & Donald "Duck" Dunn (of Booker T & The MGs), and Matt Murphy, who had played guitar for Memphis Slim and Howlin' Wolf. 
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Included in Van-The-Man's band was Pee Wee Ellis, who was nothing short of a beast on the tenor saxophone and who had been a member of James Brown's band! So, we've got some really hot musicians in this contest, and I am curious to see who will emerge victorious.
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Without further ado... 
let's get on it! Let's get ON this thing!!
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Well jukebox girl is everything
All the cats began to sing
I heard somebody called and said
"Last round for alcohol!"
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I said, Hey bartender
Hey bartender
Hey bartender
Hey bartender
Draw one, two, three, four glasses of beer
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Hey Bartender 
by The Blues Brothers

Message In A Bottle
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I wouldn't want to cramp your style
But if you want to make it all worthwhile
You have to have your own breakthrough
If you only knew
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If you only knew what could happen to
A man for telling the truth
If you only knew all the scruples
That go down in gin and vermouth
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If You Only Knew 
by Van Morrison
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Remember: This is really about the songs and not the booze. So, in ye olde comment section, please vote for which song you liked better betwixt these two, and then please visit the other wonderful BOTBers and also drop your two cents in their comment sections.
* See the BOTBer links over there --->
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I'll return here on or about June 22nd with my own vote and the final tally.
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~ Stephen T. {*hick!*} McCarthy

Sunday, June 9, 2024

BOTB RESULTS: 2024, JUNE 1 (Or, ZZ TOP Versus GEORGE THOROGOOD)



Hi, Hello & Howdy, Y'All.
My sincere gratitude goes to everyone who graciously and generously took the time to visit my BOTB's Battle Of The Booze installment (HERE) and voted in the contest while I was mostly away on my vacation 'Stop 'N' Go, Slow-Moving, Burning Carcation'. Also known as 'Travels Without Muddy'. It was one hell of a trip! (Muddy is my stuffed dog and road trip good luck charm. Like a dern fool, I left Muddy at home this time and we suffered the consequences!)
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The Booze battle was between ZZ Top ('Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers') and George Thorogood ('I Drink Alone'). It began as a massive blowout in ZZ Top's favor. At one point they were ahead in the voting 7-1. But then George's fans sobered up enough to cast vote after vote after vote.
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Although I have always liked BOTH of these hard-rockin' songs a great deal, I slightly - only very slightly - favor the Thorogood tune for these 4 reasons:
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1. The wacky humor in staunchly drinking ALONE... along with Jack, Jimmy & Johnny.
2. The nasty sax.
3. (100-proof) Old Grand-Dad is my favorite family member!
4. Because.
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FINAL TALLY:
ZZ Top = 7 votes
George Thorogood = 6 votes

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Thank you, friends, for making this such an outstanding Battle! ZZ Top's 'Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers' will advance to BOTB's Battle Of The Booze playoffs, while George Thorogood is left behind, drinking alone.
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The 4 Highlights from my brief road trip were:
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1. Seeing my sister, >Bonehead, for the first time in two years.
2. Being served the very best Old Fashioned cocktail I've ever tasted, thanks to Bonehead's husband, Eric (the man should have become a bartender!)
3. Learning the word "bourbonomics" from M.W., a former member of The League Of Soul Crusaders.
4. Getting to stay for free one night in a Big Bear Lake cabin with Billy Gibbons Billy Buck, who sings ZZ Top's famous song 'La Grange'. (When I found myself sharing a room with Billy Buck, I knew it was an incontrovertible omen that ZZ Top was destined to win this Battle!)
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I hope to return here again on June 15th with a new Battle. And I hope YOU will return here again to vote in it! Until then, may you all... 
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Bless & Be Blessed!! (And try to remain somewhat sober, but without overdoing it too much.)
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy 

Saturday, June 1, 2024

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: JUNE 1, 2024 (Or, ZZ TOP Versus GEORGE THOROGOOD)


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Howdy, Friends. Welcome to my 11th installment of BOTB's Battle Of The Booze. You should definitely crank this one "up to 11!" In this contest the hooch that gets mentioned is beer, bourbon and scotch (or Budweiser, Jack Daniel's, Jim Beam, Old Grand-Dad, and Johnny Walker). The winning song will advance to BOTB's BOTB post-season playoffs.
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Unfortunately, I will be out-of-state most of the time that this Battle is running, so I probably won't be my usual verbose self in the comment section. I may even be a day or two late in posting the results of this contest. But post them I will, on June 8th or as close as possible.
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In ye olde comment section, please vote for which song you liked better betwixt these two, and then please visit the other wonderful BOTBers and also drop your two cents in their comment sections.
* See the BOTBer links over there --->
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Alrighty then. Straddle your Harley, crank it "up to 11", and let's get ON this thing!
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BEER DRINKERS & HELL RAISERS
by ZZ Top

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09L0vTMDKwo
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I DRINK ALONE
by George Thorogood 
& The Delaware Destroyers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpzqQst-Sg8

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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
DogGtor of Alcohology &
King of Inebriation Nation

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

BOTB RESULTS: MAY 15, 2024 (Or, THE STRAY CATS Versus JERRY LEE LEWIS)

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My most recent BATTLE OF THE BANDS installment took place HERE, and it was felly ugly-uh! The Stray Cats with their "whiskey on the rocks" took on Jerry Lee Lewis and his "sherry wine" and beat him like a dead dog horse!
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As I mentioned to Sixgun McItchyfinger in the comment section: 
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Honestly, I thought Jerry's 
"G-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-owl" 
was going to be good enough to score five votes all by itself! 
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However, Sixy and I were the only listeners who voted for Jerry Lee Lewis. (The odds of that happening were nearly the same as humanity evolving from pond scum over six million years!)
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FINAL TALLY: 
Stray Cats = 8 votes 
Jerry Lee Lewis = 2 votes
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                     BLOWOUT CITY! 
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So, 'Rock This Town' by The Stray Cats will advance to the post-season playoff round of BOTB's BOTB. My sincere gratitude to everyone who took the time to visit my blog and submit a vote. I plan to return here on June 1st with a new and raucously rockin' Battle Of The Booze contest. I hopes to see ya then!
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~ Stephen-Boy

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

BOTB's Battle Of The Booze: 2024, May 15 (Or, THE STRAY CATS Vs. JERRY LEE LEWIS)


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Hello, ALL! Welcome to my tenth installment of Battle Of The Bands' Battle Of The Booze, which is an ongoing challenge between songs that mention a type of booze, a brand of booze, or a cocktail made with booze. (No Shirley Temples need apply!)
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Iz you SuperCats & UnderDogGs ready to get on down with yer bad, feline & canine selves and groove to some high-energy, old school Rock 'N' Roll (also known as Rockabilly)?
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HOW THIS CONTEST WAS CONCEIVED:
I bought my first Eddie Cochran album in 1978 or '79. And if I had been born 8 months later than I was, I could have been Cochran reincarnated. (As it was, I had to settle for being James Dean reincarnated.)
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My first Eddie Cochran album totally sold me on the 'Rockabilly' genre, and Eddie remains my #1 favorite Rock 'N' Roller of the 1950s. (Sorry, Elvis and Mr. Berry.) Have any of you seen the movie 'American Hot Wax'?
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Loving Rockabilly like I did, the first time - in 1982 - when I heard on the radio the song 'Rock This Town' by The Stray Cats, I headed straight to my nearest record store and bought their album. And I played the helck out of it!
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My Ma - God rest her soul - was born on May 13th, and a goot number o' years after I discovered The Stray Cats, I introduced my Ma to them. She fell completely in love with Brian Setzer's voice (particularly in the song 'Since I Don't Have You'). 
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I was unfamiliar with the Jerry Lee Lewis song 'Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee' until my buddy, Sixgun McItchyfinger, sent me this gift in 2012:
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Honestly, I am still surprised that song is in this collection, because it is definitely more Rockabilly than it is CountryAt any rate, that's the background behind this boozy Battle.🍸.
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In ye olde comment section, please vote for which song you liked better betwixt these two, and then please visit the other wonderful BOTBers and also drop your two cents in their comment sections.
* See the BOTBer links over there --->
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I'll return here on or about May 22nd with my own vote and the final tally. 
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Alright, let's get on it.
Let's get ON this thing.
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"Well, we found a little place that really didn't look that bad
I had a whiskey on the rocks
And change of a dollar for the jukebox
Well, I put the cold rock into that can
But all they played was Disco, man
Come on, pretty baby, let's get out of here right away!"
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Rock This Town
by The Stray Cats
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["Message In A Bottle"]
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"W-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ine!
Elderberry
Whoa, little taste of sherry
G-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r.......
Give it to me now.
Pick it, Killer, pick it, pick it!"
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Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
by Jerry Lee Lewis
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy 
DogGtor of Alcohology & 
King of Inebriation Nation