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 and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 1st of each month and on the 7th, 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.]

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...
Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ (‘BOTB’)
Alright, let’s get on it...
I've got a great BOTB contest for you today! We are using what I like to call "The Unofficial Official Song Of Los Angeles". The song is 'LOW RIDER' by the group WAR. Their original went to #7 on the Billboard Music Chart in 1975. And what's 'Low Rider' without a little Cheech Y Chong?


Alright, now let's hear guitar god GARY HOEY (Hoey? Who he?) put his stamp on an instrumental version of 'LOW RIDER':


Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their 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.
@ ‘DISCCONNECTED’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'BOOK LOVER' by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THIS BELLE ROCKS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ALEX CAVANAUGH' (when BOTB falls on a Mon., Wed., or Fri.) 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


  1. The original is a classic, however - got to give it up for Hoey. Amazing guitarist. He almost played for Ozzy once. Wylde got the gig instead.

  2. This is a tough choice. the original is so catchy and iconic it's difficult to vote against that one. I bought the Why Can't We Be Friends in 1976 in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico--the cover was all in Spanish but the album was the same recording. I still have that LP. It's always been an album I've enjoyed.

    The Hoey version really rocks and tastefully so. It's darn good!

    Decisions, decisions--let me think a minute.

    Okay, done my thinking. Hoey's got my head bobbing and my body moving. But how can I go against that classic version by War?

    I'm gonna give my vote to the original War version, but if Hoey comes out the winner then that's who I voted for.

    But officially War.

    Hope you're getting settled okay.

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

  3. Lots of thoughts here...

    1) I know you're moving and all, but I dedicated something to you on the HERE'S TO YOU post. When you get a chance go back and look at it.

    2) I know you don't watch DANCING WITH THE STARS, but last season Tommy Chong was one of the stars dancing on the show. He did really well. I think he made it to the last four (or something like that) and I have to say he wasn't that great a dancer. But his personality is excellent, his attitude so upbeat, and his fanbase huge. The audience kept him on the show. I really learned to like and appreciate him last season because of that show. That really made me enjoy the first clip ever so much more (brought back some fond memories).

    3) I didn't think I knew this song until it started to play. And then I did. Funny how that works.

    4) I don't know how many times I've said I just don't leave a screaming guitar on your blog and yet... Anyway, you've taught me some things about what I really like and not so much. On some level I can appreciate that Hoey is an excellent guitar player. I really can. I just don't enjoy listening to it.

    5) So it's an easy vote for the original from me. Bet you didn't see THAT coming!

  4. Reminds me of this dude who used to have this really charp chort, man, y'know? On, Donner! On, Blitzen! On, Chewy! On, Tavo!

    I’m admittedly influenced by the video so I give the vote to the original by War even though “Who He’s” rendition made me think about. I’m far from a musical expert but some of those audible mechanical waves coming from his guitar sound like Joe Satriani…but my musical “ear” wouldn’t know a “Satriani” from a “Who He” anyway. And who came first anyway, “Who He” or Joe Satriani?

    Not sure what state you are in now but I hope all is well. I came across that book, Strategic Relocation by Joel Skousen and wondered if you had perused it.

    Sig a wuuna and a tooa

    1. "Lets-a hear it for-a Bobby and-a Sissy." And-a Sig-a.

      Where have you been hiding, Sig? It is most fun when you are a regular here.

    2. Thank you Mr. 6 for the kind words... and for not making me feel so alone after referencing a show that went off the air over 30 years ago. I do regret not crossing paths with you when I was visiting the great state of Iowa.

      Just glad that STM is still "on the air". I do hope he is documenting his latest journey.

      With my poor attendance and limited internet usage, I will have to refer to myself as Punxsutawney Sig.

    3. Well, it is nice to see your shadow occasionally!

      Yes, I too am sorry that meeting didn't take place. As I recall, we were in Denver and the snow had made the drive from there to Iowa treacherous, so we bailed on that part of our trip. We are actually in Iowa right now, doing some more work on our house here. We'll be back "home" in a couple of weeks.

      I avoided watching Lawrence Welk, though once in a while (while visiting grandparents) I'd suffer through it. My folks thought he was a square, and my uncle even referred to him as "Lawrence Puke and the Harmony Belchers." At Lawrence Welk Village in Escondido there is a tiny statue of Welk in the square. A friend always threatened sneak in at night and glue down a plaque that said "Actual Size." HA!

    4. Sparing no expense, I found my way from the Minneapolis airport to the Osage Super 8 on that trip. Lots of blowing snow across the road, and one of the flattest places that I had ever been to.

      Grandma Too also enjoyed Welk. Her gallon size of E&J Gallo was always close by... to enhance the experience, I guess.

  5. I have to give it to War. It is the original and I love the lyrics. Having this song to the Cheech & Chong film is just bringing back memories...some I do remember some come from a haze of vodka:) I can't believe Hoey's guitar-amazing

  6. Though Hoey is both talented and the recipient of a funny name, that I could do a lot with if I were so inclined, I always tend to lean toward the original.

    I vote for WAR! And I don't give a Cheech who knows about it.

    Now, wander on over to the STMcC tribute you missed:


  7. It's funny-at least one commenter mentioned the lyrics, and me normally being a lyrics guy, this is one song where I've never really noticed them.

    While the original is a classic, Hoey manages to capture all of the funky elements and adds his own spin.

    And since I introduced you to Hoey, I am sure you were expecting me to vote that way anyway, so how could I disappoint?

    For me, an easy vote for Hoey.

    You got out of Phoenix just in time...the 90's have arrived...

  8. WAR all the way, I absolutely love that song, it gets me moving. I liked the funny movie. Tommy Chong is Canadian, too. Cheech is just Cheech. Low Riders (low and slow) and Ricky Racers (jacked-up muscle cars) were the two main car groups in LA at one time.

    Hoey played a mean guitar, but we are talking songs here, and I'm a purist. Don't mess with the original. When a cover differs that much, it's all about the artist, not the song.

  9. ~ D-FensDogg,

    Hey, we have a post up. Congrats on that 'schedule-me-thangy'!
    The words of 'Low Rider' are etched in my brain... like a design on a fine wine glass.

    I once had a 1967 Buick Wildcat, 8 cylinder, 454 Rochester Quadrajet - it didn't bounce, but who cares - it traveled very fast! Coming home from college over Soho Mountain, (Cherokee, NC), the carb got stuck. Climbed to 110mph (gezz!). If you've never been on Soho, you've missed a roller coaster ride; most people take it at 35-55mph. I got it stopped, and a little trooper stopped too. I 'splained my predicament, and he whips out a can of carb-clean. No ticket, but I wouldn't wish that event on anybody. Cheech and Chong's Low Rider was my song because that Wildcat rode low... good thing too, or I'd have flown off the mountain. (I watched a motorcycle do that one time.)

    I'm now playing Hoey for the fourth time. What a version! I really like the guitar, but my heart feels every beat of those drums. Must be that Cherokee experience, ha! That would have been great to play while doing a free-fall over Soho! (Right? Yeah.) Great battle - tough choice.

    My vote goes to Hoey...['Who he?']

    Postscript: You've got to see Cherdo's link. Ha!

    1. What the heck! 110mph on Soho Mountain?!! You gotta be kiddin'! That's terribly scary just thinking about it. I know how winding those roads are over that way and I say, no thank you to that kind of roller coaster ride! I'm glad you were able to live to tell about it. lol

    2. Tell me about it! I could smell the brakes. But when I let off it'd take off again. I guess about a mile before Santa Land, I guess it's still there, is where I was able to pull over. I thought to put it in neutral, you know, shut off the engine, but I would torn the tranny out... and I wouldn't have had steering capability - I don't think. I think the wheel might have locked up. Def- would have slammed that transmission! God, it all happened so fast. I was terrified.

      Spent three days at home then went back. They had paved the mountain road, but not the lines, and it was raining. You know how nasty/scary that gets? I crawled my tail over that mountain, and made plans to transfer back to a Char. college!

  10. War by Cheech & Chong gets my vote. I seem to appreciate them more now, especially after I saw Cheech cheer Chong on at Dancing With The Stars last season.


  11. I was not much of a fan of Cheech & Chong in the 70s, but after watching Chong on DWTS last session I grew quite fond of the dude. Interesting battle, Stephen. You pitted vocals against an electric guitar. This was an easy pick for me. Honestly, I don't like a lot of electric guitar, unless it's something Santana performs (love that sexy latin style). I wouldn't say I disliked Hoey's version entirely. Maybe the hour of the day is partially influencing my decision. It's not even 8am EST. I'm working on my second cup of coffee, but can't get my head out of the fog and Hoey's electric guitar is annoying me more than anything else. lol That being said, I've gotta go with War for this round of BOTB! Have an electrifying week!

  12. I know that you probably won’t see this for a few days yet, due to your recent relocation, so, in light of the fact that BOTB takes quite a bit of time to get around to everyone these days, I decided to leave the best for last.

    As I type this I’m listening to that overfed, longhaired, leaping gnome, go on about his dream. He dreamed he was in a Hollywood movie AND he was the star. I can’t stop giggling.

    OK, back to BOTB. I like the Hoey version (Hoey, now tell me – why do I know him?? Ha, ha, ha.) well enough. BUT, it’s one of them songs that would most likely have me meeting some nice NV State Trooper, if it were playing out of the radio/CD player in my car. Yeah, I’m saying it’s one of those ‘put the pedal to the metal songs.

    The way he has that guitar screamin’ and a squakin’ I can almost hear the words coming through. It is definitely a fine piece of guitar work (said as thought I really know a fine piece of guitar work, Ha!) Anyway…Mr. Hoey is certainly a worthy competitor in this BATTLE.

    B-U-T, ain’t nobody gonna take this one away from WAR. They have been a favorite of mine for a long time and this tune ‘Low Rider’ is actually my second favorite tune of theirs. ‘Cisco Kid’ is, and always will be the first.

    SO, ya gonna make me say it? Alright, I will, give this dumb blonde’s vote to WAR and should Gary Hoey start to pull ahead in this BATTLE, I’ll be back to vote a few more times. Just a little Chicago style insurance. Don’t worry, you’ll know it’s me, as I’ll work overtime to make up some vary flamboyant LF names. That outta get ‘em going’.

    Oh, and BTW - Tommy Chong on DWTS please tell me it ain't so.

  13. My vote goes for Gary. Hos version rocks and is a fresh take on the song.

  14. I'll vote War. I don't think Gary's shredding guitar is the right feel for the song.

  15. Ah man, just can't beat WAR. And add in trashy Cheech and Chong; man, just brings back memories, lol. My son was in listening to these also and he recommends I watch Pineapple Express, says I'd like it better than C&C. I never liked the movie, but ya know, everyone was watching it :)

  16. Um...ohmuhgawsh, this is hard because I *WANT* to vote for the original - it really is the best version.


    Gary totally took it and made it his, even though it's still very recognizable.

    True story: back when Myspace was a thing, Gary Hoey (or likely his PR team) friended me on there. Not the other way around. I literally got up and danced a happy jig when I saw the notification!

    Gary's got my vote, but for the reasons I listed, not because we used to be "friends" :P

  17. Great, great, great BotB. Loved both of these songs, and of course I had to crack a grin at ol' Cheech y Chong.

    The original is fantastic, and it's a classic, but in the end, we both had to go for Hoey. He shreds this song to pieces in the best way possible.


  18. Howdy, All Y'all.
    I'm in the Sparks Public Library. No Internet service yet but the library computers are free and plentiful. I won't get finished visiting everyone but... I'll be Bach.

    Thanks for all the votes so far. As soon as I get computer service on my own PC, I will make up my absence to y'all.

    Gotta get movin' here... only 43 minutes left on this one-hour library computer reservation.

    Yak Again Later...

    ~ D-FensDogG

  19. D-FensDogG, I gotta vote for Who He Hoey.

    Where's the vote from Judge Al Bondigas? What's his rulin'?

    ~ Jokerman

  20. Al Bondigas here. Sorry to come late to the party Jokerman, I got your message from Stephen. This song is so iconic to every Southern Californian, especially for those who lived there during the sixties and seventies. I thought for sure I would be voting for War, before listening to Hoey's version, but, woooo weeeee!!! Who the hell he? Vote for Who he Hoey. That's it. That's my rulin'.

  21. To me, this is a song not about the melody or the musicianship, it is a song that sets a mood. The mood set by War is one that is etched into culture from that era (do we have another "anthem" on our hands here?)

    So, although Hoey shreds, he's shredding the wrong song. This just becomes what is inevitably MUST be, by fate: just an interesting diversion from the standard; something to be listened to and then dropped again for the original.

  22. I LOVE THIS SONG!!! Had to vote on this on. I really like the second choice, but it is only second best to Iconic War doing Low Rider!!!!!!

  23. Gary Hoey's was a good romp, but c'mon, War trumps them all.

  24. Hey All, STMcME here to say that (presumably) I will have Internet service again sometime Saturday night (the 21st), so watch for a late post with my BOTB vote and the results.

    Just when you thought it was safe to surf the Net again... he's ba-aaa-ck!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'


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