If You Rooted For The Yankees, Could You Root For Tom Seaver?
Tom Seaver pitching two-hitter in the seventh inning as he makes a bid for his 15th win of the year. August 7, 1975 photo: Paul DeMaria (Seaver wound up with a 3 hit complete game 7-0 shutout over the Expos)
Hall of Famer and baseball great Tom Seaver died Monday, August 31 at age 75 and a piece of my childhood died along with him. The accolades, recollections and recounting of stats will continue to flow for the next few weeks.
But not everyone who saw Seaver play rooted for this consummate pro. Especially kids like me.
Being a Yankees fan in the late 1960s and early 1970s was not fun. A New Yorker has to choose teams. A real New York fan can’t root for both the Rangers and Islanders or the Jets and the Giants. You certainly cannot be a fan of both the Yankees and the Mets. So you make choices.
As a New York baseball obsessed kid who collected trading cards, I examined both teams carefully. I chose to be a fan of the on-his-last-legs Mickey Mantle led Yankees. Bad choice. Mantle retired immediately upon my declaration of loyalty.
The 70s Yankees teams featured players like Jake Gibbs, Jerry Kenney, Mike Kekich, Steve Kline, and Horace Clarke.
Arguments on the summer camp bus about who was better, the Yankees or Mets ended with the words Tom Seaver.
Rooting for the Yankees meant rooting against Tom Seaver. Comparing Tom Seaver to any Yankee player was a futile exercise in partisanship.
Newlywed Game Host Bob Eubanks Asks An Innocent Question And Gets An Honest Answer
The Newlywed Game is one of those shows that puts people in potentially embarrassing situations with great effect.
Asking questions to newly married couples can lead to… well let’s just say some interesting revelations.
In this one minute clip from the 1970s, host Bob Eubanks asks what should be a straightforward question and ends up with a few moments of hilarity. This is one funny game show answer. Bob Eubanks quick follow-up and the audience’s reaction is priceless.
The 1970s Saw The Release of The Exorcist, Carrie, The Omen and Halloween
It Also Had These Horror Movie Clunkers…
1970s audiences had the opportunity to see some of the all-time great horror classics when first released in theaters.
There were also imitators of horror. Low budget affairs plagiarizing a title or borrowing a plot. Many of them downright laughable, like Beyond The Darkness and The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave.
A trailer is akin to a writer describing his vision for a film to a studio executive. The two minute trailer is supposed to convince an audience to see a movie. Picture some producer listening to a writer’s pitch and then signing a check to get a turkey made. And the 70s saw lots of ’em. For every Alien (1979) that was made, there were a dozen horror catastrophe’s like Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977).
Based on these trailers, who in their right mind would pay money to see any of these?
Nolan Ryan Displays The Baseball From His 383rd Strikeout -1973
Nolan Ryan holds the baseball used to set a single season record of 383 strikeouts. September 27, 1973 AP wirephoto
Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer are amazing pitchers. In 2019 Cole struck out 326 hitters in 212.1 innings and Scherzer fanned 300 batters in 220.2 innings in 2018. Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw have also struck out more than 300 batters in the past five years.
You’d think in this age of batters striking out more frequently than Le Pétomane farting, a pitcher will one day break Nolan Ryan’s 1973 single season record of 383 strikeouts. But unless Chris Davis, Joey Gallo or Gary Sanchez is the opposition at every at bat, Ryan’s record is probably safe.
It comes down to the number of innings pitched. Modern managers and baseball analytics have pitchers rarely going through the batting order a third time. A “quality start” is one where the pitcher has completed six innings – a ridiculous two thirds of a game. That’s quality? Continue reading →
Five Of The Greatest & Least Known UK Hard Rock Songs (Unless You’re a Fan Of The Band)
Slade on stage photo Paul Cox
I’ve seen hundreds of rock bands live. Working in the music industry afforded me a close-up look at greatness. Unfortunately many times the public does not recognize, let alone buy greatness. Continue reading →
Badfinger (l-r) Pete Ham, Mike Gibbins, Tom Evans, Joey Molland
There are literally hundreds of songs that qualify for this category: hit songs, that are not the original version. Among these are some songs you probably never knew were cover versions. We’re focusing on classic rock songs so let’s cut right to the chase.
First we’ll present the more famous cover version, followed by the original.
Hanging on the Telephone
Blondie’s 1979 breakthrough album, Parallel Lines, opens with a telephone ringing which is the intro to the frantic opening track Hanging on the Telephone. The album contains one catchy song after another. In a June 2008 interview with Sound on Sound magazine, producer Mike Chapman says he told the band, “Think of being onstage. Imagine you’re playing this to an audience, because we’re trying to record something that you’re going to have to listen to for the rest of your lives. So if this is not a high-energy performance, you’re going to say, ‘How come we now do it better live than on the record?’ In the case of ‘Hanging On The Telephone‘, that’s probably the best track on the album in terms of energy, although ‘One Way Or Another‘ has a similar edge.”
The Nerves, were a power trio comprised of Jack Lee, Paul Collins and Peter Case. They released only one four song EP in 1976 which included Hanging on the Telephone. In 1973 composer Jack Lee came up with the title for the song after reading The Illustrated Beatles. The book contained a cartoon of a woman with a phone wrapping around her neck. The illustration was above the lyrics of All I’ve Got To Do. Lee thought Hanging on the telephone and kept repeating it to himself.
The next day the lyrics just came to him in a flash. He began playing G and E flat chords and banged out the song. Lee says, “the quality of hanging of the telephone is a lot was sacrificed in time and in tension into that song and I think it really gave me such confidence in my skill. Because before anybody gave me any validation on the song I know I was on to something
and also the reaction I was getting from people that had other agendas other than to give me unsolicited compliments that I knew that I was on to something.”
The Nerves never broke big, but Hanging on the Telephone results in a continuing music publishing income stream for Jack Lee.
Harry Nilsson had a string of top 10 hits in the late 60s through the mid 70s including Everybody’s Talkin’; I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City, Coconut; Jump in the Fire and many others. But Nilsson’s career defining song was a 1971 release, Without You.
Without You was written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger and released in 1970 on the album No Dice. Badfinger is much better known for No Matter What, Baby Blue, Come and Get It (written by Paul McCartney) and Day After Day. Their catalog of great songs runs deep.
But due to mismanagement, most music fans are familiar with songs the band released during its abbreviated period of popularity. Stan Polley, manager of Badfinger, should have his picture in the dictionary next to the word evil. Ham hanged himself in the garage of his Surrey home in 1975 implicating Polley for his despondency. In his suicide note Ham wrote, “P.S. Stan Polley is a soulless bastard. I will take him with me.” Eight years later in 1983 Tom Evans, was arguing with bandmate Joey Molland about the royalties for “Without You.” Evans put down the phone, went to the garden and hanged himself. Many of Evans friends believe he had never gotten over Ham’s suicide. A sad story attached to a sad song.
James Caan Sheila Ryan wedding ceremony photo: Gary Thompson Globe Photos
Here we see James Caan and Sheila Ryan getting married on January 12, 1976. It was a happy occasion, I guess. But why do groom Caan and bride Ryan look like they want to either call it off right then and there or deck the chaplain for saying something inappropriate? Or is just the seriousness of the solemn occasion? Continue reading →
Unseen For 41 Years – Highlights From A Van Halen Concert At Fresno’s Selland Arena, Friday, September 22, 1978
I hope YouTube doesn’t take this video down.
This story would have to be deleted as well.
While I like Van Halen, I’m not an uberfan. I have all the David Lee Roth era LPs and still listen to Van Halen. But live, I always thought of Roth as a great front-man, rather than a great singer. He might agree. I wish he’d sing the lyrics!
What is the attraction to Van Halen? Besides the virtuosity and innovativeness of Eddie Van Halen, it’s probably because the band built up a huge following through touring, putting on extravaganzas and releasing unique, catchy kick-ass rock albums.
Unfortunately Van Halen has rarely released whatever footage they have of themselves when they were just starting out on their way to becoming superstars.
That is why this is special. 41 years after it occurred, here is Van Halen LIVE in concert only seven months after the release of their first album.
You may not like vocalist David Lee Roth’s showmanship, jumping around with lyrical improvisations and high pitch shrieks. Then maybe you’ll stop watching after a few minutes. Roth, however is hitting more of the notes live as recorded on the album than many of his recorded performances.
Seeing Van Halen as openers for Black Sabbath, trying to win over an audience is unique in itself. Guitarist Eddie Van is blazing on all cylinders. Bassist and harmony singer Michael Anthony is confident and steady. And drummer Alex Van Halen is holding it all together keeping great time. They’re young and hungry and it shows. Eddie and David were both 23-years-old. According to manager Noel Monk the band was being paid $750 per show – split four ways!
This is what the late 1970s were about. Great music with rock band’s wanting to impress you in concert with their music and energy. Seven dollar tickets, small stage, no pyrotechnics, or giant video screens or back-up dancers. Everyone is watching and listening to the band.
So thank you FresnoMediaRestoration for putting together audio with this 8mm film footage to come up with 20 minutes of live Van Halen in their prime.
Below the footage I’ve quoted some of the better YouTube comments.
The better YouTube comments:
It’s surprising they ever made it big. I mean, if you were a rock star in the 70s, would you hire them to open your show? – Baba Yaga
This show was the night before their memorable 9/23/78 concert @ Anaheim Stadium where Boston headlined along with Black Sabbath & Sammy Hagar. VH hired 4 skydivers to jump out of a plane. The skydivers landed behind the stage & VH — in parachute gear — jumped out of a van & rushed onto the stage to On Fire. Crowd went crazy. That was also the day that EVH met Sammy Hagar for the first time.– jpr – 030507Continue reading →