Saturday, May 5, 2007

Cinco de Mayo

There ain't no holdin' the Mayo going on today!  Well, except maybe at Ted Nugent's house...

It's the first Saturday in May, thus it's Kentucky Derby day.  Great tradition, great spectacle and all, but ain't it just a tad warped that NBC does an hour-and-a-half pre-game show for something that barely lasts two minutes?  They had commercial breaks longer than the race was.  Churchill Downs certainly looks so elegant in all its equine splendor on TV, but most people would be as surprised as I was about where it's located.  I always pictured the track to be situated outside of the city somewhere in a country club-like setting, so imagine my shock during a recent trip to Lou-Ville when I found the place bordering a fairly seedy urban neighborhood.  To my Kansas City friends, picture the Leeds District and you'll get the idea.

As for the race itself, my pick to win, Stormello (based solely on his cool name) was actually in 4th place rounding the third turn then faded away like Ricky Martin's career.  A horse named Street Sense won the race, and his jockey was crying like Nancy Kerrigan when it was over.  Sorry, dude--there's no crying in horse racing!!  Meantime, I think they need to spice up horse racing a little to raise interest in the sport.  Apart from the obvious idea of topless female jockeys, there are other things they could try to make it a little more fun.  I say we make it a joint effort between horse and jockey—as soon as they cross the finish line, the jockeys should dismount and then run a full lap themselves...

The current Al-Quida second banana—Mukka-Lukka Al-So-and-So—is said to be mocking the Iraq war pull-out bill that was laid before Congress this week.  So?!?  Why the hell is this even newsworthy?  These towel-headed Allah-loving bastards are going to mock anything the U.S. does anyway, so why does the news media bother to even give these douche-bags the publicity they're looking for?  I say fuck them and the camels they rode in on...

I suspected this all along, but was hoping all the same that the cause of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock's death this week was not alcohol-related, yet it indeed was.  Moreover, it was also marijuana-related and cell phone-related.  Okay, we ALL do dumb things, and I do my fair share of imbibing, to be sure, but I do so responsibly and I do NOT get behind the wheel when I know I'm too fucked-up to drive.  So, at the risk of sounding hypocritical and/or cold-hearted, I just have one word to say about the dearly departed:  DUMBASS.

"Travelin’ Man/Beautiful Loser"—BOB SEGER & THE SILVER BULLET BAND (1975) "A perfect lodger/a perfect guest."  Dopey me—I thought he said "A perfect logic/a perfect guess."  I don’t suppose Mr. Spock would have been too impressed with my logic there…

...and want to have a little harmless fun, try watching a baseball game on TV sometime in front of a mirror.  You lose all orientation when the batter appears to start heading to third base after he hits the ball!  My guess is it's probably not unlike driving a car on the "wrong side" of the road in England for the first time.  It's even more fun during a game broadcast from Fenway Park in Boston with the Green Monster on the wrong side.  Yes—I know I need to get a life...

I submitted the following the almighty Dilbert newsletter, but it has yet to be published:  A few years back at a previous employer, they had just installed a new phone system throughout the building, but encountered some problems early on, so our manager sent out a memo to everyone.  "If you have any problems making calls or if your phone doesn't work, please contact me at Extension A or Jackie at Extension B."  Dumb question, but if my phone doesn't work, how am I gonna contact anyone at Ext. A or B?!?  The appropriate question in this case wasn't "Who you gonna call?" but "How you gonna call?"

My beloved New Jersey Devils went down to defeat in the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight at the hands of the Ottawa Senators, losing 3-2 in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series.  My devotion to the Devils was borne in part because the franchise began life as the Kansas City Scouts in 1974, then moved to Denver and became the Colorado Rockies (not to be confused with the current baseball squad of the same name) in '76, eventually settling in with Jimmy Hoffa in the swamps of Joysey 25 years ago in '82.  However, what really drew me to this team was how crappy they were for so long (not even making the playoffs until the early '90s) and how I love to root for an underdog, so I've been on their bandwagon from almost the get-go.  Three Stanley Cups in the last 12 years ain't nothing to sneeze at, either.  How many Stanley Cups have the overpaid New York Strangers snagged in the last 12 years, hmmm?  I also love the Devils because they have the coolest uniforms in the NHL as well as how their name pisses off overly-conservative über-Christians everywhere, plus Martin Brodeur is the baddest goaltender in hockey—a sure-shot Hall of Famer.  Better luck next year, gentlemen...

Thursday, May 3, 2007


Wow, almost five months to the day after I started this little venture, and I’ve already reached the Mendoza Line for number of posts.  Maybe I should switch from "Sir Rant-A-Lot" to "Sir Post-A-Lot"…

I had a mini-catastrophe last night here at the ol’ homestead when I went to plug in my submersible pump in my crawl space and slipped on the wet wooden steps and landed right smack on my kiester!  I didn’t break anything on my body, but my ass managed to break off the front edge of the step.  Not sure whether or not I should be proud that my ass can break wood or not—it breaks enough wind as it is.  I’m actually fortunate I landed where I did instead of on the cinder blocks at the top of the steps, too—I might be in the hospital now.  As it was, I wound up with some abrasions on my left hand, a bruise at the base of my right thumb (inflicted by my flashlight), a wounded ego and a slightly dislocated left rump, plus I’m sore all over today from the impact.  In sports parlance, I’d be listed as "day-to-day" on the injury report.  Then again, aren’t we all day-to-day?

Former "Tonight Show" musician and substitute bandleader Tommy Newsom died earlier this week at age 78.  Tommy would fill in for Doc Severinsen as bandleader from time to time, and was often the butt of Johnny Carson’s jokes about his "wild" lifestyle.  He was always the penultimate straight man and a good sport about it, too.  R.I.P., "Mr. Excitement"…

"She’s A Lady"—TOM JONES (1971) "She’s got style, she’s got grace—she’s a winner."  Not so, according to my seven-year-old ears—the woman was a "weiner"!

A BOOT TO THE HEAD... the lady in front of me in the Express Lane at the grocery store tonight who bought $14 worth of stuff and paid for it with a $100 bill.  The checkout girl didn't even have enough twenties to make change for her.  Thanks for making everybody wait, lady!  And please tell me why is it grocery stores allow check-writing in the Express Lane?  Kinda defeats the whole purpose of having the blasted thing in the first place, don't it?

Well, there have been a few important news stories the last couple weeks, like the Pat Tillman/Jessica Lynch testimony before Congress, the Virginia Tech massacre and the whole Atty. Gen. Gonzales flap, but in TV News Land, they're long forgotten already.  "Why is this?" I asked myself.  Then a quick scan of the channels last night reminded me—it's May Sweeps time.  George Carlin was absolutely right about America:  "It’s a great country, but it’s a strange culture."  TV news producers will have you believe that people want to see the same old crap every night that generates big ratings rather than important news stories. 

Behold the following that I observed on the tube last night:  There was Anna Nicole Smith’s mother blubbering away on MSNBC, and on CNN Headline they were already back on the Don Imus thing (he’s now suing CBS for his 40 bajillion-dollar salary) because Al Sharpton was on there grandstanding again.  And the Larry King lovefest continued on regular CNN as they celebrate his 50 years in broadcasting—never mind the fact that no one knew who the hell he was for the first 20. Man, if there was ever someone for whom the phrase "a face made for radio" applies, it’s him.  And over on "Calamity & Holmes" on Faux News Channel, guests Ann Coulter and Ted Nugent were busy labeling those of us who want to see the war in Iraq end ASAP as being unsupportive of our troops.  Fuck, I want them home and out of harm’s way NOW—if that ain’t being supportive of them, then what the hell is?

I have a question for all you conservatives out there:  How come it's NOT okay for singers like Bruce Springsteen and the Dixie Chicks and all those "Hollywood types" to express their political opinions against the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq because they are merely entertainers who should just keep their big yaps shut, yet singers like Ted Nugent, Charlie Daniels and Toby Keith, as well as a "Hollywood type" like Charlton Heston are your "go to" guys to be cheerleaders for the Republican party?  I don't see much difference—aren't those guys entertainers who should just keep their big yaps shut, too?  All I hear from these people, as well as the likes of Hannity, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Buchanan, Robertson, Will, Coulter, Malkin, Krauthammer, Murdoch, McCain, et al, is a lot of hackneyed posturing and over-reliance on the same old shop-worn Bush Administration semantics about patriotism and supporting the troops.  Mission accomplished, my ass...

I made one other little observation last night:  I think the rumors might be true after all—Ann Coulter is a transsexual!  I swear, that woman has an Adam's apple as big as Dallas in the middle of Texas!  Don't believe me?  Watch the video from last night, if you dare, but be forewarned—you may be hit by flying bull!

Here's a little nugget from that ol' gas bag Rush Limbaugh from a couple weeks back:  "If this Virginia Tech shooter had an ideology, what do you think it was?  This guy had to be a liberal."  Where the fuck did that come from?  What the hell kind of logic is this?  Give me a fucking break already.  Why does everything with conservatives have to be one way or the other, be it black/white, liberal/conservative, right/wrong, red/blue, etc.?  In case you missed it, Rush, ol' buddy, ol pal, this Cho son-of-a-bitch was a fucking psychotic, numb-nuts!  It makes no difference to me whether Rush was dead serious or joking here—this kind of shit is far more reprehensible than anything Don Imus ever uttered, yet Limbaugh remains on the air?  I've said it before, I'll say it again:  Rush Limbaugh is a walking talking bowel movement...

What's wrong with this picture?

Personally, I like my steals medium-rare!

Journey To The Center Of--Journey?!?

Today was Journey Appreciation Day, as I tracked through all of my Journey CDs at work.  Truth to tell, I have learned a new appreciation for these guys in recent years, given the dearth of decent new music over the last decade or so, and in spite of Journey being one of FM Classic Rock radio’s "go to" or "safe" bands (not unlike Boston, Foreigner and Styx) whose stuff gets disproportionately played to death.  With all these crappy bands that pass for Rock ‘N’ Roll today who can’t even carry a tune with a handle (what the fuck is a Hoobastank?!?), it’s refreshing to listen to musicians who actually have some talent and a sense of melody, even if the majority of their stuff is a tad lightweight.

I'm an oddball fan of Journey in that I much prefer their "B-stuff" (i.e. deep album cuts) over the "A-stuff" that gets routinely run into the ground on the radio.  In other words, I don't need to hear "Open Arms" or "Don't Stop Believin'" again anytime soon.  I’m especially partial to songs from the Gregg Rolie era like "Walks Like A Lady", "Where Were You?", "People And Places" and "Line of Fire", as well as some of their later stuff with Jonathan Cain on keyboards like "Chain Reaction", "Keep On Runnin’", "Rubicon", "Lay It Down", and the very underrated "Only The Young."  Another cool thing I like about Journey is how as part of the dedications and credits on their album sleeves, they would acknowledge people from other bands who had recently passed on, like the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bon Scott of AC/DC.  Very classy on their part, and I’ve always respected them for that.

Speaking of Gregg Rolie, I’m reminded of a funny incident that happened on the radio involving him, circa. 1979 or ‘80.  The old KY-102 was doing a live on-air phone interview with Rolie, who was in Chicago at a pre-concert sound check with music blaring in the background, and he proceeded to exclaim, "Man, I can’t hear SHIT on this phone!", evidently unaware that he was actually on the radio!

And say what you will about Journey being "corporate" Rock ‘N’ Roll, but they are ALL fine musicians, particularly Neal Schon on guitar—the boy definitely knows his way around a fretboard.  Their erstwhile lead singer Steve Perry has an incredible voice too, and was certainly a great frontman—but is also about as flaky as a Pillsbury pie crust!  I’m still trying to make sense out of the statement he made on VH-1 Classic’s "Behind The Music": "I never really felt like I was part of the band…"  Huh?  And Al Davis never really owned the Oakland Raiders, right?  This is the same guy who was behind the firing of the rhythm section—bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith—in 1986 for no particular reason (Valory was replaced by Randy Jackson of "American Idol" fame), yet he didn’t feel like part of the band?!?  Hell, he was the freakin’ focal point of it!  No wonder his girlfriend Sherrie (AKA "Oh, Sherrie") dumped him.  Just as well she didn’t marry him anyway—she would've had to go through life known as Sherrie Perry.  Meanwhile, Journey somehow managed to replace Perry with an almost exact replica, one Steve Augeri, who sounds and almost looks just like him ("Steve Perry with a perm", someone quipped), so all is fairly well in Journey World as they tour the nostalgia circuit.

My Journey Top Five:
1) Where Were You? (1980)
2) Rubicon (1983)
3) Line of Fire (1979)
4) Lay It Down (1981)
5) [tie] Only The Young (1984)
People and Places (1980)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Happy Happy Hump Day!

It's Hump Day in more ways than one, too! Not only is it Wednesday, but it’s also Englebert Humperdinck’s birthday. Ol’ What’s-his-dinck? turned 71 today…

After it spent nearly a month on my coffee table, I finally got around to viewing my Netflix DVD rental of The Departed last night, and I’d like to report that I really enjoyed it.  I say I’d like to report that, but truth be told, I was majorly disappointed with this film, which was so highly-regarded by so many people.  I can see now that Martin Scorsese winning the Best Director Oscar this year had more to do with his reputation and less to do with the merits of The Departed—i.e., the win was merely a "make good" for his previous Oscar snubs.

WARNING:  Spoilers contained herein—reader discretion advised if you haven’t seen the film and plan to!

If you like violent and gory shoot-‘em-ups where everybody dies and nobody wins, then you’ll love this one, but I’ve grown really weary of this genre of films—I’ve seen all this before already!  Departed is basically The Godfather set in 2006 in Boston, with lots of guns, lots of blood, lots of brains blown out, lots of use of the term "guineas", and major over-use of the words fuck, fucking and motherfucker.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not offended at all by those words (I use them often myself) but do they have to be every other word in the fucking—oops—freakin’ dialogue?!?  Come on Hollywood, surely you can come up with more creative lines than this, even for mafia thugs and over-zealous arrogant cops!

Anyway, very few Hollywood film clichés went unused in The Departed—you had the whole gamut of mafia histrionics, the whole good-cop/bad-cop dynamic, the obligatory (yet totally unnecessary) sex/fuck scene, drugs, dirty money, blah blah blah—been there, done that.  This is one of those films that I couldn’t find any empathy for any of the characters (i.e., there was no good guy to root for), so maybe it’s just as well that they all bumped each other off after all.  About the only thing I found even mildly refreshing and new was Martin Sheen being dropped from the top of a building and going splat on the pavement—it would’ve been even better if it was Alec Baldwin instead!  Beyond that, there wasn’t anything special to me about this flick, and it certainly didn’t rate any Oscars in my book, apart from a pretty decent music soundtrack.  Dare I use my favorite term again?  OVERRATED!!!

Some first-class suckers paid up to 125 Yankee dollars just to see a 15-minute Britney Spears concert last night.  Fifteen minutes?!?  My gawd—how did she ever manage to find the time between all her rehab stints and pub crawls?  Even Forrest Gump wouldn’t have been dumb enough to pay a friggin’ dime to see this travesty, during which she probably didn’t even actually sing one bloody note, anyway—she most likely lip-synched the whole damn thing!  Britney Spears is one of those unique people in the entertainment business whose initials also pretty much sum up her career.  There was actually a fleetingly brief time there when I actually felt kinda sorry for Brit, thinking that she truly needed professional help and all, but it’s all-too-apparent that she’s just another insatiable attention-seeker and publicity hound who will keep the tabloids in business for years to come.  Go away, Britney—your career is toast…

"Bennie And The Jets"—ELTON JOHN (1973) "She’s got electric boots/A mohair suit…" Had to hop aboard the ol’ Way-Back Machine for this one, courtesy of a long-forgotten 4th grade classmate of mine who swore up and down that Elton was singing "She’s got electric boobs."  I actually had to show him my album jacket with the lyrics in it to prove da boy wrong.  However, the concept of electric boobs has a certain appeal, doesn't it?  Maybe those enterprising Guinness guys on the TV commercials can come up with something for us in their laboratory—BRILLIANT!

An academic study of NBA officiating based on 13 years' worth of box scores uncovered this earth-shattering revelation:  white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players!  Well, duh!  The refs don't have much of a choice, being as nearly 3/4 of NBA players are black!  Shockingly enough, this study was NOT conducted by the University of Hee-Haw, but rather by a University of Pennsylvania assistant professor and a Cornell graduate student.  Methinks these guys have WAY too much time on their hands if they have to go out of their way like this to find racism.

Okay, the conservatives got what they wanted—Rosie O’Donnell is leaving "The View".  So, why are Bill O’Reilly and the three dimwits on Faux News Channel’s morning show, et al, still flapping their jaws about her?  Ding, dong—the witch is gone!  Let it go, and please move on to something else, already…

Speaking of Bill O’Rile-Up, I saw conservative airhead Michelle Malkin filling in for him the other night on "O’Reilly Factor" while he was off sexually harassing female co-workers again.  I’ll say one thing for Ms. Malkin—she’s a major idiot, but she may well be the cutest major idiot I’ve ever seen…

A memo to all morning TV news show producers:  PLEASE 86 those damn windows behind your sets that allow all these yahoos on the streets of New York to wave vociferously at us during your morning programs!  This is yet another annoying "innovation" which MTV instigated (for all those viewers with the attention span of a tse-tse fly) that has crept into TV news that needs to go away, not unlike that constantly-moving hand-held camera shtick that TV news tried for a while, too.  It’s distracting as hell trying to watch someone deliver the news or conduct an interview while some jagoff is behind them on a cell phone waving like a Kansas wheat field during a tornado and screaming, "I’m on TV! I’m on TV!"  The only useful purpose these windows might have would be if a concerned viewer does as George Carlin once suggested and
lip-synchs, "I hope all you fucking lip-readers are looking in!"

One of my all-time favorite jokes—Q:  What’s the difference between the Lawrence Welk Orchestra and a moose?

A:  Well for one thing, a moose has its horns in the front and its asshole in the rear!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Greatest Album of All-Time

I’m now up to that "Cat named Hercules", Sir Elton John, in my current alphabetical CD trek, and just finished listening to his masterpiece Goodbye Yellow Brick Road for like the eleventy-thousandth time in the last 33.5 years, and it remains my favorite album of all-time on earth in this hemisphere and has been virtually since the day it came out in October, 1973.  It’s a little bit funny (pun intended) that Elton actually thought he had a piece of crap on his hands when he left the studio after recording it, but he needn’t have worried—GYBR is just an awesome record from start-to-finish that I will never get tired of hearing.

What makes it all the more impressive is that Yellow Brick Road was a double-album which maintained its high quality throughout.  For you youngsters out there who’ve grown up on new albums that routinely feature over an hour’s worth of music, most records that came out during the ‘70s averaged 35-40 minutes of music, and it was rare for an artist to release a double-LP set unless it was a live album or a concept record like The Who’s Tommy and Quadrophenia or Pink Floyd’s The Wall.  And when someone did put out a non-live, non-concept double-LP of all-new material, you often wound up with a lot of sub-par filler stuff and "throw-away" tracks, like on The Beatles’ White Album, Jimi Hendrix’ Electric Ladyland and the Stones' Exile On Main Street, as well as Elton’s own 1976 release, Blue Moves.  If you took those same double-albums and gleaned the best songs off them, you'd have really solid single LPs instead of the patchy collections of songs that we’ve come to know.  This wasn’t the case on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, however, where even the throw-aways (or "B-stuff") were top-notch!

What I really love about this album is that it has a little bit of everything that I like in music—some good headphone stuff ("Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding"), some edgy guitar-driven Rock ‘N’ Roll ("Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting", "All The Young Girls Love Alice"), a little drama ("The Ballad of Danny Bailey", "Candle In The Wind"), a little humor ("Dirty Little Girl", "Social Disease") and a little goofiness ("Your Sister Can’t Twist" (But She Can Rock ‘N’ Roll)").  Then you throw in Bernie Taupin’s outstanding lyrics, some first-class musicianship, a killer album jacket and cover, and you’ve got the greatest Rock ‘N’ Roll album ever made, in my opinion.

As for that first-class musicianship, I want to praise Elton’s longtime band, which I don’t think gets near enough credit for their body of work. Guitarist Davey Johnstone, bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson played on Elton’s records from 1971 to 1975 (with the addition of multi-tasking percussionist Ray Cooper in 1974), and they were an excellent musical unit during that time.  Johnstone in particular is vastly underrated, and is one of my all-time favorite guitar players. I’ve often wondered what the hell Elton was thinking when he broke this band up in 1975 after "Philadelphia Freedom" (which ironically was the one and only time they were credited on record as "The Elton John Band"), and only Johnstone and Cooper remained when EJ brought a phalanx of other musicians aboard for Rock Of The Westies and beyond.  It’s no accident that Elton’s resurgence in popularity in early ‘80s coincided with Murray and Olsson’s return to the fold, not mention how one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever seen featured this classic lineup (minus Cooper) when Elton and the boys played Starlight Theater in K.C. on June 6, 1982.  Both Davey and Nigel still record and tour with Elton today, but sadly, Dee Murray died of skin cancer in 1992.  I would also be remiss in not mentioning the late Gus Dudgeon, the producer of Yellow Brick Road, as well as most of Elton’s ‘70s output—ain’t no doubt this man knew his way around the ol’ control board.

And now, my personal track-by-track review of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road:
1) "Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding"—Excellent lead-off hitter for both an album and a concert, as the song starts off mournfully and builds to a crescendo.  Davey Johnstone really shines on this 11-minute opus too.
2) "Candle In The Wind"—This, boys and girls, is THE definitive version of this song.  I never much cared for the live ’87 hit single version when Elton’s voice was shot to hell prior to his throat surgery, and the re-worked version for Princess Di’s funeral speaks for itself, but this is the way the song should be played, with the beautiful melodic guitar signature and dramatic backing vocals.  Classic line from B. Taupin here, too:  "from the young man in the 22nd row who sees you as something more than sexual—more than just our Marilyn Monroe."
3) "Bennie And The Jets"—Greatest fictitious Rock band this side of Josie & The Pussycats!  I was a real sucker when I was 9-10 years old, thinking this track was actually recorded live in concert.  This is always a high point in Elton’s live act too.  A classic it is, says Master Yoda…
4) "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"—I grew up on AM radio in the early/mid-‘70s, and this song was all over it in the fall of ’73, along with The Carpenters and Tony Orlando & Dawn (now Dusk?).  I always wondered why Dorothy and Toto were never mentioned…
5) "This Song Has No Title"—This track would fall under the "throwaway" category, but it’s actually not a bad little tune at all.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Elton digs this one out and plays it live in concert now and then, as he's been known to do with many of his "B-tunes", like "Ticking", "Teacher, I Need You" and "Where To Now, St. Peter?".
6) "Grey Seal"—I don’t have a clue what the lyrics mean—it’s called "Grey Seal", yet it’s all about a bird—but it’s a great track anyway.  This was actually the second time Elton recorded this song.  A much more tepid 1970 version appears on Elton’s box set, but this one rocks out with the best of E.J.’s stuff.  Nice to hear it getting regular airplay on Classic Rock stations today.
7) "Jamaica Jerk-Off"—No, it’s not about that!  For Masturbation 101 tunes, I refer you guys to The Who's "Pictures Of Lily" and you girls to Divinyls' "I Touch Myself".  Bernie Taupin initially wanted to call this "The Jamaica Jerk" or "The Jamaica Twist"—as in a new dance move—but settled on "Jerk-Off" for whatever reason.  It's a goofy little song, as Elton takes a stab at being Bob Marley for a day.  Probably the weakest song on the album, but far from being totally wretched.
8) "I’ve Seen That Movie Too"—This song didn’t do much for me early on, but it’s really grown on me over the years, especially now that I get the gist of the lyrics as an adult in terms of all the head games one must play in relationships and friendships and such.  Great guitar solo from Johnstone here too, augmented by the excellent orchestral arrangement by Del Newman that was also a trademark of many of Elton’s early songs, like "Levon" and "Your Song", et al.
9) "Sweet Painted Ladies"—Greatest Rock song ever about prostitutes this side of Kiss’ "Black Diamond" and "Big City Girls" by April Wine.  Gotta love the line, "Opportunity awaits me like a rat in a drain…"
10) "The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909-34)"—When I was about ten or so, I actually tried to look up young Mr. Bailey in the encyclopedia, not realizing until years later that D.B. was a fictional character created by Mr. Taupin.  Very dramatic song, great vocals from Elton, and once again the orchestral accompaniment really colors in the song.  One of my favorite tracks off GYBR.
11) "Dirty Little Girl"—I believe the term we use today for girls like this is "White Trash ho", but in the post-Imus era, we have to re-think it, I suppose.  "Someone grab that bitch by the ears!" didn't even cause a stir in 1973, but if it came out today, they’d probably have Elton and Bernie up before the committee for not being P.C. enough.  Very funny song, though...
12) "All The Young Girls Love Alice"—Far and away the greatest song in Rock history with the word "dykes" in it.  Also my first musical introduction to homosexuality, although I didn’t know it at the time, nor did I care—I just thought it was a cool fucking song.  Great guitar riff from Davey, too.
13) "Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ‘N’ Roll)"—This used to be my favorite song on the album in my younger days, plus it had the word "shit" in the lyrics (which always scored points with me when I was a kid), but it hasn’t aged well over time with me, for some reason.  I still like it a lot, though, especially Elton’s Farfisa organ solo.
14) "Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting"—Yes, it gets played to death on the radio now, but I’ll never tire of hearing it—one of my Top 10 songs of all-time.  Don’t give me none of yer aggravation, either!
15) "Roy Rogers"—Yet another song reflecting Bernie Taupin’s fascination with the Old West.  Not one of my big faves from the album, but not a bad song, either.  Yippie-ki-yay!
16) "Social Disease"—Another tune that most likely wouldn’t have made the cut if this was a single LP, but it’s rather humorous, and it gave Johnstone a chance to do a little pickin’ on the banjo.
17) "Harmony"—If there’s one criticism I have of GYBR, it’s that it doesn’t have that definitive climactic closing track a la The Who’s "Won’t Get Fooled Again" or "Who Are You?". "Harmony" is a great song, but it seems out of place at the end of the album. "Saturday" or "Alice" or even "Danny Bailey" might have served as a better closer.  Better to go out with a bang, not a whimper, I say.  Come to think of it, on the 8-track version, "Saturday" was indeed the final track.

redictably, Elton John has never even come close to topping Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.  He’s put out some great stuff from time to time since then, but this was his Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road all rolled into one.  If I was only allowed to keep one CD from my entire collection for eternity, the choice would be a no-brainer.  Just an incredibly awesome record…

Monday, April 30, 2007

A few funnies, Part Deux

Come on in, the water's fine...

I'm reminded of that Talking Heads song: "We're on the road to nowhere..."

Man, they are getting desperate for help...

Quite possibly the greatest improvement to an existing product ever!

The epitome of "chutzpah". I once saw a guy in Las Vegas do something very similar with a sign that read "Why lie? I want a beer!", and I almost bought him one. Almost...

Where it all began...

A few funnies...

This message would make my day! (Click on the pic if you have trouble reading it.)

Geez, make the punishment fit the crime, will ya?

Alright, which one of you motherfuckers is Tiger Woods?!?

Truth in advertising? Naw, couldn't be...

And while we're on the subject of gas...

Free KY jelly provided!

May Day Eve

Is it almost May already? Doesn't seem possible...

Man, what a shame about St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock's untimely passing over the weekend.  I didn't know all that much about him, really, but apparently he was well thought-of in the clubhouse, and his loss will be deeply felt by the team.  And good graciouswhat are the odds of something like this happening to the same franchise during the season within a five-year span?  The Cards were already mourning the death of legendary announcer Jack Buck when they lost pitcher Darryl Kile in late June, 2002eerily enough while also playing the Cubsand now lightning strikes them again.  Sad, very sad...

On a happier baseball note, congrats to Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitski for pulling off the 13th unassisted triple play in Major League history yesterday against the Braves in roughly the same amount of time it takes to type his last name!  What's funny is a co-worker and I were just discussing that rare baseball phenomenon the other day.  I remember seeing Oakland's Randy Velarde do it against the Yankees a few years back on a Fox-TV broadcast, and it happened so quickly that I didn't even realize what he'd just done.  This is what sets baseball apart from all other sportsthe little oddities and rare occurences that happen along the way.

Behold the giveaway bobbleheads of Kansas City Royals pheenom third baseman Alex Gordn courtesy of the AAA Omaha Royalsa team Gordn has yet to play an inning for.  Young master Al went straight from AA Wichita to the big-league club this year, but that ain't stopping the folks in Nebraska from giving these misspelled figurines away.  I hear next week they're doing a tribute to NASCAR hero Jeff Gordn too, with singer Gordn Lightfoot doing the national anthem...

…to the yokel who called in to 99.7 KY during the lunchtime all-request hour today asking to hear AC/DC’s "You Shook Me All Night Long"—as if KY hardly ever plays that song!  I love AC/DC to death, but the whole idea behind the request hour is to get the radio station to play something different, and I’m just about sick of hearing that song (and "Highway To Hell" too) on the radio.  I was far more impressed with a prior caller's creativitiy in requesting Steve Walsh's "Every Step of The Way"...

While I’m on the subject, why is it whenever someone calls to make a request, the DJs have to interrogate the caller with a litany of questions?  "Where do you live?...Where do you work?...What are you doing today?...What’s your dog’s name?," et al.  Jeez, LouiseI don’t need to hear the listener’s life story, just play the bloody song they asked for and shut up, already!

"Uptown Girl"—BILLY JOEL (1984) "She’s getting tired of her high-class toys/And all her presents from her uptown boys/She’s got a choice."  I always thought that last line was "She’s got her toys", as in those toys.  You know, her Genital Electric line of products!  Yes, I know, I'm a filthy guy...

The New England Patriots traded for wide receiver Randy Moss yesterday.  Just remember, you P-Men, when you marry the stripper, you get all her baggage too.  As Fred Sanford used to say, "I give it two weeks..."