Friday Fives – more music and michael vick, too

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Which music artists football players* have changed the game?

Well, I will tell you about something a lot of people don’t talk about. Michael Vick! Yes, he is a horrible person and a psycho who killed dogs for sport. However, he also changed the game of football… completely and single-handedly. Allow me to ‘splain.

Before Vick, the guys on the line of scrimmage (both sides, defense and offense) weren’t designed for endurance or distance. They were big fat bastards. There only job was to run into each other at top speed, and allow the fat, planetary-like collisions to buy the QB enough time to dump the ball (to a running back behind him, or a receiver down field). So, if you worked on the line you didn’t have to be fast, or in shape. All you had to be was a fat motherfucker. Remember William ‘the refrigerator’ Perry? He was 382 pounds. That was his single only contribution to the Bears. He was AWESOME.

Quarterbacks didn’t run, for the most part. Dan Marino, for example, held every passing record in the NFL. He had 32 yards running, in his CAREER. Vick changed that by being incredibly mobile. Once you hiked him the ball, he just took off. Not even forward, necessarily… just everywhere.   So, the guys in charge of chasing him… just about fell over dead. This allowed him to take all the time in the world.

This changed the game. His mobility meant those guys on the line (again, both sides) had to be fit and fast and have endurance. Yes, other quarterbacks moved before him and after him… but no one like him. I think he changed the game of football more than any one single person before him. Also, don’t worry about the dog thing. He not only went to jail and humiliated himself… but if you believe in hell I assure you he is going there.

* I felt like talking about football.  So, I made an executive decision

What’s the best acoustic version of a song?

I have to go with Everlong on the Howard Stern show. Again, that single leaked recording was a revolution that made acoustic cool again. It was a breakthrough for everyone, ESPECIALLY Dave Grohl. He clearly hadn’t planned to play guitar for Howard. They probably had a guitar in studio. It was also apparent he had NEVER played the song on acoustic before. This is unusual, as almost all songs are written on acoustic.

Also, he didn’t choose the song, Baba Booey did (Dell’Abate, the show’s producer). So, he wings it… and creates an historic moment.

Keep in mind, ‘Unplugged’ had largely fallen off the radar… especially for rock groups. His performance is amazing. It also shows how unbelievable good that song is. It stands up without distortion or a big band or special effects or overdubs. To this day, Grohl plays that song with an acoustic intro all because of that day. Now, we don’t have video of this. It was when Howard was on terrestrial radio. We do have the audio though. Listen to this with headphones. Seriously, that is an order. Note his singing, as well. When Foo Fighters play live, Dave Grohl screams. There is little nuance to his singing OR playing, historically. In this performance, he sings carefully, and plays carefully. He is a good and talented musician.

Now, if I may generalize, 99.99999999% of the time I prefer an acoustic version of anything.  It shows the actual musical proficiency of the artists, and shows when a song can stand on its own without special effects and studio magic.

What is something you were a huge fan of BEFORE it got really popular?

Your mother. Ha, just kidding. Never liked her at all. How about this, I knew Guns and Roses before they were big. Before their first album. Before ‘Welcome to the Jungle’. Now, I don’t get credit for discovering them. That goes to Tim Ashton. He had a very obscure limited EP ‘Live like a fuckin’ suicide’ on cassette. Once Guns got big, they re-released that EP as side two of ‘Lies’. In fact, lemme tell you about that summer. Tim and I were inseparable. We spent every waking moment together. We had a cassette that we listened at all times. It never got pulled out of the cassette deck. We were, and it was a blank tape. One side had Appetite for Destruction and the other side had ‘in the Dark’ from the Grateful Dead. Two masterpiece albums

Also, I was a fan of Pumpkins years before ‘Today’ and all their hits off of Siamese Dream.

What are you listening to right now?

Mr Wonderful on Shark Tank. Oh.. you meant in music? The usual suspects, Pearl Jam bootlegs, Grateful Dead, early Dylan. Also, I picked up the new free U2 album today. It is quite good. Though I don’t listen to U2 like I used to, I think they are biggest and best rock band in the business today. Their disc from about 7 or 8 or 5 or 10 years ago (editors note:  2000.  So, it was 14 years ago)  is one of the top five albums EVER made. It’s called ‘All that you can’t leave behind’. It’s super duper good. You should not even finish reading this. Find that album and download it. Don’t even talk to me unless you have heard it about 45 times.

What’s the saddest song in the world?

Idiot Wind. Well, I dunno. Each and every song on that album is a serious heartbreaker and soul crusher. The album is Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood on the Tracks’. It is his masterpiece form 1974 about his divorce. Dig these lyrics from Idiot Wind.

I can’t feel you anymore, I can’t even touch the books you’ve read
Every time I crawl past your door, I been wishing I was somebody else instead
Down the highway down the tracks down the road to ecstasy
I followed you beneath the stars hounded by your memory
And all you raging glory.

I been double-crossed now for the very last time and now I’m finally free
I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me
You’ll never know the hurt I suffered not the pain I raise above
And I’ll never know the same about you your holiness or your kind of love
And it makes me feel so sorry.

Every single song on that album is that well written and that sad. This album, most famously, produced ‘Tangled up in Blue”.

OOOHHH WAIT. Even better and sadder – John Prine. Which song? Try every song he ever wrote. More specifically, look at this song – ‘Lake Marie’. At first glance, it appears to be sweet. The subtext of sadness is so well written, it simply defines the issue of heartbreak.

Yes, that it what it looks like at first… like ‘My Last Dutchess’. But look closer at the words. Holy fuck this song is sad. Here is a verse, and here is a clip of him playing said song.

Many years later I found myself talking to this girl
Who was standing there with her back turned to Lake Marie
The wind was blowing especially through her hair
There was four Italian sausages cooking on the outdoor grill
And Man, they was ssssssssizzlin’
Many years later we found ourselves in Canada
Trying to save our marriage and perhaps catch a few fish
Whatever seemed easier
That night she fell asleep in my arms
Humming the tune to “Louie Louie’
Aah baby, We gotta go now.

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One thought on “Friday Fives – more music and michael vick, too

  1. I don’t have an answer for #1. I stopped watching football in the early 90’s. Something had changed. I never could put my finger on it. Since then there have been too many “Michael Vick”s in pro sports and I can’t waste my time on it.

    Ditto for #2. Not that I don’t like acoustic. It’s just that nothing pops into my head.

    Hmm, #3. Would have to be David Bowie. As I remember it, he really didn’t become popular until Young Americans when the “Thin White Duke” was born. For me it was 1971. I was 12. “The Man Who Sold the World” was new in the US. Of course soon after came Ziggy. There was a late night radio show, from 10 to Midnight, on Fridays and Saturdays, that would play all the songs they couldn’t put in the days regular rotation. None of my friends were into him. They didn’t get it. My parents were horrified! LOL

    #4. I have an AMAZING seeded station on Pandora that I call DAZZ BAND. All heavy duty, down and dirty, hard a** Funk, all the time. Only problem is they keep trying to make me listen to Lionel Ritchie!!! Thumbs Down, please!

    And #5. I weep uncontrollably to both of these. “Pyramid Song”/Radiohead & “Last Goodbye”/Jeff Buckley

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