Thursday, March 11, 2004

How he do that, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers?

Again, how hot was it?
*It is hot. I was sweating like President Bush telling Rosie O'Donnell she can't be married to her girlfriend.

What a Piker
*Did you hear about the Atlanta woman, Alice Pike, who tried to buy $1,600 worth of Wal-Mart goods with a counterfeit one million dollar bill? The first sign that the one million dollar bill was a fake was that it had a picture of President Donald Trump.

Where's the pick-a-nick basket, Boo Boo?
*Did you see the picture of John Kerry standing over Howard Dean? They look like Yogi and Boo Boo bear.

Rhyme in time
*O.J. Simpson is now being accused of stealing satellite TV. He might have to hire Johnny Cochran. "If his TV shows snow, he's not watching HBO."

Hand jive
*George Michael said he will retire from making albums, but he will continue to stay in music. When it comes to performing, Michael wants to keep his hand in.

Michael still loves singing, as a profession, he says you just can't beat it.

Michael continues to perform even after his LA bathroom scandal. You have to hand it to him.

Now that's toothless
*A Senate committee told Major League baseball to create tougher drug testing policies. How toothless is baseball's current drug testing policy? A player isn't suspended until his fifth positive, pre-announced urine test. That is the drug policy equivalent of a Dennis Kucinich campaign promise.

*The NHL suspended Vancouver all-star Todd Bertuzzi for the rest of the year for his brutal sucker attack on Colorado Avalanche rookie Steve Moore. Have you seen the attack? Bertuzzi goes after Moore like John Daly goes after a Snickers bar.

How brutal was the attack? Even John Kerry wouldn't go after President Bush that hard.

Since you asked:

Do you ever fantasize about going back to high school knowing what you know now? Like the time, at the big basketball game, when I was a junior, when ultimate-babe -senior-head-cheerleader Debbie Fox sat in the bleachers right in front of me and then leaned her back against me and rested her arms on my legs, like I was her own personal boy toy thrown? Well, this time I wouldn't freeze like a deer in the headlights with fear. That and I would corner the patent on Velcro.

Yesterday, I had a chance to listen to an hour clip of WLS's consummate corny Seventies Chicago (gaaaaahhhd maaaahning Chicagooooo) dee jay, John Records (Yes, it really was his middle name) Landecker recorded from March of 1974. It was like traveling back in time, and you know what? I think I'll stay here.

My god there was some bad music back then. Cher singing "Gypsy Lady" for the love of decency? And I am not just talking about the odd really horrible one-hit-songs like Looking Glass' "Brandy" and Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died" and possibly the worst, Terry Jack's "Seasons in the Sun." (I can still picture my old girlfriend, bless her sweet heart, Betsy Fox - no relation to Debbie - crying like a baby over that song. It's probably why we broke up)

Not only were there some bad songs back then, but some really horrible bands that were huge. Not big, HUGE. Kansas? Are you kidding me? Foreigner sucked as much as they were massive. So did Boston. Ted Nugent and Rush? They stunk. These awful bands sold out massive stadium concerts. These horrible bands were as big, at certain times as - pause for a herald angel trumpeted introduction - the amazingly great Led Zeppelin. Besides the Rolling Stones, everything you need to know about rock and roll begins and ends with Led Zeppelin. Period. And Eric Clapton and Cream, of course. And possibly the two most underrated legendary bands: Creedence Clearwater Revival, and The Guess Who.

Like with many things, there are three distinct levels of rock bands. There are the few and undisputed legends, then the much larger second category of really good bands, and then, the third group, which is everyone else.

The legends are the legends, whether you liked them or not, you can't argue: Jimi Hendrix. The Beatles, obviously, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, The Who, Janis Joplin. Bob Marley, etc. And they don't have to be dead either, like Bob Dylan, who I think is pretty much nearly dead. Just making this group would be the Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen. It's an amazing group.

The next level down is a big drop from legendary, but is still great or really good. Really good as in you buy their albums, go to their concerts, but they just aren't in the rarified air of the legends. Jethro Tull is a fine example, so is Jimmy Buffet and The Doobie Brothers. U2 is in the second group, near the top, but still in the second group. The Pretenders. Steely Dan, and - even though I was a devotee in the Seventies - I have to put the Eagles in the second group. Again, like U2, near the top, mind you, but still in the second group.

What is an example of a good third group band? There is no such thing. They may have had a few good songs, but there are no good bands in the third group. The Seventies and Eighties are absolutely littered with HUGE third tier bands like Duran Duran, Flock of Frickin? Seagulls, Journey. (There was a time when I would have put The Talking Heads in the second group until we found out what a colossal snotty jerk David Byrne turned out to be)

Do you want a great two people, same time, same category of music example of the difference between the second group and the third group? Jackson Browne is a solid second grouper. Dan Fogelberg is a clear third grouper. At the time, they were both considered at the same level. It turns out Jackson Browne is great vintage California woody station wagon, Dan Fogleberg is a driftwood lamp, Pucca shells and a Farrah Fawcett hairdo.

The best band example of the differance between first tier, the legends, versus second tier, really good, is the Rollings Stones and Aerosmith. Aerosmith is great, no question. They have stood the test of time. But Tyler/Perry are merely Jagger/Richards Lite. End of story. As my buddy Bryan Crane put it so well, there is no shame in second tier. In fact, there is honor there.

AC/DC? Solid second tier. Poison? Deep third. ZZ Top? Second. Toto? Third. It might hurt some to put the Go Go's in with the Bangles, but not me, they are both third level groups. Van Halen? Gotta go second. Bon Jovi? That's a tough call for me. Hair was way too big, but they had good songs. OK, Bon Jovi is second tier. Madonna? Don't make me come up there. You know she is low third. Nora Jones? Clear second tier. Britney Spears? Tell me you are kidding? Britney is deep bottom third.

Now, remember, this is just my opinion. Sure, it happens to be the correct opinion, the just opinion, the sage opinion and anyone who disagrees is not only flat wrong, but possibly evil, but it is still just my opinion.