Archive for December, 2011
Since I live in a baseball city and am a big Cardinals fan, I decided to do a little investigation into something we all hear at the stadium but never give much thought to: the introduction at-bat music for each player.
This is the song that you hear about 3-5 seconds of as the player walks to the plate. The origin of the intro song is believed by many to be rooted in the early 1970s when the Yankees played “Pomp and Circumstance” upon closer Sparky Lyle’s entrance into games. It caught on with pop culturing in the 1989 movie “Major League” when Charlie Sheen’s character, Ricky Vaughn, ran onto the field to the raucous “Wild Thing”. These days some players take it pretty lightly, but other players put a lot of thought and effort into choosing their song. Many have their Facebook or Twitter fans vote for their song.
Though Major League Baseball doesn’t specify a specific number of seconds that a song clip can play, the league does specify that the batter’s music should start immediately after he’s announced and should stop when he reaches the dirt cut-out around home plate. As for the content of the song, baseball leaves it up to the clubs to “use good judgment.” Hmmmmm, that seems risky. Starting pitchers have their own music, but those tunes are often lost in the shuffle of the top of the first when everyone is finding their seat and cramming down some peanuts and cracker jacks. Closers have better luck getting fans attention. Mariano Rivera, of course, instills the fear of God into opponents when he trots out of the Yankee Stadium bullpen to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”
While it may seem like a fairly insignificant piece of the baseball routine, image-conscious ballplayers love the chance to express themselves as the spotlight shifts to them at home plate. Jose Reyes owns a record label and sometimes uses his own music as his intro song. When it comes to poor choices in at bat songs, the former Yankee Nick Johnson always gets a mention. He came to the plate to Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA,” reportedly because it was his daughter’s favorite song. Apparently some bands lobby to get their songs included as intro music by sending gifts and gift cards to the players (as if the players can’t afford to pay their bill at Chili’s).
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could have some “at-bat music” at work? Let’s say every time you have to give a presentation, on your way to the podium, they play your song to get you pumped up. Or if you work at a fast food place, they play your song as the next car drives around in order for you to hand their order to them? OK, I’m getting a little off-topic here, but think about what song you’d have played. Please reply on Facebook or the Local Q website and let me know what your personal “at-bat music” would be. Interestingly, “Your Love” by The Outfield was picked by quite a few players (Eric Byrnes, Gordon Beckham, Kelly Johnson). Say what? Good song, but I thought I was the only one who liked it, back in the ’80s. And I’m not real sure how this pumps up a batter.
Anyway, here are some interesting choices from around the MLB:
Albert Pujols – “Five Second,” by Canton Jones (Did anyone hear he signed with the Angels?)
Carlos Beltran – “El Esta Aqui,” (He Is Here) by David y Abraham
Matt Holiday – “Chicken Fried,” by Zac Brown Band
Skip Schumaker – “The Stroke,” by Billy Squier
David Freese – “Little Pink Houses,” by John ‘COUGAR’ Mellencamp
Nick Punto – “In the Air Tonight,” by Phil Collins
Mark Hamilton – “ET,” by Katy Perry
Drew Stubbs – “Riot,” by Three Days Grace
Edgar Renteria – Any song by 2Pac, requested to mix it up each time
Kelly Johnson – “Bulls on Parade,” by Rage Against the Machine
John Smoltz – “Thunderstruck,” by AC/DC
David Ortiz – “Big Poppa,” by Notorious B.I.G.
Mike Lowell & Jay Bruce – “Iron Man,” by Black Sabbath
Josh Beckett & Brad Hawpe – “Rockstar,” by Nickelback
Nick Swisher – “Danger Zone,” by Kenny Loggins
Joey Votto – “Black Betty” by Ram Jam
Lance Berkman – “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash & “Cat Scratch Fever” by Ted Nugent
Billy Butler – “Click Click Boom,” by Saliva
Ryan Braun – “Power,” by Kanye West
Randy Wolf – “By Demons Be Driven” by Pantera
Kyle Kendrick (pitcher) – “Been Caught Stealing” by Jane’s Addiction (clever)
Chase Utley – “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin
Roy Oswalt – “My Kinda Party,” by Jason Aldean
Joakim Soria – “Welcome to the Jungle,” by Guns N’ Roses
Derek Jeter - “Otis,” by Jay-Z & Kanye West
Mark Teixeira – “I Wanna Rock,” by Twisted Sister
Alex Rodriguez – “Welcome to the Jungle,” by Jay-Z & Kanye West
Earlier in the week I reviewed some music biography and autobiographies to get musicians if you are looking for some last minute gifts. Since we still have a few days of shopping left, I wanted to throw out a few more. Remember Amazon and Barnes & Noble have second day shipping and Quincy Books in the mall is open on Christmas Eve until 5 p.m.
“Cash: The Autobiography” by Johnny Cash
The man in black looks back on a fascinating life. He crossed genres from Gospel to Country to Rock without even trying but always had the same sound. If you watched the movie “Walk The Line,” then many of the stories in this book will be familiar. However, the stories and background are much more detailed and Johnny gives you the stories in his own words. This is a man that once started a forest fire with an automobile and brought back a pickup load of amphetamines from Mexico……not your everyday stories from the road. While apologetic about many of the things he’s done, Cash is no doubt fearless when it comes to being honest about his life. The book drags towards the end with a couple of sappy chapters writing to his children and grandchildren, but still a great book. GRADE: A-
“Ronnie: The Autobiography” by Ronnie Wood
I’m not a big fan of The Rolling Stones – nothing against them, just a bit of a generation gap. However, road warriors in the music world who have become legendary and are willing to share their tales always intrigue me. Interestingly, Wood was the first in his family to be born on dry land. Both sides of his family were water gypsies that lived on boats 24/7. In 1960’s England, Wood was in the right place at the right time and became the guitarists for the Birds, Jeff Beck, the Faces (with Rod Stewart), and eventually the biggest gig of all, the second guitar player for The Rolling Stones. This book takes you through his extreme adventures of rock and roll with The Stones along with the drugs and crazy personalities involved. Amazingly, Wood lost his fortune with some horrible investments and has had to make a comeback with his artwork and yet another comeback tour with The Stones. Like many rock and roll autobiographies, some of the stories makes you question the accuracy when Wood and his drug buddy Keith Richards were out of their minds on heroin…..but still worth a read. GRADE: B-
“The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star” by Nikki Sixx
This is one of those I would classify as a guilty pleasure to be read along with the next book, “The Dirt, The Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band”. It is a very quick read compared to most rock and roll books and in fact I read it straight through on a lazy Sunday in one sitting. It’s definitely one you don’t want to put down. I was a little concerned by the title in that it might glorify the drug-addicted lifestyle of so many rockstars. It doesn’t take long though to realize how horrible of an existence cocaine and heroin addiction can be as I’m sure Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley would agree if they were still alive. This book is literally a diary kept by Sixx starting (oddly enough) on Christmas in 1986 with him alone, crouched naked under his Christmas tree with a syringe recently full of heroin. The diary should be required reading for any young musician just starting out and going on tour. If it doesn’t keep them away from drugs on the road, nothing will. GRADE: A+
“The Dirt: The Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band” by Neil Strauss
“The Heroin Diaries” wouldn’t be complete without also reading “The Dirt….” published six years earlier which chronicles the raunchy start and meteoric rise of Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Vince Neil and Mick Mars. Motley Crue is one of the most iconic rock bands of all time and known for drug and alcohol addiction, drunken car wrecks, outrageous non-stop parties, and girls everywhere. It’s very interesting to compare the band stories in this book about Sixx hiding his heroin addiction during the time of his diary writing (see above). No heavy metal fan will want to be without this crude but honest chronicle from one of the best all time rock and roll authors, Neil Strauss. GRADE: A
“Can’t Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters” by Robert Gordon
I loved this book. I’m always fascinated with the true blues masters from the delta region and Muddy Waters is one of the greatest of them all. Born McKinley Morganfield in Mississippi, Muddy Waters, still plowing fields in his 30’s, was “discovered” by Alan Lomax during one of his famous field recording expeditions for the Library of Congress. Waters left Mississippi and came to Chicago in 1943 to electrify the blues taking the music form from the acoustic guitar in the fields to using a Fender Telecaster and amp in Chicago blues bars. Soon Waters was recording for the legendary Chess brothers at Chess Records and selling tons of records, although profiting very little. The 1950’s and 60’s were pretty rough for Waters as Chuck Berry and rock and roll took over and dominated the music industry. In the 1970’s everything came full circle as Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones (named after a Muddy Waters song) turned on a new generation to the music of Muddy and his contemporaries. The author stays very unbiased about Waters’ personal life as he lays out the facts of the many illegitimate children Waters left behind. This is often a dark story, full of guns, violence, hard liquor and loose living and is one of my favorite biographies. GRADE: A+
For those of you procrastinators still looking for some gift ideas for the musicians in your family who can actually read (just kidding, musicians), I wanted to throw out some ideas for music biographies and autobiographies. I’m addicted to this genre and my Amazon.com past purchases account proves it. I’ll separate these out by music style to save you some time.
“Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me,” by Brad Paisley and David Wild
Great book no matter what style of music you are into. This is especially true if you are a guitar player. Paisley talks about growing up with a grandfather that practically forced him to start playing guitar, but he eventually fell in love with the instrument and grew up playing in bands with some older gentlemen who taught him how to be a real musician. He then details his time at a business college in Nashville, while interning at a record label, writing songs and eventually getting a record deal. Anyone who knows much about Paisley knows he’s a ‘gear head,’ that is he loves guitars and amps and owns tons of them. Unfortunately, he lost almost every instrument he owned to the Nashville flood a couple of years ago. The book concludes with a great story that was also in Vintage Guitar magazine last month about Paisley receiving his insurance check and buying a very expensive, old Martin guitar from George Gruhn Guitars in Nashville that was more than likely played at some point by his grandfather 60 years earlier. GRADE: A+
“Waylon: An Autobiography,” by Waylon Jennings and Lenny Kaye
Like everything about Waylon, this book is gritty and honest and he doesn’t pull any punches. From his beginnings in a dirt floor house in west Texas, through busted marriages, his time as a DJ in Texas (along with the fateful day Buddy Holly dropped by the studio and made quick friends with Waylon), to his time playing bass guitar on tour with Buddy Holly, to his successful recording and touring career as well as his long and loving marriage to Jessi Colter, this book covers it all. It’s packed with some great stories (my favorite is his animosity towards Merle Haggard for taking advantage of Waylon during a poker game) that makes you feel like you’re at the bar sharing a beer with Jennings as he takes you through his life’s experiences. GRADE: A
“Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock,” by Sammy Hagar
Great book if you are a Sammy fan, which I definitely am. The book starts as almost all biographies do, with the story of Sammy’s early life and in this case the extremely tough childhood he had with an abusive and alcoholic father. The book continues with his tear through rock and roll as a solo artist, lead singer of Montrose, and of course as the lead singer of Van Halen. The book comes full circle with Sammy again touring and recording as a solo artist and (his latest band) Chickenfoot. Sammy also tells about his many business ventures including his tequila, Cabo Wabo. Much has been made of his side of the story about the Van Halen brothers and you won’t be disappointed by the raw stories Sammy gives you in this book. GRADE: A+
“The Long Hard Road Out of Hell,” by Marilyn Manson & Neil Strauss
I’ve read a ton of positive reviews of this book, but unfortunately I wasn’t a big fan. I’ve never been a Marilyn Manson fan at all, so maybe that is why I’m not a fan of this book. “Why buy the book?” you might ask and that’s a good question. I guess I was just curious about what made this freaky dude tick. While the book is definitely entertaining and is a real roller coaster ride, I had a hard time telling how much was sincere and how much was given for shock value — just like everything else in his career I suppose. However, if you have a MM fan on your Christmas list, they will probably like the book. GRADE: C-
“Late, Late at Night,” by Rick Springfield
This one really surprised me. I was anticipating a ‘bubble gum biography,’ but what I got was a very deep and sincere memoir from an artist and actor who has been through more ups and downs than Traci Lords. I was unaware of Springfield’s childhood split between Australia and England or his early successes and then struggles in the music business long before “Jessie’s Girl” was recorded. The other surprising part of this story is Springfield’s long fight against depression that goes back to his childhood. Good read, but starts out a bit slow. GRADE: A-
“Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King,” by B. B. King & David Ritz
His real name is Riley B. King, but the B.B. stands, as any blues aficionado knows, for Blues Boy, a nickname he was given in the late 1940s when he was a disk jockey in Memphis. B.B. King — One of my favorite guitarists and a living legend. If you really want to hear about coming from nothing – dirt floor shack and all, B.B. can tell you that story and tell you the history of the Delta blues like no one else can. Great (but sad at times) story and very entertaining. GRADE: A+
“Guitar Lessons: A Life’s Journey Turning Passion into Business,” by Bob Taylor
Now this is not a book for everybody. You have to either (a) be a fan of Taylor guitars or (b) be interested in the business of guitar building or building a business from the ground up. Since I can check both (a) and (b), I was pretty sure I would enjoy it and I did. I had no idea that Bob Taylor is a first cousin with legendary Bulls and Lakers coach, Phil Jackson. Anyway, this book tells the story of a young man with a passion for building guitars that worked for over a decade without making one dollar’s profit but he soldiered on to create one of the most successful modern guitar companies. For me this book is an A+, but for the average reader it will probably be a C due to the subject matter. However, if you have a Taylor guitar fan on your list or someone interested in building guitars, this will be a great Christmas present. GRADE: A+
Hope this list helps if you need some last minute books for the musicians in your clan.
Here are the results:
Worst Christmas CD: Tiny Tim’s Christmas CD (landslide victory)
Runner-up: “A Twisted Christmas” by Twisted Sister
Write-in Votes: “Anything” by Mannheim Steamroller
Bob Dylan’s Christmas Album
I can’t believe the Ali Lohan - “Lohan Holiday” didn’t get some votes. With deep inspirational songs such as “I Like Christmas” (I’m not making this up), I figured the Lohan’s would get a few votes.
Anyway, now we’re moving on to singles since there are quite a few one-off Christmas songs, but the artists can’t quite bring themselves to do an entire album. Again, before we get into that, I want to highlight one golden nugget that I simply can’t get enough of (another song brought to my attention by Rodney Hart):
“Chewbacca Sings Silent Night” is one of the greatest things to happen to Christmas music. Just kidding but check it out here and turn up the speakers:
Also, as I was looking around at Christmas songs on Amazon, I cam across an incredible deal if you want some great classic Christmas songs from quality classic artists. Go to: http://amzn.com/B004H4J97A
For $5.00 you can download 100 Class Christmas songs, which includes Christmas songs from artists like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Peggy Lee, Les Paul, Johnny Mathis, and Doris Day.
And now to our contestants:
Korn – “Kidnap the Sandy Claws.” You can hear a sample on Amazon. Beware – this one is a bit frightening.
The Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight).” If you like the Ramones, you’ll dig this one. If not, you’ll hate it. Enough said.
John Denver – “Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas).” How touching! I think this was supposed to be funny but it’s hard to see what could have been funny about a seven-year-old pleading his dad not to pass out under the tree. I’m assuming this recorded before John’s two DUI arrests.
Band Aid – “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” Anyone remember this? Bono, Boy George, George Michael, Sting, Duran Duran, Bananarama… what’s not to like? The intentions were to put this together for charity which is great – I’m all for that. It was apparently knocked out in a 24-hour session and sounds like it. With lyrics like “Tonight thank God, it’s them, instead of you,” you can’t exactly sing it at the family Christmas get-together and feel good about yourself.
Father Guido Sarducci – “Santa’s Lament.” If you remember comedian Father Guido, you can imagine what you’re in for here.
Cyndi Lauper – “Christmas Conga.” Come on Cyndi, stick with songs about girls wanting to have fun.
Dr. Elmo – “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” You all know this one and you sing along as you cringe at how bad it is…..right?
Wham! – “Last Christmas.” I’m not sure which is more awkward, the misplaced jingle bells throughout the song or George Michael dancing around with a girl.
There seems to be no end but I’ll stop here. Let me know if you have a vote on one of these or have your own idea for the worst Christmas song of all times.
Smooth Sounds Band (jazz)
WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Martinis at 515, 515 Maine
Days Taken (rock)
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday
WHERE: The Blind Pig, 900 N. 12th St.
Eleven (classic rock)
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Johnny Bang Bang’s, 138 N. Front
The KingBees (blues)
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Friday
WHERE: The Cougar’s Den, 509 S. Ninth St.
Eleven (classic rock)
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Adams Trading Post, Liberty
Raised On Radio (blues/classic rock)
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Chaser’s, Rushville
X-Mass Destruction featuring Public Disturbance, Perditions Sky, Against all Odds and Nocebo (rock)
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: New Hampshire Bar, 1000 Hampshire
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Johnny Bang Bang’s, 138 N. Front
Road King (classic rock)
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: River City Billiards, Hannibal, Mo.
Harlot (classic rock)
WHEN: 9:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: One Restaurant & Bar, 600 Hampshire
More details on upcoming shows are available on the calendar page.
For information on bands and concert venues, go to the music page.
Submit details for upcoming shows at www.thelocalq.com/node/1767.
I want to start off by mentioning a word about the tremendous support I have been getting from emails, facebook adds and sheer random people approaching me and complimenting my work. Thank you!
This past Saturday was the night of the much anticipated Lincoln Douglas Street Fighter show at the State Room. Opening act was the Texas Funerals with their surf-infused eclectic blend of rockabilly and other genres. In between songs they busted out a few dittys from Heart, ZZ Top and Dick Dale. The song Double Shot was kind of like a Buster Poindexter reincarnation. I also want to point out that it was interesting how the State Room’s acoustics enhance the performance compared to the New Hampshire bar experience. I was also able to SEE the musicians. Nice job again!
Next came the headlining act.
This new, albeit temporary, ensemble is four guys from Quincy featuring frontman and bass player Corey Warning, Tony Peck on drums, Timmy Kayser on guitar and Matt Parker on guitar. The one night only appearance of some of Quincy’s finest musicians, the Lincoln Douglas Street Fighter combo packs four chord guitar riffs, with some heavy duty on-beat and off-beat drumming and the amazing vocal range of frontman Cory Warning. Warning was the singer for the now-defunct post-punk group the Graduate and played a number of shows with Vans Warped tour in the summer of 2007 to promote their album at the time.
Their music reminds me of a group from the ’80s called the Mighty Lemon Drops, a UK post modern band whose sound can be described as psychedelia influenced post punk.
Their music was a compilation of indie songs that to the unfamiliar listener were inspired by the likes of Weezer, the Silversun Pickups, the Replacements and the Babys although Warning himself admits that his influences are mainly Arcade Fire and Interpol. I’ll give ‘em that. Their style was loud but very melodic. Many references throughout the show were to that of the Foo Fighters, but I’m guessing that was some sort of inside jest. Either way, the music flowed naturally, flawlessly and was highly polished. LDSF are/were a breath of fresh air to Quincy’s much needed indie music scene. I also have an affinity for bands with multiple lead singers as Matt pitched in on a few songs.
Warning will be leaving for Portland, Oregon, in a few weeks, so the possibility of remaining together as a group in the future seems unlikely. That’s too bad, because I truly hate to see them go and I suspect that sentiment is echoed by a good number of people judging by the turnout and excitement of the audience. I estimated the headcount for the night was around 150, almost triple what the Continental show did last week. That kind of support speaks volumes.
Their evening finale was a cover of Local H’s “Copasetic,” which was done really well and got the audience really fired up — a good choice to close out the evening as people were yelling repeatedly for an encore. Unfortunately, as Warning admitted, LDSF exhausted their playlist. No worries. I’m hoping the door is not quite closed on this group just yet.
So I thought we should have an ugly Christmas music contest, too. Before we get to that though, I don’t want to be all negative, so here are a couple of Christmas CDs that I really love:
“James Brown’s Funky Christmas” – with classics like “Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto” and “Tit for Tat (Ain’t No Taking Back),” you can’t possibly go wrong. This is 17 songs of funky Christmas bliss that you should check out if you haven’t already. I made my boys listen to it on the trip to Quincy and back to St. Louis last weekend. The reviews were mixed, but it will grow on them.
“A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra” – All the classics are here, with 14 swingin’ songs capped off with a 28 second Christmas Seals Public Service Announcement from Frank. Hmmm, that was unexpected. Anyway, this CD will make you wish you lived in Vegas during the ’50s at Christmas time with a cigarette in one hand and cocktail in the other. I couldn’t get my boys interested in this one.
“If Every Day Were Like Christmas by Elvis Presley” — NO ONE does Christmas songs better than Elvis. This is 24 songs with all the classics and well worth the $9 price on Amazon. Again, if your kids are under 20, chances are slim they’ll give this one much of chance.
So it is now time for the candidates:
What I am going to throw at you here are the CDs, full-length, that I’ve found that make me cringe.
Facebook and Local Q friends: Please comment with your vote for the worst CD. You can always go to Amazon or Youtube to listen to some samples. I’ll announce the winner (loser) next week.
Also, later in the week, I’m going to throw out candidates for the worst Christmas Song (single). Let me know if you have any candidates that need included in that one. Here we go:
Christmas Album – Tiny Tim. My buddy Rodney Hart pointed this one out last week. I’m speechless. No words can possibly describe this.
Kenny G — The Greatest Holiday Classics. I remember one Christmas season being in the dentist chair drugged out of my mind getting a root canal and hearing this whole CD. I was digging it. That was the ONLY time I’ve dug it.
A Boiling Vat Of Adhesive Xmas by Substance W. — 28 Christmas classics turned into garbage. At least you get 28 “songs.”
Twisted Sister – A Twisted Christmas. Now I was a metal head in the ’80s and ’90s and still lean towards heavy metal, so I won’t say much negative here. 10 Christmas songs. It could be worse… there could be 11 of them.
Lohan Holiday – Ali Lohan. Folks, I think we have winner (loser). At least this is where I’m casting my vote. Apparently when Lindsay Lohan is not willing to do a project or is busy with court dates, Dina Lohan gives the project to Ali. In fact, it looks like Dina even does a duet with Ali on Silent Night. I listened to 4 of the 12 songs and reached for the spiked eggnog. Give it a listen.
Christmas Is 4 Ever – Bootsy Collins. Parliament-Funkadelic icon Bootsy Collins brings these 13 funky Christmas songs to us. I have no problems with this at all. I just included it because I love to say “Bootsy Collins” more than any other name in the English language right now.
Christmas with the Chipmunks – The Chipmunks. Sure it was funny when we were kids, but seriously, can anyone take more than one song without freaking out? I can’t.
I’m sure I’ve missed many of them, so let me know whom you would vote for or if you have a write-in vote. And remember, I’m looking for candidates for the worst single Christmas song for later in the week.
I’m writing this for all my fellow guitarists looking for an edge when it comes to music equipment.
Back in the ’80s and ’90s, there were many different brands of guitars, but besides the infamous Gibson Les Paul, there were very few guitars named after the artist who used the guitar.
These days there are tons of guitars, amps and effects pedals that are considered “signature” equipment. That is, there is an artist who endorses the item and claims to use it on stage and in the studio. Usually, these items also come with a hefty price tag even though the specifications might be almost identical to “non-signature” models of the same brand. I mean, come on, they’ve got to pay the guy to give them an autograph so they can reproduce it on the actual equipment.
Here are a few examples:
Eric Johnson Fender Strat – $1,900
Angus Young Gibson SG – $2,300
Ibanez Joe Satriani model – $2,000
Dean John Entwistle bass – $4,500
The general pattern and marketing plan here is that we see our favorite artists live, on video, or hear their new CD and decide “I NEED THAT SOUND.” Then we search out what equipment they use and low and behold, they are willing to sell us the exact same stuff they use built to their specifications. Here’s the problem. The equipment might help get you close to the guitar tone, but not the sound. The sound comes from the fingers and minds of the artists.
I won’t tell you how many times I’ve wandered down this dark road, but I’ll tell you about my latest misguided venture with “signature” equipment. Listening to one of my favorites guitarists, Mark Tremonti from Creed/Alter Bridge, I decided I already had an amp similar to his, but what I really need is the guitar and some effects pedals he uses. Then I could at least get close to the incredible sounds coming from Mark’s guitar rig. WRONG! I kept looking all over the guitar and pedals I just bought for the switch that says (Sound like Mark). It wasn’t anywhere to be found. I still sounded like ME!
So I call the trusty online seller of this fabulous “signature” equipment and the conversation goes something like this:
Me: “I need return authorization numbers for every item I’ve bought from you in the last month.”
Customer Service Rep: “Um, OK sir. May I ask why?”
Me: “Because I suck as a guitarist.”
CSR: “Hmmmm. I’m sorry to hear that. I don’t have that listed as a reason for returns, but we do have a 30-day return policy although you would have to ship the items back at your expense.”
Me: “Fine. Whatever, I just don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
So, after $60 in UPS charges, I sent the items back and got my refund. So, until I hear the next guitar player that knocks me out with his “signature” equipment, I should be safe.
On that topic, has anyone heard Slash’s new CD? Killer guitar sound! I wonder what amp he’s using?
This weekend Quincy is the site of the Lincoln Douglas Street Fighter.
Just imagine Lincoln and Douglas duking it out on State Street, blocking traffic, fisticuffs flying, bloody noses and all. Not exactly. But it sounded exciting, didn’t it?
Two Quincy native acts are going on this weekend at the State Room. The Texas Funerals and a group of guys who have formed from separate bands to do a ONE NIGHT ONLY show — Lincoln-Douglas Street Fighter.
Featuring Quincy natives and members of THE GRADUATE – THE FORECAST – THE JUNIOR VARSITY – BEST OF WINTER – FLOATING OTIS – PREDAWN HOUR.
12 Rounds: Corey Warning VS Tony Peck VS Timmy Kayser VS Matt Parker
So four guys and two Lincolns and two Douglasses. John Wilkes Booth is NOT expected to show.
Special Guests: Texas Funerals
Main Event starts at 9:30 p.m. with doors open at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at the State Room, 434 S. Eighth. $5 for admission.
Well here we go, I am Steve Stoner, and this is my first ever blog.
Being the nerd I am, I had to go look up what a blog is, even though I thought I pretty much knew. According to Webster, it is short for “WeB log”. There’s some useless information that you’ll need at Trivia Night someday.
Any “first” is always memorable and significant, so I’m excited.
I’m originally from Quincy, but have lived in the St. Louis area the last 10 years and over the last couple of years have volunteered and co-founded a non-profit group called Six String Heroes. Our group gives guitars and guitar lessons to military veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and other injuries.
At the beginning of each new session, we go around the room and introduce ourselves and we have a few standard questions we have everyone answer. One, is what was your first concert? Again, your “first” of anything is usually memorable, so most people will remember their first concert. After getting responses like Van Halen, The Allman Brothers, Pearl Jam and every other cool band in history, it’s my turn. What do I get to announce? That my first and most embarrassing concert attended was Air Supply. That’s right! Air Supply played in Hannibal on the riverfront in the mid-80s and I was there collecting my first ever concert ticket. Now, if my lastname isn’t enough to produce some chuckles, you can bet my announcement of my first concert brings on some hysterics.
Now, let’s move on to a group lesson where a few of us instructors teach a group of veterans at the same time and the question is asked of instructors what was the first song we ever learned on guitar. There are the expected “Smoke On The Water,” “Iron Man,” and of course “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
My turn!!!! I had a buddy teach me a few electric guitar power chords and then recorded the first song I heard on the radio. This was back in the late ’80s when you could record songs straight from the radio on to a tape in your jam box (figured out how old I am yet?). I play around with the chords for a while and voila, I’ve figured out the main chords to the song. And what was this hair band, spandex, makeup fueled song “Talk Dirty To Me” from Poison. Now, if my lastname and my first concert announcement haven’t given these tough guys I’m teaching reason to question everything about me, they are now really giving me the evil eye. “Talk Dirty To Me” from Poison!!!!
Why I have taken up your time with my first ever blog to tell you all this? Because as we start raising our children, just in case they become musicians, let’s not stick them with these horrible and embarrassing memories. Last year, I took my 14-year-old to his first concert at the Pageant: Alter Bridge and Sick Puppies. Maybe not Led Zeppelin or Van Halen, but definitely not Air Supply or Poison as his “first.” My youngest is wanting to learn to play guitar and I’ve got music all ready to teach him some songs and you can bet they will be classics that he’ll be proud to announce later in life as his “first.”
So parents, before you take little Billy or Susie (do kids get those names anymore?), to see Justin Bieber for their “first” concert. Before you let your child learn their “first” song out of a Lady Gaga songbook, think about how important “firsts” are and how they will remember these things for the rest of their lives and just might have to announce them in front of a group.