Posts by BluesDuke

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  • The KKK vs. Hebrew All-Stars Baseball Game: 1926

    10/17/2013 12:58:31 PM PDT · 14 of 14
    BluesDuke to justiceseeker93
    BTW, the late Shirley Povich (father of Maury), mentioned in the story as the brother of one of the participants in the game, was a very well known Washington sportswriter for over fifty years. Too bad we don't seem to have a story from him about this.
    Povich probably wouldn't have been allowed to write such a story at the time it happened, if it happened and if his brother was part of that game. (The game supposedly happened two years after Povich joined the Post, by the way.) When I was a newspaper reporter in the late 80s-early 90s, we had it hammered into us that you couldn't cover events involving your relations. Conflict of interest.

    I haven't read Povich's memoir, All These Mornings, but I'd hazard a guess he could write about such a game if it happened in that book.

    I do have a wonderful posthumous collection of Povich's columns assembled on his 100th birthday, All Those Mornings . . . at the Post. It sits on the same most prominent sports book shelf in my home as To Absent Friends from Red Smith, Red Smith on Baseball, The Sporting World of Jim Murray, How Life Imitates the World Series (Thomas Boswell), Guys, Dolls and Curveballs (Damon Runyon), all of Roger Angell's collections, Lardner on Baseball, The Best of Sport, Impossible Dreams: A Red Sox Collection, and Bunts (George F. Will) . . .

  • The KKK vs. Hebrew All-Stars Baseball Game: 1926

    10/17/2013 12:57:37 PM PDT · 13 of 14
    BluesDuke to justiceseeker93
    BTW, the late Shirley Povich (father of Maury), mentioned in the story as the brother of one of the participants in the game, was a very well known Washington sportswriter for over fifty years. Too bad we don't seem to have a story from him about this.
    Povich probably wouldn't have been allowed to write such a story at the time it happened, if it happened and if his brother was part of that game. (The game supposedly happened two years after Povich joined the Post, by the way.) When I was a newspaper reporter in the late 80s-early 90s, we had it hammered into us that you couldn't cover events involving your relations. Conflict of interest.

    I haven't read Povich's memoir, All These Mornings, but I'd hazard a guess he could write about such a game if it happened in that book.

    I do have a wonderful posthumous collection of Povich's columns assembled on his 100th birthday, All Those Mornings . . . at the Post. It sits on the same most prominent sports book shelf in my home as To Absent Friends from Red Smith, Red Smith on Baseball, The Sporting World of Jim Murray, How Life Imitates the World Series (Thomas Boswell), Guys, Dolls and Curveballs (Damon Runyon), all of Roger Angell's collections, Lardner on Baseball, The Best of Sport, Impossible Dreams: A Red Sox Collection, and Bunts (George F. Will) . . .

  • Selig will retire as Commissioner in January 2015

    09/28/2013 5:14:14 AM PDT · 33 of 34
    BluesDuke to castlegreyskull
    I don’t think I will ever know all the politics involved in such city projects. I just know that they are expensive but the city also receives the a benefit of having a major sports franchise.
    It depends. I'm not entirely sure Miami has gotten all that much benefit having the Marlins---particularly after their rather odious owner (Jeffrey Loria) snookered the city into building him a spanking new ballpark on the promise to provide a competitive team. He got the ballpark but the team is still anything but competitive. (Flip the coin and you see the Tampa Bay Rays, who are very well run, very competitive, and play in a park nobody likes---possibly including the team itself.)
  • Selig will retire as Commissioner in January 2015

    09/28/2013 5:00:05 AM PDT · 32 of 34
    BluesDuke to justiceseeker93
    Then how do you explain the name "Municipal Stadium" in Cleveland, which was built, I believe, in the 1930s. Wasn't that a government funded project?
    Cleveland Municipal Stadium wasn't built for baseball alone. I should have made clear I was speaking of baseball-only parks when I spoke of Milwaukee County Stadium; I shouldn't have said "sports stadium." Cleveland Municipal was built with local government funds. (There were rumours for years that it was a WPA project, but the WPA was formed after the stadium was built.)

    Another rumour that turned out false: Cleveland Municipal wasn't built to attract the 1932 Summer Olympics. Those Olympics had been awarded to Los Angeles several years before the ground was broken in Cleveland. The old Mistake on the Lake was financed by voters approving a $2.5 million tax levy, though the park actually cost $500,000 more to build.

  • Selig will retire as Commissioner in January 2015

    09/27/2013 3:38:09 PM PDT · 27 of 34
    BluesDuke to castlegreyskull
    I don’t mind if the city helps build the infrastructure support the stadium, or even donates land . . .
    It was the latter issue that triggered the departure of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants for the west coast:

    Dodger owner Walter O'Malley wanted to build a new ballpark in Flatbush, over or adjacent to the Long Island Rail Road's terminal there. What stopped him: New York building and planning czar Robert Moses, who was hell bent on never allowing a privately-built sports facility in New York city or state again so long as he ran the planning/building show for both.

    Moses obstructed O'Malley from acquiring the final parcels he needed to build the park. Moses also wanted to all but jam down O'Malley's throat a publicly-built stadium in Queens. (To which O'Malley said, famously, "If we play in Queens, we're not the Brooklyn Dodgers anymore.") Read very carefully: Walter O'Malley had no intention of leaving Brooklyn until he realised Moses's power was greater than his own and that he wouldn't get the final land he needed to build a new park.

    The intriguing historical question: If O'Malley was that adamant about not moving to Queens, why didn't Moses offer the Queens facility to the Giants, who couldn't afford to build the new ballpark they needed but who didn't have the specific borough identification the Dodgers did?

    Giants owner Horace Stoneham originally planned to move to Minneapolis (the Giants had a farm team there at the time), where a publicly-built park was going up as well for a major league team. Only when O'Malley's jig was up in Brooklyn and O'Malley reached out to him---O'Malley knew there would be no point in going west without another team to compete out there, considering the scheduling of the time and the then-furthest west team being the Cardinals---did Stoneham agree to move the Giants to San Francisco.

    You can get the whole, real story in two books: The Dodgers Move West (Neil Sullivan) and The Last Good Season (Michael Shapiro).

  • Selig will retire as Commissioner in January 2015

    09/27/2013 3:30:32 PM PDT · 26 of 34
    BluesDuke to Repealthe17thAmendment
    The worst development in sports isn't PEDs or expansion or tinkering with the playoffs, but it's the use of public funds for sports stadiums. I'm not sure where it started, but we haven't even begun to experience the problems that will bring.
    It actually began with Milwaukee County Stadium, built for the old-old Milwaukee Brewers minor league team. The park was the first sports stadium in the country to be built entirely with "public funds."

    The irony: the old Brewers never got to play there---the park was ready in 1953 . . . just in time for the Boston Braves' arrival. And the Braves weren't the first major league team to cast eyes on the Milwaukee park: Bill Veeck hoped to move the St. Louis Browns there a year before the Braves moved, but Veeck was blocked.

    Another irony: moving the Browns to Milwaukee would have meant returning the franchise to their city of origin. Where they had been known, from 1894 through 1901, as the Milwaukee Brewers! Those Brewers had been an ancient Western League franchise and one of the two not to fold when, in 1901, the Western League declared itself a second major league: the American League.

  • Saved (Mariano Rivera's Final Season and His Greater Calling- His Faith)

    09/27/2013 12:55:36 AM PDT · 24 of 24
    BluesDuke to raybbr
    Maybe you misunderstand. A “cutter” is not a doctored ball. It refers to the way the pitch “cuts” one way as it approaches the plate. It’s how you hold it and cause it to spin allowing the raised laces to create a specific aerodynamic action. It’s like a curve ball or slider - it’s how the ball spins that makes it move. Not the way the ball is doctored.
    Roy Halladay tells a story from his Toronto years: He once asked Rivera to show him how to grip the cutter (trivia: it's short for "cut fastball"). Rivera oblighed. Halladay beat the Yankees in his next three starts against them and, Halladay relates, the Yankees' clubhouse kangaroo court fined Rivera for teaching Halladay the pitch. ;)

    But that was The Mariano. Like Sandy Koufax before him, he preferred to pull everyone else up. He'd beat you on the mound but he was a gentleman and a teacher off it. Bob Hendley (who almost threw a no-hitter of his own on the backside of Koufax's perfect game) likes to say, whenever he's asked about Koufax, that it's no disgrace to get beat by class.

    They say the same thing about The Mariano. Even in Boston.

  • MLB to expand instant replay in 2014

    08/17/2013 2:21:38 PM PDT · 78 of 88
    BluesDuke to Wiggins

    You left out one probably and very critical reason for the attendance dip this season: the season-long interleague play. For which we can thank, among others, whomever had the brilliant idea to name the Houston Astros the team to have been named later to complete the deal that made a National League team out of the Milwaukee Brewers. ;)

  • MLB to expand instant replay in 2014

    08/16/2013 11:56:00 AM PDT · 68 of 88
    BluesDuke to mikrofon
    I have to smirk when I hear the announcers refer to the certain umpires “giving the outside corner”, “low-ball ump” etc… a lot of personal judgment is already entrenched in the game. When I watch in record mode on the computer and freeze pitches crossing the plate, it’s obvious how non-standard the strike zone really is (and how well most pro players can see the ball).
    Once upon a time that was one of the key issues that led to the destruction of the original Major League Umpires Association---right up to the day MLUA chieftain Richie Phillips called for and got the infamous mass resignations that ended up destroying the careers of about a third of its membership. The late Doug Pappas of the Society for American Baseball Research wrote of it in "Summer 1999: 22 Men Out":
    On July 14 [1999], the calm of the All-Star break was shattered by astonishing news from the Major League Umpires' Association. After a meeting of the MLUA, union head Richie Phillips announced the resignation of 57 of the 66 major league umpires, effective September 2.

    Phillips explained that MLB had hurt his the umps' feelings. His men "want to continue working as umpires," insisted Phillips, "but they want to feel good about themselves and would rather not continue as umpires if they have to continue under present circumstances. They feel in the past seven months or so, they have been humiliated and denigrated."

    This "humiliation" and "denigration" took several forms. Many umps were outraged when umpire Tom Hallion was suspended for bumping a player -- though not as outraged as they'd be if a player wasn't suspended for bumping an ump. When MLB redefined the rulebook strike zone to reflect the umpires' collective refusal to call the high strike, Phillips insisted that MLB had no right to do so without MLUA approval. Before the season, the MLUA blocked MLB's proposal to move control of the umpires from the league offices to the Commissioner's Office by claiming that the move would constitute a change of employer, entitling the umpires to millions in severance pay.

    Phillips reserved his greatest scorn for attempts to hold the umpires accountable for their on-field performance. Upon learning of a MLBPA survey of players, coaches and managers which ranked each umpire against his peers, Phillips sneered, "I don't give any credence at all to ratings of officials because ratings are always subjective." When MLB asked clubs to chart pitches and file a report on each umpire's strike zone, Phillips snarled that this was "just another case of Big Brother watching over us."

    An employer evaluating the competence of its employees. The nerve!

    On the June 14 episode of HBO's Real Sports, Phillips took his arrogance to a new level. "I equate umpires with federal judges," said Phillips. "And I don't believe they should always be subject to the voter, just like federal judges are not subject to the voter." [Former Oakland and future New York Mets GM] Sandy Alderson of MLB responded: "Federal judges can be impeached. I got worried when I found out that players were more concerned with who was umpiring the next day than they were about who was pitching." (Emphasis added.---BD.)

    Richie Phillips has run the MLUA since 1978. The umpires have prospered under his leadership: their annual salaries have risen from $17,500 to $95,000 for first-year umps, and from $39,000 to $250,000 or more for the most senior arbiters. Umpires now also receive paid vacations during the season. But throughout his tenure, Phillips has emphasized confrontation over shrewd bargaining. His in-your-face approach has worked in wage negotiations, where MLB can buy labor peace for virtual pocket change, but this time he picked the wrong battle and the wrong weapon. With one arrogant, blustering, breathtakingly stupid gesture, Phillips sent his membership on a suicide march.

    In announcing the umpires' mass resignations, Phillips explained that as of September 2, they would be employed by a new company called 'Umpires, Inc." Umpires, Inc. would negotiate to provide umpiring services to MLB -- and it, not MLB, would supervise and assign the umpires. In short, Phillips proposed to turn the umpires into a self-governing association, free of MLB control.

    To owners and players alike, this demand was tantamount to a municipal police union demanding an end to civilian control of the police force. Even if the owners had been willing to cede such authority, the screams of the MLBPA would have killed the deal. And the owners weren't willing. When informed of the umpires' move, Sandy Alderson of the Commissioner's Office termed the resignations "either a threat to be ignored or an offer to be accepted."

    You might remember a group of the umpires, led somewhat by John Hirschbeck, revolted against the Phillips strategy, got their jobs back, and led the charge to decertify the original MLUA in 2000 and form what's since been the World Umpires' Association.

    The bad news: Hirschbeck, the WUA's first president, stepped down in 2009. His successor, who still holds the post: Joe West, God help us.

    Richie Phillips, incidentally, died in May . . .

  • MLB to expand instant replay in 2014

    08/16/2013 11:43:34 AM PDT · 67 of 88
    BluesDuke to Starboard
    Sometimes managers WANT to get ejected to light a fire under their team. The umps certainly are aware of this.
    I'm reminded of an amusing story from 1961: The final game of the regular season for the Detroit Tigers. Frank Lary, the Tiger pitcher, who wasn't scheduled to pitch that day, had inadvertently booked himself a flight home that was supposed to take off about midway through the game, and Lary was edgy because he needed to be at the airport about an hour and a half before takeoff time.

    So Lary approached Ed Runge, the ump scheduled to work home plate that day, and told Runge the dilemna. "Ed," he said, "can you see about getting me out of this game early?" Runge suggested Lary bark at a pitch call during the first inning. Sure enough, as the first inning went on, there came a close call on a pitch. I forget what the call was, but Lary barked and Runge gave him the ho-heave.

    "Thanks, Ed!" Lary hollered as he hopped into the clubhouse, showered and dressed to make his flight.

  • MLB to expand instant replay in 2014

    08/16/2013 11:33:55 AM PDT · 65 of 88
    BluesDuke to Wiggins
    Players are charged with errors when they make mistakes but very rarely are umpires held responsible for bad calls.
    Even more: If a player, a coach, or a manager is disciplined for some on-field incident, we know as soon as it's handed down how long they're suspended and how much lighter in the bank account they'll be. We even know it when an owner is disciplined, including how much lighter in the bank account he or she will be over such an incident. (Good God, it was always page one stuff when the like of George Steinbrenner or Marge Schott or George Agyros or even one of the good guys like Bill Veeck or Gene Autry or Ruly Carpenter got disciplined.)

    But we never know just what discipline is handed to an umpire for game misconduct other than a suspension. And I'd have a hard time believing baseball government wouldn't fine an umpire over such misconduct, but wouldn't it be nice to know that they're not exactly the privileged class a few too many of them think they are?

  • MLB to expand instant replay in 2014

    08/16/2013 11:28:50 AM PDT · 64 of 88
    BluesDuke to 1rudeboy
    I became convinced about replay after making note of two protagonists in one of the worst blown calls in postseason history coming out in favour of it, and with impeccable logic: Whitey Herzog, who managed the St. Louis Cardinals to the 1985 World Series; and, Don Denkinger, the umpire whose blown call at first base in Game Six went from outrageous to nuclear after he turned up as the plate ump for Game Seven.

    Herzog made his argument in You're Missing a Great Game, though he was arguing for replay primarily in the postseason:

    The questions go to the heart of baseball. When should a bad call really be part of the game? When should it not be? If the ump blows one in June, you go out there, kick some dirt, cuss a little; and if the ump admits he blew it, her---you've got half the season to make it up. But can you look me in the eye and tell me it'd be the same thing if you were two outs from the world championship?

    If I'd pulled the vanishing act [note: earlier in the chapter, Herzog said if he'd had it to do all over again, he'd have pulled his team off the field if the play wasn't reviewed and reversed] maybe we'd have instant replay in the World Series by now. Bad calls at the bases, and along the foul lines, too, can be fixed in two seconds with a look at video. You'd have to put some limits on it, but that's what we ought to do. Like I said, this is for the championship---let's get it right

    Denkinger came out for replay in 2010. A couple of umps since involved in notable blown calls (Jerry Meals comes to mind at once; normally a good ump, he blew a call at the plate two years ago that cost the Pittsburgh Pirates an extra-inning win against the Atlanta Braves and may have taken the steam out of their then-surprising surge to the top of the NL Central: Meals himself admitted he blew that call when he saw a replay of it after the game, but no matter---the call may have taken some of the steam out of the Pirates, who fell out of the race quickly enough after that . . . ) have come out in favour of replay to one or another extent.

    I have another thought about the replay issue: Want to help make sure it's gotten right, replay or no? Easy: Pass a rule that no ump who's blown three or more calls on the season shall be considered eligible for that year's postseason work. (If nothing else, this'll keep us from the spectacle of a jerk like Angel Hernandez or an ego freak like Joe West from showing up in a postseason set.)

    And, a final thought: If you can see a television replay of a tight play and know whether the call was right or wrong within about four seconds, so can those doing a field-level replay review. It's called common sense.

    Should have been done long enough ago. Come to think of it, there were a few plays during the 2004 American League Championship Series that were close enough that the umpires themselves called for reviewing the plays. They didn't use replays, they consulted on each other's viewing angles, before either upholding or reversing a call, depending, and as I remember it went pretty even between a call favouring the Red Sox and one favouring the Yankees. Unfortunately, that was the exception, and everybody in baseball knew it. (Believe it or not, the umpiring crew for that LCS included one of the game's best umpires [John Hirschbeck], one of its worst [Joe West], and a future perfect game blower [Jim Joyce] . . .)

    Replay had and will have nothing to do with the length of games a lot of people still like to kvetch about. (Want to shorten the games? Shorten up the commercial time between innings and lose the damn commercials every time a manager makes a pitching change. Then ask yourself why the same people kvetching about a three-hour baseball game---involving a game that has no inherent time limit in the first place---have little to nothing to say about how or why it takes up to four hours to complete sixty minutes of football. Now that I think of it, once upon a time if you watched a game on television you stayed at the ballpark for the seventh inning stretch and it wasn't cut to commercial after singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" or "God Bless America," either. Football, which has the two-minute warning and not the seventh inning stretch, has been cutting to commercials for the two-minute warning ever since, oh, Chicago had the Cardinals and they were the NFL's pre-answer to the 1962 Mets.)

    I'm all in if it comes to replay during a) the heat of the pennant race stretch drive (approximately two weeks after the All-Star break to whenever the divisions and wild cards are settled) and for the entire postseason. Whitey Herzog was right: when it's toward or for a championship, you get it right. Fans have been watching instant replays on television for years. Why shouldn't it be used to help get things right on the fields themselves?


    08/11/2013 1:39:18 PM PDT · 10 of 21
    BluesDuke to Patriot Babe
    RIP Eydie your with your husband Steve now.
    Hate to break it to you but it's Eydie Gorme who'll be saving a place for Steve Lawrence: Eydie has been my partner on stage and in life for more than 55 years. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time.---Steve Lawrence's statement on his wife's death.

    08/11/2013 1:37:01 PM PDT · 7 of 21
    BluesDuke to Diana in Wisconsin
    Blame It On the Bossa Nova

    (I’ve blamed a LOT of ill-fated romances on the Bossa Nova, LOL!)

    I blame that song for helping to destroy one of the most beautiful music forms ever to arise.
  • Eydie Gormé Dies, Singing Legend Was 84

    08/10/2013 11:51:37 PM PDT · 58 of 67
    BluesDuke to I still care
    This one's for you: Eydie Gorme as the mystery guest on television panel show What's My Line? . . . when Steve Lawrence himself was one of the panelists!
  • Eydie Gormé Dies, Singing Legend Was 84

    08/10/2013 11:41:56 PM PDT · 57 of 67
    BluesDuke to I still care
    LOL. I love the “Bossa Nova”!

    It’s so cute and melodic. The problem is, it’s my current earworm.

    Serves you right! ;)
  • Eydie Gormé Dies, Singing Legend Was 84

    08/10/2013 11:41:03 PM PDT · 56 of 67
    BluesDuke to jocon307
    LOL, so I did tell hubby what you said, and he tells me that in 1964 he and his friend playing a 2 accordion version of that same song took second place to a 6th grade gal with voluptuous talents (paraphrasing!).
    Your hubby and his bud should have played real bossa nova, like "The Girl from Ipanema," "Desafinado," "O Morro," or "Agua du Beber"---they've have waxed Veronica Voluptuous without a dropcloth! ;)
  • Eydie Gormé Dies, Singing Legend Was 84

    08/10/2013 10:49:45 PM PDT · 51 of 67
    BluesDuke to fatnotlazy
    Married 55 years. That’s unusual in Hollywood.
    Maybe it says something that the couple who stood up for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme would be married themselves (until death did they part) over half a century: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. (Come to think of it, Phil Harris and Alice Faye were married over fifty years themselves . . .)
  • Eydie Gormé Dies, Singing Legend Was 84

    08/10/2013 10:46:29 PM PDT · 50 of 67
    BluesDuke to jocon307
    RIP Eydie Gourme. I love them. We saw them in Vegas at the Stardust right before it was torn down. I really wanted the real Vegas experience and Steve and Eydie provided it big time.
    I fell upon their Website a few years ago and noted that, on their later tours, they had played at several Vegas hotels that subsequently came down in favour of newer ones. At the time, the Frontier was coming down and only the famous sign was still standing.

    I noticed their list of the defunct Vegas hotels they played didn't include the Frontier. So, just as a curiosity point, I sent a note to whomever through the site e-mail asking after that, and included a puckish question to the effect that, well, didn't they begin to fear they were becoming something of a Las Vegas jinx?

    Well, the surprise was on me: I got a pleasant little e-mail back from Eydie Gorme herself: "Oh, sh@t! We DID play the Frontier!!!"

    I didn't have the heart to tell her that, just for that little kindness, I'd forgiven her for making "Blame It on the Bossa Nova."

  • Must Cats Die So Birds Can Live? (Inside an Animal-Lover Civil War)

    06/10/2013 3:56:01 PM PDT · 66 of 83
    BluesDuke to JLLH
  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    06/03/2013 8:11:14 AM PDT · 37 of 37
    BluesDuke to bt_dooftlook
    Thank you for sharing!

    I got turned on to Paul Butterfield 20 years ago; Bloomfield in high school 15 years before that (Electric Flag).

    Have you ever listened to Johnny Adams? His second to last album,’One Foot in the Blues’, is amazing Thank you, too!

    When I got home from that 1969 camp trip and went prowling for blues albums with the saved-up allowance, one of the albums I bought was Super Session . . . because I was a Buffalo Springfield fan, too, and I noticed Stephen Stills on the front cover, so I got curious. I'd never yet heard Mike Bloomfield. But when you bought the LP at that time you got Mike Bloomfield with Al Kooper on side one. Once he got through with me, especially on the two slow blues jams and that magnificent modal jazz waltz jam ("His Holy Modal Majesty"), who the hell needed Steve Stills? I noticed the album's back jacket note mentioned their former bands, including the Electric Flag, so I landed A Long Time Comin' soon after that, and in the interim someone told me about the Butterfield Blues Band and you can guess the rest, especially East-West . . .

    I like Johnny Adams. That album is a treat, especially the way he makes Percy Mayfield's vintages his own, and I'm a huge Percy Mayfield fan. Mayfield was a sort-of tragedy, if you think about the road accident that put a stop to his performing career, though he continued writing remarkable songs (including but not limited to "People Get Ready" for the Impressions---to whose leader Curtis Mayfield Percy Mayfield wasn't related, for those who didn't realise---and "Hit the Road, Jack" for Ray Charles . . .)

  • Jean Stapleton, Who Played Archie’s Better Angel, Dies at 90

    06/01/2013 7:18:09 PM PDT · 66 of 82
    BluesDuke to Las Vegas Ron
    The only member of the Bunker household who ever made sense is gone now.

    Funniest "stifle" bit from All in the Family: Edith is on the phone saying nothing for several long moments. Gloria asks what's up. The Meathead replies, "I think Archie put her on stifle."

    (p.s. For my money, Archie and the Meathead looked ridiculous, which I always thought was probably the real underlying point. Archie was barely literate and the Meathead was living, breathing example of education turning the brains into tapioca pudding. Or: Archie was an illiterate bigot, but the Meathead---if you also accept bigotry as meaning that you can't bear any view other than your own---was a literate bigot.)

    Funniest line Jean Stapleton ever uttered: "I tried to have phone sex once but all I got was a busy signal." (In You've Got Mail.)

    RIP, Jean Stapleton. And now that Archie and Edith are together again, maybe she'll put him on stifle for a short spell first!

  • Is Online Dating Biblical?

    06/01/2013 11:11:16 AM PDT · 14 of 50
    BluesDuke to Winstons Julia
    He works in emysterious ways.
    Indeed He does. How else would I---after (pardon the pun) God only knows how many years' trial and error---have found the love of my life online . . . when we both lived only about seven miles apart in Las Vegas?

    p.s. We've been together for four years and three months since . . .

  • Chuck Norris: Tim Tebow should be Jacksonville Jaguar

    06/01/2013 10:35:03 AM PDT · 55 of 56
    BluesDuke to eyedigress
    So Denver credits their wins and comebacks to what?
    They would probably credit them to a team effort, as most such things prove to be in football. (Quarterbacks might lead winning, eleventh-hour drives, but unless the team with them is doing their job those quarterbacks are dead ducks, even the greatest quarterbacks. Running backs might plunge through for big eleventh-hour runs to set up those eleventh-hour wins, but if the rest of the team aren't opening up the lanes for them those running backs have nowhere to run. It's not like baseball, where it's one man at a time and, say, a pitcher can pump in that big fat third-out strikeout with the bases loaded, or the lineup can load the pads one man at a time before the next hitter drives one off the wall or into the seats for a ninth-inning comeback win.) I do remember observers crediting them to the Denver defense, though.
  • Chuck Norris: Tim Tebow should be Jacksonville Jaguar

    06/01/2013 10:27:45 AM PDT · 54 of 56
    BluesDuke to Eva
    Tebow’s leadership ability out weighs any deficiency in mechanics. Tebow had the ability to bring out the best in a team and that is sometimes worth more than Q-back star power skills.
    Nobody questioned his leadership ability. But there were (and are) legitimate questions about his basic quarterbacking skills, which isn't the same thing as questions about his leadership or his star power, actual or alleged.
    It’s not Tebow’s fault if the coaches are incapable of planning plays that utilize the whole team, rather than relying solely on a quarterback.
    I'm no football expert but even I know how foolish that line might be. If anything, it was the whole-team concept that did enable Tebow to have the season he did have with the Broncos. If the Broncos had devised quarterback-only or quarterback-dominant plays then, they'd have been dead ducks because Tebow simply didn't read defenses well and couldn't call audibles when needed. (Try to imagine Tebow playing in, say, Bart Starr's era, an era in which quarterbacks---and Starr was probably the best of his time at it, and he has the championship rings to prove it---were expected to improvise offenses on the fly as various game conditions changed. If Tebow played in an era like that, with the quarterback skill set he has as opposed to the set his admirers merely wish to think he has, he would have been buried alive.)

    The Jets? That's a whole 'nother smoke, as the ancient commercial used to say. They're such a mess that Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, Y.A. Tittle, Joe Namath, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, and John Elway themselves couldn't have done a damn thing with them last season.

    That’s why the coaches don’t like Tebow, he stole their thunder by inspiring the whole team to play as a unit and the fans loved it.
    He stole their thunder because he was (and is) a decent person who is publicly unapologetic for his faith, and it connected with fans. And I don't say that to mean it's a flaw. The Broncos players might have respected Tebow's leadership qualities, they might even have envied his connection with the public, but when you hit the practise field or take the field on game day all that goes out the window for the time of the practise or of the game. The coaches might have admired the kid's leadership on a personal level, but on a playing level they found a lot to be desired in a guy who was basically playing a position to which he isn't really suited best.

    Try a baseball comparison: How many players have you read about who have sterling leadership qualities but still come up wanting on the field, at the plate, on the mound?

    (It does work the other way around, too: think of all the players you know about who have field, plate, mound skills to burn but whom you wouldn't consider genuine leaders? It would probably pain people to remember this but, staying again with baseball, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb were classic examples. Granted Cobb's teams weren't quite as good as Ruth's teams, and never mind that compared to Cobb Ruth was a saint, but did you realise that when the Yankees were led by Ruth alone they went to three World Series and won only one of them . . . but when they married Ruth to Lou Gehrig---a man of unimpeachable character, who did his leading by example, and who was probably equal in ability to Ruth if not quite as spectacular or as single-minded about his statistics as Ruth may have been---they went to four Series and won three of the four? And that after Ruth was moved on the Gehrig Yankees had three more Series to play, before Joe DiMaggio's permanent emergence at the time Gehrig was finally too ill to continue playing, and won all three as well? You're not trying to say it took Lou Gehrig to make Babe Ruth a superstar, but you can make the case that it took Lou Gehrig to make Babe Ruth a more consistent winner.)

    Tim Tebow wouldn't be the first athlete to have an admirable character and a no-questions-asked flair for team leadership married to a debatable or at least a mis-deployed skill set. And he won't be the last. There is something to be said for a man who comes to see his skills and his talents as they are, not as he wishes them to be, and deploys them accordingly. That is what a real leader does.

  • Chuck Norris: Tim Tebow should be Jacksonville Jaguar

    06/01/2013 8:21:47 AM PDT · 51 of 56
    BluesDuke to eyedigress
    It’s all about money and winning. From what I could tell, the team at Denver worked hard to get the win with Tebow at the helm.

    I don’t understand why he isn’t on a roster.

    This may offer something of an explanation:
    Go back 18 months, though, and it's hard to fathom that we're at this place. During Tebow's run with the 2011 Broncos, [the Dallas] Cowboys -- no doubt among other teams -- would race into the locker room after games to check out Tebow highlights. "When you can captivate other NFL players, that's really saying something," [former QB Jon] Kitna says. Contrary to public perception, Tebow's Jets teammates were just as moved by him. Some still talk about the time he took on a lineman in a power-lifting contest and won. In friendly banter throughout last season, linebacker Bart Scott would call Tebow Baby Jesus, and Tebow would laugh and say, "Go sit in the cold tub, old man." Former Jet Darrelle Revis says he knew immediately upon meeting Tebow that the QB was a born leader.

    But ask an NFC scout what he thinks of Tebow and the response is a gut punch: "He's not a quarterback. When you look at his run two years ago, when you watch the tape and break it down, he wasn't really doing anything that impressive. He's a tough guy, a great leader, a great person. But he isn't a good enough quarterback to have all the distractions that come with him."

    In the end, this is the formula that ultimately doomed Tebow: Fatal flaws in his throwing mechanics and his cognitive understanding of the position left him as little more than a wildcat specialist, a No. 3 QB or a long-term project. Thanks to his athleticism, work ethic and leadership, that still meant he was an upgrade on at least a third of the rosters in the league -- after all, such QBs as Pat Devlin and Ricky Stanzi are currently on rosters. But in the minds of GMs, Tebow's potential payoff would never outweigh the billboards, the parking lots full of satellite trucks, the endless QB controversies or any of the other distractions and internal conflicts he brings with him. Like the mythical snake Ouroboros, Tebow has been devoured whole by his own success. "There's no going halfway with Tebow anymore," says former [Indianapolis] Colts coach Tony Dungy. "You either gotta sell out and give him the keys to your team or stay away. Because, unfortunately, there's too much attention for him to be a regular, developing backup like everyone else."

    Inside the bunker mentality of NFL locker rooms, it doesn't matter whether a distraction comes from a church group or a strip club. All teams really care about is that for a few precious hours, the team's effort and focus are not diverted from the singular task of winning games. And while he appears to be a man of high character and principles, Tebow seems to have a blind spot for the steep level of humility required of a backup. He was fined repeatedly by the Broncos' kangaroo court for refusing to publicly censure supporters who erected a pro-Tebow billboard early in the 2011 season. "Tim's religion isn't a factor at all," Dungy says. "People don't care about your lifestyle off the field as long as you're performing every week. If he's getting blackballed, it's because backup quarterbacks are not supposed to be the focus, and if Tim's on your team, he's the sole focus. Nobody wants to be answering those questions all day long, every day, from the fans, media and teammates."

    Certainly not about a QB whose ability makes him a third-stringer, tops, and not just because of his well-chronicled throwing issues. More troubling for potential employers is that Tebow struggled badly with the mental side of the game, according to a league source. At age 7, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, a learning disability that affects how he reads and processes information, such as a playbook or game plan. Tebow won a Heisman Trophy and two BCS titles and graduated from Florida with a 3.7 GPA. But he scored a below-average (for QBs) 22 on his Wonderlic test. As a kinesthetic learner, Tebow absorbs information better through using flash cards and hands-on repetitive experience than the traditional method of memorizing diagrams, notes and Polaroids from a playbook. That doesn't mean Tebow isn't smart or that he couldn't develop into a brilliant, quick-thinking quarterback. It just hasn't happened yet.

    When the Broncos defense was on the field, offensive coaches would often tell Tebow the first series of plays they wanted to run when the team got the ball back. Tebow would nod, and they'd separate. And then, invariably, a short while later he'd ask for the information again. Sometimes this ritual would repeat right up until Tebow had to duck into the huddle and call the play. As a result, despite starting only 11 games in 2011, Tebow was flagged for delay of game an NFL-high seven times. Worse still was the fact that, according to scouts, Tebow almost never audibled because he struggled to quickly and properly read defenses. And of all the deadly sins Tebow committed against quarterbacking, this was the worst: lacking the self-awareness to recognize and fix these shortcomings. Maybe the most shocking part of Tebowmania isn't that he has been cast out of the NFL after just three years but that he lasted as long as he did.

    The last place on earth he needed to be at this stage of his career was inside the Jets' dysfunctional fishbowl. But that's where Team Tebow chose last year when the Broncos grew weary of the circus and traded him.

    On his first day of open practice as a Jet, Tebow was so bad that fans booed and heckled him and coaches feared, almost immediately, that he wasn't a legitimate option to replace Mark Sanchez. Yet that wasn't the breaking news from Jets camp that day. When it started to rain at the end of practice, Tebow took off his shirt and jogged across the field. Video of his buff, slow-motion trot instantly went viral. With his fans satiated, Tebow turned his attention to soothing his annoyed teammates. Showing that he could poke fun at himself, Tebow arrived shirtless to the next team meeting and remained that way for the entire session.

    It was one of the greatest tricks Tebow ever pulled off.

    No one remembers that he completed only three passes in practice that day.

    ---David Fleming, in ESPN: The Magazine, 10 June issue

    Add in Tebow's continually poor throwing mechanics, which has resulted in a career completion percentage of 47.9 percent, and it's clear that his days as a starting quarterback in the NFL are likely over.

    While Tebow may not be an NFL-caliber starting quarterback, he's certainly an NFL-caliber athlete. That's why is it somewhat of a surprise that Tebow can't find a spot with one of the 30 other NFL teams in the league who had 2,700 roster spots to fill this offseason. The list of possible teams for Tebow is whittled down by the eight teams who have new head coaches that would prefer to not invite the circus that accompanies Tebow to town while trying to implement their systems. Still, that leaves nearly 2,000 spots for Tebow, who remains unemployed.

    It might take an injury during the preseason or training camp, Tebow accepting a move to a new position, or perhaps Tebow heading to the CFL for a year or two, but it's doubtful we've seen the last of Tebow in the NFL. The 25-year-old has too much left in his tank to hang up his cleats.

    ---Bryan McIntyre, Shutdown Corner (Yahoo! Sports)

    My guess: it'll take a position shift for Tim Tebow to find another NFL job. From what I saw of him, the guy has a skill set suited far better to halfbacking (he can run, he can block, and he could---as many halfbacks do---line up as an extra wide receiver, which wouldn't hurt because he does have good hands) and on special teams (you could see him easily as a receiver on kickoffs or punts, where he could run you up into solid field position to start a drive).

    But a guy who insists on playing a position to which he's that ill-suited isn't going to be employable (in the NFL or elsewhere) no matter how decent a human being he is otherwise. The most decent human beings on earth haven't always shaken out as the most competent athletes, performers, what have you, no matter what their abilities might be, and don't get me started on the talented head cases who don't shake out no matter how outsized their talents have been.

  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    05/31/2013 10:28:22 AM PDT · 35 of 37
    BluesDuke to Baynative
    I used to live in Lake Tahoe and BB was playing in the cabaret lounge at Harrahs. (I don't know why he wasn't playing the big room, but so be it.)

    I was knocking about with a friend and though as locals we didn't spend much time in casinos, we planned to see his show. I forgot what time of year it was, but there was a weather disruption and for some reason there were only about 8 or 10 people in the lounge and we sat at a table only a couple of feet away from him while he played. It almost turned conversational as people made comments and asked questions or requested different tunes.

    Someone asked him why his guitar was named Lucille. He said a fight caused a fire in a bar he was playing in and after running out, he remembered the guitar and foolishly went back to get it. He could have died. The papers said the fire started by two men fighting over a woman named Lucille and he named the guitar that to remind himself to never do anything as stupid as run into a burning building or fight over a women.

    Here's the title track of his 1968 album Lucille:

    B.B. King, "Lucille"

    The "Lucille" King rescued in that fire was a Gibson L-30, a small-body, non-cutaway instrument, a model discontinued in 1943 but one which King picked up in 1949. From there, Lucille has been all Gibson, all the time, including:

    An ES-5. (Big single-cutaway archtop with three P90 pickups, the same model used by T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson, and for a short while---until he switched to the humbucker version---Chuck Berry.)

    An ES-125. (No cutaway, single P90 pickup---King used this guitar to cut the record that launched him in earnest, his version of Fulson's "Three O'Clock Blues.")

    A Byrdland, in the late '50s/very early '60s.

    ES-175. (Single florentine cutaway, two humbucking pickups; he's seen with this guitar on the jacket art of some of his Kent/Crown albums of the early 1960s.)

    ES-335. (Either a tobacco sunburst model or a cherry red model; he used this guitar for Live at the Regal and many of his early ABC-Paramount recordings starting in 1963.)

    ES-345. (He played this for a time in the mid-1960s; he's shown with it on the back jacket of Live & Well.)

    ES-355. (He picked this one up for the first time in late 1968 and it's been his model ever since; the special-edition Lucilles Gibson has made for him since 1980---the no-F hole feature was his idea, after having stuffed the ES-355 F holes for years with rags to cut down the feedback---is based on the ES-355.)

  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    05/31/2013 8:20:34 AM PDT · 32 of 37
    BluesDuke to Baynative

    For me the shock was not just what B.B. King did for and to me on that summer camp trip, but getting home from that trip to discover the freshly-released “The Thrill is Gone” had crossed over into being a huge hit.

  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    05/30/2013 8:23:16 PM PDT · 28 of 37
    BluesDuke to Baynative
    By the time I began listening to radio growing up in and around New York, there was little enough blues to be heard but a lot of great soul music by way of WWRL (before they became a ranting talk station). One of the first blues albums in that haul I described earlier was Howlin' Wolf's entry in the then Chess Vintage Blues Series, Evil. (Not to mention Muddy Waters's Sail On and Sonny Boy Williamson's Bummer Road. Later I latched onto Buddy Guy's entry in that series, I Was Walking Through the Woods . . .)
  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    05/30/2013 4:39:59 PM PDT · 24 of 37
    BluesDuke to Slump Tester
    Very nice! (Especially that Fremont Ramble.)

    But sometimes blues are cool with some horns.

    I agree----but we don't have horn players in the band. The nearest we have is, our keyboard player has a rig that produces frighteningly accurate sax and flute sounds! She could be a one-woman, two-handed saxophone section if she wants to be, and I may develop a song that uses that facet of her playing. (In fact, our book includes the Blues Project's "Flute Thing" because of that.) We're trying to keep the group a quartet or quintet if we can.
  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    05/30/2013 4:00:26 PM PDT · 21 of 37
    BluesDuke to Misterioso
    Your drummer is rushing. :•)
    Yeah, I have to talk to him about lusting with those temple blocks! ;)
  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    05/30/2013 3:53:57 PM PDT · 19 of 37
    BluesDuke to ruesrose
    Your style is really smooth and danceable. Makes me wish I was 20 years younger or 30 or......oh well.
    You're probably finer now than three decades ago!

    Here are three more, I haven't made videos for them but you can just listen:

    I Missed the Train
    There's No Middle Ground
    My Home is Where My Heart Is

    Same Les Paul guitar, same electronic keyboard . . . enjoy!

  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    05/30/2013 3:50:04 PM PDT · 18 of 37
    BluesDuke to BitWielder1
    Not bad, not bad at all. Thank You for sharing. Advertising is good, and if you do become famous they'll show these at the grilling on your 60th birthday.
    With or without worcestershire sauce? ;)
  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    05/30/2013 3:31:50 PM PDT · 14 of 37
    BluesDuke to Irenic
    loved some of the clocks shown On Time.
    Thank you! I picked those clocks deliberately---they were clocks I remembered seeing frequently, and those products were stuff I or my family used often enough . . .
  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    05/30/2013 3:25:46 PM PDT · 13 of 37
    BluesDuke to Rusty0604
    Fremont Ramble made me want to dance! Do you guys play at any events or anything?
    We played a benefit gig earlier this month to help raise money for a local bluesman/veteran who'd been nailed big-time when a) he got very sick, and b) lost his job and apartment (the two went together). Since then, we've had to revamp because our bassist decided he'd rather be a guitar player. We're about to audition a new bassist and drummer (our incumbent is really a harmonica player, singer, and percussionist---congas, bongos, timbales, etc.---and, though he drums great and plays in a jazz group on the side, he'd rather be singing, harmonica playing, and percussing with us, he swears it's easier for him to sing when he doesn't have to use his full body) and hope to be getting back to playing gigs soon.
  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    05/30/2013 3:23:00 PM PDT · 12 of 37
    BluesDuke to gotribe
    Which of the jazz/blues musicians inspire you?
    My number one influence is, was, and will always be B.B. King. But when I got home from camp that summer I first got to see him, my mother handed me my saved-up allowance from the summer . . . and I high-tailed it to my favourite record shop, coming away with as many blues albums as I could carry.

    Aside from B.B. King, it was Mike Bloomfield who first showed me how beautiful a Les Paul could sound in the right hands. It only took me four and a half decades before I'd finally own one! I first became aware of Bloomfield because of an album someone else was on: I was a Buffalo Springfield fan and bought Super Session because Stephen Stills played on it. Only Bloomfield was on side one. One taste of him and I didn't want to know from Stephen Stills!

    I was and am influenced heavily by Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Peter Green, the Eric Clapton of Blues Breakers, Albert King (oh, God, when I first heard Live Wire/Blues Power!), Otis Rush, Fenton Robinson, T-Bone Walker, Lonnie Johnson, Guitar Slim (he did the original "The Things I Used to Do"---Ray Charles played piano and led the band for that date), Percy Mayfield, John Lee Hooker, the Butterfield Blues Band, Luther Allison, Little Walter, Lowell Fulson, and Robert Pete Williams, among others.

    Regarding jazz, I've been a jazz lover since high school. (I had an art teacher who played jazz during our classes, and I got so into that music I sometimes ran the risk of forgetting my art work!) Particularly, I love the jazzmen who didn't forget the blues: Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Count Basie, Horace Silver, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Giuffre, Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Smith, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane (before he began going right out of his noodle circa 1963-64), Milt Jackson (you want to hear some lovely blues, pick up Milt Jackson and Ray Charles on Atlantic), Ray Charles, Wynton Kelly, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk . . . among others.

  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    05/30/2013 3:11:38 PM PDT · 7 of 37
    BluesDuke to Baynative
    Love the Fremont Ramble (I’ve always been a blues boy)
    So have I. Ever since I was fourteen years old and got the bite from having seen B.B. King live on a summer camp trip. (He was opening for the Who and Jefferson Airplane, about a fortnight before Woodstock, at Tanglewood. Three notes out of B.B. King and I didn't want to know from the others, and I'd been hot to go to that show because I was a big fan of the Who . . .)

    Thank you for the kind words!

  • Don't ask what possessed me, but I made YouTube videos out of two of my original blues numbers . . .

    05/30/2013 3:02:07 PM PDT · 1 of 37
  • OK what "vintage" TV Show(or Movie) would you like to be seen re-made and why, who should Star?

    05/30/2013 2:47:56 PM PDT · 184 of 236
    BluesDuke to BenLurkin
    IIRC it was called “College Bowl”
    You're thinking of The General Electric College Bowl. Which, among other things, made a television star out of Allen Ludden . . . I grew up with that show, followed by The Twentieth Century (with Walter Cronkite), playing on the tube Sunday late afternoons on WCBS, New York, during dinner . . .
  • OK what "vintage" TV Show(or Movie) would you like to be seen re-made and why, who should Star?

    05/30/2013 2:42:05 PM PDT · 183 of 236
    BluesDuke to US Navy Vet
    How about . . . . none? Leave the originals the hell alone, because every time someone remakes one it's an unmitigatable disaster. (While I'm at it, if there's any justice Steve Martin should be hung in the public square for what he did to The Pink Panther.)

    Come to think of it, I still think it wasn't that big a deal to bring Gunsmoke to television. The television show was decent, I enjoy watching some of it even now, but the original radio show was genuinely great and, whenever the television version re-visited the radio scripts (which was quite frequently), something came missing. (For that matter, I also always thought William Conrad's Dillon on radio was a lot more human than James Arness's on television . . .)

  • The Doors' Ray Manzarek dies at 74

    05/22/2013 9:15:05 AM PDT · 131 of 135
    BluesDuke to chessplayer
    Very interesting (104) post. Thanks.
    I fell upon an interview with Morrison's father and sister from a few years ago. It was quite an eye opener. Rear Adm. Morrison spoke of his famous son as highly intelligent, spoke of his own hope that his son would make a career in film, and admitted to never having listened to his son's music despite berating him for taking up a music career despite lacking musical talent. Yet he also betrayed an enormous pride in his son for having succeeded in his own way, on his own terms, though he didn't say anything (and the interviewer may not have thought to ask) about some of the antics post-1968 (not to mention the railroading bust in Miami in 1969---let's get it straight, Jim Morrison actually never exposed himself, he was wearing oversize boxers beneath his slacks) that may have been part of his son's bid to shed the "Lizard King" image because he feared nobody in his audience really took the music or the poetry seriously. Take all that as you will.

    His sister, though, remembered her brother's high school graduation gift request: where most boys "wanted a car," Jim Morrison wanted a set of the complete works of Nietzsche . . .

  • The Doors' Ray Manzarek dies at 74

    05/21/2013 9:53:05 PM PDT · 127 of 135
    BluesDuke to dragnet2
    Jim said as a kid, he was traveling with his family across some stretch of hot desert when they came across a brutal fatal accident involving some Indians from a local tribe..

    As they slowly drove past all the death and vehicle carnage on the hot asphalt, he felt the soul of an Indian enter his body...

    Probably why he used war paint and slammed whiskey as much as he did....I think I’ll have a shot...or two.

    He may or may not have felt the soul of an Indian enter his body, but he was deeply affected by seeing that accident. His parents remembered him in tears over it and finding him inconsolable over what he saw.

    This was the incident he later referenced in the lyrics to the Morrison Hotel song "Peace Frog." When the three surviving Doors put music to the poems that became the posthumous An American Prayer, that segment of "Peace Frog" was dubbed to his poem "Dawn's Highway/Newborn Awakening," with the "Peace Frog" segment bridging the two portions of that piece.

    Indian, indian what did you die for?
    Indian says, nothing at all.
    Gently they stir, gently rise
    The dead are newborn awakening
    With ravaged limbs and wet souls
    Gently they sigh in rapt funeral amazement
    Who called these dead to dance?
    Was it the young woman learning to play the ghost song on her baby grand?
    Was it the wilderness children?
    Was it the ghost god himself, stuttering, cheering, chatting blindly?
    I called you up to anoint the earth
    I called you to announce sadness falling like burned skin
    I called you to wish you well
    To glory in self like a new monster
    And now i call you to pray.
  • The Doors' Ray Manzarek dies at 74

    05/21/2013 12:54:22 PM PDT · 104 of 135
    BluesDuke to chessplayer; Fiji Hill
    Interpreting "The End" in light of Vietnam is intriguing, but you might want to consider a) that Jim Morrison began writing the lyric about his breakup with a girl friend; and, b) what the Doors themselves said of the song otherwise:
    Everytime I hear that song, it means something else to me. It started out as a simple good-bye song.... Probably just to a girl, but I see how it could be a goodbye to a kind of childhood. I really don't know. I think it's sufficiently complex and universal in its imagery that it could be almost anything you want it to be.---Jim Morrison, in 1969.

    Sometimes the pain is too much to examine, or even tolerate….That doesn't make it evil, though – or necessarily dangerous. But people fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah – I guess it is a friend...---Jim Morrison, focusing on the line "My only friend, the end . . ."

    He was giving voice in a rock 'n' roll setting to the Oedipus complex, at the time a widely discussed tendency in Freudian psychology. He wasn't saying he wanted to do that to his own mom and dad. He was re-enacting a bit of Greek drama. It was theatre!---Ray Manzarek.

    At one point Jim said to me during the recording session, and he was tearful, and he shouted in the studio, 'Does anybody understand me?' And I said yes, I do, and right then and there we got into a long discussion and Jim just kept saying over and over kill the father, f--k the mother, and essentially boils down to this, kill all those things in yourself which are instilled in you and are not of yourself, they are alien concepts which are not yours, they must die. F--k the mother is very basic, and it means get back to essence, what is reality, what is, f--k the mother is very basically mother, mother-birth, real, you can touch it, it's nature, it can't lie to you. So what Jim says at the end of the Oedipus section, which is essentially the same thing that the classic says, kill the alien concepts, get back reality, the end of alien concepts, the beginning of personal concepts.---John Densmore, the Doors' drummer, in his memoir Riders on the Storm

    Take it all as you will.

    Life hurts a lot more than death.

    It should be kept in mind, too, that Jim Morrison was brought up in a psychologically abusive environment. His father, a Navy pilot and eventual rear admiral, and his mother had agreed never to spank their children but, instead, relied on ferocious military-style dressings-down, including harshly insulting beratings, that endured until the child in question was broken to tears confessing his or her failures (the Morrisons had two sons and one daughter)---even if it had only been a human mistake, as opposed to genuine misbehaviour.

    Morrison broke off contact with his family (other than occasional contact with his brother) after he graduated UCLA (as a film student, two years before the Doors broke big), except for one occasion on which his father all but ordered him to give up his music career due to a "lack of talent"---at the time the Doors' first album was becoming a best-seller and "Light My Fire" was becoming the country's number one hit single---after a family member brought the Doors' debut to the elder Morrisons thinking their son was on the cover.

    The earliest Doors promotion materials included a note that Jim Morrison claimed no living family. Rear Adm. Morrison himself shrugged it off by telling a reporter he took it to mean that his son was only too well aware of the parents' disapproval of the career choice "and maybe he was trying to protect us." Neither of Morrison's parents were ever known to comment about the Oedipal section of "The End," though if you're looking for any Vietnam reference in the song be advised that Rear Adm. Morrison's service including his having been the flagship commander (aboard the Bon Homme Richard, an aircraft carrier) of the 3rd Fleet Carrier Division during the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 and, upon his promotion to rear admiral, served further in the Vietnam War.

    I don't know what it means on a deeper level, but on the same day his father was the keynote speaker at the ceremony decommissioning the Bon Homme Richard he once commanded, Jim Morrison died . . .

  • The Doors' Ray Manzarek dies at 74

    05/21/2013 11:44:03 AM PDT · 99 of 135
    BluesDuke to Moonman62
    Manzarek was inspired by John Coltrane's version of My Favorite Things for Light My Fire.
    That intro he devised for "Light My Fire" was damn near the theme of the summer of 1967, if you didn't count the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. His solo was a classic, too, though it was a shame it (and Robby Krieger's follow-up guitar solo) had to be edited for the single.

    But if you ask me what Ray Manzarek's best, or certainly most beautiful performance in the Doors was, I'd have to say it was . . .

    The Doors, "Riders on the Storm"

  • The Doors' Ray Manzarek dies at 74

    05/21/2013 11:35:49 AM PDT · 98 of 135
    BluesDuke to Revolting cat!
    Did the Doors use a studio bass player in their recordings (in L.A. it would almost certainly have been Carole Kaye)?

    (Too lazy to search for it.)

    The Doors used Douglas Lubahn (a member of Clear Light, also on the Elektra label at the time) in the studio from Strange Days through Morrison Hotel; they used Jerry Scheff, a bassist with Elvis Presley's Vegas stage band, for L.A. Woman.

  • The Salivation Army

    05/21/2013 11:25:48 AM PDT · 1 of 2
    Just a little respite from the chicaneries of His Excellency Al-Hashish Field Marshmallow Dr. Barack Obama Dada, COD, RIP, LSMFT, Would-Be Life President of the Republic Formerly Known as the United States . . . for old times' sake!

    (No, I didn't forget Joe Niekro, I just thought he was too much of a putz about it to put him on such an extinguished dishonour roll . . . heh, heh, heh . . . )

  • Suggestions for a Driving Music Playlist (Vanity)

    05/16/2013 11:27:00 AM PDT · 103 of 105
    BluesDuke to martin_fierro; All
    OK, you talked me into it. Here are some of what you'd find on my driving list, in no order of preference:

    Muddy Waters, His Best: 1948-55 and His Best: 1956-64.
    B.B. King, Do the Boogie: Early '50s Classics.
    Duke Ellington, Braggin' in Brass: The Complete 1938 Recordings.
    Michael Bloomfield and Friends, Live at Bill Graham's Fillmore West 1969.
    Otis Redding, Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul.
    James Brown, Live at the Apollo.
    Howlin' Wolf, Moanin' at Midnight/Howlin' Wolf.
    Grant Green, Grant's First Stand.
    Various Artists, Heaven Must Have Sent You: The Holland-Dozier-Holland Story. (Including their Motown hits in the original mono single masters---talk about putting the jukebox in your car!)
    The Butterfield Blues Band, East-West.
    Ray Charles, The Genius Sings the Blues.
    Miles Davis, Kind of Blue.
    The Beatles, The Beatles' Second Album. (Yes, I know, Capitol fragmented their catalog in the original heady days, but even with that this album just plain kicked---and kicks---end-to-end ass!)
    Savoy Brown, A Step Further. (Especially for "The Savoy Brown Boogie" . . .)
    Canned Heat, Boogie with Canned Heat.
    Santana, Live at the Fillmore '68.
    Albert King, I'll Play the Blues for You.
    Freddie King, The Complete King/Federal Singles.
    Guitar Slim, Sufferin' Mind: The Legends of Specialty Series.
    Booker T. and the MGs, Melting Pot.
    Albert Collins, The Cool Sound of Albert Collins.
    Various Artists, Memphis Blues: Important Postwar Blues (a four-disc set of all the blues Sam Phillips recorded at what became the Sun Studios before he found Elvis Presley).
    John Lee Hooker, The Original Modern Recordings.
    Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Rev Up: The Best of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (and how long do we have to wait before these guys get their due in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?)

    . . . just for openers . . .

  • Clay Buchholz Accused Of Doctoring Baseball By Sportsnet’s Dirk Hayhurst In Toronto

    05/16/2013 10:30:45 AM PDT · 25 of 26
    BluesDuke to morphing libertarian
    I love that story! (The Playmate in question, Jo Collins, married Belinsky; they eventually divorced.)

    My favourite remark about Don Sutton comes from Ray Miller: "Sutton's set such a fine example of defiance that one day I expect him to throw a ball up to the plate with bolts attached."

  • Clay Buchholz Accused Of Doctoring Baseball By Sportsnet’s Dirk Hayhurst In Toronto

    05/12/2013 11:06:31 AM PDT · 22 of 26
    BluesDuke to Ransomed
    A tack in the glove is fine with me...
    Which reminds me of Rick Honeycutt. In his pitching days, he once had a tack held to a finger on his glove hand, held there with a flesh-coloured bandage. When he got caught with it, he walked off the mound and, without thinking, wiped sweat from his forehead . . . with the tack hand, leaving a gash going across his forehead. His teammates didn't let him live it down the rest of the season . . .
  • Clay Buchholz Accused Of Doctoring Baseball By Sportsnet’s Dirk Hayhurst In Toronto

    05/12/2013 11:03:50 AM PDT · 21 of 26
    BluesDuke to morphing libertarian
    In the bigs anything wrong with the ball and a new one is in. Even the batters pay attention and ask the ump to check the ball.
    And, if they're not sure themselves and don't ask the ump to check, they just do what former pitching coach Ray Miller reminded people: Hit it on the dry side---or, wait for the one that doesn't break. Because a spitter that doesn't break is just a batting practise fastball begging to take a trip over the fence.

    Bo Belinsky once said that when you played the Yankees and Whitey Ford got away with his mud ball, the opposing pitcher prayed to find it waiting for him at the mound when the sides changed. Belinsky himself would learn a proper spitter in due course from Lew Burdette, but he'd say of Ford's mud ball, "If I saw that little spot of mud on it when I got back to the mound, it was three outs I didn't even have to try for. If the spot wasn't there, I was dead."

    Then there was Don Sutton, who once inspired Ray Miller to say this: Sutton has shown such a fine example of defiance that I expect him to throw a ball up to the plate with bolts attached to it.

    Sutton himself had his own way of dealing with things when the umpires wanted him frisked. He was said to have little notes in the fingers of his glove, one of which said: YOU'RE GETTING WARMER. BUT IT ISN'T HERE.

    Did you know: Sutton as an Angel once started a game against Tommy John, then a Yankee, and also suspected himself of a little fine tuning on a ball. During the game, George Steinbrenner---who was watching from his Tampa home---called the Yankee dugout and badgered manager Lou Piniella to have Sutton checked and, if necessary, ejected.

    "George," Piniella pleaded, "if I have Sutton checked they'll have T.J. checked. Whatever they're doing, T.J.'s doing it better. So let's just let them be."

    The Yankees won the game, but the best line about the game came from a scout watching from the press box: "Tommy John and Don Sutton? If you can find one smooth ball from that game, you ought to send it to Cooperstown."