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Fave Dance Songs for Quirky T’s Fave Month

 

Welcome, Guitar Train passengers, to my favorite month – October! I’ve written in the past about why October is my favorite month. Check out this Guitar Train stop which explains why. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/happy-month-on-the-guitar-train/ To add to those reasons, October is my favorite month because it leads into the best time period of every year – the holidays in November and December. So let’s dance through the great times coming with these dance favorites of mine.

 

The Beatles

  1. “Can’t Buy Me Love”
  2. “Back in the U.S.S.R.

 

Phil Collins

  1. “Sussidio”
  2. “Dance Into the Light”

 

Gloria Estefan

  1. “You’ll Be Mine (Party Time)”
  2. “I Just Wanna Be Happy”

 

Jon Secada

  1. “Always Something”
  2. “It’s Enough”

 

Barry Manilow

  1. “Daybreak”
  2. “Bandstand Boogie”

 

Other Faves

  1. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” – Wham!
  2. “Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina and the Waves

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite dance songs?

Sports Trash Talking

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With the National Football League season starting, are you ready for some sports trash talking? I’m not. I never understood trash talking; it’s pointless. Because you say your team is better, I’m not going to change my allegiance to my team. I’m not changing my loyalty because you say your team has better players or has a better record than mine. I don’t care how much you love the Dallas Cowboys, think they are the best team ever, and quote statistics to try to prove it, I am and will always be a New York Giants fan. I don’t care how many negative things you say about Giants QB Eli Manning, I prefer him as my team’s QB over all other QBs in the NFL. Even over the New England Patriots QB Tom Brady. Eli is younger, healthier (he has never missed a game in his whole 12 year career), and he’s not suspended for deflating footballs.

 

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Yankee Stadium

Has trash talking ever worked? Has anyone ever changed her favorite team because someone else said his team is better? No has ever said, “I know the New York Yankees haven’t won a World Series in seven years so that negates the five previous World Series wins and all the success. I’ll just become a fan of whoever you say is better than the Yankees since your trash talking is so persuasive.”

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A low point in trash talking came last year with the football team the New York Jets’ motto, “What it means to be green.” What does that motto mean? Being green as in the color of the team’s uniforms? Or lack of experience? Or environmental consciousness? None of those traits evoke fear, competition, or respect for a skill level. How do you use “being green” to trash talk? Do you say, “Ha, ha. My team is greener than yours.” I can’t imagine any offensive lineman saying to the opposing defensive lineman he is facing at the line of scrimmage, “Sure your team has more QB sacks than any other team but our team is green.” Jets fans are a very, shall I write, interesting group of people but I doubt even they were going around bragging that their team is greener than all the other teams.

 

Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

I can’t trash talk because it just seems so mean. The few times I’ve said anything close to trash talking, I’ve felt bad afterwards. I love my teams so why would I say anything bad about teams someone else loves? I don’t know how to react when someone trash talks my favorite teams. One of the worst trash talking situations I’ve been in occurred a few years ago when I was at the check-out of a sports store paying for Giants merchandise with my Giants credit card. The cashier ridiculed me for being a Giants fan and said the team was terrible. First of all, the Giants had a winning record at the time so they were not terrible. Second of all, the cashier is working at a sports store where fans of many teams are buying team memorabilia. She shouldn’t be commenting on any team any customer favors. I couldn’t imagine being at a food store buying a bottle of Coca-Cola and having the cashier tell me that Coke is terrible and Pepsi is better.

 

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Field Museum, Chicago, IL

The worst sports trash talkers are the fair weather fans. They usually root for out of state teams whose games they cannot even see on TV. When their team plays a local team and they can actually watch the game, they become very obnoxious. If their team wins, they trash talk about how great their team is (based on the one and only game they watched) and how horrible the home team is. Yet, they couldn’t even name five players on “their team”. They don’t give their team another thought for the rest of the season except to remind the hometown fan that her team lost that one game to their team.

 

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Music does not lend itself to trash talking. Sure, there are battles over who is the better band – The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. (The answer is The Beatles). These battles usually aren’t very contentious. In fact, more often than leading to trashing talking, music discussions lead to listening recommendations. There’s no disloyalty in listening to new music. Even if you become a fan of the new music, it does not affect your feelings for your favorite music. You can be a fan of many different songs and musicians. To stay on a music track, the chorus of the Jon Secada song, “After All is Said and Done” perfectly sums up my love of the New York Giants and New York Yankees.

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So to all you trash talkers out there, it’s fine to be fanatical for a sports team. It’s fine to get excited about games, talk about stats and players, read everything possible about that team, and want absolute silence while you watch games. I just don’t need to hear about it because it won’t change my allegiance. I’ll always be a fan of the 27 time World Series Champion New York Yankees (more than any other team in any sport) and 4 time Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. You can keep your teams and your trash talking.

 

Guitar Train passengers, are you a trash talker? Why? If someone trash talks your favorite team, how do you respond?

Questions Quirky T Would Ask Her Faves

 

 

Quirky T has seen many interviews of her favorite musicians. Because of the enormous fame of these musicians, they have been interviewed frequently and just as frequently asked the same questions. As a real fan, I don’t want to watch interviews with only surface questions, I want to dig deeper. Since I’ll never have a sit down interview with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, Phil Collins, Huey Lewis and the News, or Jon Secada, I’ve come up with questions I would ask them if I happen to run into them and only have seconds to blurt out a question before they disappear. Of course, the chances that I’ll be anywhere near any of them is infinitesimally small but I do want to be prepared just in case. (Does it increase my odds that I only need to run into one member of The News to have my question answered?)

Let It Be album cover

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – as the only living representatives of The Beatles, the question I would ask them would be when will they re-release the movie “Let It Be.” When can they let the many of us who haven’t seen it, see an official version? The chances of me meeting these two Beatles together are probably as likely as this Beatles movie being re-released in some format.

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Phil Collins – I have several questions for him. I would ask him to clear up all the rumors and tell me what “In the Air Tonight” is really about. Also, what is one of my favorite Genesis’ songs, “Abacab” about? If I didn’t have time to ask any questions, then I would resort to begging him to go on tour again as a solo artist and with Genesis’ Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. I would suggest to him that Chester Thompson could play the drums for him and he could just sing. I would also beg that if he did that, he would tour near where I live so I could see him.

 

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Gloria Estefan on side of building in Chicago

Gloria Estefan – She is so talented in the way she does English and Spanish versions of several of her songs. I would ask her for an English song version of my favorite of her Spanish songs, “No Me Dejes de Querer (“Flores del Caribe Mix)”.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

Huey Lewis and the News – I have one and only one questions for this band. When will the new CD be released? I wrote about this in The Guitar Train stop called “The Guitar Train Delivers Good News”.( https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/the-guitar-train-delivers-good-news/ )  I’m still waiting impatiently for new songs. So when will they be coming?

Jon Secada

Jon Secada – I was only able to see him once in concert – 22 years ago. He had just two CDs released at that time. So there are many songs I have never heard him perform live. So my question to Jon Secada is when will you perform a full concert (near me) again?

 

Guitar Train passengers, if you were ever lucky enough to meet your favorite musicians, what questions have you always wanted to ask them?

The Guitar Train Stops to see Paul McCartney!!!

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Quirky T was extremely lucky to be able to conduct The Guitar Train to see the legendary Paul McCartney in concert on Sunday, August 7 at Giants Stadium (really called MetLife Stadium). It had been 14 years since I last saw my favorite Beatle perform live.  The concert was, not surprisingly, amazing.

Tripping the Live Fantastic CD

Before going to the concert, I checked out the set list for the concert prior to this one. I was a little disappointed that he would not be playing some of the songs that I really wanted to hear. (Click on the link for the set list for the concert I attended. http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/paul-mccartney/2016/metlife-stadium-east-rutherford-nj-2bfc9c2a.html) I wrote a Guitar Train stop called “Concert Song Requests of My Faves” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/concert-song-requests-of-my-faves/ where I listed the Beatles songs I would like to hear. So, Sir Paul, any time you need help coming up with the set list, I would be more than happy to help. (Incidentally, that list would include several songs from the album, “Help!”). I guess I was comparing the set list to the first Paul McCartney concert I went to at Giants Stadium (the actual name of the stadium then). At that concert, he played several songs from my favorite solo album of his, 1989’s “Flowers in the Dirt”. I bought the double CD of live performances from that concert called “Tripping the Live Fantastic”. So the memories of that concert have been kept alive for me.

 

I was also comparing the set list to the one from his October 21, 2015 concert in Detroit where he played several songs from my favorite Beatles album, “Help!” as well as other Beatles songs he doesn’t usually play in concert. It’s just so frustrating because he has so many incredible songs to choose from that I wonder why he chooses the ones he does. The crowd at this concert, at least the fans near me, was definitely into The Beatles songs (obviously) and less into the Wings songs, and even less into the songs from his 2013 CD called “New”. At one point, Paul mentioned that when the crowd is into the song he is playing, he sees all the lit up cell phones. When they aren’t into the song, it’s like “a black hole”. He added, “But we don’t care.” Since it is impossible to play every song that every fan wants to hear (and keep the concert time under three hours), he has to play what he wants and not worry too much about fan reaction. It’s not as if any song is so horrible that he will be booed.

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So let me move on from whining and write that I loved the concert and was grateful to be there. I really liked the fact that Beatles songs were played before the concert began. Some songs were sung by the Fab Four such as “Tomorrow Never Knows”, “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You”, “If I Needed Someone”, and “Day Tripper” and some were covers such as “Get Back” and “You Can’t Do That”. I really enjoyed listening to these songs because I have never liked any of the songs played before any other concert I’ve ever attended. It makes perfect sense to play Beatles songs, and not just Paul’s Beatles songs, because the audience will definitely like them.

 

Also before the concert, there was a rumor going around that a special guest would join Paul McCartney on stage. Someone brought up Ringo Starr. I quickly dismissed that as impossible. I doubt Ringo just happened to be hanging around East Rutherford, New Jersey and would pop up on stage for half a Beatles reunion. Another name brought up was Bruce Springsteen but that was quickly shot down as he was touring in Europe at the time. I did think a perfect song for them to duet on would be Bruce Springsteen’s “Jersey Girl” since Paul called his wife, Nancy, a “jersey girl.” I could only think of musicians of his generation that I hoped wouldn’t come on stage. Alas, there wasn’t any special guest and none was needed.

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I had heard and read that lately Paul has been bringing fans on stage during the concert. I’m so glad that he didn’t do that at this performance. Unless it’s me, no fans belong on stage with him. There were plenty of fans vying to get on stage with the clever signs they made. Paul commented that he couldn’t read the signs and remember the chords and words at the same time.

 

I found it interesting when Paul said, “we played our first song and now we’ll play our latest song” because there is no “our”. He is the only one who played on that first song, “In Spite of All the Danger”, the latest song, “Four Five Seconds” and all the songs in between. There’s no “we” who played with him in The Beatles, Wings, and solo. If anyone can say, “I”, without being narcissistic, it’s him.

A Hard Day's Night CD cover

Not surprisingly, The Beatles songs really held up after all this time. As he played “Can’t Buy Me Love”, I thought of how that song is over 50 years old and still played and still loved. I doubt that in the 1960’s, people were listening to songs from the 1910’s. Also, as always, I think of the fact that Paul is performing Beatles songs which he never performed live with John, George, and Ringo.

 

Another observation I had was about the songs he performed which he had written for the loves of his life – 60’s fiancée Jane Asher, his late first wife, Linda, and his current wife, Nancy. “And I Love Her”, a Beatles song, was written for Jane. “Maybe I’m Amazed” was a solo song written for Linda. “My Valentine” was written for Nancy as part of his album of standards. (I wrote about this CD in a Guitar Train stop called “Quirky T’s Favorites Sing the Standards” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/quirky-ts-favorites-sing-the-standards/ ). I think Nancy has the worst song written for her out of those three but I guess since she’s the one who is with him now, it doesn’t matter. I like the fact that Paul still sings “Maybe I’m Amazed” and prefaces the song by saying he wrote it for Linda. He seemed to get choked up before he sang “Here Today” in tribute to John Lennon. He also paid tribute to George Harrison before playing the ukulele and “Something”. It’s sad that there are so many tributes for deceased loved ones.

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For me, the highlights of the concert were Paul McCartney playing one of his earliest songs, “In Spite of All the Danger”, a surprising Beatles song, “You Won’t See Me’, a different version of “Here, There, and Everywhere”, and two upbeat Beatles songs, “Lady Madonna” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. I absolutely loved the fireworks set off during “Live and Let Die” and set off again at the end of the 2 hour and 40 minute concert. I was a little concerned because they were set off from the seating section I’ll be in for an October New York Giants football game. I hope the seats weren’t damaged!

 

Guitar Train passengers, if you went to a Paul McCartney concert, which songs would you want to hear?

Off the Music Track – Why Baked Ziti Should Be Banned

To finish The Guitar Train’s Off the Music Track month, Quirky T is pleading for a ban on the ubiquitous “Italian” dish baked ziti. I love Italian American food but this casserole is always a letdown for me. I’ve never had good baked ziti. So now I don’t even try it when I encounter it at potluck dinners, parties, and all the other events where it always appears. I gave up all hope that it will ever taste good.

 

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Plate Not Filled With Baked Ziti Because Don’t Want to Give the False Impression That It Is Appetizing

I guess baked ziti is so popular to make because it’s easy to prepare. The recipe seems to be

Ziti – 2 lbs. cooked

Bland, non-homemade tomato sauce – one half jar

Mozzarella or parmesan cheese – smallest amount possible

Combine all the ingredients in a casserole dish.   Bake in the oven until the ziti is so dried out that it hardens, cracks, and changes color.

 

The result is a dehydrated dish that screams out for more tomato sauce and cheese. The ratio of sauce to cheese should be more along the lines of lasagna which is a cheesy, gooey masterpiece of taste when made correctly. Also, adding some meat like sausage or chopped meatballs to the baked ziti might help.

 

So I’m begging you baked ziti pushers, think twice before you bring a huge tray of this underwhelming dish to your next large party, potluck dinner, church social, funeral meal, or to the food pantry. Parties should have good food. People at funerals are suffering enough already. Even poor people can afford a box of pasta and a jar of tomato sauce. Give them something tasty and costly for a pleasant change.

 

Baked ziti pushers, just repeat this mantra – if you can’t make it well, don’t make it at all.

 

Guitar Train passengers, is there a food item which makes you groan with displeasure when you see it at an event? Do you wish it could be banned? Tell Quirky T what it is and why it bothers you so much.

Off the Music Track – Where Did That Name Come from?

As Quirky T continues this month to conduct the Guitar Train Off the Music Track, this stop looks at nicknames. The origins of many nicknames can obviously be seen from their full names. For others, I cannot conceive where they came from.

 

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A Bill

I can see how William became Will but how did Will become Bill?

 

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Big Bill = Rich

I can see how Richard became Rich but where does Rick come from that?

 

How does John become Jack?

 

How does Charles become Chuck?

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I can see how Robert became Rob but how did Bob come from that? I actually found the answer for that in “The New American Dictionary of Baby Names” by Leslie Dunkling and William Gosling. They wrote “Because so many men bore it (the name Robert) a number of different pet forms were necessary. Rob, by the usual rhyming process, led to Hob, Dob, Nob, and later, Bob.”  Out of those choices, “Bob” is definitely the best. It scares me to think of the results if “the usual rhyming process” was applied to other names. I guess that can be seen in the episode of “Seinfeld” called “The Junior Mint” with the “name” Mulva.

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On the track of female names, I couldn’t come up with any nicknames that made me question their origins. What I did think of is how one male name has many female versions. George in the feminine form becomes Georgia, Georgina, Georgette, and Georgeann. Paul becomes Paula, Paulette, and Paulina. This phenomenon reminds me of fashion. For every one man’s suit, there are many varieties of women’s dresses.

 

Guitar Train passengers, is there any nickname which you can’t figure out the connection to the full name?

Off the Music Track – Best Banana Ever?

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This month, Quirky T conducts the Guitar Train Off the Music Track to non-music stops. The first stop is inspired by a discussion I heard on the ESPN radio/YES Network sports talk show “The Michael Kay Show” http://espn.go.com/new-york/radio/show?showId=TMKS a few months ago. Co-host Don La Greca brought up the point that bananas are consistent; (when they are ripe) they always taste the same. I agree as I have never raved over the taste of a banana. I have never said any banana was the best banana I ever had. For that matter, I have never said any banana was the worst either. I have never heard anyone say, “I just went to the farmers’ market and got the most amazing banana ever. It was so tasty and fresh.” I have never even seen bananas at farmers’ markets. Why bother when the ones at the supermarket aren’t expensive and always taste good? Granted I’ve never eaten a banana right off a banana plant but I’m not sure it would make a difference. I’ve eaten organic bananas and did not notice any taste difference compared to non-organic bananas.

Barry Manilow Greatest Hits Album cover

I’m not bashing bananas. I like them and I eat them frequently. They are great for their taste consistency, affordability, portability, nice compliment to cereal, and ease in preparation. They are definitely the easiest to peel and cut of all the fruits which need to be peeled and cut. There is no anxiety when choosing which banana to eat from a bunch because you will always get the best one since they all taste the same. To bring this Guitar Train stop back on a music track, Barry Manilow even (in a complete non sequitur) offered them in his well-known song, “Copacabana”.

 

Guitar Train passengers, am I missing something? Have you ever eaten an out of this world absolutely amazing banana? How did it taste? Where did you buy it?

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