Guitar Train

Hop aboard the Guitar Train to the final destination of Advanced Musical Knowledge

Archive for the tag “New York Yankees”

The Guitar Train is Derailed on the Reading Track

 

The Guitar Train is chugging along with the May pledged to stop reading library books and only read the approximately 50 books I own at home and have never read. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/the-guitar-train-takes-a-new-route/  I have had several derailments along the way and only minimal progress.

 

Before starting to read my own books, I had one last library book to read. “The White Lioness” by Henning Mankell at 500 pages was not a quick read. Once I finished that book, I put the Kurt Wallender detective series aside while I literally dusted off the books on my bookshelf.

The first book of my own I started reading was “X” by Sue Grafton only to realize that the story in “W is for Wasted”, the previous book in the series, was very important to recall in order to understand “X”. Since I had read “W is for Wasted” years before, I didn’t remember all the details so I had to reread it in order to follow the story in “X”. So that added another book to my “to read” list. I was worried as I was getting to the end of “Y is for Yesterday” that the story would not be completely resolved since tragically Sue Grafton died before she finished writing “Z” which would have presumably been the last book in the Kinsey Millhone detective series. Not to give anything away to anyone else who like me was silly enough to have left the books unread on a bookshelf for years or anyone who has yet to read this great series, the end of what became the last book in the series is very satisfactory.

 

 

The not reading library books track was almost derailed again when I was adding the Rizzoli and Isles series of mystery books to my huge book reserve list on my library’s website. A glitch on the website resulted in a non-Rizzoli and Isles book by the same author, Tess Gerritsen, to be reserved for me and sent to my local library for pick-up. Not only was it a book I did not add to my list, but it was also in large type format. By the time I saw the error, the book was already on route to my library. I decided to check it out since I might like it. Fortunately for my reading my own books exclusively pledge, the first sentence was so gruesome, it turned me off from reading the book at all.

 

While I was at the library, I picked up a free magazine listing nearly 100 recently published books in several genres with an emphasis on the mystery genre, my favorite. So that opened up a can of worms or in my case, a huge list of books to read for a bookworm. From that magazine, I ended up adding about 30 books to my already massive library book reserve list. Adding the titles made me want to get the books right then and read them and abandon my reading my own books pledge. I resisted the urge and logged out of the library website before ordering any of the books.

 

Another detour which added more books to my bookshelf was the buying of two books that I had first borrowed from the library. I had checked them out from the library to preview them to make sure they were really worth buying. They were so I added two more books to my list to read – one reference book and one cookbook.

So to update what I have actually read from my own bookshelf – not much. Besides the two new Sue Grafton books, I finished reading the autobiography of Mike Rutherford from Genesis called “The Living Years.” I wrote about this book and Phil Collins’ autobiography in the Guitar Train stop from January 2018 called “How Much Do You Want to Know?” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/how-much-do-you-want-to-know/  It was interesting to read Mike Rutherford’s take on Genesis.

I also read “The Beatles, The Bible, and Bodega Bay” by Ken Mansfield. He was the first manager of Apple Records in the United States. On page 135 of his book published in 2000 before George Harrison and Neil Aspinal died, Ken wrote, “In my opinion, the only people alive today who have the right to write the Beatles’ story are George, Paul, Ringo, or ex-head road manager and now Apple managing director Neil Aspinal. I honestly doubt that any of them would be moved to do so, but it still remains that they are the only ones still here and the only ones who were truly there for the duration.” I guess his own opinion didn’t stop him from writing this book and more books on the subject. Now I have to decide if I should add his other books to my never ending reading list.

The ride on the reading track has not been smooth and uninterrupted. It may be derailed again by streaming movies on Netflix in order to get through my 300 DVD queue quicker. After that comes the beginning of the NFL season which between all the games and the shows about football, leaves little time for reading. The book I am currently reading is Joe Torre’s memoir called “The Yankee Years.” That should help me get back on track.

 

Guitar Train passengers, have you read any books which have been sitting on your bookshelf unread for years? Did you enjoy them and regret not reading them sooner?

Advertisements

The Guitar Train Takes a New Route

I have never been into spring cleaning. For some reason this spring, I am really into it for the first time. I want everything in my house (especially the basement) and my life to be very organized. The clutter and huge to do lists are stressing me.

One of the biggest causes of stress is the amount of books I have in my home which I have never read. There are about 50 books I have bought in the past several years that I have not yet found time to read. I can understand putting off reading the books I have which are classics and I feel that I am supposed to read. They feel like homework assignments. I also understand not having read the books I have a passing interest in the topic or the author. I can’t understand the large number of Beatles, Genesis, New York Giants, and the New York Yankees books which I have yet to read. These topics are my passions, so why am I putting off reading these books? I am pretty sure they’ll be good reads. On the topic of The Beatles, I have “Tune In: Volume 1” by Mark Lewisohn, “The Beatles” by Hunter Davies, and “The Beatles, The Bible, and Bodega Bay” by Ken Mansfield.

There are two books I am hesitant to read because once I have read them, I will never be able to read a new book from that author again. Sue Grafton, who wrote the so-called alphabet of murder mysteries, is one of my favorite authors. Sadly she passed away in December 2017. I have yet to read her books “X” and “Y is for Yesterday”. She passed away before she finished writing the “Z” book in the Kinsey Millhone detective series. I will probably read her last two books as I did the last book in the Harry Potter series – slowly, savoring every word, knowing it’s the end.

 

On the other hand, there’s a certain liberation in knowing going into something that it is finite. I just began reading the Kurt Wallender detective mysteries written by Henning Mankell. Since the author has passed away, I know there are only a certain amount of books in the series and then I have done my “job” of reading them.

So for the next few months, I will be binge reading the books I already own at home. I will not take any more books out of the library which has been the biggest deterrent to reading the books I have at home. The list of books I want to borrow from the library is in the hundreds. I know this project will take several months since I can’t binge read as fast as I can binge watch TV shows and movies. I really wish binge reading was as fast as binge watching. I will also not be stressed by the 300 shows and movies I have waiting for me on my Netflix queue (including two TV versions of the Kurt Wallender books once I finish reading them). So I’m steering the Guitar Train to binge reading for as long as I have books to read.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which books do you have at home you’ve put off reading (and enjoying)?

Quirky T is Excited about Opening Day

New York Yankees logo

Today is opening day of the Major League Baseball season. I am so excited about the upcoming New York Yankees season. They surprisingly were one win away from going to the World Series last year. With a young, talented team, I’m excited to see how far they can go this season. Interesting note, the Yankees have won the World Series in 1938, 1958, 1978, and 1998. I can see a pattern where this should be the year for their 28th World Series Championship.

Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium

To get on the right musical track for the new Yankees season, here are songs which remind me of going to Yankee Stadium for games.

  1. “YMCA”
  2. “Cotton-Eyed Joe”
  3. “New York, New York”

 

The Yankees grounds crew does a choreographed dance to “YMCA” by the Village People while they rake the infield dirt during the 5th inning. They have been doing this for decades now and it is still a highlight.

 

Not so much of a highlight is the playing of “Cotton-Eyed Joe” in the 8th inning while someone in a straw hat dances in a booth in the stadium. I was never fond of that song and I don’t think it fits in the Bronx, New York. The song has an interesting history, though, which can be read on Wikipedia.

Frank Sinatra framed photo

photo at Yankee Stadium

 

 

Leaving Yankee Stadium with other jubilant Yankees fans after another win with everyone singing along to Frank Sinatra’s, “New York, New York” is one of the best experiences. Fortunately, it is an experience I’ve had repeatedly over the past 22 years. I look forward to more wins this season.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what songs do you associate with your favorite sports teams?

Sports Trash Talking

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

 

Gate 4

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.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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?

New York Songs

This Guitar Train stop is the first of two stops looking at New York songs and California songs. Since I live on the East Coast, I am more familiar with and associate more with New York songs. Many of the songs written about New York are about one specific area of a large state – New York City. There may be songs about upstate New York towns such as Schenectady or Ithaca but I haven’t heard them.

 

Central Park, New York City

Central Park, New York City

New York songs I like

  1. “Theme from New York, New York” sung by Frank Sinatra
  2. “New York City Rhythm” by Barry Manilow
  3. “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel

 

Gate 4

Yankee Stadium

There’s nothing like a crowd of 50,000 happy New York Yankees fans singing along to “Theme from New York, New York” at Yankee Stadium after a Yankees win. It is a great tradition which brings everyone together in happiness for their beloved team. It is the perfect ending to a day spent at Yankee Stadium.

 

New York City

New York City

Barry Manilow left Brooklyn, New York a long time ago for California but his song, “New York City Rhythm” captures the atmosphere of New York City. It puts a spring in your step while walking through the city in an I’m-in-a-musical-fantasy kind of way.

 

Billy Joel is Mr. Long Island, New York. His song, “New York State of Mind” with its mentions of several specific New York locations does indeed put one in a New York frame of reference.

Phil Collins t-shirt

 

Upon researching this Guitar Train stop, I discovered several Genesis songs with New York connections that I had not previously heard. I found the songs from the Peter Gabriel led 1974 album, “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” to be creepy and scary. They reinforced my preference for Phil Collins over Peter Gabriel.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite New York songs?

The Standards – Frank Sinatra

This month on the Guitar Train, Quirky T stops to listen to The Standards – songs from the 1920’s to 1950’s which have been considered part of the Great American Songbook. This first stop looks at Frank Sinatra.

Duets

I really began to listen to Frank Sinatra in 1993 with the release of the CD “Duets” which contains Frank Sinatra’s duets with popular singers. The only reason I bought this CD was for the duet with one my favorites, Gloria Estefan, on the song “Come Rain or Come Shine”. Likewise, I bought “Duets II” in 1994 because of the duet of Sinatra and another favorite of mine, Jon Secada. Their duet on “The Best is Yet to Come” has become a favorite of mine and I think it would make a perfect wedding song. Hopefully on your wedding day, the best is still yet to come, or otherwise what’s the point in getting married?

Duets II

I admire the coolness of Frank Sinatra as evidenced in the original version of the film “Ocean’s 11”. I liked the two “Duets” CDs because it was interesting who Sinatra paired up with and how the songs were re-arranged to become duets. About half of the songs are fastish which I enjoy. Also, some songs even had me finger snapping. The CDs served a good purpose as they exposed Frank Sinatra’s music to more generations such as mine.

Frank Sinatra: Greatest Love Songs

I pushed my interest for this type of music too far when I bought the CD “Frank Sinatra: Greatest Love Songs”. Because of the slow pacing of many of the songs, this CD wasn’t as enjoyable for me to listen to. “My Funny Valentine” strikes me as an insulting love song. What happened to “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”? I’m all for overlooking the flaws of a loved one but how about “Accentuate the Positive”? I wouldn’t want this song sung to me; it’s just not romantic.

Frank Sinatra framed photo

I’m so glad I explored Frank Sinatra’s music as much as I have. I understand why those songs are timelessness yet I don’t feel the need to hear more. I’m content to repeated listening of my favorites such as “The Best is Yet to Come”, “For Once in My Life”, “Fly Me to the Moon”, “Come Fly With Me”, and “New York, New York”. For some odd reason, I often confuse “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Come Fly with Me”. When I sing them to myself, they often meld into one song which could be called “Come Fly With Me to the Moon.”

New York, New York song story

The song “New York, New York” has special meaning for me as it is played after New York Yankees games at Yankee Stadium. One year, the Frank Sinatra version played after Yankees wins and the Liza Minnelli version after Yankee losses. That was a bit of disrespect towards Liza Minnelli. When Frank Sinatra died on May 14, 1998, I drove through town blasting this song on the radio as a tribute to a great singer.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which duet with Frank Sinatra is your favorite? Who do you wish he would’ve recorded a duet with?

 

At the next stop on the Guitar Train, Quirky T listens to one of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack buddies, Dean Martin.

Thanks for the Many Championships

November is Gratitude Month on the Guitar Train.  Quirky T has so many things to be thankful for in her life.  Going back to last month’s Happy Month on the Guitar Train, I believe that concentrating on what you have in life instead of dwelling on what you don’t have is one of the keys to happiness.  On that track, I want to start Gratitude Month by thanking the New York Giants and New York Yankees for many seasons of amazing games and world championships.

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte signed photo

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte signed photo

The last week in September this year was the worst I’ve ever witnessed as a New Jersey sports fan.  On Sunday, September 22, the Giants lost their third straight game to start the season.  Meanwhile, the Yankees retired closer Mariano Rivera’s number 42 while pitcher Andy Pettitte started his last game at Yankee Stadium.  They are my two favorite Yankees pitchers.

New York Yankees logo

The ceremony for Mariano was amazing as all Yankees ceremonies are.  It’s sad that after Derek Jeter retires, there’s no one else on the team to honor.  There’s nothing to look forward to.  I went to a Yankees game in April of this year.  Second baseman, Robinson Cano, was the only returning starter from last year playing because of the huge amount of player injuries.  It was like watching a whole new team.  The season ended basically the same way with many of the starters not returning from injury.  There are so many questions surrounding this team for next season.  Will Alex Rodriquez play again?  Will Derek Jeter be healthy?  Who will the starting pitchers be?  Who will be the closer, not to replace Mariano because that is impossible, but just to close games?  Will Alfonso Soriano continue to play as well as he surprisingly played?  At least, Joe Girardi will still be the manager.

New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

That worst week in September continued as the Giants lost their fourth straight game the following Sunday.  At least with the Yankees, they know what they have to do to improve and which positions they need to fill.  With the Giants, the answers are not coming.  They have had injuries, too, but it is more than that.  It’s surprising that this franchise could start the season playing that badly but it shouldn’t be totally shocking considering how badly they played at the end of last season.  The other times I’ve been through losing streaks with this team, the talent wasn’t there.  I would never think that a team that has two time Super Bowl MVP QB Eli Manning and great receivers could be playing so badly.

The only way I can survive this horrible time is to remember all the great seasons in the past.  The five World Series I have seen the Yankees win.  The four Super Bowls I have seen the Giants win.  Some fans never see their teams get to the playoffs, let alone win a championship.  So I am very grateful to have seen my two favorite sports teams not only win but win repeatedly.  I guess because of these big victories, my expectations have been raised.  I have to step back and be happy for the many past seasons of glory and amazing games.

1998 World Series Ticket

I am also tremendously thankful that I was able to see my favorite teams play in a World Series game and a Super Bowl in person.  I went to Game One of the 1998 World Series when the Yankees played the San Diego Padres.  Not only did the Yankees win that game but my favorite player, first baseman Tino Martinez, hit a grand slam.

Super Bowl 35 pins

I went to Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa, FL where the Giants played the Baltimore Ravens.  Unfortunately, the Giants lost that game.  It was the worst feeling in the world at that time.

To get on the music track, here are some songs that remind me of the Yankees.  Mariano Rivera entered all his home games to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”.   I probably wouldn’t have ever heard that song if it wasn’t for watching Yankees games.  I thought it was great that the band performed that song live on the field at Yankee Stadium during the retirement ceremony for Mariano.  The other song that reminds me of the Yankees is Queen’s “We Are The Champions.”  

That song was played frequently in reference to the Yankees World Series Championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009.

For the Giants, the songs that remind me of them have nothing to do with the games on the field.  In 1990, I was lucky enough to be able to tour the Giants locker room as part of an event held at Giants Stadium.  While fans walked around the locker room, the Wilson Phillips song, “Impulsive” was playing in the background.  I was already a fan of the group so it really added to the fun of the moment to hear this song playing.  Years later, when I was leaving a Giants game, on the car radio the Green Day song, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”   was playing.  I remember looking back at Giants Stadium lit up beautifully in the night and taking a mental picture of it.  Watching the Giants win the Super Bowl in 1986, 1990, 2007, and 2011 really was the time of my life.

Guitar Train passengers, what sports teams are you grateful for?  How do you get through the bad times with these teams?

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: