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Archive for the tag “Sports”

Kneeling for a Better America

Kneeling during the National Anthem does not mean you are un-Patriotic. It does not mean you do not respect the service of veterans. It does not mean you do not like America.


To the contrary, it means you care so much for this country that you want it to live up to its Declaration that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”


Kneeling professional football players are exercising the First Amendment to the Constitution which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”


This is the platform they have to air their incredibly legitimate grievances. If the peaceful protests are not allowed, it is a violation of the Executive Oath of Office which the President took in January when he stated, “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  So help me, God.”


It does not seem that he is preserving, protecting, or defending the Constitution in this situation.


Sports Trash Talking


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.”


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.



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.


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?

Concert Song Requests of My Faves



The Guitar Train has been lucky enough to make stops to see all of Quirky T’s favorite musicians (except The Beatles) in live concert performances. While I have thoroughly enjoyed all these concerts, there are some songs which I love that I have never heard performed live. I know musicians are limited as far as which songs they can play because of time constraints, technical production issues, and catering to the audiences’ desires. Or as Huey Lewis says during his concerts when the audience yells out titles of songs they want him to sing, “So many hits, so little time.” So putting all practicality aside (including life and death), here are the songs I would love to hear my favorite musicians perform live at a concert I’m attending.


For The Beatles, obviously I’d love to have just been at any of their concerts, even with all the screaming. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear Paul McCartney perform Beatles songs that the band never even performed together in concert. I would love to hear my favorite Beatles album, “Help!” in its entirety. During the October 15, 2015 concert in Detroit, Michigan, Paul McCartney did play “Another Girl”, “I’ve Just Seen a Face”, and “Yesterday”. I would have loved to have been a part of that concert experience. Aside from the album “Help!”, these are the other Beatles songs I would like to hear, broken down by whose songs they are.

  • John Lennon – “It Won’t Be Long”, “All I’ve Got to Do”, and “In My Life”
  • Paul McCartney – “I’ll Follow the Sun”, “I Will” , and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”
  • George Harrison – “Old Brown Shoe”, “Here Comes the Sun”, and “Don’t Bother Me”
  • Ringo Starr – “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Honey Don’t” (I know it’s not an original Beatles song but it’s a fun song for Ringo).

Phil Collins t-shirt

From Phil Collins, I would request his angry songs – “I Don’t Care Anymore”, “Do You Know, Do You Care?”, and “Who Said I Would”. To counter the anger, I would love to hear my all time favorite song of all songs I’ve ever heard in my entire life – “We Said Hello Goodbye”.

Genesis glitter T-shirt

I have been lucky that at the two Genesis concerts I attended, Phil Collins sang many of my favorite Genesis songs. To those favorites, I would like to also request “Abacab”, “That’s All”, and “Just a Job To Do.”


I’ve been to many Gloria Estefan concerts but I haven’t heard her perform songs from her 1998 CD titled “gloria!” So I would love to hear that CD performed in its entirety since the songs flow into each other non-stop between tracks. If that’s too much to ask for, I’d settle for just my favorite song from that CD – “I Just Wanna Be Happy”. The other Gloria Estefan song I’d love to hear her perform in concert would fit in with the angry Phil Collins songs. It’s appropriately titled “Go Away.”  I’ll add one Spanish song to my requests – “No Me Dejes De Querer (“Flores” Del Caribe Mix)”.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

Huey Lewis and the News concerts are way too short as it is so I can definitely request many more songs for the band to play. They could stand to play a few more hits. In 2013, they played their 1983 album, “Sports”, in its entirety to commemorate its 30th anniversary. That was such an amazing experience that I would love for the band to do that again. In addition to that album, the song I’d most like to hear them perform live is the hard rocking “Couple Days Off”.

Jon Secada and Cadbury Creme Egg

The one Jon Secada concert I attended was also very short. Of course, at the time, he had only released two albums. So I would be happy to hear more songs from those two albums as well as other songs he’s released in the 21 years since then. I would definitely love to hear the songs “La, La, La’, “Whipped”, and “I’m Free”.

Barry Manilow Greatest Hits Album cover

For Barry Manilow who I’ve seen in concert twice, I would like to hear my three favorite songs of his – “Break Down the Door”, “Beautiful Music”, and “All the Time”. I would also request a song that he probably plays at every concert – “Can’t Smile Without You”.


Steve Winwood ticket stub

Steve Winwood ticket stub

One bonus musician that I have song requests for – Steve Winwood. He’s not a favorite of mine like the others are but I do enjoy several songs of his. I saw him in concert six years ago and I was disappointed that he did not play those favorite songs of mine. Those songs are “While You See a Chance”, “Back in the High Life Again”,  “Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do?”, and “Roll With It”.


Guitar Train passengers, what are the songs you would request your favorite musicians play at their concerts?

The Guitar Train Travels “Back in Time” to 1985

For the glorious month of May, Quirky T is conducting The Guitar Train to travel “Back in Time” to the year 1985. It’s hard (and a little depressing) to believe it’s been 30 years since that great year for music and pop culture. This Guitar Train stop looks at my favorite musicians from 1985. I remember 1985 as being a year when any time I turned on the radio, I would recognize the song being played as well as know whose song it was.


Favorite Musicians from 1985:

  1. Huey Lewis and the News
  2. Phil Collins
  3. Tears for Fears
  4. Dire Straits
  5. Whitney Houston


Huey Lewis and the News did not release an album in 1985 (their great album, “Sports” was released in 1983) but they did contribute two songs to the soundtrack of the classic movie “Back to the Future”. “The Power of Love” is one of my favorite Huey Lewis and the News songs and stands alone as a great song apart from the movie. The other song from the movie, “Back in Time”, is the opposite as it is basically a summary of the movie. It is still a good song and better than many typical soundtrack songs.


Phil Collins - No Jacket Required

Phil Collins – No Jacket Required

Phil Collins released his third solo album, “No Jacket Required” in 1985. As I have written before, this is the first Phil Collins CD I bought and still my favorite of his. I bought a CD player just so I could play this album in CD format since only the CD contained the song “We Said Hello Goodbye” which is still my all time favorite song. Two songs from this album (“One More Night” and “Sussudio”)   as well as a duet Phil Collins sang with Marilyn Martin, “Separate Lives”,   were all #1 hits in 1985.

Tears For Fears tape cover

To continue on the English side, Tears for Fears released “Songs from the Big Chair” in 1985.   It contains three of my favorite of their songs – the #1 hits “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Shout” as well as “Head Over Heels”. Those songs are still played on the music system piped into my workplace and I still like them.


Another English group, Dire Straits, also released a classic album in 1985. “Brothers in Arms” contains two of my favorite of their songs – “Money for Nothing” and “Walk of Life”. “Money for Nothing” of course came along with a great video which was very MTV friendly. Tragically, I did not have cable TV in 1985 so I could only see the video on a local channel’s “Friday Night Videos” TV show and obviously that was only on a Friday night. I hesitate to call the video innovative since MTV was so new that every video was innovative in some way. Creative and eye-catching are better adjectives to use to describe this video.

Whitney Houston tape cover

The only female on my list is Whitney Houston who released her self-titled debut album in 1985. What a debut it was! My favorite songs from that album are “All at Once”, “How Will I Know”, and “Greatest Love of All”. My school chorus sang “Greatest Love of All” in one of our school concerts that year. Of course we were nowhere as good as Ms. Houston was; nobody is. She had such an amazing voice and it’s a shame that more great music did not come from her.


Other songs I enjoyed from 1985:


  1. “Into the Groove” by Madonna from the movie “Desperately Seeking Susan” starring Aidan Quinn (and Madonna)
  2. “We Built This City” by Starship
  3. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds from the movie “The Breakfast Club”


I really enjoyed the music from 1985 and in most cases, still do. What a great time it was to put the radio on and there be a huge chance that I would enjoy whatever song was playing. I miss that time.


Guitar Train passengers, what is your favorite song, album, musician, or band from 1985?


Hop back aboard The Guitar Train for the next stop as Quirky T continues to travel back to 1985 to look at the great (Huey Lewis related) movie “Back to the Future”.









Quick Station Stop – Huey Lewis and the News Concert 2014


Back on the music track, Quirky T was excited to conduct the Guitar Train to stop in Atlantic City for the Huey Lewis and the News concert at the House of Blues. Luckily for me, the band still tours every summer and also luckily for me, they usually play near where I live. (Well, almost near. It’s disappointing when the drive to the concert is longer than the actual concert).

Huey Lewis poster 2014

I wasn’t as excited to see them this year as I was last year since last year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their album, “Sports”, they played the terrific album in its entirety.  It was an amazing musical experience that wasn’t going to be repeated this year. (Despite drunken hecklers at this year’s concert repeatedly imploring Huey to do so).

Showboat Casino

The minute I walked into the House of Blues, I almost regretted coming. The place was basically a bar with a small professional stage. The seats were folding chairs! I paid $88.50 to sit in a folding chair? A hard as a rock folding chair that was attached to the other folding chairs in the row so I couldn’t even scout my chair closer to the stage. I know the Showboat Casino where the House of Blues is located is closing on August 31 but did they already remove the regular cushioned seats? Had I known it would be like this, I would’ve brought my hotel room pillow to sit on.

Huey Lews small poster

But the minute Huey and the band stepped on the stage, I was glad I was there. The concert was amazing. I would have preferred if the band played longer and more of their songs and less cover songs. (To see the complete set list, check out They seemed to enjoy playing the old blues songs so they did. It was surreal for me to be singing Huey’s words while he’s singing them in my direction.

Heart & Soul on door

Before the band played “Heart and Soul”, Huey Lewis uttered a phrase I never thought I would hear from him – “Let’s dance”. I had never associated his music with dancing but the audience did dance from then until the end of the show.

House of Blues

The House of Blues was definitely the worst concert venue I have been to from the folding chairs, to the hecklers (whom security ignored and then actually let stand right in front of the stage and heckle Huey to his face), to the few audio problems, and the minor lighting issues but it was definitely worth the travel time and expense to see one of my all time favorite bands perform live.


Guitar Train passengers, what is the worse concert venue for a mainstream musical group you have been to and why was it so bad?

Favorites Month: Huey Lewis and the News

All this month, Quirky T has been conducting the Guitar Train to stop at each of her all time favorite musicians. The last destination is Huey Lewis and the News.



Huey Lewis concert T-shirt
First Stop (The First Time I Heard Their Music)
The first Huey Lewis and the News song I ever heard was 1983’s “The Heart of Rock & Roll”. It is probably the band’s most famous song, even now, 30 years later.



Sports - original cover
Second Stop (What I Did Next)
After hearing that song, I bought the album that “The Heart of Rock & Roll” is on, “Sports”, in cassette tape format. On an interesting track, I ended up buying “Sports” several times as I bought it on cassette tape twice (the first tape broke from playing it so much), CD, and it’s now on my iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano.

My friends and I made our own music videos to songs from “Sports” by acting out the parts of Huey Lewis and the other band members. In 1986, I got the band’s next album, “Fore!”, followed by “Hard At Play” in 1991 (the first one I bought only on CD).




Repeated Destinations (Favorite Song and Album)
Until this year, my favorite Huey Lewis and the News album was “Fore!” It has since changed to “Sports” as I noted in my post “The Guitar Train Stops at a Huey Lewis and the News Concert.”

My favorite Huey Lewis and the News song is 1982’s “Do You Believe in Love”  from the album, “Picture This.” My second favorite song is the hard rocker “Couple Days Off” from 1991’s “Hard At Play”.

My favorite Huey Lewis and the News music video is for “I Want a New Drug”  which follows Huey as he prepares for a concert. One very memorable shot comes in the beginning of the video as Huey plunges his face into a sink full of ice water to wake himself up. The camera angle on that shot is amazing.


Now Departing (What Non-Fans Say about Them)
Huey Lewis and the News seem to be made fun of in the same manner as Phil Collins is – for no real reason. As with Phil Collins, I think it’s a case where dislikers should listen to the music before they judge it and make snarky comments about the band.

Ironically, one time the band is praised and put in the spotlight is during a brutal murder scene in the movie “American Psycho.” I first became aware of this a few months ago when I heard about Huey Lewis himself and Weird Al parodying the scene from the movie on the website “Funny or Die”. It is funny scene (and only gory at the end). I then watched the original which is brutally violent and disturbing while offering an insightful commentary on Huey Lewis and the News’ career.  I decided to go to the source material so I borrowed from the library the Bret Easton Ellis book which the movie is based. I immediately read the chapters on Huey Lewis and the News, Genesis, and Whitney Houston. They are all well written and have a great knowledge of the subjects. I don’t know how they tie into the brutal murder or the plot of the novel since the rest of the novel is too disturbing for me to read. I admit that this is truly a case where I have taken the Huey Lewis bit out of context but I really can’t make myself read the rest of the book.




Huey Lewis t-shirt 2013
Conducting This Train (Why They Will Always be my Favorites)
Whenever I hear a Huey Lewis and the News song, I smile. Their music is good, up tempo, and fun. I like the fact that not all their songs are love songs. Also, only a few of their love songs are happy-in-love-songs; others are more realistic. I like that Huey plays a happy harmonica, not a whiny, sad harmonica. Having a horn section in a rock band impresses me. I’m also a fan of the band’s vocal harmonies.

I look forward to the possibility of a CD of new songs from the band. For thirty years, I have been a fan and I will continue to be a fan.




Huey Lewis concert ticket 2013
All Aboard (Why I Wish Others Would Listen to Them and Where to Start)
When I was in the elevator of the hotel at Harrah’s Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey last month, the young (early 20’s) security guard asked me why I was at the hotel. When I told him I had come to see the Huey Lewis and the News concert at the hotel, he said he had never seen Huey Lewis perform or even heard one of their songs. The only thing he knew about the band was the scene from “American Psycho”. It made me sad to think he has never heard their music and felt the enjoyment I have felt.




Huey Lewis Greatest Hits
So for Huey Lewis and the News newcomers and dislikers, in addition to listening to “Sports” and “Fore!”, the CD I would recommend is “Huey Lewis and the News Greatest Hits and Videos” released in 2006. Besides the band’s over thirty years of greatest hits, it contains some of their fun music videos.


Official Track
For more information, check out Their official You Tube music videos are from emimusic.


Guitar Train passengers, what do you think about the criticism or snarky comments made about your favorite musicians?




Next month, hop aboard the Guitar Train as Quirky T celebrates Happy Month in October.

The Guitar Train Stops at a Huey Lewis and the News Concert!!!

Quirky T was so excited to travel on the Guitar Train to Atlantic City, New Jersey last Friday to see Huey Lewis and the News in concert at Harrah’s Resort Casino.  So to answer the question pondered in my April 11, 2013 post, ( it is not the end of seeing live concerts by my favorite performers.  And I’m so glad it isn’t.  The concert was AMAZING!!!

Huey Lewis concert ticket 2013

I was so happy and lucky to be there.  My seat was in the 7th row!  I’ve never been that close to the stage.  I was so close that I could that Huey Lewis didn’t button the bottom button on his shirt.  Later on, I could see the sweat spots on the front of his and guitarist James Harrah’s shirts.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

The concert started with the song “The Heart of Rock & Roll” as the band played their 1983 album, “Sports”, in its entirety to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its release.  This is the first concert I’ve ever attended where an entire album was played from beginning to end.  I know Bruce Springsteen fans are used to this but, as I wrote in my August 15, 2013 post, “The Guitar Train Stops at Ticketmaster”, ( I’ve never been to a Bruce Springsteen concert.  At this concert, I was especially excited to hear the songs “Bad is Bad”, “Walking on a Thin Line”, and “Finally Found a Home” played live for the first time.  Those songs as well as the other non-hit singles played live did not disappoint.

The first standing ovation came after the fourth song, “I Want a New Drug”. This song ended the first side of “Sports” and Huey said it was time to flip the record over so to speak and play the second side of the album.  He called the first side “the video side” and the second side “the rocking side.”  Side two started with “Walking on a Thin Line” which the band wrote for Vietnam Vets and now dedicates to all Vets.

Throughout the concert, Huey was the essence of cool.  He moved around to all sides of the stage along with his microphone stand.  He played his harmonica attached to a string.  I love his harmonica playing since he plays a happy harmonica, not a sad, depressing, twangy harmonica.  It goes perfectly with his rocking, mostly upbeat, non ballad songs.  This was definitely a rocking concert with barely any lulls.  Listening to “Sports” repeatedly in preparation for this concert, has made me change my favorite Huey Lewis and the News album from “Fore” to “Sports”.  I definitely did not change back after hearing the entire album performed live for the first time.

After he finished playing all of “Sports”, Huey paused to clean his cool blue tinted glasses.  People shouted out requests for what the band should play next.  If I was a shouter, I would have shouted out “Couple Days Off”.  I would have loved to hear that song live; it’s quite a rocker.  Huey listened to the requests but said he wanted to play what he wanted which was a new song called “While We’re Young”.  While he was introducing the song, he asked if the audience could pretend they liked it whether they did or not.  I liked it and I hope the band does release a whole new album of original songs like Huey has mentioned in interviews as a possibility.

Sports poster in hotel

After the new song came the first song the band ever wrote together, 1978’s “Trouble in Paradise”.  Throughout the concert, Huey asked the audience to clap.  I always dread that since I can’t clap to the beat.  That might explain some of my guitar playing problems – not being able to keep time.  On the subject of guitar playing, Huey seemed to really enjoy listening to all the musicians’ solos.  I was blown away by the fact that Johnny Colla played both the saxophone and the guitar during the concert.  Very talented.  The next two songs the band played were cover songs – “Some Kind of Wonderful” and “But It’s Alright”.  They then played “We’re Not Here for a Long Time (We’re Here for a Good Time)” before leaving the stage for a very quick break.

Huey Lewis and the News came back in force to finish up the concert with “The Power of Love”, “Do You Believe in Love”, and “Workin’ For a Livin’”.  The audience was on their feet from before the break until the very end.  Huey was fist pumping with the fans in the first row during most of the last three songs.  He really seemed to be enjoying himself.    He jokingly said that as a Friday special for everyone who buys the newly remastered CD of “Sports” that night at the venue, he will come to their houses and mow their lawns.

One of the great things about going to concerts is hearing different lyrics or arrangements of songs.  For “Bad is Bad”, Huey had to change the lyrics to reflect price increases.  So the price at the all you can eat restaurant increased from 1983’s $1.99 to $5.99.  The arrangement of “Do You Believe In Love” changed as Huey sang all the lines without back-up singers.  (Just like I do when I sing along to the song at home).  He also had the audience sing the chorus.  (I don’t do that when I sing at home, probably because I don’t have an audience).

Huey Lewis t-shirt 2013

In conclusion, Huey Lewis and the News put on an absolutely amazing concert.  The only compliant I have is the same complaint I made after the other two times I’ve been to their concerts – the concerts are too short.  The band only played for 1 ½ hours.  They have so many more songs that they could have played to make the concert at least 30 minutes longer.  I wonder why their concerts are so short.

One more note, closer is definitely better.  Since it was such a small venue, only seating 1,205, there weren’t any video screens showing close-ups of the band.    Since Huey really interacted with the fans right in front of him, some of his facial expressions and gestures probably could not be seen by the fans in the upper levels.  Quirky T, in my lucky seventh row seat, could see everything.  That great seat has definitely spoiled me for other concerts but it’s not like there’s anyone left for me to see in concert anyway.  I loved, loved, loved this concert.  I’m so lucky and happy I was able to attend it.    I am so greedy that I’m already hoping I can see Huey Lewis and the News again next summer.

sunset in Atlantic City, NJ

sunset in Atlantic City, NJ

Guitar Train passengers, what’s the closest seat to the stage you have ever had at a concert?  How did it add to your enjoyment of the concert?

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