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Bad News for Huey Lewis

Huey Lewis poster 2014

Quirky T was very saddened to find out that Huey Lewis has lost his hearing. As a result, he cannot perform and had to cancel all his band’s 2018 concerts. I feel so bad for what he is going through personally and professionally. I pray that the hearing loss is not permanent and he can return to singing and performing very soon.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

I am extremely lucky to have seen Huey Lewis and the News in concert four times between 2009 and 2014. I have been a fan since their 1983 album, “Sports”. I had to wait 26 years until I first saw them in concert. After that first concert, I tried to see them every chance I could. Luckily that was not hard to do since they tour every year, mostly in the summer months. I’m so happy that I saw them multiple times because I would really be regretting it now if I had missed my opportunities. I feel so bad for all the fans who have tickets to the upcoming cancelled concerts and now won’t have the amazing concert experiences I had. Hopefully, the majority of them have seen the band before and have great memories.

 

This sad news has made me realize how lucky I am to have seen all my favorite musicians in concert (except The Beatles). It makes me want to take advantage of any future concert opportunities I have. That includes seeing Phil Collins in his limited physical capacity. I really appreciate Farewell and Final Tours now because at least those artists could decide on their own when to stop performing and let their fans know it’s the last chance to see them in concert.

 

Hopefully, this isn’t the end of performing and making music for Huey Lewis. I’ll be praying and waiting for his joyful return.

 

Guitar Train passengers, who are you very grateful to have seen in concert?

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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?

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

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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.

 

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.”

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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?

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.

Help!

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.”

gloria!

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

marquee

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. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/the-guitar-train-stops-at-a-huey-lewis-and-the-news-concert/  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 http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/huey-lewis-and-the-news/2014/house-of-blues-atlantic-city-nj-43c1df8f.html). 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?

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