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S03E13.

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I’ve had this idea in my head since last weekend and am just writing it now. In part that’s because I had a crazy week at work. It’s also because I’ve gotten better at fending off the urge to write, I think.

I continue to dig up items of great interest and questionable legality from the Internet Archive … which only redoubles my digging there, as I’m convinced the whole shebang is going to fall afoul of a copyright suit one of these years and get itself completely disappeared.

As I type this, there are 938 episodes of Saturday Night Live uploaded to some user’s account. Some user’s account that’s not NBC, that is. Clearly, this account is a house not built to stand.

But that hasn’t stopped me from rummaging around in it while it’s there. I have, for instance, watched all three of the Kinks’ appearances and one of the Grateful Dead’s (the one from April 1980 with Bob Weir wearing the rabbit ears; I still have to catch up with the Dead’s performance from November 1978.)

As for full episodes: Faced with an embarrassment of riches, I went straight for the gold. Season 3, Episode 13, aired March 11, 1978. Guest host: Art Garfunkel. Musical guest: Stephen Bishop.

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Just as I used to live-blog American Top 40 episodes (and may yet again), I thought it would be fun to semi-sorta-live-blog this episode from one of SNL’s halcyon periods and see what I thought. Take the ride with me, if you want. For the time being, the show lives here; who knows how long it stays there.

Opening: After one of those crass “will not be shown tonight” special-presentation parodies, we take a left turn into “Modern Crimes,” a silent-movie parody with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as grave-robbers, Bill Murray as a daft cop, and Gilda Radner as a corpse with a secret. (Of course Gilda gets to deliver the end-of-sketch payoff line, which you all know.)

In a subtly subversive moment, one of Belushi’s silent outbursts is captioned, “Let’s Get Out of Here!” It’s clear from lip-reading that his actual line has more syllables than that, and one of them appears to be the word that did in Charles Rocket’s career less than three years later. It seems possible that Belushi could have been the first person to say “fuck” on Saturday Night Live — except he did it in a context where no one could hear it.

After Gilda comes alive, we roll to the credits, which in 1978 basically consisted of names and titles displayed on a big scoreboard-style computerized screen. (Oh, look, Andy Kaufman’s on this week too.) The Players follow: Aykroyd swigs from a paper bag, Jane Curtin grins winningly against a big-city background of twinkling headlights, Belushi and Laraine Newman both come up the subway steps and do double-takes, and Radner bites girlishly into an apple.

“Monologue”: Our man Artie comes out, boyish as ever. He picks up a mic and goes into “What a Wonderful World,” only to be interrupted by a burst of feedback. This brings Belushi up on stage to complain that SNL gets crappy equipment and poor treatment from NBC; he urges Garfunkel not to put up with it.

It seems to me that it might have been funny for Art the perennial babyface to join Belushi’s revolution. I imagine him destroying a Pepsi machine with a folding chair and then coming back onstage to howl and scratch his way through “Surfin’ Bird.” But, that’s not where the writers (or Art) went.

Instead, Garfunkel the trouper insists that it’s no big deal and the show must go on … whereupon Belushi turns heel and insults Garfunkel at great and biting length for his obeisance, his choice of solo material, and eventually even his hair. It’s funny, and it kinda isn’t.

The original SNL traced its comic roots to National Lampoon — a magazine famous for dragging counterculture icons like Mick Jagger, John Lennon, and Bob Dylan alongside Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover — and this skit feels like an heir to that, with a revered ’60s youth figure not immune to the arrows of satire.

I dunno. My favorite part of the skit is still when Belushi finally packs off and Garfunkel, left alone at last, finishes “What a Wonderful World,” his voice caressing the chorus.

Commercial parody: A watch called the Kromega III, so complex it takes two people and three hands to wring the time and date out of it. Being old enough to remember the feature-laden digital watch as status symbol, I can see the humor, but you definitely have to be Of A Certain Age to get the gag in 2021.

Tomorrow with Tom Snyder: Unfortunately, I am not of an age to remember the TV host Tom Snyder. As a result, Aykroyd’s fast-talking, chain-smoking impersonation — accurate as it probably was in 1978 — soars several dozen feet over my head.

And as soon as I see that the face of Snyder’s guest is obscured in shadow, I can guess the gag of the entire skit: The guest’s identity is going to be inadvertently revealed and connected with the embarrassingly personal secret he came on TV to discuss.

The skit unrolls exactly as I expected. Since the gag is so predictable and one-note, the only other source of humor is Aykroyd’s Tom Snyder impression. And … yeah, we just went over that.

(For whatever reason, Aykroyd-as-Snyder is the first person on the show whose face I see and think, “Damn, doesn’t he look young?”)

Musical guest: Artie introduces his good friend Bish, who does his big hit “On and On.” It sounds pretty much like the record, right down to the pedal steel. There’s a rowboat at the front of the set for a sort of sub-Jimmy Buffett feel.

(In March 1978, Bishop had completed filming his memorable cameo in Animal House, although the movie wouldn’t be out until July. I’m guessing he’d already written and recorded the theme song, as well. Maybe he and his buddy Belushi traded shots of tequila backstage.)

“Miracle in Chicago”: My limited perception of SNL in recent years (since I stopped watching and started picking up tidbits on social media) is that the writers seem to love caricaturing Bostonians. The original show had strong ties to Chicago, though, which come through here. This skit features native Chicagoans Bill Murray as a construction worker and Belushi as a risen-from-the-dead “Mare” Richard Daley, with Aykroyd joining in as an Irish publican.

People with soft spots for all things Chicago (and white Irish Chicago, to be specific) probably found it hilarious; the rest of the country, maybe not so much. It seems in retrospect like the entire thing might have been an excuse for Aykroyd and Murray to take a couple of swigs of on-camera, mid-show beer.

“Roadie”: not sure if this skit has a formal title so I’ll call it that. Belushi plays a self-important, jerky KISS roadie who turns a string of would-be entrants away from the backstage door while the band performs. (Garfunkel’s appearance is priceless: He walks up with a parachute in hand and announces himself as Paul Stanley’s brother who serves in the Air Force and bailed out over the city specifically to come wish him happy birthday. He doesn’t get in.)

Belushi’s character is named Steve Parish, which is a rock n’ roll in-joke: The real-life “Big Steve” Parish was a Grateful Dead roadie for almost 30 years, whose responsibilities included keeping unwanted people at arm’s length (or further) from Jerry Garcia. The skit was supposedly inspired by a real-life encounter between Parish and SNL writers Al Franken and Tom Davis. Whether that backstory is a cool bit of pop-culture trivia, or an example of pop culture becoming inbred, self-referential and recursive, is a matter of taste.

(The bit ends, inevitably, with Parish trying to go backstage for a beer, only to have the venue’s security guard tell him he’s not on the list. As the camera pulls away from the resultant mob scene, we see an on-screen gag: “Coming up next … The Anorexia Cookbook.” Talk to me again about the genius of early SNL, won’t you?)

Weekend Update: Hershey Highway, the candy that’s turned America’s taste around for 50 years, is the sponsor. Seems to me that if the 1980-81 Jean Doumanian season of SNL had run with that gag, it would still be cited on the Internet today as a common example of cheap bad taste.

It’s not really fair to judge the topical part of the show through 2021 eyes … but some of the jokes here are still pretty funny, like the one about the corrupt small-town police force moving en masse to Philadelphia (a bit with much more regional authenticity and bite than that fantasia involving Mayor Daley).

Garrett Morris gets a “science” spot that’s screamingly unfunny; Bill Murray gets a smarmy “movie review” that he carries off well, perhaps his best moment in the entire show.

“All I Know”: Accompanied by a pianist and cellist (!), Art G. ditches the parachute and returns for a foreshortened rendition of his big 1973 hit. It’s drained of its original drama in this small-group version, but still gorgeous. Which leads directly into …

“Scarborough Fair.” Art pulls up a stool and sings a solo version of the old S&G chestnut, accompanied by acoustic guitar and cello. In October 1975, Garfunkel appeared on the second episode of SNL to reunite with Paul Simon on this and other songs; now, he gets the spotlight to himself.

I can’t help but miss the otherworldly harmony … but at the same time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this version in sound or visual presentation. Let it be remembered: The dude could sing.

“Looks at Books”: A takeoff of the then-current best-seller Whatever Happened to the Class of ’65? features Gilda Radner and Bill Murray as their Nerd characters Lisa and Todd, plugging their book Whatever Happened to the Class of ’77? (Jane Curtin is marvelously shallow as the hostess: “Well, I have to admit that I haven’t read the book yet, but it sounds *exciting*!”)

I’m not sure whether the Murray and Radner characters are supposed to be mildly mentally disabled, or hideously socially awkward and also not tremendously smart. If it’s the first case, no sale; if it’s the second case, it’s a little more tolerable, if not all that funny.

Schiller’s Reel, “Don’t Look Back in Anger”: The famous black-and-white film short in which an aged Belushi visits the SNL cemetery, where all his peers are buried, to share their fates and muse about why he outlasted them.

The answer turns out to be, “‘Cause I’m a dancer!” — whereupon Belushi casts aside his cane and bursts into a triumphant dance to the tune of what sounds like Albanian wedding music. The last thing we see is Belushi, hands raised like a heavyweight champion, twirling in victorious circles as the camera pulls away.

Of course Belushi’s early death ensured a bitter and ironic legend for this segment. But even seen through 1978 eyes, as best one can, this is still a tour de force — weird, unexpected, audacious. It not only reminds us that we’re watching actors; it plots out the paths of their future lives, choosing one of their number as the narrator.

One of the books about SNL (Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad’s, I think) claims that Dan Aykroyd’s colleagues weren’t jealous of his flights of fancy like “Bass-O-Matic ’76;” instead, they sort of quietly conceded that they would never have thought of anything so off-the-wall. I’d like to think that the cast took the same attitude toward filmmaker Tom Schiller’s production here.

Seen from the long view of 2021, the film has also done a 180-degree turn and acquired something of a happy ending: It reminds the viewer that, with the exception of Gilda Radner, all those Seventies cast members survived their live-fast-die-young years and, as of this typing, are still with us.

(Yes, a small voice inside my head pointed out, “Actually, George Coe’s dead.” But I’ve gotten a lot better at stifling that voice as I get older.)

Andy Kaufman: Introduced by Art in what must be the only time these two gentlemen shared a stage, Kaufman gets 10 minutes of network time to read from The Great Gatsby. I was prepared not to like it but I was won over. This is the Metal Machine Music of comedy, completely obnoxious and yet winning at the same time … and it blows a whole bunch of the SNL writers’ work this week into a cocked hat.

Including the next skit, a commercial parody (did they understand how obvious and poor most of these were?), in which pigtailed little-kid Gilda makes the acquaintance of “The ‘Looking For Mr. Goodbar’ Sleepytime Playset.” “Brings gratuitous sex and random violence into her little world!” I dunno: Does comedy require more than cheap irony, or is it just me?

“Crying In My Sleep”: Art G. sings a number from his then-current album, Watermark. A pretty enough toon, but maybe a questionable choice for 12:50 a.m. on a Sunday. He interpolates a little Everly Brothers on the tag; can’t remember if that’s on the studio version also. Probably.

Finale: There’s less than 10 seconds of it; Art says, “That’s all the time we have. Good night!” and we barely even see credits. The crowd at center stage seems smaller than usual, and only Garrett Morris engages with Art; I’d like to think the rest of the cast had the proper respect for Mr. Garfunkel, but if they didn’t, their loss.

And the saxophone, as it always does, carries us out.

 

Principles cheerfully abandoned.

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After spewing lots of Major-League-Baseball-is-dead-to-me hot air over the past year or so, I went to Fenway Park this past week, and with reasonable good cheer.

Through a work connection, I was offered four (very good) tickets to this past Thursday’s game between the Red Sox and Houston Astros.

I wanted to get back into a ballpark. I thought it would be a nice outing for my family, which doesn’t remember what outings are. And, more than anything, I wanted the colleague to know that I very much valued and appreciated their generosity. So we went.

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I still haven’t forgotten MLB for killing the New York-Penn League, and I still think Commissioner Manfred seems to have little grasp on the job. It still seemed like the right thing to do to go to the game. Perhaps I am a whore; I’m still thinking about it.

We stayed for seven innings, which was long enough to see all the runs in a 12-8 Red Sox win. It was a weird, slow, sloppy game, complete with an abundance of poor relief pitching, a couple of flaky disputed umpiring calls, and, at one point, some jerknose fan running onto the field.

(He made it all the way from the outfield to near the pitcher’s mound, and he could have attacked any one of several Astros players if that had been his thing. The security staff, IMHO, did not make itself proud in this case.)

There were about 24,000 people there, and they booed the Astros unmercifully, as crowds around MLB continue to do following the Houston sign-stealing scandal of a couple of years ago. I can report that profane chants from 24,000 people are not as entertaining as they were when I was 19.

Of course there were a bunch of strikeouts and a couple of long home runs, this being 2021. Jose Altuve, the Astros’ second baseman, somehow managed to golf a pitch over the Monster that was about eight inches off the ground. It didn’t even look like he swung the whole way through it.

(I’ve seen lots of homers during the power glut of the last few seasons. I’m not sure which kind is worse — the abridged half- to three-quarter swing that looks like it should send the ball about 250 feet but parks it in the bullpen instead, or the outrageous purpose-built uppercut Thor’s-hammer swing that ends with a guy standing stock-still watching a ball fly 440 feet as if that were still special.)

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So far I’ve just pissed and moaned. Did I like any of it?

Well, a busy and opinionated Fenway Park is one sign of a resurgent Boston, and that was nice to be part of.

The sounds and rhythms of baseball are always welcome.

Did I mention the seats were great? (There was also a restaurant on that seating level, and I splurged on dinner — the first restaurant meal outside our home we’ve had as a family since I don’t know when.)

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Houston is one of the most loaded teams in the major leagues and — after seeing only high schoolers and Little Leaguers play the game over the past 15 months — it was a pleasure to see two teams at the highest level of performance go at it, even if they weren’t razor-sharp on this night.

It was nice to be in the same building as Joe Castiglione, my favorite radio announcer, even if I couldn’t hear him.

I suppose it was also kinda nice to be in the same building as Dusty Baker. When I was nine years old, I owned baseball cards of Dusty, then a star outfielder with the Dodgers. All these years later, I still own the cards, and he is still in baseball, managing the Astros — or at least he is when he’s not getting ejected, as he was late in this game.

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I still don’t see myself buying Sox tickets anytime soon. But I think I can forgive myself a trip back to the ballyard — I’ll justify it as part of my celebration of the reopening of society, not to mention a reward for the nine-to-five grind (which is more like seven-to-six sometimes).

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Mail day again.

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Fortuitous circumstances might bring me back into a professional baseball park this week. Of course I will probably milk it for blog-content, if so. Don’t touch that dial!

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On a similar note, something — either a birthday present or a friendly work-related benefactor — put my grandpa in a nice-looking seat at Yankee Stadium one night in May 1965, and my writeup of that night has just been posted to the SABR Games Project.

My pace of cranking out new pieces has slowed somewhat. But I still have a lot in the pipeline, so I’ll probably have more to flog as time goes on.

The complete SABR Kurt Blumenau Historical Baseball Collection can be seen here.

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Still listening to new-to-me tunes; maybe soon I’ll write about ’em; but today we feed the blog with the results of our latest mail day.

I continue to patronize an every-card-costs-a-dime website on a periodic basis. It’s just the sort of friendly, low-stakes venue where I can indulge myself. I took essentially no notice of 10 to 15 years’ worth of Topps baseball cards at the time they came out, plus there are whole entire other universes I never knew existed (in terms of other sports and other card companies), so there are plenty of avenues to walk down without blowing big bucks.

I won’t shop there forever — diminishing returns will probably set in soon — but for cheap thrills, it’s still getting it done.

And you get to hear about my latest finds, treasures, and random obsessions:

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I went on a Seattle SuperSonics jag this time around. (I forget sometimes that the franchise doesn’t still exist.)

Every man thinks the sports uniforms of his childhood were the best … and to me, the Sonics’ green-and-yellow uniforms and their skyline logo were a small part of the massive spread of uniform coolness that was the 1980s.

I bought this card sight unseen, as indeed I buy many of them. (The website promises that all cards are in good condition, and they haven’t cheated me yet.) So I didn’t know I was getting a Larry Bird card until this Benoit Benjamin card showed up in the box.

It appears that Mr. Bird is standing in awe of Benoit Benjamin’s All-World talent. Let it never again be said that the camera never lies…

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English soccer was another jag this time around, as I discovered that a company called Pro Set had issued sets of Limey football players. (These cards don’t carry a specific date but I believe they are early ’90s, like circa 1991.)

I don’t think these cards are British in origin — the ones I have don’t seem to include British spellings or slang that might be proof that they were produced across the pond.

But if they’re not British, there’s a certain coolness in that too. That would mean the cards are relics of some wrongheaded North American card company’s attempt to bring British soccer to the American masses, a good 15 or 20 years before the game actually picked up real momentum over here.

My English soccer card orders alternated between legends (Paul Gascoigne) … players mentioned in Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch (Paul Merson, Bruce Grobbelaar, Imre Varadi) … and totally random unknown-to-me guys who had the most English-sounding names possible.

Like Perry Digweed (who played for the most English-sounding team imaginable, Brighton and Hove Albion)!

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Or Neil Pointon (who doubles down on his claim to Mr. Random British Dude ’91 by having a fabulous ‘stache.)

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Or Owen Archdeacon!

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Nigel Clough is the son of Brian Clough, a combative, booze-fueled, larger-than-life figure who is perhaps best described as the Billy Martin of English soccer (except he hung around longer and won more championships). Nigel played under his father at Nottingham Forest, but did so on his own merit: According to Wiki, he is the second-leading scorer in the history of this long-established team.

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From there we leap elsewhere in the British Empire, to another small company issuing sets on another sport that isn’t baseball.

A company with the curious name of Seventh Inning Sketch issued cards in the early ’90s for a variety of junior-level Canadian hockey leagues. I snapped some up, attracted by the seeming obscurity of the players, beavering away in provincial rinks a generation ago.

Seventh Inning Sketch’s quality control wasn’t the greatest, as shown by this card, which purports to show Maxime Peticlerc but very visibly and obviously shows his teammate David Pekarek.

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Three or four years after this card was issued, Stephane St. Amour (is there a Saint Love?) turned up on a low-level American team called the Jacksonville Lizard Kings. There is probably an entertaining oral history just waiting to be written about the Jacksonville Lizard Kings and the aspiring young Canadians who turned out to staff them — probably sleeping on couches in basements in Florida between paychecks.

(Do they have basements in Florida?)

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Moving to American soccer (!) for a moment, Branko Segota played for the hometown Rochester Lancers of 40 years ago before ending up in the indoor game. I remember Sports Illustrated running very occasional articles on indoor soccer back in the ’80s. The English, who play outdoors in the winter, probably laughed at the whole idea, but it looks in retrospect like it might have been fun to watch.

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Back to the comforting turf of baseball! At various points in the late ’80s, Topps issued Turn Back the Clock cards, commemorating noteworthy feats at five-and-zero intervals and featuring art from old Topps cards.

The 1972 card shown on this 1987 Turn Back the Clock installation was the last Topps card of Roberto Clemente’s lifetime. I’ll never own an original 1972 version, but this second-generation version will do.

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Similarly, there’s another tragedy here that (IIRC) is not mentioned on the card back. In the five years between the Kansas City Royals’ 1985 World Series title and the issuance of this Turn Back the Clock card in 1990, the Royals’ respected manager Dick Howser died of a brain tumor. I might have the original of the ’85 Howser card (I really need to catalog my collection one of these decades.)

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I was gonna send this back with a note that said “NOT ENOUGH BOKEH!” but decided I could live with it after all.

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Still have a weakness for the Topps Heritage card issues, in which Topps revives a card design from a long-ago year and produces cards of current players. This is a 2002 Heritage card (based on the 1953 Topps set) of Jeffrey Hammonds, a speedy outfielder who also passed through the Rochester Red Wings of my youth but never put it all together in The Show.

I think the original ’53 cards were paintings based on photographs, so it’s kinda cool that Topps kept the look almost 50 years later. The card backs are pretty faithful, too.

This year’s Topps Heritage cards mimic the gonzo 1972 Topps set; it’s on my list to track some down.

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And another Topps Heritage card (I think this is the 1963 or ’64 design) with a minor-league player.

Mr. Guerrieri’s bro-smirk here is kind of annoying, but he starred in the New York-Penn League in 2012 and that’s credential enough for me. He actually did make the majors in 2018 and 2019, and is in the Seattle Mariners’ minor-league system as I write this, apparently.

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Some cards from my childhood, too. This is 1981 Fleer Jerry Turner. A fine example of the dreadful photography to be found in the early years of Fleer and Donruss cards after they arose to challenge Topps’s monopoly in the early ’80s.

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I mentioned my love for ’84 Fleer last time I wrote about cards. It even extends to the implausibly cheerful Ben Hayes, whose major-league career was over by the time this was printed. Clearly, he has never been subjected to Diana’s Favorite Torture Chair.

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“Willie Stargell is the Pittsburgh Pirates; Willie Stargell is the City of Pittsburgh,” this 1982 card declared. “Willie Stargell simply was a joy to watch and a joy to know.”

I don’t understand the almost funereal tone — Stargell wasn’t done playing when this card came out — but indeed, by all accounts, he was a joy to watch and a joy to know. (Stargell, who died in 2001, is commonly credited with an oft-repeated and probably oft-butchered observation, along the lines of: “When they start the game, they don’t say ‘Work ball.’ They say, ‘Play ball.'”)

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More ’81 Fleer. Frank White is wearing one of my favorite uniform tops ever (see the note above about grown men’s attachment to the uniforms of their youth.) He was a classy and long-lasting player who is perhaps a little less remembered than he should be.

I always love looking at the backgrounds of cards, and there’s a random quirk of note here: The metric measurement on the outfield wall suggests that this photo was taken at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium.

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More Topps Heritage, this time aping the classic 1954 set.

Mark Bellhorn, while nobody’s Hall of Famer, was part of one of my favorite postseason moments of all time. In the seventh and deciding game of the 2004 American League Championship Series, the Red Sox jumped out to an 8-1 lead over the Yankees. But in the seventh inning, the Yankees rallied for two runs against nemesis Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez, and the fans at Yankee Stadium were starting to stir and squawk and chirp and rumble hopefully about an epic comeback and the Ghosts of October and all that business.

And then Mark Bellhorn, playing second base for the Red Sox, led off the top of the eighth by golfing a pitch off the right-field foul pole for a home run — making it clear that, whatever firepower the Yankees could muster, Boston could match. 9-3, Red Sox.

Everybody in New York shut the frick up and stayed that way until the following April.

It was glorious.

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There was a short-lived “senior baseball” league in the late ’80s or early ’90s that gave a second playing opportunity to 30-something and 40-something ex-players. There are several sets devoted to the league and this is from one of them.

Ed Nottle was (and still is) a notable character, one of the more colorful of the class of men lumped under the term “baseball lifers.” As a pitcher he got a brief callup to the White Sox in the mid-1960s but never played in a big-league game. He went on to manage many years in minor and independent leagues, augmenting his income by singing at nightclubs and parties. Along the way, he managed to notch one solitary year of major-league service time, getting hired as the Oakland A’s pitching coach for the 1983 season.

From all accounts, he kept a sense of humor about himself and his vocation throughout his travels, which always counts for something with me.

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We’ll close, at long last, with some minor-league cards issued by a company called Classic Best in the early 1990s.

Mel Wearing is yet another guy whose ticket was stamped for the Rochester Red Wings for a couple of years. He never made it to the majors. But here, with his bulging biceps and a great Frederick Keys uniform, he looks like it’s only a matter of time.

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Hello there, ladies and gentlemen! Are you ready to rock?

Martin Martinez pitched three seasons in the minors, the latter two for the Class A Expos of Rockford, Illinois, otherwise known as the home of Cheap Trick.

There is much to love on his card, including his cap logo (an Expos logo with an intrusive, octopus-style “R”); the bare trees in the distance; and the ads for telecom companies and Little Caesar’s on the outfield wall.

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I can just about see Mike Farrell’s curveball by looking at his Classic Best card. It’s big and sloppy and somewhat erratic and — while he doesn’t know it yet — not quite convincing enough to get him to The Show.

Mike Farrell attended Indiana State University, which gives him something in common with Larry Bird, who opened this blog post about five hours ago. That would be a fine place to stop, but I’ve got one more.

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I saw the Geneva Cubs play once, in 1992. I’ve seen the summer college-age team that now occupies their old ballpark several times, and wrote about it in this space many years ago.

That’s probably Geneva’s McDonough Park in the background behind Douglas Metunwa Glanville, an Ivy League graduate (Penn) turned major-league hopeful. He made it, playing nine years in the majors — six of them as a regular. He has since become an insightful and entertaining commentator on the game.

Why end with him? Just as a reminder, I guess, that — while the cards themselves might or might not be worth anything — the dreams behind these weird pieces of cardboard I collect occasionally do come true.

Five for the Record: George Harrison, “This Song.”

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A recurring feature in which I take something I enjoy but have not thought deeply about, and force myself to state five reasons why I like it.

Today’s subject: First single from ex-Beatle George’s Thirty-Three & 1/3 album. Released November 1976. Reached No. 25 on the U.S. Top 40.

And here’s why I like it:

1. Ol’ Brown Eyes is back. “This Song” features what has to be one of the strongest, most assured, and most enjoyable vocal performances of any George Harrison solo record. Among other travails, Harrison had recently come through a “Dark Hoarse” period in which laryngitis audibly affected his singing. Here he sounds delighted to have his pipes back, and it’s a pleasure to listen to him sing, especially when he slips into falsetto at the end of key lines (“don’t infringe on anyone’s copyright, so…)

Extra points to George for writing the “square/rare/bear” rhyme into the last verse, so we get to hear Hari’s peculiar Scouse pronunciation of that particular phoneme — hard to capture in words, but almost something like “squahr.” You can take the boy out of Liverpool …

2. While my guitar gently … shuts up? Harrison’s doleful, multitracked slide guitar was always a feature of his solo work, and deservedly so. The lead lines from “My Sweet Lord” and “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” are classic examples of the kind of hooky, memorable guitar statements George did so well.

Here, though, he gives it a rest. Outside of the first 15 seconds, when a quietly chugging rhythm guitar can be heard, you’d be hard-put to spot any guitar at all for most of the song. Harrison’s trademark slide playing, as best I can tell, is absent. There’s a brief (and totally unnecessary) guitar solo at the very end of the album version; I think it’s cut out of the single edit, and that’s no loss.

To build a song around something other than your core instrument, and leave your familiar solo instrumental voice out of it, is a step outside the lines. George Harrison, superstar guitarist, made the right choice here.

3. The Man can’t get him down. When rock stars sing about legal entanglements or business matters, they run a good chance of coming off as pissy. George had already been down that path a few times by the time “This Song” came out. 1973’s “Sue Me Sue You Blues,” inspired by the lengthy legal wranglings surrounding the Beatles’ breakup, has a tired bitterness that overwhelms its snaky funk. And 1967’s “Only a Northern Song” — George’s droning, acrid musical complaint about the dispensation of his song publishing — must surely rank among the least substantial and most disposable of the Beatles’ officially released music.

But, on “This Song,” George gives vent to the legal frustrations from his “My Sweet Lord” infringement trial in a winning way. The tune is irresistibly bouncy, and rather than grumble, George sounds like he’s smiling his way through adversity, drawing power from the absurdity of the case. It works. More people oughta try it.

4. Recursion! “This Song” is a song entirely about itself. It exists to defend its own existence. There is no other content or message.  Ceci c’est un song, Rene Magritte might have described it.

George wasn’t the first songwriter to ply self-referential waters and call attention to his song-as-song. He wasn’t even the first ex-Beatle: Earlier that same year, his old friend Paul McCartney had a mammoth hit with a love song about love songs.

In still earlier examples, Elton John’s “Your Song” comes to mind. So does Jim Croce’s “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song.” (And, once again, “Only a Northern Song.”)

But in those cases, the song carries an additional message to the listener, or to one specific listener anyway. “This Song” doesn’t say anything about love, or hate, or anything else. 

It ends with the words “there’s no point to this song;” and if I didn’t like so much of the rest of it I would probably bash George for self-referential laziness. But in this context it fits. There isn’t a point to “This Song.” It’s pure shiny pop surface, and a neat trick for the Quiet Beatle to pull off.

5. Not ready for prime time. “This Song” gets an extra coolness point or two for its association with the early Saturday Night Live. George was the first of the ex-Beatles to associate with the show: On the November 20, 1976, episode, he taped two duets with host Paul Simon and contributed promo videos for “This Song” and “Crackerbox Palace.” (He also provided a hilarious conclusion to Lorne Michaels’ Beatles-reunion gag, describing his one-quarter share of Michaels’ proferred $3,000 as “pret-ty chint-zy.”)

A live performance of the song might have been cool. In its absence, we get a relic with its own distinctive worth — a video clip in which George exercises his sense of humor.

Like a lot of things from the early Saturday Night Live (still known as NBC’s Saturday Night at that point), the clip has a hit-or-miss quality. The shots in which George doesn’t appear are mostly stupid — heavy with mugging, drag, and gratuitous cheesecake.

(Harrison is often linked to Monty Python: He financed Life of Brian, and Python’s Eric Idle provides the screechy female voices on “This Song.” But this clip reminds us that his sense of humor was also shaped by years of exposure to the broad-side-of-a-barn British comedy that preceded Python.)

On the other hand, the shots in which George appears are pretty good. My favorites are George earnestly working the jury, Bible in hand, and George strumming his guitar while handcuffed to a police officer. This last is perhaps a pretty good summary of how it felt for him to try to create new music after the unexpected legal backhand of the “My Sweet Lord” trial.

 

Sweet bird of paradox.

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More to spit out some other night, but I’ll check in with news from the latest rabbit hole.

A couple posts ago, I made reference to finding some stuff that probably shouldn’t have been posted but is, and, against my better nature, taking full advantage. I may as well fill in the blanks. Any who want can also jump aboard; or, if publicity gets the stuff taken down or locked down, that’s just as well too.

Among the many radio shows (online and terrestrial) that post stuff to the Internet Archive, there’s one called Radio Free Crockett that seems to specialize in themed tribute programs — one artist, style, or record label at a time.

These programs tend to take the form of lengthy playlists, filled with dozens and dozens of tracks … often, the contents of multiple complete albums. To get the flavor, check out their Linda Ronstadt, Carole King, George Harrison, or Ringo Starr playlists — not to mention their Meters playlist, which appears to consist of just about everything the legendary New Orleans funk specialists ever recorded.

These tributes become problematic when you scroll down and notice that all the tunes are downloadable in MP3 format. Starting the playlist on Track One and letting it run while you work is one thing … but if you want to basically help yourself to a free copy of Ex-Beatle George’s Thirty-Three and 1/3, or Carole King’s Wrap Around Joy, or Linda Ronstadt’s Prisoner in Disguise, there ain’t much to stop you.

Anyway, my first stop amidst the riches is the John Lennon mix, which stops short of offering any complete albums but offers a substantial selection from all of his post-Beatle recordings (not counting those weird experimental/electronic releases he put out when Apple Records was throwing away money).

I’ve read about Lennon’s solo career at some length, and I’ve heard the hit singles, as well as a few side-scraps here and there — like the Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band album (on which he plays some eyebrow-searing free-form guitar underneath his wife’s vocals) and the 1972 concert at Madison Square Garden (taped by my brother and I off a Westwood One radio replay in the mid-’80s; a filleted version was later issued as the Live in New York City album.)

But I’ve never owned or known any of the solo albums. And, given Lennon’s stature, I’ve always wondered what I was missing. So I’ve snagged the 1973-74 Mind Games and Walls and Bridges material for more extended consideration — read: listening in the car, during such points that I’m in the car.

(And yes, I have run the MP3 of “Meat City” through Audacity, slowed it down and reversed it, and it does indeed say what the Internet says it does.)

I have to do more listening before I have anything half-coherent to say about this period of JWOL’s work. Mostly I’m struck by:

  • A certain muddy sound and feel to a lot of the songs. On the dreamier songs (both “Mind Games” and “#9 Dream” come from this period) it works. But the harder rockers feel … muddled? Overstuffed? Lacking in high-end or clarity? All of the above?
  • The oft-remarked-on edge in Lennon’s lyrics. He was not a particularly happy bunny during this period (was he really one ever?) and even the love songs contain the sort of confessions of pain and vulnerability that people don’t usually put into love songs. And then there’s “Scared,” which begins with a pair of wolf howls and proceeds from there into raw paranoia.
  • The deceptively cheery Elton John collaboration “Whatever Gets You Through The Night,” which sounds like one of those rare singles on which everyone’s having a fantastic time. It starts at 80 mph and it never slows down. I could write an entire post on this one alone, and might just, one of these days.

For the time being, if you want to check any of this out … well, the link’s up top.

Days off.

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I was overdue for a vacation, and here are some highlights from the first two of the salaryman’s three days off. Probably shoulda taken the whole week.

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I put in a pair of blackberry bushes at my old house in Pennsylvania and always liked having them around, so I’m duplicating the experiment here. Took me a couple of stops to find a blackberry bush. Even the fancy-schmancy locally owned nursery didn’t have any — maybe they’re not supposed to grow around here or something. But eventually I found a couple at Lowe’s, tucked suspiciously among a pallet of clematis, and here we go.

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Planted some other stuff today also.

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Yesterday I did something I’d wanted to do for a while – hiked Mount Watatic, a small (1800-foot) mountain right up against the Mass./New Hampshire state line. The distant landscape-bumps in this picture make me think I was looking north toward New Hampshire when I took it. On a clear day you can see the Boston skyline to the east; I got a picture but won’t post it here.

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Oddly, there are not one but two U.S. Geodetic Survey markers at the top of Mount Watatic. I thought they were usually more spaced out than that. (Perhaps one marker is for some other survey; I didn’t look at them both closely, although I took pix of both.)

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The New Hampshire state line is 1.3 miles from the peak of the mountain so I walked there as well. The state line is marked at several points on the Wapack and Midstate trails, including this granite slab that marks the meeting point of three towns and two states. (“A&A MASS” means Ashby and Ashburnham, Massachusetts, while “NI NH” means New Ipswich, New Hampshire.)

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Another marker of the state line, over my shoulder, which looks as if it was made with one of those ’70s woodburning kits like my brother once had. (I never did. Guess they fell out of vogue. Or my folks just didn’t trust me with a hot iron.) I appear content to have temporarily thrown in my lot with New Hampshire, perhaps because it is closer to Montreal.

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Maybe most noteworthy of all: I do enjoy a good plate of tacos on a day off, not to mention locally brewed beer. So from Mount Watatic I drove to the Gardner Ale House, maybe 10 or 15 minutes away in the city of Gardner, Mass., where I undid any benefit from my hike by enjoying a small glass of English bitter, a pint of porter, and a pair of Korean beef tacos.

(The tacos were pretty good, setting aside the fact that I’m not usually into quite that much beef at once and didn’t really grok what I was getting into.)

I realized early on that this was my first meal out at a restaurant in … literally, I don’t remember how long. We’ve ordered out and brought food home once in a while but I don’t remember the last time I physically parked my arse inside a restaurant to eat and drink. 

They were still requiring masks when not stuffing your face. But with today’s CDC announcement that the fully vaccinated can stop wearing masks in many settings, I suspect that might go out the window soon. It feels like the move toward something resembling “normal” is gaining speed. (Of course I hope we don’t all end up regretting it, but that seems to be where we’re going.)

I feel a need to do something epic tomorrow with my remaining day off (Vermont?) but I’m thinking this plate of tacos and this pint of beer might end up being the most memorable part of the vacation.

Doing my bit for The Knowledge.

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One of the great aspirations of the amateur and the dabbler is to make even a tiny contribution to the work of the authority and the expert. I have accomplished this twice in the past two days — on a tiny scale, yes — and so you get to hear about it.

I was interacting with one or two Peanuts experts on Twitter this morning when I reposted something I’d found last fall. It was a droll TV listing from a newspaper in British Columbia in October 1973, purporting that A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving was “a celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving.” It made one question whether the person writing the television highlights had actually seen the show. 

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I didn’t immediately realize that one of the people I was talking to, Nat Gertler, is a “professional Peanuts nerd of long standing” (his description) with an impressive CV that includes authorship of several licensed Peanuts-related books, appearances as a talking-head commentator on Peanuts DVDs, and speaking gigs at the Charles M. Schulz Museum, among other places. The dude knows from Peanuts, basically.

He described the Canadian TV info as “a significant find,” noting that sources like Wikipedia and IMDB all list the show’s premiere date as November 20, 1973 — the first time it aired on American TV. (That august source of TV commentary, Neck Pickup, has used that date as well.)

But Canadian Thanksgiving takes place in early October, a month-and-a-half before American Thanksgiving. TV listings and articles from several Canadian newspapers in October 1973 make clear that the show’s first airing anywhere was in Canada — in markets all over the country — for that year’s Canadian Thanksgiving. Gertler did a little more poking around and wrote his own blog post about it, settling on October 6 as the show’s real first airdate.

(At least back then, U.S. communities close to the border were often able to receive Canadian TV stations. It seems possible that Peanuts fans in Detroit or Buffalo could have been weeks ahead of their fellow Americans in watching Charlie Brown’s big feast and grooving to Vince Guaraldi’s mellow, autumnal theme music. See, it pays to live in Detroit or Buffalo.)

As breakthroughs go, this doesn’t rank with Jonas Salk discovering the polio vaccine. But if I have contributed one scintilla of information to the world’s Peanuts knowledge bank, I consider myself to have done a great service.

# # # # #

The other interaction took place on Twitter as well, with a fellow member of the Society for American Baseball Research who uses the handle Minor Lg No Hitters. As his name would suggest, he researches no-hit games thrown in the minor leagues.

Following up on the semi-controversial seven-inning “no-hitter” recently thrown by Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner, my fellow SABR member posted a list of about 1,500 minor-league no-hitters lasting fewer than nine innings. Clearly, a lot of research went into that list, and I was impressed as I looked at it.

However, I noticed that a 1972 game I wrote about for the SABR Games Project was not included, so I sent it along for consideration. Mr. No Hitters did the research to confirm that it happened, then added it to his list and tweeted out the new addition. Again, I was pleased to toss in my nugget.

Who knows what I could accomplish if I set my sights on something really significant? Maybe some other day we’ll find out…

“I get a buzz from making people happy.”

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Thirty years ago, in my senior year of high school, my vinyl collection encompassed both the Digital Underground’s Sex Packets and the Bay City Rollers’ Rock n’ Roll Love Letter.

Since some of what goes on here is still driven by the long shadow of Teenage Kurt, I feel obliged to write something about the deaths this week of the principal protagonists of both albums — Digital Underground songwriter/producer/rapper/central figure Gregory “Shock G” Jacobs, and Rollers singer Les McKeown.

We’ll take McKeown first, since I have relatively less to say about him.

We all have exceptions to our personal rules of taste and behavior. Hang out long enough with a devoted healthy eater, and you’ll find they keep a box of Devil Dogs in their freezer as their sole but unbreakable dietary indulgence. Get to know a beer snob well, and you’ll find there’s that one mass-market brew — Pabst Blue Ribbon, say — that they’re never without in the fridge.

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the Bay City Rollers were my artistic exception. They were smooth where I (generally) preferred jagged, cheerful where I (generally) preferred up-yours, and prefab where I (almost always) preferred authentic.

But they were goofy in a likeable way. They were totally non-challenging; you didn’t need to think. And they exuded pure essence of Seventies, which seemed so much more interesting than the Eighties and Nineties. Getting to know their records — which could be had cheap — was the closest feasible thing to buying a secondhand leisure suit and throwing in my lot with an earlier era.

(The music itself? Yes. The music itself was rather pallid, and sometimes superfluous to requirements — there’s really no need to listen to anyone except the Beach Boys sing “Don’t Worry Baby,” for instance. I did not spend hours and hours listening to the music.)

I didn’t know then that the Rollers’ backstory was a show-biz screwjob for the ages, as the perky Scots lads came away with practically none of the millions of dollars they generated.

I also didn’t know that, during the entire time the Rollers were breaking big in the States in the fall of 1975, McKeown was up on charges related to killing a woman with his car — a situation I wrote about some years ago that must have been titanically difficult for a young man to handle. (I mention it here not to bring up old dirt, but out of a genuine sense of empathy: McKeown’s world must have been spinning like a roller-coaster the entire time, and of course there was no support beyond a shove in the back to push him onstage every day.)

Les McKeown is one of those pop figures whose life might have been legitimately easier if he’d stayed in Scotland and worked all his life in a showerhead factory. But, he took the ride, at cost to himself. Now, I can’t think about those old Rollers albums without the behind-the-scenes bitterness. The human price.

Which, I dunno, maybe only makes the Rollers even more interesting in the end.

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From a quickie Rollers paperback I bought at the annual library booksale back in 1989 or so. It says something that, eight moves later, I still own it. As for WHAT it says, send your answer to old Pink, care of the funny farm, Edinburgh.

And then there’s Shock G — and I’ve actually been quite impressed that all the headlines and social media messages I see refer to him as Shock G.

Jacobs, as most readers will know, had another alias besides Shock G. Clad in a pair of prop glasses and an outsized nose, he portrayed the comically bawdy character Humpty Hump — who served as the voice of the Underground’s huge breakthrough hit, 1990’s “The Humpty Dance.”

(Both Shock G and Humpty showed up on the earlier single “Doowutchalyke,” an irreverent, deeply funky party jam I loved in 1991 and, yes, still love now.)

I am sure there are millions of Americans — most of them white, most of them my age — who would not recognize the names Gregory Jacobs or Shock G, but who would have an instant mental connection with Humpty Hump. And yet, the purists who know Shock G seem to be carrying the day. I am impressed.

Beyond Sex Packets, my only other intersection with Shock G and the Underground came in the late ’90s or so, when I took their album Sons of the P out of the local library.

It was an inspired bit of mythmaking, casting the Underground’s bunch of weirdos as the next-generation spiritual heirs of the Parliament-Funkadelic bunch of weirdos — another gang from the Seventies that was so much more interesting than contemporary acts. (This concept also gave the Underground karmic clearance to sample the hell out of P-Funk, not that anybody back then really needed a pretext.)

The tune that most stuck in my head was “The D-FLO Shuttle,” a tribute to a mythical train (I think it was mythical – you can’t be too sure) that carried the members of the Underground from their secret lair to the real world and back again.

I suspect that Shock G and his colleagues were talented enough to carry off their comparison to the mighty P-Funk. It’s a shame that they didn’t reach the same level of legend, and it’s unfortunate that I don’t know the rest of their material as well as I know the recordings of P-Funk.

(Or the recordings of Les McKeown, for that matter.)

 

It’s crazy to be tied down when we’re only passing through here.

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Am I in a Friday night happy place, despite rain, snow, wind, and work pressures?

Why, yes, I am.

(There was snow here today. For an extended period. Didn’t stick to much, but still. I’ve gotta get used to it snowing after Tax Day. Today I learned that the latest calendar day on which measurable snow fell in Boston is May 10. Same in Providence. Just to be sure, I’ll move the snow shovels from the carport to the shed sometime around the All-Star break.)

The happy-making news, anyway, is that there’s a certain low-profile ’70s album that should have been in my collection 25 years ago … and I finally shelled out for the MP3 version today and am listening to it now.

And my only question is: What took me so long?

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I’ve always sorta wondered about the backstory behind singer-songwriter-keyboardist Robert Lamm’s album Skinny Boy.

The record, issued in late summer 1974, was the first solo LP by any member of Chicago. They were huge at the time — every album they released threw off a couple of Top Twenty singles.

And Skinny Boy wasn’t the work of just any member of Chicago. It featured the guy who’d written and/or sung the majority of the band’s hits up to that time, although he was just on the verge of handing the reins to Peter Cetera.

(Veteran readers know my connection to Chicago. My dad played them a lot around the house when I was a kid, and I developed a lifelong fondness — especially for Lamm’s voice, which for me is the aural equivalent of comfort, like a soft blanket and a tablespoon of Coke syrup on an unsettled night. If Robert Lamm’s were the last voice I ever heard, I would go gently.)

I’m not aware that Skinny Boy cracked the charts at any level, though. A search of the invaluable ARSA database of local radio airplay charts shows that Skinny Boy placed on exactly two small-market charts from September 1974 — one on a progressive station, one on a college station. The album’s title track — which showed up on Chicago VII with horn overdubs — also popped up on three charts from Pittsburgh’s KDKA in March 1975.

Pretty underwhelming performance given the performer’s pedigree, it seems to me. This ain’t Stu from Des Moines we’re talking about; this is the guy who wrote and sang “Saturday in the Park.” (His buddy Terry Kath shows up playing bass, too, though I have to admit he’s no James Jamerson.)

Granted, Seventies Chicago was famous for being “faceless” and hiding behind its logo. There were probably plenty of record buyers in September 1974 who had heard Robert Lamm’s voice but didn’t know his name. Still, the idea of a proven pop songwriter and singer falling so completely through the cracks is bewildering to me.

Peter Cetera issued his own first solo album in the fall of 1981, and later accused his record label of burying it — doing only limited promotion and advertising — for fear that Cetera would leave Chicago if it were successful. I wonder if the same dynamics were at hand for Skinny Boy — if the record company got itself into a position where it had to issue a Robert Lamm LP for some reason, but didn’t want it to perform too well and give the artist any big ideas about a solo career.

Indeed, I think the reason I never owned a copy of Skinny Boy was that, in my most active rack-digging vinyl-buying years, I never noticed a copy.

But it can be had easily enough on MP3. And tonight, it has been.

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So how is it so far?

Well, I’ve only been through it once. (Did I mention that, while I have my issues with pop-music site Stereogum, I love that they run first-day record reviews under the title “Premature Evaluation“? A real valid judgment takes more than just a couple spins or a couple days.)

But on first listen, it delivers everything I could want. There are no horns — a conscious decision, I think, to set Skinny Boy apart from the parent band. But there are some cool string arrangements, and big big big singer-songwriter hooks, and vaguely “jazzy” (or, at least, complicated-by-pop-standards) chords, and a little bit of “funk” here and there, and Lamm’s soaring, uncolored Brooklyn honk above it all.

As befitting a guy who once complained in song about maitre d’s seating him because he was rich, the lyrics here don’t always connect. Album closer “Crazy Brother John” is some sort of medieval reverie that ends, rather abruptly, on a murder. It reminds me of another 1974 album — Grand Funk’s Shinin’ On — whose Side B ends, suddenly and bluntly, with a lead character being sent to prison.

“Someday I’m Gonna Go” consists almost entirely of the sentiment “Someday I’m gonna go / far away, far away, far away / Far, far away / I’m gonna go-ooooo,” and one is left to wonder from a 21st-century juncture whether Lamm is singing about his band, or his marriage, or the institution of pop stardom, or something else again. (“Did you ever want to run and hide yourself away? Did you ever cry, there was nothing there, was nothing there, was nothing there.“)

It’s always at least mildly interesting to hear a star sing something like this. He’s worked his way to the top, achieved what he dreamed of when he was playing Mob-run joints in Chicago, and he turns out this vaguely worded yearning for the mythical Big Nowhere.

Given a choice between the two Big Rock Star Prototypes, I’d rather spend time with the lonely-at-the-top seekers than the Porsche-driving, hotel-wrecking pirates … and Lamm is the former, in hearts and spades.

And then there’s “Until The Time Runs Out,” which as best I can tell is sung in the persona of a lonely, elderly widower whose only release comes from playing bocce with his buddies. On first listen it’s a WTF scenario, and repeat listenings don’t entirely improve it (“No one to call my own / My children ne-ver phone.”)

And yet: Why not? If Ray Davies or Randy Newman wrote from this guy’s perspective, they’d probably be acclaimed for their perceptiveness. There’s probably a real person behind this song, and if I could pull up a folding lawn chair and see his craggy face and hear him talk, I’d probably think this was a great, acid-edged slice of cinema verite, rather than a curio.

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Above clipping from Billboard magazine, sometime around September-October 1974. You thought I was joking about the bocce, didn’t you? If you’ve seen the short film, let me know.

On the more successful side of the ledger, there’s “One Step Forward Two Steps Back,” which could have been written yesterday about mankind’s continuing struggle to come to terms with climate change: “Trust in the big circle game in the sky / To save us again and again as we try / One step forward, two steps back.” Humankind is not still here because we are good at facing and solving our own problems; we are here by some greater forgiveness and grace, it seems, and that is just as true now as it was in 1974.

Let’s face it: It would take an awful, awful lot of badness for me to dislike a Seventies Robert Lamm solo album. It would have to be, I dunno, all amateur reggae or something, and all cover versions, and mostly sung by a children’s choir, and recorded through a woolen sock to boot.

Skinny Boy is none of these things. It is a solid dose of mellow, autumnal, jazzy-poppy Seventies singer-songwriter goodness. I have no idea why it doesn’t seem to be celebrated or well-known or popular. A person of Seventies orientation could very easily mellow out their head and spend a pleasant 35 minutes or so with Skinny Boy. (I could very easily mellow out my head and spend two hours.)

I am glad I finally got to know this missing link, and while it is no forgotten masterpiece, I foresee it soundtracking my idle hours for some time to come.

You can be the creator of a miserable world.

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Sometimes the only way to get rid of an earworm is to desecrate it.

You can be an expert from England or France

You can guess who you want to play

You can be the creator of a miserable world

Maybe you have long lighted areas

 

But obviously you have to work for one

You have to serve the people

Yes, it could be Satan or the Lord

But you have to serve the people

 

You may have hemorrhoids and blood clots on stage

Have your own medicine, cage female blood

You can be a merchant or a thief

This will be called a doctor or owner

 

But obviously you have to work for one

You have to serve the people

Yes, it could be Satan or the Lord

But you have to serve the people

 

You can be a runner, you can be a minor from Turkey

You can host other TV shows

Rich or poor, blind or lame

You can live abroad under another name

 

But obviously you have to work for one

You have to serve the people

Yes, it could be Satan or the Lord

But you have to serve the people

 

You can work from home

You can live in a big house or bowl

You can have a gun and you can have a tank

You have a house, you have a bank

 

But obviously you have to work for one

You have to serve the people

Yes, it could be Satan or the Lord

But you have to serve the people

 

You can be a preacher of spiritual pride

You can be the coach who fixes it

Whether you are a hairdresser or not, you can learn to cook

You can be an amateur, you can be an heir

 

But obviously you have to work for one

You have to serve the people

Yes, it could be Satan or the Lord

But you have to serve the people

 

You want to make cotton, you want to make silk

If you want to drink alcohol, you have to stop smoking

I want to eat caviar, I want to eat bread

You can sleep and sleep in your own bed

 

But obviously you have to work for one

You have to serve the people

Yes, it could be Satan or the Lord

But you have to serve the people

 

You can call me Terry, you can call me Timmy

You could call me Bobby or Jimmy

You can call me RJ, you can call me dad

You can call me whatever you say

 

Basically you have to work for one

You have to serve the people

Yes, it could be Satan or the Lord

But you have to serve the people
Anata va Igirisu ya furansu koi taishi ni naru koto ga dekimasu anata va kaketai kamo shiremsen
Ir Kent Zeyen un Ambassador in Ingiltera oder Frankrecht

Ir Jail Velan Tsu Gavet Ir Jal Velan Tsu Shapilni Naru
Tus igalaiṇḍa jāṁ pharānsa dē māhara hō sakadē hō

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