Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Townedger Radio 9-Mud Games

Since getting a new computer, I can now watch things up on You Tube and turn on Net radio and not have to deal with a slow running computer and those GD'ed unresponsive plug in messages that annoy the hell out of me.  It's nice to hear Lucky Star Radio and my program without freeze ups.  It's what I hope I can do to preserve music as I knew it years ago, program the hard to find songs that Timesquare Media (the Corporate media outlet that bought out Cumulus here in the area) doesn't play anymore.   But this weekend, I wasted it away by watching about 6 hours of old NFL football highlights.  Teams from the 60s and 70s, where back then they didn't play in state of the art stadiums but rather big old stadiums with chewed up turf and rain storms making things into quagmire conditions.   If you like mud and plenty of it, not better place than go to War Memorial in Buffalo or Cleveland Municipal Stadium, to where at any given point in the season, you would see a big mud bath in the making.   Hell with field grass, this is real football. (Below, Neil Leifer took many pictures of this 7-0 1974 slopfest win by Cleveland you can find at Getty Images, Neil had a way to take the pictures as if you were playing linebacker and giving 49ers QB Tom Owen another mud facial on their failed 2 minute drive)






Cleveland remains the ultimate in mud games.  Certainly the 1964 Championship where they shut out the Baltimore Colts as Jim Brown slogged through the mush in a 27-0 victory.  After that, time was not kind to the Browns; the next season, found themselves up in Green Bay, in even more muddier conditions and seeing the Packers slide on by.  It was so bad and so muddy that they have to change shirts at half time, only to get covered up in goo goo muck.  Baltimore would get their revenge a couple years later, returning to the Browns' stadium in a windswept day and kicking the Browns' ass in a 34-0 blowout, to which somebody posted part of the second half on You Tube.  Compare to other games, it wasn't a total mudbath, but certain parts of the field had mud and it showed when Paul Warfield tried to catch a overthrown ball and lost his clean coolness.  Cleveland's starting QB Bill Nelsen couldn't move the team and the hero of the 64 game Frank Ryan comes in and...fumbles the ball and the Colts recovered.  The Cleveland crowd wasn't too impressed and booed Ryan for the rest of the game but at time the Colts were the much better team.  They went on to get beat by the New York Jets 16-7, which had their own mud bowl by beating the Oakland Raiders.



I thought putting together an all time Mud Bowl best games but really couldn't come up with a list.  Cleveland at that time seems to have the majority of games, moving over to the AFC in 1970 and watching their playoff hopes get smothered in mud by Dallas.  Two years later, the Colts came calling, and yet in another mud in your eye game, Don Nottingham ran through it all in a 23-3 blowout and the Browns were never the same.  Which leaves us back to Buffalo and the 1967 season to which they played a early fall game in a blizzard  and every home game was soggy field, plenty of mud and a high cleaning bill to boot.  By 1971, the late Ralph Wilson had enough of the mud games and opened a new stadium with artificial turf and later the more preferred field turf.  But basically football up prior before fake grass and hard carpets, there was always given moment that at some point in life there would be a rainy day and the field would turn things into mush.  Given a highlight, a 1964 Mud bowl at Sportsman's Park (the first Busch Stadium) where St. Louis and New York battled to a 10-10 tie.  Splat.  I'm surprised anybody could get any footing on this turf.




I have memories of seeing the Minnesota Vikings play in mud fields as well.  The 1969 Thanksgiving Massacre of Detroit, Vikings winning 27-0 in a blizzard at Tiger Stadium.  I could probably tell you of a few more mud games that I recall.  Atlanta beating Joe Namath and New York in 1973 sloggerroo.  Gayle Sears running amok against San Francisco which might be the the best effort by a football player in the mud.  And, of course Minnesota as well, in the Wrigley field cowpie pasture.




I'm going out on a limb by naming the three most muddy games ever played, at least the ones that I have seen.



All Time Mud Bowl-Minnesota 14- Los Angeles 7  (Los Angeles 1977)

I Remember this game all too well.  I wanted to take the night off from work and watch this but my dad had other ideas and I had to go work at the old Apco that night.  Minnesota that year was on the decline but this team overachieved, even after losing Fran Tarkenton to an broken leg.  Bob Lee, managed to help the Vikings make the playoffs but they didn't have much of a chance against the highly favored Rams.  Thanks to a fan who continues to post their well worn VCR tape of this Mud classic, you too can witness the Vikings uniforms, so nice and clean at the beginning, and then watch the numbers fade into blackness.  Chuck Foreman would be unrecognizable by the second series.  I think the weight of the mud on his jersey may have something to do with him having trouble getting off from the slop, due to a ongoing very rare southern California rainfall, to which they have not seen since then.  While the Rams were constantly good, they could never beat The Vikings in the playoffs. I still enjoy watching this from time to time and it reminds me of a faraway time.  To when the Vikings played outdoors and there was a team in Los Angeles at the Coliseum, to which they had their share of mud games.  It even beats out Cleveland and Buffalo for all time mud game. Fun fact: Vin Scully called the game.  Still worth watching on You Tube (if you're a Viking fan, or lover of mud games, John Madden calls it one of the best mud games ever).



Runner up: Green Bay 23  Cleveland 12  (Green Bay 1965)

While the 1994 playoff game with San Francisco was somewhat played in the same conditions, one cannot deny that game looked like a tea party given to this slopfest up in Lambeau Stadium.   I suspect this is the true Mud Game of them all, before Minnesota/LA 12 years later.  I remember seeing Elijah Pitts get about five yards of turf in his face.  Green Bay, like Cleveland's stadium is capable of a mud game and none was evident as this Championship game to which Green Bay was king of the NFL. The super bowl would be a couple years away, to which Green Bay would beat Dallas, in what is called the ice bowl, which the field's heating system failed and the Lambeau became a ice rink.  It may have been fun, but not as muddy fun as the mud slog of this game. Cleveland would continue to have problems beating Green Bay till 1969, when the annual mud bowl would be back at home. Cleveland Stadium.

3rd one:  St Louis 10  New York Giants 10  (St. Louis 1964)



No shortage of mud games, you can choose anything from Buffalo, The Pittsburgh/Cleveland games of the early 70s were muck fun especially the 1971 and 1972 games, any Green Bay/Detroit games at both cities come to mind, Green Bay's 9-7 winner in 1961 (which is going out on a limb since I was about 9 months old anyway and we all know I didn't watch football back then).  San Diego and Buffalo had a few mudfest up at War Memorial. But since there's plenty of pictures of this forgotten tie game up in St Louis in 1964 and  Sportman's Park's turf was ideal for mud fun  that day.  This would been fun to watch even though it ended up in a tie.  The New York Giants were going through a shitty season but this 10 10 tie didn't help either. Y A Tittle was winding down after a great career and would retire at the end of the season.  Here, Charley Johnson Cards QB decides to go with a mud facial. For the Cardinals however, 1964 proved to be a pretty good year and they finished second to Cleveland.  For their reward they defeated the Green Bay Packers 24-17 in the NFL Playoff Bowl that year in Miami.   To which Vince Lombardi called that game the Toilet Bowl (or the Shit Bowl, RIP Vince).  NY/STL mud games photos courtesy of Spokeo dot com.
PS. There's a You Tube showing of the 1964 New York Giants season, a disaster upon itself since they won 2 games tied 2 games and lost the rest but there's a 2 minute segment of this 10 10 tie. Looking at the field this may have been the all time mud bowl ever.  Sportman's Park had nothing but 99 yards of pure mud, pure baseball infield mud and very little grass to speak of.  Sportman's Park would be renamed the original Bush Stadium.

Certainly there's much more mud games to discover, more can be found here: http://gridironuniforms.forumotion.com/t540-mud-games

In this day and age, modern technology and the NFL's policy of looking good on TV have pretty much ended the mud games of yesteryear.  While there are some games that do revert back to the days of mud and fun, last year's Kansas City/Oakland game was a reminder of how things were, chewed up turf gets replaced the next game.  The crappy and hard to play on Astro turf of the 70s eventually gave way to something called Field Turf which has the look and feel of grass but without the mud and dirt.  While grass stadiums are few and far between, the best known ones remain Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium (which had field turf originally and replaced with grass) and Pittsburgh's Heinz Stadium.  One recent mud bowl games includes a playoff win against the new upstart Cleveland Browns team and a playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens, i.e. the old Browns that moved to Baltimore in the mid 90s.  The final game in the old stadium was a Browns win over Cincinnati 26-10 in 1995, to which Art Modell would move the team to Baltimore and it would be four years till the NFL granted a new team to that area.  By then the next year, they took a wrecking ball to the old stadium and rebuilt it with a new one in the same place.  Although it still the same field, new upgrades and new types of grass, that we rarely see the mud baths of long ago.  While the old Browns (The Ravens) continue to make the playoffs, the New Browns continue to struggle and rebuild each year.  I still have a fondness for the old Cleveland Stadium, after all, The Beatles, Aerosmith, The Beach Boys, The Who and The Rolling Stones (plus many others) had shows in that old cavernous place, famous for their mud baths as well.

Muddiest Stadiums of all time:
1. Cleveland Stadium
2. Kezar Stadium-San Francisco
3. War Memorial Stadium-Buffalo
4. Yankee Stadium-New York
5. Jeppensen Stadium-Houston
6. Lambeau Field-Green Bay
7. Wrigley Field/Soldier Stadium-Chicago
8. Sportmans Park-St Louis
9. LA Coliseum
10. Tiger Stadium-Detroit

Most if not all stadiums were subject to the elements that would turn grass into muck.  While Cleveland's games are documented into muddy messes (you can look them up on Getty Images). San Francisco's Kezar Stadium had their share of mudbaths, best known was the Packers 12-0 shutout of the 49ers in a late 1960 game which famous for the Forrest Gregg mud pack photo.  Then again Cleveland went out there in late 1962 December game in foul weather and Jim Brown and company won 13-10 in front of 35,000 miserable fans.   Neil Leifer' pictures really put you in the center of all the mud flinging around.  Leifer would also provide the mud shots in a 1974 7-0 Browns victory over San Fran. It's rumored that you can have grown grass off the uniforms from that game.  Anyway, back then, there was no drainage systems into place which meant a good rainfall, worn turf equals mud.  And usually November and since Cleveland Stadium was off the lake games would turn into big messes.  Rarely did Pittsburgh come into town and not deal with mud.   The weather sucked big time in Buffalo to the point that they need to switch to artificial turf.

Perhaps the muddiest team may have been the 1964 New York Giants, the farewell of Y.A.Tittle and Frank Gifford, the 10-10 tie at St Louis may been a boring game had a major rainstorm turned Sportmans Park into a bowl of mud soup and players uniforms unidentifiable.  Final game of 1964 was Cleveland scoring 52 points at Yankee Stadium in Tittle's last game, to which he sported more mud on his jersey in the first quarter than the Giant's line.  No wonder he retired. 

All time mud games and teams playing each other:

Detroit/Green Bay
Cleveland/New York Giants
Cleveland/San Francisco
Cleveland/Pittsburgh
Green Bay/San Francisco
Cleveland/Baltimore

History lesson. The Baltimore Stallions winning the CFL Gray Cup and life after that: http://www.rollingstone.com/sports/features/wild-stallions-how-a-team-from-baltimore-rocked-canada-and-changed-the-cfl-forever-20151118


Music news:  Donald Trump announced he's running for President (BWAHAHAHAHAHA) and chose Neil Young's Rockin In The Free World as a background song, to which Neil Young and his manager was not impressed and told Mr. Ferret Wig Head to quit playing it and endorsed Bernie Sanders as his choice.  It seems these GOP folk tend to choose songs from the flaming liberals who would never endorse the GOP idiot running for anything.   Heart didn't like it when John McCain used Barracuda for a song and neither did John Mellencamp when a forgotten GOP person played Small Town during a campaign.  In the meantime, idiot South Dakota Senator John (Koch) Thune introduced a bill that would eliminate and close 122 local forecast offices across the country and centralized them into six regional offices for the entire country.  In this day and age unacceptable given the amount of floods, tornadoes and hurricanes and earthquakes that happen day in and out.  This is the kind of logic that become the scorn of the GOP or Tea Party.  That everything should be tax cuts for the 1 percent and the hell with the rest of the world. Thune would be perfect for Communist Russia and it's time to fight back and tell the stupid fuck clueless CS'er that do not mess with the precious few weather offices that keep us up to date of what goes around in this area.  The bill directs NOAA to create a new system for issuing severe watches and warnings. Please contact Sen. Thune’s office to oppose this bill. You can reach him through the US Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-2321 – Ask for Senator John Thune. And tell him failure to not listen to the public will lead to his defeat during the next election, providing if people get off their collective asses and vote him out. One can only hope that can happen.

Dave Grohl's nasty fall off the stage last weekend prompted The Foo Fighters to cancel the rest of their summer tour while he recovers from a broken leg, to which he actually finished the show propped up in a chair.  The guy is a true rock and roller and I'm sure he'll return to the stage as soon he's healed.

The Rolling Stones continue on their 50 years of rock tour, with a show in Nashville and having southern rocker Brad Paisley open up for them and coming on stage to sing Dead Flowers.  Paisley has been gradually fading from the country spotlight, his last album was his poorest selling album since the the debut and really, he's never looked good in a goatee, but he can still play guitar pretty well.



Watch out for cranks,  That would be Ginger Baker, who in typical pissed off old man mode decried his tenure in Cream as torture (I wasn't playing I was banging on my drums due to anger, I couldn't hear myself above the bloody fucking nose of Bruce and Clapton).  I give him props for giving a different beat to Hawkwind (although he disowned that period) and Masters Of Reality Sunrise On The Sufferbus (ditto) but the old poop continues to bitch and moan as he continues his jazz tour. He still plays that old Zildjian sizzle ride crash all this time but if the term the longer you bitch the longer God lets you live, he'll be here for another 100 years.  Even Satan doesn't want Mr Baker in his neighborhood anytime soon. 

A sad ending to an interesting story.  This spring a black bear was seen moseying around the Dubuque area and going through the Iowa farmland before getting hit and killed by a semi outside of Jesup, which is a good hour away from the city of attack Redwing blackbirds. While the wayward bear enjoyed himself, the sad fact that Yogi the bear would end up in the same fate as a lot of animals that venture on the road   There was another smaller bear  that may or may not been around (known as Boo Boo) Dubuque but that one has disappeared as well.  Bears are rare in this state, Minnesota has more of them up there but for a time this bear came down here to investigate things before meeting his demise.  Somebody took a picture of the bear, but I rather not post it.  On  another note I have never been to Cabela's.  They got one up in Owatonna but it's not high on my list to go visit.



Music Reviews:

Steppenwolf:The Complete Dunhill Singles (Real Gone)

Continuing their tribute to the 45, Real Gone turns their focus on Steppenwolf and if you had any of their singles, you'll noticed that they were a bit more different than the album versions.  I still recall Born To Be Wild to be one of the more louder 45s that I have heard in my life.  And all but Monster are in their edit form, Kay who comments on the songs on this album hated the single version to the point that he requested the album version instead for the best of and he has a point, ABC Dunhill butchered the 9 minute song with a 3 and half minute edit that you can still get on 16 Greatest Hits, still available in cut outs.  Despite the 4 minute title on the label, It's Never Too Late is missing the second verse and is about 3 minutes long.  I basically had to locate a copy of Rock Me just to hear the drum into of Jupiter's Child a perfect b side, and the B sides could be just as good as the A side (Take What You Need, Everybody's Next One). And then there are the rarities, the infamous 8 minute 46 second of For Madmen Only,  B side to Ride With Me and full of bizarre sound effects for that horror film in the back of your mind, pointless to have unless you're a completest.  The tacked on end to Hay Lawdy Mama, which is better than the meandering version on the live album or best ofs.  It also includes 4 singles from John Kay after the band broke up, and perhaps my favorite is the late Alan O'Day's Easy Evil and a lot better than the hack version 3 Dog Night did on American Pastime.  If you grew up in the 60s and listened to the radio and juke boxes, you're more in line to get this album but if your a latter day casual fan, the 1999 Greatest Hits remains the better and cheaper buy.  But this comp proves that Steppenwolf were one of the better singles bands at that time out there.  And Jerry Edmonton remains one of the best unheard drummers ever.  He knew his stuff too.  As well as Goldy McJohn, the fabled keyboard master but still the leader was and still is John Kay.  He continues to tour and put albums out, but none of them ever matched the highs of Steppenwolf.
Grade A-

The Darkness-Last Of Our Kind (Canary Dwarf 2015)

Let's face it, The Darkness are the last of the true classic rock bands in an era that classic rock is looked at like Big Band music is looked at forty years ago.  But I believe that they were more AC DC or Rolling Stones than Queen, in fact I think Justin Hawkins reminds me more of the late David Bryon, lead singer for Uriah Heep in the early 70s (Easy Living, Stealin'). Of course 11 years ago, The Darkness was hailed as the band who can save rock and roll, of course that never came true although they had more faithful fans over there than here in the US.  Combining elements of just about every glam band out there (Sparks, Slade come into play although with AC DC Queen comparisons), but also Spinal Tap as well.  Could anybody else put out a PG version of Permission To Land replacing F bombs with the word Duck or less offending words? Anyway Atlantic, in their usual business practices, gave up on them after two albums and here we are with their forth effort which might be their best since Permission To Land.  Starts out strong with two taylor made for Classic rock stations with Barbarian and Open Fire.  While the press continue to either admire or mock Justin Hawkins' Bryonesque vocal power, the MVP remains  Dan Hawkins, who can go from Malcolm Young to Keith Richards to T Rex in as many songs.  A change of drummers, Ed Graham is replaced by Emily Davies who has now been replaced by Rufus Taylor, son of Queen drummer Roger, so basically keeping the Queen legacy alive via the drummer's seat.  Emily does a good job maintaining the beat.  Like Bryon, Justin Hawkins can annoy as well as amuse listeners with his screams, which sometimes I think of Ian Gillan back in the day to when Gillan could scream with the best.  At their best, they can hold their own with their idols, be it AC DC or Spinal Tap, on their least of the songs, (Sarah O'Sarah, Mighty Wings)  the glam don't work as well and sometimes you wish somebody would stick alum in Justin's mouth and knock off those high notes.  The lyrics are quite nonsense when you read them in the booklet or hear Justin singing them, a throwback and nod to Spinal Tap I imagine.  But really this record I think is their best since Permission To Land  and even if they never did catch on here in America they're a lot more preferable than Tame Impala or whatever passes for rock music nowadays.  The bonus tracks are straight down rock and roll  fun from Messenger to Always Had The Blues, the latter their most blooziest.  Truth in advertising: calling it Last Of Our Kind, and The Darkness just might be.
Grade B+

Nina Simone-Best Of (Compact Jazz) (Mercury 1989)

For an introduction back during the beginning of the CD age, it's not bad but better comps have come and replaced this sampler of what the late great Nina Simone could do.  She had a voice that was wise and older sounding than her years and she could do just about anything that comes to mind. She could cover Chuck Berry one minute (Brown Eyed Handsome Man) and then straight showtunes the next (Don't Explain),  Duke Ellington (Mood Indigo) Screaming Jay Hawkins the next (I Put A Spell On You).  She could take the rage of Strange Fruit and make it her own.  For an eccentric singer Simone may have more radical than the average Sam Cooke but she did follow her own road.  When I bought this in the cheap bins, I didn't know I had most of the songs on another best of, the 2002 Diva Series album that Verve put out, and Sony Music's Ultimate Collection which remains the best out of the three, which means I probably donate this collection to a more needy pair of ears that would like a cheap overview of one of the most underrated musician of our time.  It tends to focus more on the slower stuff but does end things on the 10 minute gospel jam of Sinnerman, which gives you a feel of the future of Nina as she took her music over to RCA for perhaps her most radical time.
Grade B

The Crossfires-Out Of Control (Sundazed Reissue 1991)

Before they were The Turtles, they were a surf band based upon Dick Dale, The Surfaris  and one of the more fun garage acts of the early 60s.  And perhaps the best use of Al Nichol on guitar, who was as good as Dale could be on the track Out Of Control.   The Crossfires had a couple singles that sold so so, the radical Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, which starts out like Stranger On The Shore before going into surf zombie punk and One Potato Two Potato, a throwaway novelty number that The Shadows Of Knight covered years later.  The Turtles would take up some of the madness of some of these songs and Justine isn't that bad despite what the liner notes say.  A very good surf band at the beginning but once Flo And Eddie decided to put down their saxophones and start singing pop songs, the band would reimagine themselves  as The Turtles.
Grade B+



A Thousand Horses-Southernality (Universal Republic 2015)

Let's face it, Country Music today is not your dad's Waylon or Willie. The times have changed, they added rap and electric dance beats and autotuner to become the big flavor of the day although FGL's time is due to expire.  I'm not against bands that cite Lynyrd Skynyrd or Black Crowes as a influence. They owe to the Stones via  First Time   And then they hit the country twang of the goofy Smoke which turned out to be a country hit.  There's moments of inspiration (Travelin' Man)  the best  song is Hell On My Heart, and I get a chuckle out of the powerchord Landslide but the problem remains too much country cliche, and the title track gives visions of what would have happened had Poison gone country. Or to a lesser known and forgotten band Junkyard.  A Thousand Horses can bring the tunes, but they definitely to work on their lyrics to get past junior high level.  That's their weakest link. Note to band, get rid of Kirsten Rogers and Whitney Coleman.

Grade C+





Townedger Radio 9 (Broadcast 6/17/15 via Lucky Star Radio)  Playlist:

Rollin' And Tumblin'-The Townedgers
Shit Shots Count-Drive By Truckers
Pop Song 89-REM
First Night-Savoy Brown
Love's Made A Fool Out Of You-The Crickets
Somebody Get Me A Doctor-Van Halen
All For Myself-Them
500 Miles-Blue Mountain
Turbulence-Warren Zevon
Liar-Del Shannon
Fight Fire-The Golliwogs
Jumping From Love To Love-Dr. Feelgood
Frosted Flakes-The Townedgers
Diesel On My Tail-Jim & Jessie
Washing Machine-John Hartford
Sukie In The Graveyard-Belle & Sebastian
Dear Lisa (Live In The Studio)-Rodney Smith
I Don't Want The Night To End-Nick Lowe
Cowboy Boots-The Backsliders
Set Me Free (Rosa Lee)-Los Lobos



 




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