Lake Fred

Lake Fred is an actual lake located in the flat pinelands of southern New Jersey. It is also one of my knicknames acquired while I was at college. There is (or was) a Lake Fred Folk Festival in the springtime.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Favorite Songs By The Who

The Who will be the half time entertainment for this year’s Super Bowl featuring the New Orleans Saints against the Payton Manning and the Colts. In honor of The Who, I would like to give you my opinion on their greatest songs.

The Who actually suffer from multiple personality disorder. They were, at first, a pop band riding the wave of the British Invasion with the Beatles. They were the creators of mild pop singles while acting like a tough rocker band destroying their instruments at the end of their shows. I don’t think they were happy with their image or their critical success. The Beatles put out Sgt. Pepper’s and it was a critical and artistic success being hailed as a “concept” album. The Who tried their hand at this and came up with Tommy, a rock opera. It was critically acclaimed in some circles. I personally felt that the concept of a deaf dumb and blind boy becoming a pinball wizard was strange. I could not identify with it. When this concept had songs like “See Me, Feel Me” and “Fiddle About”, this strangeness became weird and creepy.

When I was about ready to write The Who off, one of my friends bought his first car. It came with an eight track cassette player and two tapes. One was The Who, Live at Leeds. This version of The Who were not playing two minute pop singles, or creepy Tommy songs; they were a hard driving hard rock band that played with abandon with surging bass runs, fierce drumming and guitar heroics. The “Live at Leeds” version of The Who didn’t last long. They were replaced by the synthesizer keyboard dominant FM oriented “Who’s Next” and beyond Who. This version of The Who, albeit, fine in their own right, was a step down in quality for me.

Here’s my Top Ten Who songs in reverse order.

10. Shakin’ All Over – This song hit no. 1 on the British charts in 1960 for the Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, a British rock & roll band. It’s most played today version comes from the hard core of the great The Who, Live at Leeds album. This is just a great hard rocking Who song that I can listen to over and over again.

9. I Can See For Miles - This was one of The Who’s pop singles featuring great drumming, vocals and a bit of psychedelia.

8. Won’t Get Fooled Again - This was the big keyboard oriented single from their great Who’s Next album It was heavily played on the radio and we were all hypnotized into liking it.

7. Who Are You - This was the title track to their last album with Keith Moon. This was another heavily played on the radio track that was seared into my brain. It was based on a true event in Pete Townsend’s life. I still enjoy hearing this one.

6. Magic Bus - This one has passed the test of time and has grown in my appreciation. I have heard other bands play this song and it still sounds great. The percussion hooks you and it just doesn’t quit.

5. Substitute - This was the first Who single I ever heard. It wasn’t a big seller, but the lyrics are clever and meaningful. It had a second life being included in the Live at Leeds album.

4. Summertime Blues – This song had been a hit for Eddie Cochran and later Blue Cheer. This Live at Leeds version is a killer. Was there ever a greater rock performance than this?

3. I Can’t Explain – The follow up single to Substitute. Great intro and a nice rocker that isn’t long enough, clocking in at a measly 2:04. It was the inspiration to Todd Rundgren’s great Nazz single “Open My Eyes”.

2. Young Man Blues – This song leads off the great Who, Live at Leeds album with a bang. For any other band, this would be their greatest hit. The internal parts of this song are stellar.

1. My Generation – It is an anthem for the ages. It pokes fun at the British drug scene. It contains the single greatest rock lyric of all time in “I hope I die before I get old.” Great song!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Joy of Roy

Cliff Lee is gone. I'm sad because I really liked Lee. I was proud of his performances in the 2009 playoffs and the World Series. The Philly Daily News headline reads "The Joy of Roy". Hopefully, the The Joy of Roy will offset the sadness of losing Lee. I wish Cliff Lee the best of success in Seattle, only to be replaced and bested by Roy's performance in Philly. Hopefully for many years to come, we can have holiday seasons in December and Halladay seasons all summer long!

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Phillies Win Game One of the 2009 World Series

It'a all how you look at things. Here are two newspapers' take on the Phillies Game One 2009 World Series Victory. The Philly Daily News celebrates Cliff Lee's pitching victory and Chase Utley's Game Winning Homers. The NY Daily News finds it all less than a thing of beauty.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Phillies Win World Series

As a child I began a lifetime of rooting for the Philadelphia Phillies. It was my earliest team rooting interest and remains the deepest. Last night, the Philadelphia Philles won the 2008 World Series. They had only won one previous World Series title back in 1980. This championship brings me great joy and satisfaction.

I wasn't around for the 1915 or 1950 World Series teams. I assume they were One Year Wonders. The 1964 team was that way, as was the 1993 team. The 1980 team had made the playoffs for three straight years from 1975 through 1977, always losing in the playoffs. The 1979 Pirates beat them out of the division, but the 1980 team finally won. The 1983 World Series team was an aging version of the same team. Essentially, the 1980 team winning the World Series was something they should have done earlier. It was sort of like the recent string of successful years in Atlanta, but only one World Series title to show for it.

This World Series title is different. This year's Phillies are not a One Year Wonder or a Team of Destiny, but rather, they are a good hard working team that fought their way through adversity and underdoggedness to win. This is a good feeling team that is better than it's unassembled parts. I think it's an attitude of family and hard work, fathered by Manager, Charlie Manuel, to make this team a winner. When Pat Burrell ran slow or struck out, or when Ryan Howard struck out or made an error in the field, we knew it had not occured because the player did not care. We knew they passionately cared about this team and about winning. We saw that determination in the many come from behind victories over the past few years. We also saw it this year with the amazing unblemished record of winning with a lead going into the 9th inning. This team is special and worthy of our love. They may never win another World Series, but we will always appreciate this one.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Big Day for LSU

Well, I was wrong about Les Miles leaving LSU. I think all the speculation forced the issue on both sides, forcing LSU to pony up to the table and offer more money. The money and the situation at LSU made it a no-brainer for Les Miles. He will be a richer man for staying at LSU than he would have been for moving to Michigan. ESPN's Herbstreit reported that the Michigan deal was a done one, forcing Les to angrily declare his fealty to the Bayou Tigers before the SEC Championship Game. Only God knows if that declaration made the difference in the players' motivation to win the game against Tennessee. We do suspect that God aligned the planets and stars in such a fashion to cause both West Virginia and Missouri to lose and to allow LSU to leapfrog other teams ranked higher into the BCS Championship game. This change of fates gives Les Miles the ability to achieve three things in one game. One, he can beat Ohio State without needing to become the head coach of the Wolverines. Two, he can win the BCS National Championship. Three, he can erase the shadow of Nick Saban looking over his shoulder.

Winning the SEC Championship is quite a feather in LSU's cap. The last time they won was the year they won the BCS Championship. Ryan Perrilloux also redeemed himself in this game, being named the game's MVP. He will be the field captain next year, so it's good to earn his tiger stripes in a meaningful game. Congrats go to Les Miles, Ryan Perrilloux and the entire LSU team. What a weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Les Miles to Michigan?

My thoughts about Les Miles are torn. On one hand, I really like Les Miles. When he speaks, he says the right things. I think he's a good coach and a good man. This year, his team has underachieved expectations. After dominating early games, LSU fell into a pattern of winning close games, often needing to come from behind to win. The SEC is a meat grinder conference where all the teams are capable of winning on any given Saturday. LSU was like walking on broken glass with bare feet. Sooner or later, you will cut yourself. They did get cut in Kentucky, and later at home against Arkansas, losing both games in triple overtime. Under the old system before overtime games were allowed, LSU would still be undefeated and probably still no. 1 with a 10-0-2 record.

I think Les Miles leaving LSU will be a win-win for both schools and for Les Miles. For Les, he'll get to coach at his alma mater in a patsy conference with big name recognition. For LSU, the cupboard is not bare and the school should be able to attract the best and brightest coaches in the nation to apply for the job at LSU as it is a bird's nest on the ground type job. Tiger fans could even learn to love Steve Spurrier. All will turn out well for all involved.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Forgot My User Name (Google Made My Change It!)

Sorry, for the lack of updates. Google made me change my username to my email address a while back and I forgot about it. Couldn't log in. I will try to add new content in the near future.