Superbowl XLVII is six days away so it’s time to place your bets. No, not on Denver or Seattle. On snow or no snow. The NFL is skating on thin ice here. This is the first Superbowl ever to take place in a stadium sans dome in the heart of an east coast winter, and just their luck this is the winter of the Polar Vortex. But here in NY, we know it will work out because all-knowing Pepsi tells us everywhere we look, especially in the subway.
NJ Superbowl? Oh yeah, the game’s actually across the river!
Even if it is across the river!
But never you mind – while those Superbowlers encounter snow and traffic snarls after the game — in New Jersey, we’re fine over here in our nice warm new York apartments, sipping Pepsi and munching of Buffalo wings. At least Buffalo is in NY!
Hey, hon, can you turn up the heat, and while you’re up, can you play a bit of Billy Joel?
As for the weather, only time will tell ….and Weather.com. I just consulted the all-knowing website and found that in addition to the usual yesterday, today, hourly, tomorrow, weekend, 5-day, and 10-dayforecasts, they’ve actually added a Superbowl category! The forecast for February 2 (Superbowl Sunday) in Rutherford NJ, yes, New Jersey, is 39 degrees and mostly sunny. But that’s the opinion of Weather.com. What does Pepsi think?
Last Friday night, I went with friends to a new wine bar that opened up in the neighborhood. As a very effective means of introduction, they are offering free live music every Friday in August. And you know me. Free? I’m there!
We didn’t know that we should make reservations but fortunately there was one table left –right in front of the stage. I was happy about this. My friends weren’t. They thought the big speaker towering over us might be too loud. I looked up at the stage. I had to admit it was one big honking speaker. But hey, I survived two Who concerts and came away with my hearing intact and who’s louder than The Who? Not even The Stones and after a couple of their concerts my voice took a while to recover from all the screaming but I could hear.
When the warm-up band came on, playing a mix of 60’s through 80’s songs, my friend dragged the table back and out of the speaker’s aim. I stayed put. What wimps this younger generation is,I thought. Well we’re all the same generation, all ,but as much as I hate to admit it, I have over ten years seniority on all three of them.
“I’m fine,” I bragged. “I’m used to this kind of loud music,” adding as a half-humorous afterthought – “or maybe I’ve already lost a lot of my hearing.”
It turned out my original thought was accurate. The second, and arguably, featured band started up, (a nineties grunge band with a tall statuesque but definitely grungy female lead singer), it was not what I was used to. My ears could take but two songs of the strident guitar strumming guitar and the undecipherable, screamed lyrics. I got up and stood to the side. We left soon after.
Nirvana fans, forgive me but there’s nothing like classic rock, especially the songs that paint a picture, and draw you right into the scene. You see it, feel it, smell it. Know what I mean. No? Sure you do.
Let’s play a game. I’ll tell the story, as I see it and you tell me the name of the song; my version of Name that Tune.
Song#1 (In fact the warm up band played this one)
A young man pines for a particular summer of his youth, spent on his back porch with his buddies, playing his first guitar, one that he bought for practically nothing. But soon the old gang broke up. Some moved away, others got married. No other summer before or after ever matched that one.
A young country boy, probably blond, impossibly good-looking and naïve, decides he’s tired of living with the older rich woman in her penthouse. Tells her he’s leaving the city to go back home to the farm where he grew up.
Another young man, this one, a talented musician in the city plays music at a working man’s border-line seedy bar, and succeeds in bringing some joy to the aging, lonely clientele who drink there every night
Too easy, you say? OK try this one.
Yet another young man (hey what is this with the young men) comes home with a girl he just met. She lives in what we, in America, call a studio apartment, in England, they call it a bed-sitter. He sits patiently talking all night, and when she hints she has to get up for work in the morning, he goes into the bathroom to sleep in her tub. When she leaves for work in the morning he wakes to find himself alone and so proceeds to….. This song has two interpretations, the G-rated one – light a fire, or the X-rated one (send the children out of the room) he masturbates,
A man (young?) just can’t bring himself to end a beach town vacation. He spends his time wandering around, watching the tourists, and then limps home to make his favorite cocktail. Where is he? Puerto Vallarta? San Diego? I personally picture St Thomas, Virgin Islands but then the rum punch doesn’t go with the song.
Okay! Time for the answers
Drum roll please…….
Summer of ’69, from the album………..
Song#4, Norwegian Wood
Now I’m off on a mission – to find “story” songs about young (or not so young) women. And when I find them, we’ll have another round of Name That Tune.
A problem popped up the moment I drove my new car off the lot. But it’s only temporary. Come August it will vanish into thin air. How can I be so certain? Because that’s when my 90-day free trial subscription to satellite radio will expire.
Having three free months of free satellite radio is a heavy load to bear. So many stations, so little time. Did I mention it’s free?
Free Day One
On the Lot
I listen politely as my sales person goes over the small details she thinks are important – the location of the gas tank lock release, how to fold down the back seats, or since this is my first key-less entry car, which buttons to push on the little magic twanger. But within this polite shell, an impatient toe-tapping control freak grips the steering wheel biding my time until I can drive off the lot and set my stations.
On the Way to Work
All six FM stations set and I haven’t even reached the entrance ramp to the parkway. An all-time record. Thank goodness for red lights. But this is only a dry run. I have Sirius research to do.
I unfold the map-like Sirius XM brochure and lay it out on my desk. 170 channels. Be still, my heart. 90 days? Uh-oh. Can I get my money’s worth? (so to speak)? Let’s see
Live Sports? every MLB game, Is Detroit included? I would like to hear Tigers’ games. But then, no, I’m not going to be in the car for every game and certainly not for the whole two hour stretch. It’s not worthy of a pre-set. I can listen as needed. And if I don’t need baseball, I certainly don’t need every NHL, NFL,NBA or college sports game.
Exclusive Entertainment ? Hmm what’s this?
- Howard Stern? He gave me enough boiling-over blood pressure when he was on AM. No thanks
- Oprah? I’m probably the only person who never even saw one Oprah!, so if I never saw her, why should I listen. No thanks
- Martha Stewart? Hmm, I like Martha. She knows the names of the most esoteric cooking utensils you never knew existed, let alone thought you needed. If Martha’s going to show me how to use little thingy to get the meat out of the walnut after I crack it open, I should be seeing, not listening. No thanks
With Live Sports and Exclusive Entertainment off my list I’m breathing a bit easier. Let’s see.
World-class News plus Local Traffic and Weather.
- Nope, I like my news served on paper.
- I like seeing those weather maps and graphics even if the meteorologist is standing in front of them.
- And as for traffic. By the time a traffic snafu makes its way onto the radio I’m either already in the middle of it, or it’s all cleared up.
Laugh-0ut- Loud Comedy. No, my singing out loud is enough to make people laugh
Commercial Free Music– Now that’s what I’m talking about. I fold back the rejected panels and flatten out the remaining sections on my desk. I don’t like classical or country; Pass on dance/electronic. Christian? Foreign language? No and No. That leaves Rock, Pop, and Jazz. I fold back, and out of sight, the pop and jazz sections. I don’t need any distractions
The Grateful Dead Channel? Pearl Jam Radio? E street Radio? Channel Margaritaville? I love Bruce and Jimmy, and enjoy the Dead and the Jams but that’s like listening to albums. I like the element of surprise while I drive.
Oops my lunch hour is almost over. I grab the guide and run outside to the parking lot. Let’s see I guess I have to push this selector marked XM. Okay, now for the stations.
Classic Vinyl, 60’s and 70’s Rock? Okay – button 1
Boneyard, Classic Hard Rock? Umm hmm! – button 2
Hair Nation, 80’s Hair Bands? Alllll Riiiiight!!!!! – button 3
Liquid Metal , Heavy Metal XL. What’s XL? I’ll try it – button 4
Soul Town, Classic Soul/Motown – that’s a good change of pace – button 5
The Joint, Reggae – Ya Mon! – button 6
I can hardly wait for the ride home!
Free Day Five (Saturday – errand day)
I’m not sure if I’m making the most out of this free trial. I think it’s time to try new stations. As long as I’m here in Kohl’s parking lot, let me get out that brochure
60’s on 6.
Oh, isn’t that cute, the peace symbol in the middle of the 0. 60’s pop hits with Cousin Brucie. Didn’t he die? Well, let’s give it a try.
‘70’s on 7.
You know, the 60’s were fun , but the 70’s, those were my glory days.
Wow look 80’s on 8.
My years in San Jose.
90’s on 9.
I like the soul and reggae. I’ll keep them.Next stop Walmart.
Free Days Six – Thirteen
I love my commute. Choose a decade and almost every song is a trip back in time.
I Got you, Babe
I’m in my freshman dorm. My room-mate, Regina and I are figuring out when it’s Sonny singing and when it’s Cher
Just the Way You are
The first dance at my wedding and the band leader is channeling Billy Joel
Start Me Up
Oh my God, Mick Jagger, right there on the field below us. We left the house at six to get up here to Candlestick Park. But snagging these seats make it all worthwhile.
Tears in Heaven
The dreaded call at 2:20 AM. My brother has surrendered to his cancer. As I fly home to NY, I look down through the billowing mounds of white blanketing the Rockies. Jim feels close by. Can heaven really be up in the clouds? Synchronicity strikes via my Walkman and I hear Eric Clapton in my ear. He’s wondering too.
Free Day 15.
“La-dee da dee da ..When you call my name, it’s like a little prayer, ” Oops here’s my exit.
This is the only Madonna song I like. Reminds me of my MTV midlife crisis. What a video…… and then there was the Super Bowl half time show this year ……when that big guy in the flowing cape rose up through the stage! At first I thought it was that Vogue editor guy – Andre something something. But then I realized it was the guy from The Voice – Cee Jay? No, Cee Lo something………
………..Look at that police car! He’s right on my tail………… Now he has his lights going and the siren whoop whooping. Me?
“Yes officer? ”
“You know you went through that Stop sign back at the corner, Ma’am. Do you have a reason for that?”
I do have reason, a Sirius one but I don’t think divulging it would further my case.