When Music & Sports Collide, Trevor Hoffman, HOF

If you ask pro athletes many say they want to be musicians. If you ask musicians many want to be pro athletes. I still have the occasional recurring dream that the Padres manager tells me to grab a bat! Im in the show!

Grass is always greener I guess….I think we gravitate towards the things we should for a reason. I was a good baseball /football player as a kid but guitar won out…then as I got more serious about music, sports become the enemy…one funky catch and mess up a finger… skateboards are the devil…as a classical guitarist even a broken fingernail is no bueno!

There are those rare dual threats like my cousin Chase d’ Arnaud…plays  MLB for the San Francisco Giants (formerly Padres, Red Sox, Braves, Pirates)  and sings and plays guitar professionally on the side.

Every player and team has ‘their’ song these days. But there are a few cool music/sports combos that have true identity and transcend time. The Chicago Bulls-Sirius from the Alan Parsons Project. The NFL’s incessant use of Start Me Up/Crazy Train/Machine Head and a few others over the decades.

If you are from San Diego you know…

Hells Bells-Trevor Hoffman!

Milwaukee got a taste too…if you are a baseball fan that pays attention outside of your own team you know and for a good decade when The Bells rang San Diego sports fans went nuts. The Bells meant victory was coming!

Trevor enters the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend. One of the few greats in San Diego sports history and only the second true Padre to enter the Hall following Tony Gwynn.

Congrats Trevor! Thanks for staying loyal to San Diego as few athletes have!!

 

 

Superbowl XLVII Musical Wrap Up

At 12 notes & the Truth I talk music. So there is no way I could skip over the music of the largest happening on the planet, The Superbowl.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we? Alicia Keys version of the Star Spangled Banner. I’ll start by saying I am a fan of Alicia’s. I think she is immeasurably talented and consider her if not an influence of mine, certainly an inspiration. So it pains me a little to have to say that I absolutely ‘disliked’ her rendition. Waaaaay too long, waaaaay too slow, waaaaay too self-serving. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong choice….

I am one that does not appreciate much deviation on our National Anthem. In my opinion it is self-serving to make it YOUR song, it is America’s song. If you are gonna change it and make it your own at least know your audience and where you are.  Jimi Hendrix’ guitar histrionics, version at Woodstock was completely in line with the venue, event and crowd populating the legendary concert.

The Superbowl is one of the largest global events of all time. The world is watching. The game is a fierce battle of two teams of huge, fast, strong athletes pumped up to do sports version of battle. Did you see the players singing along like…pick it up already…then when they were ready to go hit each other she is still diva-ing her way out of the song. The players actually looked physically effected by her rendition.

Jennifer Hudson and the Sandy Hook kids were great. It was cute, well sung by the kids and amazingly sung by Jennifer Hudson. And hey Alicia Keys…it had a little energy to it! Albeit perhaps a bit exploitive…yeah I said it, just my opinion.

Then there was a halftime show too, I believe…oh yeah Beyonce! All apologies to my musician friends who were tweeting and ripping her the whole time…..lighten up!!! Just because she doesn’t throw in any minor 9ths or riff on the Lydian dominant scale, c’mon? First of all what did you expect? She is a pop star, that is what she does. She also just happens to be a great singer and put on an AMAZING half time show! These guys tweeting, face booking, etc sounded whinier than the losing Harbaugh brother. (Who is still complaining about the last call, BTW…how about don’t fall behind by three touchdowns in the first half and you might not have had to come down to the last play.)

Beyonce and her act are what the Superbowl is all about. Mega-entertainment. The show was visually  appealing and interesting, as well. It would have still been entertaining even with the sound off.

A+ to Beyonce from me! The reunion with Destiny’s Child was cool but the weak part of the performance. I was expecting the whole time to see Jay Z appear and props to him for not. I was also expecting some guest appearances, maybe an Eddie Van Halen or other megastar musician join her…although the girl in the band with flames shooting out of her guitar was pretty cool.

On a side note but a cool part of my personal music experience of the game, came after the CBS postgame show. We were wrapping up our party with friends, saying our goodbyes when I heard, “Hand of Doom,” by Black Sabbath. I believe it was used for the intro of whatever show CBS cut to after their coverage…anyone else catch that?

What will they do next year? The game is going to be outdoors in New Jersey were it was 20o at game time…not sure what musician is going to want to take that one on…good luck to who ever it is. Maybe the NFL will even think outside of the box one of these years and find or create a halftime show of their own. Maybe even get a comedian, pee-wee football game, and not exploit some poor megastar musician and paying them millions of dollars they don’t even need….or maybe exploit me to come play my guitar 😉

Superbowl XLVII, Ravens v 49ers, Musical Matchup

Ravens49ers

Time for the big matchup. The Baltimore Ravens taking on the San Francisco 49ers. Maybe not the matchup everyone was hoping for or expecting, but, they are the teams that will be facing off in Superbowl XLVII.

Here is your chance to predict the outcome of the game. Sports are a huge part of our culture…but, we all know music is a much stronger force! Vote for your favorite song below. I will tally the votes and have the Superbowl winner for you before the game.

Raven by Dave Matthews

Funk #49 by The James Gang

Check out my NFL Pre-season Predictions Rock n Roll Edition…I think I did OK!

Symphonic Music and the NFL, NFL’s 2012 Season Opens Today

This a great week for sports fans as the NFL makes its 2012 debut.

It is very exciting that there is a game tonight, the first of the year, but it wont feel like football until Sunday when there will be a full ledger of games and scores to keep an eye on. Although, in San Diego we will have to wait one more day as the Chargers open the season on Monday Night Football.

For some reason over the years there has been a musical link with the NFL and symphonic music. The greatest themes all employ dramatic horns, strings and percussion to paint a picture of the weekly gridiron battles we have come to love. I am guessing NFL Films would be the originators of pairing symphonic themes with football but I would need to dig a little deeper to prove that claim. One could argue that if they were not the first they might be the best.

Perhaps the greatest gift to football fans and music lovers is the fact we are finally rid of Hank Williams Jr.’s “Are You Ready for Some Football.” If I knew all it would take was to get ol’ Bocephus to talk politics to get rid of that song I would have baited him myself!…years ago! For those of you who liked it, rest assured the brain trust at the networks have most likely found an equally horrible and annoying anthem to fill in.

Here are a couple classic sound clips to get you ready for the season! Best to your favorite team…unless they are playing my Chargers of course!

Keep an eye out for my NFL 2012 predictions is song coming very soon!

No Olympics on TV Burnout??? Listen to Some Music!

That was some serious TV watching every night for the past two weeks. Riveting coverage of sports that we only care about every four years. But it was riveting.

 

Now what are we all gonna do? Watch re-runs of Chopped, Modern Family or Big Bang Theory? You could read a book or do a project with your family. All good ideas.

Here is my nickels worth of free advice…LISTEN TO SOME MUSIC! Not on your TV, not on your computer on some sort of music device!

A little too retro?

 

Find some old jazz or classical piece. Play some of your kids favorite music. Play your kids some of the embarrassing music you grew up with. Better yet make your own music… every home has a guitar or piano tucked in a distant corner, right?

Give the giant screen on your wall a break for 30 minutes tonight. You will feel like you really did something different…because you will have done something different.

Mike’s Musical Influences!

Wow! Thought it would be fun to list every musician who has influenced me over the years. I am not even sure this page is even logical since there are SO many, but, I will try! This post will take me all the way back to my little baby self when I started to love music. There are some of my local San Diego guitar and San Diego State University music teachers to sports stars to the big guns to family members who have had an influence on my music in one way or another. Some may have been one hit wonders like Manfred Mann’s Earth Band to greats like Eddie Van Halen. Some of the acts below I dont even really like…but they had influence in some way.

Here is just a random start…

AC/DC, Accept, AEROSMITH, Isaac Albeniz, Alice In Chains, Louis Armstrong,  JOHAN SEBASTIAN BACH, Agustin Barrios-Mangore, The Beach Boys, THE BEATLES, Ludwig Van Beethoven,  The BeeGees, FRED BENEDETTI, Chuck Berry, Beyonce, BLACK SABBATH, BONO, Doug Booth, BOSTON, Johannes Brahms, Junior Brown, Dave Brubeck, DOUG BRUCK, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Federic Chopin, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Pablo Cruise, Edgar Cruz, my DAD, Charlie Daniels, my DAUGHTER, Miles Davis, PACO DE LUCIA, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Neil Diamond, Al Di Meola, Dio, JIM DOHNER, The Doors, Dream Theater, Carl Douglas, Duran Duran, Brent Dutton, The Eagles, Earth Wind & Fire, The Edge, Danny Elfman, E.L.O, Elvis, Kevin Eubanks, Fight, Wayne Findlay, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Astrud Gilberto, Joao Gilberto, DAVID GILMOUR, Gipsy Kings, Giuffria, Goo Goo Dolls, Macy Gray, Vince Guaraldi, TONY GWYNN, Sammy Hagar, Rob Halford, Stu Hamm, TOM HANKS, GEORGE HARRISON, Heart, MICHAEL HEDGES, RICK HELZER, Jimi Hendrix, Gary Hoey, Gustav Holst, Whitney Houston, Intervals, TONY IOMMI, IRON MAIDEN, CHARLES IVES, MICHAEL JACKSON, KEITH JARRETT, ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM, Billy Joel, ELTON JOHN, Eric Johnson,  Howard Jones, JUDAS PRIEST, K. C. & The Sunshine Band, Alicia Keys, B.B. King, Kool & The Gang, Mark Knopfler, William Kraft, LED ZEPPELIN, Geddy Lee, John Lennon, Franz Liszt, Living Colour, Mad Season, GUSTAV MAHLER, Yngwie Malmsteen, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Chuck Mangione, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Megadeth, Men at Work, METALLICA, Pat Metheny, ROGER MILLER, STEVE MILLER, Molly Hatchet, my MOM, WES MONTGOMERY, Gary Moore, Steve Morse, James Morton, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART, The Muppets, MIKE MYERS, WILLIE NELSON, Aldo Nova, The Outlaws, OZZY, JIMMY PAGE, Partridge Family, JOE PASS, Pearl Jam, NEIL PEART, Joe Perry, Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, The Police, Mike Post, The Pretenders, Queen, Queensryche, Trevor Rabin, Ram Jam, Ratt, Maurice Ravel, RANDY RHOADS, Sonny Rollins, RUSH, Carlos Santana, JOE SATRIANI, MICHAEL SCHENKER, Peter Schilling, SCORPIONS, Sesame Street, Brian Setzer, Jean Sibelius, Horace Silver, Alan Silvestri, Carly Simon, Jim Soldi, Starland Vocal Band, Thomas Stauffer, Steve Stevens, Igor Stravinsky, Stray Cats, Strunz & Farah, Styx, The Sugarhill Gang, Supertramp, Sweet, John Sykes, George Thorogood, Triumph, U2, STEVE VAI, VAN HALEN, EDDIE VAN HALEN, Adrian Vandenberg, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Ventures, Antonio Vivaldi, DAVID WARD-STEINMANN, Joe Walsh, Ann & Nancy Wilson, White Lion, The Who, my WIFE, JOHN WILLIAMS-guitarist, ROBIN WILLIAMS, Edgar Winter, Stevie Wonder, ANGUS YOUNG, Zebra, ZZ Top

Top 10, My Favorite Posts on ’12 Notes & the Truth!’

It’s almost 2013! This compels me to create a few lists from the year in review, my first as a blogger.

My last post was my top 10 posts of the year according to WordPress stats. The 10 listed on this post are MY favorites…according to ME.

There were many, but, these are the ones that stood out in my memory as either being fun, rewarding or challenging to write. Some were very popular, some were not and some were early before I had much following. Hopefully this list will supply my followers with some new insights into this blog 12 Notes & the Truth!

These first two are important to me as both guitarists were HUGE in my inspiration to be not only a guitarist but a musician.

1.  Van Halen Week in San Diego – Concert Review

2. Michael Schenker Said No to the Rolling Stones, Ozzy, Aerosmith…

This post was cool because I found a new guitarist, influence and a historical perspective I never knew. I knew of Jose Feliciano, but,  not much about him. An amazing musician that really took an unfair career hit with his version of the Star Spangled Banner. A great version in my opinion and better than many of the renditions today. Expect more posts on Jose Feliciano in 2013!

3. National Anthem, Jose Feliciano-Play Ball!

These next three are my favorite attempts at ‘writing.’ Some of my posts are just that…posts. These three were more of a personal perspective on guitar, myself and my musical past.

4. Beware of the Pick Gremlins! Important as ALL guitarists know there has to be Pick Gremlins stealing our picks! How else can they disappear so quickly?

5. Function of My Dysfunction An insight into my mind…

6. Band Logos and Dreams What did I study in school? Drawing band logos on my book covers and folders.

Sports has been another major interest throughout my life. So it is nice for me to be able to combine the two. I thought these were pretty clever, tongue in cheek ways of combining music and sports. They are also an exercise in creativity much like composing music.

7. A Musical Tribute to the 2012 Olympic Games in London

8.  2012 NFL Predictions ‘Rock n Roll’ Edition

Playing a fair amount of weddings every year and working with so many great couples I really enjoyed blogging about different musical aspects involved in making the ‘Big Day’ special.

9. Weddings

Yeah, I had to delve into the ugly Presidential campaign of 2012. I feel I gave both a fair ration of disrespect as I feel ALL politicians deserve.  Much like the sports posts above it was a fun creative process putting this post together.

10. Presidential Campaign 2012, Romney v Obama (Scherzino Falsetto)

MLB 2012 Postseason, Metal Edition

Alright we are one round into the MLB Postseason schedule. I guess two rounds if you consider the new Wild Card game a round. Thought I would weigh in with another music/sports blog. Those who read my blog regularly know two of my favorite things are music and sports and I enjoy wedding the two together when I can.

Here are some thoughts and predictions on the playoff teams.

Starting with the NL & AL Division Series

Giants v Reds

San Francisco GiantsSkin O’ My Teeth, Megadeth

The Giants did get past the Reds but had to do it in dramatic fashion. Losing the first two games at home and then sweeping the Reds in Cincinnati was no small feat, but, they barely hit and need to be careful or they will be home sitting on the skin of their behinds!

Cincinnati RedsRed Road, Slavior

Unfortunately for the Reds the road they hit was a dead end. Ouch, tough way to end a season losing three straight playoff games at home. Latos proved why San Diego Padre fans are glad he was traded, losing his cool and the game in the series finale. I thought pitchers stopped crying after the age of 12.

Cardinals v Nationals

St. Louis Cardinals- Another Hit and Run, Def Leppard

Yes, Def Leppard was a Heavy Metal band at one time. The never say die Cardinals did it again. This time totally deflating the Nationals and their fans in the 9th inning of game five of the NLDS.

Washington NationalsBang Your Head(Metal Health), Quiet Riot

If you are a Nats fan you have to be hitting your head against the wall wondering what happened. And how in the world could they shut down their best pitcher makes no sense! Kind of like dating a supermodel but you can’t touch her…what’s the point?

A’s v Tigers

Oakland A’sGreen Manalishi, Judas Priest

The A’s were a beast this year catching and overtaking the mighty Texas Rangers. Too bad such a great season came to a screeching halt.

Detroit TigersHell Cat(s), Scorpions

Triple crown threat, these Tigers are looking good… now to slay the dreaded Yankees.

Orioles v Yankees

Baltimore OriolesSeduction of a Birds Folly, Against the Natural

Even the Yankee fans are sick of the Yankees and wanted to see the Orioles win. New blood needed. Orioles players, much like the band Against the Natural are not well known but both kick butt!

New York YankeesOn and On, Michael Schenker Group

It just goes on and on for the Yankees. Baseball is not better with them in the playoffs every year. I am suddenly a huge Tigers fan.

NLCS & ALCS Predictions

Giants v Cardinals

San Fransisco GiantsHome Sweet Home, Motley Crue

The Giants have to play better at home than they have of late or they are going home early. Giants are  kind of the Padres north so I have to root for them. Here is a trivia questions for you sports fans. Who is the only person to be on the field in uniform for ALL five of the Padres playoff seasons? See answer below.

St. Louis CardinalsFlying High Again-Ozzy Osbourne

They won it all last year and are poised to do it again even without Albert Pujols.

Prediction-Giants Win

Tigers v Yankees

Detroit TigersDie With Your Boots On, Iron Maiden

The country depends on you to knock out the Yankees. It will be tough though and if they’re gonna die, die with your boots on!

New York YankeesSad But True, Metallica

Yes the Yankees are deep into the postseason again. Anyone else sick of them yet? Sad but true they will most likely beat the Tigers and head to their 5,000th World Series, bla, bla, bla!

Prediction-Yankees Win

World Series 2012

The Fall Classic comes down to Giants v Yankees in my opinion.

Musical selection for this match up…. Into the Void, Black Sabbath. Who ever wins, baseball fans will be thrown into the void for the winter. At least we have the NFL!

Prediction-Giants Win

Trivia answer Bruce Bochy was a player in 1984 and Manger in 96, 98, 2005 & 2006. Tony Gwynn was a player in 1984, 96 and 98 but not around for the last two playoff teams.

Best Superbowl XLVIII Commercial

I was really looking forward to this game. The #1 Defense vs the #1 Offense of all-time. How could the matchup not provide a great sports battle?

Wow, the game was anything but! Jumped the shark at :12 into the game…it was over!

You know what else has jumped the shark? Superbowl commercials! Well, not the hype and people’s expectations…but the crazy, catch your eye, LMAO type commercials. People love to talk about the commercials the day after, but, that’s about it. Theres no WAZZUP or Bud-Wei-Ser frogs or Cindy Crawford.

Like everything, it is now a formula, of being extremely stupid, overly sentimental, over the top selling sex to sell whatever…

None of those are that bad of advertising approaches in general. But, the art of creating a Superbowl commercial has reached an all-time boring low!

My favorite? The only one that actually stood out?

T-Mobile! They used the late, great Roger Miller’s, “Whistle Stop.” When I was a little bitty Mike cutting my teeth on music this little ditty put the first music wrinkles on my brain.

Kudos to T-Mobile, except for the new studio created/edited ending to the song/commercial, they get my vote for best commercial of the day.

Here is the whole tune:

Let’s hope the game and commercials can step it up a notch for Superbowl XLIX