Thursday, March 7, 2013
Match the song title: Eat a Peach
My hair is longer than it's ever been in my life. It's not roadie length yet, but I've always worn my hair relatively short. It only ventured past my ears during my high school years, but that was kind of the thing to do in the early '80s.
I'll probably get it cut eventually, but with this mid-life-crisis frame of mind that I'm in, I kind of like it. It reminds me of my favorite ballplayers and rock n' roll musicians from the 1970s. Really, if there was any place that I could be, I'd like to plant myself in the free-wheelin, easy-feeling '70s, fully equipped with shoulder length hair and a stache.
One of my favorite parts of the '70s was the easy going music of that time. Yeah, I know it gets bagged on a lot because of sappy awful "Seasons in the Sun" stuff. But I dug and still dig Jim Croce, America, Olivia Newton-John, the Carpenters, James Taylor, all of it. It takes me back to a time when there wasn't a lot of angst. In my mind, when I think back to the '70s, it's always sunny. Everywhere.
Of course, that isn't the way it really was at all. Case in point: The Allman Brothers Band. Speaking of long hair.
If you know anything about their history, you know that they went through horrible, terrible times. Two band members killed in motorcycle accidents right as the band was taking off. Yet, while this was going on, they made wonderful music, and began the southern rock genre that is among my most favorite kinds of tunage.
The Allman Brothers rose to prominence with their 1971 concert album "At The Fillmore East." And they really hit it big in 1973 with "Brothers And Sisters," which included the concert and AOR staple "Ramblin' Man."
But my personal favorite is "Eat A Peach," also a highly acclaimed LP, which came out between the two previously mentioned albums.
"Eat a Peach," is the last album that features the work of Duane Allman, who died in a motorcycle crash with a flatbed truck (the rumors that the album was named "Eat a Peach" because he crashed into a peach truck are untrue). The album was released in 1972 after his death and it features a melancholy, wistful tone that speaks to me in a way the other LPs don't (not that they aren't great in their own right).
I'm certainly feeling wistful a lot more these days, so I think it's the perfect time to feature this album by playing "Match the Song Title."
If you don't know the drill, I feature all the song titles on the album and try to match up a trading card to the song title. (Song meaning is not usually considered. Just going for the song title).
Here is the song list.
Now climb aboard as we "Eat a Peach:"
Track 1: Ain't Wastin' Time No More. I instantly thought of the rehauling of the Dodgers. Call them the "new Yankees" all you like, but the new owners want to win and there isn't anything wrong with that. They're not screwing around. They ain't wastin' time no more. For me the first real indication of that was when the Dodgers dealt for Adrian Gonzalez. That made me sit up and notice. "Whoa, they're serious here."
Track 2: Les Brers in A Minor. "Les Brers" is a combination of French and amalgamated slang. It basically means "the brothers." I suppose I could have found brothers whose name starts with an "A," but how much time do you think I have? Chris and Tony Gywnn will do fine. By the way, the back says Tony thinks Chris was the better hitter.
Track 3: Melissa. Beautiful song. Truly a favorite. But what does Jose Lima have to do with it?
Well, you might remember that before Lima's passing, he was married to a woman named Melissa.
Now do you remember? ... Yeah, I thought so.
Track 4: Mountain Jam. This song is a mere 33 minutes, 38 seconds long. The Allmans sure liked to jam. And David Nied looks totally out of place on this card.
Track 5: One Way Out. I had to think about this for a little bit. I settled on ball players from the Dominican Republic. How baseball is their ticket out of a very poor country. How it's their only ticket out of the country. And when I think of Dominican players, I usually think of a Guerrero. Either Pedro or Vladimir (sorry, Wilton). I decided to go with Vladimir this time.
Track 6: Trouble No More. As abundantly talented as Josh Hamilton is, there has to be a part of the Texas Rangers that is relieved that he's not on the team anymore. There is so much drama with this guy -- whether it's his fault or not, manufactured or not -- and that can tax a team. Now it's the Angels' problem.
Track 7: Stand Back. This was difficult to visualize. I thought of fielders backing up because a big slugger was at the plate. But how do you picture that? Then I came upon Denny Neagle being swallowed by ivy. You can't "stand back" any more than that and still be on the field. So there you are.
Track 8: Blue Sky. My favorite song on the album. I wish I had more time to look through my cards for this one, as I'm sure I could find some spectacular photos. But this one works pretty well. Makes me want to hop the next plane south and find a Cactus/Grapefruit League game.
Track 9: Little Martha. Tough one. Joe Black's daughter was named "Martha." (so was his wife). Martha wrote the forward for a book about Joe Black, called "Meet The Real Joe Black," written by Steven Selzer.
At the end of the forward, Martha says this: "this inspiring book teaches the importance of civility, character and respect. It will give realistic hope to everyone who reads it. This book is about the man I am proud and honored to call my father, the real Joe Black."
Well said, Little Martha.
And that's where the needle comes off the record (no, we're not going to get into the remaster deluxe edition with nine more songs).
I was only 7 years old when this album came out. It took me a long time to realize that the Allman Brothers weren't just a bunch of hippie mumblers. But I eventually came around.
And now my hair's longer, too.
I don't know what that means. I think I'll Eat a Peach and try to figure it out.