Following up on last week’s post, here’s another mix-disc I made long ago. No idea what the date is … there are no recent songs to help in that regard. Clearly I was going for the late-60s FM underground radio vibe. One thing I notice in retrospect: all of the 17 artists are white, 16 are men, and the one woman was known at the time primarily as Paul McCartney’s protégé.
Moby Grape, “Omaha”. No, it’s not called “Listen My Friends”.
The Youngbloods, “Euphoria”. Cover of a Holy Modal Rounders song.
The Sir Douglas Quintet, “Mendocino”. Fine career, first as an ersatz British Invasion band, then as part of the SF Bay Area hippie movement, and later as the Tex-Mex legends they always were. Augie Meyers forever!
Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band, “Chevrolet”. I never know how much history to stick into these little blurbs. If you want more about this band, ask in comments, or check out Wikipedia.
Dave Van Ronk, “Romping Through the Swamp”. Got it from Peter Stampfel, who borrowed the melody from a 1928 recording by Cléoma Breaux and Joe Falcon. This comes from an odd album by the consummate folkie, where Dave got a band together (the Hudson Dusters) and played something as close to rock and roll as to folk.
Phil Ochs, “Outside of a Small Circle of Friends”. He called himself a “singing journalist”. Later, he released an album of new songs called Greatest Hits, with a picture of Ochs in a gold lamé suit on the cover.
Donovan, “Epistle to Dippy”. For many people, “Dippy” describes Donovan. They need to listen again.
Them, “Mystic Eyes”. Van Morrison before he was Van Morrison.
John Mayall, “Room to Move”. Perhaps appropriate that this harmonica workout comes after “Mystic Eyes”.
Mary Hopkin, “Those Were the Days”. No, Paul McCartney didn’t write it. It was a Russian song from the 1920s, melody by Boris Fomin. Gene Raskin added English lyrics later.
Thunderclap Newman, “Something in the Air”. Written for the movie The Magic Christian, which featured Ringo. Their guitar player was Jimmy McCulloch, who later worked as part of Paul McCartney’s Wings. Sorry, no John or George trivia, but the band was championed by Pete Townshend.
John Lennon, “Cold Turkey”. Here’s John! (Sorry, no George.) The artist is a misnomer, since this was released under the name “Plastic Ono Band”. The video is nicely synced, but the band on the video is not the band on the record, which was John, Eric Clapton, Ringo, and Klaus Voormann. I actually sang this on stage once … a band of my friends that I would later join wanted to play it, and I was the only one who knew the lyrics. So I got to spend the last couple of minutes moaning like I knew what heroin withdrawal felt like.
Fleetwood Mac, “Albatross”. Not your Buckingham-Nicks Mac. The video is misleading in some miniscule ways. I don’t think Peter Green is using the same guitar he used on the recording, which wouldn’t matter except they are syncing to the record. Also, Jeremy Spencer is playing slide in the video, but I don’t think he was on the record. None of this matters to the large majority of people who only know two of the five people in the video as part of Fleetwood Mac.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, “East-West”. You could write a book about this one song. Dave Marsh practically did in his liner notes for a hardcore fans’ CD, East-West Live, an album that runs for close to an hour and features only three tracks, all of them live versions of “East-West”, the last one running 28 minutes. There’s also a Mike Bloomfield website that includes a very lengthy examination of the song.
Five years ago today, I attended my first, and so far only, no-hitter. It was Jonathan Sanchez going against the Padres.
Sanchez had shown some promise early in his career, striking out a batter an inning, but struggling with control problems. After going 2-8 to start the 2009 season, he was sent to the bullpen. But after a couple of relief appearances, he was back on the mound for at least one start when future Hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson had to drop out with a shoulder injury.
He struck out 11, did not walk a batter, and only allowed one base-runner due to an error. His father was at the park … he flew in from Puerto Rico, and apparently had never seen his son pitch in a major-league game.
Attendance was just over 30,000 … the Giants weren’t selling out every game by that point. It was the last year I had season tickets, so I was there. It was the first no-hitter by a Giant in more than 30 years.
A look at the Giants starting lineup will take fans back a bit. Aaron Rowand hit leadoff and played CF … his catch in the ninth inning helped save the no-hitter. Randy Winn hit second and played RF … he left in the second inning, I forget why, and Nate Schierholtz took over. Third-baseman Pablo Sandoval hit third, and first-baseman Travis Ishikawa was the clean-up hitter. Then came Edgar Renteria (SS), John Bowker (LF), Juan Uribe (2B), Eli Whiteside (C), and Sanchez. Whiteside was only catching because regular backstop Bengie Molina was with his wife in the maternity ward. It wasn’t a close game … the Giants scored four in the second inning on their way to an 8-0 victory. The suspense was all about the no-hitter.
Sanchez had his best season in 2010, when he helped the Giants to the World Series, picking up the win in the final game of the regular season to put the team into the playoffs. He went downhill rather rapidly after that, but he’ll be remembered by Giants fans for that no-hitter, and for 2010.