Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Rush’s Tom Sawyer song featured with Peyton Manning highlights in Monday Night Football Promo

September 22, 2013

The promo for tonight’s Monday Night Football game between the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders features the hard rock classic “Tom Sawyer” by Rush. It works really well and it’s great to see ESPN using it, because they usually only play more recent songs, softer songs, or country songs. This song in my opinion is the greatest rock song of all time.

The video is about Peyton Manning and shows his highlights with these lyrics from the song:

A modern day warrior
Mean, mean stride
Today’s Tom Sawyer
Mean, mean pride

It starts with the beginning of the song with the camera showing Manning walking from the locker room to the field.

The lyrics actually sound like “A Monday Warrior” when Geddy Lee sings it.

It’s great because Manning is stepping into a throw when you hear “mean, mean stride.” The “mean, mean pride” part also fits well.

It starts with the beginning of the song and then they cut up a few of the parts.

Awesome. Rush is one of the best bands of all time, and they’ve been doing it for 40 years with the same lineup (after drummer John Rutsey was replaced by Neil Peart in 1974).


Joe Walsh on the Eagles

April 13, 2013

There was a good Eagles documentary recently. In it, guitarist Joe Walsh says of all the turmoil that went on with the band:

“So much stuff just happened. There’s a philosopher who says, as you live your life, it appears to be anarchy and chaos and random events, non-related events, smashing into each other and causing this situation and then this happens and it’s overwhelming and it just looks like, what in the world is going on. And later when you look back at it, it looks like a finely crafted novel. But at the time, it don’t. And a lot of the Eagles’ story is like that.”

That’s pretty cool. I’ll have more on the Eagles’ documentary later.

20 Great Classic Rock Deep Cuts

February 1, 2010
I’m sure this list could never end…but I’m just listing some of my favorite classic rock deep cuts.  These are songs that got some airplay but weren’t the biggest hits by those artists.  Do yourself a favor and type some of these songs into youtube and enjoy. What a lot of these songs have in common is that they are great jams but are not too fast and not too slow — Arc of a Diver, Since You’re Gone, Squonk, Any Major Dude…but no description can do them justice.  With groups like Van Halen or the Police, I could have picked virtually any of their songs that weren’t big hits and they would still all be great.
  1. Steve Winwood – Arc of a Diver
  2. Cars – Since You’re Gone, Dangerous Type (tie)
  3. U2 – Red Hill Mining Town
  4. Cure – Charlotte Sometimes
  5. Genesis – Squonk
  6. Pink Floyd – Vera
  7. REM – Texarkana, Cuyahoga (tie)
  8. Steely Dan – Any Major Dude
  9. Kinks – Rock N Roll Fantasy
  10. Led Zeppelin – Rain Song
  11. Rolling Stones – Lady Jane
  12. Police – Next to You
  13. Rush – Trees
  14. Bruce Springsteen – No Surrender
  15. April Wine – I Like to Rock
  16. Grateful Dead – Franklin’s Tower
  17. Van Halen – Light up the sky
  18. Eagles – Sad Cafe
  19. Fleetwood Mac – Silver Springs
  20. Doors – Waiting for the Sun

Also, I’d have to say “April Wine” is the greatest name I’ve ever heard for a rock band.

Jhoon Rhee: “Nobody Bothers Me! Nobody Bothers Me Either!”

December 23, 2009

One of the greatest commercials of all time was the Jhoon Rhee “Nobody Bothers Me” commercial of the late 70s and early 80s. Anybody who grew up in the Washington, DC area during this time probably still has the words memorized.  Nils Lofgren did the song (Nils, of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band fame, also did “Bullets Fever,” another local classic).  The commercial (see was one of those commercials that was just played all the time.

Legend has it that the cameraman or producer suggested that Tae Kwan Do Grand Master Jhoon Rhee’s son and daughter do the ending to the commercial, they did, and the rest is history.  I got to meet Jimmy Rhee, Jhoon Rhee’s other son who was not in the commercial earlier this year.  We discussed strategies for kids with autism and ADHD.  Rhee’s website is  He does coaching based programs for kids with ADD.

Back to the commercial – there was just something about it.  It was great but it was also cheesy.  It was definitely a part of the history of Washingon, D.C. 30 years ago.

When you take Jhoon Rhee self-defense, then you too can say

“Nobody bothers me.  Nobody bothers me.”

Call USA-1000.  Jhoon Rhee means might for right!

“Nobody bothers me.”

“Nobody bothers me either!”


September 27, 2009

Here is a sampling of songs I heard on Sirius Satellite Radio the first week of September as I started a new venture.  Great for inspiration. There is something about hearing a song on the radio that is better than hearing it on a CD, etc., because of the spontaneity of it. Here they are in order starting with the best.

  • The Waiting by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers*
  • Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen
  • Long December by Counting Crows
  • Rapper’s Delight by Sugar Hill Gang
  • Jumper by Third Eye Blind
  • Where the Streets Have No Name by U2
  • Eyes without a Face by Billy Idol
  • Back for More by Ratt
  • Seek and Destroy by Metallica

*This has to be one of the greatest songs of all time.  The video is very plain – it was the very early days of music videos.

Sirius Satellite Radio: Bring Back “Backspin” — Old School Rap

August 22, 2009

A while back, Sirius Satellite Radio canned “Backspin,” its old-school Hip Hop station.  Sirius hasn’t been the same since.  I know they still play some of the old songs on other hip-hop channels at Sirius, but it isn’t the same.  The only justification I can think of is that Sirius wanted to unload salaries of deejays such as former rappers Kurtis Blow and Dana Dane, but they still could have had someone else play the tunes.  Secondly, maybe they came under some criticism for Gangster Rap, but Backspin played stuff from the 80s through the 90s, so there was some Gangster Rap after that that wasn’t in their playlists.  They could have easily taken out songs that had offensive lyrics.  I personally would agree with that because there were some songs by Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre that I did think were unacceptable.  But for the most part, that was only a small segment of the music they played on Backspin, which in fact harkened back to a more fun style of music.

There were the songs that helped start the rap genre – “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugar Hill Gang and “The Message” by Grand Master Flash.  I’ll never forget when I first heard “Rapper’s Delight.”  It was amazing – a totally new type of music.  I had never heard anything like it before.  Who can forget the “King of Rock” by Run DMC, which fused rap with guitars?  There were militant rappers such as Public Enemy, possibly the greatest rap group of all time, and rap artists who told stories or were educational like KRS-One/Boogie Down Productions.  Try these lyrics on for size from BDP’s “You Must Learn.”

You must learn. I believe that if you’re teaching history

Filled with straight-up facts, no mystery
Teach the student what needs to be taught
‘Cause black and white kids both take shots
When one doesn’t know about the other one’s culture
Ignorance swoops down like a vulture
‘Cause you don’t know that you ain’t just a janitor
No one told you about Benjamin Banneker

Can’t you see where KRS is coming at
With Eli Whitney, Haile Selassie
Grand Bill Woods made the walkie-talkie
Lewis Latterman improved on Edison
Charles Drew did a lot for medicine
Garrett Morgan made the traffic lights
Harriet Tubman freed the slaves at night

Ice-T’s songs were parodies and served as warnings to kids not to live certain lifestyles. There were fun songs such as Biz Markie’s “Nobody Beats the Biz,” and Kurtis Blow’s “Basketball.”  Check it out:

Bill Russell didn’t take no junk
and Darryl Dawkins got a monster dunk
Tell me, were you in the joint?
The night Wilt scored 100 points
Or when Celtics won titles back-to-back
And didn’t give nobody, no kind of slack
Or when Dr. J shook the whole damn team
With moves that came right out of a dream
Or when, Willis Reed stood so tall
Playing D with desire, it’s Basketball

They’re playing Basketball
We love that Basketball
They’re playing Basketball
We love that Basketball

How about reflective anthems like “Old School” or “Dear Mama” by Tupac?

More fun stuff like Eric B. and Rakim’s “Paid in Full” or “La Di Da Di” by Doug E. Fresh. There were artists that changed music like De La Soul, a Tribe Called Quest, and Arrested Development.  How about “911 is a Joke,” a song by Public Enemy that is funny but also chronicled the problems that ambulances had in responding to problems in poor neighborhoods?  “I’m Bad” or “Don’t Call It a Comeback” by L.L. Cool J.

The music was fun, it had the roots of Hip Hop, and Sirius should bring back Backspin.

What’s in my Ipod?

April 25, 2009

First, I’m not egotistical enough to think that anybody cares what songs are in my Ipod.  But I figure it’s easy material to write for my blog, which I partly use to drive traffic to my websites (,, and  Second, I don’t actually have any songs in my Ipod yet – I still have the CDs I made a few years ago, and I carry around a portable CD player when I run.  (I might as well have a portable 8-track player). I decided to put songs on it that would inspire me while I run.  It’s a pretty good cross-section of songs, from oldies to soft rock to classic rock to alternative to heavy metal to rap.  There are a lot of my favorite groups that aren’t represented but I’ll list a few of them at the end. But anyway, here is the list. 

·      Beach Boys – Don’t Worry Baby

·      Boston – A Man I’ll Never Be

·      Bruce Springsteen – The River

·      Cat Stevens – Wild World

·      Cat Stevens – Hard Headed Woman*

·      Crosby Stills and Nash – Southern Cross*

·      Cult – She Sells Sanctuary

·      Cult – Fire Woman

·      Cure – Elise

·      Dido – White Flag

·      Disturbed – Down with the Sickness

·      Eric B. and Rakim – Paid in Full

·      Goo Goo Dolls – Iris

·      Goo Goo Dolls – Slide

·      Guns and Roses – November Rain

·      Courtney Love – Malibu

·      James Taylor – Fire and Rain

·      James Taylor – You’ve Got a Friend

·      Journey – Only the Young

·      Journey – Separate Ways

·      Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird

·      Marvin Gaye – What’s Goin’ On

·      Megadeth – Symphony of Destruction

·      Morrissey – How Soon is Now?

·      Smiths – Every Day is Like Sunday

·      P.M. Dawn – Set Adrift on Memory Bliss

·      Public Enemy – Can’t Truss It

·      Public Enemy – Fight the Power*

·      Rod Stewart – Mandolin Wind

·      Sam Cooke — You Send Me*

·      Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge over Troubled Water

·      Soundgarden – Outshined

·      Staind – So Far Away*

·      Todd Rundgren – Hello It’s Me

·      U2 – Bad

·      U2 – Until the End of the World

·      U2 – Unforgettable Fire*

·      U2 – Zooropa

·      Van Halen – Unchained*

·      Van Halen – Right Here Right Now*

·      White Zombie – Thunder Kiss ‘65

·      White Zombie – More Human than Human

These aren’t my favorite songs of all time or my favorite groups of all time (although there would be a lot of overlap) – just those that are on my three mix CDs.  There are a lot of great bands that aren’t represented because I had been listening to them so much that I had to put other ones on.  Some of my other favorites – in many cases I like these bands better than the ones on the list – are the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, Rush, the Cars, the Police, REM, Metallica, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Bob Marley, and probably a ton that I’m forgetting. 

Then of course there are Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, but I’m not as high on them as most people are, though of course there are individual songs by them that would blow away some of the songs on this list.  There are also a couple of one-hit wonders on this list, and some songs that are far from the best by that particular group.  Then there are groups that I liked a lot growing up (i.e, Styx), but not so much now.  All in all, though, it’s a pretty good list.  I put a star next to ones that are particularly inspiring.