Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Rises and Falls

Wake Up, NFL

Last night's NFL game wasn't particularly good, and ended badly as far as I'm concerned (the !@#$% Broncos won), but that has been true of many of this season's prime time games. The trend has certainly not gone unnoticed.

So there has been a lot of ink spilled lately about the significant decline in the league's TV ratings this year. I agree with much of this analysis, and much of this as well, but I think blaming the situation on streaming technologies or on the number of penalties being called is a stretch.

I say Ockham's Razor is applicable in this situation.

Maybe, just maybe people are simply getting sick of being forced to watch this bullshit week after week. That's the big difference between this season and previous seasons, isn't it?

Just a thought, NFL...

"Are you implying that people don't want progressive politics crammed down their throats?"

I'm not "implying" a damned thing, I'm saying it flat-out...

The Fall Classic

While the NFL tries to figure out how to avoid pooping where it eats, major league baseball resumes tonight at Progressive Field in Cleveland with Game 1 of the 2016 World Series.

Games 1 and 2 will be played in Cleveland

Even though my beloved Kansas City Royals aren't involved this year (for the first time since 2013), I'm excited to watch two excellent teams battle it out for the title.

Being an American League guy, I shall of course root for the Indians, but no matter who wins history will be made.

"Just so you know, I'm rooting for my fellow quadrupeds."

You know they just call themselves Cubs, right? They're not actually bears...

Happy Birthday!

Hangs just outside my apartment's "guitar room"
On October 25, 1881 Pablo Ruiz y Picasso was born in Málaga, Spain.
The son of an artistic father who encouraged Pablo's interest in the visual arts, he would become one of the most celebrated and influential artistic figures of the 20th century.

When I began decorating my high school classroom with art prints instead of the usual "inspirational" posters Picasso prints were quite plentiful at AllPosters.com, and so they figured prominently in my collection.
My students were especially fond of  
Petite Fleurs (now hanging in the foyer of my apartment), Violin and Guitar, and Blue Nude (which now hangs in my master bedroom). Their favorite was The Old Guitarist (at right).

"Wow. That's not ironic or anything..."

I don't recall soliciting your opinion...

Cool Trick, TSA!

From the indispensable comic strip Non Sequitur, by Wiley Miller, which you should read every day, as I do (even though Wiley is a squishy liberal).

Until Next Time...

As I have noted in this this space previously, the mid-1980s was a rather grim period of time for fans of guitar-based rock music. The radio airwaves and MTV were dominated at the time by dance music from the likes of Michael Jackson and his sister Janet, Prince, and Madonna, along with pop singers like Sade, Phil Collins, and Whitney Houston. Guitar-based rock music, especially of the harder-edged variety, had few champions and fewer chart-topping successes.

Just as my fourth year teaching in Casper, Wyoming was about to get under way in 1986, New Jersey-based hard rock band Bon Jovi released their third album. Their first two had been modestly successful, both making the Top 50 on the Billboard 200 and receiving platinum certifications from RIAA. Nobody expected their third effort to be any different, but Slippery When Wet became one of the biggest-selling albums in history, and turned the band into world-wide superstars almost overnight.

On October 25, 1986 when  
Slippery When Wet hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, it was the first time since early spring that a rock band had held the top spot. The album slipped out of that position after a week, but in early 1987 it returned there for a seven- week run. It eventually received
a rare diamond certification from RIAA, and has sold more than 28 million copies worldwide.

The album's sales were boosted by two singles that would both reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100: "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin' on a Prayer." The band had never had a single in the Top 30 on that list prior to their back-to-back chart-toppers.

Oddly enough, though, the best-selling single from the album didn't make No. 1
(it peaked at No. 7). "Wanted Dead or Alive" received four platinum certifications from RIAA, and became a signature song and concert staple for the rest of the band's live performing career. It also meant that Slippery When Wet became the first hard rock album ever to register three separate Billboard Top 10 singles.

I was and remain a big fan of the song in no small part because lead guitar player
Richie Sambora just kills it on his solo, which I have air-guitared to countless times.
Also, one of my favorite episodes of the TV series Supernatural is the Season 3 finale,
"No Rest for the Wicked," in which the Winchester brothers sing along as the song plays on their car's tape deck.

Today's send-off is the official music video for the song, from the band's VEVO channel. Enjoy...

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