This Swobodes Well…..

Toward the end of yesterday's "Diamonds Are A Churl's Best Friend" post, I confessed to not being able to dream up any song-puns using the names Ron Swoboda or Sandy Koufax, and expressed a wish that readers would help out in this regard. Well, it didn't take long.....A first-time commenter sent this brilliant one using Swoboda: "You Swoboda My Head" - "You Go To My Head" A gem, a pearl, it made me swoon. It also made me think of another one almost as good: "(I'd Like To Get You On A) Swoboda China" Think Elmer Fudd singing it.... No good news on the Sandy Koufax front though - he retired with a sore arm and has left me with a sore head. However, I think I've met the Bill Wambsganss ("woms-gants") challenge: "I Wambs Ganss" As in "I wambs ganss, don't ask me. I wambs ganss, why should I? I wambs ganss, merci beaucoup..." Well, you get the picture... I also thought of one that amused me because it's bilingual and uses the name of a favourite old player - Earl Averill, who was a great centerfielder with the Cleveland Indians before World War Two. His life and career are so interesting I wrote a whole piece about him called "Show Me the Money" which is posted elsewhere on this site. 'Averill in Paris" (His name works pretty good for "April" in English, but even better in French - Avril.)                                                               *** Returning to Ron Swoboda, some may more [...]

The Heart Is A Lonely Bunter

Recently, a good friend who knows I like song puns sent me a list of unlikely ones involving soccer players' names and old songs, the work of her son and a pal of his. Their puns were very witty and amusing, combining an amazing knowledge of standard tunes with multinational football names - how many people know that much about either? I follow soccer a little, but mostly during the World Cup and Euro Cup, so I was only able to get some of the puns because I knew all the song titles and was able to extrapolate the footie names I didn't know. Three of the best were "Ribery Thought of You", using French star Frank Ribery; "Iniestadays", after his Spanish counterpart Andres Ianesta; and "My Favourite Frings", using my favourite soccer name, Torsten Frings, of Germany. Loving a challenge as I do - although my poor, innocent friend certainly wasn't throwing down the gauntlet - I thought, hmmm......I don't know many soccer names, but I do know baseball names. So I set about altering song titles with ballplayers' names to form a list of cringe-worthy song puns, what me might call "The Days of Wine and Rojas". I can't take credit for that one, I'm afraid. Let me explain......For a while back in the early '60s, the Philadelphia Phillies had a keystone combination of Bobby Wine at shortstop and Cookie Rojas at second base and they led the league a few times in double-plays turned. A Philly press-box wag dubbed the era "The Days of Wine and Rojas" after the famous movie, which came more [...]

A Tempest in a Turbot

You could say my last post on Jazz at the Aquarium went splat! - or maybe sprat! - and ruffled a few scales, as it were. This is because it was spread so far and wide on Facebook, which was neither my doing or my idea, but I'm okay with it. I thought I'd wait for things to settle down and for everyone - including me - to unknot their knickers before writing a follow-up on the responses to it, which went way beyond anything I expected. I guess I'm a little naïve, maybe a "cock-eyed octopus", but I never expected such a fish-storm, you could have knocked me down with an anchovy. Look, I run a nice, clean, quiet blog mostly about obscure corners of music and other stuff that maybe 37 other people are interested in, and everything's hunky-dory.....Then I write a satirical rant (advertising it as such in bold) and suddenly I'm Bluebeard, Genghis Khan and Oliver Cromwell all rolled into one, with a slice of Captain Bligh on top. It's not saying much and I'm not doing any cart-wheels, but the post set a record on my site for views, comments left and Facebook "likes", whatever they are. Facebook "not-likes" or "hates" were not displayed, but I gather there were quite a few of those too, if they exist. See, I'm not on Facebook or Twitter, in fact I still don't even have a cellphone, I'm nouveau-Luddite-chic. I'm not bragging about this or anything, the reason I don't use Facebook is I don't have time for it. I mean that literally, as in hours in the day. I don't want people more [...]

“Jazz” Sleeps With the Fishes – Would You Like Fries With That?

  WARNING - READER DISCRETION ADVISED - MAY CONTAIN RANT, COARSE LANGUAGE and ILL-CONSIDERED HUMOUR  So, the other day a friend sent me a link to the latest Toronto brainwave in generic jazz promotion, or Jazz-McMarketing, which could be summed up as, "Let's bring so-called jazz to people who never listen to it, while making sure to present it at unimaginably stupid venues". In this case, believe it or not, "Jazz at the Ripley's Aquarium" on the second Friday of every month. Sorry, I couldn't resist the "believe it or not" gag because the joint is run by Ripley's, but just in case you don't believe me, go to the Ripley's Aquarium website. I'd link it here, but I might get into trouble and besides I don't actually want to have even the slightest hand in promoting this howlingly vulgar idea. For those of you not from Toronto, the Ripley's Aquarium is a huge, relatively new tourist attraction that's been promoted to the point of saturation - massive, retina-burning digital billboards depicting sharks, eels, rays and other exotic fish, posters in the subway with clever slogans like "Come to the Aquarium, where staring isn't creepy". I'm sure it's doing quite well and it's the kind of place I would like to take my grandsons, who are both crazy about fish and other wildlife. Of course, it's nestled in among a bunch of similar high-traffic venues in the busiest part of the city - the CN Tower, the Rogers Centre, the Metro Convention Centre, etc. - none of which are more [...]