Apr 30, 2009

Today in Mets History: 1984- Teenager Dwight Gooden Ks 10 Cubs

May 1, 1984: In just his third start, rookie Dwight Gooden is starting to get some attention. Tonight at Shea Stadium he becomes the 1st teenager since Bert Blyleven in 1970 to strike out 10 batters. Gooden K's 10 Cubs through 7 innings pitched while only giving up one run on 4 hits in the Mets 8-1 romp over Chicago. Gooden bests his record to 2-1 with a 2.64 ERA. Keith Hernandez & Hubie Brooks lead the charge with 2 hits & 2 RBIs apiece. Hernandez also hit his second HR of the season. Daryl Strawberry drove in a run and got 3 hits. Rusty Staub boosts his pinch hitting average up to .455 with an RBI single. The win puts the Mets in first place a full game over the Cubs & Phillies with a 13-8 record. The Mets who have been down the past few years are becoming a force to contend with in the NL East in 1984. The Magic is back.

Apr 29, 2009

Today in Mets History: 1969- Kranepool HRs Twice Behind Koos & Ryans Shutout

April 29, 1969: Imagine having the luxury of a pitching staff like this! Jerry Koosman and Nolan Ryan combine to pitch a six hit shut out against the expansion Expos at a cold Parc Jarry in Montreal, to a tiny crowd of 8,577.

Koosman started the game against veteran Mud Cat Grant (former ace of the AL Champion Twins of 1965). The Mets weren't amazing yet, 6 1/2 games back of the Chicago Cubs in third place.

Koosman was rolling along on a two hitter into the 5th inning and then his arm felt sore. (A big concern at the time, but all would be ok.) Nolan Ryan got the quick call to get ready in the bullpen.

Ryan came out and showed greatness, he allowed only 4 scattered hits the rest of the way, striking out seven Expos, including 2 in the 9th inning and not walking any body.

As for the Mets offense, in the second inning Ed Kranepool blasted a home run off Grant for the 1st run. Then in the top of the sixth inning after Cleon Jones got thrown out stealing, Kranepool hits another home run to give the Mets all the runs they needed for the 2-0 shutout.

It was Krane's 1st & 2nd home runs of the year, he would hit 11. Ron Swoboda & Bud Harrelson also had 2 hits each on the day.

Apr 27, 2009

Today In Mets History: Five Home Runs At the Polo Grounds & A Gondola at the Astrodome

April 28, 1962 At the Polo Grounds, Jay Hook got knocked out of the game in the 1st inning, giving up four runs. It looked like another bad day for the ’62 Mets. But on this day the Met bats would enjoy one of their best games of 1962. In the 6th inning Frank Thomas, Charlie Neal & Gil Hodges would hit back to back to back home runs, as the Mets came back to beat the Phillies 8-6. Charlie Neal hit two HRs that day & Jim Hickman added another, as Roger Craig earned the victory. It was only the Mets 2nd victory of the season against 12 losses. __________________________________________________________________

April 28,1965 – On the Mets first visit to the new Houston Astrodome, Mets broadcaster Lindsey Nelson came up with a bold idea. He would deliver part of the games play-by-play from a hanging gondola, located 208 feet above second base. He was equipped with a walkie talkie as to keep contact with fellow announcers Bob Murphy & Ralph Kiner. Before the game ground rules were set that the gondola was in play if any batted balls hit it. Luckily none did. Nelson broadcast the 7th & 8th innings from the gondola. The Mets lost the game Lindsey Nelson was a Met broadcaster for 16 years, known for his loud colorful sports jackets. He is a member of the Hall of Fame.

Apr 14, 2009

Opening Day at Citi Field - the centerfield maz Citi Field Guide & Ball Park Review

At last there is a new Ballpark for my team and a place I can call home for 21 games of my season ticket plan partnership. Having been to 24 ballparks in my travels, I have seen some of the best that baseball has to offer. On the historic Opening Day at Citi Field for the NY Mets & the City of New York, I am proud to say that this is one of the best stadiums in baseball. Citi Field is beautiful from the outside to the entrance ways, to the seats, landings, clubs and great food. This is a first class Stadium, and was a long time coming.
EXTERIOR: The brown brickwork that makes up the outside of the Stadium is magnificent. A fantastic piece of architecture like something out of the past with all the modernism's of the future. It looks even better at night under its lights. The arches around the front resemble the old Ebbets Field and the Roman Coliseum. The main front entrance is surrounded by beautiful flower arrangements and a long wide concourse here"the Fan Walk" is located. This is where bricks are assembled with the fans personal inscriptions laid out in 18 different sections. It's kind of like Grumman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, except with a personal touch. The fans all search their bricks then take pictures of themselves, sitting or laying down next to their bricks. Mine is located in Section 8 but I gave up looking for it after the game, a job for the next game. There are alot of bricks there folks.

Outside the ballpark walls on the third base side, there are a bunch of large banners honoring old Mets along the Stadiums arched exterior. This was something I haven't heard anyone mention, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it.

The outfield entrances have silhouettes on gates lettering depicting 3 classic outfield catches in Mets history. Right field has an image of Ron Swoboda from Game #4 of the 1969 World Series, left Field has Endy Chavez's catch from 2006 NLCS, and center field has an ode to Tommie Agee's spectacular catches in Game #3 of the 1969 World Series.

I entered through the Bull Pen Gate and instantly saw the old Shea Home Run Apple. Not a favorite of mine but everyone was posing taking pictures of in front of it, so it seems to be a big hit in it's new home. Looking up I saw an arched bridge walkway which takes fans across the outfield area. I also got to look into the two bullpens which are right along side each other and right below the fans in the right center field seats.

The concourses are pretty wide, and there's alot of room to walk a
s you pass all the food concession lines and team store lines. There are plenty of clean restrooms and no long lines like the old Shea nightmare.

There are also plenty of elevators with pretty girls operating them taking you to each level. If you care to walk, there are cement stair cases, with plenty of signage on each level to let you know where you are. Like in most new ballparks, you can now walk around the whole stadium and take in its spectacular views from all angles. The ushers don't yell at you to move, as long as your not trying to go to the wrong seats, and aren't interfering with people in their seats. _______________________________________________________________

SEATING: On Opening Day I was in the Ceasars Club which were an mid priced ticket. Expensive yes, but what form of entertainment isn't these days? There was a covering from the top deck which was a little to low for my liking but all in all a good seat. From all the places we strolled that night, you do feel like your right on top of the action. Much different than Shea. Alot of people are complaining, about obstructed views, and that they are unhappy with their seats. Part of this, is people have to complain and part of it is did they do their home work. I searched high & low through all those computer generated seat views upon finding my seats with my ticket plan. I saw them in person on Opening Night and can't wait to sit in them Better than the higher priced seats, I could have had at a lower lever, with obstructed views & 30 rows up. There is nothing to complain about in this ball park, even if you dont like your seast. You can always go to a club, bar or porch section to view the game.

The seats have alot more leg room, something Shea didn't and they are alot wider. They all have cup holders too!! Finally!! There is also alot of designated areas for handicap seating.


Theres plenty of porches and standing room areas to view the field.The Bridge Terrace (as I mentioned earlier) features an arched bridge walkway which takes fans across the outfield area. The bridge is reminiscent of the Hell Gate Bridge which is a freight train & Amtrak rail road bridge connecting Astoria with the Bronx. I love this little bridge, very cool idea. There are tables here and its not far from the "Taste of the City" Food Court. It's another great spot to stand up, hang out & peek at the game. Standing room was tight but we stood here and saw David Wright hit the 1st Mets home run at Citi Field. It was followed by plenty of high fives from all our new friends.

THE PEPSI PORCH: This has already become a popular spot in right field. It hangs over the playing field by a few feet and a long fly ball can end up being a home run. I am tired of people comparing it to Tiger Stadium, this is reminiscent of the 1st Mets home & NY Giants home the Polo Grounds. Although right field was much closer to the plate, there was an overhang there that many fly balls ended up being home runs. By the way the Wilpons have said the green seats are also a homage to the old Polo Grounds. Now if we van just get some honor to Willie Mays here, we may all feel a little better. There is also some great standing room up here overlooking the whole stadium, with concessions, tables and of course beer. Out here you feel like the scoreboards are right on top of you. Of course there's the big red neon Pepsi Cola sign which (for you real New Yorkers) is a replica of the Queens landmark, Pepsi Cola sign on the East River facing the Manhattan. The site of the old Pepsi plant, the original sign dates back to 1936 has been moved a few hundred feet from its original spot.

There's another great spot in the lower section of left field just off from the Danny Meyer Food group concessions, a wide area with rest rooms and some tables. Here is where I caught the 1st 7th inning stretch at Citi Field, singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game' And yes it was followed by "Lazy Mary" to the delight of a few fans who cheered upon hearing its made its way to Citi Field.

THE ROTUNDA: We walked around 3rd base to the area behind home plate, which is where you get off the escalator coming up from Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Strangely I think this is the worst part of the Stadium. The concourse seems smaller here and the fire systems sprinkler pipes are visible over head on the low ceiling. (Maybe this is to remind us of Shea?)As for the famous Jackie Robinson Rotunda. You can over look the Rotunda at each level and watch the fans enter the arched gates. From the lower level you can either come up the long escalator or the stairwells. It is a great view and no matter what your opinion, it's different than any other park, making it unique. The Rotunda displays inscriptions & pictures of Jackie along the walls & floors. Robinson’s nine values: Courage, Excellence, Persistence, Justice, Teamwork, Commitment, Citizenship, Determination and Integrity. Robinson’s famous quote: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives,” is engraved into the upper ring.A large TV screen shows a constant running video, and there's a large #42 statue. Fred Wilpon owns the team and can do what he wants. I think its great to honor New York's National League past, but they should spread the wealth with some New York Giants history as well. More Mets history needs to be honored. Is there a Mets Museum in the works? Maybe an ode to Willie Mays who actually played for the Mets? (another topic for another article)

SCOREBOARDS: The new scoreboard is huge at 150 feet high in ceterfield. Then Not one, but two high-definition LED displays. The main center field screen, 50 feet high by 70 feet wide, is used to display player information and replays throughout the game. The 40-foot by 90-foot HD board in right-center is used to for more player info, a running line score, lineups and defensive alignments.

The out of town scoreboard is located on the left field roof, high above under the arched light towers. The lighting by the way is much more brighter than Shea was.

The Mets also installed one of the longest ribbon boards in baseball, stretching 850 feet around the Promenade Level of seating. That board displays scoring info, & captioning of the PA system.
Balls & strike boards are located high above the field beyond the bases, there is also a red dot board for strikes & white dot board for balls on the sides of the field. One of the only things I missed from Shea were those old classic big black Strike/Balls/Outs boards.

PRESS BOX: The press boxes are located behind home plate on the second level. They are housed inside beautiful light brown bricks, and enclosed if needed. All the broadcasters are easily visible as well.

The new outfield dimensions should make it a pitchers park, but there should also be alot of doubles & triples. 335 down the lines, 408 dead center with a deep center field gap toward right at 412. Going to 383 in right center & 379 left center. The wall changes height 7 times which should be fun, left field is 12 ft rising to 15 ft, its highest point if right center at 18 ft under the porch, right field is its lowest at 8 ft. The foul poles are orange, ode to the Mets, with a NY Giants & center field maz feel to it as well!_________________________________________________________________
GOOD EATS!! I love all the great food at Citi Field, and its probably the best fare I have seen at any Stadium in the country. Baseball isn't just hot dogs & peanuts anymore.Though there are plenty of hot dogs and those great Sausage & Pepper heroes cooking on grills located through out the Stadium. One of my favorite places already is behind the huge score board in centerfield. 1st off there's a tremendous TV screen on the back of the scoreboard where you can watch the game. There were a few high tables to eat on, a beer garden with beers from around the world, and then the food. This is where the Danny Meyer Food group has it location.

A Taste of the City: This is already One of my favorite places, located behind the huge score board in centerfield. 1st off there's a tremendous TV screen on the back of the scoreboard where you can watch the game. There are a few high tables to eat on, a beer garden with beers from around the world, and then the food. This is where the Danny Meyer Food group has it location. 1st there's NY's famous Shake Shack for those great burgers, shakes, and fries. Then Blue Smoke BBQ which has great Kansas City style Ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and wings.

El Verano Taqueria has what people are sayin are "the best tacos they ever had", some great Mexican foods and Box Frites which serves nothing but fancy french fries.
How about some sea food? Catch of the Day has flounder sandwiches with their own home made tartar sacue. Shrimp and those lobster rolls evryones talking about.
Over the arched bridge and into right field's "Worlds Fair Market" you have Italian heroes from Mammas of Corona, love those Canolli's with orange & blue sprinkles. Theres a classic Nathans Famous, a Brooklyn Burgers, and Daruma of Tokyo. All places are cafateria style, where you pay on the way out.
CITI FIELD RESTAURANTS & CLUBS : The Delta Sky360 Club is the most exclusive place at Citi Field & only Delta Club and Sterling Suite holders can enter. It is located directly behind home plate, on the Sterling Level, high-end dining and two full-sized bars.
Ebbets Club - 1st and 3rd Base at Field Level (Ebbets Club & Delta Club seat holders only)as has high-end concessions & full bars with TV's.
Caesars Club located on the Excelsior Level (Delta, Ebbets and Caesars Club seat holders) We went into this unbelievable place and it was great. It is located directly on top of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, with incredible views through the giant arched windows of the New York Skyline, Queens, and the outside of Citi Field. This modern space features a large circular bar, concessions serving Pizza, slads, burgers, and sanwhiches on ciabatta breads. TVs all over the place, leather chairs, couches, high tables and a believe it or not a DJ playing music.

Acela Club is on the Excelsior Level (Delta, Ebbets & Ceasars Club, Metropolitan & Field Box ticket holders) is a fine dining restaurant with full views of the field, the New York City skyline, and the World's Fair Marina, by the Myriad Group of Tribeca Grill fame.
\Promenade Club is on the Promenade Level (Delta, Ebbets, Caesars and Promenade Club seat holders) is an intimate club offering casual bistro dining and cocktails. There's a full kitchen & bar with high top tables.

METS TEAM STORES: There is certainly on shortage of Mets shops to buy stuff in. The Mets Team Store (Adjacent to Jackie Robinson Rotunda) is the largest at Citi Field and will be open all year round.

The Mets Team Store by Majestic is at Field level, the Nike Dugout Shop (left field at Field level), The '47 Shop (right field at Field level), Mets Team Store by New Era (Promanade level), The Players Clubhouse (left field- Excelsior level), A collectible type shop in the left field Promenade level called Heroes & Heritage Collectibles. For the ladies; a Touch by Alyssa Milano, Ladies Boutique (Excelsior Level - Right Field) and for the kiddies; Mr. Met's Dugout Shop (Field Level - Center Field) located adjacent to Mr. Met's Kiddie Field.

The 2K kids Fan Fest area is located in centerfield and features Mr. Mets Kiddie Field; a scaled down version of Citi Field where kids could hit wiffle balls of a tee and run the bases. Then they can play the field as others hit. A DJ plays music, Mr. Met makes the rounds, and there are video game tents set up complete with those old leather Met seats from Shea. ________________________________________________________________________
There seems to be plenty of parking available, since all that remains of Shea is pile of dirt near the Rosevelt Av. side of what was right field. Still plenty of us who prefer the old Northern Blvd. lower parking level under the Highway. As for all those auto repair shops along 126th St., they must go. They should be gone already, relocate them some place unless they want to make their storefronts look like Citi Field. The Stadium is to beautiful to have an eye sore like that across the street.
As for the game Tom Seaver & Mike Piazza the two greatest Mets of All Time threw out & caught the ceromonial first pitch. Always a touching moment when Seaver is on the mound, this was a perfect way to begin the new era.

Unfortunatley the Mets lost due to a Pedro Feliciano balk, Mike Pelfrey fell off the mound, a cat ran onto the field ala 'the black cat game" 1969, a Padre hit the 1st HR at Citi Field, 2 former Mets who werent worth a dime out of our pn shut us down in the 8th & 9th, and Shef made his home field debut. On the Mets bright side; David Wright again proves how good he is by getting the 1st NY Met hit at Citi Field, the 1st NY Met Home Run. Brian Schnieder was the 1st Met to cross the plate and Luis Castillo got the 1st Met RBI. I had my 1st beer, my 1st turkey sandwich & KC style ribs, and booed my 1st player- Duaner Sanchez, now a Padre, my 1st cheers went to Seaver & Piazza.

"This Bird Has Flown"- Remembering Mark Fidrych (1954-2009)

In 1976 as a kid who lived, slept & ate baseball you had to love Mark Fidrych. He burst onto the scene with his long curly hair, talking to himself & the baseball, crouching down on the mound to rake the dirt with his hands, aiming the ball like dart before he threw it, and throwing other balls back to the umpire to have them removed because he felt they had hits in them. He was only 19 years old and was nicknamed “The Bird” because he looked like Sesame Street’s Big Bird character. Besides the antics he was the best pitcher in the American League that year as well. He went 19-9 leading the league with a 2.34 ERA and 24 complete games, in 250 innings pitched with 4 shut outs. He won the AL Rookie of the Year Award and started the 1976 Bicentennial All Star game in Philadelphia.

Fidrych was a non roster invitee to Spring Training in 1976, and got called up to fill a spot on the staff in May. He won his 1st outing 2-1, pitching 7 no hit innings against Cleveland, then went on to win seven of his first eight starts. By June he became a celebrity by pitching on a Monday Night Baseball game and shutting down New York. In the days before MLB Extra Innings & ESPN it was the first time he was viewed the country outside of Detroit. The ratings soared to their highest ever for a Monday Night baseball game. Soon he became the 1st athlete to ever appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, would make the cover of Sports Illustrated twice, and star in an Aqua Velva commercial. The chicks loved him; he drove a compact green car, lived in a Detroit apartment and only made the league minimum salary. Tiger Stadium would sell out when “The Bird” pitched; in his 18 starts he almost equaled the whole season’s attendance.

In Spring Training 1977 he tore a cartilage in his knee and went on the DL. He would only pitch in 11 games that season going 6-4 with a 2.89 ERA. Unfortunately he felt what he said was “his arm go dead” that summer and never could recover. He made a couple of comeback attempts, including one with the Red Sox that never worked out. In wasn’t until 1985 that he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff.

He lived outside of Boston in Northborough Mass, got married in 1986 and had a daughter. He worked as a contractor hauling gravel & asphalt in a 10 wheel dump truck and helped out his in laws at their diner. Sadly he was found dead under his truck Monday Night April 13th at the age of 54.

I was shocked to find out about his death just before the National Anthem at the first game ever at Citifield. Hats off to you “Bird” you were a great part of my baseball youth, even if was only 1 summer. I can still remember the excitement of getting a 1977 Mark Fidrych AL All star baseball card the next year. I kept it with all my other ‘good cars” that year.

from centerfield: In a Mets tie in; On May 31, 1976 Fidrych got the win at Tiger Stadium pitching 11 innings striking out 8 Milwaukee Brewers. In the bottom of the 11th inning future Mets manager Jerry Manuel got a pinch hit single, stole second base and would score the winning run on a Tom Veryzer single.

Apr 9, 2009

April 10, 1970- The Beatles Officially Break Up

April 10th marks the official day the Beatles broke up back in 1970. Although tensions within the band had been going on for more than a year nothing of an official break up had been announced. Ringo & George had both left the group for a few days as far back as 1968. John was already doing alot of solo work; he had released the singles "Give Peace A Chance" & "Cold Turkey", and performed live in Toronto with Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman, & Alan White.
In Johns opinion he felt they could have solo projects and come back every couple of years to record an album as the Beatles.

There was alot of drama leading up to that fateful day. Without a manger, and their own Apple Corps. in shambles they needed some one to manage all their money. Paul wanted his father in laws laws firm, The Eastman's & the remaining three Beatles were set on Allen Klein.

The Beatles also wanted Paul to hold off releasing his 1st solo album until the Beatles released "Let It Be", which would be their last, for business reasons. Paul wouldn't hear any of it and even told a neutral Ringo "I'll finish you all off" when he tried to persuade Paul to holding off the release.
The 1st week of April was filled with breakup rumors that were denied by Apple. Paul's people & The Eastman's stated the McCartney solo album would be the end of the band, but John, George & Ringo all kept denying the break up as well.

Ironically the man who seemed to most want to keep the Beatles together back in 1969 was the one who officially quit the band. On April 10th 1970, Paul McCartney released an official statement in advance copies of his 1st solo album "McCartney", and to various news outlets & media. The statement came in the form of a self interview claiming "a break with the Beatles due to personal, musical & business differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family". Paul personally attacked the other Betales & Yoko Ono. Eventually at the end of the year Paul would file a law suit against the three that would keep them in court battles for decades. It wasn't until that point that the three remaining Beatles actually acknowledged the breakup.

At the time Paul's announcement was looked at in bad taste by most people. As for his first solo album it was not received well, the critics pounded him, but it did go to #1. Paul played all the instruments and recording it on a 4 track recorder at his home in Scotland. The quality of the material is a far cry from Paul's work on Abbey Road a few months earlier. Its strongest piece being "Maybe I'm Amazed".

The Beatles released Let It Be at the end of May 1970 it went to #1 and spend 55 weeks on the charts. Earlier that month Ringo was the 2nd Beatle to release a solo album "Sentimental Journey" which went to #22. Later that year he released "Beaucoups of Blues" which didn't do that well peaking at #65. George released his triple album classic "All Things Must Pass' by Christmas 1970 it went to #1. The single "My Sweet Lord" was the 1st solo Beatles #1 song.
Looking back it seems that the fans had such a despise for Yoko Ono that it hurt sales of Johns 1st solo album "Plastic Ono Band". It only peaked at #6 on the charts and has since become a classic.

Three years later John, George & Ringo would stop their association with Klein as well. If everything had not gotten so ugly, and the finance situation not been so big , maybe they could have recorded together as a band again. One can only imagine if the four Beatles had gone on to their solo careers and personal lives but colaborated together musically. Some of their great solo works could have been combined Beatles efforts.

Apr 5, 2009

Historic Night at Radio City as Paul & Ringo Perform Together

On Saturday Night the "Change Begins Within" benefit concert was held at Radio City to raise funds to teach Transcendental Meditation to 1 million children worldwide. The shows main attraction were the headlining performances of Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr. The two have performed together a handful of times since the Beatles breakup, the last time was in 2002 at "the Concert For George".

They each played their own sets, then took the stage together sharing the same microphone to sing "With A Little Help From My Friends". They were then joined by an All Star band to perform "Cosmically Conscious" & "I Saw Her Standing There" with Paul on guitar & Ringo on drums. Other performers on the night were Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Donovan, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Ben Harper, Jerry Seinfeld, Moby and Betty Lavette, & Angelo Badalamenti. Howard Stern & others made speechs on behalf of TM.

Here is a review from my good friend Eddie Profit Jr.: (thanks Ed!)

Inside Radio City, the place was mobbed and I couldn't get to the souvenir stand (the only souvenirs I saw were all Paul shirts and posters). Yoko and Olivia were rumored to be in attendance.

Sheryl Crow, performed "Riverwide" with a four piece band. She mentioned George Harrison as a musical and spiritual influence and launched into a very cool rendition of "My Sweet Lord", with Ben Harper on slide guitar. Laura Dern came out was kind of goofy but likable; and introduced Jerry Seinfeld. He did stand-up for a few minutes & was hysterical. If his show was that funny, I would have watched it.

After Seinfeld, Eddie Vedder performed solo,(acoustic guitar, mandolin) and then he did this vocal/wailing thing that kept recording and overdubbing him, by the end, there were several "Eddie Vedder's" singing. Very impressive. Ben Harper came out, with his band, "Relentless7", and then with Vedder, they performed Queen/Bowie's "Under Pressure". Very well done.

Mike Love, who seemed frail and short winded, made a speech. Then Donovan came out, there were technical problems with the mics and his voice seemed a little wobbly on "Hurdy Gurdy Man". Donovan's voice was back for the next songs, "Wear Your Love Like Heaven", "Season Of The Witch" (a duet with Sheryl Crow) which was pretty good, although it was funny watching him and Sheryl dancing together.
Howard Stern made a speech, and then it was time for Ringo. He opened with "It Don't Come Easy" with Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper and his band backing him. Typical Ringo performance, which means it was fun. He mentioned how George helped him write the song. He said he took what he had of the song to George for help because everything he wrote himself sounded like Bob Dylan with 87 verses. He also said that George wanted to sing about God and Krishna on the song, but Ringo said no. Then he went on the drums and did "Boys" with Harper/Vedder supplying the "Bop Shoo Wops". He came up front and with Sheryl Crow joining on backing vocals, he did "Yellow Submarine".
After several more speeches, Paul came out to the biggest ovation of the night. He looked great and sounded better than I've heard him in years. He had his regular touring band with him and they were great, as usual. He opened with "Drive My Car", and (in no particular order) he performed "Jet", "Band On The Run", "Got To Get You Into My Life", "Can't Buy Me Love", "Here Today", "Blackbird", "Let It Be", and "Lady Madonna".
Then came the moment I paid $365 for: He said, "I'd like to bring somebody out now. You've seen him tonight- Billy Shears... " I don't know if he even said Ringo's name, because the crowd went crazy. (I'm getting chills now just writing this) Ringo came out, gave Paul a hug, and they went into "With A Little Help From My Friends" with Paul and Ringo sharing the same microphone. When they finished the song, they hugged again and brought everyone else out for a bow. They left & returned for an encore, with all the performers and Mike Love.
When everyone noticed Ringo was on the drums, there was another big cheer. They did "Cosmically Conscience" and finished with "I Saw Her Standing There".
Bows, hugs for all the performers (including an "I am not worthy bow from Sheryl Crow to Ringo). A funny moment where Paul was out front taking in the applause, and then Ringo stood directly in front of him to take in the applause, and then Paul stepping in front of him, and so on. Seeing those two together made it a marvelous night. As for my disappointments: Sheryl Crow should have sang more of her stuff; Donovan should have done one of his bigger hits ("Sunshine Superman" "Mellow Yellow" "Atlantis") More Ringo; and "Yesterday" & "Hey Jude" as the final encores. Otherwise, an amazing night.

Aerosmith's - Toys In The Attic Album

On April 8th, 1975 Aerosmith released their 3rd album Toys In The Attic. It was recorded at New York's Record Plant in January & February 1975 and was produced by Jack Douglas. It became their biggest selling US album, going gold in its year of release and has since reached 8 times platinum. The cover art shows a a cartoon drawing of a chestful of old toys with a brown border background. The classic Aerosmith logo is seen in orange letters for the first time on an album.

The album put Aerosmith on the map with a hard rockin, dirty, sexual, heavy metal blues sound that is still their trademark 36 years later. This is the first of three great classic albums the band would put out in a row. This is my 2nd favorite Aerosmith album (2nd to 1976s Rocks) but a must to have in your collection.
Toys: The title track opens the album, it is an Aerosmith classic and is considered by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a song that helped shaped rock music. The song refers to the term which means a going crazy in the head. Joe Perry's 1st of an album full of great catchy guitar riffs, the band rocks out and chants "Toys" as Steven Tyler's haunting in your face vocals sets the tone for whats to come. A great song live, especially when it opens a concert. The song was written by Steven Tyler & Joe Perry, and was released as a single but did not chart.

The album features a couple of other Aerosmith all time classics. Walk This Way has become a revolutionary ground breaking song through the years, it gained attention by combining rock & rap music in the late 1980's. But back upon its release it was an instant FM rock radio staple and gave the band national attention. The title came as the band took a break from recording and caught a movie in Manhattan during the winter of 1975. The title was inspired by the Walk this Way scene done by Marty Feldmen in the movie Young Frankenstein.

The famous drum beat intro, followed by the classic heavy Joe Perry guitar riff put Aerosmith up with the likes of the mighty Led Zeppelin. Steven Tyler's grabs you by the collar as he shouts the lyrics with an emphasis on the word rhymes. He tells the story of a high school boy losing his virginity to the naughty girl next door. Released as a single it peaked at #11 which was pretty good for hard rock in those days. The song is considered one of the top 10 rock songs of all time and is always played live at Aerosmith concerts.

Sweet Emotion rivals Walk This Way ( and Dream On) as being the most popular & best Aerosmith song of all time.This song starts out with a famous Tom Hamilton bass line and Joe Perry's use of the guitar talk box. (Remember this is a year before the Frampton Comes Alive became famous for the talk box use.) The song then rocks out with another classic guitar riff, led by Tyler's powerful vocals. The lyrics are said to be about anger geared toward Joe Perry's wife, and the tensions going on amongst the band mates & their wives. The song was released as a single and was the 1st Aerosmith song to crack the top 40, peaking at #36. In charted in July '75 while Aeorsmith were playing a gig in New York's Central Park. 9Anybody remember the Schafer Music Series!) Riding its success they decided to reissue Dream On, which did much better the 2nd time around. Sweet Emotion is also always played live at Aerosmith concerts.

Big Ten Inch is an old early 1950s blues cover. It has a humorous sexual innuendo, and it's right up Steven Tyler's alley. In fact the singer is referring to old ten inch 78 rpm blues records which the lady cant resist. The song never says "suck on my big ten inch", contrary to popular belief. The misinterpreted line is "seems she don't go for nothing 'cept for my big ten inch".........

Round & Round is one of my favs & maybe one of the most under rated Aerosmith tunes. A 5 minute hard rock psychedelic epic,with a pounding Tom Hamilton bass & Joey Kramer drum section.

Uncle Salty deals with a child abuse, incest, drugs & prostitution. Under the dark lyrics the song has a smooth musical style. It was the first time the group touched the subject of abuse, something they would do 15 years later on the song Janie's Got A Gun. The song was written by Tyler & bassist Tom Hamilton and was the B side of the Sweet Emotion single.

Adams Apple was written by Tyler & guitarist Brad Whitford. It tells a version of the biblical story of Adam & Eve with a touch of sci fi & conscience. The serpent lures Eve to taste the forbidden fruit even though she tries to resist. "All she wants & need was just a little taste".

No More No More is about a bands life on the road & rise to fame. Written by Tyler & Joe Perry it features acoustic & electric guitars with a constant piano playing behind it. The song was revived for the 2005-2006 tour after being a seventies live regular.
The album ends with the ballad You See Me Crying which features an orchestra arrangement.
Aerosmith would go on legendary path of excess as their careers took off. They would become one of the most popular rock bands & one of the best live acts of the seventies. Their excess would lead them to destruction by the early eighties. But some how they cleaned up their act, made nice with each other and reinvented them selves to whole new level. They are still going strong and have become one of the most successful bands of all time.