Apr 27, 2010

Mets Sweep a Twin Bill From the Dodgers (1971)

I had to go here……before last night’s game it had been 39 years since the Mets swept a doubleheader from the Dodgers at home. Let take a look back- It was August 28th 1971, Paul McCartney’s “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey” was just about to take over the #1 spot on the charts over the Bee Gees “You Can’t Mend A Broken Heart”. Carole Kings “Tapestry” album was enjoying it's three month run at the top of the albums charts, after knocking out the Stones “Sticky Fingers”.

There had been a rainout on Friday night so it was a Saturday afternoon double header at Shea starting at 2;15 PM. Gil Hodges’ Mets were in 4th place 10 ½ games back at .500 (64-64) & Walter Alston’s Dodgers came to town in second place 7 ½ games back (69-62). The Mets exploded in the 1st inning scoring six runs off L.A.’s Claude Osteen, as the first seven batters reached base. Teddy Martinez & Ken Boswell led off with singles, then Cleon Jones walked to load the bases. Don Clendenon followed with a base hit scoring two runs. Clendenon added a two run HR in the 2nd inning, giving him a four RBI day. To close out the 1st inning, Tommie Agee, Bob Aspromonte & Jerry Grote all added RBI hits. Tom Seaver took the mound with the early lead & went the distance allowing only 2 runs on 8 hits while striking out six and lowering his season ERA to 1.96. Seaver would finish the year leading the league in ERA for the second straight year at 1.76. Teddy Martinez had a big first game that day with 3 hits, including a double, 2 runs scored & a stolen base.

By the 2nd game, 43,000 plus had piled into Shea to watch Gary Gentry & Don Sutton go at it in classic pitcher’s duel. Sutton shut the Mets out for 7 innings, striking out six, then getting pulled for a pinch hitter in the 8th. Gentry also pitched 7 shutout innings striking out six Dodgers. In the top of the 8th, catcher Duke Sims doubled and was then replaced by pinch runner, rookie Bobby Valentine. Tom Haller (pinch hitting for Sutton) singled home Bobby V. making it 1-0 Dodgers.

In the Mets 8th Dodger pitcher Jim Brewer retired the first two Mets, before catcher Duffy Dyer doubled. Gil Hodges also had a pinch hitter of his own come through, as Tommie Agee singled to tie the game. Tug McGraw retired the side in order in the top of the 9th, then with two out in the bottom of the 9th, Cleon Jones hit a game winning walk off HR for the sweep. Quite a day & a happy recap at Shea……

Apr 26, 2010

Concert Review: Roger McGuinn & John Sebastian at Tarrytown Music Hall

It was a fantastic acoustic show of two great folk / rock sixties legends hosted by my buddy Darren Devivo from WFUV. First John Sebastian opened the evening playing a mix of old folk songs & hits from his Lovin’ Spoonful days. In my opinion the Lovin’ Spoonful are such an under rated band. In their brief 3 year history they put out a great collection of songs, covering everything from folk, country, pop, rock & roll & some great John Sebastian ballads.
He grew up in Greenwich Village, playing in the coffee house, bar scene. Eventually finding success in rock & roll & topping the charts with the Lovin’ Spoonful. He wasn’t on the bill to play Woodstock in 1969, but, did a classic acoustic set as a favor after the rains came.

Sebastian’s voice is no longer what it used to be; he struggles through the songs but gets through them vocally. He is still a great musician & a legendary performer. He told stories, in his pleasant style, about the old days & the music surrounding it. He played some folk songs & his classics, “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice” “Daydream” “Nashville Cats” “Younger Girl” “Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind” & closed out the set with the great “Darling Be Home Soon” bringing the crowd to its feet.

Next up it was the legendary singer/song writer / guitarist from the Byrds, Roger McGuinn. He came out dressed in all black, with a leather vest & black hat singing “My Back Pages” on his classic electric 12 string Rickenbacher. McGuinn had a small arsenal of guitars on stage with him, set to a backdrop of bonsai trees. He is a talented guitarist & still has a great voice. He told stories about the history of music & his career which began in his hometown of Chicago. He first played with the Limeliters, then Bobby Darin before landing in L.A. & forming the Byrds. He did a fantastic set which included the Byrds classics; “Mr. Spaceman” which he wrote when he found out FM Radio signals go straight out into space. The classic “Turn Turn Turn”, a great acoustic version of “Eight Miles High” which he wrote on an airplane trip, “So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star” “The Bells of Rhymney” “Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man” “Chestnut Mare” & “The Ballad of Easy Ryder”. One of my favorite moments was when he played that 12 string Rickenbacher & sang “Mr. Tambourine Man”- absolutely fantastic!

To close the show two came out together & played a four song set which included “House of the Rising Sun” & Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”. McGuinn sang & played guitar, as Sebastian played the harmonica. He has always been known as one of the world’s best harmonica players. Did you know he played the harmonica on the Doors classic “Roadhouse Blues” under a different name? This was a fantastic show by two great legends that gave us a lot of great music from a wonderful time period.

They told a great story during the final set together about a night back in the mid sixties. They met up late one night in the Village & John Sebastian was wearing tiny round rimmed sun glasses. McGuinn said he stole the look & wore them a couple of years later during the Byrds success. A year later he was hanging out with the Beatles & John Lennon said “what’s with those glasses……….”