Monday, March 31, 2014

‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS #17’ (Or, ‘JIM VERSUS TIM’)

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"Only a fool would post an 'April Fools' Day' blog bit 
on March 31st."
~ Al B. Phulish
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Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...
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THE  BATTLE  OF  THE  BANDS! (‘BOTB’)
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Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Buh-Doo-Wah!
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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Happy ‘APRIL FOOLS' DAY’ and welcome to this “special” April Fools' Day installment of ‘Battle Of The Bands’, foolishly posted a couple hours before April Fools' Day. (I just couldn’t wait.)

In September of 1967 (right at the end of “The Summer Of Love”) Jim Morrison and The Doors released their second album titled ‘Strange Days’. The first song on Side One was the haunting title track ‘Strange Days’; the first song on Side Two was the album’s biggest hit (#12 on the Billboard charts) ‘People Are Strange’.
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THE  DOORS:  'STRANGE  DAYS'
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Yes, some people ARE strange, but Jim Morrison wasn’t really amongst the strange ones. After all, he liked girls, booze, and Rock ‘N’ Roll – for a young, heterosexual, male hippie in ‘67, there wasn’t nuttin’ strange about that. Nevertheless, a large number of people liked the song he sang:
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‘People Are Strange’ – Jim Morrison and ‘The Doors’
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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Now, let’s hear a cover version by someone who really WAS strange: one-hit-wonder, Tiny Tim (‘TipToe Thru The Tulips With Me’ - #17 on Billboard in 1968).

Other than some verses from ‘The Holy Bible’, my all-time favorite quote is probably this:

“Most of all, I'd love to see Christ come back to crush the spirit of hate and make men put down their guns. I'd also like just one more hit single”.
~ Tiny Tim

‘People Are Strange’ – Tiny Tim and ‘His Majesty’
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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. (NOTE: Comment Moderation is activated. All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.)
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After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to FAE’s ‘Far Away Series’, Arlee Bird’s ‘Tossing It Out’, Robin’s ‘Your Daily Dose’, LC’s ‘DiscConnected’, and Chris' 'The Creative Outlet Of StratPlayer' blogs to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)
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Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘DISCCONNECTED’ by clicking HERE.
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As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
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Links To Previous 'BOTB' Installments:
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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24 comments:

  1. OK, you win! I'll be back tomorrow with 'the rest if my story'.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I win?
    I didn't even know I was in a contest!

    What did I win? A trip to Bora Bora?

    ~ Al B. Doggoneconphused

    ReplyDelete
  3. I want to preface this comment by saying that I listened to the Tiny Tim version while drinking a cup of hot coffee. I read somewhere that people are nicer and kinder all around more pleasant when they drink something warm vs. something cold.

    Even so... Tiny Tim's interpretation was indeed strange. The vocal acrobatics made him seem strange alright. I really wanted to like this version, but... no.

    So, this is not going to come as a shock but I am voting for The Doors. And I listened to it when my coffee was colder (yeah, I reversed the order and listened to Tim first).

    ReplyDelete
  4. That was an interesting and a good contest. I figured you'd eventually get to a cover by Tiny Tim.

    That doors album is perhaps my favorite. It certainly has my favorite cover. I mean, there's a juggler on it--how could I not like that?

    Tiny Tim does a great version of this. The instrumental breaks are especially nice. But as with nearly all of his covers, this comes off as being too much of a campy novelty. It's excellent. Fantastic in fact. But...strange.

    I have to go with the original Doors version. I don't know that any artist could outbest that one.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    ReplyDelete
  5. Stephen-

    Although Tiny Tim certainly embraced this song in his stage persona, I just have to go with the Doors!

    LC

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well now, you weren't just a-kidding when you said this contest was gonna be a "strange" one. It just so happens, I LOVE the Doors, so I already knew how much I liked their version of that song. Nonetheless, even though Tiny Tim's voice is tantamount to fingernails scraping a blackboard, I dutifully listened to him caterwauling... I mean, "singing"... the song too, and nope, I still don't like his voice. For me, it's Doors all the way. (No fooling!)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, thanks to everyone who has voted and commented.

    No surprises here so far - it's going exactly as I expected it would.

    Happy April Fools' Day, y'all!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  8. April Fool! Even a veteran Morrison-hater like me can only stomach about 5 secs of TT. Doors by default.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sheboyganboy SixApril 1, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Ha, ha! So who is this April Fool's Day joke aimed at? Perhaps all of us, but certainly me.

    As you know, I am not a Doors fan. This is my least favorite song of theirs with which I am familiar.

    I can see why you thought I might have abstained again on this one. However, I'll cast my vote for The Doors, since their version is only 2:11 long.

    ReplyDelete
  10. ----- BROTHER MARTIN -----
    If you only listened to 5 seconds of Tiny Tim, that means you didn't get to the 16 second mark, when he suddenly shifts into his thundering deep voice, and then performs vocal acrobatics throughout the remainder of the song, sounding like at least 3 different singers. Too bad. You probably wouldn't have liked it anyway, but you missed the most interesting parts of it.

    I already had your vote recorded for The Doors. Yours and DiscConnected's votes I can predict beforehand with 100% accuracy. (Wish I could predict the lottery numbers like that.)

    ----- SHEBOYGANBOY SIX -----
    I knew you don't like The Doors, but I remembered that you loved Tiny Tim's version of 'Silent Night', so I thought... maybe. Guess not.

    Tiny recorded two versions of 'People Are Strange'. The earlier one, which I have on compact disc, is only 2:22 long. I was planning to use that earlier version because I didn't even know THIS one existed until I went to YouTube to get the first.

    When I heard this later version, I decided to use it instead because I think it's more musically interesting, what with the electric guitar break and the nearly-Ragtime piano playing.

    However, on the early shorter version, at one point in the song, Tiny makes a noise that I SWEAR no human voice can possibly make! But he made it, and it's been recorded. (Possibly meaning that Tiny wasn't actually human.)

    I have listened to that sound Tiny makes in the 2:22 version of 'People Are Strange' dozens of times and I'm still almost in disbelief. It sounds like... I don't know... a machine or some sound run through a synthesizer and distorted, but he did it just with his voice or throat.

    Anyhow... this BOTB is going exactly the way I expected it to, but it ain't over yet, and I don't believe Tiny's gonna get shutout.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and while I was here, I moved ahead to hear the baritone. Better- maybe much better, but still a little Dr. Demento-y for me. Vote remains.

      Delete
  11. I suppose you might be wondering what’s been taking me so long to get myself over here and post a comment and give you my vote. Truth be told, I’m having a hard time deciding. I’ve been back to your site three times listening to these two worthy opponents, and I have reasons to vote for each. So far I’ve even broken my own rule and read the other comments, and of course I wish I hadn’t.
    My instinctual gut reaction was initially to vote for The Doors. I was and remain a big fan of The Doors and their ‘strangeness’. There always seemed to be a ‘theatrical’ feel to this piece, a kind of melancholy that made me think the writer was expressing his own feelings of being ‘left out’ because of his personal strangeness, and yet this is exactly how he wanted to be.
    ‘When you’re strange, no one remembers your name.’
    Ha, in the case of both of these performers, nothing could be further from the truth. Who doesn’t remember ‘The Lizard King’, “Mr. Mojo Rising’ or Herbert Khaury. Even The Doors managed to carry on after Morrison’s death, although it seemed their hearts were broken.
    I know the song was written by Krieger and Morrison, but Tiny Tim seems to own it. In this version he flaunts every facet of his strangeness and urges you to fall in love with it. Now, I’m not the Tiny fan that you are, but I have gained a certain appreciation for his musical style. The total Avant-garde appeal of his performances were like a train wreck; although you really didn’t want to see the blood and gore, you simply could not look away. He seemed to know that, and believed that if he could keep you from looking away, he could eventually reach something deep inside of us. When he sings ‘People Are Strange’, that’s exactly what he does for me.
    My vote here is going to go to Tiny Tim. Yeah, I’m more surprised that anyone, BUT somehow he manages to OWN this song. I for one am truly impressed. Not the popular vote, I know, but then ‘you know me’…

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    Replies
    1. Ha!-Ha! FAE... look at that! At 5:52 PM, I wrote: "I don't believe Tiny's gonna get shutout."

      Three minutes later, my prediction came true! Damn! Am I psychic or what?! (Again, I wish my mind worked like this with lottery numbers.)

      Loved your analysis. I know I went into detail about this on my old 'Stuffs' blog but... the only Tiny Tim song I knew was 'Tip Toe Thru The Tulips', and what positive thing can you say about that one? It was a freakish thing that it actually became a big hit.

      I bought a Tiny Tim CD boxed set just for that one song, to play it on Christmas Days, just before going out to drop a coin and make a wish for Tiny Tim. (You know that story, right?)

      I would have purchased just the album the song is on, but at that time it was out of print and used copies were very nearly as expensive as the 3-disc boxed set, which I could get new.

      So I bought the boxed set, and decided I might as well listen to some of it, rather than just play the one song, 'Tip Toe', on Christmas mornings.

      I put on the first disc. First couple tracks, eh... just what I was expecting. Tracks 3 and 4, I'm thinking: Hey, those weren't too bad. By track 7 I'm pretty much in shock because there's no denying it: I actually like this guy. And by the end of track 8, I loved Tiny Tim. NO ONE COULD HAVE BEEN MORE SURPRISED THAN I WAS!

      Some of his songs are indeed unlistenable, but I've found that I really enjoy about 70% of his recordings. The guy was strange, but he was an authentic strange, and he deserves a lot more credit than he's ever gotten. He was a genuinely unique artist, and it's a shame that he's thought of as "the bottom of the barrel" when it comes to music. (There are lots of singers I like a whole lot less than Tiny Tim.)

      He was actually rather popular even with other musicians in the late '60s. Eric Clapton once told The Beatles to be sure to go see an upcoming Tiny Tim concert, because he was sure they'd dig him.

      A rumor I've seen on the Internet (which I can't confirm or deny) is that Jim Morrison actually wrote the song 'People Are Strange' FOR Tiny Tim to record. I don't know, but that wouldn't really surprise me.

      Thanks for keeping Tiny from getting shutout!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. Glad to be the vote that breaks up the shut-out here.

      I came back to apologize for the way my comment printed out. I take the time to write it out in 'word', use spell check, and read it over carefully, so it's as good as I can get it. After I did all that, I was running out of time, so I hit copy, came here, hit paste, and publish, and did not look back. For some reason when I do that the spacing gets all goofy during the copy/paste proces, and it's really difficult to read with no paragraph breaks. Then there's that little matter of were, where, and we're. I really do know the difference, but sometimes my fingers trip me up. Sorry about all of that.

      Delete
    3. No problem. You voted for Tiny, so you are forgiven all transgressions.

      Well, it's now 11:31 PM as I type these words, and I need to get my ass to bed because 'THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE' (aka, my brother, his wife, and their son) is going to wake me up with their noise at about 6:30 or 7:00 AM. (You can take that to the bank!)

      By the way, I didn't fly into 'THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE'... it flew into me!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  12. In the spirit of April Fools I'm actually going to vote for Tiny Tim, and I'll give you three legitimate reasons why.

    1) The song IS called "People Are Strange", and I'll tell you what, he sure makes this song strange.

    2) Like Brother Martin, I started listening to the first 5 seconds and could only think, "Man, I don't know if I can tolerate 4 minutes of that falsetto." Then he came in with that booming baritone and holy moly. I don't think I've ever heard him sing like that. Impressive.

    3) I hear he was pals with Paul Simon...

    ~6B

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    Replies
    1. Well, those were good reasons, 6-B.

      In an earlier comment above, I said Tiny sounds at various times like he's at least 3 different singers in this song. In truth, it's more like 5 or 6. Now that's a strangeness I can support.

      Thanks for your vote. By the way, although Tiny had almost less than a cameo appearance in 'ONE TRICK PONY', and he only mumbled out a few words, I thought he was funny in it. Just with those couple of expressions he made he had me rewinding to see them again. (Who knows what peace, love, and evil lurked in those expressions? Ha! Tiny was really something! What... I couldn't say, but he was really something, that's for sure.)

      Thanks again for your vote and comment, Beer Brother Bryan.

      Email reply coming later today, or perhaps from work in the wee morning hours of Friday.

      Yak Again Soon...

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  13. Sorry to interrupt again, but I'd like to mention that a certain feature of my every Friday step back to the 70s known as Time Machine has led to a semi-BOTB installment- the thing is, it's the same song, but it isn't! Confused? Drop by and give it a try! Friday at 9 AM at the Tilting At Windmills blog!

    ReplyDelete
  14. STMcC’s Vote On ‘BOTB #17’
    And The Final Tally:


    Hokey-Smoke! It just now dawned on me that this is the 7th and I’m supposed to close this most recent version of ‘Battle Of The Bands’.

    Well, I’ll begin by saying that in my late teens and early twenties I was a HUGE fan of The Doors. (In fact, the last bit of “acting” I ever did was playing the part of Jim Morrison for a friend who was making a movie for her ‘Final Grade’ in film school – and that was YEARS before Val Kilmer played Morrison in a “real” Hollywood movie... although our student movie was also “Made in Hollywood, U.S.A.”)

    When my taste in music drastically changed, I moved away from Rock almost completely and didn’t repurchase my old Doors albums on compact discs.

    But many, many years later, I started to revisit some of the “Classic” Rock I’d grown up with and bought new compact disc versions of a minuscule number of my old LP records.

    I even rediscovered The Doors and bought a couple CDs.

    My favorite Doors song is unquestionably ‘PEACE FROG’, followed fairly closely by ‘ROADHOUSE BLUES’. I still really dig ‘L.A. WOMAN’, ‘RIDERS ON THE STORM’, ‘BREAK ON THROUGH’, and ‘TOUCH ME’ (that’s the one with the great saxophone solo in it, right?)

    Another one that easily makes my ‘Top Ten Doors Songs’ list but which people don’t often mention is ‘THE WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)’. Great song!

    However, all these decades later, and despite the fact that it was a pretty big hit, ‘PEOPLE ARE STRANGE’ really doesn’t hold up so well for me. I mean, it’s OK, but it seems a little flat and semi-boring to me now.

    Tiny Tim’s version, on the other hand...

    Well, I really liked what FarAwayEyes said about it, and I don’t think I could improve on that. Except to add that I think Tiny’s version of the song is actually considerably more interesting musically speaking. The Doors’ original just kind of flatlines compared to Tiny Tim’s version which has wonderful peaks and valleys both vocally and musically. Plus, Tiny really WAS strange; Morrison was just a hedonistic hippie.

    So, obviously, I am voting for Tiny Tim with absolutely no hesitation whatsoever. Nevertheless, I knew Tiny wouldn’t win this contest and the voting went about as I expected it would – no real surprises here.

    Vote Total:

    Jim and ‘The Doors’ = 6 Votes.
    Tim and ‘His Majesty’ = 3 Votes.


    Wow, I’m now down to only 9 voters - myself included? I foresee a day when I will be the only person voting on my own ‘BOTB’ posts. (Well, at least I’ll be assured of always being on the winning side!)

    See ya again for the next ‘BOTB’ on April 15th ... I hope.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    ReplyDelete
  15. I know that you stopped adding up the votes, but I want to say who the winner is for me anyway.

    As you might remember I liked The Doors a lot, and Strange Days is certainly a cool album. The song featured here is a good one, but not my favorite on the album. The best part of it for me is at around the 50 second mark when Jim sings “streets are uneven when you’re down.”

    I’ve never heard of Tiny Tim (or maybe I did, but then forgot), but upon hearing his version of the song, I must give the victory to him. And it’s not because of his many voices; it’s because of the piano solo that begins at the 2:30 mark. Really really cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WHEATSTRAW ~
      Thanks for your vote.
      I'm actually pretty shocked that you voted against The Doors because I remember that was your favorite band "back in the day".

      And, I agree with you in that I think the Tiny Tim version is more interesting musically than is The Doors original. Yes, the piano playing, but also I like that guitar solo - it's not flashy but it sets a pretty deep mood.

      Did you ever find that organ you were hoping to buy?

      Incidentally, there's a very interesting video floating around out there all about the making of that first Doors album. I think I've even seen it posted at YouTube. It's not very long - maybe 45 minutes or an hour - but it features interviews with Manzarek and Densmore and I found it pretty fascinating.

      In fact, prior to watching that documentary, I thought I didn't like Ray Manzarek much, but afterwards I realized he had a very likeable personality and wasn't the "pseudo-intellectual" type I had always suspected him of being.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  16. I didn’t think I’d vote against The Doors myself, but I try to be as unbiased as possible. I don’t care if I like The Doors more than most bands, if I find a version that sounds better I will like it more. Besides, it wasn’t that hard with People Are Strange because there are at least 4 songs on that album alone that beat ‘People’ for me. Here they are:

    1. Strange Days
    2. Love Me Two Times
    3. My Eyes Have Seen You
    4. When The Music’s Over

    Also, I can actually play the intro to When The Music’s Over on the piano with a decent level of skill. But I have never tried it on that organ because I never did end up getting it. They’re too rare!

    I’ll see if I can find and view that documentary.

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    Replies
    1. WHEATSTRAW ~
      Well, I certainly appreciate your objectivity.

      I also like 'STRANGE DAYS', 'LOVE ME TWO TIMES', and 'WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER' better than 'PEOPLE ARE STRANGE'.

      'My Eyes Have Seen You' is one of the Doors' songs that I really don't care for at all. However, other songs from that same album that I like better than 'People Are Strange' are 'You're Lost, Little Girl', 'Moonlight Drive', and possibly even 'Horse Latitudes'.

      'People Are Strange' is OK - I don't DISLIKE it, but it's a bit too flat and straightforward, particularly considering its title.

      Tiny Tim does the title justice, Jim Morrison doesn't. (An Internet rumor floating around out there is that Morrison actually wrote the song for Tiny Tim. I don't know if there's any truth to that, but it WOULD actually kind of make sense... in a "strange" way.)

      If you're interested in my other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' posts, please submit votes before I do on the 7th and 21st of each month. (I post them on the 1st and 15th of each month, and I posted a new one just 40+ minutes ago.)

      Because, as much as I like creating 'BOTB' blog bits, they're simply not worth the trouble if I receive less than 9 votes (not counting my own), and I have decided that the very next time a 'BOTB' post has a total vote count of under ten (counting my own vote), THAT will by my VERY LAST 'BOTB' INSTALLMENT.

      Yak Later, Brother...

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete

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