Tuesday, October 1, 2013


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...
Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ (BOTB). 
When I was a kid, it would have been perfectly safe for me to bet my “two dollars!” earned as a paperboy on the proposition that at some point during every family road trip, my Pa would begin singing the song ‘(Get Your Kicks On) ROUTE 66’.

My Pa was a big fan of Nat “King” Cole, and one of Nat’s biggest hits was the song written by Bobby Troup which celebrated ‘America’s Main Street’ or “the mother road” as John Steinbeck referred to it in his famous book ‘The Grapes Of Wrath’.

Songwriter Bobby Troup was traveling on Route 66 in 1946 with his wife, when she inspired him to begin writing a song about the highway. A few days after arriving at the Western end of The Route in Los Angeles, Troup managed an interview with his “idol” Nat King Cole. He played some of his original music for Cole and then said he had another song that he wasn’t quite finished writing yet. Old “King” Cole asked Troup to play it, after which Cole said it was great and that he wanted “to record it right away”. And Bobby Troup was quickly ‘on the map’ with a song that has become a genuine classic about a highway that has become a genuine piece of true ‘Americana’.

In the fantastic and fascinating “coffee table book” that sits on one of my bookshelves, ‘ROUTE 66: The Mother Road’ by Michael Wallis, published in 1990 by St. Martin’s Press (you catch that, Robin?), songwriter Bobby Troup is quoted as saying: “Years after I wrote it, I’d run into Nat ‘King’ Cole and he’d tell me the same thing, that out of all his music, out of all the many tunes he recorded, the song that was more requested than any other was ‘Get Your Kicks On Route 66’. That always made me feel good.”
WILL  ROGERS  HIGHWAY  Dedication  Plaque:  No,  That's  Not  Me;  And,  Yes,  That  Blue  Strip  Beyond  The  Fence  Is  The  Pacific  Ocean.
Having grown up in Santa Monica, California, I passed that “End Of ROUTE 66 Dedication Plaque” a godzillian times while strolling through Palisades Park (where the famous Christmas Nativity Scenes used to be displayed every December until the atheists converged and rained on everyone’s parade).
ROUTE 66, the road, is as “American” as Mother, Apple Pie, Lady Liberty, and WalMart. (Uhm... scratch that last one, eh?) And ROUTE 66, the song, has become one of the most covered tunes of all time.
Wikipedia on the road:

Wikipedia on the song:

If you ever plan to motor West
Travel my way, take the highway that's the best
Get your kicks on Route 66

It winds from Chicago to L.A.
More than two-thousand miles all the way
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Now you go through Saint Louie
Joplin, Missouri
And Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty
You'll see Amarillo
Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona; don't forget Winona
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino

Won't you get hip to this timely tip
When you make that Cal-i-fornia trip
Get your kicks on Route 66 
Here’s an interesting little ROUTE 66 trivia question I invented: Q: Can you tell me why Bobby Troup wrote DON’T FORGET Winona? A: Because the song mentions cities / towns going from East to West. Winona is East of Flagstaff, so Troup was backtracking to name Winona, which he had already passed when he mentioned Flagstaff.

In my lifetime (thus far), I have been in 10 of the 12 cities / towns mentioned in the song ‘ROUTE 66’. (I’ve never seen Joplin, MO. nor Gallup, N.M. – I did, however, fall in love once, in 45 minutes, with a waitress in a Santa Fe café.)

I’m an old, cranky dude now, but back in 1986 when I was young and (sorta) semi-cool, I went on a big road trip with my buddy Pooh, which we named ‘The Show No Emotion In A Big Way Tour’ (think about that oxymoron). There are still some bits and pieces of the old ROUTE 66 that exist in this country, despite 66 having been bypassed by later superhighway constructions.

On ‘The Show No Emotion In A Big Way Tour’ of ’86, Pooh and I deliberately took a little extra time to drive a ribbon of the original Route 66 highway that exists just North of I-40 in Airheadzona between Kingman and Seligman (get out yer road atlas – we were traveling West to East). This was years before I made the bad decision to move to Airheadzona, and Pooh made the good decision to stay employed at U.C.L.A. We stopped long enough on Route 66 (once, near the town of Hackberry) to take a few pictures, and below are two of them:
My  Buddy,  MUDDY,  In  The  Middle  Of  ROUTE  66,  Airheadzona,  1986.
Semi-Cool  Dudes:  Stephen  T.  McCarthy  And  Muddy  Thumbin'  A  Ride  On  Old  ROUTE 66,  Airheadzona,  1986.
In 1972, the Eagles name-checked a Route 66 town that Bobby Troup had neglected in ’46, when they sang in their first Top 40 hit ‘Take It Easy’: “Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see; it’s a girl, my Lord, in a flat-bed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me”.

And, yep, I’ve stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, too – although no girl ever slowed down to take a look at me. [“Pray for Winslow!”]

Alright, let’s get to the songs! This time my BOTB contest is a ménage à trois (thanks for the “trinspiration”, Sheboyganbrother Six!). I may not use more than two versions of a song ever again in future BOTB blog bits, but this one was just too hard to resist because all three versions are so completely, astoundingly different from the others!

Vote for the version you like best...
First up is the original 1946 Jazz trio recording by NAT “KING” COLE:

Below is the 1965 nearly proto-Punk “Garage” band version by Ireland’s THEM featuring Van Morrison on lead vocals:

And 3 of 3 (which adds up to 6) in our ROUTE 66 ‘Battle Of The Bands’ competiton is the synth-driven version by DEPECHE MODE from 1987:

Please decide which of the above 3 versions you like best BEFORE you click on the link below. After all, "If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?!"

Thanks to Sheboyganboy Six, I am able to share with you what I consider to be one of the best music videos ever shot. I’m not necessarily saying that the Depeche Mode version of ‘Route 66’ is my favorite of the 3 (maybe yes, maybe no – you’ll learn my choice on Oct. 7TH), but I do think this video, with all the vintage Route 66 signs and locations, is totally A-list! (However, that final shot is definitely NOT the spot where Route 66 ended in Santa Monica, California.)

Come Back Later And Click Me:
I welcome EVERYONE to vote for your 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.)
After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to FAE’s ‘Far Away Series’ and Arlee Bird’s ‘Tossing It Out’ 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 ‘Far Away Series’ and ‘Tossing It Out’ to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.

Find The True Meaning Of Christmas: Win Money!-Money!-Money! Spectacular, Super-Colossal Neighborhood Christmas Lights And Display Contest!

Find  The  True  Purpose  For  Voting  On  ‘Battle  Of  The  Bands’  Installments:  Win  Compact  Discs!-Compact Discs!-Compact Discs!  Spectacular,  Super-Colossal  Blogosphere  ‘Battle  Of  The  Bands’  Voting  Contest!

Here’s The Deal: By voting on the ‘Battle Of The Bands’ blog bits here and at the ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ and ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ blogs, you can win the compact disc of your choice. Every 4 months, FarAwayEyes, Arlee Bird and I will add up how many times you voted on our blogs, and the person who has participated most often (i.e., submitted the most eligible votes) will get to select one compact disc that contains any one of the songs that were included in any of our ‘Battle Of The Bands’ installments (“Super-Colossal” expensive boxed-sets, imports, and ‘out-of-print’ compact discs not included). In the event of a tie, the names will be put in a Stetson and the name drawn from the cowboy hat will win the CD.

Rules For Voting: FAE, Arlee Bird and I post new ‘Battle Of The Bands’ blog bits on the 1st and 15th of each month. We also post our own personal votes for the respective blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month (i.e., six days later). For your vote to be counted, it must be submitted in our comment sections BEFORE we post our own votes (BEFORE we make our own votes known on the 7th and the 21st).

Every 4 months there will be a new compact disc winner. In other words, ‘Battle Of The Bands’ #1 was posted on August 1, 2013, so at the end of November, one of you lucky voters is going to win a CD that includes one of the songs we’ve featured in our ‘Battle Of The Bands’ installments (you get to choose, and it doesn’t matter if the song won or lost its battle – if you like it, it’s YOURS!)

Alright, now... VOTE ON and ROCK ON! (while we 
‘Count On...’)

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

POSTSCRIPT: If you are a blogger participating in the BOTB posts but are not involved in the vote-counting for the compact disc prize, please be sure to mention your BOTB blog bit in my Comment Section, so that others (including li’l ol’ me) will know to visit your blog and cast a vote.

Links To Previous 'BOTB' Installments:

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. 


  1. I used to find this song to be very annoying. The first versions I recall hearing were in the late 60's by bar bands that friends of mine used to play in. I disliked the song immensely. It's still not a favorite though Nat did win me over with his cool jazzy version and that's my favorite of these three picks.

    I like Depeche Mode a lot and their version is good, but not my favorite of these three.

    When my family moved from Pittsburgh Pa to San Diego back in 1959 we traveled most of Rt 66--there wasn't any interstate yet. Since that time I've visited most of the towns along the route many times and followed near the 66 route via interstates. It's a classic trek westward for sure.

    Tossing It Out

  2. I have such an annoyingly eclectic love of music, making a choice is very difficult, because I like certain elements of each version. The second version sounds like a lot of the music of the sixties, which I love in general, so I like that one. The third version, I like the background sound and rhythm. But since I'm such a smoooooth mellow kinda gal, I've gotta go with number one. I love Nat's mellow sound, and the jazz rendition the best.

  3. I'm voting for Them, (with Van the Man). I love Nat's version but didn't care for the third rendition. Nat is smooth and upbeat, but I like the energy underlying the THEM version.

  4. I know it's cool to like Depeche Mode, but try as I may, I cannot get into them.

    While I like Them's spunk, I'm going with the original...


  5. As alway, an interesting selections for your, first things first.

    Those are some mighty handsome pictures you got there of ‘Muddy’. He looks particularly cool as the road warrior out there in the middle of Route 66. Is he safe hitchhiking with that fellow of dubious character? That little guy sure does get around.

    As a child I was fortunate enough to have taken a Route 66 vacation with my wacky parents. This is one where we visited some long lost friends in Arizona and even made a detour down to Nogales, Mexico; an adventure in itself with my daddy. The only city named in the song, that I can’t say for sure I’ve been in, is Winona, but knowing my daddy, we were there also.

    Now, let’s get down to business. Like Susan, I have to admit that there are elements in each of these songs that I like. You know how I feel about ‘Van the Man’, and I will admit that ‘Them’ have a very hip version of this tune, but it saddens me to say it does not get my vote.

    ‘Depeche Mode’ also does a fine job. I like the underlying beat in this one, but alas, not my favorite either.

    Once again, I have to agree with Susan. It’s NAT KING COLE all the way. Who could resist those smooth vocals and that slick piano accompaniment?

    1. Somehow, that first paragraph got a little garbled. That is not what was in the comment box when I pushed publish. Oh well, the main points of my comment ate intact.

  6. Not a big strong feeling on any of them, but since I'm sure you won't let me vote "Put Nat's vocals on Them's instrumental track", I guess I'll go for Them.

  7. First, yes, I did catch your reference to SMP and the book Route 66. What a memory you have... yes, I did start working there in 1990, so I remember that title, though I did not work on it. SMP published an extremely eclectic list. Seems like there was a little bit of everything in each catalog.

    Now, on to the song... I actually liked all of these versions despite the fact that they were so different from one another. This is the hardest choice you have posted! Being a child of the 80s, Depeche Mode has been one of my favorite bands for a LONG time. That said, I am voting for THEM. It was so upbeat and FUN.

  8. BOIDMAN ~ With all the traveling and extended road trips you've taken, I would have thought 'Route 66' would be right up your alley... or highway.

    SUSAN ~ Anyone who digs any Jazz at all gets a smiley face sticker AND a star sticker in my book.

    D.G. ~ One vote for 'Them'. Ireland thanks ya!

    DR. DISC ~ Whoa! What a surprise to me! I figured that if 'Them' got just one vote, it would come from YOUR keyboard. Way to stay unpredictable, buddy!

    FAE ~ Thanks! Yeah, ya know, I used to say that "Muddy has seen more of the U.S.A. than most American human beings have seen". And I have been fortunate that on most of Muddy's road trips, he has been willing to take me along.

    Your mention of the Route 66 vacation and Nogales, Mexico adventure reminded me to axe ya... How'z that memoir shaping up? (Sorry you mentioned them now, aren't ya?)

    >>... Oh well, the main points of my comment ate intact.

    Yes, they did. Usually they eat at different times and in different rooms, don't they?


    OK, another vote for Nat's original recorded in the book.

    BROTHER MARTIN ~ Here comes the night! Er... actually, I meant to say, "Here comes Them, gaining on Nat's lead in the Route 66 race."

    ROBIN ~ I remembered that you had worked for St. Martin's Press, and when I saw my book was published by them in 1990, I went back to your blog to check, because I thought that was about the time you started with them. Bingo! (So I guessed you might be familiar with that title / cover illustration.)

    >>... I actually liked all of these versions despite the fact that they were so different from one another. This is the hardest choice you have posted!

    I agree on both counts, Robin. I also like all 3 versions, and, likewise, it was the hardest BOTB blog bit for me to decide which version to vote for, too.

    In fact, back on August 25, I was engaged in an Email exchange with my friend Sheboyganboy Six (where are ya, Six?), and it was he who inspired me to make this a 3-way competition. I will tell the story more fully on the 7th when I post my own vote here.

    But, anyway, on Aug. 25th I decided that these would be the three versions of 'ROUTE 66' I would use in BOTB #5, but it wasn't until just a couple days ago that I decided definitively which one I myself would vote for. That's how CLOSE this competition was for me!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  9. MUDDY...plush road kill. Oh, the humanity!

    >I did, however, fall in love once, in 45 minutes, with a waitress in a Santa Fe café.)

    I know. I've got the video. Santa Fe Diner

    Nat King Cole. I guess it just takes me back to the time right after the big one, WWII; didn't need no welfare state, everybody pulled his weight, gee, our old LaSalle ran great, those were the days.


    1. SIG-66 ~
      You gotta wonder what that driver was thinking. He's just driving along on a pretty empty stretch of old highway when he comes across this guy lying on his stomach in the middle of the road and taking a picture of a stuffed dog with "white line fever".

      Now, if you'll just hold that diner between your knees and give me a side order of "Five & Dime" store (which had to be changed to a "café", to rhyme with Santa Fe) we'll have an accurate picture of my 45-minute romance... minus Sally Struthers.

      Just before checking for comments, I was watching 'Band Of Brothers' - the series about soldiers in the Big One - Double-U, Double-U "Too".

      OK, Cole it is.

      ~ Stephen

  10. I'm gonna rock the boat and go for the (I'm assuming) unpopular opinion here. I choose the Depeche Mode version. Not just because I'm a child of the 80s and have a spot in my heart for synth music, but because it's got enough rock sound in it to not be full on Depeche Mode. The others are good, but I just liked this one better.

    Onto some beer yak (I'm a fan of consolidation in comments).

    That Brew Battles is a great idea. Is it too late to steal it? Their videos have almost no views. Who's to say we didn't coin that phrase ourselves...?

    And actually, that sounds fun as a Youtube series. You and Nappy gonna make an Internet video debut some time soon?

    So the coconut porter... did not taste a thing like coconut. It was good, and I might drink it again, but I didn't taste even a hint of coconut. More of a light chocolate/coffee taste but without being sweet. Now I'm just curious to try one that DOES taste like coconut. I guess I'll be on the lookout in case they have another coconut porter pop up in the singles section. And if you should happen to find a can of that Maui Coconut Porter (which I couldn't believe I found in the first place) let me know how it compares to your former BIL's beer. If I had to guess? Worth a try, but former BIL's was probably better.

    As for your beer selections, I was surprised to see that Mermaid Red on your list, since it said "Corona Brewing Co." I thought, who drinks Corona, and when did Corona make something else besides translucent piss water? Then I realized after a quick Google search that you meant Coronado (which I had not heard of). If the rest of their beer is anything like the Mermaid Red, though, I may not yet be checking them out. Have you tried any of their other beers to better success?

    You've really piqued my curiosity with Lagunita's DayTime, though. I definitely haven't seen that particular flavor at the liquor store (I'm always on the look out for Lagunita's) but maybe next time I'm there I'll get lucky. I still haven't had a flavor of Lagunita's I don't like.

    Speaking of good breweries, I randomly tried the Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale and was really pleased. For a summer ale, it's nothing like the Sam Adams type of summer ale, aka golden yellow beer flavored water. It's light, it's refreshing, but it's probably one of the most flavorful summer ales I've ever tried. Definitely more ale than summer. At least worth a try if you already haven't. The guide says it's available May-Sep, so MAYBE you can catch the tail end of this pretty decent brew. I think you might just like it.

    By the way, I'm once again late to the comment party, but I have a valid excuse (don't I always?). Two days ago the wife was bitten by either a black widow or a brown recluse spider about 4-5 times on her legs (while she was sleeping, of all things), and I've spent the past 2 days at the doctor with her, picking up prescriptions, treating the bites, etc. She's going to be fine but damn near the nastiest bites I've ever seen and since they were on the legs she can barely walk thanks to all of that venom cramping her muscles. Hey, aren't those kinds of spiders supposed to live in your area? Why the hell did you send them here? ;)

    So I just consulted my own doctor (myself), and he concluded that I need a beer, stat. I'm off to fill that prescription. Yak at you later, Bro.


    1. Part 1:

      4-B OLD SOUL ~

      You're the only one "rocking the boat" so far, but I know Sheboyganboy Six is going to give you a hand whenever he gets here. Depeche Mode is guaranteed at least two votes in BOTB #5.

      >>... That Brew Battles is a great idea. Is it too late to steal it? Their videos have almost no views.

      Yep, it's a very new YouTube concept - only several weeks old, I believe. In fact, they have posted a trailer for an IPA contest that includes (by some strange coincidence, considering how many IPA's are on the market) 'BIG SKY IPA' as one of the five or six contestants. As far as I can tell though, as of yesterday, only the trailer had been posted; the actual contest hasn't gone up yet.

      Certainly it is within the realm of possibility that it's mere coincidence that my posts here were titled 'Blind Beer Taste Tests' (Or, Beer Battles...)' and their video contests are called "Brew Battles: Blind Beer Taste Tests". Also within the realm of coincidence that our winner at F-FFF was 'Big Sky IPA', and in their first IPA contest, 'Big Sky' is one of the 5 or 6 competitors out of... how many better known IPA's they could have chosen to include instead?

      I strongly suspect that they came across my blog bits and decided to use the concept (and the name) for a YouTube video series.

      Now, if they had also borrowed the slogans "Who Hops To The Top?" and “Stop listening to your heart and your mind, and start listening to your taste buds" then of course all speculation would cease and we would know for certain.

      I really don't mind at all. You know the saying about "imitation being the highest compliment" and all that. But if they indeed got the idea from 'Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends', it would have been nice if they had stated that - given my blog a nod, a wave, a lick and a promise. (OK, scratch those last 5 words.)

      >>... And actually, that sounds fun as a Youtube series. You and Nappy gonna make an Internet video debut some time soon?

      We DID make one (not about beer though) about a year ago but... after all that work, "someone" didn't want us to post it, and Nappy let that "someone" have the final say. (Still kind of a sore spot for me.)

      Continued Below...

    2. Part 2:

      >>... So the coconut porter... did not taste a thing like coconut. It was good, and I might drink it again, but I didn't taste even a hint of coconut. More of a light chocolate/coffee taste but without being sweet.

      Hey, I found it at TW&M and bought a can of it. $2.99 for one 12-ounce can! WTH?! But I had to try it at least once, right? (And the Lagunitas 'DayTime' is such a good deal that I figured it was a trade-off.)

      My impression of it was similar but not entirely the same as yours. First off, for a Porter (other than a couple of the 'Smoked' variety, I'm not a Porter fan), I thought it was pretty good.

      I actually COULD taste a trace of coconut in it, so it seemed to me - like you said - a kind of chocolate / coconut Porter without sweetness. Had it been sweet at all, I wouldn't have liked it at all.

      Comparing it to my BIL's, I would say that this one was thicker, less coconut flavored, heavier on the chocolate / coffee. My BIL's was thinner, much more pronounced coconut flavor, likewise no sweetness, and more refreshing. Better.

      The Maui version was pretty good (for a Porter) but I wouldn't even consider buying it again at those prices. I'll stick with the Stone 'Smoked Porter' for those times when a Porter is the ticket.

      >>... Then I realized after a quick Google search that you meant Coronado

      DOH! I guess I'd had one too many and couldn't read straight, let alone walk straight. (I've not had any others from that brewery.)

      >>... I still haven't had a flavor of Lagunita's I don't like.

      I've found only one I dislike. Sometime ago, Nappy brought home a six-pack of one called "UNDERCOVER". We both liked it.

      So maybe a month later I picked up a sixer of 'UNDERCOVER' and Nappy and I both went "Eew! Too sweet!"

      A few months later, Nappy brought home another sixer of it (remembering the first time he had it and liked it, and not recalling the second time when he didn't). We both said, "Eew! Too sweet!"

      And that was the end of Lagunitas' 'UNDERCOVER' for us. (It can STAY under the covers as far as we're concerned.)

      But the odd thing is that we both LIKED it the first time. Beer is a strange thing in that you can be in the mood for it or not; or you can be in the mood for a certain type one time and not at all enjoying it sometime later.

      Nappy and I have found that the one beer that will ALWAYS taste good to us (if we're in a beer mood at all) is 'Mirror Pond'. If 'Mirror Pond' is not going down well, then NO beer would because we're simply not in a beer mood.

      >>... Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale

      I've had that one several times. I like it fine, and I think Nappy likes it better'n I do.

      Conversely, I like the SN 'Summerfest' better'n Nappy does. He thinks it's "too vinegary or wheaty". It does have a slightly sharp, unique "vinegary" aftertaste, but it appeals to me, especially as a "Summer" brew.

      But to me, if I want a lighter, "session" beer, and 'Mirror Pond' is right next to 'Twilight' on the shelf, I'll grab the MP.

      But now that I've found 'DayTime', I think THAT would probably be my first choice for a "session" beer. Unfortunately, it looks like it's only available for a very, very short time. (I'd never even seen it anywhere before until a couple weeks ago.)

      Continued Below...

    3. Part 3:

      >>... Two days ago the wife was bitten by either a black widow or a brown recluse spider about 4-5 times on her legs

      Damn, man! I'm glad to know she's recovering OK. A 'Brown Recluse'... I've heard about how freakin' dangerous they are.

      My guess is that it was a 'BROWN Recluse' Spider that was out to get YOU in revenge for your last post about Garage Sales, but it accidentally got your wife instead. (After all, in the dark, in bed and under the blankie, we all look the same.)

      >>... Hey, aren't those kinds of spiders supposed to live in your area? Why the hell did you send them here?

      I don't think I've ever even seen one. Heck, I've only seen scorpions on a few occasions (usually after we get rain... which we rarely do).

      I think maybe you should post a public apology to all 'Brown Recluse' Spiders for that Garage Sale blog bit.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  11. Nat King Cole, smooth & classic. Couldn't help but think "kachow" as I read your post, it's what my friend lightning McQueen would say ;)

  12. Did I beat you to your post???

    I have been literally in a place without either internet or even cell coverage for days, and hence missed this fun until now.

    I agree with Susan that this was your toughest contest so far, at least among songs that I liked; I hated the Hair songs equally, so that was tough, too.

    All of these versions are excellent. I even like the Cole version and I don't like Nat King Cole. I love Van Morrison and hence liked THEM very much. However, you are correct: I am joining Beerboy in voting for D-Mode. I love the driving beat, which is truly excellent actual "driving" music. It makes me want to drive fast... which I do, anyway.

  13. ALL Y'ALL ---
    The report of my computer's death has not been greatly exaggerated. I'll be back... with a lighter wallet. (Thank God for this Chinee boy and his Nook.)
    - D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underpants'

  14. Part 1:

    HOWDY, Y’ALL ~
    I’m happy to report that the flux capacitor on my computer has been repaired ($150.) and I am back in business at F-FFF. But being out of order gave Sheboyganboy Six (the inspiration for this 3-way 'BOTB' post) an opportunity to sneak his vote in under the wire and over the top, as it should have been.

    Before I vote, I wanna tell ya how this competition came to be:

    Back on August 25th, my friend Sheboyganboy sent me an Email suggesting the song ‘ROUTE 66’ as a potential ‘BOTB’ match-up. Included in his Email were links to 3 versions of the song at YouTube: Nat King Cole, Louis Prima, Depeche Mode.

    I replied that I already had ‘ROUTE 66’ on my 'BOTB' list for a future contest, and that of the two I had already selected to go head-to-head, one of them was included in the links he’d sent me. SBB-6 came back and said he was sure the one I already had lined up was by Depeche Mode (Me: Who?)

    I HAD to laugh because as much as we agree on so much, SBB-6 and I are nearly 180 degrees unaligned on music 98.5% of the time. Other than Tom Petty, Louis Prima, and a few random songs here and there, SBB-6 and I simply do not hear ear-to-ear. This really, Really, REALLY bothers him, but I’ve learned to be entertained by the predictability of it.

    Of course, one of the two versions I intended to use was the Nat King Cole original. So when SBB-6 responded that he was sure I was going to use the Depeche Mode version, I Emailed him again and said...

    Continued Below...

    1. Part 2:

      Sun, Aug 25, 2013
      Ha!-Ha! I loves you, man! (JOHN WAYNE! JOHN WAYNE!)

      OF COURSE YOU GOT IT... WRONG! (How could it be otherwise?!) But you have given me a really good, unique idea, Brotherman Six!

      This is just between you and me.

      I have now listened to the two versions in your Email that I had never heard before (and it’s true, I hadn’t). And after listening to them, a thought occurred to me: ‘Route 66’ is perhaps the perfect song! What I mean is, if you can play a musical instrument at all, you can NOT fu*k up ‘Route 66’!

      It seems that no matter WHO does it (did The Who ever do it?), I like it! So as I was listening to the versions I hadn’t heard before I suddenly thought of a “monkey wrench” to throw into the works. I’m going to be the first person of us three (Arlee Bird is doing BOTB blog bits now also) to use MORE THAN TWO. Instead of One Vs. One, I am going to use 3 versions of the song. I am going to include the Depeche Mode version also (which I had never heard before). And by the time I get around to doing the ‘Route 66’ BOTB installment, who knows, maybe it will be up to FOUR versions from which the voters must select one.

      I’m letting you in on this secret: My original idea was to use Nat King Cole Vs. Van Morrison’s band ‘Them’:


      When I was really young, my Pa, who was a big Nat King Cole fan, used to sing ‘Route 66’ often, especially every time we were on a road trip. But the first version I ever heard actually on a record (when I was a teenager) was the ‘Them’ version.

      So, in a way, doing NKC Vs. THEM was like doing Pa Vs. Me. But the Depeche Mode version was so TOTALLY different from NKC AND THEM, that I’m thinking I’ll make that battle a menage a trois. I really dig the idea of not just pitting one performer against another, but using two xtremely different genres or styles against each other.

      For ‘Route 66’ I’d have a Jazz trio against an Irish R&B garage band against a slick ‘new age-ish’ band. How INTERESTING! (By the way, I thought the Depeche Mode video was REALLY COOL with all those vintage Route 66 signs and dilapidated buildings!)

      So, thanks for the great idea, Mr. Six! I wasn’t really planning on doing ‘Route 66’ for a long time, but since I don’t want anyone else to beat me to the ‘1 Vs. 1 Vs. 1’ idea, I’m thinking I might move it up to BOTB #5. (#4 is already set in stone because all three of us are going to post on a particular musical theme... which you will NOT like.)

      ~ The Thirteenth Number 2

    2. Part 3:

      So, BOTB-ers, that’s how this 3-way came about. It was inspired via Email on Aug 25th but didn’t manifest on my blog until October 1st (and by then, DiscConnected had already beaten me to a 2 And Mo' ‘BOTB’ installment).

      Now let’s see how it played out:

      STMcC's Vote On 'BOTB #4', And The Final Tally:

      I dug all three of these versions of 'ROUTE 66'; in my opinion, no vote could be a bad one. As I said above, I first learned this song when I was a little kid by hearing my Pa sing it, with Nat King Cole's tempo and vocal inflections (Nat was Pa's favorite singer).

      The first recording of it that I owned was by Van Morrison and 'Them' - it was on a double LP 'Best Of Them' collection I had in the late 1970s.

      The ferocious pace and energy of the 'THEM' version makes it the first to cross the finish line on my scorecard. With 'Them', it's not just 'Route 66', but 'Route 66' covered at about 100 miles an hour! That is some seriously hard-drivin' playing and singing; I flat-out LOVE the barrelhouse piano riffs followed by something like a "California Surf Guitar" solo. I could listen to this song over and over again!

      Two more points before the total:

      1) At the time 'Them' recorded this song, Van and his band had never yet even visited the United States; they had learned this song about 'a distant road' in 'a distant land' while still living in Ireland.

      2) What the hell is Van singing when he gets to the line "Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino"? I can hear "San Bernardino" at the end, but he's singing so fast I can't make out what precedes it, but it sure doesn't sound like "Kingman, Barstow" to me!

      And the winner is...

      The 'Nat King Cole' Trio: 6 votes.
      Van Morrison & Them: 4 votes.
      Depeche Mode: 2 votes.

      Chalk up a win for the original.

      My thanks to everyone for participating (and special thanks to Sheboyganboy Six for the inspiration). See ya all again on October 15th.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  15. Well, I am happy I was of assistance! It was my favorite so far of the BOTB bits, and I agree that all the versions are good.

    But to clarify a bit: I didn't think you were planning on Depeche Mode's version because you LIKED it, but rather because it would be the version far more people under 50 are familiar with. It was my favorite because I liked Depeche Mode... but I would have bet the house that you DIDN'T. I do get frustrated by the musical divide, but also a bit by your expression of the "gulf" of it. On several of these (and FAE's and Lee's BOTBs) you and I have at least "liked" the same music. It is on our favorites that we especially diverge.

    Anyway... I'm in LA this week. I'll prob. hit the pier again and go to that massive record store you mentioned a couple of years ago, too.

    1. SBB-6 ~
      So, I take it you don't like my newest nickname for you... "MR. GULF D. VIDE"?

      Alright, I'll TRY to fuhgeddaboudit.

      While in L.A., if interested, you might want to check out that small monument commemorating the Western end of 'Route 66'. It's located in the Palisades Park, just a few blocks North of the Santa Monica Pier.

      Say "Hello" to Venice Beach for me. I guess it's "Dodgers Fever" in L.A. right now. Sadly, as of tonight, it looks like their run to the World Series is coming to an unfulfilled end soon.

      Hey, new 'BOTB' blog bit went up today. Need yer vote there before the 7th, Bro.

      Yak Later...

      ~ Doggtor Gulf H. Ealing


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