Friday, April 4, 2008

Fastball Was Pretty Good, Though

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced a special baseball exhibit called Take Me Out: Baseball Rocks!, featuring some interesting stuff like a display on Lee Maye, a National League first baseman from the Sixties who went on to an R&B singing career. And if it doesn't make you physically ill to hear "Who Let the Dogs Out" one more time, they'll have plenty of that too, in some sort of theme song retrospective.

Mostly, though, the exhibit points up the fact that rock & roll baseball songs generally aren't very good. "Centerfield" is probably the best of the contemporary ones, but it's among the least compelling songs John Fogerty has ever written, with those faux handclaps and its halfspeed rhythm.

Much worse is Terry Cashman's simpering "Talkin' Baseball," the "We Didn't Start the Fire" of baseball. It was aimed squarely at people who grew up in New York City in the 1950s but hadn't followed baseball since they were kids, a population that at one time included most of the people who run American media, which made it inescapable for a long time. It's the song that non-fans think baseball fans should like, nostalgic for a time most of us couldn't care less about. Listening to that piece of uber-wimpiness, it's hard to believe that Cashman is the same dude who wrote Spanky and Our Gang's ebullient "Sunday Will Never Be the Same."

1 comment:

evandad said...

Amen to that, brother. Both of those tunes are dreadful.

I'll stick with Steve Goodman's "The Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" as the best baseball song.

It'll be up for a short while over at amthenfm.wordpress.com. Enjoy.