Like many of you, I was watching that remarkable football game last Sunday. I’m not a big fan of the pre-hype and hoopla myself. I understand this particular game is on a bigger worldwide stage and that there’s more to it, but I just want to watch the game itself. No eight-hour pregame shows. No celebrity picks or foolish videos. Just the game please and damn, what a game it was!
I timed my Sunday poorly though. As it would turn out, I sunk into the couch a bit too early. After watching the Celtics’ game, I recognized I had enough time for an early dinner with my folks just before things got going in Houston. Perfect timing, I thought.
I forgot that even after that eight-hour pre-game lead in, there’s still the “we’re now officially underway with this final preview show, show” for another hour or so. I couldn’t move though. My backside was committed to my seat and really, where was I going? What other chore or errand could I sneak in with that short amount of time left? I was locked at that point, cringing at the non-stop loudmouth commentators trying to sound intelligent re-explaining the same prediction crap they’ve been saying for the previous two weeks!
As I was knuckles deep in a bowl of pretzels and popcorn, I gave in and sat back for the ride. In and out of commercials and during special reports, these TV stations try to get cute with the music. Since you’re featuring two teams from major American cities, most likely with well-known music acts that come from them, they always blend in some “popular” jams to accompany the localized piece. Like after the video of some small diner in Peabody, Mass., filled with New England fans, here comes music from Beantown. What you have in the end is classic rock radio on repeat. Game after game after game …
I say this with all the respect for the band and their first three records, but for the love of all we hold dearly if I hear “Rock n’ Roll Band” or “More Than a Feeling” by Boston during another Pats game, I’m going to fall apart! Add “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith in there too. Oh, and The Standells “Dirty Water!" It’s 2017, we know Boston is your home by now, damn.
I get it. There's a big audience, huge viewership; they’re going to play the most popular and recognizable regional tunes possible. It’s just … it’s. I mean, come on! Get a bit creative folks. The predictability of these songs being played every game is sickening and a bit embarrassing now. There are more than two bands who’ve come from the Commonwealth. We might be in need of a new musical advisor to keep it fresh.
I’m not trying to be a music nut here. I don’t expect them to play something awesome from Morphine, Mission Of Burma, Stompbox, Letters to Cleo, the Del Fuegos, The Fools or Lyres. That just ain’t gonna happen and I know it. I’m sure even the Pixies are a stretch. (They’re heavily responsible for the past 30 years of alternative music, but whatever).
How about something deeper from J. Geils Band though? The ultimate house rockin’ party band! They’re pretty much Boston, defined. The Cars? The Cars, for crying out loud, barely get played. Play something like “Moving in Stereo!" Although, wait… that brings up thoughts of Pheobe Cates getting out of the pool and I’m not sure we want to mess around with that. Especially if you have family over. That would make bathroom breaks a bit awkward.
There’s plenty others to dabble in though to help people realize Joe Perry and Tom Scholz aren’t the only musicians who made it from the Boston area. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones? Lemonheads? How about “Voices Carry” by Til’ Tuesday? Maybe sweeten it up with some “Cool It Now” by New Edition! Or show people you know something about bands today with some Guster perhaps? What about musicians people forget have Boston area backgrounds like Billy Squier?
And don’t get me started on the Sox! Have you watched a Red Sox game on national TV in the last ten years? Heard that Dropkick Murphys tune once or twice? The Murphys are ace dudes and I’m sure the licensing money has been great to them, but even they have to be like, “enough is enough already."
I know 99% of people could care less, but when you love music like me and you hear those Boston songs or Aerosmith songs AGAIN coming out of every break on Fox or CBS, my music soul weeps a little. Again, I like Boston and Aerosmith. I think being a New England native you’re legally obligated to like them. I own most of their records (although I stopped mid 80’s with both bands), but I think of all the other great artists from Boston that people could hear for musical geographic identification. Yet, “people only want the hits” is what I know someone in their TV production truck is saying. While that might be the lazy and easy approach, there’s no way to create new hits and more classics if you don’t give them a chance. We can’t live out this life with just the “Same Old Song and Dance” can we?