R.I.P. George Steinbrenner (July 4, 1930 – July 13, 2010)

George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees, died this morning from a massive heart attack in Tampa, Fla. He was 80.

Steinbrenner was either loved or hated by baseball fans – depending on whether you are a Yankees fan or not. His outspokenness and role in driving up players salaries made him despised by fans outside of Yankee country. He was known for being a hands-on owner, and earned the nickname “The Boss”. He tended to meddle in on field decisions, and was known for hiring and firing (and re-hiring and re-firing) many managers – especially Billy Martin. In his first 23 seasons, he changed managers 20 times (including dismissing Billy Martin on five separate occasions), and general managers 11 times in 30 years.

The Yankees only appeared in 1 World Series in the ’80s – 1981. They lost that series to the Los Angeles Dodgers. After a Game 3 loss in Los Angeles, Steinbrenner called a press conference in his hotel room, showing off his left hand in a cast and various other injuries that he claimed were earned in a fight with two Dodgers fans in the hotel elevator. Nobody came forward about the fight, leading to the belief that he had made up the story of the fight in order to light a fire under the Yankees. After the series, he issued a public apology to the City of New York for his team’s performance, while at the same time assuring the fans that plans to put the team together for 1982 would begin immediately. He was criticized heartily by players and press alike for doing so, as most people felt losing in the World Series was not something that needed to be apologized for.

The loss was also bad for the Yankees because they had acquired Dave Winfield that year, as he became the highest payed player in baseball history at that time. He helped get them to the World Series, but he went 1 for 22 (for a .045 batting Average) in the series, as the Dodgers won the series 4 games to 2.
The ’80s was the only decade that the Yankees did not win a World Series in.

On July 30, 1990, Commissioner Fay Vincent banned Steinbrenner from baseball for life after he paid Howie Spira, a small-time gambler, $40,000 for “dirt” after Winfield sued him for failing to pay his foundation the $300,000 guaranteed in his contract. Winfield later entered the Hall of Fame as a San Diego Padre, which is where he played before he went to the Yankees.

Steinbrenner was reinstated in 1993. However, his attitude had changed, and he did not interfere as much, and left the decision making to the executives.

Since 2006, George Steinbrenner spent most of his time in Tampa, Florida, leaving the Yankees to be run by his sons Hank and Hal Steinbrenner. Hank is taking on his father’s traits by being outspoken and stirring up controversy.

Advertisements

Men at Work Reunion Tour Facebook group page

If you are a Men At Work fan, check out this Men at Work Reunion Tour page on Facebook, or search for Men at Work Reunion Tour on Facebook. Here is a description from the site:

This is for Men at Work fans young and old to get together and ask that the original quintet of Colin Hay, Greg Ham, Jerry Speiser, John Rees and Ron Strykert regroup and tour the world once again!

So check out this group page, and feel free to join the group, and share your thoughts, pictures, and ideas on this page.

Music Video of the Week – 7/7/10

Here is the inaugural Music Video of the week. Appropriately, this week’s pick will be:

Video Killed the Radio Star- The Buggles

As most of you may know, The Buggles secured their place in pop music history by being the answer to the trivia question: “What was the first act ever played on MTV?”. They were a one hit wonder with this song in the U.S., and only had moderate success in the U.K. with a few other songs such as “Living in the Plastic Age”, “Clean Clean”, and “Elstree”.
In 1980, the members of The Buggles – Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes – joined the band Yes to replace lead singer Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. Then Yes temporarily disbanded in 1981.
After Yes broke up, Downes and Horn resumed work on a second Buggles album, entitled Adventures in Modern Recording. But that album wasn’t too successful, and they broke up.
Geoff Downes then joined his former Yes bandmate Steve Howe in supergroup Asia, together with John Wetton (ex-King Crimson), and Carl Palmer (ex-Emerson, Lake & Palmer). Downes is the only original member still in that band.
And the other Buggle, Trevor Horn went on to become a successful producer for such acts as ABC, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Art of Noise, Seal, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, and Cher.

Men at Work must pay royalties for copied riff in ‘Down Under’

In February, a judge has ruled that the flute riff in Men at Work’s Australian anthem “Down Under” plagiarized a popular nursery rhyme, called “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree”, which was written in 1932. It was written by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition.

Sinclair died in 1988. In 1990, an Australian publishing group called Larrikin Publishing bought the copyright to the song. “Down Under” was composed and performed by Men at Work founding member Colin Hay in 1978. Greg Ham added the flute riff after he joined the band in mid-1979.

The band has to pay 5 percent of the song’s royalties, which was a lot less than the 60 percent that Larrikin Publishing was looking for.

According to court documents, Ham added the riff to the song to inject some “Australian flavor.” He admitted he had heard the song while growing up in the country in the late 1950s and was “pretty sure” that Kookaburra was in his school’s song book.

Judge Jacobsen found that Ham deliberately included the bars from Kookaburra into the flute line, but accepted that Colin Hay didn’t realize it was from the nursery rhyme until early in the last decade.

On Tuesday, Jacobson ordered Men at Work’s recording company, EMI Songs Australia, and “Down Under” songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, to pay 5 percent of royalties earned from the song since 2002 and from its future earnings. A statute of limitations restricted Larrikin from seeking royalties earned before 2002.

The court didn’t specify what the 5 percent penalty translates to in dollars.

“I consider the figures put forward by Larrikin to be excessive, overreaching and unrealistic,” Jacobson wrote in his judgment.

Mark Bamford, a lawyer for EMI, said the company plans to continue with its appeal of the February ruling.

“The ruling today on quantum is a good result in light of Larrikin’s ‘excessive, overreaching and unrealistic’ claim” for a higher cut of the profits, Bamford said in a statement. “EMI Songs will now focus on its appeal against the broader decision.”

Adam Simpson, Larrikin Music’s lawyer, said the company had no comment on the ruling, due to the pending appeal. Hay and Strykert were not in court for the decision and couldn’t immediately be reached.

“Down Under” and the album it was on, “Business As Usual,” topped the Australian, American and British charts in early 1983. The song remains an unofficial anthem for Australia and was ranked fourth in a 2001 music industry survey of the best Australian songs. Men at Work won the 1983 Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Reference: The Christian Science Monitor

Trivia Tuesday – 7/6/10

Question: What 1983 big-screen smash was hyped with the line: “Take your passion and make it happen”?


Last Week’s Question: Which Facts of Life girl was the first to lose her virginity on the show, simply because the actress playing her volunteered?

Answer: Natalie

The episode was titled “The First Time”, and aired on February 06, 1988. Originally, Blair was suppose to lose her virginity, but Lisa Whelchel refused to do it because of her strong religious beliefs. The episode was rewritten with Natalie (Mindy Cohn) losing her virginity instead. It also was the only episode in the series history that Whelchel did not appear in.

Snake was played by Mike Damone, the one who knocked up Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Here is the episode:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Airplane! released 30 years ago today. Surely you can’t be serious!

I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley. Airplane!, one of the funniest movies of all time was released on July 2, 1980. The movie was directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker, and influenced many other satires including the Naked Gun, as well as the Scary Movie franchises. It was a satire of disaster movies, and was basically a remake of a 1957 movie called Zero Hour. Airplane! starred Robert Hays as Ted Striker – an ex-fighter pilot who was traumatized after an incident during the war, leading to his fear of flying and his “drinking problem”. Of course his “drinking problem” was not alcoholism, but the problem was that he always missed his mouth whenever he tried to drink something. Striker attempts to regain the love of his life from the war, Elaine (Julie Hagerty), now a stewardess. In order to win her love, Striker overcomes his fear and buys a ticket on a flight she is serving on, from Los Angeles to Chicago. During the flight a major case of food poisoning breaks out, and knocks the pilot, co-pilot, and navigator out of commission. Ted needs to overcome his fear, and take over as pilot, and landing the plane safely.
Airplane! also starred several actors playing against the type of roles they were used to playing.
This movie changed Leslie Nielsen’s career. Before Airplane!, Nielsen had leading roles in the science fiction classic Forbidden Planet and as the ship’s captain in The Poseidon Adventure. His last role before Airplane! was in the 1977 action movie Project: Kill. In Airplane!, he played Dr. Rumack:

Rumack: What was it we had for dinner tonight?
Elaine: Well, we had a choice of steak or fish.
Rumack: Yes, yes, I remember, I had lasagna.

Sadly, Leslie Nielsen passed away November 28, 2010 from complications of pneumonia.
Peter Graves, who died on March 14 this year, was better known as Jim Phelps from the Mission: Impossible television show. But, he was great as Captain Oveur. The things that he said to little Joey probably would not appear in any movies today without causing an outrage:
“Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?”
“Joey, have you ever been to a Turkish prison?”
“Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?”

Robert Stack was also known for serious roles, such as Eliot Ness in the television drama The Untouchables (1959–63). Most of us also know him from hosting Unsolved Mysteries from 1987-2002. In Airplane!, Stack played Captain Rex Kramer, Ted’s former commander, who is called in to air control to talk Ted down.
[continuing to talk into the radio after Striker lands the plane] “Ted, have you ever been face down in the mud, and been kicked in the head with an iron boot? Of course you haven’t! No one has! It’s a stupid question! Forget I even asked!”

And who could forget Lloyd Bridges as Steve McCroskey, the tower supervisor!? He sure picked the wrong week to quit his many vices:

“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.”
“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking.”
“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.”
“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.”

There are so many comedic moments in this movie that you can not possibly catch everything the first time you watch the movie. 30 years later, there are still things I see in the movie that I had missed or had forgotten about.

And here is my favorite scene of the movie. Talk about playing against type! Check out Barbara Billingsley (aka Mrs. June Cleaver) as the Jive Lady:

Randy: Can I get you something?
Second Jive Dude: ‘S’mofo butter layin’ me to da’ BONE! Jackin’ me up… tight me!
Randy: I’m sorry, I don’t understand.
First Jive Dude: Cutty say ‘e can’t HANG!
Jive Lady: Oh stewardess! I speak jive.
Randy: Oh, good.
Jive Lady: He said that he’s in great pain and he wants to know if you can help him.
Randy: All right. Would you tell him to just relax and I’ll be back as soon as I can with some medicine?
Jive Lady: Jus’ hang loose, blood. She gonna catch ya up on da’ rebound on da’ med side.
Second Jive Dude: What it is, big mama? My mama no raise no dummies. I dug her rap!
Jive Lady: Cut me some slack, Jack! Chump don’ want no help, chump don’t GET da’ help!
First Jive Dude: Say ‘e can’t hang, say seven up!
Jive Lady: Jive ass dude don’t got no brains anyhow! Hmmph!

There are so many great moments in the movie. What are your favorite scenes or quotes?

Vince Neil Arrested for DUI

This may be shocking, but Motley Crue frontman, Vince Neil, who has a line of tequila called Tres Rios, and also has a new solo album called “Tattoos and Tequila,” as arrested on drunken driving charges after getting pulled over by police near the Las Vegas Strip. He was taken into custody around 11:15 Sunday night when he was stopped in in his Lamborghini after leaving the Las Vegas Hilton hotel.

Neil and his fourth wife, Lia, live in Las Vegas, where Neil owns tattoo shops, a bar called Feelgoods Rock Bar and Grill, and the Vince Neil Tres Rios Cantina at the Las Vegas Hilton. Neil plans to publish a memoir this fall, and in an interview with the Associated Press last week, he said he hadn’t used drugs in 20 years and had stopped abusing alcohol.

“There’s just a point in your life where you kind of stop, that’s what happened with me,” Neil had said. “There’s other things in life than just drugs and alcohol.”

Neil said he admired the sobriety of top performers today.

“Those are the guys that are doing it right,” he said. “It’s the ones that self-destruct with the drugs and alcohol that have gone by the wayside many years ago.”

This is not the first incident of Vince Neil’s drunk driving. In 1984, he was involved in a fatal drunk driving accident. The Hard rock band Hanoi Rocks was on tour in the U.S. On December 8, their first night in Los Angeles, Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley and the other members of the band (with the exception of singer Michael Monroe, who was recovering from a fractured ankle) visited Neil’s home and spent the day at Redondo Beach. After partying for hours, Neil and Razzle decided to take a trip to a local liquor store in Neil’s De Tomaso Pantera. Neil, who was drunk, lost control of the car and hit an oncoming vehicle. The two occupants of the other car were seriously injured and reduced to a vegetative state, and Dingley was killed. Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol in connection with the crash. His blood alcohol level was .17, well above the California legal limit of .08.

In July 1986, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Edward Hinz, Jr. sentenced Neil to 30 days in jail, five years probation, $2.6 million in restitution to the victims of the crash and 200 hours of community service. Neil got out of jail in 15 days for good behavior; Mötley Crüe dedicated their third studio album, Theatre of Pain, to Razzle.

Neil is due Sept. 27 in Las Vegas Justice Court.

Trivia Tuesday – 6/29/10

Question: Which Facts of Life girl was the first to lose her virginity on the show, simply because the actress playing her volunteered?


Last Week’s Question: Who told Rolling Stone that U2’s album title, The Joshua Tree, sounded like it “would sell about three copies”?

Answer: Bono

In the interview, Bono said, “The thought of the world waiting for The Joshua Tree is a bit ridiculous. It sounds as if it will sell about three copies.”
However, The Joshua Tree was the band’s first number one album in the US and within 48 hours after it was released on March 9, 1987, it went platinum in Britain becoming the fastest selling album of all time.

The album is dedicated to lead singer Bono’s assistant, Greg Carroll, who was killed in a motorcycle accident during the album’s recording.

The album contained the hits “Where the Streets Have No Name”, “With or Without You”, and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. The album won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1988.

The Joshua Tree is the band’s best-selling album, having sold 25 million copies worldwide. That’s a lot more than three!!

In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked the album at number 26 on their list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

80's Pop Culture and News

%d bloggers like this: