Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Opinions are like bumper stickers for Obama in Massachusetts. Every asshole's got one.

Really. That's not a dig against Obama, by the way. What possible reason could you have for sporting a bumper sticker for him, if you live in Massachusetts, other than some pitiful attempt to show the world-at-large that you aren't a loser because you were on the winning side during the previous election? You might as well drive down the street with your head out the window, fingers waggling in your ears, going "Nyah, nyah! Nyah, nyah!" It's not as though your bumper sticker made a difference then, nor will it make a difference in 2012. Obama will carry Massachusetts even if Jesus Christ himself is on the ballot, provided Jesus Christ is listed as a Republican. Cretins.

Speaking of cretins, have you ever seen People Of Walmart? If you haven't, and you're too lazy to have clicked onto the link, it's a website devoted to showing photographs of poor mentally incompetent souls who had the bad fortune to be shopping at Walmart while some a-hole with a cell phone camera was in the same aisle. While, yes, some of them have to be seen to be believed, and there is a certain sadistic holier-than-thou thrill associated with seeing a woman in a three-sizes-too-small purple fishnet dress deciding which sort of Cheetos to buy, I feel it's my duty to point out that if you were there to take the photo, then you're a Walmart person, too. Don't turn around! Some other snarkster might be gaining on you.

[Photo from Drummerworld]

The other day, I ventured the opinion that Ian Paice is the best drummer in rock. Some folks expressed the opinion that my opinion wasn't correct.

(That's what sparked this blog entry, by the way. The rest of whatever appears here were things I thought about on my drive to the office today. Yes, I do work long and hard to make your time here worthwhile.)

Some of you averred that Neal Peart was the superior drummer, while another chose Charlie Watts, and I'm sure some of you were at least thinking of your own personal favorite skin basher while leaving unspoken the opinion that I was seriously cracked. Well, of course, De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum, as my grandfather said that time he placed a connection between his septic tank and the neighbor's shower. If everybody agreed on such things, there'd be one flavor of ice cream (peppermint stick, by the way) and Paris Hilton would be outlawed. Peart is amazing, and Watts is tasty as hell. However, my favorite is Mr. Paice, and I would like to take this opportunity to state my case more eloquently than I might have before.

Of course, if you hate drum solos, then that bored the hell out of you (which is probably a good thing, as who wants hell in them?) but, then again, if you hate drum solos, my opinion is you aren't allowed an opinion on who is the best drummer. In any case, can I at least state that Ian Paice is the best left-handed drummer, and leave it at that with no argument?

[Who knew? Our honey bear at work got a day with The Cup!]

Finally, I would like to express my opinion that Boston in 2011 is the most awesome place to be a sports fan, ever.


(Had all of the teams been losing, if would be "They".)

... have now won a total of seven titles, and captured the championship in all four major North American sports, within the past ten years. That is something no other city on the continent can brag.

I'll go a step further and say that we deserve every monomaniacal moment with which we will indulge ourselves. Why? The fans here are the most loyal in all of sport. Allow me to elucidate.

Prior to the current championships won by each of the four teams, these were the droughts through which we suffered:

Red Sox - 86 years
Patriots - 41 years
Bruins - 39 years
Celtics - 22 years

That, folks, is a combined total of 188 years of waiting. You can't name me another city as patient. Through it all, the Boston fans remained loyal. Sure, they kvetched mightily, and paraded their futility as though it were a championship unto itself, but they never stopped being in love. And the reward? Here are the current years since each of those teams has won their respective titles:

Bruins - 0 years
Celtics - 3 years
Red Sox - 4 years
Patriots - 6 years

Imagine that. Every person in the city over the age of six has been alive to see all four teams win a title. The Patriots, for goodness' sakes, are now the team that hasn't won one in the longest time. Slackers!

Cleveland me no Clevelands, and Chicago me no Cubs. While I truly feel for denizens of Ohio's northerly big city, they don't qualify for as high a spot on the misery index as Boston once held. The reason? While the Indians are certainly a pain to root for, and the Cavaliers are now loveable in comparison to their former best player, the Browns are basically an expansion franchise and they have no NHL team. Bzzzzt! Any city without the requisite four franchises doesn't make the discussion. And Chicago? Piffle! Sure, the Cubs are pitiful, but you have TWO teams in baseball and the other one won it all in 2005. I'd entertain an argument from Detroit fans, regarding misery, if the Red Wings weren't so spectacularly successful in recent times. As a matter of fact, maybe I'll still entertain an argument from them, seeing as how the Lions are an unparalleled embarrassment, but the Pistons have only recently fallen on hard times and the Tiggers did make The Series in 2006. Pittsburgh? Pirates bad, Penguins and Steelers good, and there hasn't been professional basketball there since the Pittsburgh Pipers closed up shop in 1972. I could go on, but I think I've made my point. Boston was the most miserable, and is now the most deliriously successful.

So there. Imagine me driving down the street with an Obama bumper sticker, my head out the window, waggling my fingers in my ears and going, "Nyah, nyah! Nyah, nyah!"

Soon, with more better stuff.


haphazardlife said...

Yay Boston. It's high time the Patriot won again, it's been a while.

silly rabbit said...

I wonder if some might be confusing "the best drummer" with "my favorite drummer". Its not the same thing. You'll get no argument from me on him being the best. Not that I know enough more than to know what I like. I have no musical talent. But I am a long time Deep Purple and Whitesnake fan!

The fan issue amuses me. Being a Red Sox fan, I became a fan without a national title for decades! That truly is dedication. Its easy to come in on the win and be excited. ;-)

Uncle Skip, said...

I saw a care here, yesterday, with Oregon plates and a McCain/Palin bumper sticker. I'm thinking they were banished from home... or thought it would work as camo.

That said, I don't really care for bumper stickers.

I used to check out the PoW website, then I signed up of Facebook.

I don't really care much for Walmart, either.

I love how the drummer takes over and does a solo so the rest of the band can go pee. Taking one for the team, as it were.

As for the part about the championships... lord help us if any place in Texas gets an accumulation. We'll never hear the end of it.

BTW - Boston won't really have anything to brag on until they win the MLS Cup, too ;-)

messymimi said...

Having suffered through the Saints, who will now no doubt go on to give us another long dry spell (gracious i hope i'm wrong on that), i understand a little of what Boston has gone through, and offer hearty congratulations for all recent accomplishments.

Quirkyloon said...

I thought Eddie Van Halen was the best drummer ever.

Woops. Scratch that.

That would be GUEE-TAR-RIST.


*snarky grin*

AND... speaking of drums, how did you know?

My 7-year-old wants to learn how to play them.

I'll be keeping Tylenol in business for YEARS.


Quirkyloon said...

Oh, I forgot.

I love the word: piffle.


Buck said...

In any case, can I at least state that Ian Paice is the best left-handed drummer, and leave it at that with no argument?

I'll give ya that. As long as you give me Rick Allen as the best one-armed drummer.

re: Dee-troit. Yeah, the Wings are successful NOW. But some of us endured (part of) the 42-year drought that came to an end in '97. It sure got drunk out THAT night.

There's no excuse for the Lions.

lailani said...

lol! So glad I ventured out to read a few blogs this afternoon - and landed on yours. You cover so much ground! Bumper stickers, drones, POW, drummers and sports! While I have no idea or opinion about the sports (now, now, stop the hissing and booing) I truly got a chuckle from the rest. Personally I think my son is the best drummer - but he is not famous. Thank you for the fun read, I always love your style!

Maggie May said...

As I don't know about the other subjects..... I just thought I'd let you know that I clicked the link to the People Of Walmart and had a little chuckle!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Mich said...

Thanks for the comment!

Some of those People of Wal-Mart things just make me sad rather than amused. I mean yeah some of them are hysterical, but some of them are just mean. :/

I was living in Philadelphia when the Patriots beat us in the superbowl. The mayhem on the streets had to be seen to be believed....

Cricket said...

Jesus on the GOP ticket? I dunno... I'm pretty sure Satan keeps his toothbrush in Reagan's mouldering skull.

Show us your birth certificate! Socialist-commie-pinko, blessed are the poor, long-haired freaky person!

Without criticizing your choice in any way, I'll make a plug for a couple of my favorite rock drummers: Ringo and Stewart Copeland.

And branching out, my favorite drummer to listen to period: Elvin Jones.

Craig said...

But you've had at least two Republican governors just in my (fairly recent) memory. . .

As re drummers - nothing against Paice, or Peart, or Watts, but I've always had a soft spot for Keith Moon, meself. . . And my 13-year-old son swears by Jon Bonham. . .

Detroiters are not generally inclined to a 'poor us' vibe, anyway. But geez, if you're gonna count the '06 Tigers, then yer Sawx have lost as many World Series in my lifetime as what my Tigers have played in (but at least we won two of 'em).

Anyway, I'm 55 years old, and I was one-and-a-half the last time the Lions won. Put differently - there is only one - uno, eins - NFC team that has never played in a Super Bowl in the XL-whatever year history of SBs. The Falcons, Saints and Cardinals, as well as the expansion Panthers and the conference-switching Seahawks, have all played in a Super Bowl. But not the Leos. . .

And before their recent run of excellence, I was ten the last time the Red Wings played in a Stanley Cup final, and I probably wasn't even conceived the last time they won one. And the Pistons had exactly one season above .500 in all their history, before the mid-80s. . . So yeah, we've suffered some. . .

But we also had the 30s (and that's a little like remembering the good old days of Babe Ruth for Red Sox fans, I realize), in which the Lions, Tigers and Wings were all champions at the same time (the Pistons, and the NBA more generally, not yet being existence in those days). . . Oh, and Joe Louis, too. . .

Sandy Kessler said...

love the cup and the Vruins-- By the way you have a typo early in your article it should be head up ass, and yes I meant it !!

Sandy Kessler said...

Bruins Buddy rich - remember him??

Barbara Shallue said...

I love all drummers and I'll leave it at that. Thanks for the clips - I love watching solos, too, of course!

Read your last two posts, too, on Juneteenth but didn't have time to comment. Both were really good. We have very similar backgrounds (except for the spitting thing - I never did anything like that. But then, I was never mugged, either. The only time I was attacked it was a skinny white guy.)

Suldog said...

Cricket - Interesting coincidence. I was reading about Paice somewhere recently, and Steve Morse (uber-guitarist, and current Deep Purple bandmate) compared him to Starkey, saying, "He's like a very heavy Ringo. So damn good."

As for drummers from a wider spectrum, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone more well-liked than Jones. I might be tempted to say Gene Krupa, myself (I know - how pedestrian! - but the guy tickles me every time I hear him.)

Suldog said...

Craig - Republican governors are one thing. We vote them in, on occasion, because the Democrats they've run against were so horrid, and they're homegrown. But the state legislature here in MA is about 12 to 1 D to R, and the chances of MA going for any Republican in the next election (or previous five) are (were) stone cold zero.

Suldog said...

Sandy - Buddy Rich was fantastic, and he was certainly arrogant enough to be a rock drummer, but my focus was on those guys who play mostly hard rock or metal. Rich despised that sort of stuff.

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

I will admit, begrudgingly, that Bostonian sports fans are indeed making up for decades of misery, and I have to admit you deserve it (those of you who have been there all along, that is -- if your idea of a Sox "old-timer" is Manny Ramirez, you don't qualify). In fact, here is a test to see if you are allowed to fully enjoy Boston's sports success as of late:

1. Mack Herron is:
a. A large semi truck.
b. A diminutive running back.
c. A former Red Sox relief pitcher.
d. A saltwater fish.

2. Bucky Dent's middle name is:
a. Earl
b. Richard
c. Thomas
d. Unprintable on a family blog.

(note: if you asked yourself, "Who the hell is Bucky Fucking Dent, you do not get credit. It was an accident.)

3. Spell Yaz's full last name. If you asked, "who's Yaz?" Suldog would be happy to beat the crap out of you.

4. Who wore #77 for the Boston Bruins, what number did he originally wear, and why did he change?

There you go, folks. Sully will grade your papers for you.

And Jim, now that I've listened to Ian Paice, I can unequivocally state that Peart kicks his ass.

In my humble opinion.

lime said...

my husband intentionally roots for cleveland teams because of how pitiful they are. I think it's because he was initially a mets fan from the age of 4 or 5. it scared him obviously.

my boy loves the patriots though ever since he was about 5.

lime said...

oh, i almost forgot to tell you. there's an award waiting for you at my place. i couldn't resist. obviously i am a masochist.

Suldog said...

Lime - I will be over. If I can't give one of my best friends a reaming, what good am I?

Suldog said...

Knucklehead -

As for Peart vs. Paice...

My mistake was in making a definitive statement as opposed to expressing a preference. "Best" can be measured in a number of ways, but technical superiority doesn't always equate to better in regards to music. When you compare Chuck Berry to Joe Pass, it's easy to tell who's the better technician. I like Pass, but I'd still rather listen to Berry. Your mileage may vary.

I got into a similar argument once concerning the past and current guitar players for Deep Purple. I did a review of a concert, for a Deep Purple fan site, and I said something along the lines of "If Steve Morse and Ritchie Blackmore were gunslingers, Morse would leave Blackmore lying in the street bloody 9 times out of 10." As a result, I was the recipient of many unkind references regarding my parentage.

The interesting thing about it, and a point I tried to make in rebuttal (with limited success), is that, while I love Morse's playing, and he would obviously appear to be the more technically adept player, I would actually take the Blackmore recordings to a desert island if I had to make a choice. "Best", in that case, would mean the most enjoyable for me personally, and technical proficiency be damned.

On a number of levels, Peart is superior to just about every damned drummer alive. However, I'll still take Paice to the desert island. His choices are far more interesting, to my ear. For that matter, Deep Purple is much more interesting to me than Rush, and maybe that's a large part of it. My favorite Rush album may be their first, which is the only one without Peart (John Rutsey was the original drummer.) I've always enjoyed rawer sounds, and that was more 'metallic' than anything they've done since (though I'm quite fond of 'Caress Of Steel".)

Now, how about John Entwistle versus Charlie Mingus?

Michelle H. said...

I don't know. I might kvetch and say you could include Pennsylvania sports teams if you consider Philadelphia too. Yes, the Pirates suck major beans, and Pittsburghers haven't backed them for many years as loyal fans (but I believe THAT has more to do with the whole MCclatchy/buying team/building new stadium/worse management ever/new owners/18-year losing streak fiasco). But the Phillies won in 2008.

Daryl said...

HOORAY!!!!!!!!! Look I commented on a sports post .. the end must be near, at least within walking distance, right? ;-)

Carolina said...

We Dutch are not bumper sticker people. Apart from the 'baby-on-board' one (don't bother keeping a safe distance if there's not a 'baby-on-board' sticker on the car in front of you?) or the outline of a fish on the very slow moving car in front of you. That's about it.

I clicked on the PoW link and right after the purple fishnet woman I came back to your post. Coincidence? I just couldn't handle anymore of the very interesting PoW. I may never sleep again.

Oh, and my favourite drummer is the twelve-year old boy next door who has mastered a very funky dum-dum-doof dum-dum-doof rhythm after practicing for about two years.


Matt Conlon said...

Yeah, I think it was Leno who said "The last decade, we've killed bin laden, Hussein, and Boston has won all major sports championships. What the hell is left??