Tag Archives: Phil Hartman

So Long, Boss

George Steinbrenner, a/k/a The Boss, dead at 80.

With all due respect to Mr. Springsteen, even the biggest Bruce fan in New Jersey knows who owns that nickname. Larger than life, a master at nabbing the back page of the New York City tabloids, George Steinbrenner was in your face 24/7. He led a fascinating life and was a great businessman, but the story really took off on the day he took over majority ownership of the most famous sports franchise on Earth.

Even in death he drew attention; passing away on the morning of baseball’s All Star Game. I guess he was just waiting for Bob Sheppard to go first. This way he could be sure to get the proper introduction at the next destination.

Best comment of the day (not my words) from one of many message boards buzzing about the news: “Isn’t it ironic that one of the biggest blowhards in sports will have his memory celebrated on national television with a moment of silence?”

You’ll read a million stories about this sports legend, about how he meddled in the most minute business affairs and drove his employees crazy, how he dumped managers and general managers like used tissues, and how even the best players wilted under his constant myopia over the years. Google his name along with that of Reggie Jackson, Yogi Berra, Dave Winfield and especially Billy Martin and you’ll be entertained for weeks.

But the man wanted to win above all else. And win he did.

I knew another side of the man. Years ago I worked for a celebrity who had a relationship with the Yankee organization, and of course, the two of them got along famously. But that warmth and kindness extended past the famous person right down through everyone in our organization, and as we got to know many in the Yankee family we found out how quietly magnanimous the man was. He bragged long and hard about baseball, but he did a lot of charitable work behind the scenes in relative anonymity.

And what truly egotistical man would let himself be parodied long and hard like he did on Seinfeld? Or mock his own persona (and with some acting chops) on Saturday Night Live?

R.I.P., George – you were truly one of a kind.

George Steinbrenner wiki.

New York Yankees official website

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New Album! The Dahlmanns

Short, sharp and sweet – this four track EP from The Dahlmanns is a blast of crunchy pop bubblegum. The EP kicks off with a great cover of Amy Rigby’s “Dancing With Joey Ramone”, which takes the hook from “I Fought The Law” and covers it with a bright pop sheen.  That’s followed by the lightning-paced  “I Want You Around”; an original, not the Ramones tune, but it sounds like the seminal punk band. Both songs (like the closing track “Didn’t Tell The Man”) are effervescent punchy pop;  chunky guitar chords and great hooks slathered with sing-along harmony vocals.

But I would expect nothing less, considering Andre Dahlmann is from The Yum Yums, one of the best powerpop bands around (and sadly not as well known in the States as they should be). Guitarist and vocalist Andre is joined by his wife Line Cecile Dahlmann on vocals; I’m not sure if the two other listed band members  (Christian and Ole) are real Dahlmanns or whether the adopted surname is a tribute to The Ramones, but no matter – whoever it is playing on these songs, they’re tight and fun.

The fourth track is a cover of Lindsey Buckingham’s classic “Holiday Road” (from National Lampoon’s Vacation), complete with spirited harmony vocals and infectious guitar. The webpage states that a full length is on the way this year, and if it’s anything like this four-track EP, powerpop fans are in for a real treat.

The Dahlmanns page at Pop Detective Records

The Yum Yums on MySpace

*****

Ever feel that the day is  just…weird? From the moment I got up today it seemed like things were a little off. Took a peek at what events have happened on June 17th across history and found out some odd pairings…

In 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor, a representation of all the good America had to offer. But in 1972, five White House operatives were arrested for breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee and Watergate was added to our lexicon.

Today also marks the anniversary of the last public use of a guillotine in France, outside Versailles in 1939, because modern society deemed decapitation too gruesome even for criminals. But fifty-five years later, a nation watched a white Ford Bronco chased by police cars in slow motion; its famous passenger accused of a comparably heinous act.

On a lighter note, June 17th is also the birthday of a three TV sketch comedians. Michael Showalter from The State is forty, while Saturday Night Live player Joe Piscopo is 59 years old. And Will Forte, ironically, turns forty.

(And for the record, although it was Phil Hartman’s version who said it, not Piscopo’s… Frank Sinatra has chunks of guys like MacGruber in his stool.

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