Resist the impulse

This will not be one of those epic posts marking the beginning of the baseball season. Been there, done that.

Rather, a cautionary tale.

Last fall, I had a day all to myself and went crate digging. I had no wish list. I never have one. What’s there is for me to dig through, and what’s not there isn’t meant to be found, at least not today.

That said, there are some records you cannot … resist … buying. You know better. Oh, you know better. That little voice in your head is screaming in dissent, but still you cannot … resist … buying.

I picked up today’s record that fall day. It sat in the office, unplayed, until last night — the first full day of the baseball season. Whatever I was expecting, if anything, it didn’t live up to those expectations.

Noooooo, tonight we channel the legendary Leonard Pinth-Garnell and bring you “Bad Recordings.”

dennymclainliveat-theorganlp

“Extra Innings,” Denny McLain, from “Denny McLain at the Organ,” 1969. It’s out of print.

“There,” as Leonard would say, “that wasn’t so good now, was it?”

Yes, this is a record by the Detroit Tigers pitcher, fresh off his 31-win season, “at the mighty Hammond X-77 organ.”  And, yes, this is the best cut from the one side I could bring myself to listen to.

Most of the 12 cuts on this record are covers of pop tunes from that time. I won’t be listening to them again anytime soon.

Scott Soriano wrote about this record over at his Crud Crud blog in October 2006. He offered these devastatingly keen insights:

“His playing style was a cross between ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ and pounding one’s fists on the keys. No problem, Tigers fanatics made it possible for him to make two records.”

Scott also suggested that this album has “the most bizarre version of Donovan’s ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’ that I’ve ever heard.” I second that notion, but I’ll spare you that cut.

Instead, give a listen to the delightful Nancy Faust, a favorite for years at baseball games on Chicago’s south side. The gent who posted it explains: “Audio fine. Video not so much. I may have been overserved!”

I’ll leave you with a video I simply cannot … resist … sharing.

4 Comments

Filed under April 2009, Sounds

4 responses to “Resist the impulse

  1. I love Leonard Pinth-Garnell and Bad Playhouse – nice ref!

  2. I remember seeing a picture in Time or some such magazine in 1968 showing McLain playing the organ with a bottle of Pepsi – to which he swore his loyalty – close by. It’s odd, but there was always something about McLain that seemed a little off, and I thought that long before his legal troubles and long before I was much of a baseball fan. Wonderful post of some wretched music, all around! (Thanks for not posting the Donovan cover.)

  3. (I have to quit leaving comments at blogs while I am medicated: That reads very much like McLain was playing the organ with a bottle of Pepsi. Of course, that might have sounded better!)

  4. Jeff, you could have resisted sharing just a wee bit harder. LOL!

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