Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yeah, yeah, so I lost the Bragging Rights. Big deal. I’ll win ‘em back.

Listening to ‘80s music with my fiancée Adelphia, we heard “Cum on Feel the Noize” by Quiet Riot and I misidentified the year it was released. She knew it came out it ’83, not a few years later, like I thought.

See, I distinctly recall getting the album, on cassette. It was a birthday or Hanukkah present from my mom after she asked me for gift suggestions. She later explained that she forgot the band’s name but recalled my description of the album artwork. So she felt awkward at Sam Goody, pulling aside some other teenage head-banger to help her find “some schmuck in an iron mask and a red leather strait-jacket.”

And sometimes you can judge a book by its cover, because most of the music on Metal Health was mediocre. This was before iPods so sometimes you got stuck with a whole crappy album when only one or two tracks were any good. I’m no musician, yet even I noticed the hit single had the exact same format as “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister. Simple, catchy anthem, first with just vocals and drums, then kick in the guitars, do a verse, chorus, verse, chorus, obligatory guitar solo, chorus with just percussion again, add guitars and repeat chorus ad nauseum. If I was getting jaded and wise to the magic metal formula, I figured these songs must’ve been released later in my youth, so I lost the Bragging Rights. Maybe this is why Adelphia mixed up the two bands and gave me the Bragging Rights a while back.

And why I figure I’ll get ‘em back soon.

Like this weekend, when discussing our parents and their effect on our tastes. Not music, but sports. Why I’m a Yankees fan and Adelphia likes the Mets.

For me, I was hooked in the Reggie Jackson/Billy Martin era Yankees, and got the support of my parents -- longtime Bombers fans. My father’s father, however, was not. Grandpa rooted for the NY Giants. So was my old man rebelling? No, Dad said didn’t get to see the games on TV, just heard ‘em on radio back then, and as a kid, took it literally when the Yankees played the World Series versus “Giants”. He didn’t think it was fair… Bronx boys competing against fairy tale monsters three times their size.

Adelphia said her mom grew up in Brooklyn. So of course she rooted for the Dodgers, but then they left for California. So did the Giants, and there was no way she’d root for the Yankees. Later she became a diehard Mets fan. In fact, if Adelphia had been a boy, she would’ve been named “Rusty” after Rusty Staub. “My mom loved him when he was with the Montreal Expos, and he was her favorite pitcher for the Mets.”

Wait -- what? “Rusty Staub wasn’t a pitcher for the Mets.”

“Yes he was.”

“If your mom wanted to name you after a Mets pitcher, she could’ve called you ‘Tom’ after Tom Seaver, or ‘Tug’ after Tug McGraw.”

“No, it was gonna be ‘Rusty’.”

“How ‘bout Jerry Koosman? Choose ‘Koos’ and you can’t lose.”

“Are you saying Rusty Staub didn’t play for the Mets?”

Heh-heh, I was reeling her in. “No,” I said. “Rusty Staub didn’t pitch for the Mets.”

“Yes he did. He was a pitcher.”

“No he wasn’t.”

“Yes he was!”

“Bragging Rights?”

She stopped. Thought for a moment. Then said, “First base. Rusty Staub played first base.”

And outfield, but why quibble? Ooh, so close.


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