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Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Detour: My Major League Theme Song

I was at the gym yesterday and a song came on my iPod that just had me rocking out. At one point I looked into the mirror and caught myself just rocking it… and I looked as dumb as Brad Pitt’s character in “Burn After Reading.

But it got me thinking…. This song had me going, but would I want to hear it 4 times a day for 81 days every summer? In other words, would I want it to be my musical intro every time I stepped up to the plate as a Major League hitter?

When I think of the All Time best theme songs, I can’t help but to only think of one guy, Larry Walker. When I first moved to Colorado, through my fourth season rooting on the Rockies, whenever Walker walked up to the plate, “Crazy Train” by Black Sabbath would echo throughout Lodo and get the fans off their seats. I can remember times when I was running a little behind and would hear Ozzy yell “ALL ABOARD” then laugh his devilish laugh, knowing full well where the Rocks were in their lineup.

No other walk up music I have heard even compares to that. Not only was the song great, but it was perfect, coupled with one of the most fearsome hitters in the league approaching the batter’s box, to put feareven in the best pitchers in the game.

So what would I choose to be my walk up music? Some players seem to pick their favorite songs, some are playful and some melodic, but if I were a Major League batter, I would take the Walkerian approach and try and gain an advantage with my song.

Quickly scanning through my iPod, I see lots of great songs… looking just at Sabbath, I could easily go with War Pigs or Iron Man, but I wouldn’t want to copy Larry Walker’s choice. It’d also be easy to go with something that I would want to listen to like Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra, G. Love or Ben Harper, but again, most of those wouldn’t give me the edge that Walker got by choosing Crazy Train.

I think that hip-hop or heavy metal would be the route I would go with, but with both of those genres you would have to be careful to make sure that your clip had kid friendly lyrics.

Assuming I would be able to start the track at any point in the song, as opposed to the just the beginning of the song, I then would need a bridge that had the impact lyrically and musically that I am looking for.

The chorus to “Rise” by the Denver-based Flobots is good in that there is some anger in the chorus, but the lyrics might not strike the kind of fear I am trying to place into the opposing pitcher’s minds.

I also wouldn’t want a song so popular I would hear it in my car on the way to the park each day. I am guessing that by the end of the season, I will be sick of the song, so I would want something that was not the latest hit from the hottest artist.
“In The Evening” by Led Zeppelin starts out with Robert Plant’s hypnotic voice, followed up by a pretty deep Jimmy Page guitar riff and John Bonham’s drums… Excellent song, but not what I am looking for.

Zeppelin does kinda do it with their “Immigrant Song.” I can envision myself walking up to the melodic guitar/bass riff. And “Kashmir” has the sound of imposing doom at the onset. The lyrics also can be likened to the rise of a ball player through the ranks:
Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed
I can read this as the sun beating down on the face meaning I am out on the ball field, my dreams are to be in the big leagues. Being a traveler through the levels from rookie ball to A up to AAA and then the Majors. The elders are the ball players who played before me and my skill set would be what they are waiting for to be revealed.

It is also entirely possible (and 100% accurate) that the opposing pitchers would probably not be dissecting the lyrics to my walk up music, so maybe we can scrap that altogether. Some lyrics would be heard, but for the opposing pitcher to realize that I was the one the elders were waiting on is probably a stretch.

If I wanted to be blunt with the lyrics, I could always go with “#1” from Nelly. After all, he graduated from the same high school as my mom.

“Tweezer Reprise” by Phish is another one that starts out with a strong, amazing guitar riff. Trey Anastasio simply lays it down on this track and I would get college kid cred, but again not perfect for my walk up music.

Rage Against The Machine has a 1996 album that contained “Bulls On Parade.” This song would strike fear in the pitchers FOR SURE, but I am not sure I would want to hear it 300 times in a summer.

So what would I walk up to? What a difficult decision indeed. Now it makes sense why some players walk up to lame songs… they don’t have a week and a half to devote to choosing a song.

So, if I were to decide today, I would lean towards “Rush” by Talib Kweli off 2002’s Quality. It has the upbeat tempo I am looking for and the beginning is just “Feel the rush.” I would obviously need to get a censored version of the song and cut it off before the bridge. If I can, and I am somehow called to the Majors, and you are walking up to a stadium and hear it thumping, make sure you have your glove out because the ball is sure to land outside the stadium.

What song would you use to walk up?

Keep sporting!
- Who’s In First


Anonymous said...

It'd play some country loving about my dead dog and run off'd girlfriend.

Jason Briggs said...

If you're still looking for a Major League Theme song then you should check out Smoke on the Water or Ian Gillan. He's the guy from Black Sabbath and he's got some cool tracks coming out on his new album. I mean come on...its Black Sabbath. Check it on youtube. =)