Tuesday, April 26, 2005

CMJ New Music Monthly Sampler Vol. 71 July 1999

This past Saturday, I was trolling around town in my truck with a Cher CD playing. It was released on the Geffen label back in 1991. The name of the album is ‘Love Hurts’.

I got this particular CD back when I was a manager at Peaches Music & Video on High Point Road in Greensboro. Many of you may remember the place.

It wasn’t a very popular CD; the only hits were ‘Love And Understanding’ and ‘Save Up All Your Tears’. But, I didn’t claim the CD for those tunes; I got it for two other reasons.

First of all, Cher has a KISS cover on there. She takes a stab at ‘A World Without Heroes’. That song first appeared on KISS’ ‘Music From The Elder’. Then later, the band unearthed it for an MTV ‘Unplugged’.

I try to collect any and all KISS covers that I can find. I’m a KISS-head, what do you expect from me? It’s one of those compulsive things that make me who I am. And besides, it may come in handy on a mix compilation somewhere down the road.

Second, I wanted it for the sheer novelty of her cover of the Nazareth song, ‘Love Hurts’. Cher’s version is AWFUL! It’s amazingly bad. Just imagine her deep voice layered over the melody on keyboards. Trust me, it’s worse than you can imagine and it was cheesy. I have a real taste for cheesiness.

I remember playing it on a Friday night when I had a radio show on Guilford College’s WQFS. I put the CD into the tray of the player and tapped the open/close button. I was giggling because I knew what kind of reaction that the song would receive from my loyal listeners.

I was not disappointed with the response.

The first caller wanted to know if I really liked that version. I just told him that I thought it was funny. He questioned my sanity.

The second caller suggested taking the CD outside along with the CD player that I used to play it with over the air. I should pour some gasoline all over them, back up to a safe distance, and then throw a match on them. That would be the only way to cleanse the sin away.

And there were also a few “why” calls.

Cher’s version is truly bad and it’s the brand of cheesiness that I love so much. My collection of recorded music includes a lot of cheesy and stupid things. Maybe it is a mental illness, I don’t know. Perhaps I’m easily entertained. Only a trained professional can get to the root of the problem, if there’s a problem at all.

Another one of my favorite songs that I liked to break out from time to time was a Frank Sinatra tune. It was his version of Simon and Garfunkel’s classic, ‘Mrs. Robinson’.

If you have not heard his version, finish reading this blog entry, look for your car keys, grab your wallet or purse, and head out the door to find it as soon as possible.

Frank puts a weird spin on the song. And if that were not enough, he makes it swing, baby!

Changing gears now…

Reigning Nextel Cup Champion, Kurt Busch won the race at Phoenix last Saturday night.

I personally don’t care for the man. He’s a Class-A jerk in my eyes. The whole feud that he had with Jimmy Spencer kind of soured me on him. NASCAR seemed to be very willing to sacrifice a plump good ol’ boy for the guy who looks like a Certified Public Accountant. It should be changed to Certified Public A**hole for Busch.

It all started at Bristol on a short track. Spencer was going for the win and Busch knocked him out of his way to score the victory. Spencer, obviously angry by the way he was driving to catch up to him, let Busch know just how displeased he was. There were some words exchanged and a feud was blooming.

Just like on the professional wrestling programs and soap operas!

Kurt Busch got on national television and called Spencer a “decrepit has been”. Jimmy didn’t let that bother him too much, he only said that he would change Kurt’s attitude. The cameras were in his face, Jimmy was asked about his side of the story, and he simply said, “Jimmy Spencer never forgets”.

In racing terms, that means that “I will remember and I will get you when I can”.

Spencer’s words became famous on pre-race broadcasts and the race commentators often repeated them. Everyone knew that he was serious and it would be just a matter of time before he made good on the veiled threat.

Spencer would just bide his time waiting for the moment to strike, which wasn’t really his style.

Usually, Spencer would react within minutes. He’d get out of his car and start pummeling you with his meaty fists. Or, he would bump along side of you during the caution laps on the track. Once, Jimmy even wrecked an offending car right on pit road! But usually, he would find a moment later in the race to give you some bumper to send you into a wall and out of the race.

If you were on Jimmy’s pit crew, you had to know something about cars and you had to know how to use your fists. You could easily be called into action.

Jimmy Spencer is known as “Mr. Excitement”.

Kurt Busch didn’t want to wait for anything Spencer was going to dish out so, he decided to take the fight to him. I can’t remember the track where it occurred; Busch just ran Spencer up into the wall and put him out of the race.

To those of us at home, it was a blatant cheap shot. To NASCAR, it was worthy of a sit-down chat with the two and toss out some monetary penalties.

When you go to a race, you can take a scanner with you to hear the crews and drivers talk to each other. I think you can also listen at home on your computer while a race is live at nascar.com for a few bucks.

I’ve done it before and it adds a little more to the event by listening in.

Somehow, the media got hold of a recording with Kurt Busch chatting to his crew about taking Spencer out of the race.

It made headlines. All the race fans heard it on the televisions the next week during the pre-race broadcast. But, NASCAR still kept the fine on Spencer and slapped Busch a little more on the wrist.

It wasn’t fair and as a Spencer fan, I didn’t like it one bit. This punk came on the scene looking like some clean cut a**hole with a non-descript personality made me cringe about the future of the sport that I love. But, I’m sure that was what NASCAR wanted and they got it. He won the championship and Spencer lost his ride.

For a long time, whenever trackside introductions were made, the fans let Busch know exactly where they stood. They booed their butts off!

And for me, I will enjoy the day when Kurt Busch “should’ve” retired a long time ago or, he’s not in strong race winning cars where some new punk calls him a “has been”.

It’s coming and I’m going to be ready to yell at my television with “that’s right, motherf#@ker!”


  1. Anonymous12:28 AM

    A Busch hater, huh? So what do you think of the whole Jarrett-Hmiel situation from a few weeks ago? They fine the young guy for flipping the veteran off (on national tv, of course) but did nothing to the guy who walked up on a competitor's car ranting and raving like a lunatic. They had to know someting bad was going to come out of that.

  2. I don't dig the eight either... The Jarrett-Hmiel situation was incredibly stupid. Is a middle finger that offensive? Maybe I'm wrong, but doesn't it mean "go to hell"? They say that all the time on television.

    There shouldn't have been any kind of action taken by NASCAR except a little sit down with the two. Penalizing Hmiel with money... okay. Penalizing points... NO WAY!

    Personally, I think little spats happening like that are good. People don't watch hockey for the sport, they want the fights. So, I'd like some fighting in NASCAR. At the very least, let 'em trash talk.