Friday, May 25, 2012


Just some people, places and things that tend to fly under the proverbial radar

Pink Floyd guitar genius David Gilmour. One of the most innovative and brilliant players in the rock era. Most underappreciated when great classic rock god guitarists are discussed. Just watch this video of Pink Floyd (with Roger Waters) live in 2005. If the song is too long for you, skip to the 2:08 mark and listen to Mr. Gilmour at his very best. Then, skip to the 4:32 minute mark to see him really rip it up. Makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck! Brilliant! (And RIP to the great keyboardist Richard Wright who was not too bad either) OK, so I've mentioned everyone except for drummer Nick Mason. And to be totally correct, yes, Syd Barrett. (Who knew he had a website?)

Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins center. One of the best two play players in the NHL today, Bergeron is also one of the most underrated. Always in control and cool as can be, he plays with a fire that might go unnoticed because he isn't very demonstrative on the ice. Bergie is the man. Video.

Hockey is underrated. Baseball and football are tremendously overrated. Pro basketball is a great sport ruined by the NBA and it's officiating. Yep, hockey has it's warts, with concussions at an alarming rate, cheap shots by some goons that can't control themselves and it too has its officiating issues. But not as bad as the NBA. That said, the playoffs this year have been outstanding. Teams are not giving an inch of ice and every goal has been hard fought. If you want to see effort, excitement and amazing skill, then hockey (and not limited to the NHL) has it all. Case in point, the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship held in Finland was exciting with Russia winning the title with a slew of NHL'ers including Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Yevgeni Malkin and Alexander Semin.

The Road To Perdition somehow seemed to escape acclaim. A Tom Hanks movie underrated??? Yep. Never mind that this movie not only had Hanks, but Paul Newman (his last on screen film), Jude Law, Stanley Tucci, Daniel Craig and Jennifer Jason Leigh. An awesome movie well worth watching. In fact, I'll go on record as saying it is one of my favorite Tom Hanks performances because he actually was a badass. But Hanks pulled it off in a way that only he can.

Tom Petty. What? How can you say Tom Petty?? As we say around here "He's WICKED famous!" I say not enough. Tom Petty has written about as many hit songs as The Beatles. He is vastly underrated as a songwriter and yes, a singer. OK,
Full Disclosure #1: I HATED Tom Petty when he first appeared on the scene. I was a snotty music elitist who thought three chord rock was for morons. I said who's this skeleton from Florida who can't sing? Well it turns out that skeleton from Jacksonville can sing. and he did more with three chords than just about any other songwriter in history.
Full Disclosure #2: I was in a band that did American Girl and Listen To Her Heart and I'm here to tell you, that boy can sing. He might not be the best pure vocalist you've ever heard, but the dude has range. Just try singing this along with him:

And for one desperate moment there

He crept back in her memory
God it’s so painful
Something that’s so close
And still so far out of reach

How'd you do? Did you hang in? Didn't think so. TP can sing. His range has slipped a little as he's aged, but he still does a fine job.
And as a subcategory under Tom Petty - quick name the guy who plays guitar in the Heartbreakers?
Give up? Why it's none other than the great Mike Campbell who's been with Petty since day 1. Serious talent that not too many can name.

And Finally

Memorial Day is underrated. We do not give enough recognition to those who sacrificed their lives to shape this great nation. Here's to a great Memorial Day Weekend, but please do take a moment or two to reflect on why Memorial Day actually is celebrated and give thanks to those that gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

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