Richard Marx, Great Singer and a Lover of Baseball
As most people have ventured since the first time I wrote on this blog, I have a few well defined “loves” that I hold near and dear to my heart. Most of you already know my number one love with a bullet is my love for the game of baseball, and my dedication to my hometown Tampa Bay Rays.
And my secondary love interest that seems to flow endlessly among the notes and drumbeats that fill our ears might have became more apparent with the multiple blog postings of the Rays own acts that have graced the stage during their Hess Express/Rays Saturday Concert Series photo and commentary blogs over the last several years.
But there is another hidden part of my life that only a small community of people who have known me since my first days of High School have seen up close and personal. They are my longtime friends who have known my deep rooted passion to music and that singing is one of those hidden talents that only that select lounge full of people have ever experienced firsthand.
And maybe my everlasting love of the crescendo of the musical notes and thunderous drum beats have been made more than obvious by my photo blogs and commentary after every Rays Concert series act over the last few years.
Well, that is unless you live in St. Petersburg, Florida and go to some of the places I frequent after Rays games, then you would know I love to get up there and belt out a song or two before finally retiring to the house to rest up for the next day’s game. But one of my early musical influences is coming to Clearwater tonight for his first ever acoustic music set in the beautiful Capitol Theatre.
But I am sorry Southside of Chicago fans, this singer of classic soft rock music classics like “Hold Onto The Nights”, “Hazard” , “Right Here Waiting” and “Now and Forever” that still today make all of us remember lost romance and new found love is a huge Chicago Cubs fan deep in his heart.
And he made that love more than apparent in the video for “Take This Heart” where Marx is brought up as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs of the Game 7 of a World Series against Baseball Hall of Fame member Dennis Eckersley.
The video was filmed in Oakland’s own home stadium in 1992 and features baseball players Greg Maddux, Dan Howitt, Eckersley, Jose Canseco, fellow Hall of Fame member Rickey Henderson, and an old Tampa Bay friend of mine A’s catcher Scott Hemond.
Got to say I love the way the video drew out the game storyline throughout the song with Marx falling behind Eck with an 0-2 count before connecting on a well hit hitting a long fly ball that sneaking past Howitt’s outstretched glove into the left-centerfield stands for a Home Run.
But in a nice touch, Marx is immediately woken up by one of his fellow band mates and it is all a dream. But as you see Marx looking into the camera you hear Brewer’s announcing legend Bob Uecker barreling out the line “The Cubs have won the World Series”. It is one of my favorite baseball videos more for the moment we all dream about as kid’s to one day be in that same position and to come through with a blast to win the World Series.
And in 1992, I did get out to Oakland, but it was right after Marx and his band were finished with their video takes, and retakes for that “Take This Heart” video.So I am looking forward to shaking his hand and getting his autograph like I wanted to do way back in 1992. For those who have heard me sing know I have an affluence for ballads, and Marx produced some of the best in the 1990’s and beyond.
But here is a side note most people do not know about this great artist. He was actually heard on a demo cassette tape by Lionel Richie and brought the then 18-year old Marx out to Los Angeles to record back-up singing tracks on a few of Richie’s earliest albums.
Marx then was referred to Kenny Rogers as an great back-up addition and one day Marx overheard the recording techs discussing with Rogers that they were one cut short of finishing the album. That night Marx went home and produced a song and played it for Rogers the next day. The song was “Crazy” and it ended up being a Country number one song. Not bad for your first entry into the songwriting business to be a Gram Slam.
Marx never did another Baseball-themed video, but then once you do one where you bat in the bottom of the 9th inning against a closer legend and get a pinch-hit Home Run to win the Cubs the World Series……There is no place to go but down after such a dream sequence, and I do not see Marx heading that route anytime soon.