Results tagged ‘ ZZ Top ’

Looking back at the Rays 2010 Concert Series..Part 1

 


 

During the Tampa Bay Rays 2010 season, the Rays front office brought together 14 great artists during the course of the season to play in either during their Friday Fest celebration or their popular Rays/Hess Express Saturday Night Concert Series. This season the Rays surpassed their previous collection of artists by bringing some of the most musically loved and admired artists of this era and the past. This post will be a small collection of some of my favorite moments during the 2010 Rays Concert series.


It decided to cut the concerts completely in half and bring you 7 today and possibly 7 in a day or two to show again the music and the great fun Rays fans had both in the stands and on the field in 2010. I will try and pick what I consider my two most memorable photos out of the more than 581 photo that made it onto my online photo collection on Flicker.com. I do not in any way consider myself a professional photographer, but I can assure you I am taking a few classes this off season and the 2011 photos will be (hopefully) miles above my present collections.

So kick back, relax and maybe pop on a I-Tunes or Internet Radio station as I begin a short journey again through the musical journey furnished to all members of the Rays Republic in 2010. It was great journey from times from my young youth (John Fogerty/ ZZ Top) all the way to a duo of the most talked about artists in the last two years (Adam Lambert/ Bret Michaels). I can guarantee you, I will be checking these photos out for years just trying to relive the great moments and still singing their songs.

 

 

It was great to see John Fogerty this year out singing during the 25th Anniversary of his baseball-themed classic “Centerfield“. I had always thought Fogerty had a Southern twang and feel to his music, but this was the first time I have even gotten to see him live and really take in both the accent and the great musical talents this artist brought to us in the first of 14 Rays concerts. Fogerty did a great array of his own classics, plus a nice mixture of C C R classics to make the entire Trop seem to be swaying to his music that night.


 

 

ZZ Top was one of those bands in my youth where I had cassettes like “Afterburner” playing on my car stereo during road trips or if I was in a hurry to get somewhere. It was also the first concert that I got my green Rays photographer credentials to get up close and personal shots of the band during their first four songs.

It was a new opportunity for me, being an amateur photographer and blogger to push another nice item onto my online resume` plus get instantly into the energy and vibe of the concert. The definitely wasn’t nothing “cheap” about ZZ Top that night.


 

 

Nellie was held on the day after my birthday, so it had a special fee because of the significance of this date to me. But it was the great pumping of the bass and the music that got me to enjoy this concert. Instead of standing in front of stage tonight, I snuck into the front mosh pit area to take my photos tonight.

I think I took over 400 photos, but with the rocking and swaying movement of the crowded pit area, I got more than I expected to out of focus shots or even muted photos. It was a great example of why photographers are in the photo wells and not among the fans during a concert. It was a well lesson learned that night.


 

 

Hall & Oates was an interesting concert for me. Not that the band ever held a great significance in my musical tastes, but if you dated in the late 70′s-80′s this band held your dating prowess firmly in their hands. If you wanted to have a romantic rendezvous or even a chance to dance with your date, you usually had to have a Hall & Oates tune playing. But it was also a time to reconnect with some of the past for me as a few friends from Philly came into town and were more excited about being on the field than me for this concert moment.


 

 

Dierks Bentley is one of those country music stars you know by his music, but ladies just loved to mosey up and just watch him sing as if he was singing to them. His band just seemed to sweat high energy that night and it was one of those concert moments you do not soon forget based on the music and the high level of involvement and dancing even in the crowds.

 

Added a third photo to this selection because it was such a great moment to sit there and watch Bentley bend down and hold the hand of a young fan in the front of the stage during his performance..simply magical.

It was the first time I had ever seen a huge line dance of his hit “Sideways” in my life, and a moment that will stay close tome. Wish I knew that dance, but I have been sideways a few times in my life…maybe.


 

 

Most of Tantric’s music was a bit of an unknown to most Rays fans before this Friday Fest concert but we all collectively knew their tune “Down & Out ” because of its connection to Rays All Star Third Baseman Evan Longoria’s who uses the tune as his walk-up music. Just the first few bars from the violin of Mark Ratzenboeck and the entire Tropicana Field crowd went nuts yelling, screaming and singing the words to the tune.

Tantric was one of the concerts this year, like Dierks Bentley where I got to hear some new music that I was not accustomed to, but became a fan of the group after the concert.


 

 

The group Barenaked Ladies have a sad reminder for me. My daughter’s mother was ill and in an area hospital when I decided to take my then 10-year old daughter to Universal Studios for the day and the band was playing that night as a musical guest.

The music of this group is very up-tempo and their beats and rhythms can get you instantly into moving and grooving to their music. It was a special night then, and this night was extremely special also because of the group doing an extended set and really connecting with the Rays crowd on so many levels.

So we are at the halfway point in the photo review of the Rays 2010 Concert series and I am going to sign off now and get to checking out a few more photos and concert footage to post some more great moments and events online in the next few days. 2010 was for me one of the best concert years, and with the Rays also involved in that process, it became an instant “win-win” opportunity for me.


I was lucky enough to have photo credential for all but one (Fogerty) of these first 7 Rays concerts. But one of the unseen great items of getting this opportunity is being in front of the stage and meeting so many of the great fans who also wanted to get as close as possible to these artists.

 

It was great to talk with some of them before every concert, and even discuss both the band and the experience with them before the event started. It was fantastic hearing some of the opinions and songs they were hoping to hear during the band’s sets. But in the end, it was not about the conversations or even the photos, it was all about the notes and lyrics of this great music.

 

ZZ Top Photo Blog…Extended Cut

 
 

 

I got about 15 Emails and Direct Messages yesterday asking me to post a second photo blog of the ZZ Top Tampa Bay Rays Concert last Saturday night, and of course I am more than willing to throw up another 18 photos from my small segment I shot that night. But along with it will come a small story about that night that I hope all of you enjoy.

 

 

Before the Rays season began, I was talking with someone up in the Rays Front Office about the possibility of maybe getting an up-close vantage point during the 2010 Rays/Hess Express Concert Series. With some great acts coming into Tropicana Field, I wanted to provide a bit of extra photos and concert review that might entice other Rays fans who had not seen one of these Concerts to come down to the ballpark for the remaining 8 Rays concert dates.

 

 

So I came up with the idea of maybe submitting my name into the Rays Communications Department as a Photographer for the Concert series in 2010. The idea did have some basic merit as I decided in 2010 to try and get the bulk of my photos and special shots myself instead of using the stock photos or daily photos submitted by the wire services. And I had a pretty fool-proof plan, or so I thought at the time. I did not want access to the field for pregame photo opportunities, or even position myself in one of the photos wells on each side of the dugouts.

 

 

So I submitted my name and credentials request to the right person and awaited a hopefully positive answer concerning my request. I got back an answer that did not rattle me, but showed that the road was not going to be bright and yellow, but I had to have a bit of luck on my side. For the Rays had to submit my name to the band’s management team and either I would be approved or denied a photo credential to take photographs of that band performance.

I actually thought in the beginning this might be a smart way to proceed because hundreds of fans would be on the Tropicana Field turf taking the same photos and videos without the band’s consent. I was banking on the fact I was being honest and upfront to be my entry into this special world.

 

 

So I submitted my request for the first concert when John Fogerty was going to play a week or so ago. I got a denial letter back from the Rays Communication Department and was a bit humbled by my idea going through 100 percent without a problem. But I also did not take it as a total slap in the face, but as a wake-up call to either get serious about this adventure, or forget it all and take photos from my seat with a telephoto lens.

I shot my photos of the Fogerty concert and was not totally impressed with them and knew that I had to again grind it out and hope to get access to the field to take photos of ZZ Top when they came into Tropicana Field. So again I submitted my email to the Rays Communication staff and was very anxious to see if it was “Strike Two” or if I might have actually cut the mustard and gotten a chance to show my stuff.


 

 

The minutes did feel like hours and I was constantly checking my email box every hour hoping that I would get a chance to give the Rays some confidence I was going to use this to do positive things and not use it as a tool to use or abuse my credentials. Finally an email came back from the Rays Communication Department, and I at first did not want to open it for fear of that second “X” high above my head. But I also had the confidence that someone in one of the ten band’s management teams might give me a shot in 2010 to do something special.

 

So I finally got the nerve to open the email and got the first glance at either success or failure in trying to get some exclusive photos in 2010. For some odd reason the words “granted permission” seemed to jump out at me from the page and instantly I did the infamous “crab dance” around the room. For I was finally going to get a chance to expand my blog postings again with photos taken within feet of the artists, and with a greater clarity than in my Rightfield seat.

 

 

I got my first green Rays photographer credentials the afternoon of the concert from the Media Table at Gate 4 and instantly could have gone to field level and enjoyed the pregame festivities, but I wanted to chill and just enjoy the game and after the contest take some great photos of the band. No agenda on my mind but taking post-game concert photos. But it was a special moment in my mind. Sure it will not guarantee or even get me anything in the way of priority from that moment on, but the thought that I finally achieved it and brought back some great shots is enough for me.

 

The night was incredible for me. Not only did I get a chance to provide some of my first photo credits of a concert date in 2010, but I had the time of my life reliving and revisiting every song that ZZ Top sang and played that night. And it was special to again get down on the field again and be a part of the Rays/Hess Express Saturday Night Concert experience.

Sometimes moments in your life just seem to come out of the blue that provide a different direction for you. On that night, on the floor of Tropicana Field, I again saw that I love doing my posts and taking photos for other to enjoy. I again got to remember and feel why I wanted to work for the media as a kid, and wanted to again feel that rush of accomplishment and knowing I provided some extra information to others that would never have been given if not for my photos or posts. I remembered why I loved to write again….And that is a scary thing. 

There was Nothing “Cheap” about ZZ Top

 
Saturday Night after the Rays Republic had to endure the Tampa Bay Rays second loss in a row, the air within Tropicana Field quickly became charged and energized knowing that within a few minutes a recent inducted member band of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would be taking the stage and tranforming Tropicana field into a bluesy West Texas dive bar/Rock and Roll palace for the next few hours.

Transforming the Rays playing field into a makeshift concert venue, it was instantly apparent by the LED video screen attached to the back of the stage area that we would get a light show with our musical meal. And believe me, the crowd was ready for a sampling of everything that ZZ Top was going to put on out plates last night, including a few nice tidbits from their past, their musical influences, and most of all their long and deep list of classic tunes we all still rock out to in our cars while driving towards Tropicana Field for Rays games.

But little did the Tropicana field crowd know that within seconds of the Rays dimming the lights inside the Trop, we would all get a instant re-education in why these 3 Texans will always have a place deep within our hearts when it comes to classic Rock and roll music with a distinctive blues flare. From the totally wild and elaborate ZZ Top drums stand, to the video replays of their classic video clips on the stage-wide LED screen behind the band that showed classic black and white photos and color imposed video clips all throughout the concert bringing a swirling bit of musical and visual imagery that was intoxicating to say the least.  The trip that the band was going to take us on tonight was going to be an epic visual and audio snack that we would all savor and relish long after the last note was played tonight.

For I know personally I spent many a day in the weight rooms during both High School and College lifting weights and doing stretching exercises to the deep pumping of the bass and the isolation of the electric guitar rhythms to get me into a pattern of working hard and producing a great sweat. And even listening to them tonight I got an instant flashback to those days, and I truly can tell you, the music sounds the same now as it did so long ago. 

For if the trio of Dusty Hill, Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank beard were concocting a recipe up on that stage last night, it was based purely on the simple ingredients that has made them VH-1′s  44th “Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”. From hitting us with the big tastes of “La Grange” and “Sleeping Bag”, to playing a homage to their departed friend Jimi Hendrix, the rocking never stopped and the crowd was singing from the very first verse.

And even if the furry guitars did not get to do a 360 degree turn tonight on stage, the presence of such history making instruments sent the crowd into a loud ovation of approval to the band. And you could tell by the interaction of Gibbons and Hill that these two guys still love their job and do it not only for the nice rewards it brings, but enjoy playing the music and hearing the crowds still. Sometimes that is rare in a group that has been around since February 1970.

And even during all of that 40 years of music, Gibbons still can tell the tale with his voice and make his electric guitar sing like a little school girl. Here is the same band that was inducted into the

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by none other than Rolling Stones own guitar legend Keith Richards. To say that Gibbons is not the premier blues guitarist is like saying Evan Longoria is just another Third Baseman. The best always makes sure to let their soul show in their music. 

And Hill surely is still one of the better bass guitarist of his era and still sports that mean looking beard of his own with pride and joy. But I was amazed that he seemed to have gotten a bit smaller with age, or maybe it is because this is the closest I have even been to this trio in person, and I was totally in the moment watching all three create some great music last night. But the chemistry that still seems to flow between the two of them up front and center on the stage is remarkable to see in person. And the pure fact that both Gibbons and Hill are having a ball on stage performing for us was not lost on the crowd that kept it’s cheering loud and proud by singing right along with the band and the multitudes that were dancing  on the turf of the Trop just shows how universal ZZ Top’s music is to this region.

Got to admit to you, I had a woman clearly in her 60′s standing next to me for most of the concert who was so into the music and the moment she was not afraid to thrust and elbow or twenty my direction as I was snapping photos. She even proclaimed at one point I was ” bumming her out” because I was not also hooting and hollering at the top of my lungs like she was tonight.I know she surely had a blast standing up front near the band swaying and crooning to every single tune the band played, even the slow ones. 

The night however did seem to slip away from us, but still seemed too early to stop the music, dancing and remembering the moments and times that once co-existed within each of our lives surrounding these hits. Most of us hoped and wished for more music, another tune or two as the band made their way to their 4 Tour buses parked just outside the dome. But ZZ Top did not disappoint a single person tonight, even throwing down their signature bow-legged shuffle during one song.

The night air was very humid outside the Trop when we all finally left the cool confines and hot tunes still lingering inside the stadium.  Our ears still ringing with the sounds and the rhythms from all the ZZ Top classic songs played on this night.  I suddenly felt like a sharp dressed man, or had a feeling for some Route 66 magic.

ZZ Top truly came out on stage tonight and served up one of the tastiest musical meals to us even with some morsels I had never even heard on the radio before tonight. In the end, it was another great show nput together by the Rays Front Office (BK) to entice and make us all want to come back for some more real soon. With Rap artist Nelly coming to the Trop next Saturday, May 15th, I can surely tell you in all honesty I am hungry and ready for another fine helping of musical delights served up by the Rays/Hess Express Saturday Night Concert Series. Can’t wait to dig in again for more good music and fun.


Giving the Rays Some ZZ Top Lovin’

 

With Texas Rockers ZZ Top set to perform after the Tampa Bay Rays play the Kansas City Royals tonight, it only seemed appropriate that maybe I should try and pair up a few of the Rays players with some classic ZZ Top songs. Every once in a while it is fun to just take a moment out and sit back and relax and either poke fun or show the respect I have for this Rays team and their stable of workhorse style players.

I could have rambled towards a posting of Kentucky Derby hopeful candidates that currently play for the Rays, but we already know that coming in one-two in that race might be the sprinter Carl Crawford and the long strides of B J Upton neck and neck at the wire. Honestly might come down to if CC has a forward neck bob at the moment he hit’s the finish line. But it only seemed fitting that I take a few names and personalities off the Rays roster and give them a one-night only ZZ Top song. I can tell you that I-Tunes is going to love me today with this research.



Raysonthe Runway

Sharp Dressed Man:


Now this one might seem like a pretty self explanatory song choice for Rays fashion plate and G Q model in residence slugger Carlos Pena. But I actually have two Rays figures in this choice. The first is of course Pena who has been the fashion sensible member of the Rays since day one. But my other selection might fool a few people, but he is trying with what he’s got, and for that I got to give Rays Television announcer Brian Anderson an Honorable Mention in this song choice.

Anderson might not have the fashion runway swagger of Carlos Pena, or even the handsome looks that make more than a few women faint, but Anderson is a budding fashion police poster child who seems to get better with every road trip. Maybe Pena is secretly taking Anderson out on road trips and getting him a new tie or stylish sports coat or tie to go with his daily ensemble on the Rays broadcasts. No matter what the true story is, we all know Pena is the true fashionista on the Rays roster, but Anderson might be raiding his closet if Pena is not careful…maybe.


 
Raysbaseball.com/ MLB.com

Gimme All Your Lovin’:

I got to go classic tongue-in-cheek here and give this royally down to Rays All-Star and female heartthrob Evan Longoria. For during the last Rays road trip while the team was in Boston for a 4-game series, Longoria made the Boston papers with complaint letters that he was sending multiple texts to a unique collective group of women in the Beantown area. What was so amazing is that people somehow seemed a bit shocked about all of this.

I do not see how this could be a surprise to anyone. Major League Baseball players get handed cellphone numbers and even room keys all the time for prospective romantic interludes, but most disregard them as “groupies” or even trouble waiting to happen. But the fact that is totally humorous is that these same women had Longo’s digits in their cellphones, so they can not play as innocent either here as they might have had conversation with Longoria either before they met their current squeezes, or during their courtship.

Either way, it really has just up the ante and further advanced the mystic and allure of Longoria to women from coast-to-coast. So the next time your “significant other” gets a text message that she either smiles at or giggles like a schoolgirl, just ask her point blank is it from Longoria. It probably is not, but you never know, some guys might think it was an ultimate compliment if Longo was texting his girl….Not me, but there might be someone like that out there in the Rays Republic.


 
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Legs:

This actually might have been the easiest song to place with a Rays player basically because I seem to smile and chuckle every time I see him attempt an extra base or turn the corner for a try at a triple during a Rays contest. Carl Crawford has streamlined his glide around the base paths over the last several years to provide more energy and push to accelerate his speed within a few strides. But still when he rounds the First Base bag and he seems to be leaning at a 45 degree angle and chugging those arms back and forth, his legs always seems to come out in my photos as magical blurs or looking like time lapse photography.

So it was a perfect choice to include Crawford’s name as the player associated with “Legs”. And even if this song ultimately illustrates a love for the female form, I hope Crawford can take that I am using a bit of literary license here to portray this song towards his burst of speed and not the way his lower lips seems to drag like a English Bulldog when he is pumping towards an extra base. And I want to apologize in print if you read the lyrics to the second verse and think I am referring to Crawford with hair down to his fanny….I am not….Seriously ( My Grey’s Anatomy voice)….Seriously!

 
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Cheap Sunglasses:

You might think this would be a natural for Rays Manager Joe Maddon, but I have another victim, I mean choice for this classic ZZ Top tune. To me this song screams out Rays starting pitcher Matt Garza. Maybe it is just me, but Garza sporting that James Shields T-shirt during his side Bullpen session yesterday showed me that he is ultimately the “Too hip for school” guy on this team. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Garza has always had that persona to me. The one where he seems to display and cool and clam demeanor under that bundle of emotions and inner frustration sometimes with himself on the mound. He usually can wear those cheap sunglasses as a outer shield to keep him from actually showing his highly charged confidence and emotions. But then again, Tom Cruise pulled it off with the same pair of cheap sunglasses in “Risky Business” and it turned him into a movie superstar. Maybe Garza can turn his cheap sunglasses into a Cy Young?

 
Rob Carr/ AP

Blue Jeans Blues:


I am not sure why this next one seems to fit just by the title of the song, but I see Rays fifth starter Wade Davis as the perfect poster child for this song. Maybe it is that outer shell he has that eludes most strife and controversy as he seems to glide through his starts even against some of the opposing teams top pitchers. Davis has provided some interesting performances already in 2010, and has been totally in control and often times kind of in his own personal zone of tranquility while attempting to provide pitching brilliance so early in 2010.

And I am not trying to play on his nickname “W D-40″ to provide some raw angle of southern gentleman meets ferocious beast, but the guy is from Lake Wales, Florida and is as calm as a cucumber and soft-spoken as they come. But then again, when things are clicking like they are right now for Davis, there is nothing to worry about anyways….really.

 
Steve Nesius/ AP

Got Me Under Pressure:

For some reason I think this song actually could apply for most of this Rays team this season. Sure I could of thrown this out as a Rafael Soriano selection based mostly on his new role as the Rays closer, but in actuality, I think this entire Rays roster is feeling the pressure this season. Most of them know that this might be the last season that this collective body of players get a chance to revisit or remove some of the pain and feeling of not completing the task at hand that still lurks within some of their minds from 2008.

It might be the last time Crawford, Pena and even Dioner Navarro and possibly Jason Bartlett all hit the field at the same time to try and right a situation that seemed to melt them apart like the cold weather on that unusual October night. Maybe it is the mantra adopted by Maddon for 2010 that no longer uses mathematical situations, but asks the simple question: ” WIN or What’s Important Now”. Maybe it is that urgency of completing the mission, of finally breathing a sigh of relief that will act as the whistle from this pressure cooker called the MLB season.

ZZ Top is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member. They got their start just like so many other musicians did struggling in the small bars and honky tonks in the Texas landscape. But their telling of the stories and the message in their lyrics, they got the rest of the country to not only experience a bit of Texas, but of their own personal cultures and rituals.

But hopefully in the next several months the Rays can duplicate the success and get the admiration of the rest of the Major League Baseball world to again see them for the hardworking and diligent team that they are….And maybe after it is all said and done, the Rays could actually shadow another ZZ Top song as a team.

 
Chris O’Meara/ AP

For if the Rays hit that desired pinnacle they seek so dearly in 2010. If this Rays team can climb that last rung of the ladder and stand proudly at the top with a golden trophy in their mitts, then maybe they can all collectively sing “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” on the pitching mound as they shower each other with praise, champagne and memories just like ZZ Top has given all of us over their long career.

Got to go people. Got a small errand to do since I am getting Photo Credentials to shoot the ZZ Top Concert tonight. And yes, tomorrow will be a ZZ Top post Concert Photo blog. See you later Gator…

Rays 2010 Concert Series Band Facts

 


I got to admit here, I was holding onto the secret to one of the Tampa Bay Rays Hess Express Saturday night Concert Series performers as close to my vest as I could this past weekend. I did tell a few close friends who would not throw it all over the place the artist, and I got a great reception to them coming to Tropicana Field in 2010.

The Concert Series list some say is a group of band that could soon be lifetime members of the AARP, but that is fine with me because I am no spring chicken myself. But this is also a special time for Rays fans as the team has gone a combined 16-2 during the Concert Series, with sell-out crowds and people swaying and singing in their seats, and people dancing in the aisles of Tropicana Field.

 

They are a nice collection of the bands of my youth, which also includes the second concert I ever saw when the Go-Go’s performed at the (now gone) Bayfront Center. And yes, I did wear my parachute pants with the red velvet inserts and swanky punk rock shirt to the concert to try and influence the ladies who I knew would come out in droves to support the first all female band on the Billboard charts to write and also perform with their own instruments.

And I also got to attend a Go-Go’s concert the last time they were in St. Petersburg, Florida at Jannus Landing and got a chance to meet the band during a “meet and greet” arranged by a friend in upper management at Pepsi.

 

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So to say I am not excited to see all five of these bands come into Tropicana Field would be insane. For these bands, Hall & Oates, John Fogerty, Nelly, Z Z Top and the Go-Go’s are very much a fabric of my musical roots, and great selections by the Rays Front Office, and we still have five more to be announced later. But this group of five are such an interesting meshing of bands that could sooth even the savage baseball fan.

So I decided to today to post some facts about each band that you might not know, and give you a little insight into the bands heading for the Trop. during the 2010 season. I will also list the game date and the opponent so you easily purchase your tickets when they go on sale to the public at 9 am on Friday.

 
 

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John Fogerty            April 24th           Toronto Blue Jays

 

1) 25th Anniversary of “Centerfield” being released to the world. In 1985, John Fogerty finished his first solo album for Warner Brothers records. But you had to think that when Fogerty wrote the title track to his album, it was going to be sung and imitated at Major League and minor league baseball stadiums for eternity. When “Centerfield” hit the stores, not only was the title track an instant hit, but another track off the album, “Old Man Down the Road” also was a Top-10 hit for Fogerty.
 

2) Fogerty also got one of those rare honors in Hollywood California on October 1, 1998 when he was enshrined on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His Hollywood Walk of Fame star is located at 7000 Hollywood Blvd right alongside 63 other inductees which include Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and actors Angela Bassett (St. Petersburg native), Tony Danza, Dudley Moore, Tom Hanks, Eddie Murphy, Chuck Norris, Glen Close and Renee Zellweger. Also included in this section is fellow musicians’ Nancy Sinatra, Donna Summers, Patti LaBelle, Pacido Domingo, and fellow baseball lover Alice Cooper.
 

3) Fogerty pulled off a great “double feat” during Thanksgiving 2006 when he appeared at halftime during both National Football League games held on that day. He started that day singing at the Miami Dolphins at Detroit Lions game, then got on a plane and went to also do the halftime festivities at the Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs game later that day. Fogerty was in the house on April 16,2009 to help celebrate the first home game in the new Yankee Stadium. 

Fogerty (of course) sang “Centerfield” from Centerfield prior to the New York Yankees first game in their new home. At one point, the infamous “Bleacher Creatures” that shout players names for “Yankee Rollcall” during the first innings of Yankee games, shouted out for Fogerty to acknowledge them. Fogerty got accepted in the new stadium…New York style.

 


Billboard.com



ZZ Top                May 1, 2010             Kansas City Royals

 

1) Most people might not know that there is a double reason they selected the name ZZ Top for the band. First, it was a hybrid name formed from the two names of rolling papers Zig-Zag and Top. The second reason it is a duo homage to classic Blues legend ZZ Hill. ZZ Top guitarist Bill Gibbons also wrote in his autobiography Rock+Roll Gearhead” that it also derives from Blues master B B King. The band originally planned to call themselves ZZ King, but they reconsidered thinking it might seem to similar to B B King. But since BB King was at the “Top”, they chose ZZ Top as their final band name.
 
 

2) Even before their hit “Cheap Sunglasses” in 1979, the band always wore darken sunglasses on stage for their gigs. Guitarists Gibbons and Dusty Hill also wear similar black clothing, usually biker leathers, and either black Cowboy hats or baseball caps when performing on stage. Gibbon also wears a trademark neck chain of beer bottle openers around his neck when he performs to remember those early days in the Texas Honky Tonk bars. While Gibbons and Hill wear chest length beards, their drummer Frank Beard ( love it!) usually has a well manicured beard and mustache.

 
 

3) Keeping with the “beard” theme for another moment, both Gibbons and Hill were offered $ 1 million each by the Gillette (razor) Company if they would shave off their chest length beards during a television commercial. The duo declined saying,” We’re tool ugly without them.”

 
 

MLB.com


Nelly                 May 15, 2009                Seattle Mariners

 
 

1) Most people know Nelly’s (Cornell Haynes Jr) obsession with everything related to St. Louis, but did you know that he was also a pretty good baseball player before he turned to rap music. He honed his baseball skills watching video of his idol Cardinals short stop Ozzie Smith during St. Louis amateur Summer Leagues and always considered playing professional baseball.

Even though Nelly was not drafted out of High School, he has attended several Major League Baseball Spring minor league tryout camps including the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves. Some people close to Nelly think he accepted his rap music career as a consolation prize to his first love….baseball.

 
 

2) Nelly has built himself a small empire outside of his music interests with the establishment of two clothing lines, Apple Bottom for women and Vokal for men. He also had a contract with Nike back in 2003 to design and develop a “Air Derrrty” shoe which was a retro remake of former NBA star Charles Barkley’s signature sneaker. He also signed a contract with Reebok on June 20,2005. Nelly is also became one of the owners of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats when it was announced on May 19,2008 he would join the Bobcat’s owners group along with Robert L Johnson and NBA legend Michael Jordan.

 
 

3) Most people instantly know him for his first album “Country Grammar”, which was his debut album with the Universal Music Group. The album was certified 9x platinum on April 27,2004 and includes a track with inspired baseball metaphor s called “Batter Up”. Another interesting fact is that Nelly once played in the Main Event at a World Series of Poker event in 2007.

 


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Hall and Oates       May 29,2010            Chicago White Sox

 

1) I personally have an axe to grind with Hall and Oates. They sang the National Anthem of Game 5 during the 2008 World Series at Citizen Bank’s Park on October 27,2008. The reason I have a beef with them is that I think they wished for rain and that made the game be postponed and I had to fly back to Tampa Bay without seeing the conclusion of Game 5, which happened several days later. They did a great rendition that night, but it was a rainy and cold night and my teeth were chattering. 

 
 

2) The two Philadelphia native sons met during a band competition at the Adelphi Ballroom back in 1967. They were not there to compete together, but was put together after gunshots rang out in the venue after two rival gangs converged on the arena. Daryl Hall and John Oates were both thrown into a service elevator together and they started talking and noticing they had multiple similarities in music and both were attending Temple University.

Not bad for two guys always immortalized by the sit-com “Friends” where Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), was once shown as a young man-fro keyboardist who was in love with the Hall and Oates music.

 
 

3)
In a play on the band’s name, the NHL’s St. Louis Blues manufactured a tongue-in-cheek line of hockey apparel called “Hull and Oates” to play homage to players Brett Hull and Adam Oates. Also with a Hockey linage is the fact that their song “Private Eyes” was the unofficial locker room song of the 2008-2009 Edmonton Oilers. But there was no doubting the band’s 7 platinum and 6 gold records and their 34 hit singles on the U S Billboard charts.
 

 
RRCollections

The Go-Go’s         July 10,2010           Cleveland Indians

 
1) The band originally formed in 1978 and played together until their first split-up in 1985. The band has been back together in some form and has toured regularly since 1999, but recently lead singer Belinda Carlisle announced on her Facebook page that the 2010 tour will be their Farewell Tour . The band previously reunited back in 1990 with their classic line-up for a benefit concert for the California Environmental Protection Act, which was on the California 1990 state initiative ballot. The band Green Days Billie Joe Armstrong co-wrote the song “Unforgiving” the only released single from the 2001 “God Bless the Go-Go’s” compact disc.
 
 

2) here are some wild facts about each member of the group:

Belinda Carlisle(Lead Singer) once dated former Los Angeles Dodger Mike Marshall and he should have a nice section in her upcoming biography “Lips Unsealed” that will be out in bookstores on May 20,2010. She also was a contestant during 2009 on “Dancing With the Stars”, and performed in the production of “Hairspray” on stage in London’s West End.

Gina Schock (Drummer) co-wrote the title track on Miley Cyrus’s second album “Breakout”. The song debuted at #1 in the summer of 2008. She also wrote tracks for Selena Gomez and The Scene’s release “Kiss and Tell.” The Go-Go’s had to stop touring in 1983 while promoting their “Vacation” CD after Schock developed health problems and had to have surgery for congenital heart defect.
 

Karen Valentine(Bass Guitar) During their Go-Go’s “hiatus moments”, Valentine went back to her Texas blues-rock roots and formed the Blue Bonnets. The group did two albums before they morphed into The Delphines, which included Schock as their drummer,

Charlotte Caffey (Lead Guitar/Keyboards) Caffey and Jane Wiedlin co-wrote Country star Keith Urban’s first # 1 single hit “But for the Grace of God“. Caffey and Wiedlin also performed several concerts back in 1997 as Twisted and Jaded, in which they performed acoustic versions of Go-Go’s songs and debuted any new materials they wrote during the bands existence.

 

Jane Wiedlin (Vocals/Guitar)  is always one of the fan’s favorites, not only for her quirky sense of humor, but for her “obsessions.” Wiedlin is a devoted “star Trek” fan and once formed a band FroSTed as a homage to the ultimately popular television and movie series. She is an ordained wedding officiant who performs her wedding services as Reverend Sister Go-Go. She is also the main subject of an upcoming comic book called “Lady Robotika“, and was endeared to millions on the reality show “The Surreal Life” when she came out of the closet about her fascination with Domination.

 
 

3)
Over their career, which started in 1978, they have sold over 7 million albums and made rock history as the only all-female band who also plays their own instruments to top the Billboard charts. Their first album “Beauty and the Beast” was considered a “cornerstone” of the New Wave music movement. This album reached double platinum which at the time made it one of the most successful debut albums of all time. The album is still today listed at # 413 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.
 
RRCollections
 
 
This is only the first set of five bands to be announced in the popular Hess Express Saturday Night Concert Series with more being announced in the near future. But if you want to mark those dates down on your calendar, they will be June 12th (Florida Marlins), June 26th (Arizona Diamondbacks), August 14th (Baltimore Orioles), September 18th (Los Angeles Angels), September 25th (Seattle Mariners).

With tickets going on sale to the General Public on Friday morning, it might be a great idea to purchase tickets for these days in advance to guarantee a chance to see concerts on these dates. I will again bring you some facts and great baseball related situations concerning the bands that the Rays select for these additional dates. At this time there are no previous games selected for these Saturday Rays games by either for a possible Fox Baseball Broadcasts or by ESPN.

 
 

I am looking forward to these concerts with great anticipation, and also hope that we can again sell out Tropicana Field and boost our record to 26-2 with a 10-0 run in 2010. When the Trop. Is full, the Rays players feel the presence of the crowd and gain additional energy from us in the stands. So do not forget to get up early tomorrow and get your coffee and your fingers ready to select seat locations for all five of the already selected bands in concert following Rays games in 2010. Tell me you are not excited!
 
 
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