(a national publication whose fortunes took a turn for the worse in 1984 after they attempted to “humanize” a particularly controversial public figure)
“The worst live organist is better than the best pre-recorded music,” argues baseball fan / Grammy winner Huey Lewis in a guest editorial for The Talkhouse. And while I wouldn’t say the worst live organist is better than Culturcide’s version of “The Heart Of Rock’n’Roll”, Lewis has much to say about the atmosphere (or lack thereof) in modern stadiums.
Can we all agree it’s time to ban most, if not all, pre-recorded music from sporting events? The fairly recent (in historical terms) proliferation of the pre-recorded stuff has begun to seriously degrade the experience of going to a ballgame. The murmur of tens of thousands of people in a baseball park, vendors hollering about beer and hot dogs, along with the thrilling crack of a bat hitting a ball, an umpire’s throaty call, and the occasional player’s whistle or cry of “I got it!” is a wonderful symphony of sounds that we almost never get to hear anymore
The San Francisco 49ers used to have an 18-piece jazz band on the sidelines, complete with a cable car bell ringer, to perform between plays. The 49ers, and their San Francisco baseball counterparts the Giants, used to hire a local Dixieland combo to roam the stands and play. These things were entertaining and culturally valuable — marching bands are a wonderful incubator for local talent, they connect a team to the local music community in a real way, and the sound they produce is far more interesting and appropriate for a large stadium.
A ban would do away with those over-played theme songs that annoy and belittle athletes and audiences alike. (Think “Wheels on the Bus.”) Sport is a wonderfully complex pastime played by exceptional people, and it deserves better.