Friday, June 20, 2008

I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing 80s Red Sox Themes

They showed this game on NESN tonight. It was Remy's first broadcast, 20 years ago. Part of their "Remyniscense" series, leading up to his own day at Fenway on Tuesday.

1988 was the heart of "my era." I was 12 that summer, old enough to have known all the players (which for me started at age 3, but by 12 I knew a little more about baseball), but still young enough to have not discovered, uh, anything besides baseball. Except for Coke cans. Coke put Disney characters on all their cans that summer. All summer, we looked for dwarves, ducks, and mice, in a futile attempt at "collecting them all." We never did find Doc, though the discovery of Daisy Duck on a diet Minute Maid Orange soda caused quite a celebration. I think it was the next summer that they started putting the various Super Bowl logos on cans. Or maybe that was '87, as I seem to remember Super Bowl XXI was the latest one available. No Coke summer promotion was more talked-about than 1990's MagiCans, whose ads featured New Kids on the Block, and which spat out dollar bills at you. Some kid drank the "foul-smelling" liquid in one of the winning cans, and the promotion was pretty much screwed.

Anyway, my room at any given point in the late-80s was filled with soda cans. Our neighbor owned the local bowling alley (Danbury's Bowlarama, later replaced with a shopping center featuring the Borders bookstore I'd work at a decade later. I think the front door was right about where the front door of The Q, Bowlarama's sister-pool haul, had been. I didn't think of that fact enough while I worked there. Ah well, ol' Mike with the big stogie who worked the desk, this late-80s-themed post is for you. (I'm hoping some old Danbury person finds this and gets a nice stroll down Recollection Road.)) era. Right. Back then we didn't get NESN games in Fairfield County. Oh wait, they still don't get NESN there. But at least back then we got the TV-38 feed on WVIT-30, New Britain/Hartford (previously "New Britain/Hartford/Waterbury/New Haven"--those last two got the shaft around '90). But only on Fridays and Sundays for the most part. So the NESN music I heard on tonight's throwback broadcast was completely foreign to me. I knew Ned Martin's voice, as he did both cable and network games. But we didn't get Remy as the sidekick, we got Bob Montgomery, who stuck around when Sean McDonough replaced Ned.

It was great to see those guys on my modern TV in their stirrups, but otherwise clad in the same duds they wear today, only more loosely. Barrett, Evans, Rice, Spike Owen, a young Gator, an aging Hurst, and of course Gedman. Geddy hit a key sac fly in our eighth inning, game-winning rally that culminated in a wild pitch scoring the go-ahead run. The sparse April crowd was going nuts in the freezing cold. At one point, a guy in a Yankee jacket applauds Todd Benzinger as he leaves for a pinch-runner. I also noticed that the plastic seats that replaced the wooden grandstand ones in section 33 were already in place by '88. I could go on, but the point is, it was fun watching stuff from my heyday. That was the time when the Red Sox were on TV just often enough. All the games were on radio, but you could count on a few a week to be on, and all of Castiglione and Coleman's radio descriptions would magically come to life for a few hours. Remember, in southwest Connecticut, we grew up thinking the players were statues, stuck permanently in their baseball card pose. I've still never seen Jack Brohamer move. I'd like to.

I also wanted to make a list I've probably made here before. The songs channel 30 (and maybe 38, I still don't know if each affiliate had its own music/highlight theme packages) played during and on commercials for Sox games. I mean, obviously the voiceover was channel 30's own. I can still hear him. "Catch the Red Sox and the Brewers, Friday at 7:30, on 30!" I'd like to interview that guy, I wonder if he's alive, or if he went the way of the Gino guy. (Sad face here.) But was the music played all across 38-land, and each affiliate would put a voiceover on it? Or did 30 come up with the whole thing? Anyway, here are the songs: "Industrial Disease" by Dire Straits, "Every Little Kiss" by Bruce Hornsby, "Obsession" by Animotion, and the classic "Rock with the Sox" ("Rock Around the Clock"--that one came with a spinning record.) "Red Sox Rock" ("Jailhouse Rock") was another tune, but that was a music video, not a channel 30 theme.

So I ask again, does TV-38 have any of its old broadcasts? Those are the ones I wanna see. Preferably the channel 30 feed, of course. The NESN ones are still cool, but I'd like to see a game I know I saw the first time.

Great post! You brought me back to my yesteryear. Another song that TV-38 always played was "The Heat Is On" originally by Glen Frey but of course changed to "The Heat Is On, TV-38...". You got me thinking and I did some quick research. Check out these two vintage clips. They're not exactly Sox related but they fit with your post.
Oh right, The Heat is On. See, I know about that one because my friend (a Yankee fan) used to go on vacation in Vermont. And he'd come back singing "the game is on, TV-38...." So according to him they changed heat to game, but still, it was that song.

Which furthers the theory that each affiliate had the option of using their own theme. Because channel 30 in CT never played the Heat is On song.
I watched your ads you linked to. These are ads my girlfriend (New Bedford, MA) and my cousins (Salem, NH) ALWAYS talk about. In fact, as soon as I saw the word "aquarium" I knew I'd be hearing the famous "my name is Karen" for the first time--and ironically, that was in your second link. (From my girlfriend and cousin's imitations, I'd been picturing an adult saying the "Karen" line. I guess I pictured Karen as an employee, since she was "introducing herself."

We never got those commercials growing up in the NY Metro. But we were advised to move our buns, buster, and adopt our free cat or dog today from the North Shore Animal League, AND to attend Young People's Day Camps, now in our 16th anniversary year, or so the talking balloon said.
"The GAME is on"! That's it! Ok, last one, you got me thinking (and subsequently searching) about old TV-38 stuff. Here's an old TV spot about TV38 and the Red Sox. (You have to wait until "The Movie Loft" promo ends.(which is funny in and of itself))
Nice to see Gedman in there. And on the Stanley strikeout you can see the old "no pepper" in yellow on the fence.

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