“Where Do We Go From Here?”  The Election of 2024

The opinions and observations are solely my own views, and I take full responsibility for any errors of fact, not to mention any predictions that prove to be wildly inaccurate.

   Anyone who suffers with GERDS knows what it is like to be awaken about 4 in the AM with a coughing fit so bad that your lungs hurt. The next day or two you re-evaluate your eating habits and attempt to never recreate the scenario which brought on the attack: spicy foods or a combination of things. My GERDS effect the other evening had me up until 6 AM, giving me ample opportunity to think, which in my case is a dangerous thing.  Tonight’s thinking agenda besides the food dilemma had one additional item… Why we, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE have JOE BIDEN as President #46 ? My thinking is, “The Former Reality TV Host” aka “the former guy#45” left the voters with a bad case of GERDS and therefore we would vote for anyone who “wasn’t him” which I did. Maybe I was wrong for looking at the election of 2020 in that light but there was no way in hell I wanted to have another four years regretting the way the USA was going under his misguided leadership nor did I want to hear that pompous asshole #45 with his fourth grade vocabulary ever speak again.

   “Anyone but him” might not have been the best or most politically savvy way to go but it was the only way for me. Then the Democratic Party offered JOE BIDEN, “milk toast” at best. Both candidates were long in the tooth age wise while Biden offered years of experience.  #45 did nothing for me. As a businessman he was bankrupt many times over, divorced twice and now remarried to a trophy wife, a true looker I might add, who gained citizenship in a nefarious way. As President he surrounded himself politically with his family as advisors, fired cabinet members at will, and then when he lost the popular vote (again) AND this time the Electoral College totals, he claimed the “election was stolen” and refused to step down or go away gracefully.

   So now we are in the process of evaluating where we stand in the midterm election as well as preparing for the 2024 vote. Many shrewd pols are maneuvering in attempts to skew the elections by gerrymandering voting districts.  And those behind the scenes, well…Which leads me back to “Mr. MilkToast”, our current president. I ask myself the question almost daily, “What did Joe Do?” and I hear the response of “nothing” which is not true (follow up to come). Blame it on Congress, particularly THE SENATE, blame it on the Supreme Court, blame it whomever or whatever but truthfully, he did “nothing” good for me. Gas prices are directly attributed to the “robber barons” of old who are more concerned with profits that prices. Gas in Europe cost more than here in the US so JOE didn’t do that. Gas is up so everything else follows and the economy goes in the tank so to speak. Remember the early 1970’s when we rationed gas, odd and even days? The economy sucked and out goes the President. Which leads me to this thought,”Joe or No in 2024”.

   What will be my choice in 2024? Democrats must realize that #46 doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell to win the popular vote in 2024 and while tallying the blues versus reds I surmise he won’t win the electoral count either. The GOP must realize that most Americans found #45 to be a crass, arrogant asshole and voted him out for good reason. His chance of winning or lack thereof could only lead to #46 being re-elected for a second term. The only way for either party to win is to erase the slate, move past “the two” and offer some new blood. The GOP could find this easier than the Dems. “Dump Trump” and move to PENCE (or whom ever) and they stand a chance, a great chance if BIDEN is running. If The DEMS ask  BIDEN to “not seek or accept the nomination”, well, let the ball game begin.

   Let’s be honest folks, the last two presidency are not our greatest moments in history. We need a unifying President, one who can capture the true spirit of democracy, and make us whole again. Currently, I don’t see that candidate on the horizon but I only hope one will arise shortly. If it’s Biden V Trump well, God Bless The United States of America.

Today’s Listening Pleasure: ELECTRIC FLAG   “A Long Time Comin’”

to be continued… “Stolen? No Fxxxing Way”

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION from “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” 

PART 1: The Jingle, The Song, The Band, The Beatles…   

   What started out as a TV spot for Alka-Seltzer was later recorded as  a full length single“No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” becoming  a hit for THE T-BONES in1966. And just like we can find  SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION aka the KEVIN BACON GAME,as this one song will take us on a musical journey of the late1960’s and onward. 

   The original jingle was written by ALEXANDER BURLAND (The Nutty Squirrels) Producer JOE SARACENO turned the jingle into a full length instrumental recording using studio musicians credited to THE T-BONES (Tommy Tedesco guitar, Hal Blaine, drums;Carol Kaye electric bass; Lyle Ritz, upright bass). This studio band was actually part of THE WRECKING CREW, all “first call musicians” known for their exceptional studio chops for the hits of THE MONKEES, SONNY and CHER,THE RONETTES, THE TIJUANA BRASS and so many more. To tour as THE T-BONES would have cost them money as the  studio money was so much more profitable than touring money.

   The WRECKING CREW started in 1962 working at GOLD STAR STUDIOS on hits produced by PHIL SPECTOR (The CRYSTALS/THE RONETTES/IKEand TINA TURNER/THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS). As “first call” LA musicians they worked with producers as diverse as BRIAN WILSON, TERRY MELCHER, LOU ADLER, BONES HOWE, JIMMY BOWEN and MIKE POST.

LOU ADLER often seen court side next to JACK NICHOLSON at LA LAKER games or seen in the crowd behind the catcher at DODGER games LOU ADLER (with the signature white beret) was the originator of The Monterey Pop Festival, owner of DUNHILL Records and later ODE Records. He produced JOHNNY RIVERS, THE GRASS ROOTS, JAN and DEAN, THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS and won a GRAMMY AWARD for producing CAROLE KING’S “Tapestry” in 1972. He was Executive Producer of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW and films for CHEECH & CHONG. Early in his songwriting days with HERB ALBERT they wrote “Wonderful World” a huge hit in 1960 for SAM COOKE and in 1965 became a hit for HERMAN’S HERMITS. LOU ADLER was married in 1964 to SHELLY FABARES and produced a few hit records for his then wife, along with one son

JIMMY BOWEN produced FRANK SINATRA’S “Strangers In The Night” (1967’s Grammy for RECORD OF THE YEAR)among other hits. “Old Blue Eyes” hired BOWEN as a record producer (using THE WRRECKING CREW) for his newly established (1960) REPRISE RECORDS, thus giving a new meaning to “CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD”. SINATRA garnered the fellowship of the RAT PACK by signing DEAN MARTIN, SAMMY DAVIS ,Jr ,also NANCY SINATRA, DINO, DESI and BILLY to the label. In later years BOWEN worked with GLEN CAMPBELL, KENNY ROGERS, HANK WILLIAMS,Jr, THE OAK RIDGE BOYS, REBA McEntire, GEORGE STRAIT, SUZY BOGGUSS, KIM CARNES, CONWAY TWITTY and GARTH BROOKS.

BONES HOWE originally was an engineer under ADLER. He later produced hits with THE WRECKING CREW for THE ASSOCIATION and the 5th DIMENSION.

TERRY MELCHER, the son of DORIS DAY, was a singer, songwriter and as a producer he helped develop the “California Sound” and “folk rock”. He sang as TERRY DAY, later in BRUCE(Johnston) and TERRY, and was also  in THE RIP CHORDS. MELCHER produced the first two BYRDS albums including the singles “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn,Turn,Turn” as well as hits by PAUL REVERE and THE RAIDERS.Years later he produced the BEACH BOYS’ hit “Kokomo”. TERRY MELCHER is also known as the original target of CHARLES MANSON’S family attack on 10050 Cielo Drive the rented home that MELCHER shared with girlfriend CANDACE BERGEN and his friend MARK LINDSAY. They had moved out prior to that fateful day.

MIKE POST produced the 1964 hit by THE MURMAIDS “Popsicles and Icicles”(written by DAVID GATES). Got his first GRAMMY (age 23) in 1968 for Best Instrumental Arrangement on MASON WILLIAMS (backed by THE WRECKING CREW) “Classical Gas”.  At 24 he was Musical Director on THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW, then got his second GRAMMY for his theme song for THE ROCKFORD FILES, He was the “go-to guy” for many TV shows producers including The A-Team, Baa Baa black Sheep, The Commish, Doogie Howser, MD, Magnum, PI, and many others. To me he is best known for his “dun, dun” sound effect he created for the “Law and Order” franchises.

BRIAN WILSON:simply stated the genius of The Beach Boys.

PART 2: The Beatles???

   What started out as  a TV spot for Alka-Seltzer was later recorded as  a full length single“No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” becoming  a hit by THE T-BONES in1966. And just like we can find  SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION aka the KEVIN BACON GAME, this one song will take us on a musical journey of the 1960’s and onward.

   THE T-BONES as recorded was: Tommy Tedesco on guitar, Hal Blaine, drums;Carol Kaye electric bass; Lyle Ritz, upright bass. This studio band was actually the basis of THE WRECKING CREW, all “first call musicians” known for their exceptional studio chops for the hits of THE MONKEES, SONNY and CHER,THE RONETTES, THE TIJUANA BRASS. To tour as THE T-BONES would have cost them money as the studio work money was so much more profitable than tour money.

   It was suggested that a “tour” band of THE T-BONES would be compiled to tour, photos etc…sorta like THE MONKEES (but not as famous). The T-Bones were now identified as JUDD HAMILTON, DAN HAMILTON, JOE FRANK CAROLLO and TOMMY REYNOLDS none who played on the original record, nor the (previous of course and) subsequent recording until the last album “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon”.

   Years later (1971) HAMILTON. JOE FRANK and REYNOLDS have two huge hits with “Don’t Pull Your Love (Out)” and “Fallin’ In Love”.

   THE BEATLES are connected to our KEVIN BACON GAME, so bear with me on this one. “Red Rubber Ball” a silly hit written by PAUL SIMON and BRUCE WOODLEY of THE SEEKERS was recorded by THE CYRKLE in 1966 climbing the BILLBOARD Chart to #2.  Original called THE RHONDELLS, the band was managed by BRIAN EPSTEIN of BEATLES fame who changed their name to THE CIRCLE, JOHN LENNON re-christened the band THE CYRKLE. THE CYRKLE opened on numerous US dates for THE BEATLES and played THE BEATLES last live date ever in San Francisco.

   Here’s the connection.  In 1976, Alka Selter stops using “No Matter What Shape” and now rallies around a new jingle “plop, plop, fizz, fizz”. This jingle was written by musician TOM DAWES, a former member of THE CYRKLE…

   MUSHROOMS and OZZY…

   Recently, I read the article “Taking The Magic Out of Magic Mushrooms” (NYT 7/16/22) by Dr. Dana G. Smith a health and science writer and a former psychology researcher.Seems there has been clinical trials at NYU whereby large doses of psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in “magic mushrooms”, have been administered to patients dealing with anxiety and depression, especially those following a cancer diagnosis. The article describes in graphic detail what one patient experienced during his “trip”. That study found that psychedelic drugs like psilocybin are remarkably good at alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety — even in many people who do not respond to currently prescribed medications.Hmmm…the article took me back to another time.

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: FEBRUARY 20, 1971:BLACK SABBATH/J.GEILS BAND/SIR LORD BALTIMORE:Three nights before I was out on a date viewing THE FACES, a snowy, cold night, overall a great show and date. Tonight I returned to FILLMORE EAST, orchestra seats toward the back of the hall, left side, to see a show with an acquaintance of mine, not necessarily a friend, but a nice guy nonetheless who had an extra ticket.  He called early afternoon asking if I wanted to go with him. Never one to say “No” away we went in my car. Taking my car was probably not the smartest move I’ve ever made but, hey, smart moves at 19 years of age isn’t the gold standard.This was a late show, scheduled for 11:30PM and since psychedelics were involved timing is of the essence. One could say in hindsight that taking psilocybin at a BLACK SABBATH show( my first and only) was probably my second mistake of the evening.

   The first act was SIR LORD BALTIMORE, a trio out of Brooklyn who had a drummer who was also their lead vocalist. Rumor has it that Bill Graham, after seeing this band perform that weekend decided that he had had enough. These guys were the pits, dreadful droning, a pathetic excuse for music.

  The J. GEILS BAND out of Boston was next, this their debut at FILLMORE EAST. I had wanted to see this band after hearing their record played many times by Bobby “Wizard” Wayne, the DJ on WCBS-FM. Most nights he played their stuff as often as he could. Strange occurrence seeing them tonight as lively as they were. The drummer had a few extra arms, the guitar player had greased back hair that shined brightly, and the singer moved like a gazelle. The harmonica player was huge, with hair exploding out of his head, almost touching the ceiling. The music was incredible, the visuals imagined, mere pleasant hallucinations. 

   Whew, while Geils was good, I still to this day did not know what to make of BLACK SABBATH except to say I was scared shitless the moment the lights dimmed. The music was unique, grinding, slow in pace, and very, very loud. The four piece ensemble was off to the right of the stage, seemed to be huddled together in close proximity. The rest of the stage looked empty to me. Then, the sound exploded from a wall of amplifiers. “N.I.B”, a song about Satan falling in love?, “War Pigs”, “Black Sabbath”, then the I AM IRON MAN intro to “Iron Man”…help me, what did I get myself in to?. I need to go home. I closed my eyes hoping it would end but alas, it did not. A few more tunes, a long guitar solo( he’s left handed) and the obligatory drum solo, whew…I was sweating profusely in February. Then, “Paranoid”, the place is going nuts, I’m shivering in my seat…”More, More”, the crowd is calling them back, me thinking,“Oh Lord, please make it stop, I’ll never do it again”… “Fairies Wear Boots”, Oh no, the singer is looking directly at me, pointing at me, taunting me, “Son, son, you’ve gone too far ‘Cause smokin’ and trippin’ is all that you do”. Finally, mercifully it ended.My partner for the evening loved it.

   Fortunately, I met a (sober) friend who needed a ride home so I tossed him my keys. My car was parked on a street by Astor Place, near “The Cube”. Some folks were having fun spinning it, sorta like my brain. After arriving home with the sunrise I went to bed but not immediately to sleep as the music was still ringing in my ears. 

   The next morning, more like early afternoon I was awaken by my mother’s voice calling up to my room informing me that a young lady, waiting in her car, wanted to speak with me. I thought, “What hell awaits me now?”…

to be continued…

JOHN MAYALL: “The Sun Is Shining Down”(Forty Below Records)

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   At 88 years old with countless recording dating back 60 years this collection of tunes by JOHN MAYALL is/was an adventure. 

   First the “was an adventure”.Back in January (28th,2022), I ordered as a package ($75.00) one color vinyl album autographed by Mayall along with a cd version also autographed by the 88 year old. The cd would be a birthday gift (March 18) for my friend who is a huge Mayall fan.Expecting swift delivery of both items on February 22nd I contacted the company asking about a possible delivery date. I was advised that due to a “vinyl shortage” the parcel would be delayed. My buddy’s birthday passes. April 29, I sent another request as to  “when?” and received this response, “Really sorry but the vinyl delays have been brutal. This will arrive toward the end of May. Thanks so much for your patience.”

   Me being oh, so tolerant, shot another e-mail about just sending the freaking cd, receiving no reply from the company. June 10th, ME: “any updates would be appreciated”.THEM: “Hi Michael. We’re at the mercy of the manufacturer…. The black arrived but the blue had to be repressed and is delayed until the end of June. Thanks for your patience”. July 5th: “Any update?”…“If you’re inquiring about the blue John Mayall vinyl, there was a problem with the pressing and it had to be repressed. It is delayed until early July. We’re very sorry about this and thank you for your patience and understanding”.

   I’m think JOHN MAYALL will be 89 by the time I get this in my grubby little hands.July 6: “Hi Michael. The vinyl is being delivered tomorrow and we will send orders out straight away. Really sorry about the wait”. And now, July 13th, here it is, arrived by mail, six months after placing the order. Thanks FORTY BELOW RECORDS, you guys are great (sarcasm).

   Okay, now the “is an adventure” part…I placed the blue vinyl on the turntable and cranked up the unit. The stylus hit the groove and, lo and behold, it played. I did have a moment where I thought, “What if it isn’t pressed correctly? Do I drive there and beat the shit out of someone?” Wait, wow… MELVIN TAYLOR singing and slinging on “Hungry and Ready” with MAYALL on harp.Great back beat supplied by (former BUDDY GUY bassist) GREG RZAB, drums JAY DAVENPORT and lead/rhythm guitar by CAROLYN WONDERLAND. and the horn section, WOW.This is good, very good.

“Can’t Take No More” featuring MARCUS KING is another gem. Then there is a fav of mine BUDDY MILLER playing a baritone guitar, followed by SCARLET RIVERA on a haunting violin “Got To Find A Better Way”, MIKE CAMPBELL  adds to “Chills and Thrills”…all in all these 10 songs are all gems, no clunkers here. Mayall’s vocals and keyboard playing, exceptional.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND this, not just for us old time MAYALL fans, this was well worth the wait…

to be continued…

“A Whiter Shade of Pale”…WTF?

   Recently, an acquaintance of mine mentioned the PROCOL HARUM  song “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (music by Brooker/Fisher, lyrics by Keith Reid) which brought me back in my mind’s eye to a loftier time and reminded me that PROCOL HARUM was one of the bands that made me have a strong dislike for Progressive Rock(a different article). Keeping in mind that PROCOL HARUM was a favorite of mine in the late 1960’s through 1971. I had the first few albums, and the 45 rpm “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and enjoyed the pleasure of seeing them numerous times at FILLMORE EAST, SUNY@ Stony Brook, and WOLLMAN RINK in Central Park, albeit with guitarist ROBIN TROWER. Then, he left and so did I.

   “A Whiter Shade of Pale” is a great sing-a-long tune, even if you don’t know ALL THE WORDS. The organ riff (credited legally) of MATTHEW FISHER, the haunting vocals of GARY BROOKER, and the words KEITH REID, all  a wow the first time you hear it and still today. On another note I once saw KEITH REID in the back of the lobby of FILLMORE EAST, over by the water fountain and near the door to the “medical area”(aka “safe room for LSD users), Keith bespectacled, wearing a natty suit and carrying copy of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. Thought that to be strange but later found out what it(the book) meant to him and why he carried it…but I digress.

   In an interview with Uncut magazine, Reid shed a little light on the song’s origin and meaning. “I had the phrase ‘a whiter shade of pale,’ that was the start, and I knew it was a song,” he said. “It’s like a jigsaw where you’ve got one piece, then you make up all the others to fit in. I was trying to conjure a mood as much as tell a straightforward, girl-leaves-boy story. With the ceiling flying away and room humming harder, I wanted to paint an image of a scene.”

   I got it, At a Stony Brook concert during  a PROCOL HARUM  performance I was that guy (maybe not) noted in the song, a drunken seduction victim with the sea as a metaphor even though the song was not played that night, but I digress, again. Let’s deal with the lost two choruses which finish out the tale…The “Whiter Shade…” (WSoP) is a drunken sexual moment gone coo-coo for CocoPuffs.

(3) She said, ‘I’m home on shore leave’

Through in truth we were at sea

So I took her by the looking glass

And forced her to agree

 Saying, ‘You must be the mermaid

Who took Neptune for a ride’

But she smiled at me so sadly

That my anger straightway died

[Chorus]

And so it was that later

As the miller told his tale

That her face at first just ghostly

Turned a whiter shade of pale

(4)

If music be the food of love

Then laughter is its queen

And likewise if behind is in front

My mouth by then like cardboard

Seemed to slip straight through my head

So we crash-dived straightway quickly

And attacked the ocean bed

[Chorus]

And so it was that later

As the miller told his tale

That her face at first just ghostly

Turned a whiter shade of pale

…to be continued…

TRIBUTE BANDS

   “SNOB”, usually directed at me by my friends, hopefully in a loving fashion. I’m the guy who will rate your record collection by searching out the “Donny Most’s Greatest Hits” at a party and proudly hold it up for everyone to see while announcing, “A true collector’s item, this guy has eclectic taste, a Donny Most album, now how many of you guys have this rarity?” I also judge your concert attendance, “Fuck The Doobie Brothers, they ain’t brothers and where’s JEFF “Skunk” Baxter, TIRAN PORTER?” “Who are these NEW brothers?”.

   A few months ago I posted my rant about BLOOD SWEAT and TEARS answering the question of a friend with tickets who tried to

entice me/my bride to attend the show with them.  I didn’t have the heart to tell them their evening would be a “Night of Blood, Sweat & Tears” music played by guys who were probably not born when the first/second album hit the stands as BS&T has no “original” members.

   Then, the pandemic…

   It has been a long time between shows, my last being March of 2020. Over 700 documented shows with countless bands from 1965 to 2020. I know what I liked but now, it has been far too long. So, to all my “friends” I beg forgiveness, call me, please, I will go see the “tribute band in full costume” you so like. I’d even say “yes” to the American Floyd band doing THE WALL, shit, I’m in for “1964: THE TRIBUTE”, should I wear my Ringo jacket?Please, call…

to be continued…

SUNDAYS WITH JOHN…

 Every Sunday for the past 24 plus years my cousin John aka “Johnny D From Brooklyn” faithfully called me, never missed, even when he was in Istanbul. During those Sunday calls which could last a few hours we shared our feelings and thoughts on a wide variety of subjects. Nothing was sacred and everything was profane (a Martin Buber thing). Yankees, Giants,Rangers, Knicks, Nets, music, friends, politics, books, and family, all topics which were open for discussion. Laughs abounded almost every week. Today, this Sunday it is approximately 20 weeks since I heard the sound of his voice. I miss him and his opinions. What would he think about The Supreme Court decision, gas prices, The Brooklyn Nets with and without The 3 (he knew I hated the get Harden trade), the hearings and what people are taking away from it (he grabbed the wheel??? WTF???? That’s what you heard?).Or “What if the teacher asking the team to pray was a Muslim?”….I miss him…

It’s a long way from Rogers and Martense Streets in Brooklyn to the Gates of Heaven. Slainte…

The Day The Music Died…Again

   It happens so quickly yet slowly in what appears to be surreal time. We were warned so I should have been cautious but living through it many times I did not expect what happened to happen to the extent it did. The hurricane known as IRENE, August 21, 2011 arrived as predicted and took its toll as the streets were flooded, the sewer is backed up, and then the electricity went out. We evacuated to my son’s inland home, safe, away from the rising tides. With the electricity going out in the area my sump pump would be inoperable, therefore my basement would flood but how high, I did not know. We arrived back home after the storm subsided to 18 inches deep of water.

   Prior to the storm and having been in this scenario a few times before, we, my lovely bride and I moved as many items of personal value as far from the basement as we could. However, we never expected 18 inches and rising. Now, we quickly moved everything else to higher ground as best we could. Fortunately, our heating unit, hot water heater, washer and dryer were all on double cinder blocks but the water was getting close to the mechanisms which keep those items going.

    Then, it happened, the horrendous sound of metal twisting. The three metal shelves started to bend under the weight of the water  which was over the bottom shelves of my extensive record collection. The bottom housed mostly supplies in cardboard boxes, a few trays of “mixed” tapes, nothing of any collectable value. We grabbed what we could from the upper shelves and hoped for the best. Unfortunately ,the water got the best of the cardboard and a few hundred blank record inner sleeves. The shelving crashed to the ground. Thousands of vinyl records, 45’s, 33’s, picture sleeves, all hit the water. Magazines, newspaper clippings, archives, lesson plans, family photos all in the water. The water was still 18 inches high and without electricity the pumps were still not working. Nothing was covered by insurance.

   I’ve been collecting records for as long as I can remember. I had “Sugar Shack” by JIMMY GILMORE, an album by JOEY DEE and The STARLITERS. I had THE RIVINGTONS “ Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow,

hundreds of pictures sleeve including many of THE BEATLES first issues. All were lost. What I saved was minimal but significant. I quickly hand-picked before the crash whatever I could save never thinking that the shelves would collapse. After the water subsided and the pumps were pumping, the mildew and mold destroyed almost everything else in my basement. It took weeks to bag and remove what we could. At my expense I hired a company to remove the mold from the walls, floor and ceiling. 

   Losing my records is minimal in life’s scope of things, no one was hurt, no one died. Over the next few years I gave up collecting vinyl concentrating on CDs. Many of the vinyl records that I had previously purchased were now re-issued on the CD format. I thought that to be a plus. However, I was seriously mistaken. Nothing, Nothing replaces the sound of Vinyl. I’m a snob, I’m proud of it, so I went back to collecting just Vinyl.

   What does this effort to do with “the day the music died, again”. Well, simple put its historical as on June 1, 2008, three years before IRENE hit Long Island, a blow torch is used to adhere asphalt shingles to a façade in the Universal Studios back lot. The worker never checked to see if the area cooled off as he headed out for the night. A three alarm fire ensues. It is later, many years later admitted that the fire destroyed up to 175,000 master tapes belonging to the UMG group. UMG was renting warehouses in the Universal Studios Backlot. It was stated, “in no case was the destroyed material the only copy of a work,” a claim attributed to Universal Studios officials. However, in the March 2009 “Vault Loss Meeting,” the company described the damage in apocalyptic terms. “The West Coast Vault perished, in its entirety, Lost in the fire was, undoubtedly, a huge musical heritage.”

   Losing “The Master Tapes” is sinful. “A master is the truest capture of a piece of recorded music,” said Adam Block, the former president of Legacy Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment’s catalog arm. “Sonically, masters can be stunning in their capturing of an event in time. Every copy thereafter is a sonic step away.”

   Non- original tapes, transfers, n-th generation copies, or worse, even cheap vinyl reissues is what the consumer is left with.Think about what is missing: jazz, blues, country, pop of the pre-rock-’n’-roll period, light classical and even spoken-word selections. This was  a huge archive containing multiple copies of audio and video recordings, documents ranging from legal papers to liner notes, and packaging materials and artwork, unreleased recordings such as outtakes and alternative versions, all lost. DECCA masters from the 1930-1950’s, including those of Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and some IMPULSE RECORDS masters of JOHN COLTRANE. Whew…and I thought I just lost my records to a hurricane and they could be replaced.

to be continued…

The New York Rangers: The “Re-Build Begins”… February 8, 2018 to June 11,2022…

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May 3, 2022:The “Re-build” is built, finally, maybe, hopefully,…  alas, I can let my anger subside. In my opinion Jim Dolan, aka “The Toupee’d Idiot” knows less about hockey than he does about basketball… which is minimal to say the least. But here we go, The New York Rangers are hosting, yes, hosting the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA. First, there was “the letter”(February 8,2018) when the “organization” (Sather/Gorton) made our season tickets (Section 202, Row 3, Seats 1and 2) virtually worthless for the rest of that season and for a few years to come. Yet, we (my partners and I since 1988) carried on somewhat interested to see the new NEW YORK STRANGERS as we called them. One needed a score card to identify these players.Trades were made. Guys we cheered for landed elsewhere for draft picks. Members refused to wear the “C”, designated “CAPTAIN” as the last two were unceremoniously traded, opting for the “A” (Associate) Captain. My joke was ,“C is the new scarlet letter”.

   Then “the bubble” games followed by… at the end of 2020 HENRIK was let go. As we finished the 2020- 2021 season we witnessed the May 3, 2021game where Tom Wilson v Buchnevich and then Wilson dumps Panarin to the ice like a rag doll. Which lead us to the May 5, 2021 brawl at the opening face-off when it was noted by all that The Rangers needed a Nick Fotio. Changes had to and were made. Me, I finally dumped my tickets.

   Today, 5 years in the making, a total of 1862 days since their last attempt at THE CUP and the NY RANGERS are hosting a Stanley Cup Playoff game. My former seats are listed on STUB HUB for $459.00 each, that would be $918.00 for my two seats plus I would need LIRR round trip, dinner, drinks…Alas, tonight it’s almost free on ESPN in the comfort of my own couch…

To be continued…

THE REBUILD: May 4,2022: Five years in the making, a total of 1863 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP the NY RANGERS are down one game to PITTSBURGH after losing 4-3 in triple overtime. For the uninitiated or those that have a hard time remembering “playoff” hockey what that means is that a regular game of three 20 minutes periods (60 minute game) with two intermissions between periods 1 and 2, and 2 and 3 (normally 15 minutes 30 seconds each OR in this case 17 minutes when the game is nationally televised. Without timeouts and bullshit replays that’s a minimum running time of 60 plus 34 minutes. There are also TV time outs, these being extended timeouts (2 minutes each) which give the players a much needed rest at the 6, 10, and 14 minute marks of each period.(60 plus 34 plus 6=100 minutes run time. Why do I note the math? Well, it was a long night which followed a long stressful day, one night which I hoped to enjoy in the comfort of my home watching The NY Rangers in playoff hockey.

   Attending the games was usually not a chore. I knew the exact LIRR express train schedule from Babylon to Penn Station. I knew where I would eat (Cafe 31) and the waiter (Fausto) would bring me a Grey Goose on the rocks with a few olives, a Chardonnay with ice on the side for my lovely bride, and an order of calamari as soon as I (we) sat down. Across the street was the “express” entrance to The Garden, no hassles, no long lines, and up the escalator to our section probably with a Brooklyn Lager in my hands. I knew when to run for nourishment at “TV timeouts” making it back to my seat before the action continued. Last night was different as I gulped down a dinner I prepared, eating at 7PM just as the “Anthem” finished and then tried to gain some composure on my couch from the abnormally stressful day.I’m in, ready for playoff hockey.

   First period, Rangers are up one to zip, then, tied at 3 at the end of two, and same score at the end of period three. My bride called the interference (3:10 left in period 3) before I acknowledged it so I must have been dozing off, God forbid. I’m a die hard fan, I must soldier on. A goal keeper change for Pittsburgh? What’s happening? Where’s the spirit I had yelling “boom, bang” ala John Madden each time Reavis hit someone? I’m fading, fast.

   Like the Bob Seger song, “I woke last night to the sound of thunder

How far off I sat and wondered? Started hummin’ a song from 1962…” actually it was a spirit from 2017, my spirit. How could I fall asleep during the second OT intermission and miss the goal? 

   Shesterkin with 79 saves on 83 shots is probably tired today. What happened to DeSmith, why did he leave after 48 saves on 51 shots and who is Domingue who had Beef and Broccoli just before being called in to make 17 saves to get his first NHL playoff win? 83 shots by Pittsburgh, 68 Rangers… that stat will say a lot. As will Pittsburgh having one goal on four power plays with NY having only ONE power play. Hmmm, no penalties were assessed in period 3 and none in any OT minutes. Refs took a break.

Thursday (next game) is another day. Tonight, I’ll relax and watch the NY Yankees.

To be continued…

THE REBUILD: May 6,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1865 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP the NY RANGERS are down one game to PITTSBURGH and tonight are hosting the second game in THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA.

   Being down by one game at the start of a series of seven isn’t so bad. To lose the home opener in your own arena might give the opponent a slight edge. Being defeated the way it occurred in the first contest, a triple overtime event, might wear on one’s psyche a bit but nevertheless  the “we are professionals” mantra will be recited more than once.”Pull ‘em up by the boot straps”, “next man up”, and so many other bullshit phrases will be heard until the puck is dropped. 

   The Pittsburgh Penguins is not a team of losers. Their past experience in the playoffs is duly noted as is their ages, a bit long in the tooth. It’s time to see how much the extra 40 plus 5:58 minutes will wear and tear on each team. Also, a new slate of referees will be afforded the opportunity to actual see and call the game without blindfolds. But, I digress, again…drop the puck.(Note: my old seats are on StubHub for $275.00 each)

 Q #1: Goalie for Pittsburgh DeSmith…Dominque…or…Tristan Jarry returns? Playing against a backup goalie and having home ice advantage did nothing for the Rangers in game one.So its DOMINQUE who got the win in game one. Be fearful my faithful friends, this guy envisions an MVP trophy and a huge pay day.

   Alas, The NY Rangers won the second game 5-2. It was nerve- racking, exciting, and somewhat theatrical. However, the home team evened the series and now the equipment moves over to the “three rivers” known as Pittsburgh, back to square (even at) one.See you Saturday.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: May 7,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1866 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP and the NEW YORK RANGERS leave home ice tied at one game apiece for PPG PAINTS ARENA, a name that doesn’t slip off the tongue so easily. Tonight will be different, the Rangers in away white jerseys with The Pens in their black and gold, this should be a fun contest.The Pens have the playoff experience, Rangers…not so much. Rangers are younger, faster, the Pens…not so much. Rangers have a possible Vezina Trophy candidate, The Pens…well depends on who the hell is in net.

   Throwing in a few coachable (if that’s a word) sayings, I would tell the boys, “shoot and shoot at will, stop the fancy passes and let’s nuke this no-name goalie”. Karma, today is KENTUCKY DERBY DAY, I’m betting “Messier” across the board. Coming out of the 6 hole seems like good positioning and if he leads the pack I’m sure he can win it. Caution though, this a 20 horse race, a full pack and most 3 year old are not familiar with the roar of a crowd this large. Back in December TVG (a betting site) had “Mess” listed at 35:1, probably similar to the NY Rangers odds of advancing in the cup, but I digress, again.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: (Sunday Morning) May 8,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1867 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. Last night I lost a few bucks on THE DERBY but so did most bettors and then I, acting as coach of the NY RANGERS virtually told the team to “shoot and shoot at will, stop the fancy passes and let’s nuke this no-name goalie”. Problem #1: The No name goalie I spoke of is not “Will”, his name is LOUIE, oh well. Four to One down in the first frame. This could be a horrendous night. 

   Pull the goalie for period two, Georgie Boy is in net. Bingo, Rangers are shooting “at will” or whatever his name is. A short handed goal, Net off the hook second time in one game, goal awarded. Four to Four at end of two.Whew…Wait, 7 to 4…I lose $$$ again, RANGERS lose…Happy Mother’s Day to all.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Monday, May 9,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1868 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. The Boys In Blue took a shellacking, as my Pop would say, in the third period Saturday night, hell not just the third period but basically most of the game. Again, the “no-name” goalie (LOUIE) is making a name for himself and those in Black & Gold are mocking “Igor” who got ceremoniously taken out of Saturday’s contest.

   Never one to give up, I soldier on, of course IGOR, the guy who “brought you to the dance” gets the start. Now it is up to the other guys in white to do some scoring. This is a “must” win situation to tie the series and head home. 

  In other hockey news, I digress again, Barry Trotz got fired???WTF???. And over on another channel, Tony DeAngelo, known racist and problematic MFer is having a go with Boston’s Brad Marchand who is loving it.Post-whistles exchanges are fun to lip-read and then DeAngelo the racist MFer threw his stick in Marchand’s path as Brad was heading for an open net goal. This is wonderful stuff. I hope someone, anyone takes #77 out for good.

   Enjoy the game.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Monday, May 9,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1868 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. Game Four, down 2 games to 1, The Rangers need this one.

   My blood pressure meds work, I’m sure but what… Crosby. Hit him, hit him harder. 1-1 at the end of one. Krieder hurt, Krieder is back, Carter scores, no way, hit the post and play continues. Damn, 2 to 1. What…3 to 1.? It is only seconds. “IGOR” chant from PPG PAINTS ARENA, not the World’s Most Famous Arena. Two goals in 24 seconds. Another scribbler behind IGOR, what is happening?I’ll have a glass of Malbec, WHAT? 4 to 1.Second glass. “Throw it at the net…”, I scream. 4-2, yes. Now 5-2, what? Looks like Barry Trotz might get a call soon from The Rangers. 6-2…OMG. IGOR has got to go.

   Period 3: So I lost the over/under of 6, I went with the under, foolish me. Georgie back in net, dilemma for next game, Who? You still go with #1. 7-2, a total rout…

“Total team disappointment There wasn’t much commitment to playing defense tonight,” the coach said. “We played soft. Soft all over the ice. That’s the biggest difference.” 

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Wednesday, May 11,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1870 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. Game Five, down 3 games to 1, it is win or “go home” as they say.Okay, I apologize to the “no-name” goalie, whatever his name is but as a team the home in blue Rangers need to shoot and shoot and shoot at the net. This “folk-hero” Louie will fold, I am sure. The stars, Mika, Kreds, etc need to get on the board early and often. AND if the coach had any balls he would direct Kreider to put a “C” on and be “thee leader”, other wise sit #20. I know it is drastic but…these are drastic times (I really forced that one).

   Being 700 miles south of MSG, out to dinner and the server is a Penguins fan, one who noticed my NYR shirt, I graciously invited him over to watch the game with me but he works until 11PM, thank goodness. But he did tell me to come back Saturday to “give me hell”. Oh well. Sitting on my couch with the MSG feed on the screen, this is the way it should be. “IGOR” chants but I was hoping for a John Amorante video him singing of the Anthem. Drop the puck…

Are you kidding?, A penalty ,no two on one play in 24 seconds in. 5 on 3…put us out of our misery, please.But wait, “Igor, Igor”…

   Seven minutes without a shot on net for the home team. “Shoot, shoot, shoot, C’mon guys.” Why do I hear Bill Chadwick’s voice in my ears? Guentzel? Outshot and down by one.

   3 to 3 after two and I’m shot. Tired from yelling,” shoot, shoot, shoot”. The Rangers win…Oh my. 5 to 3…Bring on Friday.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Friday, May 13,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1872 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. Game SIX, down 3 games to 2 on FRIDAY THE 13th and heading into PPG PAINTS ARENA (what a lame name). “It is our time, boys.Let’s show ‘em”, or something like that. Still think Kreider should be wearing the “C”, or someone should, the team needs a leader. The folk hero “Louie” will be in net for them and “Igor” for New York.

Drop the puck, please.

   Whew, 2 zip end of one. Where’s the defense? How about the Rangers crowd the net? Mika, Mika, Kreider…3-2 Rangers, Malkin scores to tie it at three. 17 shots on goal for Rangers, finally. 

   5-3, and we are going back to THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA…game seven …

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Sunday Morn, May 15,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1874 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. Tonight there will be a Game Seven. The NY Rangers by all accounts are according to the pundits “one year away” from whatever that means. “Horseshit”, I say. From Day One back in the Fall, I sensed a team that could, no… that would make a dent in the playoffs. I hated “The Letter” informing us, the die hard season ticket holders that it was a time to “refocus, to rebuild” in other words to “suck” for a few years. And that we did. My “hater” friends laughed at us as their team in Brooklyn or where ever they called home won games, series. But this season tides have turned, the “rebuild” is complete.

   I’ll take a moment to honor those who gave us Rangers fans many moments to celebrate but were lost in the rebuild. 

The Letter: February 8, 2018 and then traded…

Nick Holden: February 20, 2018

Michael Grabner: February 22,2018

Rick Nash: February 25, 2018

JT Miller: February 25, 2018

CAPTAIN Ryan Mc Donough February 26, 2018

The season ended as The New York Strangers…

2019

Matt Zuccarello: February 23, 2019

Kevin Hayes: February 25, 2019

2020

Brady Skjei: February 24, 2020

Note: Callaghan and McDonough, the last two Captains were unceremoniously traded while wearing the team’s Captain. Since February 26, 2018 NO Ranger will wear the “C”, as it is a symbol you could be next to go.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Sunday, May 15,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1874 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. It is Game Seven. Tristan Jarry will be in net for the Pens and Sid “Not So Much A Kid” Crosby will be  in his usual spot on his line. I question the Jarry move but is ain’t my job.And IF Crosby had a “concussion” is it a smart move or where you (Pitts) just hyping the “dirty hit” to get league action??? Rangers go with the usual cast of characters and a hearty thank you to Drury for getting Copp and Frankie Vitrano at the deadline. John Bracey sings The Anthem…Drop the puck, please…IGOR save, save, save, Schneider, Mika to Kreider…One Zip…Did I mention how much I liked the Frankie Vitrano addition?(The MSG feed is so much better than the TBS thing) Lingren slides, Lindgren hits Sid, screw Sid you ain’t getting that cheap goal again.OH NO, my feed is lost. Come back to TBS, WTF? One One. Geez…

   Sticking with the lame TBS feed for period two.AC-DC, yeah, “Potvin Sucks”, can we please retire that shit?(Some guy with young son at one of the afternoon games which I named “Divorced Daddy Days”questioned, “Daddy, Who is Potvin?” to which Daddy responded, “The goalie who shut out the Rangers when they lost the Stanley Cup”…WTF? But I digress, again… High stick?Soccer style kick, stick directs puck, goal?…The Hockey Gods issue Karma, Rangers score. 2-2. Short handed, are you kidding me? Down by one, end of two.

   Friend texted, a guy who went to games with me, a work colleague who I haven’t heard from in a few years. GOAL. Oh, my. Thanks, Izzy. Three to Three, not pulling the goalie now, “Seven Nation Army”…Overtime!!!!, please, no way…Power play…we WIN…

to be continued (Thank goodness)…

THE REBUILD: Monday, May 16,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1875 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP.

It is a good feeling to have the team you cheer for move on to the next round in the playoffs. Especially a team that was “a year away”and to play Carolina (the other team that I followed closely), well this could be fun. But first, I must state I have a strong dislike for DeAngelo #77 for numerous reasons (immaturity, racism, drama queen, ass-holyism,etc) however I must admit he is an exceptional player. Glad he is not a Ranger but sorry we are still paying his salary.

   The Hurricanes also have one of my favorite ex-Rangers Jesper Fast who left as a free agent. Then, there is another former Ranger Brady Skjei (Shea) an exceptional defenseman, Brendon Smith, Antti Raanta…it is like the Rangers Alumni…PS: I hate afternoon games aka “Divorced Daddy Takes The Kids To A Game” where every kid gets a foam Number 1 finger, yeah. No, seriously afternoon throws off the athletes time schedule, meal, nap, arrive at the rink, etc AND it throws off mine…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Wednesday, May 18,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1877 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. For 95 bucks you can get an upper level seat at the PNC Arena (hockey capacity 18,680). However, Caveat emptor as the Hurricaniacs (their lame nickname) are restricting purchase to residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Southern Virginia (I didn’t know that was a state) 

“To better serve Carolina Hurricanes fans, a restricted sales area has been implemented for this Hurricanes game. PNC Arena is located in Raleigh, NC. Sales to this event will be restricted to residents of North Carolina, South Carolina and Southern Virginia”.“Residency will be based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside of the geo-limited area will be canceled without notice and refunds given.”

to be continued later tonight…

THE REBUILD: Wednesday, May 18,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1877 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. DROP THE PUCK…

   So they don’t want Rangers fans in the audience, screw you, there are plenty ready to roar.WTF?, a siren?#1 defensive team is Carolina, let’s see…Who is this hillbilly dressed in a Carolina jersey singing? American Idol loser with very bad pitch…(I had to look him up).Whistles blowing, even out.Six former Rangers and I Fxxxing hate #77 DeAngelo. According to Ray Ferraro “Rangers don’t have a chance”.#77 coughs it up, Rangers score.Good period, Rangers. Lindgren only 3 minutes play time, hmmm.

   Second period, long bench shifts, difficult line changes. Same score. Gotta love K’Andre Miller. Ray Ferraro must really hate The Rangers.

   Third:Carolina is pressing,Rangers no so much. No shots at 10 minute mark,WTF? Post, crossbar, whatever it didn’t go in. C’mon, mute Ferraro, please. Aho, scores, Ferraro wets his pants.OVERTIME.

   OT:Long bench change shifts will be in play, maybe not…”Cole, Cole, Cole” yells Ferraro who misses that it was tipped in by a Ranger, not Cole’s shot…it is over 2-1…

   to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Friday, May 20,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1879 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. An 8PM game at PNC which is not as exclusive of a Carolina institution as they thought. Thousands of NY Ranger fan “snuck” in. I pray the hillbilly singing is off tonight as “not there” as he was “off”(key)the other night.Okay down one game, let’s DROP THE PUCK.”Believe in the room”.

  Siren sounding, sucks. Ray Ferraro is announcing with Sean Mc, Ray hates the NYR. The “hillbilly” American Idol loser is singing again…he blows big time, again. Embarrassing, does a disservice to the anthem. Raanta V Igor…WOW, Ray F. has a few positive Ranger thoughts.4 on 3 and no score. C’mon guys. We need some face-off wins. We need to shoot during a power play. We need, we need, we need…

   Second Period: Zip/Zip…3/4/5 face-offs, all lost.Great PP kill. Rangers D is good Lindgren, Fox, Miller, Trouba… but what’s up with our first liners? Did Rangers fans just do the “Potvin Sucks” cheer?, yes they did. (Prediction: Rangers win 3:1)…Rangers get a PP…4 minutes, horrible. Short handed, are you kidding me? Terrible power play and then take a penalty? I need another glass of wine. What, down two men? I might need scotch or a MM gummy. Time to walk the dog.

   Period #3: Still think Rangers win 3:1…juggle lines, Motte, Reavis for Rangers. Aho is a player for Carolina.Ferraro is predicting another Carolina win with 8 minutes left. Pull Igor…we need the face-off win…Empty net goal with 2 seconds…Down 2 games to none. Ray Ferraro wets his pants again…we move to MSG…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Sunday, May 22,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1881 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP.  Today, Sunday, after worship, three (3), not 1 or 2 but 3 NHL playoff games. Along with PGA Championship this could be a total couch/beer day. Forget the NBA. I have a few diehard NBA friends who will not watch the blowouts, awaiting only THE FINALS. To them, I invite you over to the NHL.

  Welcome my Carolina friends to THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA and unlike the PNC policy of only selling tixs to those with a “local” zip code, here MSG will sell tixs to anyone who has money, lots of money as these tickets are “car payment” size. Beers (Brooklyn Lager) are $19, mixed drinks $22, and I don’t remember a kiosk where only hot dogs are sold. Junior’s Cheesecake, NY Steaks, Mike’s Honey Hot Chicken, Carnegie Deli and Big Gay Ice Cream are the main stays.

   In other games: Tampa Bay looks great, and Oilers/Flames are spinning their wheels as neither has a shot at beating Colorado. Rangers have scored only one goal in two (plus OT) games against  a great Carolina defense. Time to win a few face-offs and shoot the puck, boys…

   DROP THE PUCK:( FYI:The following is descriptive narratives, actual quotes I shout at the screen w/o the profanities as per my bride).NYFD carry the flag and NYPD Detective Lauren??? sings the Anthem, No“Hillbilly Joe”, an American Idol loser singing here, no “homer” jersey, just a First Responder in Dress Uniform. Antii Rantaa versus Igor, gonna be great stuff. Shorthanded already. Need offensive separation, too many, too close, spread it out, get deep.MIKA…That’s one. (Is it me or is the ESPN microphone too low in volume and crowd noise too loud?) I get it…rope a dope, tire ‘em out, have ‘em out skate, out shoot, win all the face-offs, and score a power play…

   Period 2: Long shift change, Chytil is playing great with Mika, Kreds. Whew, Domi was a great pickup for Carolina. Did DeAngelo throw his stick again?XXXXXXXXX(censored). Kreider scores…2 zip. 2 to 1, Cheap goal for Igor to give up (no disrespect to Nino N). NYR Power play, C’mon control the zone. Penalty call, 2 minutes with 27 seconds left. Whew, better period.

   Period 3: Good PP kill. Kid line back. Chytil is playing lights out, again. Gotta love that kid. No jinx, but officials are letting them play.Oops, slashing, penalty kill with 6 to go. Great kill.TV time out…less than 4 to go. Kreider misses empty net, Motte scores. Rangers win…Domi slashed Lindgren and #77 yaps and yaps……Oh, boy, Kreds #3, Mika #2 and #1 star Igor with 43 saves…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Tuesday, May 24,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1883 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. When we last left the MSG ice MAX DOMI with seconds left in a losing effort slashed and pushed LINDGREN, while #77 DeAngelo the exiled, racist ex-NYR was yelling directly at the NYR coach. Should prove to be an interesting game as I am sure that the fourth line of Reavis, Motte, and Rooney will start to make a statement ala May 5,2021.

   In other notes: TAMPA BAY swept FLORIDA. The PRESIDENT’S TROPHY winner Panthers only had 3 goals in four game. Whew…

   DROP THE PUCK:I was wrong/mistaken, coaching line changes are good. Power play (Ferraro is a condescending SOB ESPN announcer- text from CK, agreed), I still wish we had Brady Skjei. TV timeout. At least tonight we can actually hear the play by play. Retire the “Potvin Sucks” cheer, please.I say every game, “I like Frankie Vitrano” great deadline pick up. Trouba nails Domi, FIGHT, Lawrence, 3rd man for sure and gets his ass kicked. Love it…Domi ain’t his daddy. AND a PP…Oh, my…haters must be hating…goal…OH FRANKIE…VITRANO…Now, I LOVE FRANKIE…Let #77 skate with the puck in their zone all he wants awaiting the “boos”… Copp?Lindgren to net, Fox deflects and it is 2 zip. Reavis has a few pleasantries with the racist #77 (I don’t even want to say his name). End of one…2 zip.

 Texting with (former) season tix holders, we agree…RAY FERRARO HATES THE RANGERS.

   Period 2: The LONG shift change period…(NOTE:for many years sat in section 202 , seats with a view over the goalie’s right shoulder, defending the zone period 1 and 3, so period 2 was always a unique view.) #77 thinks he is NYIslanders #5, hanging on to the puck, too long #77, you ain’t Potvin… Lindgren interference, PP for Carolina…skate it out, skate it out…TV Time out , I love the view of Manhattan…don’t jinx him “another shut out being pitched”, WTF it’s the second period… these announcers blow…let us see how many adverbs and adjectives we ESPN STAFF can use to insult the NY Rangers…MIKA, MIKA, MIKA 3 zip…PP, …

   Period 3: Goalie Interference, okay, close but…2 minutes down. Geez…onward…Ferraro is a jinx, just spoke about Igor, ,etc, etc……3 to 1. In most sports I tolerate the play by play (I WAS RAISED ON RADIO) but these “color” guys, NO…I want Vin Scully, a one man show…just tell me who has the puck, what happens, don’t care what he did in 2020…TV Timeout…Strome to Copp, 4 to 1…8:33 to go…penalties  with a NYR PP. That Lafreniere play without stick then stick was amazing…IGOR,IGOR,IGOR… wait Domi, Reavis…see ya Thursday…SALUTE…Vitrano, Lindgren, Copp the 3 stars…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (# 18): Thursday, May 26,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1885 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. It is all even so the series slips down “95” to Carolina. When we last left the boys both teams were getting a bit antsy toward each other. Let’s see how it goes tonight. I love Game Fives, it is now a 3 game series.

   Back at the PNC Arena with HILLBILLY JOE singing his off-key version of the STAR SPANGLED BANNER. (This “Idol” loser has a hard time with “still there” and then the ending) No matter what happens tonight the series will return to MSG.

   DROP THE PUCK: (I despise Ray Ferraro, Ranger Hater) #77 is a XXXX already. The net comes off, Laffy saves it. Good omen? TV time out. Carolina pinning NYR is the zone.  I’m wondering the value of  #24 Kakko. NYR PP is terrible and breakaway… short handed goal, geez…Down by 1.I love the “Igor” chants. Bite me, Ferraro. Another Ranger PP, (Can we decline the penalty, please?)…MIKA, Mika, oh my…Tied at ONE…Mika slipped over to “The Ovechkin Spot”…End of one…time to walk the dog…

   Period Two: I like Carolina’s AHO. Empty seats there???13 shots to NYR 6, not good, boys…Shot 7 Ryan Strome scores. Another challenge? Off sides! No goal…but Nystrom, never mind. I love/hate hockey…Frankie takes a penalty…Carolina ends their draught, Teravainen (he’s pretty good) scores…Down 2:1…So I watch many (too many) Carolina games living (PT) in Myrtle Beach when the NYR are not on and I am not a “hater”, I just love/hate hockey.  20 shots to 9??? They are killing us, OMG…Ferraro (NYR hater) is wetting his pants, again. Down 2:1 after two.

   Period 3: Screw this game plan, shoot, get #20 in the mix, Where you been ,Kreds? Added Chytil to the mix…Keep #77 (Carolina) on the ice, let him play with the puck…IGOR…FERRARO, Please Shut the XXXX up…Miller takes a penalty, Carolina PP…( Even if my team loses, please TV gods, please have Ferraro (yellow teeth) go away)…The NYR have not listened to my heed, SHOOT THE PUCK…NYR are getting killed…Geez, break away, score Carolina,  3 to 1 with less than 7 to play…2 to tie, 3 to win…not happening…NYR don’t control the puck and therefore don’t shoot…Igor pulled… geez…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 19): Friday, May 27,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1886 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP.

     As a youngster growing up I had Yankees, Rangers, Knicks, and Giants on the radio, TV (Channel 9) when Knicks/Rangers were broadcast. Yankees on PIX. With some cronies we youngsters would hit the LIRR and attend a few Knicks games but after seeing the LONG ISLAND DUCKS at Commack Arena I wanted, no I needed to actually see the NY Rangers on home ice, Madison Square Garden ( then at 8th Ave/49th St). Listening to the radio with Marv Albert on the microphone was always a delight “Rangers skating from left to right”, “#14 Jean Ratelle scores another goal”. My first “Garden” game was October 25,1964 Rangers against the Chicago Blackhawks who had Phil Esposito, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and a host of greats. Needless to say the home team lost as Hull had a “hat trick” and Makita scored twice, 5-2 was the final, but I didn’t care. Just seeing the ice, watching the skating, the hitting, and a fight or two made this 13 year old want more. Skipping a few years I had season tickets at a rivals arena 1978-1986 but still cheering the NY Rangers AND having most of my immediate family members being fans of that rival team, I continued on. In 1987,with Brian Leetch’s first game after the Olympics through 2020 I was a proud NEW YORK RANGER season ticket holder. We sat for years in the “notorious blue section”, then as The Garden was under “construction from 2010-2013 and we were moved from section to section, finally landing up in Section 202, Row 3, Seats 1 and 2. The best view we ever had but at an upgraded price. Eight years we sat there. Then, we received the aforementioned “Letter” of February 8, 2018. We stayed the 2019-2020 but COVID hit March 2020, then the bubble so we ended our run.

   GAME SIX in the SECOND ROUND 2022, a team that as the pundits predicted are a “year away” from whatever but here we are… Down 3 games to 2, the series moves back to THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA where I am sure the “Ranger faithful” will be out in all force. Starting at 8PM on a Saturday night gives the crowd (and home viewers) more of a chance of getting liquored up. Buyer Beware.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 20): Saturday, May 28,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1887 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP…Oh, Ye, gentle mistresses and most distinguished gentlemen, and others… The opinions and observations are solely my own views, and I take full responsibility for any errors of fact, not to mention any predictions that prove to be wildly inaccurate.

   It’s Game 6 Down 3 games to 2, the series is back at THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA. What a presentation of The Anthem, WOW…

Drop The Puck: Back and forth, up and down …MOTTE scores…NYR PP let’s see what can be done…MIKA…2 zip…end of one…

   Period 2: How can they (Carolina) be happy playing the first period if they are not happy giving up 2 goals, Ray????…The Kid Line:twice in one shift break aways and Chytil scores 3 zip…KOCHETKOV comes in for goalie change…Skjei scores 3 to 1…THE KIDS again, Chytil again,4 to 1…Skjei assists and 4 to 2…and now a penalty..C’mon guys…Igor takes the interference penalty as the guys were tired… he had to…What a great hockey period…PS: Igor has two assists tonight…

   Period 3: Is that a piece on Chelios’ head? Ray Ferraro is a blow hard…NYR PP 4 minutes…one minute in and Rangers takes a hooking penalty (2 minutes)… 4 on 4 for 2 minutes…but wait, Carolina takes a penalty (math majors are needed here) 4 on 3 for 55 seconds…5 on 3 NY advantage for 55 seconds….SCORE…Panarin…5 to 2 Rangers up.Great save, Igor…2 each for roughing so we go 4 on 4 for 2 minutes… now more penalties and DeAngelo needs a beating. With a  5 to 2 lead  I would hit him with every move he makes…Rangers are breaking Ferraro’s heart…More penalties Aho/Trouba…LOL…NYR get PP for 2 minutes(Aho)…RANGERS WIN…Igor 37 saves and two assists…while I said I love game 5, players love Game 7…full tilt…see ya Monday

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 21): Monday, May 30,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1889 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP…Oh, Ye, gentle mistresses and most distinguished gentlemen, and others. The opinions and observations are solely my own views, and I take full responsibility for any errors of fact, not to mention any predictions that prove to be wildly inaccurate.

   Game 7, nothing better in sports. Back to PNC Arena, yet after almost 3 months south I am back in New York sitting in my favorite spot with my Rangers jersey on… I put a few bucks on the NYR win outright but as the pundits say…well The NYRangers are over achievers this year…Need the “studs” to score, need to be WINNERS…

   DROP THE PUCK:Star Mangled Banana by Hillbilly Jim.#77 plays a shit load of time. NYR power play, I like Aho, can’t believe he took a penalty.Please announce the game not what happened in 1954…FOX scores, I love Vitrano…one zip Rangers. Canes Power Play (which usually sucks)…#77 thinks he is Potvin…NY PP and MIKA to Kreider scores, 2 zip…It’s gonna get nasty…Carolina PP, a save a minute for Igor (10)…Aho, Fast, Raanta, Nino, Skjei, good, good players…this is the looooongest period…

   Period 2:Jarvis out, so sorry, he is a great player, clean hit from Trouba #8…Many of my Myrtle Beach friends are Canes fans and I watch the team often when I am south…Here we go…behind the goalie camera is tough to watch…kids, kids, kids line…NYR power play, nothing there…Rangers look, not good here…TV timeout, thank goodness…Penalty, for what???? Geez…Lindgren(hurt again) is back, again, iron man, “Just sew another leg on I’m good to go”…What, Raanta, hurt, cramp, WTF?geez…I feel for a player who gets hurt, except if it was #77. Strome scores (Thank you NY Isles). 3 zip…Did he say, “Adam Fox still can’t get it up”???…If you ever sat with me, being up 3 to zip, I unabashedly brutal as I remember a “double chili” night…go for the kill…3 zip end of two.

   Period 3:I hate the intermission interviews asking stupid questions especially when you are down by three, WTF do you want him to say…Play like the old Devils, trap, trap, trap…Igor,Igor…Ferraro BLOWS “He’s not the same goalie who got pulled…”Frankie to  Kreider, 4 zip… When we the announcers jinx the goalie?”…Carolina PP, CAROLINA scores…11:40 to go 4 to 1…Chytil scores within 40 seconds  (Kid Line) 5 to 1…OH MY…Is this happening? Are we a team one year away from even making the playoffs? Are we the team going to the next round with home ice advantage? TV showing an 8 year old Canes fan crying…I’m 70 and only saw my team win in 1994 , 28 years ago…Domi scores 5:2…3:08 to go Carolina pulls the goalie…empty net Copp score 6:2…Mika  19 points in playoffs ( so far)…Oh my, we go on…Wednesday, with home ice bringing on TAMPA BAY…

to be continued (oh my…)

THE REBUILD (Part # 22): Tuesday, May 31,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1890 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP…Had a great night’s sleep knowing the (overachieving) NY Rangers are moving on to the conference games with home ice advantage. The first question asked of Chris Kreider last night was the possibility of the team being tired as they are scheduled to face the two time defending Stanley Cup Champion TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING who are well rested having defeated the Florida Panthers (4 game sweep) over a week ago. He graciously answered the question. Me, I am happy that the Rangers play tomorrow, keep the momentum rolling, Shesterkin vs. Vasilevskiy this should be a joy to watch.

   On another note I was wondering how hardy the hand shake was between #77 (the racist idiot) and Georgiev one of his targets during his time in NY. Also, as stated a few days ago, I don’t care for afternoon games…Sunday at 3PM? C’mon…see ya Wednesday

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 23): Wednesday, June 1,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1891 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. I speak of THE LETTER (February 8,2018)ad nauseam because it seriously affected my season ticket status and effected the way I cheered for my favorite hockey team (radio and TV).Only TWO players remain from the roster of that faithful evening, MIKA and KREIDER. All the rest are either home grown or traded for. and tonight …Shesterkin vs. Vasilevskiy, this should be fun to watch.

   DROP THE PUCK: (rants I say during the game) Avs/Oilers  8 to 6 is a football score, hope we don’t go there tonight…7 years since and I’m wearing my 2015 RANGERTOWN shirt…RAY FERRARO go away, Ranger hater…NYPD w/ John Brancey, love it but miss John Ameranti saluting the crowd…I LOVE THE GARDEN…No Way, 71 seconds MIKA to Kreds…one zip…I like Jon Cooper as TB coach and the team is loaded so beware Rangers fans…TV timeout…

Perry is annoying…Stamkos scores…all even…Only took Lightning 8 minutes to wake up from their nap of a nine days…TV time out…Igor great save…again, again Igor…Ranger PP, but TB does a great a kill…even after one.

   Period 2:WTF,Ray Ferraro said something positive about the NYR…can we get it out of the zone…FRANKIE(our good #77) scores, two -one…Geez, Palat evens it at 2…Chytil(#72) scores, OMG, the kid is back…3 to 2…IGOR…THE KIDS ARE AMAZIN, almost 2 minutes pinning TB in the zone, Miller to CHYTIL, 4 to 2…(Note: Explaining the over/under bet to my wife, took 50 straight up win no over under tonight for me)…”last call” in MSG.

   Period 3: Only 30 seconds in Panarin scores 5 to 2…Braun takes a penalty and TB PP… please Igor stop the dramatics , they will send you out for protocol…5 shots and a bit of unneeded drama from Igor… NYR PP ,MIKA (3  ala Ovechkin spot shots) 6 to 2 New York…believe it or not we have thunder and Lightning weather wise going on outside…TB PP (Miller took holding)…”Igor’s better” chant arises from the crowd…TV Time out…less than 4 to go, OMG…The question is: whether the Rangers are on a roll OR  Tampa is rusty…FIGHT Reavis and Maroon, too funny…1:46 left, seven out to the showers…one “for cross checking and everyone else for roughing” great ref call on TV…TB PP…Rangers WIN, moving on until Friday…Oh, Ye, gentle mistresses and most distinguished gentlemen, and others… The opinions and observations are solely my own views, and I take full responsibility for any errors of fact, not to mention any predictions that prove to be wildly inaccurate.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 24): Thursday, June 2,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1892 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. My take on last night…“Vasilevskiy is the best goalie on the planet”, Chytil doesn’t know that as he practices against the best goalie (Shesterkin) of 2022…Welcome to “Anything Can Happen In The Playoffs”. Waking up this morning knowing the NY Rangers moved closer to what every NHL player desires, a chance to play for THE CUP. I will not jinx or overstate the fact that The Rangers are exceeding everything we the fans expected back in October. In as much, this run in to the Conference Finals is exciting and may I say, unexpected. Kudos to Chris Drury (did I actual say that?) for pulling the plug and making some great deadline moves.

   In a conversation with my bride I stated that while I truly miss the enthusiasm of being a fan in the crowd at The Garden, I enjoy the comfort of home and the vast amount of money saved by not attending the game at the arena ( 2 tickets to the game, LIRR, dinner, drinks, more drinks).The words so eloquently stated by Michael Philip Jagger and Keith Richards are ringing in my ears…

Take me to the station

And put me on a train

I’ve got no expectations

To pass through here again

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 25): Friday, June 3,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1893 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. The “over achievers” have home ice advantage with a one game advantage getting ready for game two.Maybe, just maybe this run is NOT a fluke.

   DROP THE PUCK: (rants I say during the game)Maroon V Reaves, TB PP…TB(Perry) score…I’m sure Reaves sits for a few shifts…Hedman great against Panarin…The KIDS are alright..K’Andre Miller(vitrano/Kreider) ties it up…IGOR…NY PP good penetration but nothing…Motte breakaway, zip…TV time out…FERRARO makes no sense when he announces…Stamkos penalty NY PP:zip…Kakko (another kid) scores 2 to 1…”Adam Fox best player on the ice, sorta like Brian Leetch” said Messier…ESPN coverage WTF? missing players exchange at buzzer…

   Period 2:(Note: My bet is Rangers win parlayed with Kreider scores a goal).I thought that was a goal but I was mistaken…OMG, time of possession…NY PP:3rd time a charm?,no,even though not scoring ,the shooting is great…zip…TV Time out…Trouba/Fox, defensively, hmmm…Frankie to Mika, close…I’m dumbfounded…”I’m A Believer” in the background…keep ‘em wide…30.7 seconds to go…my worst nightmare of years ago…2 to 1 RANGERS…

   Period 3:MIKA scores, 3 to 1:…I’m taking deep deep breathes…Whew, IGOR…Fox is amazing…Motte’s hurt??…just get it out of the zone…TV Time out: I’m sitting here thinking “Is this really happening?”…9:37 to go:cheap shots, need crisp passes…pin it deep and kill the clock…TB penalty with 6:05 left…zip…IGOR…TV Time out: I’m still stunned…3:49 pulled the TB goalie, the Best In The World…IGOR…TB scores with 2:02 to go…”sucks”…3 to 2…That’s why they are two time Cup Champs…Coach Cooper is brilliant…37 seconds to go…icing again, 0.28 to go, OMG…WE WIN, WE (not me but the NY Rangers) fxxxiag win…up 2 games to zip to the two time Cup winners…IS THIS REAL? I’m even giving Ferraro a break as he likes the Rangers now. IGOR,IGOR, IGOR…3 to 2…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 26): Sunday, June 5,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1895 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. The “over achievers” are heading south to sunny Tampa Bay (Amalie Arena) up two games to none, a slight advantage against the two time defending STANLEY CUP CHAMPS. Things have changed in New York and everyone wearing “the blue” is singing “THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT”, that being Chytil (22), Lafreniere(20), Kakko(21) and then there is K’andre Miller (22), Braden Schneider (20), and I’ll throw in the old guy Fox @24 because he controls the PP. WELCOME TO GAME THREE.

   DROP THE PUCK: (rants I say during the game) I hate afternoon games…“Vasilevskiy is the best goalie on the planet”, Shesterkin best in 2021/2022…”Trust those in front of you, young Jedi”…NYR today are now 17playoff  games in…up and down both teams, kids keep it deep…up and down, Igor snags it…Fox has Maroon on him, escapes…Chytil’s getting ghosted by an extra man, still dances and shoots…Kucherov looks good for TB…High stick on Panarin, NY PP at 11:57…great kill by TB…IGOR saves as PP ends and Kucherov shoots from jumping  out of the box.  Barrage of TB shots, then the NYR barrage…goalies are amazing…2 on 1 but Hedman is there…Rangers need to clear the zone…zip/zip end of one…PERIOD 2: Strome hurt??? Igor pad gets clipped, 2 penalties/one each…Mika penalty for interference…4 on 3:Miller steals it 2 on 1 shorthanded hits the post…Perry penalty on hitting IGOR…3 0n 3 for 13 secs…4/4 for 15 secs…NY PP 1:30 left :MIKA scores from “his spot”(his 10th)…another “crash” into IGOR, NY PP, MIKA shoots, Kreider in front for rebound and SCORES, 2 zip NYR. Trouba takes a penalty,TB PP, TB scores (Kucherov) 2 to 1…finally penalty free hockey, skating and shooting…A “Potvin Sucks” from the TB crowd, lol…Maroon hits Mika in the corner at the buzzer…Period 3:TB PP Trouba takes another penalty (holding) ,Stamkos scores to even it at two apiece…all PP goals today…NYR on their heels, poor passes, look lost…terrible, no true possession…Strome still out so Rangers using only 11 forwards…Vitrano takes a goalie interference, TB PP, Goodreau hurt on block  heads to locker room, Rangers kill it but down 2 forwards…Goodreau back on bench WTF? Superman??…TV Time out needed to rest the players…NYR 4 minute PP, 9:04 to go, 2:27 in PP time and Trouba takes a tripping penalty, his third today, WHY??? 4 on 4 for 2 minutes (math major needed) with 7:31 to go…27 secs left in NYR PP…Fox is breathing hard…5:04 left in period and its 5 aside, TB 46/ NYR 28 shots, so far…41.6 to go TB scores  3 to 2 Tampa Bay wins…  (Looks like NY Rangers Past when a goal was given up with less than one minute to go…3 to 2, now 2 games to TB 1…

to be continued… 

THE REBUILD (Part # 27): Tuesday, June 7,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1897 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. 

   Rangers are up two games to one against the “defending two time STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS”, its time to see what you are made of as a team, both parties included…

DROP THE PUCK: (rants I say during the game):NYR Strome out Rooney in…Rangers fans in the crowd WOW…Vasilevskiy versus Shesterkin, Kids line starts…TB Coach Cooper was a Hofstra Lax player…Maroon on a rebound TB scores 17:22…Ferraro is an idiot, said “Rangers have a one nothing lead”, pat attention idiot…horn goes off, play stoppage,TB controls the flow…NYR (Reavis) penalty tripping, TV Time out:Igor nice save under pad, 1:25 left in TB PP, NYR kill it… 10 minutes in,TB owns the ice…Mika good move on Stamkos’ breakaway…Igor pokes Perry away…first line has good shifts… 5 to go…NYR look good last two minutes…PERIOD 2:too many cross ice passes…Rangers look better than at end of 1…YAWN,,,we got it, they got it, no, we got it, they got it, no, we got it, they got it…muddled in mid ice…TV Time out…Vitrano/Hagel for a few rounds, 5 for fighting…Bad NYR defensive play Kucherov down the middle ,scores, 2 zip TB…TB goalie equipment issues…a bit better but not good enough…end of two…Period 3:Chytil out???…Copp penalty,Motte breakaway denied, another breakaway by Trouba, good kill…Stamkos on a rebound, Palat is playing lights out, Three zip…Sarcastic Igor chant begins…TB Penalty 4 (2 interference 2 slashing: Reavis 2 for slashing, NYR 5 on 4 for 2m,…Kreider interference ruins PP, 4 on 4 for 1:04 then TB for 55 sec PP, geez…NY PP, with 3:52 to go, Rangers pull Igor, PANARIN scores PPG, 3 to NYR 1…3;33 left, Igor ready to vacate, empty net Palat 4 to 1 NYRangers lose, series tied at 2, heading back to MSG…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 28): Thursday, June 9,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1899 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. Even Steven at two each and we are back at MSG… Game Five…

DROP THE PUCK: (rants I say during the game):If you have never been at MSG, you’ll never know…Game freaking five…19 games in 38 days…tired, no way, it is what they do, play hockey…NYPD with John Brancey…I miss John Amarante but this guy is good, miss the salute at the end (I did it every night)…I could skate but I wish I could skate like Igor with equipment…Reavis is out, WTF?…Post Kucerov…Trouba is the man, check please…K Miller yes, nice slide… Igor…up and down, up and down, up and down, hardly any shots on net for either team…TV TIME OUT…Kids, close, Fox even closer…Panarin, nice, pin ‘em down…2nd post by TB (8 min left)…Motte great poke …IGOR 3 in a row, Perry down to the ice…3 NYR shots , Vasilevskiy great saves…I hate TV interviews with the coach on the bench, I would say, “Yeah, we could break the zone if you left the bench and left me alone”…Trouba nice shot…end of one…no score, no penalties…8 NYR shots to 3 TB…Period 2: WTF 616 shots on net for Igor in the playoffs…Palat breakaway,Igor save…NYR penalty at 16:55 (Schneider for hook??? NFW)…good kill…E-GOR,E-GOR,E-GOR chant…12:41 to go…OMG, Igor catches them with “Too many”…2 minute NY PP, Fox stick breaks on shot, one shot, NG…Lindgren scores…NYR up one zip, 9 plus to go…hooking K Miller?, no way, second horrible call by officials, “Let ‘em play”…good kill…6 to go…fun attack, 3 left…2:24 all even TB scores…I hate giving up a goal at end of period…end of two, even at one (1:1)…Period 3:Love this, interview of Lindgren, “So, what were you thinking shooting the puck?”, great diplomatic response by him, but me, “I was hoping the fucker would go in”…Ryan Mc D out for TB, and now Bogosian hurt, 2 D’s out for TB…I’d take Pat Maroon on my team…12:25 to goal tied at one…Motte is playing a great game (4th liner)…6:40 left…WIDE OPEM Strome miss…Frankie tries but NG…TV Time…McD back for TB…4:40 to go…Looks like NY Rangers Past  1:48 to go Palat scores, 2 to 1 down…empty net down 3 to 1…58 seconds left…Rangers lose, down 3 games to 2, facing elimination Saturday…exchanged pleasantries at end, a few fists thrown…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 29): Saturday, June 11,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1901 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP.Down one game and on “hostile” ice facing elimination. Everyone is talking about STROME missing the wide “open” net goal.It happens, folks.

DROP THE PUCK: (rants I say during the game):NYR, 20 playoff games in 40 days so since May 3 you know exactly where I have been every other night..The ANTHEM is both arenas has been a joy. Kaako is a “healthy scratch”, WTF? Time to tell first rounders you ain’t doin’ it.Igor, Trouba, Maroon…Bang on the glass they should toss you out…700th shot on IGOR in playoffs…9 minutes left…Panarin needs to hold the grasp of the puck, 3 x bounced off his stick…Igor…zip end of one…no penalties, out shot…Period 2:11 to 7 shots, TB advantage…Igor…Trouba hits Perry, no call…4 on 4…early line changes are over? Mika, Frankie, Kreds back as a unit…

Maroon shot and Hunt pushes him on Igor…I think the refs are a non-factor, letting them play and missing/lettting some go…Stamkos scores 9:17 left, a 45 footer for the face off circle, one zip TB…Igor comes back and makes a great save…Panarin 2 for high sticking…Can we get it out of the zone?…Where’s Mika? Where’s our studs?, C’mon…22 shots to 13???…one zip TB… Period 3: Only 20 minutes left, down by one, so it’s SHOW TIME…IGOR, great save #23…NYR PP 2 minutes for Hi sticking…nothing…Strome out (again), should have been scratched…THERE IT IS, ah ,no…Both goalies are putting on a show…NYR PP(Stamkos takes the penalty) w/8:15 to go, a breakaway WTF, Fox recovers,FRANKIE scores, all tied at one…TB scores(Stamkos) immediately(21 secs) two/one TB…Stamkos/Kucherov/Palat…what a line…5 to go…took 1 minute to cross red line…TB wins…Shake hands, boys…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part 30): Sunday, June 12, 2022: It is the morning after the New York Rangers last attempted to move to the FINALS in search of their first cup since 1994.That to me is a monumental, positive statement. As a fan I must admit these past 40 days (20 games) were an emotional roller coaster ride. Back in September past, who in their right minds would have suspected the RANGERS to be where they landed up, two wins from making THE FINALS. All the hockey pundits alluded to the fact that The Rangers were good, however most wrote the team was “one year away”, what ever that means. Then, Chris Drury pulls the trade(s) of the year by adding Vitrano, Copp, Motte, and Braun without giving up one regular. Grit, experience, determination added in one week’s time. And the new guys added help with the “Five on five” play which left a lot to be desired throughout the season. (April 5 the Blue Shirts ranked 26th (46.85) at 5X5 play, which was not good).The “new” guys gave space for the regular studs to do their thing.

   We cheered as Kreider scored on the PP throughout the year yet knowing that power plays would be limited in the playoffs.Therefore, his “lighting the light” would be severely tested in 5×5 in the playoffs. And without a doubt, it should be noted that The Rangers have the best goalie (2021-2022) and he proved his worth in most of the playoffs.

   So the building blocks are there AND yes, The Rangers are “one year away”. The rest of the league beware.Bring on 2022-2023, We Want The Cup…

to be continued…

JOHN FROM BROOKLYN

 Sometimes our wheels slide off the rails in life. But when we get back on track we are stronger than before.  So was it with my cousin, John. When I was in high school many years ago I had an assignment to write two separate letters to two people: 1) To whom I loved but never told I love him/her. 2) To someone I idolized and why I idolized him/her…I thought it was a stupid assignment AND since I was a lazy student I thought…”Why not find one person who I loved and did not verbalize that to AND one who I  also idolized?” I wrote a letter to my (older) cousin John.Years later, he told me he saved the letter and what it meant to him.( I got a B+)

   Every Sunday for the past 24 plus years John faithfully called me, never missed, even when he was in Istanbul. Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Nets, music, friends, and family all open for discussion. Laughs abound every time .Now, “all things must pass” so today I play JOHN COLTRANE’s “Alabama” as he requested this emotional song to be his “exit piece”. Rest easy, John

Your broken-hearted cousin,

Michael