Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Greatest Hockey Music Ever Written - Part III: Dionne and The Puck-Tones

I love Marcel Dionne's story because it's the kind of tragedy that you don't feel completely awful finding hilarious. Probably the saddest part of it is that despite still ranking 4th in all-time goals scored and 5th in all-time points, becoming the third player to reach 700 goals, and remaining the highest scoring French Canadian player in the history of the leauge (no, really. Look it up.), he remains largely unmentioned in discussions of "the greatest players of all time". He's one of the NHL's forgotten superstars.

He's better remembered by Red Wings fans as the guy who wanted out. In 1975, after three years of on and off bickering with coaching staff and management, Dionne moved to the Los Angeles Kings as a restricted free agent. Because during the 1974-75 season he had set a club record of 121 points (on a team which held a winning record for a whopping ten games), the Detroit fans were a little upset. The Kings fan was, understandably, very excited.

Alas, life in Los Angeles wasn't all Dionne had hoped it would be - local interest in hockey, to this day tenuous at best, was still in its infancy, and, as he himself put it, "we didn't have the supporting cast". The Kings were perennial early-round knock-offs, and Dionne became another name in a long list of hockey players to be quoted about wishing they'd never left Detroit. In a last-ditch attempt to motivate his team to a championship, Dionne hatched an elaborate scheme which involved pretending to demand a trade. Then Kings GM Rogie Vachon called his bluff and sent him off the the New York Rangers, who were also in the midst of a long-term Cup drought.

aw man, this shit sucks.

So it's my hope that if he's not going to be remembered for being one of the top scorers in league history, maybe he'll be remembered for Dionne and the Puck-Tones' "Please Forgive my Misconduct Last night".

Recorded by Dionne and his Triple Crown Linemates Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor, "Please Forgive My Misconduct Last Night" was part of a record produced to help benefit juvenile diabetes research, so I guess it can be somewhat excused that the boys needed professional background singers and probably a little 70s-era auto-tuning to keep them sort of on-key. And we're still not talking "hey these guys are pretty good" on-key, just "well I guess at least this is for a good cause" on-key.

But as much as I love listening to hockey players butcher music, the real beauty of "Please Forgive my Misconduct" is in the lyrics. If you've ever found yourself in a position where you've been too frisky with a lady-friend and needed a creative way to apologize for your forwardness the next day to save the relationship, this is your song. Unless of course she's not a big fan of hockey, or wordplay. I'd quote from them, but I don't even know where to begin. Please just listen for yourselves - this is a song that needs to be experienced.

And actually, it wasn't even released as its own single. It was the B-side to "Hockey Sock Rock" by Phil Esposito and the Ranger Rockers!!! (the triple exclamation points are actually on the album cover) which you can read about here. Unfortunately, the crown jewel of that post, the 1979 Rangers Sasson Jeans commercial, was taken off Youtube recently, so here you go:

Funny story about the Rangers Sasson Jeans commercial - there were two of them. And what the second lacks in Ron Duguay's hair, it makes up for in prancing. Or maybe the right word is mincing.

I hope that if those didn't destroy your world, they made your day.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Whoa, where did June go?

I said we were aiming for fifteen posts this summer. I didn't say they wouldn't all be the last fifteen days before the season opener.

Today is the day before the draft, the day after the NHL awards, and one nerve-wracking week away from free agent frenzy. This is like a sad island of hockey in the middle of a long, hot, hockeyless sea. And yet, I feel as though I have nothing useful to say.

Except that HOLY CRAP NHL AWARDS WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE WITH SPONSORSHIP AND PRODUCT PLACEMENT? The ads were so deeply woven into the fabric of the show itself (they actually had the Gieco caveman running around, antagonizing Mike Green, and they actually had the United States Army present Shane Doan with the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which sort of seemed strange) that the giant flashing Verizon logo during the first musical number seemed like a sad and desperate cry for attention. Come on, Verizon, you can shell out an extra 500 bucks for a custom graphic of like a cell phone playing hockey or something. But I don't know, maybe they just pasted that onto the Versus feed, since they don't even have Verizon in Canada.

I was expecting Ron McLean to come out with sponsored eyebrows again.

All I know is that after watching the NHL Awards, I don't want to join the army or buy insurance. I just want hockey to be back.

Expect another music post to be up in the next day or so. You might want to start airing the mothball scent off your Marcel Dionne jerseys in anticipation of this one.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lidstrom's not retiring yet

I got the best email in the world today. It linked to this.

This is jumping around the house in celebration-worthy for three reasons:


2. I get to stop having to listen to the analysts on CBC segue from Blackhawks goals to their opinions that Nick Lidstrom is retiring

3. Lindsay is done crying emo tears of sadness on the couch and actually becomes a functioning member of society once more.

If you're not sure how to react to this kind of news, The Triple Deke has suggestions. I'm going to celebrate by blowdrying the tears out of the couch cushions.