Saturday, April 29, 2017

Going Yard With The Yardbirds #socs

The prompt for this last Stream-of-Consciousness Saturday of April 2017 is, appropriately enough, “Yard,” because the A to Z Challenge letter of the day is Y.

“Going yard” is baseball talk for hitting a home run. I have no idea why people started saying that, because I’ve never said it and I’ve watched baseball most of my life. None of my friends used it when I was growing up, either, so it’s a recent term, probably inflicted on us by ESPN, which as we all know stands for Extremely Silly People Network Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. It was hardly watchable back when it started, and it’s only gotten worse in recent years. Someone told me their share of the monthly cable bill is around $6 per subscriber, whether or not the subscriber watches it.

For anyone considering “cutting the cord,” i.e. cancelling cable TV or satellite TV and getting your programs over-the-air, that’s another thing you should consider. We cut the cord and no longer pay for ESPN and all the little ESPNs, CNN and its brood, Fox News and its clan, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, RT, Bravo, A&E, and all the other channels we used to get and never watch.

Of course there are a couple of channels I’d like to get: Fox Sports Southeast (which carries Braves games), MeTV, and all the channels and subchannels we get now over-the-air. Technically, I understand they can do that now, just give people access to certain channels, but there’s too much money in it for Disney (which owns ESPN and all the little Disney channels), Time Warner (which owns all the CNNs and all the channels that used to be owned by Ted Turner), and all the other companies that provide programming to cable and satellite systems, and they’ve gotten with the cable providers and ensured that won’t happen anytime soon. It would take an act of Congress to bust that monopoly up, but of course members of Congress get lots of money from the cable operators and providers and won’t do anything like that anytime soon. Money, incidentally, they get from the poor bastards that subscribe to cable and satellite TV and get hundreds of channels they don’t want and never watch.

There are actually laws in the United States that ostensibly prevent this sort of thing, among them the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, but hey, there are ways around laws like that anyway, aren’t there?

So I’ve discovered.

I had intended on segueing into a discussion of one of the great bands from the British Invasion, namely The Yardbirds, for whom Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page (three of the greatest guitar players ever) once played. Here’s “Heart Full of Soul” from 1968, featuring Jimmy Page playing guitar.

The Yardbirds broke up before going on a Scandinavian tour in the late Sixties, but they gave Jimmy Page the right to form his own band, to be called The New Yardbirds, to go on tour. Page took bassist John Paul Jones, drummer John Bonham, and vocalist Robert Plant with him, and when they got back they started recording an album. Some former members of the Yardbirds got a cease-and-desist order preventing them from using the name “The New Yardbirds,” so they picked a new one: Led Zeppelin. And the rest, as they say, is history.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now, here are Bob and Doug MacKenzie for Pizza Hut.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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