I was on Twitter early on New Year's Day when I came across a fellow blogger's resolution:
I am totally on board with making resolutions like this one -- so much so that I'm going to highlight the great pre-Christmas package of cards that Night Owl sent to me using Foghat songs, of course!New Year's resolution: more Foghat, less caring about what people think of Foghat. pic.twitter.com/WeWa7YgP2W— NightOwlCards (@nightowlcards) January 1, 2016
Foghat covered the Chuck Berry classic Maybelline as a B-side on their first album, the first album called Foghat. Looking through Foghat's catalog both on their albums and on their singles, I was surprised as the number of covers that the band recorded and included on their albums. I mean, lots of bands cover songs in concert, but to have Foghat recording "Maybelline," "That'll Be the Day," and "Take Me To the River" (among others) just surprised me. Even one song I associate with Foghat -- "I Just Want to Make Love to You" -- was a cover of a song by Willie Dixon.
In 2009, Upper Deck "covered" the O-Pee-Chee brand with a set that looked like it wanted to be the 1976 Topps set when it grew up. In the spirit of being a cover act, Upper Deck covered the old late 1980s trick of putting cards on the bottom of their boxes. Unlike the 80s versions, though, Upper Deck did not put stats on the backs of these cards.
I appreciate this panel coming from Night Owl particularly since it has his guy Kershaw on it next to my PC Braun. I'm getting pretty close to just going full bore after Braun cards. Close. Not there yet.
This is the first song on Foghat's sixth album called Night Shift. "Drivin' Wheel" has since been incorporated into a number of video games, including a couple of the Grand Theft Auto games and a NASCAR game called NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup.
Maybe the tie between the song and these cards is the repurposing of things from the past for use in the present. Sure, "Drivin' Wheel" is a bit closer in time to the video games employing it, but these A&G minis are closer in actual reuse than the song. So, let's call it a draw and say, that they are reasonably equivalent.
Or something like that.
"Slow Ride" is the song I am probably most familiar with as being a Foghat song. Guess why? A video game. It was included in the Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. I used to play Guitar Hero and Rock Band a decent amount when I was single. I'd go out with friends, have a few beers, come home and decide that I wanted to chill out by myself with music by playing Guitar Hero. "Slow Ride" was the first song that you had to play when you started your "tour" in the game.
Thanks to Wikipedia, I also know that this song also appeared in a Grand Theft Auto game and, also, was named as the 45th "Best Hard Rock" song of all time by VH1. It also was Foghat's highest charting US single, reaching #20.
To me, only one item that Greg sent could possibly go with this big hit:
I don't think I'd ever seen a Topps Comic before I got this sent to me. With my love of oddballs, I'm shocked that I haven't seen one before. Hisle's huge 1978 was followed by a torn rotator cuff. It's too bad -- maybe he'd be more remembered and his current charitable work would be more highlighted as a result.
Fool for the City
Foghat was an English band, yet they were one of those oddities where they were more popular in the United States than in their native land. Maybe it's because lead singer, the late "Lonesome" Dave Peverett, couldn't find a good manhole in which he could fish -- as he is shown doing in a New York sewer on the cover of the Fool for the City album.
While the song is cited as being a "great example of the 'boogie rock' genre" using repetitive, driving rhythms and a laid-back attitude "with no sign of being pretentious", I am tying the song to two inserts from 2015 Topps that have to be the very opposite of boogie rock.
Or, perhaps, Ryan Braun is.
This is a song released by Foghat in 2003 on an album called "Family Joules." Before writing this post, I'd never heard of it. But, it was on a live album on Spotify called "Live at the Blues Warehouse" and it fits a group of cards that Night Owl sent to me to a T -- the Mumbo Jumbo of parallels and inserts!
That is a lot of 2011 showing there -- liquorfractors, black parallels numbered to 99 (Weeks), some gold parallels numbered to 2011, a diamond anniversary parallel, and an Attax of Casey McGehee. Of course, there is a Betancourt in there too, as if to remind me that the Brewers in 2013 started Betancourt at FIRST BASE for 68 games thanks to the Mat Gamel failure. As a first baseman, Betancourt made a great shortstop.
Sweet Home Chicago
Considering that everyone whose name isn't blues legend Robert Johnson is covering the song, I shouldn't be surprised to find this in Foghat's repertoire. Literally everyone from Eric Clapton, the Blues Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughn (who played the song accompanied by his brother Jimmie, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, and Clapton at Vaughn's last show at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin in his final show before dying in a helicopter crash after the show), Fleetwood Mac, and Status Quo have covered the song.
I think of the Blues Brothers, I guess -- but this Foghat version is a good one.
Speaking of good ones, here's Tim Leary. Okay, what makes it good is the fact that the card is autographed by Leary. Leary himself as a player was a little less than great. His best year was with the Dodgers in 1988, when he put up a 17-11 season with 2.91 ERA (2.75 FIP) with 56 walks and 180 strikeouts. Still, a thirteen-season career is nothing to sneeze at.
Greg, I hope these Foghat songs are a sufficient thank you for some great cards coming my way that I have in this post.
Remember: it's a slow ride, my friend. Take it easy.