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October 15, 1984 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-15

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Monday, October 15, 1984

Page 5

'Boys' not blessed with the inside story

By Paul Helgren
Bless You Boys
By Sparky Anderson
Contemporary Books
In the aftermath of the Tigers' World
Series victory, you might be tempted to
buy Sparky Anderson's book, Bless You
Boys: Diary of the Detroit Tigers' 1984
Season. Word of warning before you do
- it's eight bucks, the same price as a
box seat.
If you want to pay eight clams for 230
pages of overworked cliches, box
scores and publicity photots, then go
right ahead. Otherwise, do what I
usually do. Spend about two hours in
Liberty Newscenter and read the thing
for free.

Some of the book is at least worth that
much effort. Much of it, unfortunately,
is not. The problem is that Sparky has
been hanging around sports writers for
so long that he writes like them. That,
as much as I hate to admit it, is not a
compliment.
Bless You Boys is a game-by-game
retread of the 1984 season - sort of.
Maybe I got a misprint buy my copy
stopped at September 18, the division-
clinching game. Wasn't there a World
Series or something?
01' Spark may have jumped the gun
on this one, don't you think? Look for a
second, Series-updated edition to come
out before too long.
Cynacism aside, this book is not an
unenjoyable reading experience. It
helped me to better understand the real
Sparky Anderson, the man he refers to
as George Anderson (Sparky's real

'If you are really my friend, you will never
call me Sparky.'
-George "Sparky" Anderson

The passage describing the funeral is
especially heart-wrenching.
"Mama whispered to Daddy, 'I'm
going to miss you, Ole Pal,' and I knew
what friendship was all about," he
writes.
"Daddy wore his ring and his Tiger
shirt proudly. I only wish he had a tran-
sistor radio because he loved listening
to our games so much." This is Bless
You Boys at its best. What is missing in
Boys is the inside dope, the stuff that
makes baseball books great, the stories
that even the baseball writers don't get
hold of. If you read the papers this
summer you've probably heard most of
the good stories in this book. Not that
there are a whole lot of interesting
baseball yarns here. Typical fare would
be, "Danny (Petry) went seven strong
innings for the win. Lance Parrish
snapped a 2-2 tie with a two-run homer
in the seventh. Willie Hernandez retired

six straight batters for the save."
Nothing like the inside scoop, eh
Sparky?
The book does a lot of rehasing in this
style. I would have much rather read
abut the players' personalities, what
they say to each other, what they do in
their off-time. Of course, as manager
Sparky's in a delicate position. Maybe
the new book coming out soon courtesy
of the Detroit Free Press with a
relatively puny $3.95 price tag) will
give us more of this.
Overall Bless You Boys is a readable
and enjoyable book. If I was nine-years-
old i probably would've loved it - nice
big pictures, short paragraphs, easy
words. But I'm looking for something
else these days and Bless You Boys
didn't really have it.
That's okay, though, Spark. If ever a
Tiger fan had reason to be forgiving,
this istheyear.

name). "If you are really my friend,
you will never call my Sparky," he
says.
Okay then. Give George Anderson a
.300 batting average for his effort. At
one point in the book he reflects on the
near-fatal accident his son had in 1983
when he fell off an 800-foot cliff in
California. "I went home and looked
down that canyon," he says on April 6,
the anniversary of the accident. "I

remember looking up and saying, 'God,
I don't know why you spared him, but I
tell You this has changed my life."
Later he discusses his father's death.
His father died on May 17, in the middle
of the Tigers' celebrated hot streak.
Anderson puts his father's illness and
death in poignant perspective. "Here I
am on top of the baseball mountain, but
without this one man ... I would never
be where I am," he says.

Fashion tips for the Michigan

By Dennis Harvey
Tomorrow at the Michigan Theatre
you can dare to defy fashion - or
rather, you can wrap yourself in the
fashions of yesteryear (1982, to be
exact). A double bill of Britishers A
Flock of Seagulls and New Yorkers the
Qomateens will offer a stiff shot of plain
--old frivolous synth-funk-pop for those
:unconverted to the currently most-
-recognized-as-cool sounds of R.E.M.
iand other neo-roots/psychedelic pop
bands not above flirting with acoustics,
for god's sake.
The whole synth things seems to have
really got going in early '81, when the
phrase "Punk is dead" was already a
cliche and the logical alternative to
4'nihilism seemed a complete roll in
hedonism and artifice. In Britain they
called it Blitz, by the time it got
,,stateside (and was officially post-
,,mortem in the U.K., of course) it had
Obeen dubbed the New Romantic
,novement.
The look (which seemed a good deal
more interesting than the accom-
,panying music, at least initially) was a
-waver's costume ball, ranging from
period (pirates courtesy of Adam and
'the Ants, Edwardian, '50's, et al) to the
revisited Many Faces of David Bowie
- glamour plushed to the brink of
grotesquerie, anthing could go as long
as it was too much. The sound was, fit-
"tingly, not music to pogo by, or even
work up much of a sweat to. The em-
phasis was on cool synth-based dance
-tracks not all that far removed from the
standard ten-minute '70's disco slab,
with just enough eccentricity around
'4he edges and enough poppiness to lend
}them a vague wave sensibility.
Though the New Romantic movement
,did little in the U.S. beyond win a lot of
skeptical magazine space and a fast
~,practical death, it signalled a gradual
olub swing back toward the dance- and
look-consciousness that punkers had
:rejected from the disco era.
And it created a lot of attention for
--anew music stars, who either were
,produced by or benefited from the sud-
,,gden importance of dance hits and 12-
--inchers to a previously disinterested
#-audience - the Human League, the
Thompson Twins, Spandau Ballet,

Duran Duran, et al. Some of the
emergent personalities sank back in the
depths of Soho lofts or wherever they
came from, like Visage (fronted by
Blitz mannequin Steve Strange), and
many of the early efforts by bands
who've survived sound pretty painful
now. Still, the dance ethic is apparently
here to stay, and a few bands will
remain working essentially in the syn-
thedancepop genre are capable, like
Heaven 17 or The the, of creating some
of the best music around.
Whether A Flock of Seagulls can
overcome their particular limitations
seems no clearer now, with the release
of their third album The Story of a
Young Heart than it was in 1982 when "I
Ran" and "Space Age Love Song" took
them from nowhere to the top of the
dance charts. An all-male quartet,
the Flock came to America for what
was intended to be a brief tour,
promoting their self-titled debut LP,
and they wound up staying the better
part of a year.
Overnight successes aren't always
enviable; at some later point, you ac-
tually have to live up to them. The
Flock's 2nd LP, Listen, did not succeed
in persuading many people to do just
that, and the fact that their Michigan
Theatre concert was rescheduled three
times leads one to suspect that just
maybe the whole world isn't dying to
see this band just now. The new Story of
a Young Heart is slickly produced in the
extreme, but it shares the fault of too
many fabricated synth band-albums in
that its cathedral of sound houses only a
dinky population of unthought-out
melodies and insufficient hooks.
Still, records are one thing and con-
certs are another. And the word is that
the Flock, on their previous U.S. ap-
pearances, have had a lot more energy
and punch as a live band than one would
suspect.
The New York trio Comateens have,
on vinyl at least, a much fresher,
funkier approach to synthpop, and their
bottom-of-the-bill slot may well be wor-
th the whole ticket. After an intriguing
self-titled debut (featuring a version of
the theme from "The Munsters") LP/
on the Cachalot label, they signed with
Polygram and had a major dance floor
hit with "Get Off My Case" from the
Pictures on a String album. Pictures,

Subscribe to The Daily
Phone 764-0558

The Comateens promise to offer a fresher and funkier approach to pop than
their counterparts, A Flock of Seagulls, at the Michigan Theater tomorrow
night.

like its current follow-up LP Deal With
It, is unusually strong white funk,
neatly balancing beat with a solid sense
of pop melody. Comateens never get
mired in excessive production glitz, nor
that typical bane of unnecessary track
length; they produce a solid four or five
minutes of poppy but hard-edged funk
at nearly every shot, with a fullness of
sound unusual for a relatively unador-
ned bass/lead/synth combo. On Deal
With It, they get help from both a real
live drummer and a mechanical one -
we'll have to see which shows up

tomorrow night). Though never silly,
the Comateens are much too dance-
happy to fit in very well with the
various trends of the moment, but their
set may be one of the year's better
major opening acts.
If nothing else, this is one night of
music you definitely will be able to
dance to. Tickets are $13.50 and can be
purchased at the Union, various other
CTC outlets, and at the Michigan door.
Don't be late - these Michigan Theatre
concerts have been starting
bewilderingly on time.

$
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and plan on treating
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A candlelight dinner with
superb food and
professional table service.
In the Terrace Room of the
University Club, elegant
dining from 5:00-9:30
p.m., Tuesday through
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The Dinner Club is a private
facility for students, faculty,
staff, alumni, and their guests.
Only members may purchase
alcohol.

Cottage Inn Brings You Two Great Pizzas
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