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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spin Magazine: “Y.M.C.A.” (An Oral History)

Jeff Pearlman freelances a baseball-centric spin on an American original, from its New York origins to current ballplayers’ opinions, with a dash of Musto beard-stroking.

Joseph Malloy (former general partner, New York Yankees): It was the opening of Legends Field, our spring-training stadium in Tampa, and a couple of the grounds crew guys approached me with the idea of bringing a little excitement to the exhibition games. In the middle of the fifth inning, when they dragged the infield, the guys wanted to do the arm motions to “Y.M.C.A.” I hadn’t heard the song for a long, long time, but the crowd absolutely loved it. I thought, “Hmmm, this might work in New York.” ....

Juan Gonzalez (from his New York Daily News column, October 29, 1996): They began to dance, strut, and gyrate around second base while they dragged the field. The capacity crowd roared with approving laughter. We all cheered and applauded, and for a moment we all felt a little warmer inside. It was baseball poking fun at itself, reminding us all that this huge, multibillion-dollar, cutthroat business is, after all, about people having a good time.

Molloy: I remember looking at [Yankees] Wade Boggs and Derek Jeter and seeing them swaying to the music. When those grounds crew guys dropped their rakes and performed, you had to watch. From the owner’s box, I would do the Y-M-C-A motions with the crowd. I should have trademarked it.

Malloy then goes for the Yankee Ingenuousity Award:

Molloy: “Y.M.C.A.” is about homosexuality? I had no idea until this very moment. Wow! Well, it’s a great song that makes people feel good. That’s what’s important.

Greg Franklin Posted: May 29, 2008 at 01:44 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, music, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 29, 2008 at 02:48 AM (#2797845)
It was a crappy song in 1979, and it's still a crappy song today.
   2. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 29, 2008 at 02:57 AM (#2797896)
"An Oral History," huh? That's a 1.5-entendre at best.
   3. Halofan Posted: May 29, 2008 at 02:57 AM (#2797897)
try telling kids today that the Village People were bigger than the Ramones... prepare for the blankest stare...
   4. Hal Chase Headley Lamarr Hoyt Wilhelm (ACE1242) Posted: May 29, 2008 at 03:39 AM (#2798003)
And then things got even worse.
   5. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 29, 2008 at 04:07 AM (#2798069)
Ah yes, Juan Gonzalez's Daily News column was jam-packed with his unique viewpoint and writing style.
   6. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 29, 2008 at 12:30 PM (#2798163)
LOL. ACE, thanks for allowing the inner adolescent in me escape for a moment.
   7. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: May 29, 2008 at 02:02 PM (#2798221)
try telling kids today that the Village People were bigger than the Ramones... prepare for the blankest stare...

"Who were the Ramones? Were they, like, Donnie and Marie Ramone?"
   8. villageidiom Posted: May 29, 2008 at 02:10 PM (#2798228)
Wasn't the Starland Vocal Band bigger than the Ramones?

(FWIW I just picked up RamonesMania on CD to replace mrsidiom's worn-out cassette of the same.)
   9. Answer Guy Posted: May 29, 2008 at 02:25 PM (#2798238)
While "Afternoon Delight" was a bigger hit in its day than any Ramones song, people still buy Ramones music. "Blitzkrieg Bop" has a new life as a "jock jam," and "I Wanna Be Sedated" is now a rock radio staple.
   10. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: May 29, 2008 at 02:30 PM (#2798243)
I was actually going to ask if kids today know who the Ramones are.
   11. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: May 29, 2008 at 07:32 PM (#2798653)
Here's the thing ... it's really not that fun to stay at the YMCA.
   12. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: May 29, 2008 at 07:36 PM (#2798660)
   13. Cooperstown Schtick Posted: May 29, 2008 at 08:00 PM (#2798715)
Wow. That was directed by Nancy Walker. Who was in "Murder By Death" with Eileen Brennan. Who was in "Private Benjamin" with P.J. Soles. Who starred in "Rock and Roll High School."

The Village People/Ramones connections are uncanny.
   14. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 29, 2008 at 08:15 PM (#2798738)
Here's the thing ... it's really not that fun to stay at the YMCA.

Just put your pride on the shelf.
   15. Jeff K. Posted: May 29, 2008 at 08:22 PM (#2798752)
Here's the thing ... it's really not that fun to stay at the YMCA.

I would assume it would be prime territory for a male prostitute.
   16. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: May 29, 2008 at 08:23 PM (#2798756)
Here's the thing ... it's really not that fun to stay at the YMCA.

I would assume it would be prime territory for a male prostitute.


He said 'staying' is no fun. He didn't mention coming and going.
   17. Cooperstown Schtick Posted: May 29, 2008 at 08:35 PM (#2798775)
He said 'staying' is no fun. He didn't mention coming and going.

Exactly. Show me a prostitute who stays and I'll show you... well, my ex-wife.

(Thanks. I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip the veal and try your waitress.)
   18. Betts, Bogaerts, and D Price(GGC) Posted: May 29, 2008 at 08:40 PM (#2798780)
The problem is that my ex is the waitress. She just got back from Fleet Week, too.

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