By Steve Newton
Today I just realized that the New England Patriots–who play some big football game with fancy TV commercials tomorrow–are from the greater Boston area. I didn’t know that. In my blissful ignorance of American geography–which may be unconscious payback for the Yanks’ legendary cluelessness about all things Canada–I always thought New England was a state. Turns out it’s a region consisting of the states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
Who knew? I mean, besides smart people.
Anyway, turns out the Patriots–who I’d forgotten used to be called the Boston Patriots until 1971–play their home games at a stadium 22 miles from downtown Boston.
That got me thinkin’ it might be fun to compare the best bands from Boston and Seattle to see if their awesomeness might give any clues as to which city will prevail at the Super Bowl. Plus, I always get a kick out of reliving seventies rock anyway.
The two big contenders, I suppose, would be Boston’s Aerosmith and Seattle’s Nirvana. I loved ’em both, although Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994 meant that the grunge masters only left us with three studio albums to remember them by. While Aerosmith has gotten extremely lame in recent years, they delivered five great albums in a row–Aerosmith, Get Your Wings, Toys in the Attic, Rocks and Draw the Line–before taking a creative nosedive with Night in the Ruts.
So that’s one point Patriots. Or a “convert”, as the jocks call it.
Next up: Pearl Jam takes on the Cars. As much as the first two Cars albums (The Cars and Candy-O) were staples of my late-’70s youth, I gotta say that Pearl Jam was a raging guitar-rock force that was unstoppable. Their show at the Town Pump in 1991 was transcendent. Plus, they didn’t need no stinkin’ keyboards. And they didn’t have a guitarist who stabbed John Fogerty in the back by joining Creedence Clearwater Revisited.
Lastly, let’s waste a little more precious time on a Saturday afternoon pitting Soundgarden against the J. Geils Band. Chris Cornell and Co. are a force to be reckoned with, and the Sabbath-y riff of “Outshined” is forever ingrained in my brain, but I just can’t forgive the band for the horrific sound quality of that show in Vancouver a couple years back. And besides, there wasn’t a better live boogie band in the ’70s than J. Geils. One listen to 1972‘s “Live” Full House—preferably on vinyl— is proof of that.
So there ya go. Sorry, Seahawks fans. I’m gonna have to go with that team from the great state of New England. I’ve just got a hunch that…I don’t know. I guess it’s more than a feeling…
P.S. Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I don’t really care who wins the Super Bowl. I mean, I’ve always had a soft spot for Boston sports teams ever since the heyday of Bobby Orr, but as long as I get some nachos I’m good.