One of the great marvels of sport is to watch a team gel, achieve unprecedented heights and reap the rewards of hours upon hours in the weight room, in the classroom, on the practice field and in the quiet of their homes studying film.
There’s a surreal feeling, even for fans of such teams, when that team – their team, reaches the pinnacle of a sport as the champagne sprays and confetti tumbles from the sky.
As fans of the Ravens we experienced that a little over a month ago. Some are still glowing in The Land of Surrealism. There’s an extra bounce in their step; a little more style in their swagger.
Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas when playing at the Lyric Theatre 2 weeks ago congratulated the city of Baltimore and went so far to say that, “One of the best things about winning the Super Bowl is that you get to be a d*** to other fans around the NFL for a whole year.”
To each their own.
Great rock bands are similar to football teams. Sure you have your lead singers and lead guitarists who get most of the notoriety and attention on stage much like a quarterback and players who touch the ball on the gridiron. Yet you know that the warmth of that spotlight is only as good as the pieces that comprise the team.
A quarterback is only as good as the offensive front that protects him.
The Baltimore Ravens are a perfect example.
A lead guitarist is only as good as his band’s rhythm section that keeps listeners engaged and their toes tapping.
The town’s other black-winged birds, the Baltimore Ravyns are a perfect example of that!
Last night I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying an outstanding performance by this local legendary band that absolutely rocked the house at Looney’s North in Bel Air.
During my college days I often watched the Ravyns play at The Dulaney Inn in Towson. And last night Messrs. Rob Fahey, Kyf Brewer, David Bell, Lee Townsend and Tim Steele took me back 30 years and helped me and the hundreds in attendance to relive those happy moments in time – a time when in many ways we were Raised on the Radio.
I marveled at how tight the band seemed, effortlessly taking songs in new directions, adjusting on the fly, just like the best football teams. And in the case of the Ravyns, they haven’t had the luxury of working together extensively in recent years.
You see for bands that don’t make it big, life gets in the way. That coupled with the ever- changing landscape of today’s music scene that rewards glitz and superficiality more so than talent. It robs a band like the Ravyns of their deserved notoriety.
And then it robs us because we don’t see or hear them nearly enough.
Music and football have that in common too.
Players who are outstanding in the realm of most peer groups can fade away because despite their talents, they may have been at the wrong place at the wrong time; the ball didn’t quite roll the right way one day when a more fortuitous bounce may have changed their careers. Maybe they fell an inch short.
As Al Pacino once said in the movie Any Given Sunday, life is a game of inches.
And on this given Sunday, I studied the band – their focus on their collective and individual craftsmanship and I wondered what may have become of this talented group of musicians had the ball bounced their way – had they been seen by the right producer at the right time.
Let’s not forget that there was a rather famous band from Liverpool that was once kicked to the curb but given a second chance by Brian Epstein and George Martin.
Life can be unfair that way but that didn’t seem to bother this proud Baltimore based quintet. For over 2 hours they treated us to a performance that I’ll never forget, taking us on a ride down memory lane…to younger days, days when we all yearned for something better.
Last night the Ravyns proved that no matter how many years have gone by you can STILL be “reaching for the stars.”