Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Five Ten Blue

Vida Blue - Cars

It's 5/10 Day, and as someone who identifies as 510, I'm taking the opportunity to do a post that's part personal history lesson, part obituary, part funky jamband supergroup and all diatribe.

Full disclosure: before I did this page, I was a front page writer, on a huge website, about the Oakland Athletics baseball franchise. That series of sports blog sites was sold and became what is now Vox Media. When that happened 10 years ago, I branched off from silly sports nonsense and -- taking my cascading photoessay style that endures to this day with me -- began doing this bootleg stuff.

A few days ago, a very beloved A's player passed away. So beloved that he's one of three ballplayers that ever, as far as I can research it, have had a band named after them.

To make an epic 20-year shitshow saga short, the outright jackals who now own the Athletics -- you could call them the Keystone Kops of Corporate Feudal Subsidy Vultures -- have intentionally driven it into the ground so they can move it where they sense there's free public money to steal. In doing so, they have foregone the historical content -- as well as the existing, passionate customer base -- inherent to a 120+ year-old American institution, and all in the Satanic service of their One True Money God.

By historical appeal, I mean the sort of brand identity that has kids naming their band after your players of decades ago. Not just crappy Autotune bands either, but people with actual talent.

Anyway if you wanna read the vicious, no-syllable-spared polemic I penned about the A'ssholes in question, you can see that here. Since I wrote that for Athletics Nation, these MBA-mannequin morons have abandoned the Las Vegas site they (just weeks ago) were claiming they had purchased, and moved on to another one down the other end of The Strip. Maybe next week, they can announce plans to build a stadium in the front of The Bellagio, so whenever a home run is hit into the fountains, they can rain water down on the drivers on the street. It wouldn't be the first time John Fisher tried to soak the residents of LV, I know that much is true.

True as in Blue, which is where this started. When the guy died earlier this month, I started thinking about it, about what other bands there are that are named after athletes or baseball people.

As far as I could determine, there's Babe Ruth (UK rock band from the 1970s), Lefty Grove (a band that exists now, named for another Athletic) and one named for today's Man Of The Hour, Vida Blue.

Of the three I could find, my internal sensors say Vida Blue makes the coolest music. He sure did in 1971, when he was MVP and Cy Young winner. They had to give the Rookie of the Year award to someone else, just for variety I guess.

So the band Vida Blue is a trio, sort of a supergroup of modern jamband guys. When they are a thing, they do spacy, jazzfunk covers of weird rock songs and their own material. This show is from two years before their official live album was taped in the same venue, and dates from a short time after their first record dropped.

Vida Blue
The Fillmore
San Francisco, California USA

01 crowd & tuning
02 Most Events Aren't Planned
03 Cars
04 Jealous Guy
05 Sheep
06 Electra Glide
07 Get Ready
08 CJ3
09 Russell's Tune
10 Magilla
11 No Quarter
12 Stir It Up
13 Instant Karma!

Total time: 1:47:12
disc break goes after Track 07

Page McConnell – keyboards & vocals
Oteil Burbridge – bass & vocals
Russell Batiste – drums & percussion

soundboard DAT capture of indeterminate origin
edited for dead air, retracked & remastered by EN, May 2023
670 MB FLAC/direct link

In honor of Vida's passing -- I played wiffle ball on his team in Spring Training in 2011, and I can tell you he was as lovely a human being as any you'll ever meet -- and 510 Day today, it just seemed appropriate to whip something up in the way of a swingin' concert, and some dope clothes with which we are skirting (shirting?) the Copyright Cops lol.

I have quite the milestone birthday party planned for Monday, so stay tuned. But for today, it's all about the East Bay, the wrong that the Romper Room Robber Baron contingent is currently doing to that region, and some delectably funky music wrought by a band named after a dearly departed legend of a place called The Town... all of which the folks in charge aren't close to cognitive enough to comprehend.--J.

7.28.1949 - 5.6.2023


  1. Many thanks for this. As a kid, I used to watch the Saturday game of the Week on NBC. Being from Louisiana, Vida Blue was a favorite of mine.

  2. I'm excited to hear this. Thank you! I have a concert DVD of this band that I've long enjoyed and I'm always glad to hear more Oteil.