I am in no way alone among touring rockers who live and die with every pitch. Dudes from Death Cab to Soundgarden to Alice in Chains to Mark Lanegan all count themselves as Mariner fans. And beyond our local team, it seems that a conversation is easily started if it's about baseball. I can be anywhere. Baseball fans of every team tour like I do, and we often end up going to some game together, whether in Boston, Chicago, Anaheim, Texas, or wherever an ump cries "Play ball!"
Duff McKagan is the founding bassist of Guns N' Roses and the leader of Seattle's Loaded. His column runs every Thursday at seattleweekly.com/reverb.
As a traveler who has gone to games in different locales, it has become apparent to me that the music at baseball stadiums is getting rather homogenized. You've got the opening riff of of Ozzy's "Crazy Train," the whole "Who Let the Dogs Out?" thing (see page 8 for an explanation), and an opening riff of some song called "Welcome to the Jungle" being played in every stadium. (For all you Mariners fans, truth be told, "Jungle" was meant for our team, and not the Brewers or the Yankees or the Dodgers or whoever. At least that is how I like to tell the story . . . )
I remember going to Sonics and Mariners games in the '80s and '90s, and the music played in those places was WAY more provincial then. You'd hear a Soundgarden song followed by a Pearl Jam song into a Nirvana thing, and then some Sir Mix-a-Lot. Looking back, it all seems so damn quaint—but why would we ever have thought it'd be different? I mean, of course they should play local music in your locale, right? Somewhere along the line, everything just got big and national music-wise at these stadiums.
Sure, in the '90s, some of the most popular bands in the world were coming out of Seattle. But it's not like we haven't had plenty to celebrate musically—if not in the park—over the past decade. We should celebrate our unique local music at the park. And you know what—I think we may be able to celebrate our team this year, too.
Yeah. That's right. Maybe we've gotten something with all these new young kids coming into the Mariners program. Sure, they've yet to prove themselves. But the competitive canon is rife with tales of unproven athletes overwhelming expectations. We in Seattle have learned to thrive on words like "optimistic," "potential," and "bright future."
It COULD happen. And if it does, I say we start rocking music from our own city at our hometown park again. I can hear it now: Some Death Cab for Cutie, Long Winters, and Fleet Foxes, some Chasers, Vendetta Red, and yes, of course, some Loaded too.