Saturday, July 15, 2006

My Final Word on "Tessie"

This all started as a debate on Jere's blog (it's all in the comments area), and what follows is a comment I was about to leave, and then realized it would be a better post on my blog, than a comment on Jere's. Actually, this didn't even start as a debate, but as a simple question, "What's Kay Hanley's connection to the Sox besides showing up at Theo's shindig?" It then evolved into a debate on the song, "Tessie," and then further spiraled into a debate on ethics and commercialism. Here's the last I'll say about it.

Not getting to Fenway nearly as often as most of the others in this forum, "Tessie" pulls no emotional strings for me. Sure, after reading "Red Sox Century" and learning the history of the song and its connection to the Rooters and the WS win over the Pirates, I was excited to learn that DKM was recording a version of it. And I ran out and bought the single. And played it. And puked. I wasn't analyzing it on it's connection to the Red Sox, I was analyzing it within the confines of who the Murphys are/were. If they'd taken the original and sped it up and done it in their style, made it a punk song, well, that might've been cool. But I think it was so obviously done the way it was for no other reason than to garner mass appeal. I think they are savvy enough to know that anytime you attach yourself to the Sox (and yes, they are die-hard fans, although most are bigger Bruins fans) the financial windfall from that is potentially enormous. How many glass companies operate in New England? And how many Red Sox fans call Giant Glass when their car window gets busted? See where I'm going with this? It was crass commercialism. It wasn't some track 11 on some random CD that some punky Red Sox intern discovered and said to Dr. Charles, "Hey, this would be cool to play at Fenway when we win!" It was created solely for the purpose of making money (under the guise of, "Well it helped in 1903, let's try it again.") Anybody who's read my blog from the beginning knows how cynical I've become regarding DKM. They used to be one of my favorite bands, and then they lost me, mostly because of a change in the basic style of their music from a raging 4-piece SLF-type punk band, to a watered-down Pogues-wannabe styled pub band. My dislike of "Tessie" starts with the fact that it's a lousy song period, it's an even worse DKM song, and the whole project just reeks of the idea that's it better to sell one bad single to millions of Red Sox fans, than one good single to thousands of Murphys fans. That is a compromise I'm not willing to support. For those of you who like the song for the song, or because you hear it at Fenway when we win, I say, cool, keep enjoying it. But if you're old school with the Murphys, and "Tessie" doesn't turn you off or sour you on the band at least a little, well I'm not going to question your ethical vision, but I may not look at you the same. So maybe that's a TJ on me, but that's just Matty being Matty.


Anonymous Muse said...


I hate TEssie. That crap along with the constant apperances and non stop blathering of Ken to anyone with a mic at a game is what cuased me to despise DKM. I also feel that was when the tied turned from it beign a group to Ken's band. If I saw Ken on the street today, I'd kick him in the knees - or maybe the gear - for being such a pompous egomaniacal ass.

And for the record, though I am Matty's wife, our tastes and opinions of music differ VASTLY. It just so happens we feel the same on this issue. And I have no connection to Boston or the Sox other than him (I'm a Pittsburgh gal).

8:19 PM  
Blogger Jere said...

I just look at it from the "Hey, the Sox could've gotten Aerosmith to do this song..." perspective. But they gain some credibilty just for knowing who DM was in the first place. (Then again, I shouldn't be so surprised, since the Buzzcocks and Devo and Jane's Addiction and Faith No More songs are in mainstream commercials now.)

And it would be more disturbing if DM were some total anti-sports punk band, but they were jocks anyway, so it made sense.

It' all one pretty big terrible job when bands and people totally sell out, but this one offends me less than others, I guess. Because I was never a huge fan of DM in the first place.

(You should link this post in the comments on mine, where this debate started.)

10:27 AM  

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