Etta James – R.I.P.
1st off and most importantly, let me tip my very sad hat to the legendary Ms. James and her contribution to the music world and my lil world. I’ve been a fan since I was a teenager. My friends in high school, quite rightly, thought I was nuts. Independent of any outside influences, my cassette collection consisted of Ms. James, America, Black Sabbath, Stray Cats, Devo, Patsy Cline, Judas Priest (and Bow Wow Wow, but that’s a different story entirely)…
We’ve used Etta’s ‘Something’s Gotta Hold of Me to open every show since the 1st year I’ve been doing this.. circa 1998 at some point. One of my LA friends was her attorney and when she passed I had one of those moments we all have where we realize we’re all on the way to the same destination…
So tonight’s game has been knocked around for a few years – “you should do a music game during the tournament” (etc, etc, etc).
I decided that the success of the Night @ the Movies game was a good reason to try this game. That very week, Etta James passed. Brian Darby suggested the homage 1st and it was an obvious moment of synchronicity…
And so our ever so humble memorial to our favorite artist will be this game – aimed at the hard core.. and I mean HARD FUCKING CORE music fan. Half steppers, wannabes, and never were’s need not apply to this one cha-cha. You come big, correct, and strong or you get boot print upside your ego and carry that around with you for awhile.
I wanted this game to count toward the cumulative, which meant no goofy format like the old Tune Trivias; perfect scores in one of those can reach into the 500+ range. But I also knew that spreading a category as wide and fervently followed as music into enough genres and area was a daunting chore in 20 questions.
1st and easiest step was to toss any notion that sports would be a category awaaaay. That freed up 4 more questions. Next was to make the ‘name that artist categories’ 8 parters and to pick a category that wasn’t in anyone’s wheelhouse (Instrumentals). The other one (astronomical artists) allowed me to spread the eras and genres around.
After that I decided that the multiple answer angle was a good way to squeeze extra info into each question, making each question a mini ‘referendum’ on each category. After perusing the game I realized it was too difficult, even for you freaks.. so I added choices and allowed for the teams to pick the selections they’d like to answer, in essence ratcheting down the difficulty some, but not much.
Fill in the gaps with some of the categories I felt I had missed and voila – 3 hours of musical agony. If I write that game again, a different team wins and there’s no telling who. Seriously, that’s how broad this subject can be. Being a big music guy almost serves to hamstring me when writing this game. If the N@tM game is hard for me to write because I’m a movie moron, this one is hard because it’s too huge in my brain.
Anyway, the game played tough in front of a mind numbingly talented audience of music trivia gurus, for that I am a bit proud. I wanted to challenge a seriously above average room and I did – yay me. I wanted to do that without alienating the room, I hope I pulled that off as well. I warned the attendees in advance that this game would be long.. 3 hours. That is a FCT record for longest game ever played, including Finals. Hopefully I can figure out a way to knock a half hour off of that next year. I’ll work on it.
There were some sterling performances in this game that require attention. 1st off, the Buckhead Rednecks were the best team in the room. They showed all in attendance why they are the world champs and why they are to be feared. When the game is at its most difficult, the Rednecks are most comfortable. Kudos, bouquets, and respectful doffings of the cowboy hat to the World Champs.
Fulmer had a gaffe or two, but otherwise were everything I thought they’d be. Outstanding performance from FFA.
Alliance show why they are the cumulative leader through 8 weeks, and perhaps 9 by doggedly grabbing hold of this game, in spite of long odds after the 1st 2 quarters, and making it count for something. Impressive.
Experience were a near miss and if you collect all of Experience’s near misses and cash in half of them, you have about $734,500…
I thought the new ‘Etta’ idol was lovely all decked out in colorful flowers…
The Etta James Memorial Crystal is one of, if not the, loveliest and most elegant trophies we award.
The Etta artwork was spot on.
In short, I think this game has a future and all told I’m pleased with the results.
I hope you were too.
Thanks for playing and congratulations to the winners.
Brent: We will wait and update the scoreboard after tomorrow’s Sunday action. Alliance and Coconuts were the only ones to see their base scores change for this week – +10 for Alliance and +6 for Coconuts. Rednecks pick up 18 bonus points, FFA picks up 12, and Alliance adds 6. So, when looking at the scoreboard in prep for Sunday, it’s +18 for Rednecks, +16 for Alliance, +12 for FFA, and +6 for Coconuts.