While he might be a longstanding and vocal supporter of many things, including sports in general, Huey Lewis is not a fan of actual sports stadiums pumping in recorded pieces music. In a piece he wrote for The Talkhouse, the News cohort argues for the banning of all pre-taped music from sporting events, saying that “the fairly recent (in historical terms) proliferation of the pre-recorded stuff has begun to seriously degrade the experience of going to a ballgame.”
Lewis goes on to make his case, arguing that thumping Black Eyed Peas tracks drown out the natural sounds of a baseball game, from the crack of the bat to the “cry of ‘I got it!’” He also notes, rightly, that most recorded tracks sound like absolute crap in a large open stadium, with the spacing of the speakers generally resulting in the reduction of any song to just the beat. Perhaps most compellingly, Lewis also believes that if recorded music were banned at the parks, that might eliminate the public’s access to those over-played jock jams so prevalent nowadays, from his example, “Wheels On the Bus,” to ours, DJ Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide (Casper Slide).”
Of course, all of Lewis’ thoughtfulness might be rooted a little bit in his own nostalgia because, as he notes, his hometown San Francisco 49ers long hosted an 18-piece jazz band on the sidelines, “complete with a cable car bell ringer.” Both the 49ers and the SF Giants also used to hire a roaming Dixieland band to entertain the fans. In Lewis’ opinion, live bands are culturally valuable in that they “connect a team to the local music community in a real way, and the sound they produce is far more interesting and appropriate for a large stadium.”
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