Song sung blue... Well now, another Wodnesdæg has begun to roll around, which means, as some of you may have surmised, a Song for Odin™ from me, your Song for Odin administrator. Basically what it is is, I dig up one of my songs, usually a live video, and add some commentary, styled as "minor secrets." And we dedicate the whole thing to the god whose day this is. (Some people will tell you that the Saxon Woden and the Norse Odin are totally different deities, but they are clearly cognate and descend, within the two cultural contexts, from a common source. Anyway, it's Song for Odin, that's the name. As your Odin administrator I'm pulling rank here.) Regardless, what we have here is the MTX doing "Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba" in front of a huge audience at the massive PalaEUR in Rome, in March of 1996. https://youtu.be/n-hbSUITpT4 This was, of course, during that truncated European tour we did supporting Green Day. For around two weeks we played every night to audiences of 10-20,000 before the whole thing was cut short, leaving us stranded in Amsterdam with nowhere to go but Canada. (Thanks, Smugglers!) You can read more about that extremely odd and unlikely situation in the "minor secrets" of "You Today" post posted here: https://www.minds.com/newsfeed/863813758623551488 But to sum up: it was really a surreal experience to do our usual little club set in that context. The power of such a huge crowd is really overwhelming, and kind of scary (in a literal sense, not just in a "stage fright" way -- though that was certainly a factor as well.) Hardly anyone in attendance had any idea at all who we were. It's hard enough to win over a room full of fifty people, let alone 15,000. It's rather intimidating. Besides, there's a tradition of good-natured hostility towards opening bands in such situations. One feature of that tradition is that you jeer and throw stuff at the band during the set. Consequently, there tends to be a policy in some of these venues to minimize the items that can be thrown, banning glass bottles and such. At more than one show, the only throwable item that could be purchased at the venue seems to have been a ham and cheese sandwich. Accordingly the crowd acquired these by the thousands and threw them at us throughout the set. They had to mop the stage to clear the thick sludge of stomped and puréed sandwich matter after we were done. Literally, they had two guys in overalls with mops. All in a day's work at Big Punk, I suppose. But that was not the case in Roma, for whatever reason. It was one of the more successful sets of that tour as I remember. No sandwiches, just earnest enthusiasm. Through that one show (among others like it to be sure) we established something of a fan base in Italy, unlikely as that may seem. Some of these people became good friends in subsequent years and remain so. And, alone among those shows, someone captured it on video, albeit with rather fragile sound. For which I apologize, but you work with what you got, and in the case of that March 1996 Euro-tour with Green Day, this is it. The Love Is Dead album had been recorded in November and December of 1995 and was released in (or just before) January of 1996. https://www.discogs.com/The-Mr-T-Experience-Love-Is-Dead/release/1633668 We had been playing the songs from it here and there at this or that show, but this was the first actual tour, and we were still feeling our way through the material, not knowing precisely what to expect from it. We knew "Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba" was a crowd-pleaser from our limited experience, enough so that it was chosen to be "the single." (What that meant was, we made promo single CDs of the song for radio and made a music video: as far as I know, there was no radio airplay at all, but the video did get played on MTV's 120 Minutes twice -- probably the most prominent thing we ever did in the great big "real" world: https://youtu.be/kZkYdgIryqw But I wasn't prepared for the reaction and the experience when we played it at an Italian sports arena. I don't know if you can quite hear it (though I believe you can get just a hint of it) but the sound of some large portion of 15,000 people spontaneously singing along to the chorus's "Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba" refrain was... well, mind-blowing. It was louder than us on the stage. It shook the rafters. I suppose that, unlike many of my songs, it was easy for non-English-speakers to pick up quickly. No one in attendance had ever heard of us, and certainly no one had heard that record. It was spontaneous, and started from the very beginning. And you can see Jim and Joel high-fiving when it first happened. If felt like success. It kind of freaked me out, to be honest. But, I specifically remember thinking during it, and maybe you can see the thought cross my face: boy, this could be a hit. I was wrong, of course. Maybe it could have been, but it wasn't. But just for that one night for two minutes fifty-four seconds: it was a hit. I wish you could have been there, it was really something, and I've never forgotten it. So there you have it. It's the little things that get you down. It's the bigger things that you can't get around. And it's way too flat on the middle ground. But everything else is our oyster. #music #songs #video #Italia #minds
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