Neil in “March Madness” Competition

Rock Music Menu: March Madness time for music lovers


Most mornings, when I check my voice mail, there is a lengthy message from one of my regular readers — a guy from Glenolden who goes by the moniker “Nugent.”
He always goes on a five-minute diatribe, mostly mocking my column, but also venturing into the world of sports. The guy loves to pontificate about the most topical sports stories in the city of Philadelphia.

So, while he was rambling, he suddenly became my muse, giving me an idea that I hope you will embrace.

Stealing an idea from other sources and re-working it to make it my own, I decided that it would be fun to have our own tournament of 64 right here at the Daily Times to coincide with the craziest month in college basketball.

I received an e-mail recently from a Melissa from Upper Chichester telling me I know nothing about good music in Delaware County. Maybe she’s right, so I figured, let’s have a good time and educate yours truly.

Here is a tournament bracket where I want you, the reader, to vote for the greatest musical act of all time.

Each week you should e-mail me your responses to the listed matchups and tell me who is the best ever in the eyes of Delaware County.

The acts are seeded based on the total number of albums sold, according to the Recording Industry Association of America’s Web site.

If you don’t see your favorite band or act in the field, don’t complain to me, complain to them that their music wasn’t good enough to crack the top 64 in sales.

So, here are your first-round contests.

John Region

1. The Beatles vs. 16. John Mellancamp – Mellancamp fought the law and the law won, should be the same result against the Fab Four.

8. Eric Clapton vs. 9. Simon and Garfunkel – Two of the best singer/songwriters ever collide in perhaps the best first-round match.

5. Metallica vs. 12. Def Leppard – Two of the all-time greats in the hard rock/metal genre square off.

4. Mariah Carey vs. 13. Linda Ronstadt – See, I told you there was something for everybody.

6. Kenny G vs. 11. Guns ’N Roses – Kenny may have a following somewhere in the world; my guess is it’s not Delco.

3. Elton John vs. 14. Pearl Jam – Tough matchup for both, I can see this one coming down to just a couple votes.

7. U2 vs. 10. Foreigner – The surprise here was Foreigner sold that many records!

2. Barbara Streisand vs. 15. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Barbara may be the most overrated No. 2 seed ever.

Paul Region

1. Garth Brooks vs. 16. Michael Bolton – Hey, Garth is one of only four artists to ever crack the 100 million albums sold mark in U.S, history.

8. Shania Twain vs. 9. Reba McEntire – The two first ladies of country music go twang-to-twang.

5. Van Halen vs. 12. John Denver – One group had David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, the other had the Muppets – you do the math.

4. Bruce Springsteen vs. 13. James Taylor – Sweet Baby James deserved a better fate than this first-round tilt.

6. Kenny Rogers vs. 11. Bon Jovi – Kenny started a rotisserie chicken franchise, Jon Bon Jovi a football franchise. Hmm. I wonder who wins out here?

3. AC/DC vs. 14. The Doors – Another contest that should split Delco’s loyalties nearly in half.

7. Santana vs. 10. 2 Pac – Without the resurgence into the pop culture spotlight in 2002, Carlos wouldn’t have had a shot here.

2. The Eagles vs. 15. R. Kelly – One has the best-selling album of all time, the other has some kiddie porn. The contest will be terminated if you guys pick R. Kelly.

George Region

1. Elvis Presley vs. 16. Boyz 2 Men – Even if we are in suburban Philadelphia, home to Boyz 2 Men, Elvis has to win right? Right?

8. Willie Nelson vs. 9. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band – I’m not a big Willie fan, but I’m rooting for him because his commercials are more entertaining than any that feature Seger songs.

5. George Strait vs. 12. Phil Collins – I have a sneaking suspicion that Phil Collins goes a long way in this thing. It’s just, when I think Delco, I think Genesis.

4. Michael Jackson vs. 13 Boston – I have “more than a feeling” that the king of pop goes down in round one.

6. Fleetwood Mac vs. 11. Bob Dylan – Another one of those first rounders to match up a couple of rock icons. Should be a good one to track.

3. Aerosmith vs. 14. Dixie Chicks – I think Aerosmith is overrated as a band, but even still – the Dixie Chicks? C’mon!

7. Alabama vs. 10. Back Street Boys – A boy band has to win once, so it might as well be here.

2. Pink Floyd vs. 15. Britney Spears – A great example of yesterday vs. today. Floyd should win, but this’ll be closer than you might think.

Ringo Region

1. Led Zeppelin vs. 16. Ozzy Osbourne – The best chance for a No. 1 seed to lose on day one based on Ozzy’s public following the past couple of years.

8. Journey vs. 9. Chicago – This contest is so funny. They sound alike; now they compete. I think Chicago wins by 25 ..or 6 to 4.

5. Whitney Houston vs. 12. Rod Stewart – I say vote for whoever you think has better hair.

4. Madonna vs. 13. Queen – Intriguing matchup of one of the most enduring stars ever against one of the most endearing rock groups ever.

6. Neil Diamond vs. 11. Alan Jackson – An adult contemporary legend against an adult contemporary country star. Another close vote is predicted here.

3. Rolling Stones vs. 14. Dave Matthews Band – Some say one is the modern-day version of the other. Now that I think of it, forget what I said earlier, this is the best first round match.

7. Celine Dion vs. 10. Prince – If we base it on the Grammy performances, Prince wins by a landslide.

2. Billy Joel vs. 15. ’N Sync – Justin Timberlake tried to show his musical skill by playing the piano at the Grammy Awards. However, he’ll never tickle the ivories like the true Piano Man.

Send your answers to and I’ll print the results and next week’s matchups next week.

Rockin’ this way

* The enthusiastic yet spiritual sound of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, (the backup band to Paul Simon on his Graceland album) will take the stage at the Keswick Theatre Saturday at 8 p.m.

This amazing group is honoring the 10-year anniversary of the end of Apartheid, plus the release of their new CD, “Wenyukela.”

In English, “Wenyukela” means “raise your spirit higher.” Against a backdrop of political upheaval, social unrest and personal tragedy in their native South Africa, Black Mamabazo has spent three decades fusing the spiritual traditions of Zulu music with Christian gospel music. The music is clearly rooted in African musical traditions, but the message is universal.

The CD even has a hip-hop track done by the teenage grandsons of group leader Joseph Shabalala.

And, speaking of the Keswick, tickets are on sale now for The Commitments who will be in town on March 13 at 8:30 p.m., just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

* Bob Dylan’s show at the Tower is sold out. Not surprising. So he decided to come back to Philly for a second show. This time at the Electric Factory. Not quite the Tower, but a great venue nonetheless. He’ll be at the Factory on March 3. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. and will run you $49.75 each.

* The rollicking, freewheeling, New Jersey bred Blues Traveler (another band I highly recommend you see live) will play at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, N.J., on March 26 at 8 p.m. Tickets, an affordable $34 and $31, go on sale today at $10 a.m.

* Ziggy Marley takes the stage tonight at the Electric Factory with Michael Franti and Spearhead.

* A can’t-miss country doubleheader plays out at the Wachovia Center tonight when the legendary Alan Jackson teams up with the elegant Martina McBride for what should be a whale of a show.

* One of the ’90s more popular alternative bands, Better Than Ezra will play the Troc on Thursday along with Ingram Hill.

Dis-concerting experiences And the results are …

Last week I asked you to tell me your concert horror stories, and boy did I get some beauties.

n Jessie from Arden, Del., went to see The Cure at the Spectrum and had to stare at a pillar in the upper level the entire show.

* Then there was Alan from Villanova who was seated between a marijuana-smoking couple, and a couple who mistook their concert seats for a hotel room and took their intimacy a bit too far at a Steve Miller Band show. Both couples were busted and carted out of the Mann Music Center. And so was Alan, who insists the authorities thought he was in on the dope smoking even if he denies it still to this day.

n But there was none better than poor Alicia from Ridley Township, who had a concert experience from hell.

She said she went to see Billy Joel about 10 years ago at the old Cap Centre just outside of Washington. I’ll let her tell you the rest:

“When we got there, we couldn’t get into the parking lot because it was too crowded, so we went and parked in the lot of a nearby hotel and caught a cab to the arena.

“When we got there we found out the tickets we had purchased from a ticket agency were phonies. So, we had to find new tickets as quickly as possible.

“There were four of us, and we decided to split up to find a scalper with a good price. Bad idea. We all came back with a four-pack of tickets. Now we have to scalp 12 tickets of our own. And we ended up getting less than we paid.

“When we finally get inside, our seats are awful, Billy’s sick and performs a lesser set than usual, and I had my purse stolen from under my seat!

“To top it off, when we got back to the car, which was nearly impossible because cabs were scarce post-concert, it had been towed because we weren’t guests at the hotel.

“The lot was shut down for the night, so we had to stay overnight before we could get the car out in the morning. I guess it’s irony because we stayed at the hotel that towed the car in the first place!”

That’s a topper.

©The Daily Times 2004

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