“You can sell Angels but you can’t buy LOVE”
May 21, 2003
If you’re a baseball fan like me, you still can’t believe the Angels won the World Series last October. Against the mighty San Francisco Giants and the Giant’s’ Hall of Fame Slugger, Barry Bonds, no less. Now, I’ve spent my entire life in Los Angeles and I know enough know that the Angels, as a sports franchise, are mediocre in the BEST of times. And when that series was going on, or atleast for games 4 and 5, we (the band) were in San Francisco, watching either from our Nob Hill hotel or from a pub in the city. But, in the end, the bastards won. All this, in 2002.
And, was 2002 not the year we got this LOVE thing up and running again, after a 6-year layoff? The last show we played in 1996 was on May 29 (i think) and the first day of the European spring tour was May 1, 2002. Like the Angels, no one thought we’d ever play again, myself included. But, the phone call I received on December 21, 2001 from the Singer still sends chills down my spine. He was in his car, on his way over to my house. It was tears of joy but one of the happiest days of my life; a wrong had been corrected and the man’s sentence was reversed. And i always thought the Angels were cursed cause they were in Anaheim.
Since that time, both the Angels and LOVE have had their stocks rise and their careers elevated and resurrected. Disney just sold the team for $183 million to some billionaire. They had never made any money from it (so they say) and had already decided to sell it when the team won the wolrd series. But Disney had purchased it from the widow of a man named Gene Autry. Gene Autry would have never sold his beloved Angels and thank goodness wasn’t alive to see Disney buy it but you know, somewhere up in that “baseball owners luxury box in the sky” Mr. Autry was watching that series against the Giants with a huge grin.
Gene Autry always wore a cowboy hat, which i never understood when I was a kid. He also sang and played guitar. It wasn’t until years later that i learned that he was also known as the “Singing Cowboy.” Even after i staring playing in LOVE i never made any point of making any sort of connection. Then, we had a day off in Amsterdam in 1996 while on tour. All the guys had went to the Van Gough museum, leaving the Singer and myself alone at the hotel with nothing to do. So we found a really neat outdoor cafe overlooking one of the many canals. We ordered some tea and a bowl of Lobster bisque each. Then I asked, “Who’s ‘Singing Cowboy’ about?” He said, “I wrote that song about Gene Autry.” And, although I rooted for the Giants, I was secretly happy for the singing cowboy in the sky.