Round Ball, Square Tune

:: Wolf Jameson - Soccer To 'Em ::

I scored this record in 1976 when I was about 19 from a friend of a
friend of the singer, Wolf Jameson. As we all know, 1976 was a great
year for bad music. It was the 200th anniversary of our nation's
birth, and countless musical hacks felt it was their sacred duty to
commemorate the event in song. "Soccer To 'Em" was not one of these
patriotic odes, but it fits into this category none the less. In the
tradition of "school spirit" songs, such as The Beach Boys' "Be True To
Your School", it evokes a simpler time, or at least a simplistic view
of a typically fucked up time.

What it comes down to is this: AYSO, the American Youth Soccer
Organization put out some big bucks to have this record produced to
help promote their cause, and hopefully to suck in some unsuspecting
kids with the power of rock & roll. Wolf Jameson was obviously the
right man for the job. I never met the guy, but it was my
understanding that he was one of those guys in high school who was
destined to make it big. Whether it was in soccer or music didn't
matter. And as the old joke goes, as a singer he made a good soccer

But it wasn't Wolf alone who made Soccer To 'Em rock on such a grand
scale. The track was produced by Tom Claiborne, but unfortunately
there's no info on the sleeve about the musicians or where exactly it
was recorded. The whole thing reeks of Torrance and the South Bay area
of Los Angeles though. The picture of Wolf on the back cover says it
all. Sun bleached (balding) hair, eye brows and moustache, reclining on
a hammock wearing a "Peaches" record store t-shirt. He was probably
kickin' back with a brewsky between games. Oh, and Soccer To 'Em was
written by Paul Stierle. Thank the good Lord they had room next to
that picture of him to print the lyrics as well, especially since
Wolf's enunciation can be a bit abstract at times. For instance during
the refrain "A-Y-S-O", a friend once commented that it sounds like
he's saying "K-Y-Ass-Hole", which I like better anyway.

The B-side is Soccer Shuffle, which isn't so much about telling the
people about the history of the organization, as it is about dancin'!
A hilarious example of white man funk, complete with a too loud and
completely out of sync bass drum track, and some wicked-ass piano
tinklin'. There's a good reason though why Soccer To 'Em is the A-side
of this platter, and it's all about the message. Some of it seems
almost threatening: "American Youth Soccer Organization wants your
whole family". Look out!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005 8:21:00 PM

1976 was a great soccer year, with Pelé in New york and the NASL still alive.    

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