Wednesday, April 1, 2015

IWSG Meets Battle of the Bands ~ It's Shameless Really

 This is mostly the IWSG colliding with Battle of the Bands.

However, I want to take JUST ONE MOMENT and wish all of you A to Zers well. Today is Day One. Go get 'em!

Second, for all of you interested in my dating story. I broke up with him yesterday. Not because of his addiction, which would have been enough, but his age. We went bowling and I felt like his mother. He said such immature things that I couldn't help but "correct" him or "guide" him. Honestly, it felt way too much like hanging out with my ex's kids. Except they're teenagers. But you get the idea. So, I told him it made me uncomfortable and I was Out. He countered with, "But it doesn't make ME uncomfortable." It got so much easier after that.

Third, the IWSG. I'm back to writing again on my revision. For me, this entire process has felt very much like life. Every now and again we get STUCK. (In life and writing) The question is whether we stay stuck and for how long. Sometimes it's good to just lie down where you are and take a nap, daydream, or study the clouds. Whatever. Good for life. Good for writing. But, if you stay down too long... it can be tough getting back up. And some don't. (Again with life and writing.) So, get up and go. It might be the wrong direction and you'll come back to this same point weary and frustrated (been there, done that... in life and writing). In fact, you might do this a lot. BUT, eventually you'll find a path that works (yep, for life and writing) and then woohoo! So, that's where I am. I'm merrily traveling the path again (after what felt like long naps and aimless wanderings). We're all insecure but DON'T GIVE UP. At least, with writing, you can come back and edit (unlike life) so go boldly!

Fourth, and finally, Battle of the Bands. I thought of this song while reading commentary on Dixie's last battle. You see, Dixie, you CAN choose songs. You and FAE chose/inspired mine this week. The song is Shameless. It was recorded first by Billy Joel on Storm Front, but he never released it. Then Garth Brooks recorded it on his Ropin' The Wind album and it became a Big Hit for him. I know this because I actually had the Ropin' the Wind CD. It might've been my FIRST CD. I got it during that time I worked at St. Martin's Press. Fun publishing fact: When you work in publishing, you can get any book you want free. All you do is call the publicity office and offer to trade books. Well, a friend of mine worked that strategy beyond the realm of books. He traded with all sorts of companies and got all sorts of stuff. One day a package came in with the aforementioned CD and a promo CASSETTE TAPE for John Mellencamp's next album. I got both. I have no idea what else was in the box. Anyway, I fell in love with Ropin' the Wind (and Garth Brooks). However, I'd been a long-time Billy Joel fan, but didn't have that particular record, and was happily surprised to discover Shamless was written (and recorded) by him.

So, even though I discovered them in reverse order, let's listen as they were available to the public.

Billy Joel with Shameless:

Now let's listen to Garth Brooks with Shameless:

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles:
If you are participating in Battle of the Bands, and you are not listed here, leave me a note in the comments. Thanks!

Now, is the critical moment. It is time to vote for your favorite version of this song. I even encourage you to leave me long comment explaining all the ins and outs of why you voted as you did! 


  1. Robin, thanks, first off for the compliment and mention. This is a tough battle for me. I've always loved anything Garth... that said, I've always loved anything Billy... major listening time. To me there wasn't a big change up in the presentation between the two artists. Garth was a cover... a great cover, but I have to bow to that Jersey shore boy on this one. Man, the guitars and vocals, his and background, made his version something new and fresh. Love them both, but...

    Billy Joel get my vote, Robin, (smile).

  2. I have to go with Garth Brooks. I'm not a big country fan but his music helped me through my father's illness years ago so I have a soft spot for him.
    Okay, the date thing. It didn't make HIM uncomfortable because it was all about HIM. Good call.

  3. That's the tough place. When you lie down for too long and get stuck.
    Sounds like that guy just wasn't a good fit for you.
    And I vote for Billy Joel.

  4. I like Billy Joel. He wrote a great song but it fits better with Garth Brooks. So my vote goes for Garth.

  5. You made the right decision for you. That's what matters.

    Billy Joel for me too, please. :)

  6. Hey you...

    Dating can be a pain...

    Sometimes a cover is just another great presentation of a song... sometimes not. One artist may be able to give it a different feel... I think that is the case with the Nine Inch Nail song, 'Hurt'... their version vs that of Johnny Cash are totally different...

    I hope all is well with you...


  7. Good advice--"Don't give up" when it comes to writing. Dating is different though--sometimes it's best to give up when it's not going anywhere.

    Tough choice on the Battle. They are both about equally good. However--I'm going to give this to Garth. The whole presentation is more powerful and passionate. Garth convinces me about what he's singing here.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  8. He had some amazing logic, didn't he? Wow.

    Excellent analogy between writing and life. Perfect. Best of luck with your story! It has so much goodness in it, I can't wait to see it in print.

  9. Some interesting comments on the two versions-I found them to be pretty similar, except for the country tuning (and I've made it clear how I feel about that).

    But given a cover that does not do much different than the original, I normally opt for the original.

    So cast my vote for the kid from Oyster Bay, Long Island!


    1. I didn't realize Billy Joel was from Long Island - nice to know. Thanks.

    2. Hence the line in the last verse of "The Ballad of Billy The Kid"

      From a town known as Oyster Bay, Long Island
      rode a boy with a six pack in his hand

  10. I meant to comment on the age thing...

    I'm not trying to say I'm all that (not) but I do frequent concerts, and a few times in the last year have been approached by (drunk) younger women (really-one was falling-down drunk-she fell down) that were attractive, but young and drunk. My guy friends thought I was crazy for not pursing anything (never was much of a hookup guy and at my age not at all), but that age difference really is a big thing to me.

    I get that I am not as funny as I think I am, but someone much younger than me would not get any of my humor, would not like any of the music I do, and your comment about feeling like the parent totally resonated with me.

    Especially in an age where women pursuing younger men (cougars) seems celebrated-I guess society feels like even though they found such behavior offensive when performed by men, it's okay with women because they're just evening the score.

    I've not been actively looking to date for years now-I got tired of the games. But I would want any woman I was going to spend time with to be on my side of 40, if not 45.

    So I applaud you for knowing what you are looking for and waiting for it (not settling).

    Too many people stay in bad relationships because they fear their own company. Better to look for a relationship that is actually more fulfilling than one's own company.

    Or that's what I think anyway. But what do I know? I live with two guys and they're both cats.

    You go girl!

    Larry (again)

    1. LC,

      I like to think I'm getting a little smarter with each one of these guys. More willing to draw the boundary and stick with it.

      It's really hard for me to hurt someone's feelings, but other people do it with ease. If they know this person is "not for me," they drop the bomb. Then walk away. Period.

      I really need to get better at that.

    2. I will tell you that from a man's perspective (and this is every man I know), you are better dropping the bomb, or ripping the band-aid off.

      Not to be cruel. To be humane. If the guy is developing feelings and you are not, the longer you wait, the harder it will be on him.

      But even then, disappointment stings, but it is not fatal.

      The man will live.

      You take care of you.

  11. Oh I am finishing up my lunch at work so I have to listen to the battle tomorrow as i work late. Keep it up with the writing and that guy doesn't sound like he was a fit for you. Noone needs to play mom

  12. I liked Billy Joel's voice and delivery best, although I liked the guitar in Garth Brooks cover. Romance, however, isn't my field of expertise. The second time around, I got luckier.

  13. My husband is nine years younger than me, but I'm a little immature, so it works. :P Glad you knew when to say enough is enough though. You gotta do what makes you happy.

  14. Yikes! I think I missed a chapter in the dating story...spoiler alert! ;) Glad you figured out what worked for you (especially since his feelings were obviously more necessary to consider by the sounds of him) Sorry Garth, but I cannot imagine a scenario in which I would choose you over Billy.

    Other than just a couple (and I do mean probably just "two") songs, there isn't anything I like about Billy Joel. Not his music, not him - nuttin'.

    I don't know much of Garth's music, just a few songs I've heard here and there (some in BOTB installments), but I figured I'd be voting for him over BJ.

    Then I heard that guitar in BJ's version and thought: Whoa! Hold on! The singing is pretty good and passionate and so is this guitar playing.

    Then I listened to Garth and liked the guitar work EVEN BETTER than in the BJ original.

    But (much to my great surprise) I'm still voting for BJ because I liked the vocals better.

    With BOTB, ya never can tell, eh?

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. Wow. That's shocking. I really thought you'd vote for Garth. Well, just shows you never can tell!

    2. Yep. I think it also shows that when it comes to BOTB, I listen with an open mind and don't let preconceived ideas influence how I vote.

      In other words, I'm "intellectually honest". Some people aren't.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  17. I had forgot Bill Joel did that! However, over the years, my opinion of BJ has slid quite a bit, intolerant bastard that I am, so gimme Garth.

  18. Yeah, you don't want to be dating a guy who you feel like a mother with. That's just all kinds of wrong.

    I loved Stormfront. I had it on cassette tape. So yeah, my vote is for Billy Joel.

  19. Robin, this is a new-to-me tune. I liked both versions. When pitting a country artist again rocker, then chances are very favorable I'll pick the rock star. However, I really do like Billy Joel's version the best! Good BoTB showdown!

  20. Hmmm this is a difficult one. I am a Billy Joel fan but I think this time I like Garth's version better. But I'm a Joel fan, hahaha.
    If you don't feel comfortable in a relationship, everything else is meaningless. You did right. And the other day I was in the neighborhood and read that post you did about your mom and scammers. I'm sorry your mom seems a magneto for those things but I laughed at the humor in the post. Not easy after having a surgery but laughing felt good for the spirit. :) Dragon Hugs.

  21. I'll bet most people would choose Garth - but not me, baby! I loves me some Billy Joel. Living in TN, you get your share of country music lovers. They all looked at me like I had a third eye when this song (Garth's version) was popular and I remarked that it was a Billy Joel song.

    Great choice!

  22. Oh man, dating the younger man! Some ladies can handle it. Not me; they all feel like friends of my daughter, lol. Glad your getting your writing groove on again.

    Wow, two very good artists today. Love them both. I've heard other versions of Garth singing this (Double Live album comes to mind) and he usually sings with so much more passion than in this one. Still, it is just slightly better than Billy Joel, so my vote will go to Garth.

  23. Bad date. Bad. Did you have to put him in time out?

    Also, I think when you put this BOTB together you were just cackling to yourself like an evil villainess. "Yes, yes, let's do a country song! Bryan will hate that! Twang? No, we don't just need SOME twang, we need ALL of the twang. The twangiest song I can find!"


    You know what I voted for. I didn't even have to listen in order to vote, but I did just to be fair... and I instantly regret it.

    1. Bryan, I actually forgot about your dislike of twang. I think it's because this doesn't sound twangy to my ears. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I really wasn't thinking of you at all with this battle. (I did think of you several times while I was on the phone with the Yo-Yo because he said some things OUT LOUD that you suspected might be true... I was like, "I'm going to tell Bryan about this." And I will. Soon. Promise.)

    2. See-i am not the lone twang-loather!

      Larry (they'll let anyone post a comment here, huh?)

  24. Sorry things didn't work out with the 'younger man.' You were wise to just end it quickly. I'm sure Mr. Right will show up when you least expect it.

    I'm a big Billy Joel fan, so I was surprised to discover that I liked Garth Brooks' version
    more. Normally I don't appreciate country music, but Garth just seemed like he was singing from his heart.


  25. I soooooo agree with you about not giving Churchill once said, "Never, Never, Never."

  26. He countered with, "But it doesn't make ME uncomfortable." It got so much easier after that. LOVED this! Too funny.

    Good luck with your revisions. :)

  27. Billy, Billy, Billy all the way..... just cause it's Billy and I'm in love with Billy Joel and I'm just as much in love with Elton John. Seems like Garth is getting more votes but his voice annoys me and I don't like being annoyed.

    Younger men and older women rarely works from where I sit viewing this whole situation. There are better fish in the sea and you being so near the ocean, 'go fish."

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  29. Oh Lord, I hope that weirdo above doesn't come visiting my blog. Robin, you do attract the weirdos. Or maybe he meant to message your mom. So sorry...Anyway, Garth Brooks?! I had no idea he did Shameless. I don't take issue with Garth. But I do take issue with the fact that he had the nerve to ruin Billy Joel's Shameless. Rather shameless of him, and the song is all wrong. Don't go singing a Billy Joel song. Nobody but Billy should sing his songs. He is the best! Can I vote more than once? Smiles.

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  32. Oh you almost got me with that BOB!! I own the Garth Brooks version, and didn't know it was a cover! So I thought for sure that'd be the one I liked most. I listened to Billy Joel's song first...curious. I loved it! Then I played Garth. Loved that one even more. I vote Garth.

  33. I surprised myself with this one. I'm a big Billy Joel fan and not a Garth fan at all so this should have been easy, right? Except I liked the Garth version better. I think Billy's voice is too strong for these lyrics.

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  35. For sure getting up is the most important thing you can do. As afar as the songs go. hard one I usually bow to the original, but for this one I must say Brooks knocked it out of the park.

  36. You definitely made the right choice. Sounds like he was immature for his age, and if you felt like his mom -- or at least his big sister -- it would only have gotten ickier from there.

    Sometimes, when I am stuck in revisions (or in a first draft, which is more common for me), it sometimes helps to work on a completely unrelated writing project. Even one you know you'll never finish. Your WIP will get very jealous about the time you spend with a new rival, and ideas will start to bubble up from your subconscious. That's how it works for me, anyway.


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