Apr 21, 2010

New York Times on hockey goal songs

The New York Times has an article about hockey goal song music in the NHL. (Clever title: "Songs to accompany air horn") Some highlights:
Some teams had their own goal songs. In 1976, the Hartford Whalers adopted a catchy theme, “Brass Bonanza,” which a team official found in a record library. “Brass Bonanza” was used as a goal song to add to the atmosphere — and wound up annoying opponents.

During the 1994-95 lockout, the Rangers, whom the team spokesman Brendan McIntyre said were looking for a unique song, and not one heard on the radio, turned it up a notch by commissioning “Slapshot,” or “The Rangers Goal Song,” a tune of conquest and triumph that remains the gold standard. (Unfortunately for the Rangers, who failed to qualify for the playoffs, “Slapshot” will not be played at Madison Square Garden again until next season.)

Some teams were more creative than others, and the songs tended to be hard rock. Three years ago, the Philadelphia Flyers had a local punk-rock group, the Boils, record several songs. One of them, “The Orange and the Black,” became the team’s victory song. It was played Sunday after the Flyers beat the Rangers to make the playoffs.

Anthony Gioia, the Flyers’ game-presentation director, said, “The intended effect was to expose our fans to a song in which they can identify with the team, recognize immediately and energize.”

The Caps, who used to punctuate goals with only a siren, had the same idea. Segal said that songs entered in the contest could not be about any particular player, including Ovechkin, or any particular season. The Capitals wanted to start a tradition.

The team and its fans, who voted on the station’s Web site, found what they were looking for in “Rock the Red,” written and performed by Sandbox Kings, an indie rock group from Arlington, Va. Capitals fans, many of whom wear red shirts to games at Verizon Center, participate by yelling “Hey!” and “Rock the Red.”


Last season, the Islanders tried six or seven other goal songs, none of which seemed to catch on, probably because the team hardly scored and had the worst record in the league.

Beach said: “People were resistant to change. The team was losing, and at the end of the day, it just didn’t jell.”

Late last season and early this season, the Islanders played an edited version of “Burn It to the Ground” by Nickelback. It was better, Beach said, but not a keeper.

So the Islanders began hunting for another goal song. Ten were narrowed to five in a poll of team executives, then to three that were put up for a vote on the team’s Web site. “Bro Hymn,” a hard rock song by Pennywise also used by the Anaheim Ducks, was selected. Islanders fans liked it.

“Sometimes, it’s not different taking the same approach to a hockey game as to being a D.J. at a wedding,” Beach said.


But some standards stick. When the St. Louis Blues score, the organist still belts out the time-tested “When the Blues Go Marching In,” to the tune of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The Los Angeles Kings have played a cut of Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” since 1989.
Read the entire article...

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