I did a piece on Joe DiMaggio and Stephen Jay Gould for the Hardball Times annual (which should be out soon.) To give their readers a taste of my stuff I also sent them Gashouse Hillbillies for their website. It ran today.
Tag Archives: movies
In The Blues Brothers, Jake and Elwood Blues sang the old Spencer Davis Group hit “Gimme Some Lovin'” On the original, teenage Steve Winwood sang and played the Hammond B-3. Winwood would go on to Traffic and later Blind Faith. Blind Faith was a supergroup that included Winwood, Ric Grech from Family, and Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton from Cream. The bandmates were indeed in the “Presence of the Lord” for Clapton was still God at the time. This was before his music became wimpy.
Blind Faith had the half life of plutonium and only recorded one album. Slowhand was more interested in playing with Delaney, Bonnie & Friends, anyways. But constant infighting between Delaney and Bonnie fouled that band up. Out of the ashes came Derek and the Dominoes. Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle, and Jim Gordon all played with Clapton in Delaney, Bonnie & Friends and they joined him again on Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs. To complete the quintet, they called on Duane Allman.
Allman was the Sandy Koufax of guitar. He formed The Allman Brothers Band with his brother Gregg. Before that, he was a respected session musician. He played with all sorts of R&B cats down at Muscle Shoals. He played with Wilson Pickett and Percy Sledge. Aretha Franklin covered The Band’s “The Weight” and Duane played guitar on that. Kids today don’t remember the Queen of Soul, do they? Aretha was in The Blues Brothers. She played Matt “Guitar” Murphy’s wife and sang “Think.”
I suppose I could have went with Blues Brothers 2000. Steve Winwood appears in that with Eric Clapton as part of the Louisiana Gator Boys. So does Franklin, still playing Mrs. Murphy. But I’ve never seen that flick.
This guy I’m talking about is Greg Goossen. The Society for American Baseball Research is having their annual shindig in Atlanta this week. They have an email list called SABR-L. On that list there’s been a recent discussion about Gossen.
Goossen was a ballplayer back in the ’60s. He was on one of the early Mets squads. Once, he was coming back to the hotel after curfew and a bit schnockered. He ran into Casey Stengel, who was managing the Mets at the time. “Drunk again, Goossen,” said the septugenarian skipper. Goossen replied, “Yeah, me too, Casey.” But he’s more famous as part of a Stengel quote. It goes something like “There’s Ed Kranepool, who is 20. In 10 years he has a chance to be a star. And there’s Greg Goossen; in ten years he has a chance to be 30.”
45 years later, Goossen is still alive. He was a California guy and went Hollyweird after he hung up his spikes. Got a job as a stand-in for Gene Hackman in movies and ended up getting some bit parts as a result of this. One of these was the 1990 copedy Loose Cannons. S. Epatha Merkerson had a role in that pic. She’s best known as Lt. Van Buren from “Law and Order.” But she also did some film roles. She appeared in Terminator 2 with Ahhnuld.
Schwarzenegger came to fame in the 1977 documentary Pumping Iron. But before that he made an uncredited appearance in Robert Altman’s adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye. Synechdochically enough, he played some muscle in that flick. It was a quirky film; Elliot Gould’s Marlowe was like a fish out of water stuck in the Watergate era. I liked it and like to think that Mickey Mantle and Bowie Kuhn got a kick out of it, too. You see, toward’s the end, Marlowe blows away his friend Terry Lennox by firing his roscoe at point blank range.
Lennox was played by Jim Bouton. Bouton was Goossen’s teammate on the 1969 Seattle Pilots.