Blog and Roll
With his handwritten notes at the ready, ten-time Golden Mike award winner Rich Marotta delivers daily his fast paced, articulate and always entertaining sports updates. Since 1991, as KFI's sports authority, Rich writes and broadcasts seven morning sports updates on Bill Handel.
Rich's input on Bill Handel is not limited to his much respected sports updates however as Rich is often called on by Bill to give his unique perspective on news and current events. Rich also takes every possible opportunity to mention how much he loves the music of Bruce Springsteen.
In 2011, Rich received the high honor of induction into two Halls of Fame. In January, he became only the 26th inductee into the Southern California Sportscasters Hall of Fame. Then in June, he was inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame.
Spending three years with the Los Angeles Kings, 11 years with the NFL's Los Angeles Raiders and four years with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers makes Rich the only sportscaster ever to have been a part of the regular broadcast teams of three major league sports franchises in Los Angeles.
Rich is a four-time Emmy award winner for his television work on KCAL doing boxing ringside color commentary and Raiders preseason play-by-play. Also, as ringside commentator for FOX Sports Net's weekly Sunday Night Fights, KCAL's Fight Night and host of Rich Marotta's Neutral Corner boxing talk show on AM 570, he is considered one of the nation's foremost boxing experts. It is no wonder the L.A. Daily News called Rich Marotta "L.A.'s most versatile sportscaster."
Rich was recently named recipient of the Sam Taub Award, given annually to the "Broadcaster of the Year" by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Rich has two children, Angela and Joey. He is married to the lovely "Helen of England."
This blog may contain profanity and/or material considered inappropriate. The views expressed in this blog are the opinions of the individual writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of KFI AM-640 and Clear Channel Radio.
So I recently made my pilgrimage to see Bruce Springsteen and the newly re-worked E-Street Band. Wasn't sure what to expect, The Big Man Clarence Clemons is gone, a five man horn section including Clarence's nephew Jake Clemons now provides the brass. There three backup singers and a percussionist added to the mix.
I am happy to say the sound is huge, bigger and better than ever. I attended the two concerts at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, an over 50 year old building that Bruce just happens to love. The two shows were nothing short of sensational. The first, on a Thursday night, was called by an L.A Times reviewer "the most inspirational show" she had seen in more than 30 years of covering over a thousand concerts including dozens by Springsteen. The Orange County Register reviewer classified it as one of the three greatest concerts of the last quarter-century. All through it we felt like we were seeing something very special. Bruce opened with "Badlands", and the fans were in full voice and pumping their fists maniacally. Once Jake started playing Clarence's solos, the fans showered him with love and he got into it. Jake is really good, and he played The Big Man's parts note for note. As a salute to the L.A. fans, Bruce and the band played the old rocker "California Sun". Then Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine joined on stage with some incredibly scorching guitar solos. Then the horn section started doing its thing, and it sounded great. Halfway through the concert, Bruce went down into the crowd, got to a small stage about halfway across the Sports Arena, did a song, fell backwards into the crowd and believe it or not, crowd-surfed all the way back to the stage. Near the end of the concert, Bruce did "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out", and when he got to the line "They made a change uptown and The Big Man joined the Band",. he stopped, and a video tribute to Clarence came on, after which the crowd just applauded and screamed for a full two minutes. It just built all night and didn't let up. We were completely thrashed by the end of the 25-song, three hour show.
On Friday night, it was more of the same, but before the show, there was definitely something different. 90 minutes or so before the show, at about 7:00, the early birds who had the standing room GA on the floor had already gone in trying to get close to the stage,. and a few hundred of us who had seats were sitting in the stands. Out walks Bruce, talks to the fans and then picks up an accoustic and puts on a mini-private concert for about 5 minutes. None of us had ever seen that before. The concert again was pure Boss, all energy, huge sound, fans bouncing off the walls of the ancient building, and a set list that was far different than the night before. Included was the first song "The E-Street Shuffle" off his very first album, Greetings From Asbury Park back in 1973. It sounded fantastic with the five horns and Morello again joining in. They also did a soul music review which included "634-5789". Another highlight, during "Dancing In the Dark", where Bruce normally pulls a girl on-stage, and dances with her, he did something different. Springsteen noticed a girl holding a sign asking if she could dance with Gary. That's Gary Talent, the bass player, who uslually just stands in the back and is hardly noticeable. Bruce brought her up and she was all over him. It was hysterical! Talent didn't know what to do, eh was so embarrassed, but Bruce and the crowd loved it. You just never know what to expect. This was my 19th Springsteen concert, and I hope I can do 19 more.