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.
Well I am finally coming into the modern era. I decided I could no longer resist the Facebook/Twitter world. So I spent a long day with my son joey, who is a wizard at that stuff. Joey is in fact handling all the social media aspects of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame which I founded last year.
Check it out at nvbhof.com.
Anyway, I think I'm a pretty poor student of the modern technology but I am trying to get up to speed. I've issued a few tweets and thrown a couple of pictures on my Facebook page. I had a handful of Twitter followers when we mentioned on the Handel show that I had entered the Twitter world and within an hour about a hundred more people had followed me. Wild! Anyway if you are so inclined, you can follow me now on Twitter @boxingrich.
On Saturday, I stopped in at this small gem of a local market/deli called Tony's on
Later that day, it was on to the Dave Hull the Hullabalooer book signing in
My New Years Resolution this year was to cut back on live events for 2013. They cost and arm and a leg. So far I am off to a poor start in fulfilling that resolution. Itgs like Springsteen used to scream at his concerts: "I can't help myself! I'm just a prisoner of rock and roll!!"
Well. for me, its mostly rock, but it's the lure of the live event that gets to me. I just don't want to miss something. Here's what the next few months look like already:
February 2: The Who, in concert, performing "Quadreaphenia." As great as they are considered, I still think The Who are generally underrated. I place them in the Top-10 rock acts of all time February 8: Comedian Lewis Black. Definitely one of the angriest, funniest guys out there March 28-30: NCAA Western Regionals at
April 25: Bon Jovi. Still a top act, in fact maybe more popular than ever. The music is great, and these guys totally have the art of the LIVE concert down.
That takes me through the first four months. Hopefully,l I'll have some money left to get me through the rest of the year.
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The new Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame today revealed its inaugural class of 19 inductees, including fighters Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya and Sugar Ray Leonard.
The class was broken into eight categories —
Hall of Fame
“The size of induction class is larger than ones we’ll have in the future,” Marotta said during a news conference at the Richard Steele Boxing Club. “We wanted to make sure we could induct a lot of good people...There are great names, fighters and people involved in boxing who did not make it on the first ballot.”
Read more at the Las Vegas Sun
This is turning out to be quite a month for me.
It started out with two concerts by my favorite, whom you all know by now, is Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band. First I saw him in Oakland, a concert that was comprised of 27 songs and 3:15 in length. Just have to tell you, I really love the E-Street Band as it is now constituted. It is a much bigger sound. What used to be a 6-person band in the 70's, and then a 7-piece group when Patty Scalfia joined in 1984, and finally an 8-piece band when Suzie Tyrell came in to play violin and sing, has now grown to 17!! This came after the death of the beloved "Big Man" Clarence Clemons. Bruce replaced Clarence, a sax man, with a 5-piece horn section that included two players, one of them Jake Clemons, the nephew of Clarence. He also brought in a percussionist and three backup singers known as the "E-Street Choir"! It is now a much bigger, and more sophisticated sound, and much more versatile in terms of what they are doing. Needless to say, both Springsteen concerts were sensational, and that makes my total of 21 Springsteen concerts that I have attended.
Next up, just four nights after the second Springsteen show was boxing in Las Vegas. It was there I saw an amazing fight, Juan Manuel Marquez' 6th round knockout of Phillipine idol Manny Pacquaio. It was their fourth fight, the first three had all been close, with debatable decisions. This time there was no question. It was one of the most perfect punches I've ever seen, and one of the most electrifying moments I've ever experienced. The din in the MGM Grand Garden Arena, was absolutely deafening. It was the first time I had been to a Pacquaio fight where he was not the sentimental favorite, as the crowd was overwhelmingly pro-Marquez. I think this feeling came about from a general consensus that Marquez deserved at least one, if not all three of the decisions in their previous fights. As this fight evolved, we got three knockdowns, lots of blood, a broken nose for Marquez, and finally a violent, cut and dried knockout. Perfect!.
Now I'm back home with a rather severe cold, which is just a major downer. Nonetheless I am planning my next December event! Next week I am heading back to Vegas to hold a small press conference on behalf of the non-profit organization I founded this summer, the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. I am going to announce the first class of inductees whom we will honor at a big induction ceremony and dinner next summer. Please check out our website at: nvbhof.com and if you are so inclined, like us and friend us on Twitter and Facebook.
I was saddened to hear of the death of the former Welterweight and Middleweight Champion of the World Carmen Basilio at the age of 85 in Rochester, New York.
The earliest recollection I have of the sport of boxing is from my early childhood. It was in 1957, I was just a little kid,and I was living in Hollywood, California. My dad was going out with a bunch of his buddies one night to a local theater to watch the live, closed-circuit telecast of the Carmen Basilio-Sugar Ray Robinson Middleweight Title fight.
My dad explained to me, "Now son. We are Italian and Carmen Basilio is Italian, so it's very important to us that he wins tonight. So you listen to the fight on the radio, and root very hard for the Italian, Carmen Basilio to win. Being a good, obedient son, I sat down in the kitchen that night, and while my dad was at the CC telecast, I listened to the blow-by-blow call of the Basilio-Robinson fight, all 15 exciting rounds of it, and was thrilled by it.
When the announcer was yelling "Basilio wins, Basilio wins!!", I was jumping up and down in the kitchen. It was my introduction to just how great boxing could be. In succeeding years when Basilio would fight on television, I would dutifully sit next to my dad and cheer for him.
Decades later, as a member of the Board of Directors of the World Boxing Hall of Fame, I got to meet Carmen Basilio and he got a great kick out of it when I related that story to him.Basilio was not only fan-friendly in the ring but out of it. He would come to those dinners each year, tell stories to, take pictures with, and sign autographs for, the fans.
He was a great delight to be around. Now on the heels of losing other great old-timers Angelo Dundee, Burt Sugar and Emmanuel Steward, we send Carmen Basilio into history with them. I'm richer for having known all of them, and boxing was the better for having experienced them.
Las Vegas, Nev. - Veteran broadcaster Rich Marotta announced Tuesday the formation of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, a place to honor those who helped build its rich history in the sport.
A non-profit corporation operated exclusively for charitable purposes, the NVBHOF will be dedicated to honoring boxers and those who have contributed significantly to the sport in
"States such as
Voting for the inaugural class of the NVBHOF by its officers and its Board of Directors will take place in November. Results will be announced in December. The categories will include:
· Boxers (
· Non-boxer participants (trainers and managers)
· Officials (referees, judges)
· Media (broadcasters, writers/columnists, TV personnel)
· Executive (Commission members and executive directors, physicians, etc.)
· Promotions (promoters, matchmakers, ring announcers, publicists)
· Special contributors
The Annual NVBHOF Hall Dinner Ceremony will also announce winners of Nevada-centric awards, including the state's Fight of the Year, Fighter of the Year, Female Fighter of the Year, Prospect of the Year and Amateur Boxer of the Year.
The Officers for the NVBHOF consists of:
· Rich Marotta, Founder and
· James Wimberly, Secretary. Longtime radio producer in
· Scott Voeller. Senior Vice President,
· Wayne McCullough. Former WBC bantamweight champion
· Richard Steele. Hall of Fame referee,
· Kevin Iole. Boxing columnist for Yahoo! Sports
· Bob Sheridan. World Boxing Hall of Fame inductee and renowned boxing commentator
· Dave Cokin. Afternoon radio talk show host on ESPN 1100,
The NVBHOF will also be assisted by an Honorary Advisory Committee:
· Bob Miller. President, Sothern California Sports Broadcasters Association, Play-By-Play broadcaster for the Los Angeles Kings and an
· Barry Tompkins. Award-winning boxing broadcaster and analyst
· Anthony Roman. Founder and
· Fred Sternburg. President of Sternburg Communications, Inc.
The NVBHOF is also planning on holding additional events throughout the year to bring fans together with inductees , boxers and integral members from boxing in the state.
The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame is an
Well, my year of retro-rock concerts has come to an end. I attended a terrific Crosby, Stills and Nash concert which proved two things: 1) They can still pack them in, and 2) They can still sing. This was actually my third trip to one of their shows in the last 6 years. Two of them were just Crosby, Stills and Nash, and the other was Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. This was the best. For some reason, these guys have become amazingly energized. They did a 2 1/2 hour concert with a 15-minute break and their harmonies were, as always, memorable. They started with the song Carry On, and then went on a fantastic journey through their catalogue. Of course, they can't do everything. Among the missing numbers were Ohio, Woodstock, and Marrakesh Express. They threw in a couple of Buffalo Springfield songs, and a couple of Stills solo numbers, including "Love the One Your With.". I wish Nash would have given us a song or two from his days with The Hollies. David Crosby's voice was strong, in fact stronger than Ive ever heard it. There was however one hilarious moment in his signature song "Almost Cut My Hair". Crosby drew a blank about 45 seconds into the song and sang the phrase: "I forgot the words" and sang that line right in tune. The two others immediately rescued him and he got back into it. Just a senior moment I guess. It blew my mind though that this was the second straight show I attended where the acts had performed at Woodstock! First Joe Cocker and now C.S.& N. So I have tickets for two more shows this year, both in December, Green Day, whom I've never seen live and Springsteen, whom I've seen 19 times. It's never enough.
The 60's turned out to be a great decade for music and went off in a lot of different directions. It stretched from "Surf Music" to the "British Invasion" to "Psychedelic" music, but I am an unabashed lover of the genre of "Garage Rock", especially that unleashed in the 60's. To take it a step further, I'm an unabashed lover of what might be termed West Coast Garage from the 60's. So I got to thinking about my favorite garage rock songs from that era. Here's a list of what I came up with:
1) LOUIE LOUIE-The Kingsmen
The all time party song by probably the best all time garage band. So many bands did this before and after the Kingsmen, but this is the version we all loved, and most bands emulated.
2) GLORIA - Them
Them might be one of the most underrated bands of all time, fronted by Van Morrison. You couldn't really call Them a Garage Band, but Gloria became a Garage Rock Classic, and believe it or not was the "B" side of a record where the chief single was "Baby Please Don't Go"
3) HEY JOE- The Leaves
Here's another song that was done by others before and after. In fact, Jimi Hendrix' version is far more famous. This however, was a West Coast regional hit and was a total rocker.
4) TALK TALK-Music Machine
This song really cooked. Musicd Machine was fronted by Sean Bonniwell, and Talk Talk was a massive hit in 1967. Unlike the three bands above however, Music Machine never really had another big hit.
5) PUSHIN' TOO HARD-The Seeds
Sky Saxon was the driving force behind this song and this band. The Seeds became a pretty strong touring garage band and had a couple of other hits, but Pushin' Too Hard was thier signature song, and an iconic song of the garage era.
6) LIES- The Knickerbockers
The Knickerbockers were not West Coast Garage, they came out of New Jersey, but their big hit, Lies, was a national hit and cracked the Top Twenty. A great sound, reminiscint of The Beatles, but unlike The Beatles, were one-hit wonders.
7) MONEY-The Kingsmen
Second big hit by The Kingsmen to crack my Top Ten. The Beatles made it an even bigger hit later, but Kingsmen had, in my mid, the better version. They also had other hits like "Little Latin Lupe Lu" and "Jolly Green Giant". Legit success as a garage band who lasted longer than most.
8) LIAR LIAR-The Castaways
Great rockin' beat, for what was almost a novelty song. The Castaways were a one-hit wonder, but Liar Liar was so good that Deborah Harry covered it many years later and turned it into a Top-20 hit.
9) WHY DO I CRY-The Remains
Quintessential garage rock song that faded into obscurity but was then resuscitated by the movie Superbad and appears on its soundtrack. This is what garage rock was all about.
10) TOO MANY PEOPLE-The Leaves
The Leaves had a few other hits besides Hey Joe, and this was the best of the rest of them. More proof that being a garage band was a pretty good gig.
I am enjoying not just a retro summer but a retro year of rock and roll. All the acts I've been enjoying are from decades past, some long past. That's with the exception blues-rock guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa who is only 32, and who blew me away with an unbeleivable, amazing performance. My most recent concert though, was on a beautiful night in Lake Tahoe, an outdoor show under the stars behind Harvey's Hotel on South Shore. It was a double concert featuring Huey Lewis and the News, followed by Joe Cocker. Huey was huge in the 80's, Cocker stretches all the way back to the 60's. In fact I saw Joe Cocker in 1969 when he was a long-haired, curly, black-haired wildman with a frenetic stage presence including weird, herky-jerky motions and facial ticks. Anyway, the show was terrific. Both Lewis and Cocker seemed to be energized by the big, appreciative crowd on hand. Lewis sang all his hits and there were a lot of them. He played for a full 1:30. Then out came Cocker and he was incredible. The hair is gone, the body carries more weight, the crazy moves toned down a lot, but the voice remains. That unique, gravelly, gargle-with-razor blades voice which sets him apart is still there. He bounced on to the stage and just ripped into "Hitchcok Railway" and was unstoppable himself for the next hour and a half. "Feelin' All Right", "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window", "Unchain My Heart", "The Letter", "With a Little Help From My Friends", "Cry Me A River", and "Up Where We Belong". What a great night. If you get a chance, don't miss it.
This was just the latest though, having seen Bruce Springsteen, Peter Frampton, and believe it or not, Herman's Hermits this year.I even went to one of those Doo-Wop concerts you see on the PBS telethons. I actually got to hear The Tokens sing "Lion Sleeps Tonight" and the lead singer sings it in the same key he did 40 years ago. I must say however, I resisted, and did not go to see Frank Sinatra Jr even though we were offered free tickets. The only concert on my list that was a definite disappointment was Van Halen. Still on my list: Crosby, Stills and Nash on Sept 22, and yes, Springsteen again, December 4 in Anaheim. I would be a lot better off financially if I didn't spend all my disposable income on concerts.