by | Apr 15, 2004 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

The door opens in a Nashville record company. A man with a guitar enters the office. The executive behind the desk gives him a smile.

“Whatcha got?” he asks.

“Songs,” the guitar picker says.

The executive nods for him to start. The guitar player strums a chord and begins.

Ma-maaaa, don’t let your babies grow up to be Red Wings don’t let ’em shoot pucks that just won’t go in and struggle with somef irst-round stinkers again . . .

The exec makes a face.

“What else you got?” he says.

“A broken-heart song,” says the guitar player.

“Fire away.”

Pavel, Pavel, Pavel Don’t make us grovel, grovel, grovel Are you in a hovel, hovel, hovel? WHY CAN’T YOU SCORE?

The exec frowns. “A little angry, don’t you think?”

“Sorry,” the singer says, shrugging. “I pour my heart into my songs.”

The exec looks at his watch.

So who’s the goalie?

“Here’s one,” the singer says. “I dedicate it to the Big M.”

“Merle Haggard?”

“Manny Legace.”

“Oh . . . Who?”

Stand by your man Don’t pull your best netminder Switch lines, or bench a grinder, But don’t you blame . . . poor Manny . . .

The exec makes a face.

“Where you from, Mister?”

“Detroit,” says the singer. “Why? Is it my accent?”

“Uh, listen–“

“No, wait. You gotta hear this one. It’s kind of an upbeat swing tune. Here we go. . . .

Flip, flop and dive, Nashville, cut the jive! Flip, flop and dive We barely touch you guys!

The exec squirms in his chair.

“It’s not really our thing. Look, Mister, I have another appoint–“

“Wait,” the singer says, taking out a fiddle. “Check this out.”

The devil went down to Nashville He was looking for a puck to steal He found this Czech named Vokoun And he made him play unreal . . .

“Haven’t I heard that before?” the exec says.

“Oh, yeah,” the singer says. “Every April.”

So who’s the singer?

The intercom buzzes. A secretary says Randy Travis is in the lobby.

“Look, pal, I gotta go,” the exec says.

“Wait. Just hear this classic. I wrote it for Mike Ilitch, the Red Wings owner? It’s kinda like that ‘Thank God I’m a Country Boy’ song. Listen.

Well I bought me a fine team You know what I’m sayin? I paid for two goalies And neither one’s playin
‘Now we’re losin’ and my whole town is prayin’ Please, God, let the Red Wings win!

“I’m calling security.”

“Good. They’ll love this one.”

Take your whistle and shove it you refs are just the worst Take your whistle and shove it Oh, man, our team is cursed!

“Marge? Could you have the guards come in here, please?”

“Wait! Here’s a surefire hit–“

Oh, we hate the teams from the Land of Cotton, Playing them, is just so rotten Skate away, Skate away, Skate away, Nashville Preds–

“THANK YOU. Thank you and good-bye! It was nice meeting you, Mr. . . . uh, what did you say your name was?”

“Lewis. (Diamond) Dave Lewis.”

“Thank you, Mr. Lewis. Come back when you expand your repertoire, OK?”

“Fine. Be that way. I know a record company that’ll sign me in a minute.”

“Oh, yeah,” says the executive. “Who’s that?”


Contact MITCH ALBOM at 313-223-4581 or Catch “The Mitch Albom Show” 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WJR-AM (760). Also catch “Monday Sports Albom” 7-8 p.m. Mondays on WJR.


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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