View Full Version : Not a one-note guy (Arroyo)

05-11-2006, 12:25 PM
Thursday, May 11, 2006

Not a one-note guy
Arroyo not only can throw a ball, he can carry a tune, too

"I walk in, Johnny's doing a few naked pullups, 10 minutes before game time."

Whoa, someone call Simon Leis. Get Phil Burress on speed dial. Who's doing what? Where? Not here, brother. Not here.

Bronson Arroyo spoke those words during his rendition of the Standells' standard, "Dirty Water." The Reds starting pitcher and new sensation isn't some backseat weirdo with a camera and some thoughts; he's a spare-time musician. The Johnny he was referring to was Damon, not Allen, though the thought of Reds chief operating officer John Allen doing na - ...

Never mind. Arroyo cut the record two years ago when he was a member of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, as a tribute to the team and town. He put it on a CD of cover tunes. You can listen to snippets online. You can order it on Amazon. It ain't bad.

It's always good to find athletes who can talk about things other than their sports, if only because there's only so much literary intrigue in asking a guy what pitch he threw to strike out Barry Bonds with the bases loaded. Arroyo, like a few Reds before him - most notably Todd Benzinger, Norm Charlton and Danny Graves - can inhabit a world beyond the clubhouse.

(Benzinger, now the coach of the girls' basketball team at Loveland High, once recommended I listen to a group called Beautiful Pea Green Boat. But that's another column.)

Arroyo is 5-1. With the blossoming Aaron Harang, he has given pitching-starved Reds fans reason to believe beyond the All Star break. But that's baseball. Take us out of the ballpark for awhile. Just take those old records off the shelf.

"Eddie Vedder, man. His voice is so sweet," Arroyo says. We're talking about his musical inspirations. Vedder is front man for Pearl Jam. "Eddie's voice. His baritone. He could sing Mary Had a Little Lamb and I'd listen."

On his CD, Arroyo sings and plays guitar to the Pearl Jam tune "Black." An online reviewer decided Arroyo's voice was "a deep and resonant Vedder-esque croon."

Arroyo got his first guitar in the minor leagues, in 1999. An assistant general manager gave him a Yamaha six-string acoustic. He just started fooling around with it. He still has it, only now it's covered with stickers and signatures from musicians from groups such as Creed and Staind.

Arroyo never learned to read music. He still hasn't written many songs. He isn't into the pomp of playing, just the calming circumstances.

"I have just as much fun playing for three people in my hotel room at 3 o'clock in the morning as I do playing for 3,000 people," says Arroyo. "It's the only thing I've ever had that was addicting. Playing guitar and singing gets the frustration out. Singing at the top of my lungs makes me feel good."

Arroyo hasn't had time to explore what's happening in music locally. But the locals have explored Arroyo. Dan McCabe, the marketing and promotions man for Southgate House in Newport, hopes to land Arroyo soon.

"It's going to happen," says McCabe. "I know he's itching."

Yep. After we talked, Arroyo asked for McCabe's number.

Arroyo misses the passion Boston fans brought to each Red Sox game. "Every game is like the World Series," he says. But he figures pitching here will be better for his career. There isn't the pressure, this isn't the American League East and the Reds don't have to face the Yankees 19 times, just Albert Pujols.

He misses the Boston music scene as well, but only a little, and he figures as soon as he can catch his breath, he'll explore here. "I've heard there's a lot of places where people play sitting on stools, seven nights a week," Arroyo says.

McCabe recommends Arroyo visit Northside Tavern and Jefferson Hall, among others. Meantime, Arroyo will keep the Yamaha six-string on the shelf. I ask him if he'd rather win 20 games or play a 5,000-seat arena.

"Win 20 games, a hundred times over," he says. "When I was a kid, I threw a tennis ball against a wall, aspiring to be in the World Series and win 20 games. I never aspired to be a musician.

"Music is a hobby; I don't want it to be a job. I come to the park because it's a job. I want (music) to be enjoyable, which means picking and choosing a few shows a year."

Southgate House awaits. Now someone please tell Johnny, no naked pullups here. As someone once said, you don't live in Cleveland ...


05-11-2006, 12:32 PM
"the Reds don't have to face the Yankees 19 times, just Albert Pujols."


05-29-2006, 11:34 AM
Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pop Vulture: Bronson Arroyo
Closes in on a Cincinnati Reds pitcher

Since arriving in Cincinnati this spring after the Boston Red Sox traded him for Wily Mo Peņa, Bronson Arroyo has become accustomed to performing in front of thousands of Reds fans. But Arroyo's talents are not limited to baseball; he's also an aspiring musician.

"In New England, I was doing it on a regular basis, but obviously there's a different market here, so we're going to see if we can draw some interest and get some places to play," says Arroyo, 29, who released his debut CD Covering the Bases in 2005.

Arroyo has helped the Reds get off to a hot start this season. He says people have been asking him a lot about his music lately, which is why he's excited about getting some shows set up.

But no matter how much people love his music, Arroyo says his first love will always be baseball.

"I enjoy just sitting and playing the guitar for people," he says. "(But) when you're 5, 6 years old, you sit in the backyard throwing a tennis ball against the wall, and you envision pitching in game seven of the World Series, and that's been my life."

What was the last good movie you saw?

I just re-watched Scarface the other night; that's a good one. But (a) new movie, it would have to be Wedding Crashers. I don't watch that many new movies, but I definitely enjoy the comedy. I don't like to be too serious all the time.

What was the last good book you read?

I don't read much, but it was probably Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia (by Peter Maas). That was about him and his life with John Gotti and the Gambino family.

What magazines do you read?

Guitar World and Guitar Player. I try to pick up some new songs to throw in the repertoire. Laying around the (Reds') clubhouse, you always see a little FHM or Maxim.

WEB [TB NOTE: he didn't mention "My Space"]
What Web sites have you discovered that everyone should bookmark?

For me, www.MXTabs.net is a place I like to look up music. Other than that, I find myself going to most of the same places: www.ESPN.com to check out what's going on around the league and my teammates back in Boston.

What new song or album can't you get enough of?

Staind's new record (Chapter V) that came out a few months ago. The whole record is good, but I think "Everything Changes" is a good song on there ... "Right Here" is also good.

What TV shows do you love to watch, or what TV shows do you love to hate?

I love to watch anything reality, so I'll watch American Idol when I get a chance. I hate to watch anything that was an old school sitcom like Perfect Strangers or Three's Company.


Tom Servo
05-29-2006, 11:50 AM

Yo, let's lay down this beat:

I was traded for Willy Mo
The Red Sox thought they needed hitting
Now Peņa does nothing
And I'm 6-2, no kidding
When I'm pitching
you know we'll win
I mean, I'm not Dave Williams
or Brandon Claussen
I'll do my best
Until the bullpen gets us trouble
Would you believe a double?

Jr's Boy
05-29-2006, 12:23 PM
Not another one.:rolleyes: