Music, like baseball, is filled with records. Untouchable, unbreakable records. No one will ever throw 749 complete games again as Cy Young did, averaging more than 35 a season over his 21-year major league career (by comparison, in the last 10 years no pitcher has had more than 6). No one will ever throw back-to-back no-hitters again, as Johnny Vander Meer, a lifetime sub-.500 pitcher, unthinkably achieved for the Cincinnati Reds in 1938. No one will ever play in 2,632 consecutive games again – more than 16 entire seasons – as the legendary Orioles iron man Cal Ripken, Jr. did between 1982 and 1998. And in the world of music, no one will ever match Thijs van Leer of the ‘70’s Dutch prog-rock band Focus who, on the band’s literally incomparable 1971 hit ‘Hocus Pocus,’ executed a five-part series of solos consisting of 1) yodeling, 2) Popeye getting electrocuted, 3) yodeling with six octave range, 4) flute, and finally 5) gap-toothed whistling. Some records just cannot be broken.
You may have thought you’ve seen some things, impressive things, and yeah, sure, you certainly have. But please, if you haven’t watched this clip from the old Midnight Special show, respectfully, you really need to give it four-and-a-half minutes of your time now. Check out the crowd reaction when it ends; they knew they’d just seen history.
Jan Akkerman – Guitar
Pierre van der Linden – Drums
Bert Ruiter – Bass
Thijs van Leer – Vocals/Yodels, Flute, Organ