The Right Track: Todd Walsh

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Christina Fuoco-Karasinski    College Times

Fox Sports Arizona broadcaster Todd Walsh says coming up with his list of “top songs” is an impossible task. When he does, it’s never the same as a previous one.

Three bands are constant, though, and any viewer of Diamondbacks or Coyotes games will know this: U2, Pearl Jam and The Tragically Hip. He has spent most of his “vacation” time and money chasing them around North America during the last three decades.

“Some people go to the beach,” he says. “Others go camping. I go to concerts. The hardest part of making that happen is dealing with the summer baseball schedule and the winter hockey schedule. However, where there is a will, there is a way. Luckily, Las Vegas, San Diego and Los Angeles are usually a part of every west coast tour leg.”

TOP SIX FAVORITE SONGS

These are Walsh’s top six songs — for today.

“A Sort of Homecoming”

U2

I would add that I usually prefer the live version from the “Wide Awake in America” EP.

U2 will always have a spot in the top six. On any given day I could choose from scores of U2 songs, but this was my first favorite. It hit me as I was in my early college years at the U of A and still going back home to Rochester, New York, to visit family and friends. It was a hard time in that I knew I would never go back to live there, as I was starting a new life in the desert. I used to play it on my Walkman as the plane would land in New York. It’s funny, after a few years, I started to play it as the plane was landing in Arizona. The official video stands the test of time for any old-school U2 fan. https://youtu.be/Jln5IzGEwYg

“Porch”

Pearl Jam

I was late to the Pearl Jam party but more than made up for lost time.  I dove into “Ten” and remember exactly where I was when I first heard “Porch.” We were stuck in a snowstorm on I-17 driving back to the Valley after a day of skiing at Snowbowl. The car was literally crawling along, and tensions were rising as the ride turned into what felt like an eternity. For a time, I had a collection of live/bootleg recordings of “Porch.” Some Pearl Jam concerts were defined by that particular version of it. I love the message, the tone and tenor and I love how Eddie Vedder feels every single note and lyric. MTV Unplugged included one of the all-time great versions: https://youtu.be/llOpE85bmW0

“Train Overnight”

The Tragically Hip

Same story with U2. I could, and often do, pick any number of songs from The Hip. But if I had to pick one, I would turn to this sort of obscure song from “Music at Work.” Because, I’m guessing you haven’t heard this one, here’s a link! https://youtu.be/3xY_M7ghjYI .

They didn’t play it very often, which was too bad. I found it to be a dreamy and traveling kind of tune that I listen to when I’m in the middle of a long Coyotes road trip and just wondering where I am and what day of the week it is. I miss (singer) Gord Downie with every breath I take.

“Everywhere I Go”

The Call

A deep band, and a deep track that haunts me every time I hear it. Michael Been’s passing has left a void that I don’t expect to ever fill. I’ve been in love with this band from the early ’80s and can remember when “When the Walls Came Down” was actually in rotation on MTV. I have to be careful how much and how often I dive into this song because it is so raw and so powerful in what it conjures up. https://youtu.be/l3HhGtxCJmY

“Games Without Frontiers”

Peter Gabriel

When I began my career in radio, the PM Drive DJ at our FM station said once, in introducing this song, “Here now the creative genius of Peter Gabriel.” He couldn’t have been more accurate. I just as easily could have said “Solsbury Hill.” Or “Follow You, Follow Me,” or “Sky Blue” or “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.” If Peter Gabriel heads back out on tour, he should be a “bucket lister.” I can’t pick one. “In Your Eyes?” I have to stop. https://youtu.be/pzE8TjlldaY

“Love to Burn”

Neil Young

Desert Sky Pavilion. The “Weld” Tour. https://youtu.be/TjhstCOoauc

Feels like 5 minutes ago! In my circle of friends all you need to say is “Neil.” “Love to Burn” gets lost in the shuffle with the “Down by the River” or “Cortex the Killer” jams, but it’s a staple on my set list. Neil Young is timeless, and this song takes me for a ride through time every single time I hear it.

PREFERRED WAY OF LISTENING AND WHY

In my car, driving on open freeway for miles, alone, listening to new songs so I can play them on “repeat” for hours and won’t drive anybody in the car crazy.

DESERT ISLAND ALBUM

“The Joshua Tree,” U2. (Where the streets really don’t have any names.)

WHAT ARTIST WOULD PROVIDE THE SOUNDTRACK FOR THE MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE?

The Pistoleros. (They already did, I think. They just don’t know it.)

FAVORITE SONG BY AN ARTIST FROM YOUR COUNTRY

“Porch,” Pearl Jam

GO-TO GUILTY PLEASURE TRACK

“The Metro” by Berlin (Terri Nunn still rocks! Must-see concert.) CT

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