“Little Honda” by Yo La Tengo

20 06 2013

In my previous post, I talked about The Hondells’ “Little Honda”. I didn’t mention that this song was covered by Yo La Tengo in 1997, on their album I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One. This song has the greatest guitar solo in the world.

According to Wikipedia, Yo La Tengo were formed in 1984 as the husband-and-wife duo of Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley. The name means “I have it” in Spanish, and was chosen because it had no English connotations. It’s based on this baseball-related story from the very early days of the New York Mets. Quoting Wikipedia directly:

During the 1962 season, New York Mets center fielder Richie Ashburn and Venezulean shortstop Elio Chacón found themselves colliding in the outfield. When Ashburn went for a catch, he would scream, “I got it! I got it!” only to run into Chacón, who spoke only Spanish. Ashburn learned to yell, “¡Yo la tengo! ¡Yo la tengo!” instead. In a later game, Ashburn happily saw Chacón backing off. He relaxed, positioned himself to catch the ball, and was instead run over by left fielder Frank Thomas, who understood no Spanish and had missed a team meeting that proposed using the words “¡Yo la tengo!” as a way to avoid outfield collisions.After getting up, Thomas asked Ashburn, “What the hell is a Yellow Tango?”.

Yo La Tengo are still going. During WFMU’s fundraising marathons, the band offers to play any song that a listener chooses if they make a certain minimum pledge.






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