The song playing over the PA system took several fans and players by surprise after the Oakland A’s won 8-0 on Opening Night at the Coliseum. Instead of “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang, which they’ve been playing after A’s victories for several years, it was “Theme for Oakland” by a Bay Area rock group called The Phenomenauts.
A’s vice president of broadcasting and communications Ken Pries told me that the team decided not to use “Celebration” on this homestand as a nod to newness – new scoreboards, new season, lots of new players.
And as popular as “Celebration” has been at the Coliseum, not everyone agrees, according to Pries.
“We’ve had some negative comments over the years, ‘It’s time to move on, play something new,’ fan comments, emails, ” Pries said. “So for the first homestand, we’re trying something else. We’ve already had some season-ticket holders say, ‘Great time to move on.’
Kool and the Gang are from New Jersey (according to Wikipedia). However, despite The Phenomenauts’ local ties, 95.7 The Game host Damon Bruce doesn’t think the Athletics’ new celebratory song — which I’m guessing will be replaced by “Celebration” during the team’s next homestand — fits The Town at all.
While the song played, Bruce spoke (and sang).
I feel like I’m listening to The Fratellis. I feel like I’m listening to … do they play this at Fenway, too? Because this sounds like Boston to me. There’s not a shred of this that makes me think Oakland, California. There’s not a single horn in it. It doesn’t sound like there’s a black person involved, I’ll tell you that right now. This is very whitebread for me. I don’t think that this is representative of Oakland.
I got to be totally honest with you. That’s the only thing I ever promised to be with you is totally honest. Is this inspiring anyone? Now, if they want to play this during the seventh inning stretch, that’s fine. But this should never replace Kool and the Gang.
Listen to this:
(singing) To the plaaaaace, where I have gone …West Virginia …
(singing) It’s just not Oakland at all … It’s not the East Bay … I don’t think black people like it!
Can I just be honest? That’s just honesty, man. I’m not feeling this.
If the A’s decide that “Celebration” is just too old for this new school team, maybe Bruce would be happier with this song, which a certain local podcast uses in the intro.