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Pimlach

Taro Sez " Rest His Soul ... No Goal"

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I missed the beginning of last nights game.  RJ with a very nice tribute to Steve Hill - the original Taro and Phantom Sign Maker. 

Some of you may have  known him, or at least remember his fine work.  I loved reading the Taro Says signs back in the Aud. 

RIP Steve. 

https://www.nhl.com/sabres/video/taro-sez-rip/t-277437090/c-65711003

 

Edited by Pimlach
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Life, joys and regrets ...  I never told Mr. Hill what a memorable part of my youth he was.  Lucky is the man aware of the impressions he makes.

Most of you know what The Aud meant to me and my fellow old timers.  I’ll not revisit some of my prior posts.

I do want to acknowledge and celebrate Mr. Hill.  He was no small part of the joyful experience a Sabres ticket brought to me as a boy.  And, as we know, boyhood joys are the forever joys that are as rich, today, as they were yesterday.

Taro Says:  Sabres defense need support; wear Hannu Virta Bra.

Edited by Neo
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The Taro signs were how I learned I needed glasses.  We used to sit on the other end of Aud and I remember telling my Dad that I couldn’t read the Taro sign anymore.  RIP.  Mr. Hill your signs helped make the Aud unique and fun.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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In former Sabre PR man/broadcast producer Paul Wieland's book, Then Perreault Said to Rico, Wieland wrote that Hill and fellow "ringleader" Steve Hyzy promised to bring the signs back to the current arena if the team went back to its original uniform fulltime. The book came out during the slug era in 2008. I'd love to know if the two ever took the idea to the Sabres.

BTW, Wieland indicated that the Phantom Signmakers were a group of STHers in the balcony of the Aud, so Hill might be getting just a bit too much credit here. Still deserved, of course.

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2 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

In former Sabre PR man/broadcast producer Paul Wieland's book, Then Perreault Said to Rico, Wieland wrote that Hill and fellow "ringleader" Steve Hyzy promised to bring the signs back to the current arena if the team went back to its original uniform fulltime. The book came out during the slug era in 2008. I'd love to know if the two ever took the idea to the Sabres.

BTW, Wieland indicated that the Phantom Signmakers were a group of STHers in the balcony of the Aud, so Hill might be getting just a bit too much credit here. Still deserved, of course.

I was a group for sure. Steve has a brother Bill, and there was Hyzy and a few others.   Steve was the ringleader.  The signs were made in his basement.  

Edited by Pimlach
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Would be nice to get a list of memorable signs going.

Anybody have some spare Ginkgo Biloba? I got nothing.

Well, maybe one.

After Jim Lorentz swatted a bat out of the fog in Game 3 of the final in '75 against the Flyers, a sign appeared for Game 4 or 6. HEY PHILLY, WE HAVE AN OLD BAT, TOO. Not sure that was the exact wording (and not even sure if it was a Taro Sez sign or a fan sign). I think it appears in the broadcast you can watch on YouTube (so it was almost certainly Game 6).

It was a hilarious dig at the Flyers for having Kate Smith sing God Bless America before the games at the Spectrum. In the dictionary, her picture would have appeared next to "old bat."

 

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Not a Taro Sez sign, but for some reason this sign stuck with me:

John Tucker was just recalled from his junior team for an emergency call up.  We were playing the St. Louis Blues.  The sign read:

The Aud is Tucker's Inn and John is the Sabres recipe for a cool whip o' the Blues.

Gotta love a good pop culture reference.

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Budd Bailey's book The History of the Buffalo Sabres has a photo of some of the Signmakers' work at the 1978 All Star Game that was held in Buffalo.

TARO'S FIRST TEAM — LW: BARBER TAKES MORE DIVES THAN A CHICKEN KAMIKAZE PILOT

Also... correction on the bat story: the bat didn't fly out of the fog, per a YT video I just saw. The fog came later in the game. Ruins a great visual.

Was LINDY IS AND LARRY DOESN'T a Taro Sez sign?

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The Phantoms did a bunch of signs, not all were “Taro Says” signs.  You could always tell them by the thick dark blue lettering.  It had to be a lot of work making them and then taping them up.   They would come into the Aud with rolls of paper.  

Don Cherry was a favorite target.  They called him “Grapes”,  short for Sour Grapes.   There were Grapes signs at every Bruins game. 

I heard a Cherry interview and when asked about he said to this effect. “I like those guys.  They’re not just a bunch of Dumb Jerks”. 

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54 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Budd Bailey's book The History of the Buffalo Sabres has a photo of some of the Signmakers' work at the 1978 All Star Game that was held in Buffalo.

TARO'S FIRST TEAM — LW: BARBER TAKES MORE DIVES THAN A CHICKEN KAMIKAZE PILOT

Also... correction on the bat story: the bat didn't fly out of the fog, per a YT video I just saw. The fog came later in the game. Ruins a great visual.

Was LINDY IS AND LARRY DOESN'T a Taro Sez sign?

I was at the Bat Fog game.  True, the bat came first.  Everybody could see it flying around, then down to ice level.  Jim Lorentz had good hand eye.  

The fog came later.  The game went to OT, a real 5 skater sudden death OT.   Rene Robert knew to put the puck on net.  

What a night in the Aud. 

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The phantom signmakers and "Taro says" were as much a part of the Aud mystique and my youth as the Earl of Bud!

 

RIP Steve

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1 hour ago, Pimlach said:

The Phantoms did a bunch of signs, not all were “Taro Says” signs.  You could always tell them by the thick dark blue lettering.  It had to be a lot of work making them and then taping them up.   They would come into the Aud with rolls of paper.  

Don Cherry was a favorite target.  They called him “Grapes”,  short for Sour Grapes.   There were Grapes signs at every Bruins game. 

I heard a Cherry interview and when asked about he said to this effect. “I like those guys.  They’re not just a bunch of Dumb Jerks”. 

Good stuff. Thanks. I'm not sure I knew that not all Signmaker signs were Taro Sez. I tried to find the Old Bat sign I mentioned in the video of Game 6 but couldn't spot it. It might have been a handheld sign. But I did see a sign that was in the style of the Signmakers that read BROAD STREET BULLIES OR BULL STREET BROADS? It was down low though, the concete wall behind the lower golds, I think.

Whatever happened to putting up signs in the 300s at the arena? Mair's Office, Pominville Population etc.?

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1 hour ago, Pimlach said:

I was at the Bat Fog game.  True, the bat came first.  Everybody could see it flying around, then down to ice level.  Jim Lorentz had good hand eye.  

The fog came later.  The game went to OT, a real 5 skater sudden death OT.   Rene Robert knew to put the puck on net.  

What a night in the Aud. 

A great historical article could be written on that event. You could have the weather angle — 80s in May back then was truly not expected. The design of the Aud vs. modern arenas. How the fog formed (and why wasn't the next game foggy?). The effect on play.

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30 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

 

Whatever happened to putting up signs in the 300s at the arena? Mair's Office, Pominville Population etc.?

Dont know.  Might not be allowed.   Even with this current “playoff run”, Fan passion is way down relative to past eras. 

 My daughter was at the Friday night game.  She said there were lots of empty seats and lots of Ranger fans.  

Sabres fans need new hero’s. Eichel, Reinhart, Skinner and Dahlin are the future.  

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On 2/17/2019 at 12:21 PM, Pimlach said:

Dont know.  Might not be allowed.   Even with this current “playoff run”, Fan passion is way down relative to past eras. 

 My daughter was at the Friday night game.  She said there were lots of empty seats and lots of Ranger fans.  

Sabres fans need new hero’s. Eichel, Reinhart, Skinner and Dahlin are the future.  

Ah, heroes... the banished element, the sanitized plague.  We spend a good deal of time talking about why today’s gameday experience isn’t the same as yesterday’s and lamenting the loss of fun, excitement and passion.  Naturally, we look at “them”.  The owners built cavernous barns that lack intimacy.  Ticket, food and parking prices result in too many Chet and Muffys, and not enough Stans from Cheektowaga.  Scoring is down and we don’t win often enough.  If only the kids would win more, Camelot would return.

We miss the mark looking through a telescope, examining the exterior.  I suggest a microscope, and exploration of the interior.

Sabres games are different because the fans are different.  The fans are different because their world is.

Gone are the archetypal heroes, singleminded men who went into battle night after night, for OUR cause.  There is no OUR cause. Yesterday, we looked for heroes to emulate.  Gone are the villains of the eight game series.  Gone, resultingly, are the good guys and, perhaps, a common belief in what “good” is.  Today, we look for heroes to destroy.  Transistor radio allowed me to absorb.  Twitter, Instagram, and 24/7 techno media allow me to attack.  As to emulate?  “Trope!”, we say, “I’m too busy with ME to admire them!”. Next comes the anti hero, anti community, self absorption and self important screed of the self possessed.

Hell, look at the question, itself.  “Why aren’t THEY giving me what I want”?

The archetype and collective unconscious of mankind is under stress, if not attack.  Its replacement, morally equivalent different identities, will never provide singular events in the community way events of fifty years ago provided them.  The NHL’s critical business issue:  how to sell to a buyer no longer interested in what was sold, yesterday.  The strategy I see:  speed, skill, AV equipment and fancier hot dogs.  I’m not sure I have a better plan for today’s consumer.

Now, we can and should debate each and every element of “what’s different” and “are we glad it is?”.  At the same time, we have to acknowledge we’re different buyers when looking for yesterday’s products.  There are certainly good and bad results.

The Aud isn’t gone because its outsides crumbled.  The Aud is gone because its insides died.  Whether you believe the insides rotted away, were killed, or were reborn is up to you.  Good stuff for a beer or whiskey, there.

Edited by Neo
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7 minutes ago, Neo said:

Ah, heroes... the banished element, the sanitized plague.  We spend a good deal of time talking about why today’s gameday experience isn’t the same as yesterday’s and lamenting the loss of fun, excitement and passion.  Naturally, we look at “them”.  The owners built cavernous barns that lack intimacy.  Ticket, food and parking prices result in too many Chet and Muffys, and not enough Stans from Cheektowagas.  Scoring is down and we don’t win often enough.  If only the kids would win more, Camelot would return.

We miss the mark looking through a telescope, examining the exterior.  I suggest a microscope, and exploration of the interior.

Sabres games are different because the fans are different.  The fans are different because their world is.

Gone are the archetypal heroes, singleminded men who went into battle night after night, for OUR cause.  Yesterday, we looked for heroes to emulate.  Gone are the villains of the eight game series.  Gone, resultingly, are the good guys and, perhaps, a common belief in what “good” is.  Today, we look for heroes to destroy.  Transistor radio allowed me to absorb.  Twitter, Instagram, and 24/7 techno media allow me to attack.  As to emulate?  “Trope!”, we say, “I’m too busy with ME, to admire them!”. Next comes the anti hero, anti community, self absorption and self important screed of the self possessed.

Hell, look at the question, itself.  “Why aren’t THEY giving me what I want”?

The archetype and collective unconscious of mankind is under stress, if not attack.  Its replacement, morally equivalent different identities, will never provide singular events in the community way events of fifty years ago provided them.  The NHL’s critical business issue:  how to sell to a buyer no longer interested in what we sold, yesterday.  The strategy I see:  speed, skill, AV equipment and fancier hot dogs.  I’m not sure I have a better plan for today’s consumer.

Now, we can and should debate each and every element of “what’s different” and “are we glad it is?”.  At the same time, we have to acknowledge we’re different as a society.  There are certainly good and bad results.

The Aud is gone because its insides died.  Whether you believe the insides rotted away, were killed, or were reborn is up to you.  Good stuff for a beer or whiskey, there.

Lots of food for thought here.  

The Sabres game day experience cannot be the same as it was because we (fans, owners, players, and even the place) are not the same.   

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20 hours ago, Neo said:

Ah, heroes... the banished element, the sanitized plague.  We spend a good deal of time talking about why today’s gameday experience isn’t the same as yesterday’s and lamenting the loss of fun, excitement and passion.  Naturally, we look at “them”.  The owners built cavernous barns that lack intimacy.  Ticket, food and parking prices result in too many Chet and Muffys, and not enough Stans from Cheektowaga.  Scoring is down and we don’t win often enough.  If only the kids would win more, Camelot would return.

We miss the mark looking through a telescope, examining the exterior.  I suggest a microscope, and exploration of the interior.

Sabres games are different because the fans are different.  The fans are different because their world is.

Gone are the archetypal heroes, singleminded men who went into battle night after night, for OUR cause.  There is no OUR cause. Yesterday, we looked for heroes to emulate.  Gone are the villains of the eight game series.  Gone, resultingly, are the good guys and, perhaps, a common belief in what “good” is.  Today, we look for heroes to destroy.  Transistor radio allowed me to absorb.  Twitter, Instagram, and 24/7 techno media allow me to attack.  As to emulate?  “Trope!”, we say, “I’m too busy with ME, to admire them!”. Next comes the anti hero, anti community, self absorption and self important screed of the self possessed.

Hell, look at the question, itself.  “Why aren’t THEY giving me what I want”?

The archetype and collective unconscious of mankind is under stress, if not attack.  Its replacement, morally equivalent different identities, will never provide singular events in the community way events of fifty years ago provided them.  The NHL’s critical business issue:  how to sell to a buyer no longer interested in what was sold, yesterday.  The strategy I see:  speed, skill, AV equipment and fancier hot dogs.  I’m not sure I have a better plan for today’s consumer.

Now, we can and should debate each and every element of “what’s different” and “are we glad it is?”.  At the same time, we have to acknowledge we’re different buyers when looking for yesterday’s products.  There are certainly good and bad results.

The Aud isn’t gone because its outsides crumbled.  The Aud is gone because its insides died.  Whether you believe the insides rotted away, were killed, or were reborn is up to you.  Good stuff for a beer or whiskey, there.

I really think the Sabres just need to win more.

😀

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1 hour ago, SwampD said:

I really think the Sabres just need to win more.

😀

That, too!

Be right back, contemplating my navel ...

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In the very early days of the franchise, sometimes Steve's signs were the best thing about the game.  These days, we don't even have entertaining signs to make the game "experience" better.  God bless you Steve - you done good.  Rest peacefully knowing you brightened many a young fan's trip to the Aud.  Say hi to Punch, Seymour and Norty for us.  Maybe you can ask them if it's possible to send down some help for their team.

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