37 CommentsBattle of the Bands (BOTB), Blogfests, Music

Happy Holidays and welcome to another edition of

Battle of the Bands BOTB

BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB), hosted by Far Away Series and StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. is where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. Two “Battles” per month, on the 1st and 15th. Votes will be tallied and posted the following week. (See below for further details.)

♫♫ Today we’re pitting prog metal against blues rock. What’s your pleasure? ♫♫
(Please don’t be deterred by the word “metal”. There are many different subgenres)

almost cut my hairInspired by last week’s post, where hair and cutting it – or not – was discussed at great length (pun intended). Today’s featured song was the perfect fit. Click HERE for some hair-raising commentary. 🙂 (This photo was taken a month ago and I still haven’t cut my hair!)


[reference only – not part of the battle]

‘Almost Cut My Hair’ is the third track from Crosby Stills Nash & Youngs 1970 album, “Deja Vu”. Written by David Crosby, he recorded it in a single take during the last remaining moments of studio time. His girlfriend had been killed in a car crash days prior and his grief was reflected in the intense vocals. The song features some classic guitar work from Neil Young and Stephen Stills. It is also notable for popularizing (*) the phrase ‘letting my freak flag fly’, which took on new meaning in the late ’80s after Crosby served time in a Texas prison. He began performing the song with a lyrical alteration to the line ‘…it increases my paranoia, like looking in my mirror and seeing a lit up Texas trooper.’ (*) It should be noted that Jimi Hendrix first used ‘freak flag’ a couple of years earlier, in the song ‘If 6 was 9’:But I’m gonna wave my freak flag high, high.Wave on, wave on’ Thanks for the reminder, Shady Del Knight!

The foregoing serves as background information only.
Now, on to the actual contest……


Queensrÿche is an American progressive metal band formed in 1982 in Bellevue, Washington, which has sold over 20 million albums worldwide, including over 6 million in the United States. “Almost Cut My Hair” is the third track from “Take Cover”, the band’s 10th album, released in 2007.

Current (since 2012) Queensrÿche frontman Todd La Torre obviously doesn’t like cutting his hair either! Photo taken Sept. 18/15 in Toronto:

Todd La Torre of Queensrÿche. Cut my hair? No way!



Ori Naftaly is an Israeli blues/soul/funk guitarist, relocated to Memphis, Tennessee. In 2011, with his newly-formed band, he produced, arranged and recorded his critically acclaimed debut album,A True Friend (Is Hard To Find)‘. It was released in 2012 and featured six different vocalists from the USA and England., one of the leading blues magazines in Europe, named it ‘Best Blues Album of the Year,’ ‘Almost Cut My Hair’ is the 8th track, featuring vocalist Eleanor Tsaig.

Looks like Ori and Eleanor didn’t cut their hair either! 🙂


Please state your preference in comments below and why you chose it.
Click on your preference here too:

[socialpoll id=”2312299″ width=”350″]

Voting remains open until midnight ET, Dec. 6,
after which I will count the votes, add mine and publish the results.

These are the other BOTB regulars and semi-regulars.
Please cruise on by their sites and, if they have a post up, vote on their selections as well:
[Check back – there’s no set posting time]

Angels Bark / Book Lover / Cherdo On The Flipside / Curious as a Cathy / DC Relief BOTB /
Far Away Series / Holli’s Hoots & Hollers / J.A. Scott / Janie Junebug Righting & Editing/
ngle Jangle Jungle / Mike’s Ramblings / Novel Brews / Quiet Laughter /
Sound of One Hand Typing / StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands /
Tossing It Out / Your Daily Dose

As always, “Sharing is Caring”. Spread this musical joy all over your social networks.
Hashtag is #BOTB

Until next time.



♫♪♫♪♫ Rockchick Rapture!


Ori Naftaly

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Debbie D. on FacebookDebbie D. on GoogleDebbie D. on InstagramDebbie D. on LinkedinDebbie D. on PinterestDebbie D. on RssDebbie D. on TwitterDebbie D. on WordpressDebbie D. on Youtube
Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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  1. Well, Queenie is pretty much your typical Heavy Metal sound – not very inventive, pretty trite at this point and rather boring and one-dimensional to my ears.

    I didn’t really care for the female vocalist of the second band, but musically they were far more interesting than Queenie was, so ORI gets my vote.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

  2. THE ORI NAFTALY BAND!! Love their version – rock, yet sort of bluesy. Really great pairing…tough to beat Queensrÿche but hey, they did, IMHO. Sorry I’m late to the party.

  3. WOW. This one caught me offguard. I was certain I was going to give my vote to Queensryche, as I do enjoy a bit of their music. But Ori Naftaly knocked it out of the park! Great Battle, Debbie!

  4. Not a fan of Queenscreech (sorry I can’t help myself), but that version by Ori and Eleanor WOW? I love the bluesey sound and it somehow seems more in tune with the CSN&Y version.

    Couldn’t help but read your last reply to Arlee. A concert where CS&N opened for tom Petty, man I would have like to have been there. sounds like great fun.

    Great BATTLE Debbie. Two very different versions. I enjoyed this one a great deal.

  5. Debbie, I was so sure I’d vote for Queensryche!!! I’m a big fan of theirs (though I need to admit, for the sake of full disclosure, that I’d never heard this one before)… But Ori really blew me away. Eleanor’s vocals were good, but not a deciding factor, actually. The music, however, and the arrangement… Yeah, that took me by storm. Great battle!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

  6. Ori and Eleanor won my vote, hubby listened too and he agreed! He’s the music man – knows who’s singing and playing without looking. Music trivia master! Great battle!

  7. The Ori Naftly version is good, but I don’t think the song works best for them. Queensryche on the other hand did a superb job.
    I love their rendition of the song and I think it much better suited their performance.

  8. Funny, but I’ve been thinking about what to do about my hair, too. Part of me thinks it really needs a “style,” but another part of me says that requires maintenance… and I just don’t feel good most days. Sigh. So, I keep it long and “style-less.” Not saying that is a good thing, but just the way it is.

    I’m still suffering with a bad migraine. With that said, I much preferred the second version (Ori and Eleanor). So, chalk one for the Memphis-Israeli group.

    1. Nothing wrong with long and “style-less”, or as I prefer to call it, the “natural look”. 🙂 I’ve been wearing it that way for years and am not about to change. Just a trim.. 😉

      Sorry, you’re still suffering, Robin! 🙁 Hope you can find a solution, soon. Ori & Eleanor are doing well, so far. Thanks for your vote.

  9. Debbie – I really am clueless. I don’t know the song but, THE ORI NAFTALY BAND peaked my interest. My vote goes to them, please. Great version choices.


  10. I can’t decide. I just can’t. I like both and dislike both. They both have too much background noise, but I like melody line of both. I don’t remember the CSNY, (looks almost like a TV program title) version, so I can’t compare them. I guess I’ll have to go with Eleanor’s singing–at least you could hear her over the noise. I’m trying, also, to understand why, according to some of the other commenters, it’s more in line for a guy to sing about almost cutting their hair… My hair is more than 2-1/2 feet, and it would only be complete desperation that would make me cut it.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Mary. Your vote for Ori and Eleanor is duly noted. 🙂
      This song is about rebellion and I think men with long hair are considered more radical, hence the preference for male vocals. That said, I’m a female, long-haired rebel from way back (who still hasn’t trimmed her hair)!

  11. I absolutely love this song! And immediately I knew my vote would be for Queensryche. I liked Ori Naftaly’s version just fine but I think I prefer a male vocal for this song. And Queensryche was more close to CSNY’s version which swayed my vote.

    Neat history on the song too.
    Great battle Debbie!

    Michele at Angels Bark

  12. Hi, Debbie the Doglady! Still haven’t cut your hair? Good for you!

    I freaked out this morning when I couldn’t access your blog and happy now that I am able to log on.

    You wrote: ‘Please don’t be deterred by the word “metal”.’

    I’m sorry. The word “metal” is indeed a deterrent (detergent?). I can’t get past it, don’t like it, never did, never will. Goodbye forever! 🙂

    As you know, The Jimi Hendrix Experience used the expression “wave my freak flag high” in “If 6 Was 9,” a track from the album Axis: Bold as Love. Seems to me by the time Crosby used a similar expression in that December 1969 recording session, the “freak flag” phrase was already popular thanks to Hendrix’s hit 1967 album and the song’s use in the July 1969 movie Easy Rider. Could you speak to that?

    You selected two superb versions of “Almost Cut My Hair” and I’m pulling out what’s left of mine trying to decide how to vote. I love the “smashed” audio distortion and prog rock style of Queensrÿche, but I also very much liked the smooth blues rock style of guitarist Ori Naftaly featuring vocalist Eleanor Tsaig. In the end I think “Almost Cut My Hair” makes more sense when sung by a male, yes? Therefore, I cast my vote for the harder and heavier Queensrÿche recording.

    Thank you, dear friend Debbie!

    1. Apologies for the technical problem, Shady! It happened overnight when I was asleep, so I didn’t see it until this morning. Should be good as new by now. 🙂

      Ah yes, ‘metal’ seems to be such a bad word, in some music circles. Pity, because there’s a lot of good stuff in that genre that would surprise many people.

      You’re absolutely right about Jimi Hendrix using the “Freak Flag” expression first! Sorry, I forgot about that and have amended the post accordingly. I do think it became even more popular after ‘Almost Cut My Hair’ was released, though.

      I knew this battle would be a tough choice. I suppose a male with long hair is considered more rebellious than a female, although I’m a long-haired rebel from way back, so I see what you’re getting at in regards to gender. (I think).
      Had a hunch you’d prefer the Queensrÿche version, in any case. Thanks, Shady! 🙂

  13. I woke up this morning with a strand in my eye,
    It’s that time again, I had to sigh.
    I’m not a friend of the beauty salon,
    But what to do… it’s so damn long!
    Then I listened to an – Almost Cut my Hair Song
    Thinking… this is wrong, so wrong, very wrong.
    Stared at the mirror, and shook my head,
    “You got to do it”, … the image said.
    So I give my vote to Ori Naftaly
    For they’d sing; “Cut it!” – if they could see me.

  14. I’ve always liked this song. It’s kind of a relic of the past, but it’s my past and I related to this song back in the day. It still sounds pretty good.

    The choice you offer is tough for me. Right off the Queensryche version won me over. The captured the feel of the era from whence the song came.

    Then I listened to Ori’s version. Love the instrumentation as well as the vocals. The organ is outstanding. The toning down from the previous metal version was better suited to my old ears that are no longer graced by the long mane I once wore in my ersatz hippie days–I was never that good at being a real hardcore hippie.

    I guess that gives my vote to the Israeli. I’m pro-Israel anyway.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. A pro-Israel vote for Ori and Eleanor, from the former ersatz-hippie. 🙂 I knew this would be a tough battle! It was my great fortune to see David Crosby sing this live in 2010 when CS&N opened for Tom Petty. It was the highlight of their set!