Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz, too.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.



My father had one record album, an Ohio State marching band LP. No, that was my record. He bought it for me. My dad had no LPs. My dad had stock records. Toby bought his first stock, Seaboard Air Lines, when he was at Ohio State. Air lines meant train line back then. An air line was the shortest distance between two points – the way the crow flies.

My father didn’t mind I wound up at the U. of Michigan. He wasn’t a nutty Buckeye.

My band had a trumpet player who was a rabid Buckeyes fan. At one afternoon bar mitzvah party, I gave him time off during the gig to watch part of the OSU-Michigan game. The other musicians were nonplussed. They did not understand that the trumpeter had been in the OSU marching band and had attended every single Ohio State bowl game, including the Tostitos Bowl. My bandmates did not know my father had given me one album, The Ohio State University Marching Band featuring “Buckeye Battle Cry.”

My bandmates are still talking about the trumpeter’s “absence,” and it’s been years. Look, the football game was supposed to start at 3 p.m. but the TV honchos moved the start-time up to noon at the last minute. I doubt the trumpeter would have booked a gig if he had known it would conflict with the OSU-Michigan game.

One more thing . . . Simchat Torah (which just ended) sometimes gets hairy because of its occasional conflict with Indians/Guardians playoff games. I’ve got a nursing-home gig tonight and would have liked to play “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” but I don’t see the point now with the Guardians out of  it.

Go Bucks.

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1 Mike Billmire { 10.19.22 at 10:18 am }

Hi Bert,

Are you are the same Bert Stratton who composed/performed an obscure Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rap that was featured at the end of a cassette tape from ~1990, packaged as an audio accompaniment to some TMNT comics?

[see link to the song:

This song holds a lot of nostalgia for me- my brother and I (both around 9 at the time) memorized and danced to it all the time.

If you are indeed the creator, I’d love to hear the full story of how you came upon that gig and what the composition/performance process entailed.

I’ve been following Vulfpeck since before they played a gig so it blew my mind that there might be a connection between them and this obscure song from my youth. Perhaps you could suggest to Jack to cover it in their next album.

2 Bert Stratton { 10.19.22 at 11:01 am }

To Mike Bilmore,

Not me! Sorry.

3 Kenneth Goldberg { 10.19.22 at 12:22 pm }

Forget Michigan and OSU. Go Syracuse!

4 Mark Freiman { 10.19.22 at 5:28 pm }

Can you ask your band if they were the ones who threw eggs at said trumpeter’s house that evening?

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