“I have believed all my life in free thought and free speech- up to and including the utmost limits of the endurable. “
- H.L. Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956)
“Some people are so sick and jealous that they destroy the energy of their own lives by drowning other peoples spirit. Still I remain free as a bird. The negativity is somewhere else, but not here, like it doesn’t have the courage to show itself any more. And it won’t show up here, because love, tolerance and compassion live in my abode. Negativity has been a guest that doesn’t stay long after rearing it’s hideous head, and then getting kicked out for good. In my home there has always been a lot of room for friends. A lot of people have tried to abuse my hospitality, but I’m an old fucking fox by now, one that can discern black from white. And the cards say that’s it’s going to be another great year.”
“No matter how you are to define it, I do not identify with the local group.”
- Dec 29, 2016 617PM
Easy Rider movie quote on ‘Freedom’
George Hanson: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.
Billy: Man, everybody got chicken, that’s what happened. Hey, we can’t even get into like, a second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel, you dig? They think we’re gonna cut their throat or somethin’. They’re scared, man.
George Hanson: They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ‘em.
Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.
George Hanson: Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.
Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That’s what it’s all about.
George Hanson: Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s what’s it’s all about, all right. But talkin’ about it and bein’ it, that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free, ’cause then they’re gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ‘em.
Billy: Well, it don’t make ‘em runnin’ scared.
George Hanson: No, it makes ‘em dangerous.
“If I didn’t know you so well I wouldn’t believe half of what you post on your diary.”
-Bob (Newwbomb Turk) Hoeksema 12/31/2016
“Think about the things I don’t post. “ – AZ
The Chuck at South Moon BBQ every meat on the same bun and”Kick your mother in the teeth” Southern Fried Potato Salad- Served hot & spicy, fried potatos mixed with green peppers and onions topped off with a homemade sauce.
What a magical year. Compared to 2015 and the pain I lived with any improvement and or relief would have sufficed. I suffered during 2 camping trips and barely made it through EXXXOTICA. As a matter of fact 1/2 way thru Sunday’s event I had to crash in a porn stars room for a few hours since I had already checked out of my own. Max and Brian picked up the slack and before leaving we had dinner with Tory Lane and a friend.
2016 was a year of healing and transition physically, emotionally and mentally and I kept myself busy through the process. What follows is a summary of that year.
I was in more pain that I had been in months. Braved a snow storm on Jan 1 and saw ‘The Hateful 8′ 70 mm version at the Music Box. It was painful just to stand and let people pass me. Patricia’s father had emergency bypass surgery and she was unable to join me. I saved her a program from the showing. I came home, took some pain meds I got from a good friend and spent the day in a chair in front of the TV. The end would be near as I was scheduled to meet with Dr. Brett Levine for an exam and to schedule surgery on Jan 12th. That day he would prescribe me pain meds, Oxycotin, oxycodone acetaminophen, hydrocodone and a lot of others to prep me for surgery which was scheduled for March 15th. I was still crippled but in a lot less pain. Greg Miner was kind enough to take me to Midwest Orthopedic and would be nearby throughout my rehabilitation.
Guests visiting me at home would be few and far between as it had been since early autumn.
I felt pain free enough to see Deadpool on 2/14 with Max Bravo and though I had very limited mobility the movie proved to be well worth it. Patricia was supposed to visit that weekend but had experienced some issues and would be unable to join me. I doubt I would have been much fun anyway. On 2/29 two weeks prior to surgery I had another appointment for pre-op at Midwest Orthopedic.
The Ides of March was approaching. Dale drove in from Iowa to take me shopping, to the hospital and to house sit w/ the cats while I was in the hospital. For the first time in my life I had to use a motorized shopping cart, it was truly a humbling experience. Of course Dale used this as a photo op, as he would on several other occasions over the week. I could not wait to get this hip replacement over with and get on with my life again, as I would with much gusto. Confining a free spirit who is wild at heart in painful itself. It would not be long now. On Tuesday March 15 I was put under for the first time in my life. When I woke up the nurses brought Greg and Dale in to keep me company until I could move into my suite at Elmhurst Memorial. It was not such a bad experience as I had room service, great nurses who were easy on the eyes and the room to myself. The only downside was my sleep would be interrupted a lot by the nurses changing the morphine and whatever else they had plugged into me. Other than Dale and Greg visiting, Bob Hoeksema came by as did Dave Ganz, and I had a big surprise when I was asleep and vised by Laura Ramelli Robare who brought me a cupcake. Valerie Kenwell in Dallas and Christy Nealon in Denver pitched in and sent me an Edible Arrangement bouquet. The nurses thought I was quite popular. By the evening of the 17th I was stir crazy and asked for permission to go home on the 18th as opposed to the 19th. After I had the first of my physical therapy sessions to get me walking again I would walk the halls at night pushing myself to wellness rather than just waiting. By my second session I was on my own and doing stairs. On my way out to Dale’s car one nurse said to the other, “We just need to get someone as nice as him in that room.” I was flattered.
I worked from home the following Monday and Tuesday and was back in office by Wednesday. I had outpatient physical therapy at Athletico Physical Therapy the following Friday and would meet Greg and his Singaporean girlfriend Em Gee at House of Blues to see The Cult. I was just 10 days out of surgery and with the aid of a cane was at my first concert of 2016. I was almost pain free. We got a private opera box after I used my magic and we enjoyed a stellar show. This would be Em Gee’s first concert.
On the 29th I had a post op exam and on the 31st was the opening of an invite only Art Exhibit Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Pigface at 2112. I took Eden Lake along with me and she had her driver pick me up from work. I didn’t stay but only a couple of hours and it was great to see a lot of familiar faces as I hobbled around on my cane. The next day photos were all over the internet.
This month would be more about healing. My goal was to get myself off of the cane.
Finally on Thursday April 14 I escaped my home city of Chicago for the first time in 2016 I joined Pete Berwick who was part of the Lake County Author Showcase- Mystery and Suspense along with Susanna Calkins, Catherine Finger, Frederic Townsend with stories of Intrigue and Suspense. The event lasted a couple of hours and was very nice. I met a few new folks including Pete wife Denise, finally after all of these years. When it was over Pete and I had a late dinner at Sweet Melissa’s Pizza & Pub
On Wed the 27th I attended The 2016 Sexcon show will be held at H.O.M.E. music entertainment center in Arlington Heights IL with Max Bravo. My friend Larry Goone hosts the show every year but this one being where it was located lost a lot of luster. It was bad enough we had horrible hotel accommodations but being so far removed from the city had its share of drawbacks. It was also a very very rainy day. We got out of there before the police shut it down. The upside it was great for networking.
On the 30th I went to see Pete Berwick play at Phyllis’ Musical Inn and it was a lot of fun. I sang with him and an improv makeshift band. I rushed home to catch Cheap Tricks streaming induction into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and shed tears of happiness. They were truly a class act and led the all star jam session in grand style.
5/1 my first BBQ of the year
5/4/2016 Curse Mackey do to arrive this evening for Pigface25
5/5 Cinco De Mayo and Pigface25 “Welcome to Mexico… Asshole”
Closing Reception w/ DJ Curse Mackey
5/8 With Jay Panick at the Looney Bin for the Tracii Guns show and staying at the Comfort Inn, Bourbonnais
5/18 Prong concert and staying at Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel
5/22 Went out on Bob Hoeksema’s speedboat early that Sunday morning and did the entire Chain of Lakes by noon.
5/27 Alicia Witt in concert w/ Max Bravo
5/28-30th at the Chain of Lakes w/ Pete Berwick and I was picked up by Valerie Kenwell who was in Illinois from Dallas TX to visit her daughters. I dated her back in the summer of 1983 and remains one of my most trusted friends and confidants.
On 6/1 I rode my bike to work the first time since July of 2015. It had been 6 weeks since surgery and I had grasped life again by the horns.
6/3-6/5 Brad, Dawn and Miranda Wattles came to visit from Induanapolis for the weekend.
On 6/9 I took Megabus to Iowa City and this is when I met Ash. We had 5 hours to chat and this would eventually turn into a magical friendship. We got to Iowa City late and Dale drove her to her destination and then went to his place where we’d have a fun filled weekend seeing Cheap Trick and hiking 4 state parks. I had such a good time I stayed and extra day.
6/18 met Greg Duncan for the 6 Corners BBQ Fest in Portage Park
6/25 Spent the afternoon at the Chicago History Museum and the following day took the Southshore Train to Portage IN to meet friends Dave Ganz and Bryant Bohne to eat lots of wings at Quaker Steak and Lube
7/1-7/4 2016 Indianapolis July 4 weekend with the Curry family and a house full of friends I don’t get to see often.
7/7 I met Julie online a week before we met in person. Our first real date would be at EXXXOTICA and who could ask for more. A beautiful Asian who would be open minded enough to join me at the event. Certainly the photo negative of some of the prudes I had met back before I became temporarily handicapped. We met at the train station the day before. She’d actually have to sit while Kelly touched up my hair at Milio’s. Our hands found each other and soon after so did our lips. To me it felt right and by the week’s end any other woman would be the furthest thing from on my mind. She was exactly what I had waited for for so long and she was aware of my past since she used this diary to access my life’s “open book.” I wanted this more than anything as far back as I can remember other than my recovery of course.
After I checked in and set up my makeshift office we hit the convention floor and made our rounds. I even managed to get her VIP access for the evening of the show. She would have to leave the next morning and this meant that the forces of nature had their way and we retired from the show early. I had no regrets.
Bad Kitty/Good Pussy: Seeing Julie off the next day would not be easy. The wild fun ensued but she was on my mind the entire time.
The following weekend was Chicago Open Air where Ministry and Rammstein would perform and Max and I had VIP all access. I ended up giving my access to Brian so that I could have alone time with Julie. I had no regrets again.
Over the next few weeks it was almost like a roller coaster romance and the mood would swing one way and then another. It was both confusing and frustrating. Six weeks in it would prove to be an ill fated affair of the heart.
“Loving you was so easy
And leaving you was so very hard
And now I’m living in this ocean of blue” -Million Miles Away by Hanoi Rocks
7/19 Saw Cheap Trick again with Joan Jett and Heart on the bill. Went with Max Bravo and Brian Stoneman and it was a killer time even though my boss began riding me hard at the office. Max managed to cheer me up late and I went home during Hearts set and called Julie.
7/22 Dale and Anne came to town to see Cheap Trick and met Julie briefly. Then Julie left briefly, and this was the first time she broke my heart but that dark side in me took over. I went from broken, to embarrassed to pissed. She returned and we had another 2 nights.
7/30 Torianna Nichole Bodie Acoustic set at Elbo Room
8/6-8/7 Hot Dog Fest and Edgefest. I’d also find a new physican that weekend.
Saturday August 13 was my close friend Jeff Windisch’s birthday. I was at Julies home in Champaign for the weekend which would be more dramatic than romantic due to the powers of negativity. I sent Jeff a funny Facebook birthday message and that evening he died in the audience where his band Emperors and Elephants had opened a show in Minneapolis for a national headliner. Sadness swept over me but at least I had Julie to soften the blow.
Within 48 hours we were over and I was home. Lucky for me Curse Mackey was staying at my place during the week and the day he left Bob Salisbury from Boston arrived. I indulged to numb the loss and indulged in many friends constant company. At least I wasn’t alone with my thoughts.
“Took too much of this, had too much of that
But with you I never got enough
I thought there’d never be love in my life
And that’s sad ’cause when I think what I could’ve had
It makes me feel so bad” -Million Miles Away by Hanoi Rocks
“I smoked a lot of sky, I drank a lot of rain
Anything to ease my pain” ” -Million Miles Away by Hanoi Rocks
That Friday was Jeff’s funeral. Finally all of the pain set in. I had hired a limo to take me there and back. On my way back I had the driver stop at a liquor store and I began to drown myself again.
I did get to visit a cool drive in the last weekend I had with Julie. It should have been the perfect date if she had turned off her phone and ignored the endless blatant venomous email attacks from her ex. I prefer to remember the good parts of that night. Somewhere inside of her she must have cared more for me than the part of her that let me go two nights later. Nobody in my adult life has taken me to a drive in for a date. That will always be special to me.
That age old Alex Zander defense mechanism would once again do damage control and take over: it will be a long time if ever that I let myself fall that deeply in love with another woman. Those close to me knew better than to ask and a few would inquire and there’s was only so many times I could say “I don’t want to talk about it”, before verbally exploding.
8/25 Ash and I had gotten back in touch just after nboth of our syncronized failed relationships and Friday 8/25 she met me and some friends at the Foundation Room where we were seeing Ace Frehley. This is where we shared our first drinks. She had another show to attend across town and we had plans to meet up the next afternoon for a wildly fun night out.
9/2 Went to see the Cubs VS The Giants at Wrigley Field then at the bottom of the 7th went to see Ash for the first time at her place. We were up till around 5AM and she had to go to work.
9/7 the week of….Porn Legend Rebecca Bardoux drove from Las Vegas to Chicago and stayed at my place for several nioghts. I continued drowning.
9/10 Max joined me at the German American Fest and we hung out with a group of friends and as usual made or way back to my place.
9/15 Tori aka Victoria Rusalka Vladislav flew in from New Hampshire for Riot Fest and Jeff Brown came in from Indianapolis later that night. It was a long 5 days.
9/22 Curse Mackey and Rona Rougheart arrive for the Cold Waves Fest and my annual post Cold Waves BBQ is the following Sunday.
9/24/2016 Suprise, Jessica Egdorf drops in for the afternoon. I join her a few weeks later in St Charles for the Scarecrow Fest.
9/25 The biggest and best star studded BBQ I’ve ever hosted. People from all overthe world attend and perform. Thank Roy I took the following day off. By Tuesday most everyone is gone. Verna stays on for a few weeks.
With the upcoming 25th Anniversary Reunion shows by Pigface and The Electric Hellfire Club approaching, genuine interest in MK ULTRA is growing for the first time in a decade. I begin working on several projects with some other people.
1) The MK ULTRA videop yearbooks from the 90′s
2) a limited edition hardcover MK ULTRA coffee table book.
- Tac Quick (Thai) opens in the former Fornella’s space. I get to know staff and management.
- I discover the newly rejuvenated Little Vietnam up at Asia on Argyle.
10/14/2016 Curse Mackey return for rehearsal on Pigface 25
10/18 Verena returns home
10/20 Phil Owens arrives and we go see M83.
10/23 Phil returns home
10/28 My MK ULTRA Halloween show at Looney Bin. get a room in Bourbonnais at Super 8 and its the worst lodging experience of my life. The show began to fall apart due to the Cubs in the World Series but comes together in the end with some all stars talent.
10/31 Halloween with Ash in the east Loop. Long wild and crazy night
11/1 Back to Midwest Orthopedics for my 6 month post hip surgery exam.
11/19 People begin to arrive for Pigface 25 and I will have a houseful and a lot of stress for the next 10 days
11/24 Pigface 25 dinner and dress rehearsal at Reggie’s
11/25 Pigface 25 House of Blues SOLD OUT
11/26 Ill fated Thanksgiving Feast for Friends.
11/27 Bad Santa 2 with Adrian, Max, Ash and Brad
12/2 Flight to Tampa for the Electric Hellfire Club reunion show. Room in Ybor City at Hilton Garden Inn
12/3 Spent time in Tampa area with Eric and Carissa Bandauski
12/11 AZ Birthday Dinner at Bird’s Nest Bar
12/23 Indianapolis for Christmas Weekend with the Curry family and friends.
12/26 Return home to Chicago. Bree Sutherland and her sister killed in fatal car crash
12/31 New Years Eve with Bob Hoeksema