So much more to come. A major work in progress.
Completely forgot that James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt were playing at Wrigley tonight and my bike ride home went sideways. However the new Gene Loves Jezebel arrived in the mail and I can’t wait to give it a spin.
Tuesday morning I played it starting at 6AM as I worked from home with the bright sunshine setting my kicthen and back deck aglow. It was the perfect music for this type of morning. Beautiful and relaxing with flowing melodies and sizzling guitars. I played it 3x. Perfect inspiration and the calm before the storm as I only had 3 hrs to bill this day.
Wednesday was a different monster as I kicked off some of my most intense research ever and built out the bigggest target list of my career. Much needed and will take many hours to complete. I love it.
Wednesday 7/19/2017 630A
The Bowling Alley Book Concept
Aug 13, 1969 – Aug 13, 2016
I live in an old house, 118 yrs old, and I love it. The old detailed word work in the stairwell, the high ceilings and that turn of the century charm lacking in so many Chicago rehabs screams volumes of history to me. It has a few drawbacks, very few for me, but one is the bathroom. It is very outdated. There is blue tile I find myself constantly cementing back onto the backside of the tubs outer side. The toilet is very old and as I write this currently in a state of repair. The bathtub is the only thing I’d really change. Sure having in house laundry would be a luxury but I can make due as it offers its own adventures from time to time. I’ve been in this space since August 2007 and now approaching 10 years. I’ve been on the same street since 2005 a year when I made a drastic and much needed career change. My bathtub has endured decades of wear and tear and if the owners would allow me I would at my expense have the shower and tub completely updated. But they have their reasons and one of them is to preserve the historical status of the property.
Last night after winding down from a very long and tedious day of research at the west loop office I got into the tub and started scrubbing. This involves getting inside on my hands and knees naked with the shower running and scrubbing with a variety of chemicals which I’m sure have done its damage to my brain cells long before this particular deed. As I was scrubbing I was thinking about my musician friends Jason Meudt and Jeff Windisch who had been good friends of mine since 1999. Around 2000/2001 Jeff and I were bowling and were knocking around the idea of travelling cross country and visiting the many rural bowling alleys and photo documenting it for a coffee table book. It’d capture true Americana in its purest form we believed. MK ULTRA was just starting to gather momentum and would require almost all of my time and that book never became a reality. This is what I was thinking about as I was in the midst of hard labor tub cleaning. My thoughts would fast forward to 11 months ago on Saturday August 13, 2016 while I was in Champaign Illinois in the company of the woman I was dedicated to and fully consumed with for a short time last summer. It was Jeff’s birthday and I sent a funny greeting with a subtle inside joke that would only be appreciated by him. He and Jason’s latest band Emperors and Elephants were enjoying some minor success and playing later that night in Minneapolis opening for a national recording act. As my lady and I went about our day which was enjoyable even though it was sprinkled with a whole lot of unwarranted drama that even to this day I still cannot get my head around. That night she took me far out into the country to a Drive In. That’s how well she could read me and why I thought until that weekend was over that this was the one I’d spend the rest of my days with and live out our shared dreams of moving away etc.
Gibson Bowl: 915 S Sangamon Ave, Gibson City, IL 60936
On the way to the Drive In we stopped by an old rural bowling alley, Gibson Bowl in Gibson City, Illinois and for a couple of minutes I shared the concept of actually doing the book this time with her as my travelling companion and co-conspirator on the project. Something to do as we ventured across the country searching out an ill-fated dream of moving to another warmer climate together. Me, I’m always the dreamer. A realistic dreamer with a proven track record but always dreaming and creating in the back of my mind, even when it comes to relationships. Nothing is impossible. As my hands were getting worn out and I was inhaling the toxic fumes my mind also travelled to the next morning, Sunday August 14th when I woke up, checked my email and learned that Jeff had died suddenly after his band E&E played while watching the headlining act on his birthday. Right there in the crowd he collapsed and passed away. A big part of me died that weekend too. The biggest parts I lost other than a very good friend was hope and faith.
I’ve been working on an MK ULTRA retrospect coffee table anthology this year and once that’s published I think I’d like to revisit the concept of that bowling alley book and the travels it would entail and of course dedicate it to Jeff.
So that’s the kind of stuff I think about when I’m cleaning. I had to make a note and email it to myself so I would be sure to document it. I really do miss Jeff. Some days more than others. We had so many adventures as friends be it bowling, camping, canoeing, rock n roll, certain shenanigans that nobody would ever learn of, eating wings, funerals, his wedding or just good old heart to heart while drinking. The one thing I didn’t enjoy sharing with him was his funeral.
Sunrise Lake Michigan (can you see that Jesus guy out there? ) Fri 7/21/2017
Friday began as one of the most beautiful mornings of late. The proof is in the pix. By 430P it was getting dark outside so I left the office an hour early in order to beat the oncoming storm. It would prove to be too late. By the time I got to LSD at the north edge of Grant Park I got dumped on and it was a torrential downpour. I crossed the Chicago River and parked my bike outside of Ashley’s place across from Navy Pier and took a bus to transfer to the Red line. I was soaked and had things to do. Once I got to my stop it was still coming down and the CTA station was flooded. Luckily unlike most of the other evening commuters, I was wearing sandals. After picking up some CLR at Ace Hardware I walked in the rain to buy a new camera down the street. It was still pouring and would continue till I was almost home. Frustrated as I loathe the rain when I have to be in it and it has been raining a lot and a lot of the outlying burbs have been flooded over and over this summer. This week has been the worst of all. I picke dup a bottle of Deep Eddy’s and said screw it. Went home, changed clothes, sat out back and played some LA GUNS to wind down.
My plans to see Garbage on Saturday fell through when I was unable to get on the guest list and was only provided a photo pass. The person I had invited was understanding, though certainly disappointed. As for myself I was devastated and embarrassed. She assured me we would get together though.
Saturday morning I ran my usual errands and got ready for Tom to meet me at the house and go to the Stones exhibit at Navy Pier. It was getting very hot outside. We walked by my parked bicycle on the way, stop and ate at Billy Goat Tavern and breezed through the exhibit which was a lot busier than before. While there I got a text from Jessica and I invited her over for drinks at 5. She would arrive 3 hours later and we met at Tac Quick. When I got home around 3P Syble was finishing up the repair on my toilet and put the shelving back together over teh back wall. Later that night when TAC QUICK closed the bartender Bradford and a friend came by to join Jessica and I. It went late, and much later than I have been up in months. It was so hot during the day that the Jolly Ranchers I had laying out on my living room Ouija table had melted. That’s damned hot.
Another Sunday I spent grilling and watching TV, very lazy but much deserved. I have the LA GUNS show Tuesday night which also includes an interview w/ Budderside’s lead singer. I’m off work early Tuesday and all day Wednesday though I can work from home later afternoon that day.
Summers winding down. I have 3 fests coming up, a few more concerts one being CHEAP TRICK on August 9 with Valerie who is flying in from Dallas TX. Happy Birthday Val! I have a trip to visit the Looney Bin in Bradley followed by a trip to Iowa Labor Day weekend to make up for the trip I cancelled there last year at the same time.
July 10, 2014
So it began 25 years ago with the release of “Psalm 69″. Well, in all actuality it was about a year before when Maria Ferrero sent me an advance of “Jesus Built My Hotrod” to hold us all over till the album was finally released. If you read yesterdays headline, you know what I mean by “finally”. Up till then my only affiliation with Ministry as a band was spinning their songs, yes on vinyl, in clubs throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania at the time. 25 years ago the album dropped and then I saw the band for the first of what would go on to be dozens of times to follow at Lollapalooza 92. It wasn’t long after that Alex Zander was born and within a few short years, my move to Chicago and many years of working with the band and building friendships would begin.
Sticky and humid approx 530AM July 11, 2017. Like biking thru soup!
540AM Thurs July 16, 2017. Hazy, Hot and Humid.
Went 6 carbs over my 50 carbs diet yesterday and I felt guilty especially since I had no biking in and drank two cold beers when I got home and grilled outside in the sticky warm Chicago air. I had a beer the night before too but “what to do?” If all goes well I will be biking tomorrow (Friday) as well and after work all the way up to Loyola University/Rogers Park to see the new Spiderman Homecoming movie.
I’ve reserved a room at one of my favorite area hotels in a city I loathe, Harrah’s in Joliet for the upcoming LA GUNS concert. The rooms are very Vegas reminiscent but I don’t like casinos and like Joliet a whole lot less. I do have good friends out that way and obviously really dig this band.
Below is a hysterical shot of Tracii Guns from May 2016 photobombing Emily (Stitch Witch) and myself.
Saturday is the Thai Food Fest and I’m hitting that up with Tom. It’ll be the first fest in my neighborhood that I know of and I’ve lived there since 2005.
Diet be Damned.
Friday morning as I prepared for my bike ride into the office I put on a pair of shorts that 6 weeks ago I could not button. I was happy to be able to fit into them now with ease and I made my morning commute feeling good and only worked till 330P that afternoon.
I left my bike at the office and took the train home to run some errands before the movie. I stocked up on cleaning supplies and a few other items and proceeded to the New 400 Theaters 6746 N. Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60626 where I saw Dr. Strange with Ashley late last year. B the time I reached my stop at Loyola I was very hungry and there’s a Five Guys Hamburger joint right off that stop so I caved. Outside of the train station were a group of African American male bible thumpers with signs proclaiming Jesus is black. I wanted to ask if I could take a picture and planned to ID myself as a minister but didn’t feel safe in the midst of some unsavory types gathering around. Too bad because Dale would have gotten a kick out of it.
On my way to Five Guys I took notice of how filthy the area had become and the restaurant was no different. One I ordered I went to wash up in the Men’s room and it was disgusting. I was disgusted by the filth. When I went to get some unsweetened iced tea as my beverage I was told the CO2 for the tank was empty. Ugh. I had no idea they used CO2 in Iced Tea. My bags were sitting at my table by the window and I had space all around for myself to eat in privacy. There were maybe only 5 other customers. But of course my personal space would once again be invaded, a personal pet peeve when dining, doing laundry etc when there is so much other space for people that they have to sit or do whatever right next to me. I fucking hate it. I was uncomfortable enough and feeling the guilt of straying from my diet tossed the burger down my foodhole and made my way to the theater.
During my walk I was dumbfounded by how dirty the streets and some of the people were. Say it isn’t so. Over the years I dated 2 women who lived just off of the Morse station Red Line stop and didn’t recall it being this bad. Could the demographic have changed so drastically? Maybe I’m just spoiled by living on in such a well-tailored neighborhood. One inside the theater which I once raved about I was in utter disbelief. This place was a DUMP and again my personal space would be invaded, this time by a woman that brought her dog in. This was not a seeing eye dog but her pet and I wondered why they would let her bring an animal in. The theater adjoining mine where I was about to see Spiderman Homecoming was packed full of people for War for the Planet of the Apes. I wondered if it was the nicer of the 4 theaters at this location because when we saw Dr. Strange it wasn’t so bad.
The newly Diversified Spiderman was a 2 hour 15-minute nail biting thrill ride. I loved it and it certainly more than made up for the pair of Andrew Garfield flicks. Tom Holland as Peter is perfect, though I was also a big fan of Tobey McGuire’s performances; Holland nails the quirky/nerdy frustrated Parker. After all of the credits I made my way back to the train ride home. My neighborhood was peaceful and quiet and I was in bed by 11P and had a nice night of sleep before getting up to pay bills, do laundry and grocery shop before Tom would arrive at 1P to join me for the Thai Food Festival down the street the next day.
It was an absolutely beautiful morning and I got a very early start getting my laundry in before the bank opened. I didn’t want to kill time so I went to Target and Aldi and picked up some food for my week. Amazingly I kept right at my budget not going over as I suspected I may. I got back to the laundry, switched it out, went home and put food away, stopped back at the bank and then finished my laundry. At home I relaxed for about an hour and Tom arrived right on time and we walked down to the already packed festival. I had no idea what to expect but didn’t expect the fest to be held in the smaller lot across the street from the hospital. At 1PM the lines to each food stand were very long and people were shoulder to shoulder. The $5 fee to enter was not bad but I wasn’t about t stand in line for food only to have no place to sit or stand with a table to eat. I grabbed a coconut and some cocnut milk as I was dying of thirst. After about 20-25 frustrating minutes I suggested we go to Tac Quick where we would sit and be served. A great idea in theory but after we sat ourselves outside learned that only Itti and one other employee were serving and soon a lot of other people would have the same idea as me and within a half and hour Tac Quick was packed and understaffed. I had some extremely spicy Som Tum Poo Secret Menu Dish papaya salad with salted crab at Itti’s suggestion. Tom had Neau Nam Tak Secret Menu Dish Thai beef salad and some sticky rice. he also ordered a martini which never arrived as they were so busy so once we finished we walked over to El Mariachi for drink and Tom ordered Botaña Mariachi which is little bit of everything, nachos, chicken flautas, quesadilla, pork tamalito, and a side of guacamole and sour cream. My guilt once again kicked into high gear and I also had the 60 oz. margarita. DAMMIT. We enjoyed sitting in the patio of my favorite Chicago restaurant and we soaked up the atmosphere as time went by quickly. We walked passed the fest on the way back to mi casa and I stopped and picked up some Absolut Citron. Along the way Tom pointed out a Lincoln MKZ and mentioned he wanted to buy one. I told him I have a great connection in my friend BH for all things automobile. We got back to my place, I called BH and put him on the horn with Tom and they began working out details. (As of this morning things are in motion) I showed Tom my EXXXOTICA pix and he went home around 6 and I sat out back and listened to some music before nodding off after a few tipsy phone calls to old friends, Mark is Austin TX and Jeff in Indianapolis. In the morning I’d curse myself for drinking, not because I was hungover but because I had indulged in empty calories. I did manage to invite a certain waitress I became friends with a few years back to join me at the Garbage and Blondie concert next weekend at Ravinia. As long as I’m on the guest list it’ll be great. 3 days after I have another LA GUNS concert and I’m going to buy that awesome work shirt this time with the patch on the breast that reads, SEX, BOOZE and TATTOOS.
My beach plans were nixed as I woke up and it was cool and breezy and not hot and sunny like the day before. So I opted to be a bum at home. I made some eggs and peppers for breakfast, Italian Beef for lunch and grilled up some Sheboygan Bratwurst to eat during the week. I sipped on iced coffee most of the day as I finished season 2 of Carnivale and made lunch for the next day at work. It was completely uneventful and the weather was not inviting enough for me to bike anywhere. Maybe I was just too sluggish from all of the food I consumed over the weekend. Having drinks was out of the question. I did run to the market and the streets were full of Asians going to and from the event down the street. I felt the urge to mingle but resisted.
By 9PM I was exhausted and went to bed for a nice solid night of sleep. It was a nice quiet and stress free weekend and I was more than ready for the work week ahead.
Awake at 415 AM and back to the grind. Now I need to bike off all of those calories from the weekend.
Maggie and I at EXXXOTICA 2015 which is where I had irocially met her back in 2011. It had been an interesting few years full of fun and friendship.
She had been very ill for the last year spending a lot of time in hopsitals. Maggie has suffered for years with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), and fibromyalgia. Some days were so bad she could not get out of bed, but would only cancel shoots if she was physically unable to perform. In the professional world she was known as Izrah Indica.
We will all miss her and the spirit she brought into the MK ULTRA world.
I exited the train in Geneva in the 91 degree heat. I opted to dress for comfort as opposed to style. Bob was waiting for me in his black caddy and we parked in the garage next to the Arcada and I proceeded to push his wheelchair down the mail street to The Filling Station where I ordered wings, water and iced tea and he ordered chicken tenders and water. Within minute Jay Panick called. He and a friend we having drinks at a bar near the Arcada. This was the first of more than a few friends I’m bump into over the night. A lot of us really love this band and I had been thrilled to no end for the evenings show. Little did I how exactly how much of a killer rock show we were in store for. So far the best of 2017.
They only did an instrumental of Crystal Eyes but it was fine with me
Bob and I were both on TEN after the show. I saw a few more friendly and familar faces on the way out and 1 in particular who had to make a smartass comment. Given the source I sort of expected it. Eden who ran into me on her way in to shoot the show sent me a text letting me know if I’d be at the Joliet show she’s bring my “awesome” (belated) birthday present which she picked up for me in Amsterdam where she works a few months of the year. When we got back to Bob’s he cooked up a quick pizza for me and we crashed. One of his German Shepherds Luger as always slept at my side.
After a nice hearty breakfast ala chef Newbomb we took a nice drive around lunch out to Ream’s to pick up some steaks for dinner and I grabbed up some fancy sausages to store in my freezer for a special occasion or 3.
Reams Meat Market 250 SOUTH MAIN STREET, ELBURN, IL, 60119 has been a meat market since 1904.
In 1954, selling high quality fresh meat and processing meat for farmers, Robert and Phyllis Ream bought the business and operated the store in rural Kane County. As the area started to change, Ream’s Elburn Market has evolved into a specialized meat market with which no other store in the area can compare.
Around 1980, Randy Ream, Robert and Phyllis’ son, started to learn the art of smoked meats and sausages. The store has become well known throughout the entire Chicago area for their award-winning sausages and smoked meats.
Randy Ream has won over 200 awards in state and national competitions. Randy has also earned his spot in the Cured Meat Hall of Fame! Ream’s Elburn Market is an old-fashioned family owned business that specializes in knowledgeable, friendly service and high quality fresh meat, smoked meats, and other unique food items.
After shopping We had some ice cream from next door and made a qucik stop at Old People Jewel where I bought some Deep Eddy’s and Red Bull on the way back to his place.
One of his old friends came by for steaks and after an early night and a good night of sleep I was on the road again early on Saturday and dropped off at the train at Rosemont where I half dreaded going back home but once there was happy to be back within its comforts and my cats.
It was two lazy days and after I finally finished cleaning up from the July 4 BBQ just watched a bunch of movies. 3-Star Trek films included. Cassie sent some more EXXXOTICA pix and I posted them. By Monday by my surprise director Tom Six either was tipped off about or found out about my Human Centipede tattoo and he shared it on Twitter. Either way it’s pretty cool in my book. I’m getting more compliments on it than my DEVO Duty Now for the Future tat. Kinda funny in a freaky way.
Work has me plenty busy and I’m going to make time to see Spiderman Homecoming this weekend and check out the Thai American Food Fest in my neighborhood with Tom on Saturday.
Meeting Marica Hase in person for the first time.
We did a TV show together 2 days later.
and what EXXXOTICA would be complete without my beautiful friend
Had a rough start to the week after Maggies passing. Wasn’t able to focus on work much and only did 5 hours a day Tues and Wed and didn’t return to the office till Thursday. Friday evening I began feeling better.
Saturday July 1
By far the best day of summer 2017 so far. Everything about today from the time we woke, to arriving at the fest having rock star parking and then got right down front for the show was as good as it gets. Finally after all these years got a Romantics T shirt and a tank top. We also got a ton of great swag from the bevvy of vendors. Had 4 ribs, 3 beers, 2 waters and a Lemon Shake up. I don’t hate Naperville as much anymore especially since this MASSIVE Rib Fest was outside of downtown in a nice big park.
Ate breakfast at Golden House Restaurant & Pancake House in Uptown and loved it. It was the setting of where Fiona works on the tv series “Shameless”. We then went to two grocery stores for food for the July 4 BBQ. We made it to Naperville in an hour and were there by 1PM so we nly had t pay $16 for the tickets. My diet is going very well so I was able to keep my alcohol intake to a minimum. We had a great time and it was very hot outside. Perfect summer concert weather.
From an email sent to Adam Becvare:
The whole show was great but then again it was Naperville so you know what the demographic these bands were playing to are all about. Not exactly a seasoned rock audience and a few tried to reclaim their 80′s style which amused me. They went nuts on the big THREE and only then. “What I Like About You”, “I Ran” and “Rock Lobster”. I was bummed about and it seemed that the Romantics didn’t really get what I feel they deserved. First of all the sound for the whole show was kind of fucked, especially the vox for the B’s. The Romantics finally came on at 5 since the show was pushed to an hour late. When Wally turned to face the audience and hit the first notes of “When I Look in Your Eyes” the top strap to his Rickenbacker broke and somehow he managed to not let that thing fall to the stage floor. So where were the stangehands? Nowhere! He did the first verse before anyone came out and replaced the strap. Other than that it was a good fun and tight set. It got way loud during “She’s Got Everything”, Mike sang “Stone Pony” and it was pretty heavy and they even covered We “Gotta Get out of This Place”. They only got 45 min which sucked and didn’t do “One in a Million”. Flock of Seagulls who were introduced as a band that were known for their hair in the 90′s from LOVERPOOL, A FLEET OF SEAGULLS! I asked “is that guy drunk? ” FOS got an hour and played fucking everything. They were pretty impressive. Updated versions of their old stuff.
I met Jimmy long before I did Wally, Mike, Brad and Rich which is when I first met you. Jimmys band the Motor City Rockers were one of my first interviews and my girl and I spent almost the whole night with the band back in Cols OH. This was around 89. I thought they were a really good straight up rock outfit but like you prefer him drumming and doing so with the Romantics.
On our feet from 1P till 10P and we were feeling it.
On the way back we were both very hungry so we went to a New IHOP in Hillside and I had an excellent cheeseburger omlette. The service was very friendly. We had about 30 min to kill before midnight so we went to Super Target and I spent more money on BBQ stuff.
Got home and both of us crashed hard. Best night of sleep in a week.
Speaking of the diet I’ve managed to shed almost 20 lbs in 5 weeks. My clothes are fitting a lot looser now. Its a good feeling. I didn’t eat much at my BBQ yesterday but made up for it with alcohol intake, but kept it more under control than I used to.
Tomorrow I’m off to the west burbs to see LA Guns with Bob aka Newbomb Turk. Looks like I’ll be there for 2 nights which will be nice.
Dr. Anastasia (Stacy) Fischer who was one the only female Neurologist in the state of Louisiana and her boyfriend Rustin Froeber ame for the BBQ. Stacy and I go back to 1995 when I first started hanging with The Electric Hellfire Club. She dated the drummer Rich. We reconnected again around 2002 when I made my first trip to New Orleans and then again earlier this year when she moved back to WI.
Dealing with the loss of our wonderful Maggie who took her life over the weekend. My eyes and throat are still raw. A true original. We all loved her very very much.
BH nailed it. We live on the edge.
You’re never numb to losing those close to you and as many as I’ve lost the last few years it never hurts any less. We will all miss Maggie Judge. My only comfort is that she is no longer in pain.
Attention family & friends: To anyone who would like to come & pay their respects to Maggie Judge is more than welcome. The service will be held on Saturday, July 1st at Meadows Funeral Home (3615 Kirchoff Rd, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008). Visitation hours start at 2pm, followed by the funeral service at 5pm.
Crowne Plaza Hors d’oeuvres
2 lbs jumbo shrimp
Jalapeno stuffed olives
4 varieties of gourmet pickle (Tabasco, Sriracha, Spicy bites and Horseradish)
Baked wheat crackers
Buffalo Style Chicken salad
Various cheeses (including Ghost Pepper cheese)
Cucumber chicken wraps
750 ml Jameson
750 ml Absolut Citron
750 ml Deep Eddys Ruby Red
1 bottle Red Moscato
1 bottle White Moscato