I recall only waking up once during the night. I slept through the Medved show and Hugh Hewitt was on the box and he annoyed me. I put WTTW World, took another OTC sleep aid and fell back to sleep. The alarm clock next to my bed went off at 530a and I once again slept till alarm time. When I put on WBBM News Radio I was told that it had just stopped raining. It wasn’t forecast to stop raining and after I double checked the radar prepared to bike into the office. It was 64 degrees cloudy but very pleasant for a 7.5 mile ride. Even as I stopped to take pix and got a 5 min later than usual start I still made it door to door in 40 min. By the time I changed clothes in the restroom I was still the first human in office. It was a nice day at work. Perfect flow of busy. When I left the skyscraper which sits a block away from the lake it was a lot cooler outside and very windy. I would be biking against the wind which makes for a helluva work out. I was a human rubber band by the time I got home. On my mobile there was a call from my dear friend Morgan who lives in Alaska on the island of Sitka. It had been a few months since we spoke and I happened to have been thinking of her earlier in the day.
It’s Tuesday night.
Playing in CHEAP TRICKS hometown, Friday night June 1st, 96.7 The Eagle presents “Rock The Dock” at Prairie Street Brewhouse with L.A. Guns. The first of a summer concert series, ON THE DOCK.
After Prongs set with Ashley Darling and Cassie Balazic. All in all a most wonderful day.
I swear I work as hard when I come home from the office as I do at the office
Wednesday was a really good day. It was confirmed that I got the project I’ve wanted for work and will close out my current contract on June 1. Later that afternoon the great Adam Becvare messaged me that LA GUNS would be playing July 1 in Rockford home of Cheap Trick. I’ve only been to Rockford on 3 occasions. Once I was driving back from New Glarus and the snow as so bad that we had no choice but to stay at a local motel and get up the next day and make the hazardous drive back to the city because the firm I worked for insisted I still come to work. It took 3 hours that morning to make a 90 minute drive and I believe it was the last time I ever ate at a Burger King. That company didn’t even care of someone close to you died, they still expected you to come into the office. There was no working from home in regards to that now defunct organization. 3 months later that company would fold into bankruptcy and as it fell, me being the loyal employee that I am stuck it out to the end. The next two visits to Rockford were leisure and I went to see the massive exhibit Rick’s Picks: A Lifelong Affair With Guitars & Music at Burpee Museum. 5,900-square-foot exhibit which featured not only a vast selection of Rick Nielsen’s famed guitar collection, but also tons of Cheap Trick memorabilia. LA GUNS who I’ve already seen 3 other times outside of Chicago in a year (St. Charles, Joliet and Valparaiso IN) still haven’t landed a gig within Chicago city limits which says a lot about the current state of music promoters here. I will venture again with Newbomb Turk Hoeksema a man that loves good hard rock as much as I do. One of those rare friend you find in adulthood who remains as passionate about rock music as you are in youth.
That was two bits of good news mid-week and then I got an email from Prong’s Tommy Victor who put me and Ashley on the guest list for their show at the Bottom Lounge the next night. He needed me to run to Trader Joe’s for him. His request: Low salt cashews, almonds. Almond/cashew butter, a couple of veggie protein bars and a loaf of Dave’s bread. The next day I planned to hit Trader Joe’s after work on my way to the venue which meant my bike ride to work and back and then take CTA to the venue was out, and it was a picture perfect weather day.
Thursday it was planned that after work I meet with Heather at Nilly Cafe’. Heather for those who don’t know was the young lady I was in a relationship with for 3.5 yrs and we moved to Chicago from Indianapolis together. She was also in most of those 3 years a very big part of the MK ULTRA team as we slowly made it into what it went onto become. She was as much a part of the magazines success as anybody even though I was the face of it. I recently came across a disc of hundreds of photos of our adventures from the last 18 months of our relationship as I was going through boxes of media for the creation of the book I’m working on. I copied them to a thumb drive for her and we met up for a half and hour chat to catch up and for me to deliver the images. At 4p I had gone into the restroom on my office floor and made the transformation. Nobody in house knows of my alter ego…..yet. I ordered an iced coffee and sat outside putting in my earrings, a skull ring and tried to attach my black iron cross around my neck over my hat. I was having trouble and I heard a ladies voice, “El Diablo.” It was a nickname I hadn’t heard in years, and in recent years only from Sinderella Pussie of Thrill Kill Kult fame. It was Heather looking like she hadn’t aged since we met. Any baby fat she still had on her once round face was gone. She had become a well sculpted mother, her facial features now defined. Yup, she’s a proud mother of a little girl and I’m happy for her. It was a nice casual visit and hard to believe that over 20 years have passed since we met. Strange that with all the time that has passed that we are exactly the same in being comfortable in conversation. 30 minutes seemed to fly by.
Hopefully she gets some laughs from the images.
I went on my way at 430 and sent Tommy a text that I was at Trader Joe’s. They didn’t have Dave’s bread and luckily he messaged me that he needed some Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread. I managed everything in less than 10 minutes and was on my way to the west loop and the Bottom Lounge. I hadn’t been there in years. I walked in and the entire staff was amazingly friendly. No yelling like security do on the north side at venues such as Metro, The Vic(infamous) and Riviera theater. They shook my hand and took e to the dressing room where I| hung out with the band till sound check. After a nice brief visit I met up with Cassie Balazik, who was shooting the show for MK, out front and we were later joined by Ashley who just like a year ago joined me for a PRONG show.
Between sets I got a chance to talk to Lauren O’Neil the on air personality from Q101 who I met last summer at a CHEAP TRICK concert. She was wearing a very Cheap Trickesque black and white checkered mini-dress that was oh so cool. I also got a couple of minutes with metal veteran/guitarist Shaun Glass. I saw a few other friends and enjoyed a loud and tight solid 1 hour performance of PRONG who are still at their peak and have released six records in the last six years. Tommy is in top form and Art Cruz is one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen. The crowd was really into it and the room was hot and sweaty by the time the band closed with ‘Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck’. We hung around a bit and I knew I needed to get home and sleep so I could go into work the next day. Ashley called an Uber and I would ride as far as the Red Line with her. On the way out I ran into Fred who I haven’t seen in a coons age and it was really nice to run into him. He also had to get up for work. I was exhausted and thought over and over about how I used to do this 5 out of 7 nights a week and go till the sun came up.
The Red Line at 10PM was a crowded nightmare at best but I made it home and into bed by 11PM and slept great now 4 nights in a row. Friday was very busy at work and very few people were in the office. Early in the morning I heard back from Captain Jack at 96.7 FM in Rockford that he’d put me on the guest list for the LA GUNS show. It was another good day. I kinda wanted to get a bottle of Irish whisky and toast my new career move with a friend but opted for pizza at the last minute. This was only the second time this year I’ve had pizza and this had to be Jets.
I did a bunch of MK ULTRA online updates and watched the season finale of Gotham. My plan was to enjoy a quiet low key weekend. Life is about to get very busy starting next week. I woke up, had coffee and watched ‘American Swing’ a 2008 documentary about the 1970s phenomenon of swinging at Plato’s Retreat in New York City. (not one person in the 1 hr 21 minute doc looked anywhere near as good as the image below)
It’s now just before noon on Saturday. I’m full of pizza and coffee. It’s chilly out but I’m taking the bike out.