Fuck Chicago concert promoters. I’m serious. As I’ve mentioned, with the exception of Reggie’s, they’ve ignored hard rock music, especially bands who were big during the 80’s MTV era. I’ve seen LA GUNS just about a dozen times over the last 3 years. I saw Tracii Guns solo at the Looney Bin in Bradley IL, have seen LA GUNS multi times in St Charles IL, Joliet IL, Rockford IL and Valparaiso IN. Not once in the city which I live. From the turnout they obviously have a draw so why is it the Forge in shithole Joliet and The Arcada in St Charles that book these acts? I’m fucking SICK OF IT.
With that said I was more than happy to spend time with my old sidekick Bob (Newbomb Turk) Hoeksema. We’ve been sharing shows together for 20 years now and we have some tales that I dare never share on a public forum. I got downtown early Saturday morning with enough time to throw a burger down my throat at Five Guys. There’s a location just north of me on way to work that recently closed so I had to jump on it while I had the chance. And I did. With not enough time to finish my massive order of small fries I packed them into my bag and got on the Metra for a long ride to the end of the line at Aurora.
It was a lot colder in Aurora than it was in Chicago. Bob was about a 5 minute wait and we were on the way to Tubby’s Drive In (his house) where I got to meet his new dog Otis. We hung out for a few hours listening to LA GUNS songs and made our way to a sold out show in St Charles with LA GUNS and Tom Keifer of Cinderella fame. Cassie wasn’t able to attend even though she had expressed interest in going previously so I had her passes put in Eden Lakes name who drove at last minute 72 miles from Gary IN to shoot the show. Bob would shoot LA GUNS and luckily Eden shot Tom since it was much to crowded for BH to get any clear shots of Keifer’s band.
The audience was a lot like my first visit to the Arcada when Turk and I went to interview Angels Frank DiMino. They were fucked up beyond belief. All of them double fisting over priced 10 oz draught beers. One guy actually carried 3 cups past me. This is the ONLY venue I’ve ever been to where people fall over drunk and do not get tossed out. The security are very level headed and patient. In Chicago they get off on tossing you out into the street for the most simple reason. There are several bouncers and security people who are well known for roughing up attendees. My first visit a guy fell backwards down the stairs and they sat him on a chair. On this night while Tom Keifer was experiencing some technical difficulties I walked into the lobby to stretch my legs which were hurting from the tight standing area and two women fell backwards and spilled their drinks on me and another guy. Security helped them up and they bought a couple of more beers.
As far as drink prices at the venue I remain very unimpressed. I didn’t plan on drinking so I only took $30 in cash with me and opted against buying an LA GUNS hoodie. Like I really need another hoodie. I’m not a hood rat. So I ordered my first drink a shot of Jack on the rocks and the bartender asks me if I want to make it a double and I thought why not. $18. WHF? Okay so I nursed that for about an hour and between sets I went for another and this time a shot of Jim Beam on the rocks. He asks if I want another double and I say no. $12 WHAT THE MOTHERFUCK? I can buy a fifth of Jim Beam at the grocery for $12. I’m never buying drinks there ever again.
One thing I feel I must do is give high praise to the promoter Ron Onesti. He is a very very cool, and down to earth guy. before the show started he was in the lobby greeting and talking with patrons and gave a little girl (Nina Crowns) who was dressed in rock n roll gear some time. He later would get into his dress clothes and when introducing the evenings show bring her onstage to introduce LA GUNS. The little girl later ended up on their bus. Lucky kid
The show was rockin. I love seeing LA GUNS w/ Bob. The only downside was and it was a HUGE downside was the place was much too crowded and there is no handicapped seating so it really sucked for BH. I was pissed because people would keep coming nad going from my row to which I had to step into the aisle so they could get more and more and more beer. another WTF How can you even see the show?
During the show Cassie texted me and let me know she had a flat tire and wouldn’t be able to make it to film the show the next day. This really sucked because she had to bail the last time we had Scott Davidson on. It soured my mood a bit.
So that was that and all in all a very good weekend. Thanks to Newbomb, To Carol for LA GUNS and Amanda for Tom Keifer and Ron Onasti for putting together a hell of a rock show,
Talking to my brother a few weeks ago I spoke of when I worked at Bob Evans in teh early/mid 80’s and how I loved making sausage steak sandwiches. Sausage Steak has since been taken off their menu. So I made my own at home on Tuesday night. It’s Thursday and my haus still smells like sausage grease.