Sorry, We're Closed

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Playlist, August 26

Here's what I played during my first two sets of "Chewy Chewy Yummy Yummy Sugar Sugar," Chicago's bubblegum music night, on Sunday 8/26.

My DJ partners that night, Dave Monroe and Rachel Illarde, did a great job. It was a lot of fun. (My pen was mislaid after my second set, so no document of set three exists.)

Set I
You Told Me--The Monkees
Dis Petit Tom--Chantal Pary
Lightnin' Strikes--Lou F***ING CHRISTIE!
So It Goes--Nick Lowe
Down at Lulu's--Ohio Express
You Were all I Needed--D.C. Playboys
Just Don't Want to Be Lonely--The Main Ingredient
Valleri--The Monkees
I Don't Want Our Loving to Die--The Herd
Love is Thicker Than Water--Andy Gibb
Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)--Reunion

Set II
Rock Me Roxie--Trizo 50
I'll Get You--The Beatles
Up in a Puff of Smoke--Polly Brown
Randy Scouse Git--The Monkees
Little Willy--The Sweet
Quick Joey Small--The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus
Indian Gin & Whisky Dry--The Bee Gees
Dancing Machine--Jackson Five
The Tra La La Song--The Banana Splits
Little Girl Lies--Blondie
Will You Be Staying After Sunday?--Peppermint Rainbow
Joy--Apollo 100
Rock Me Gently--Andy Kim
Sometime in the Morning--The Monkees
Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead--The Fifth Estate
Let's Have Some Fun--Mod Lads/Mod Singers
Yummy, Yummy, Yummy--Ohio Express

Thanks to all y'all who came out--Tom, Jonathan, Celia, Steve, Bob D, John B, Anthony...and anyone else I forgot. Peace and Love!

As a memento of the evening, please enjoy the amazing 1968 garage/gum pounder "Quick Joey Small." I'm assuming this was sung by Joey Levine, a spectacularly influential artist in the bubblegum genre; the voice is similar to that of other hits he sang, including "Life is a Rock," "Run Run Run" by the Third Rail, and "Yummy Yummy Yummy." Levine is truly an American Tony Burrows. He continues to write today, with his efforts instead going toward catchy commercials.

(BTW, besides including the lyric "Run Joey Run," "QJS" has nothing to do with the horrible 70s death-epic "Run Joey Run," sung forgettably by David Geddes.)

A final note, and a tremendously odd one..did y'all know that the lyrics to the epochal "Life is a Rock" were written by Norman Dolph, who helped Andy Warhol with technical production on the first Velvet Underground album? Amazing, no?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Chewy Bubblegum This Sunday

Come on by and get your sweet tooth on! At least two of us DJs will be wearing costumes to beat the band. Hope to see you.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Patron Saints

The Patron Saints, a three-piece band from New York state, recorded one album, Fohhoh Bohob, during the summer of 1969. The entire self-produced project was taped at drummer Paul D'Alton's house while his parents were away on vacation.

Songwriters Eric Bergman and Jon Tuttle handled the guitar, bass, banjo, and piano chores on the nine songs, which carried a summery, acoustic vibe with a range of influences including the Who, Love, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan.

The band decided to go whole hog with their self-made album, using Tuttle's complicated cover drawing and an insert with fancy full-color graphics, but perversely could only could afford to press 100 copies! Needless to say, the album never had enough exposure to catch on with anyone "influential," at least at the time.

But years later, as these "private press" records have gained an audience, and have become super-desirable to a certain kind of rich and/or wild-eyed record collector, Fohhoh Bohob has reached a sort of notoriety. If you can even find someone who'll sell you their vinyl copy, it could cost you a couple thousand dollars. There may be as few as 20 of them left in existence.

Luckily for the rest of us, Eric Bergman put together a reissue, on CD, of the album in 1997 on his Maxfield label. He also has an amazingly thorough website,, in which he relates the entire Patron Saints story as well as information on his other bands.

AUGUST 28 UPDATE: Fohhoh Bohob has just been reissued, both on album and CD, with bonus tracks, on Time-Lag Records. Check out their catalog here.

Jon Tuttle, later diagnosed with schizophrenia, died in the 1990s, and he's not around to benefit from the increased interest in the band...but you can hear his lovely "Nostalgia Trip" if you click on the link below.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Today, I was on Bruce Levine and Chet Coppock's "Talkin' Baseball" show on WMVP, promoting Wrigley Season Ticket 2007. In the middle of discussing the way local newspapers write about the team, I made a factual error by stating that the Daily Herald sometimes drops road coverage of the Cubs when the team is out of the race in September.

Bruce Miles, esteemed beat writer from the Herald, corrected me on this, for which I am both grateful and chastened. I appreciate him getting in touch with me to set me straight.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

On Celebrity

I had a recent encounter with a Chicago-area celebrity. This fellow, who has been in the local consciousness for the last 35 years or so, came by a place where I was trying to do some business and made it clear, through body language and not-so-subtle eye movement, that he wanted me to give him the product I was selling--a product that I'd sweated to my eyeteeth to produce.

Just give it to him, as if his celebrity and his public standing warranted this.

(Shortly after this, said celebrity was seen cutting into a line, in front of others who had been waiting much longer than he.)

Over the years, I have met athletes, musicians, and other public figures who have--to say it kindly--a tenuous grip on reality. Treated like Gods and Goddesses their entire lives, they have come to expect the "public" to fall all over them, to cling to them, to remove from them any vestige of inconvenience or trouble, as if the world were their personal lint brush.

While I don't read crap like People (I consider these voyeuristic star-making and star-breaking magazines evil), I do work peripherally around celebrity; most of my writing concerns baseball and music. So I can't say I have entirely clean hands in this matter. But I try to write about the product itself--the art, the game--and not the perks, the glitter, or any of that bullshit.

So my learning for today comes back to the individual. Gandhi said that we must be the change we want to see in the world. While I can't change the way some moron "celebrity" acts, I can keep tabs on myself.

Therefore, I invite you--friends, family, and dear readers--to hold me to this point: if I ever big-league anybody, or start acting like a pampered "celebrity," please punch my lights out.

Thank you.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Happiness is a Warm...huh?!?

Ceci, Rita, Rick and I were sitting around Sunday night/Monday morning at 3:00 am or so singing Beatles songs, and when we finished "Happiness is a Warm Gun," Rick pointed out the absolute strangeness of the lyrics in the bridge.

"She's well acquainted with the touch of the velvet hand like a lizard on a windowpane
The man in the crowd with the multicolored mirrors on his hobnail boots
Lying with his eyes while his hands are busy working overtime
A soap impression of his wife which he ate and donated to the National Trust."

A soap...huh? He ate what? He did what? Where?

Leaving aside lizards, boots, and hands working overtime, let's just concentrate on that last line, shall we? Why not parse that last line out, because it demands further study.

Several assumptions must be made in order to fully understand this line.

1. A man owned a soap impression of his wife.

2. The man ate said soap impression.

3. The man eventually divested himself of this digested soap impression, either through defecation or vomiting.

4. The man donated said fecal or emetic material, containing the previously mentioned artisinal soap product, to the National Trust.

5. The National Trust has a policy of accepting donations of human fecal or emetic material, at least if such material contains soap products previously used in artistic impressions of the donor's spouse.

Now isn't that much clearer?

Today's joke, courtesy of Sheila

...who always has the best jokes.

A lady goes to her priest one day and tells him, "Father, I have a problem. I have two female parrots, but they only know how to say one thing.

"What do they say?" the priest inquired.

They say, "Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have some fun?"

"That's obscene!" the priest exclaimed. Then he thought for a moment. "You know," he said, "I may have a solution to your problem. I have two male talking parrots, which I have taught to pray and read the Bible. Bring your two parrots over to my house, and we'll put them in the cage with Francis and Peter. My parrots can teach your parrots to pray and worship!"

"Thank you," the woman responded, "this may very well be the solution."

The next day, she brought her female parrots to the priest's house. As he ushered her in, she saw that his two male parrots were inside their cage holding rosary beads and praying. Impressed, she walked over and placed her parrots in with them.

After a few minutes, the female parrots cried out in unison, “Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have some fun?" There was stunned silence.

Shocked, one male parrot looked over at the other male parrot and exclaimed, "Put the beads away, Frank. Our prayers have been answered."

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Barrel of Miscellany

The midwest's annual Fest for Beatles Fans was held this past weekend in suburban Chicago. My co-author Rob Rodriguez and I appeared on two discussion panels at the fest, promoting our new book Fab Four FAQ. Things went well; we sold out of all the copies that the Fest people ordered, and made some new friends.

Barry Bonds hit his 756th homer last night to pass Hank Aaron on the all-time list. I'm glad he did; Bonds may have taken steroids, but we don't know that for sure, and even if he did, he ain't alone. I've been through this before, but a huge number of athletes in all sports take 'roids, including major league pitchers (in fact, probably more pitchers than position players take them). Back in his day, Willie Mays and Willie Stargell , to name just two, not only took amphetamines, but distributed them to their teammates, so let's not get all weepy about the "good old days." Nobody's going to forget Hank Aaron because Bonds has hit more homers.

On the music tip, I'm going to start sharing a lot more things in the near future because I finally found a decent online music storage/playing solution.

Today's selection is a chunk of raw midwestern soul from Little Anne. "Lean Lanky Daddy" dates from the mid-sixties but wasn't released until a few years ago. It's a classic Detroit cut with a great bassline, cool backing vocals, and references to contemporary records by Edwin Starr, Aretha Franklin, and others. Fierce!