Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Sunday Comments ( 12 - 02 - 18 )

Big time in The Windy City as we gear up for appearances by local heroes Styx and the legendary Rolling Stones. 

Chicago has always been a favorite haunt of The Rolling Stones … their initial attraction to the musical arts came from much of the music recorded at Chess Records, which led to them eventually cutting some tracks here in the early ‘60’s … and throughout their career. 

Chicago always seems to be on their itinerary, including a number of “surprise,” unexpected stops at some of the local clubs that favor the Blues and R&B roots that first inspired the band to pursue their own musical career. 

They return to Chicago for a stop on their No Filter Tour on June 21st … and now a second date has already been added for June 25th, due to the high demand for tickets. 

I only saw The Stones one time and that was back in 1972 when they were truly living up to their reputation as The World’s Greatest Rock And Roll Band.  Due to a huge campaign started by a radio station up in Rockford, IL, (which also included a petition with tens of thousands of signatures on it), The Stones gave in and added a date to their tour.  (I had graduated from high school the year before … and remember camping out the night before in front of our local Sears store at Cermak Plaza with a bunch of my fellow graduates, waiting for Ticketron (yeah, remember them?!?!) to open first thing in the morning, convinced that this maneuver would earn us INCREDIBLE first row tickets.  (Yeah, right … like that’s EVER the way it worked!!!)  Nevertheless, this was the band in their prime and it was an incredible concert. 

Although they’ve certainly passed that moment in time today, I hear they still put on an absolutely incredible show, giving their all in order to leave each and every one of their fans satisfied.  (I love David Lewis’ comment the other day about a quote Mick did right around this time: 

Every time the Rolling Stones announce another tour, I'm reminded of Mick's 1969 interview when he said "I'd rather be dead than singing "Satisfaction" when I'm 45."  
(David Lewis)  

Still, this would be a good one to see.  (How many more years can they keep doing this???  Then again how many times have I asked that very same question over the past twenty years?!?!)  It really is amazing.  They truly are legendary … and spending a couple of hours with them while they’re up on stage really needs to be experienced.

Meanwhile, I also made mention the other day that I have never seen Styx. 

As many times as they’ve played here (and for SO many years), I’ve only managed to see Dennis DeYoung perform on his own … and that was a few years back at Schaumburgfest.  (We stayed for most of the show but actually walked out early after what I can only describe as a boring monotony had set it.) 

I think for most of the time the band was enjoying the highest points of their career DeYoung was considered to be the driving force that was making all of this happen.  As a general rule, it was HIS songs that became the biggest hits on the charts. 

But in hindsight, they all seem just a little bit too “theatrical” for me now.  That’s not to say that they aren’t good songs … “Lady” and “Babe” are among the very best they ever did … but for every one of those, there’s at least another couple of tracks like “Mr. Roboto” or “The Best Of Times” that are pretty cringeworthy today. 

What I have found is I’ve really always preferred the rockers … and my affection for these tunes continues to grow even 40+ years later. 

Tracks like “Come Sail Away” (#8, 1978), “Blue Collar Man” (#20, 1978), “Renegade” (#16, 1979) and “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#7, 1981) are the ones that stand out for me … which is why I’d LOVE to see the band when they perform at The Genesee Theatre on February 9th

The mention of that concert inspired a couple of responses from our readers … 

>>>Just announced:  Styx is coming to The Genesee Theatre on February 9th.  Now THAT'S a show I'd really like to see!  (Can you believe that this Chicago Boy has never seen Styx in concert?!?!?  Dennis DeYoung, Yes ... but THESE are the guys I wanna see!)  kk

How about this show just announced a few days ago???
Nebraskan and Big Red Fan Larry the Cable Guy teams with Styx for a concert here in Lincoln???!!!  I would have called it the "Hicks and Styx tour" but this might offend too many of us who don't act like hicks here in the plains.
Clark Besch

First off, congrats on 19 years of producing this wonderful site - I'm sad to admit that I only learned of it a short while back, but I'm enjoying the heck out of it, and I'm always happy to be able to add a few cents' worth of [possibly unknown] info.
In the summer of '72, I believe, I got a call from a friend saying that an up and coming local band was doing a free outdoor concert in West Rogers Park at Lerner Park. There were about 200 people there. They began the show with a few nice tunes, and then their generator went out. They asked if anyone could help and, being that my field is in electronics, I looked at the thing and, from what I remember, I wiggled one of the cables and it fired up. No idea if it was my doing, but whatever.
The lead singer, a thin fellow, announced that they were going to perform, for the first time, a song they'd just written. It blew the lid off the audience - it was called "Lady."  That tune sealed their fate as a historic band.  I'll never forget that day. 
In July of 2012 DeYoung and his band played a concert in the parking lot of the Elk Grove Village Library and it was a fantastic show. I've attached some pictures I took (and of course, no Chicago band concert is complete without DanzMan!).
Thanks again,
Mike Wolstein


You know it has ALWAYS bothered me that DanzMan is more famous than I am!!!  But this is the hand we’ve been given. 

I was fortunate enough to visit Gary Loizo’s Pumpkin Studios many years ago and spend some time with him.  Gary, of course, was the former lead singer of The American Breed … and after the hits stopped coming, he got into the production end of things … and ended up producing the first few Styx albums.

As you might expect, “Lady” broke here in Chicago before it hit nationally (several years later actually!)  It sounded like nothing else on the radio at the time … and I remember WLS playing the heck out of it back then.  Still it would take them a few more years before they really broke thru in a big way nationally.
Yep, we’re gonna have to go to this one.  Thanks, Mike!  (kk)

Speaking of recent and upcoming concerts, I got this note from Chet Coppock the other day, who won tickets to see Canned Heat at The City Winery last week … 

Three stars ...
You really had to dig the Canned Heat sound to enjoy the show ... happily, most of the house was composed of Canned Heat devotees ... who loved their every riff ...  Thanx so much for the tix,

Here is Chet’s full review … 

“Well my dear mama left me when I was quite young … when I was quite young …
She said, ‘Lord have mercy on my wicked son.’”
Vintage Canned Heat.  

I just left the City Winery and a superb performance by the latest incarnation of Canned Heat.  Naturally, I would have loved to have enjoyed the expressive falsetto of Alan Wilson performing “On The Road Again.”  Who wouldn’t want to see the massive, omnipotent stage presence of Bob “The Bear” Hite.
However, FH Reader, know that tragically Wilson and Hite died far too prematurely.
What did I dig about Canned Heat and long time drummer Adolfo de la Parra?
The band showed me guts and stones when it dared to open with “On The Road Again,” which I’m certain 90% of the house figured would be an encore.  The first round of the oh-so-recognizable guitar riff sent an electric shock through the Winery.  The band was tight.  However, the aging hippie performing the vocal strained to come within miles of Wilson. 
Still, the performance was greeted with appreciative applause.
The band earned a standing “O” for its funky edition of “Goin’ Up The Country” … and “Let’s Work Together,” forever linked to the Bear, raised the roof. 
Canned Heat is looked upon by most as a blues band.  No diece.  They’re a boogie band that pays homage to the blues.
It was clear that the group dug the fact that it was playing in the blues-driven city of Chicago.  I wondered, Could Canned Heat have held its own performing on Maxwell Street back in the days when Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Howlin’ Wolf were earning their bones while rib tips, red hots and polish sausage steamed up and down Halsted Street?
Yes, I believe they could.   
-- Chet Coppock

>>>Dr. Hook is beginning a European Tour celebrating their 50th anniversary. I don't know how feasible it is, but you seem to have Ron Onesti's ear. What would you think about him booking them sometime in 2019 if at all possible? (Jim Nowoc) 
>>>I dunno ... Did you check out their website?  Dennis Locorriere is the only original member and I believe Ray Sawyer handled most of their lead vocals.  The couple of tunes they feature snippets of are their absolute least-known "hits" (if #71 counts as a hit) ... and they didn't sound all that good to me.  That being said, I see that they have already sold out several shows overseas ... and when I first got your email I thought it would be GREAT to finally see them, as I've never had the pleasure before.  I just wish it was a bit of a more "authentic" version of the band that was hitting the road.  I’m still happy to give them a mention ... but I'm not so sure I can give them a recommendation based on what I’ve seen so far.  (kk)   

Hi Kent,
Actually, Dennis Locorriere was the lead singer on nearly all of Dr. Hook’s hits.
The only big hit that Ray Sawyer sang lead on was The Cover Of Rolling Stone.
Paul Haney  
Well, that’s a whole different story then, isn’t it??? 
I guess it WOULD be cool to see them … I’ve reached out to Ron Onesti to see if he can coordinate anything on his end to help make it happen.  Maybe a show at The Arcada Theatre is in our future! Stay tuned!  (kk)  

If you grew up in New York City, you’re probably familiar with Bleecker Bob, who owned Bleecker Bob’s Golden Oldies Record Store.  Long-time Forgotten Hits Reader Frank B sent us this news clipping …  
Bob passed away last week.  (kk) 

And, speaking of records … 

>>>11/27/68 – Steppenwolf’s first album (containing the hits “Born To Be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride”) is certified gold.  (kk)
Hey Kent,
Love all you do but need to correct you on this one.  
Magic Carpet Ride was on Steppenwolf The Second.  
The Ostrich was an under appreciated gem on their first album. 
Too many people still have the Ostrich mentality!  
Bill Mulvihill  
You are correct … 
Sorry about that!  (kk)  

Now that it’s actually December, I guess we can officially jump on the Christmas Music bandwagon …

Here are a couple of things we received last week from our readers … 

This is very good.
Geoff Lambert

Hi all,
Just a reminder that Christmas is coming and Santa’s still Stuck Up In The Chimney.

It’s gotten 2,881,708 hits on You Tube to date and has been used a lot for school Christmas shows. 
I’m hoping that I can get to 3,000,000 views this year.  It’s definitely doable and would be very satisfying to this Oldie. So, thanks in advance for any plays that you can give the song. 
Here’s a link to remind you: And if you need an Mp3, please let me know.
I hope that you all have had a great year and wish you a great holiday season,
Paul Evans

And more fall-out from this whole METOO campaign …

It sounds like another Christmas Classic is about to disappear from the airwaves. 

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Cleveland radio station says it has stopped playing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" after listeners said the song heard on countless holiday playlists is inappropriate.
They're certainly not the first to question the song's undertones and criticize the duet, in which one singer tries to persuade the other to stay and their exchanges include lyrics like "What's in this drink?" and "Baby, don't hold out." WDOK-FM midday host Glenn Anderson says he recognizes that society was different when the song was written back in 1944, but he doesn't think it has a place today, especially in the era of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.
He announced on the pop music station's website this week that the song would no longer be in its around-the-clock rotation of holiday music.  
(Damn ... I guess we won't be using THIS song of seduction anymore!!!)  kk