Friday, May 8, 2020


I heard the muse today, oh boy. The Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago arrives on the weekend of August 7 – 9, and the rescheduled NY Metro version is set for October 9 – 11. In the meantime, The Fest continues to offer virtual events on its Facebook page to keep us entertained. Tonight, Jenny Boyd, Patty’s younger sister and the inspiration for a Donovan hit song, read from her book Jennifer Juniper - A Journey Beyond The Muse. Depending on when you see this, you can catch performers Phil Angotti (7:00 p.m. EDT) and Scott Erickson (8:00 p.m. EDT) celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the release of Let It Be. Both of these guys have been impressive on the Apple Jam Stage in the past. The Fest For Beatles Fans also continues to sell a wide variety of Beatles-related merchandise via its website.

My nephew and Season 15 Top Chef winner Joe Flamm is doing a live cooking demonstration today on the Goose Island Instagram page. He’ll be preparing Croatian style chicken wings while raising funds for the No Kid Hungry charitable foundation. Tune in to get some tips and make a donation to a worthy cause. I still have a small ceramic statue of a British beefeater guard that Joe saw in a store when he was very small and told his mother, “Uncle Terry would love that!” I guess it’s always been pretty obvious I’m an Anglophile.

With extra time on my hands, I’ve been going through boxes of vintage publications I’ve collected over the years, and tossing any that, as Marie Kondo says, don’t spark joy. Sometimes, it’s a tough call, especially for newspapers or magazines from other cities or countries. Others get an immediate thumbs up. Such was the case with the November 1979 issue of the Illinois Entertainer, with its Chicago Bands Primed For The ‘80s cover story. This was eight years before I joined the paper. Publisher Ken Voss, editor Guy C. Arnston, and the IE staff created an essential guide for then, and an amazing souvenir for decades to come.

The local acts featured included Cheap Trick, Off Broadway, Fenton Robinson, Shoes, The Hounds, Pezband, Curtis Mayfield, Yipes!, Styx, Wazmo Nariz, John Prine, Trillion, Luther Allison, Survivor, and Brian Stevens. Contributor Robert Pruter’s feature article The Soul Of Chicago - Alive And Singing honored Linda Clifford, Earth, Wind and Fire, Staple Singers, The Impressions, and others. An extended Streetwalkin’ column offered profiles on Jump ’n The Saddle, Harvey Mandel, Clox, Dadistics, Dreamer, B.B. Spin, Madfox, Bitch, Pearl Handle, Big Twist, Pin-Ups, All Star Frogs, Dick Eastman, Fayrewether, Heartsfield, Ouray, Public Enemy, Risk!, Star Trooper, and others. If the above list brings back memories, you no doubt appreciate Chicago’s wide-ranging, multi-genre history of great music. And it continues today.

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