My KIND of Chicago(Fest)

Looking back, I really did have great time growing up.  I didn’t alway think so back then, but today I can see all the really exciting things I was able to do and experience.  Back in the summer of 1982, I had just turned 17, I worked a pretty crappy job at Burger King, and my best friend Jimmy and I could always find a way to get in a little good, clean, fun.  Part of that fun was heading into Chicago from the far west suburbs to find some of the best live music.  And in those days, there was nothing better than ChicagoFest.

ChicagoFest began in 1978, and I believe my mom took us there that first year with my grandmother, because Grandma Lu worked for the Tribune at the time and got free passes.  I don’t think any of us knew what to expect that first year, but as I recall, Grandma Lu hated it.  I don’t think my mom was too fond of it either, but me, I loved it.  ChicagoFest was set up out on Navy Pier.  Oh, not the Navy Pier that is currently the number one tourist destination in Chicago, with its giant Ferris Wheel and mall.  Navy Pier back in 1978 was a run down, rickety, old abandoned cargo port, but for two weeks in the summer, it was transformed into one of the best music festivals the city had ever seen.

But ChicagoFest wasn’t just about the music, although that was my big attraction, it was a compete city festival that included a carnival style arcade, food vendors, live news broadcasts, and The Bozo Show for the kids.  I believe even Phil Donahue broadcast his talk show from one of the stages.  But the star of the show was still all the music.  The Main Stage was located out in front of the pier, but all of the other music was set up on floating stages along the side of the pier.  They all had different themes, country, jazz, blues, and rock were just a few, and they were all sponsored by local radio and tv stations, so you ended up with names like, the WLUP Classic Rock Stage.  I believe that first year we saw the band Chicago on the main stage, which I believe was sponsored by the Chicago Tribune.

With my advancing age, sometimes memories can get a little shuffled up.  I know Jimmy and I headed into the city on more than one occasion to attend ChicagoFest, the first was in 1979 before our freshman year.  We saw Alice Cooper on the main stage.  We took the train downtown with Jimmy’s older brother, and I may have forgotten to tell my mother where we were going.  But I can’t honestly remember if it was the summer of 1981 or 1982 when we drove down to the fest in my dad’s old Chevy Malibu station wagon.  I thought we had originally gone to see a band called The Kings, you know , of This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide fame.  We also saw a couple of local bands that were starting to gain some popularity, the first being an Oak Park band called Off Broadway who had mild hits with the songs Stay in Time and Full Moon Turn My Head Around, and another lesser known band that was just starting out called The Kind.

The Kind released their first self titled album in 1982 on an independent local label called  Three-Sixty Records.  The band consisted of four members, Frank Jalovec on lead vocals and guitar, Frank Capek on lead guitar, Mark Gardner on bass, and Frank Sberno on drums.  I bought my own copy of the album at a local record store and head shop called, The Flip Side, but it has long ago been lost.  One of my favorite songs on the record was a heavy guitar piece called Total Insanity, and there was also a very good cover version of The Supremes’ Stop! In the Name of Love.  But by far, the gem of the album was an iconic 80’s local favorite called Loved By You.

Back in the summer of 1982, the radio world had yet to become the super station conglomerate it is today, and there was still a little freedom at local stations to play the music they liked , not just the national hits controlled by a list put out by a corporate office in some other city.  Back then, radio stations were a little bit more in touch with their local audience, and because of this, from time to time, a local act could still manage to get a little airplay. And that is what happened with the song Loved By You.  In early August of that year, The song cracked the WLS Silver Dollar Survey, debuting at number 44 on the Top Forty-five singles chart.  The Kind had actually already been on the Thirty-three top album chart for about a month, but the inclusion on the singles chart insured further air play.

The Kind Rock ChicagoFest
Frank Capek and Frank Jalovec of The Kind play the Rock Around the Dock stage at ChicagoFest 1982 – Picture courtesy Victor Modlinski and http://www.outernetweb.com – used with permission – copyright 2010 The Outernet Web – All Rights Reserved
Loved By You peaked at number 15 on the Silver Dollar Survey, and stayed on the survey for nineteen weeks, finally disappearing just before the new year.  The band did have a follow-up album in 1983, but by that time I was headed off to college and more interested in this new band called R.E.M. and their album MurmurLoved By You was replaced by Radio Free Europe, and in almost an instant my musical taste took a turn down a more alternate route.
 
The Kind became a youthful memory, and to be honest, I had almost forgotten about them.  I have no idea what happened to that old vinyl record, or the green t-shirt I bought with The Kind logo across the chest in yellow. 
 
Unfortunately, I discovered that Frank Jalovec passed away in 1993.  His Chicago Tribune obituary said he died in a work related accident.  Frank Capek can still be seen around the Chicago area playing in a popular local cover band called Five Guys Named Moe.  His moniker is Franken-Moe.  As far as Mark Gardner and Frank Sberno, I couldn’t find anything online about them.  But I did find a wobbly old video on YouTube that looked like it had been recorded off of one of those Channel 7 New Years Eve broadcasts, you know the one that came on locally after Dick Clark dropped the ball in New York.  I also found a real cool website called The Outernet Web that had picture of The Kind at ChicagoFest along with a lot of other cool old Chicago memories.
 
I am now starting my search for a copy of The Kind’s debut album.  I would also like to find that follow-up album, even though I have never heard it before.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
If you would like to see more picture of The Kind or ChicagoFest, visit The Outernet Web at www.outernetweb.com or click the picture of the band to take you directly there.

9 responses to “My KIND of Chicago(Fest)

  1. Total Insanity!!

  2. MOM did like it until she lost Marney. I know that you must have lost a child at sometime and the fear I can’t explain.When some nice lady showed up with my little girl all I wanted to do was go home.Then I sat next to a moron on the bus [we took the bus from grams to the lakefront].I had a computerized picture taken of you at the pier that day and I don’t know where it is now. Carrie was not with us as she was sick that day. That was the only fest I ever went to. The live music was Country and we did sit down for that. My memory fades me but the first singer was Gerry Lee lewis and there were more but its all gone now. Love Mom

  3. WOW,aren’t memories great.love Mom

  4. Great retrospective.

  5. Hi Brother Tom, This is Mark Gardner, I live out west now so does Sberno,
    My wife and I have been growing a couple of superstars, check out our son Dylan Gardner, his Brother Mark plays drums for him. dylangardnermusic.com. I might have some of the old albums, let me know where I could send you one. Just reply on Dylan’s website. Thanks for liking our music, it was a great time.
    Mark

    • Wow, Mark.

      How very cool that you found my little blog. The band and the song still remain a great memory. I will send you a note to the link. Best of luck to your sons. Glad to see they are keeping the music going.

      Brother Tom

  6. shawn macfarlane

    I last spoke with Frank Sberno, in Palm Springs, a year ago…. your blog has prompted me to call him tonight! Nice to see that Mark Gardner is well too!

  7. Found this while searching for Frank:
    “Jalovec was crushed to death by an escalator he was repairing at Chicago Union Station in 1993.”

    From what I can determine Frank appears to have gone from a dynamite drummer to a tennis pro. Who knew?

    I knew him when he was in Feast and later Balls. I rodied for Feast a few times in the mid-70s. 😊 I have photos!!! And a tape.

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