Monthly Archives: October 2011

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.
Advertisements

Timing is Everything

And unlike the good Mr. Shakespeare, I just don’t got it.

Over the past month or so, I have put together a bunch of ideas.  All great things that I wanted to expound upon here in my own little blog home.  But alas, I didn’t find the time, or never finished writing, and then the world changed again, and more ideas sprouted, only to get lost in the mass jumble that is my brain.  Then the opportunity was lost, and you, the readers, were saved from having to try to decipher my sometimes incoherent ramblings.

So in case you were ever wondering, and I guess even if you weren’t, I now present my Top Ten list of things I wanted to write about, but never got around too.  I can tell you are so thrilled!

10.  The Girl and the Goat

Having heard mixed reviews and canceling a reservation, Maureen and I headed out to Stephanie Izzard’s restaurant here in Chicago and were more than pleased with the outcome.  How can you go wrong when you order something called a Pig Face, and it comes with a fried egg on top of the crispy cheek meat?  And this restaurant did something I never thought anyone would ever be able to do.  Made brussel sprouts that I truly enjoyed.  This wasn’t your mom’s mushy old brussel sprouts.  Pan fried and yummy!  And then there was dessert.  Something called Chocolate Bouchon with Foie Fluff.  I have no idea what a bouchon is, and neither did our waitress, but it tasted even better than it looked.  Yes, that is a toasted foie gras marshmallow next to the milk chocolate sorbet.

9.  Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

I got a call a few weeks ago, and the first thing Maureen says to me over the phone is, “Don’t be mad at me.”  The next thing she tells me is that someone is on their way to pick up my crappy old car, she had traded it in on a new one.  How could I be mad?  Look what they left in its place.  I’m not sure when someone will be stopping by to pick up my crappy old phone.

8.  The Return of William Kelly

It appears that my favorite producer of Emmy Award winning television was back at it again.  This time it was another confrontation dealing with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Kelly did a pretty good job of making an ass of himself.  If you care to watch the video, he posted it on his Washington Times “Communities” sight.  It is the only place where you will find this scathing video.  Because basically no one else cared.

7.  Jim Henson Presents (part two)

I was planning to post two additional blogs based on the idea of the White Sox as Muppets, but then came that announcement with just two games left in the season, and it just didn’t seem like such a good idea anymore.  This is the picture I had picked out to represent Ozzie Guillen and General Manager Ken Williams.

6.  A Case for Terry Francona

It wasn’t that I was endorsing Francona to take over as the new White Sox manager, and to be honest, I really didn’t think he had a chance at getting the job, but I already had my Muppet picture of him all picked out.

5.  Chase-ing My Tail

I have on a number of occasions come close to putting together a full length expose about the many problems I have had with Chase Bank, but when I would try to tell the tale, it always got too bogged down with details, and it just came out sounding bitter and whinny.  Let’s just leave it at this.  I am not a big fan of Chase.

4.  Washington State is at Dunne

It was a Saturday afternoon, and I didn’t have the kids.  Maureen was working, and I decided to meet up with two of my sisters and my brother-in-law Jim at one of our favorite taverns.  A great little place on Lincoln called Finley Dunne’s.  They were relaxing after running a 5K.  I was there for the Mac-n-Cheese Bites and some cold beer.  Also in the bar was a Chicago Alumni group from Washington State, and wisely they chose this same bar to watch their Cougars take on the Aztecs of San Diego State.  The Cougars would eventually lose, but it was close for three quarters, and even those of us that were there to watch the Illini play, couldn’t help but get drawn into the excitement of this group.  Soon we were all rooting for Washington State.

3.  And The Winner Is…..

I was going to take another stab at predicting the outcome of this years baseball post season.  I was absolutely certain that the Cardinals and Rangers would be playing in this years World Series.  Next week I will let you know who I think will win.

2.  The Top Ten

At least once a week, I come up with another idea for a top ten list.  Usually it happens while driving to work, because even on a good day it takes me over an hour to get the 26 miles from my driveway to work.  I have a lot of time to think.  Unfortunately I do not have a lot of time to write it all down while in the car, so most of the ideas get lost between the parking lot and my desk.  What I do have is a number of scribbled lists tucked into the drawers of my desk, and I promise that sometime soon I will get some of these lists posted.  This one doesn’t count.

1.  Our Treacherous Ireland Holiday (parts nine through thirteen or fourteen or maybe even fifteen)

It has been almost a year since we took our honeymoon trip to the emerald isle, and there is still a lot of story to be told.  Both Maureen and I have tried to pick up the story, but we have yet to finish it.  The story was to conclude with a unique pictorial, inspired by our own favorite Irish Pub here in Chicago.  I may have to cheat, and skip to the final chapter.