Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Black Widower Eats It

If you've never heard of Drew Peterson, let me give you a quick thumbnail.

Peterson is a former Bolingbrook, Il cop who has had a peculiar run of extremely bad luck. Actually, it's not so much Drew that has had to suffer the misfortune, as the women he so dearly loved. Simply put, Drew Peterson is a douchebag who beats up women. Human scum. The kind of guy I wouldn't mind scraping up my knuckles on. Drew Peterson is a piece of shit. (that's just my opinion of course)

Peterson's second wife, Vicki Connolly, has alleged that she was beaten by Officer Peterson for the entire duration of their marriage (her second as well), and her daughter has said that her step-father, our beloved Drew, beat the shit out of her too.

Peterson denies both of those allegations vehemently.

His 3rd wife, Kathleen Savio, drowned in the bathtub. Kinda. Her body was recently exhumed, and forensic types are now saying that she drowned after being placed in the bathtub following a struggle.

Drew denies any involvement in Kathleen's death, ...vehemently.

Our man Drew's somehwat single at the moment.

He's a kind of a widower.

His 4th wife Stacy went missing in October of 2007, and while Drew claims Stacy ran off with another man, many believe that she was murdered. Include me in that group, and I'm not just basing that on a hunch. I've heard things from people I trust, and the shit is going to come out very soon on this guy.

Now, Peterson is engaged to be married a 5th time. Christina Raines, a 23 year old mother of two has ackowledged that she's engaged to the 59 year old former police sergeant. Raines' family is extremely angry about this development, and have expressed their anger in our local media.

Hey, speaking of our local media.....some time ago, Peterson began phoning in to the radio show of one Steve Dahl. You may recognize Steve's name from his infamous "Disco Demolition" held back in '79 at old Comiskey Park. On Steve's show, Drew Peterson would take calls, answer questions, joke around with Steve a little, and basically had himself a grand old time. He once was the star of a "Dating Game" bit where 3 women called in and tried to win a date with Drew.

He was feeling a bit like a local celebrity.

He was something akin to Blago in the criminal-turned-celebrity department, only Drew didn't extort money from people (like Blago, allegedly), Drew murdered people, allegedly.

Anyway, after a short stint, Steve Dahl decided he'd had enough, feeling a bit creeped out by the whole thing (my words) Dahl ix-nayed Officer Peterson from his radio show,

And so, Peterson began calling Mancow Muller's show. What a great time Drew has been having! Right up until yesterday, when Stacy Peterson's sister, Cassandra Cales, called in to Mancow, and ON THE AIR directly accused her former brother-in-law of murder.

I'm smelling a reality TV show.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Red Hot and Cool

While he never intended to become a musician, having other family members who were professionals, Dave Brubeck found his way to a keyboard, and we're all lucky that he did.

His service in Patton's Third Army got sidetracked when he played piano at a Red Cross show, and the Army ordered him to form a little jazz band.

Dave, being Dave, decided that there was nothing wrong with an integrated band, and launched "The Wolfpack" in 1942, one of the first multi-racial bands ever to represent the United States Amry. Later in his career, late 50s-early 60s, his views on racial issues and human rights caused him to cancel gigs with rednecks who didn't care much for his black bass player Eugene Wright. Dave didn't care, and Wright proved himself to be a seminal jazz bassist who has played with some of the biggest names ever. Eugene will be 89 in June.

Some would say that THE defining moment in Dave's career came when he met, also in the army, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond. It was certainly a pivotal point in Brubeck's progress as a jazz pianist, however the addition of Joey Morello on drums could also be seen as the equivalent to finding the missing piece to a puzzle.

Together, Brubeck, Desmond, Wright, and Morello made up the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

Brubeck, now 88, has always had a thing for funky time signatures, and the classic, Take 5, written by Desmond, explores the weird 5/4 signature like no other song in the history of music. It's from the album Time Out, released in 1959. The album shot to the top, and made stars of Brubeck and Desmond., but as a half-assed musician myself, I would say that Morello's job on the song is about as challenging a piece of music as a drummer can attempt. Joey killed it. Joey is 80 now.

Brubeck's best music, from a jazz standpoint, came when he was partnered with the extraordinarily talented Desmond. As with many musical partnerships, Dave and Paul used to piss on each other's shows from time to time.

I've read that Paul lost days of sleep, agonizing over how to play a sax solo in 5/4, but at Brubeck's urging continued his exploration until he hit what on what has become one of the most recognized riffs in jazz history.

Tall order, while Brubeck is doing that on the keys, Wright is killing on the standup, and Morello is popping like a firecracker. Paul Desmond passed away in 1977, and I'll always consider Take 5 to be his gift to music. He had loads of great tunes, but for me....Take 5 is the quintessential Paul Desmond.

Dave Brubeck has gone on to write ballets, broadway scores, and other styles of music that included eclectic groups like the London Symphony. Always the explorer, Brubeck.

Dave will be 89 this coming December.

Anytime you feel like you're having a bad day, or a good day for that matter, nothing beats a little Brubeck, Desmond, Wright and Morello.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet playing Take 5.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gitmo Pt II

Caught a little cable news last night, although lately I've been making it a point to not catch a little cable news. I'm serious. Cable "news" for me has just about run out of interesting. How fucking predictable this branch of the media has become. For awhile, I had fun clicking back and forth between Hannity and Olberman, allowing them 10 seconds apiece to tell me the SHOCKING news about ...whatever....Jeremiah Wright.

"He's just bad for America. This sort of thing has no place in our country, and I find Obama's friendship with this charlatan extremely...."

"....biased against the African American community. Have they forgotten Pat Robertson's remarks over at "Fixed News?" Another perfect example of the right wing's......"

"....'god damn America.' I think Wright should be put on trial for treason, and I want Obama to answer questions about why he chose to spend 20 years listening to this supposed reverend..."

"....illegally wiretapping our phones. Does the 1st Amendment mean nothing to people like Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes? Have they ever heard of the Constitution?"

How long can they go on like this? Do these fucking people seriously believe there are, or ever were, only two kinds of Americans? Sure, I can understand programming a show to be geared towards appealing to a traditionally conservative or liberal audience. That makes at least some sense, although when you begin programming for a certain audience it would seem to negate the word "news" in the header. But this idea that the United States is comprised of people who'll either agree with Bill O'Reilly or Rachel Maddow with no gray area in between is absolutely friggin' ludicrous.

The cable news shtick is getting old fast, and from all outward appearances their reaction has been to amp it up to an even higher level of polarity. Both "sides" in the cable news business seek to divide us in a mad quest for advertising dollars, a truly reprehensible agenda.

However, these torture memos released by the Obama White House are another matter entirely. This isn't Bill Ayers or Bristol Palin's love child we're talking about here. We're talking about motherfucking torture. The United States tortured prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. I don't know how many other secret locations we used to practice our evil, and it doesn't fucking matter. One location is too many, and we have gone down the path of no return.

And the actions of our interrogators weigh on all of us. It's on all of our heads. It matters not that I've been bitching about Gitmo, and screaming about the Bush White House's trampling of the US Constitution since 2003. I'm an American, and my country, by way of carefully worded legalese crafted by my elected officials, tortured people. There's no turning back. It's a black mark we'll all live with forever.

As I watched that little fuck Sean Hannity discussing "enhanced interrogation techniques" with Charles Grodin, and in some way trying to justify the unjustifiable, I kept thinking back to the secrecy surrounding Gitmo "detainees" during the height of GW's nebulous Global War on Terror. If John Beohner can speak openly about these "torture memos" then by all means Sean Hannity should have the balls to come out and use the T-word.

And I'd really like to ask a couple of simple questions of Sean, and Bill, and Rush, and Peggy and any other shithead who can calmly discuss America's torturing of our prisoners of war like it's just a tougher line of questioning, and something that will be helpful in the long run because it garnered so much useful information.....

If you aren't ashamed of our country for what we did, and if you supported, and continue to voice support for the actions of the Bush administration because you trusted that they were doing the "right thing"....why do you figure the Bush axis of evil spent the last two years denying what we now know to be true? If they were so certain that their actions were legal, moral, ethical....why did they feel the urgent need for convoluted legal memos to "justify" our actions? Why the shroud of secrecy around Gitmo?

Why did they need to lie?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"I'm under federal indictment, get me out of here."

Been watching Celebrity Apprentice for some damn reason, and while watching Joan Rivers compare professional poker player Annie Duke to Adolf Hitler on Sunday, it occurred to me that for a reality TV show, it's not really all that realistic. Really. I understand that Joan was upset because Duke previously had unkind things to say about former Playboy playmate Brande Roderick, and that Annie had done a 180 to the detriment of Joan's daughter Melissa in the jewelry auction, but hey...that's Apprentice!

For god's sake, Joan and Melissa are on opposing teams. Melissa is taking sides with her mother against Duke, her own teammate! How silly. Everyone knows that nepotism has no place on a reality TV show like Celebrity Apprentice, am I right or am I right Ivanka?

On reality TV, you have to be ready for anything. You just never know when a motorcycle builder like Jesse James is going to cut a chili fart on camera, or a skating gold medalist like Scott Hamilton is going to forget to put sugar in cupcakes. You have to roll with the punches, and so while Duke is certainly scamming Roderick into thinking they're friends in making cupcake decisions, that doesn't excuse Joan Rivers. Seriously, Hitler comparisons just have no place in reality TV either.

And speaking of Dennis Rodman, who the hell picked this lineup? Clint Black, Tom Greene, Hamilton, Dice Clay, Khloe Kardashian, Roderick, Brian McKnight, Tionne Watkins, Natalie Gulbis, and Herschel Walker are celebrities? Joan and Melissa Rivers are celebrities? Claudia Jordan opens suitcases on Deal or No Deal. She's a friggin' celebrity?

Not in my world they aren't.

I don't know, maybe it's me but the only person in the whole bunch who is even mildly current, celebrity-wise is Jesse James. He's got the famous wife, and at least his show features his talents at pimping cars and bikes. What the hell has Dennis Rodman done since MJ stopped carrying his marginally talented ass 10 years ago? Drink, that's what.

Khloe Kardashian? Who in the hell is Khloe Kardashian?

No, what Celebrity Apprentice needs is some fresh blood, and a real hot ticket celebrity. I think The Donald needs to make a bold move, right now. It's time to break the bad news to the Rivers sisters, (they aren't?), they both should be fired immediately, and they can take Clint Black with them.

What Celebrity Apprentice needs, is Rod Blagojevich.

Now that U.S. District Judge James Zagel has ruled that Rod cannot go to Costa Rica to film "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here." this would seem to be a perfect time to pull the trigger, and offer him an invite to join Celebrity Apprentice. Donald could hire private security to make sure Rod doesn't take it on the lam, which was the concern with Blago's Costa Rica trip. Picture a couple of former federal agents following Blago around New York for an hour every week. The damned ratings would go through the roof.

Just imagine Donald Trump's hair and Rod Blagojevich's hair in the same board room.

I think it's a bold, innovative idea, whose time has come. Blago needs money~ he stood to make as much as $123,000 in Costa Rica~ and this would certainly help him promote his book, which is going to blow the lid off of the corrupt system of government in Illinois, and which goes on sale just before he stands trial for 19 counts of corruption.

Just like reality TV in general, this Blago idea of mine is a no-brainer.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

O Canada

Such a wonderful anthem. I've always thought it the best of all the anthems.

As a kid growing up watching the Chicago Blackhawks, it was always a highlight when one of the Canadian teams would visit the Old Barn on Madison because they'd play both anthems. Didn't matter to me that Hawk fans would boo all the way through the Canadian anthem, because it was all in good fun. No disrespect intended.

The Canadian anthem draws wonderful imagery of a place and a people. Love of country, and fierce devotion.

The original was commissioned in 1880 by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, the Honourable Théodore Robitaille, for the St Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony. I believe the Honourable Théodore was the great great great grandfather of Luc Robitaille, longtime left winger for the LA Kings, It is somewhat ironic that Luc, who also spent some time playing for the Penguins, the Red Wings, and the Rangers, and who retired as the highest scoring left wing in NHL history after the 2005-2006 season, never played for a Canadian team.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, after O Canada was written (in French, and with shitty lyrics) the English translation was finally penned in 1908 by Robert Stanley Weir, who, if I'm not mistaken was the great great grandfather of professional golfer Mike Weir, winner of the 2003 Masters, and who plays golf from the wrong side of the ball. Mike is the only Canadian to ever win the green jacket, and was the first lefty to win The Masters (eat it and like it Phil.)

I was quite surprised to learn that O Canada, the cool version with the English lyrics, didn't officially become the Canadian National Anthem until 1980. It was made so by proclamation of Wayne Gretzky I believe, and was signed into law on July 1 as part of the Canada Day celebration, which is the day that marks the beginning of the Walleye Spearfishing Season.

We only get to hear the first stanza of O Canada, when it's sung at an NHL game (as well as at Canadian baseball games, but Canadian baseball doesn't's like Jamaican bobsledding, a gimmick.)

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

In reality, there are four stanzas to O Canada......

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow.
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow.
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western sea.
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies
May stalwart sons, and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years
From East to Western sea.
Our own beloved native land!
Our True North, strong and free!
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion in thy loving care;
Help us to find, O God, in thee
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the better Day,
We ever stand on guard.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

See what I mean? It's a beautiful song. It kicks ass. Goosebump material.

Now tonight, when my Blackhawks and the Calgary Flames line up for the traditional singing of the anthems, you'll note that Chicago fans have stopped booing the Canadian anthem as loudly as we used to, and you'll also note that Hawk fans make so much noise during the Star Spangled Banner that you can barely make out the words. By the time "O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave." is sung, it's pure bedlam. Something of a tradition here, screaming through the anthem.

This past Thursday night, for the first game of the quarter finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs played at The Chicago Stadium (no I won't call it the UC, you call it the UC, make an airline happy!), the noise during the American national anthem was louder than when Marty Havlat's overtime goal gave the Hawks a 3-2 win over the extremely tough and talented Calgary Flames.

It's always great to beat a team from Canada, such as the Flames. They're not Original 6, like the Habs and the Leafs, but the Flames are a fine team. Why wouldn't they be?....they're from Canada.

And as for all the noise during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, it's not that Chicagoans disrespect our own anthem, it's just that we're so friggin' excited to be watching playoff hockey again. And even though the Flames are doomed in this series, thanks to the stellar play of guys like Havlat and Nikolai Khabibulin (an Irish guy I think), the Calgary fans, and all of Canada for that matter, can take comfort and pride in knowing they have the coolest national anthem on earth.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

To Serve and Protect

He's driving alone, very late at night, and he's totally shit faced.


Hours and hours of drinking were followed by a critical decision. The question he faced,...."Am I too drunk to drive?"

He decided he could make the run. What the fuck, it isn't that far. And so he loaded his weapon.

Now he's driving alone, and the white lines are wiggling back and forth, blurred by the booze. His efforts to stay focused and in the center of his lane bring his vision from a thousand yard stare to a 50 foot fixation. He keeps it pegged at 55. He makes promises to God. Never again, if you get me home just one more time.

He glances to his right, and sees the ballpark. Major leaguers play over there. The Big Time. His concentration wavers for just a moment as he thinks of the young men who have graced that field over the years. The grand slams.The no-hitters. Oh the life of the major league baseball player, he thinks.

And then it happens.

There is no time to react. No time to swerve. A car in his path. A red Dodge. He's on top of them before he knows it, and the impact is horrific. The explosion of tangled metal and body parts shakes the pavement. The inertia of a moment ago gives way to deadly rest, and a sick hissing noise fills the air. The steam jets from under the hood of his mangled Lexus SUV, but he can't see it because the airbag has deployed, saving him from a ride through space, saving his life.

He staggers from his vehicle, and sees the full extent of the carnage. He has obliterated the other vehicle to the point of being unrecognizable.

And then the fire starts. Both cars burst into flames.

He briefly considers a heroic act, and then decides against being the hero. A passerby, Marcus Copeland, tries in vain to pull the victims from their crematorium, but the heat is too great. The drunken survivor panics, and decides to take a walk. It seems like a run, but it's a zigzagging stumble.

He's picked up within blocks of the crime. He's obviously drunk, but the cops do the job they were hired to do. Field sobriety tests indicate a fucked up person, and the breathalyzer confirms the fact with a blinking .24.



Three times the legal limit.

But not dead.

Dead, are 23 year old Andrew Cazares of Summit, and 21 year old Fausto Manzera of Chicago. They were in sight of Comiskey Park, southbound on the Dan Ryan at 18th Street, at 4 o'clock this morning, when their car broke down.

Alive, and charged with two counts of aggravated DUI, one count of leaving the scene, and two counts of reckless homicide, is 41 year old Joseph Frugoli of Bridgeport.

And Joseph Frugoli, the drunk who rear ended the disabled vehicle, the coward who walked away from his victims, leaving them trapped and condemned to die, the killer who blew a .24, was an off duty Chicago police detective when he decided he wasn't too drunk to drive.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Royko at The Goat

With all the talking and writing I do about Mike Royko, one of my real heroes, it occurred to me that some people may not be familiar with the guy. If you want a neat little insight into Mike, and the way he loved this city.....

I clipped that from an article in today's Sun-Times, a great piece of work by Roger Ebert. I'm sure Roger's health issues have him reflecting on his years here, and the characters who he came to know, but I think Roger may also be reading the writing on the wall vis a vis newspapers in general.

The Sun-Times has joined the Trib in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the New York Times is taking a second mortgage on their building to stay afloat, The Boston Globe is in trouble, and other old newspapers are closing up shop for good.

The bad economy and the internet are conspiring against newspaper publishers, and it may not be long before the electronic media, the internet and cable "news", become not only the primary sources of information but the only sources. The days of guys like Royko and Ebert, of Dear Abbey and Kup may be coming to an end for good.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Up at 5 AM and out the door by 5:30. Ken P picked me up in his yellow Gremlin, named Ozzy, the fancy one with the luggage rack. Two others, Mark and Carl, were already in the car. Within blocks we had several joints burning at the same time, and by the time Ozzy hit the Eisenhower, we were entirely loaded.

Traffic is normally light on the inbound Ike at 5:45 on a Sunday morning, June 19, and that day was typical. Everybody out on the road at that hour was either delivering bread, delivering newpapers, or driving downtown for a day at the beach.

We on the other hand, were going to a Pink Floyd concert.

Parked outside Soldier Field by 6, and strolled up to the west side entrance expecting to see a smattering of early arrivals but not many, the concert didn't start until 8:30 PM. I'd guess that there were maybe 8-10,000 people there already. It was ridiculous. A mob scene at 6AM. Chicago Police barricades (construction horses painted blue) were used to keep the line confined to the sidewalk circling the stadium and people were leaning against the wall, laying on blankets on the sidewalk, sitting on the barricades smoking joints.

We had a cooler with several goodies inside, including 2 fifths of JD Old #7, and a case of Old Style. Being 17 at the time, we were more worried about the cops cracking us for underage drinking than we were about the 2 ounces of pot. Everybody had pot, and had brought it. Ken had also picked up a quarter ounce of Lebanese blond hashish , two grams apiece of that, which we planned on eating and smoking over the course of the day.

Jack, Old Style, reefer, hash, rolling papers, 8 inch mini-bong and 2 Frisbees. That's what was in our cooler.

That's right, we were completely fucking insane.

We stood near the very front of the line and surveyed the situation. Ken pulled out one bottle of Jack, cracked the seal, and passed it around. A very nice young man with a dago-T, baggy grays, and hair down to his ass called from behind the barricade asking for a pull on Jack. We explained that we were out here on the bad side of the blue horses, and he was on the good side, no more than 200 people from the front of the 1/4 mile line. It would be very difficult for us to pass the bottle all the way over there, but if we were somehow on the same side of the blue horses.....

Dude smiled, pulled one of the barricades aside, and invited the 4 of us to essentially cut to the front of a 10,000 person line. The initial outrage expressed by our new queue friends, the people immediately behind us who'd been there for a day, was quickly quelled by the second bottle of Jack. These people actually showed up a day in advance for a concert, but had forgotten to bring the proper supplies. Sure they had food and snacks and stuff, but not the proper liquids.

We were instantly popular, which is a good thing if you're going to spend 4 hours waiting in a line with people you just cut, and the guy in the dago-T and baggies introduced himself as Murray. Turns out Murray had come to the Pink Floyd concert alone, and had camped out overnight to be in front.

General Admission seating for a crowd that was estimated to be between 65-75,000 people.

Old Soldier Field held about 55,000 in the stands, and they figured to fit another 10-20,000 on the field itself. Murray explained that the stage was in the north end zone, and that as soon as they opened the doors at 10AM we should run like hell out onto the field, and make a bee-line for the area directly in front of the stage. No hesitation, said Murray. The gates on the opposite side of the stadium were going to allow another 10,000 people to come pouring in at 10, and the hard core Floyd fans had the General Admission thing down to a science. Blankets encircled by coolers marked off their Soldier Field homestead, and once the lines were demarcated, and the crowd filled in the spaces between plots, they could roam around the stadium and see the sights. But first, stake the claim close to the stage.

For the next 4 hours, we talked to Murray about Pink Floyd while we drank Jack Daniels and smoked joints the size of petite coronas wrapped with pink strawberry flavored rolling papers. The west side of Soldier Field was the better side to be on that morning. As the June sun started heating things up, we were in the shade of the building, but you could tell it was going to be a hot motherfucker. By the time the doors were set to open, there was a hum in the crowd. Caged animals waiting to dash through a hot, dank, dark, 150 foot tunnel and emerge into daylight like Maximus at the Colosseum. Only drunk and stoned, and ...without the lions and swords.

They had initially planned to open the doors at 7PM, but reconsidered. They hadn't expected the huge AM turnout. Apparently they wanted all of the animals inside the cage as soon as possible.

Murray picked up his blanket, folded it up, and shook hands with us. Maybe we'll see you inside Murray. Happy hunting. As he turned to face the front of the line, Ken picked up the cooler and tossed it on his shoulder, preparing for the mad dash. At exactly 10AM, the double doors flew open, and we all pressed towards the narrow tunnel. The funnel effect of a 10 foot wide line of humans trying to squeeze into a 6 foot wide doorway was instantaneous, and by the time I was inside it was all I could do to keep my feet under me.

We were jammed into that tunnel and the 200 or so people in front of me were moving more slowly than the 10,000 people behind me. The crush from behind was terrifying, and I vividly recall the sensation of being carried along by the wave of humans, with my feet barely scraping the floor for several paces at a time. I wasn't walking, I was being propelled. It occurred to me that if someone in front of me falls down, we are in for some very serious trouble. A human stampede.

When we broke out of the dark tunnel and into the glare of the sun, we all ran as fast as we could, although Ken lagged under the weight of an ice-filled cooler. We wound up by the left hash-mark around the 15 yard line. 45 feet from the front of a stage that was elevated about 15 feet above the stadium floor.

We sat on the unprotected Astro-turf, as Steve Dahl's Disco Demolition at old Comiskey was 2 years away, and the Park District was therefore unaware of the damage that can be done to a playing surface by insane crowds of drunken stoners.

For those not old enough, or those who don't remember, Dahl invited his radio listeners, an anti-Disco army, to show up for a Sox game and watch as he detonated a charge destroying thousands of Disco records in center field between games of a Twi-Night Doubleheader against the Tigers in July of 1979. The Sox normally drew about 10,000 fans for night games back then, but Dahl's army, "The Insane Coho Lips" had the old barn packed to capacity, 55,000, with tens of thousands of more people outside partying. Absolute mayhem.

The hook was that you showed up with a disco record, and in exchange for the Donna Summer vinyl, you got $2 off on your ticket. The bin in center field was huge, and it was filled with thousands of LPs. When the time came for Dahl to set off the explosives, the place was completely out of control. Teenage stoners, drunk and amped with adrenaline. Dahl apparently over-did it with the explosives. Picture Butch Cassidy standing outside the box car. That's the kind of explosion Dahl set off.

What resulted has entered Chicago lore. Thousands of Insane Coho Lips charged onto the field, some jumped from the upper deck, people threw empty beer kegs from the 2nd level down onto the field, fires were started on the pitcher's mound....huge chunks of sod were torn up....the batting cage was tipped over....the tarp was unrolled. At some point, the police showed up in riot gear and began herding the partiers off the field while a thin layer of gray smoke hung over the entire stadium, the result of the explosion and the fires started by the Cohos. Once the smoke cleared, literally, the playing surface at Comiskey Park looked like the lunar landscape.

The field was declared unplayable, and for the only time in Major League Baseball history a team (my White Sox) forfeited the second game of a DH due to damage caused by fans.

But that hadn't happened yet in June of 1977, so we were allowed to bake like lobsters in the sun on the same turf that Walter Payton had run 6 months previous, and would run on again, 6 months later.

Around 2 in the afternoon, Floyd's crew began doing a sound check. The enormous speakers on stage were dwarfed by the monolithic stacks of them strategically mounted around the upper perimeter of the stadium. In 6 different spots, pointing slightly downward to direct the decibels, they'd placed sets of the biggest speakers I've ever seen. If the stage was at 12 noon, the speaker banks peering down at us were at 2,4,6,8,10, and 12.(behind the stage for the people with those seats.)

The first clue I had to the sonic assault I was in for came with a simple blast of white noise. Warming up the speakers, Sound Guy just shot some amps at us.

And then, I heard dogs barking down at me. Arf Arf Arf Arf!!! Then Soundie ran the effect around the stadium, taking one bank of speakers at a time to bark at me. The effect was amazing. An enormous dog running around the stadium barking. The place went nuts, and it was only a sound check.

Next came the pig. sound levels not safe for the human ear. Then the pig ran around the perimeter of Soldier Field oinking....and the place went nuts again.

And then the sheep.

Maaaaaaa.....maaaaaaaa......the sheep orbited above us.

The sensation was disturbing, and the drugs and alcohol didn't help.

Just before the concert began, I looked at Mark, Carl, and Ken and asked them "Were you guys a little scared coming in here today? In the tunnel?"

Carl looked me square in the eye and said..."I was just thinking the exact same thing. That was fuckin' dangerous man. Like a bunch of sheep." It wasn't until December of '79, at a Who concert in Cincinnati, when 11 people died in a similar crush that the problem of general admission seating was finally addressed. I'll never forget hearing about those 11 lives lost, and flashing back to the panic I felt at Soldier Field in the spring of 1977.

Pink Floyd's Animals concert was, by a mile, the best show I've ever seen, and I've been terrified of large crowds ever since.