Road Blog: Thursday May 12, 2016 - Chicago, IL
May 12, 2016
We left the suburbs of Detroit under sunny skies and headed west down I94. Gabe was at the wheel, Patty riding shotgun and navigating, and me in the back. By the time we hit Dexter we were in a torrential downpour that slowed us down for a good while. Then, after Battle Creek, we hit a serious traffic jam. An hour and about 8 miles later, we passed the overturned semi that was the culprit. Someone was having a worse day than us. We hit Chicago around 6 CST and got through the city in about 40 minutes. Not terrible by Chicago standards. Our soundtrack was Steely Dan, ALL, John Coltrane, The Shins, Riot and The Beatles.
We got a spot right in front of The Mutiny – score! That’s a real blessing in a big city like Chicago. We checked out the venue and headed on foot down to Fullerton Avenue to hit a record store and get some food. I used to spend a lot of time in this neighborhood – Logan Square - back in the 90s when my dear friend, who has since passed away, Dave Miller, lived there. We would party at the Fireside Bowl until all hours of the night then eat at the (now closed) Fullerton Diner. I miss those days, and Dave, and never get to Chicago without him on my mind. I can still picture him leaning over the bar at some punk dive with a fist full of bills trying to flag down a bartender.
The fine people at Logan Hardware Records recommended a Puerto Rican restaurant up the street, and we didn’t need convincing. We were met at La Cocina Boricua with big smiles and strongly encouraged to try the Jibarito sandwich – where they use plantains instead of bread, with pork and cheese. They were awesome! We each ate half and saved half for after the show. We loaded into The Mutiny and settled in with a drink. This place is a true punk rock dive with stickers everywhere, loud country music blaring, an antique (but operational) cash register, and various elements of disrepair all around. We felt right at home. It certainly had charm, and the owner and staff were all very nice to us.
First up was Royal Son of a Guns. Nice people from Chicago. We talked about gigs and venues and they know our pals from Detroit, The Ruiners, so we bonded over that a bit. They played some killer rockabilly with Tomoko keeping the beat on washboard. Next up was Bremer & the No Goods, playing some cool Social Distortion-ish punk-type rock and roll. We played 3rd and felt a little sloppy and rough, but full of piss and vinegar to compensate. Closing out the night was Rebel Soul Revival – some great musicians, sans drummer last night, with great tunes.
Throughout the night I got to see some friends I haven’t seen in forever – Dave Gooch, who I went to high school with and haven’t seen in probably 25 years, came out and it was great to get caught up. Matt Hahn, who I know from the 90s punk days in Ann Arbor/Detroit came in for the set. We had a great chat about the goings on since we’d seen each other last, and our shared memories of running around Logan Square with Dave. And my dear friends Angie and Steve, who I don’t think have ever missed a show I’ve played in Chicago. I love these two and always look forward to seeing them!
After the show, Patty was the designated driver and got us safely to our Red Roof Inn in Schaumburg where we finished off our Jibaritos and washed them down with PBRs before lights out. Patty and I were jolted awake at 7am by our neighbor in room 110 – some piece of white trash - screaming at a woman, throwing stuff (possibly her) up against the wall, and going nuts. “GET THE F**K OUT!” over and over. Finally, she walked outside and I got up to check out the scene as we discussed calling the cops to help. The dude was in his early 20s and the woman had to be 70 if she was a day. He continued screaming at her, dropping an “N” bomb or two along the way, as she pulled out and drive away. I can’t make this shit up. It was ridiculous. but soon passed.
After a short run and some recovery time we chowed down on some breakfast and headed to Madison, where we’re playing tonight. We’re all checked into our Air B&B now in a quiet neighborhood on the West side of the city and chilling out before meeting some friends for dinner before the show.