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Carbondale Alumni Reunion in Chicago at the Smart Bar

It was a little over a year ago when I first wrote an essay about an email I had gotten from David Siegfried, the former lead singer of David and the Happenings, a band that I seen a couple of times in Carbondale, Illinois as well as Chicago. I thought it was cool that David […]

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Makanda Java — Carbondale, Illinois

Jay, the owner of Makanda Java I am not even sure if the building or the coffee shop that was inside is still there, but when I was briefly a student at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale, Illinois one of the favorite places to hang out when I was attending in the autumn of […]

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Guess who’s been stopping by?

That’s what I am always curious to know when I see the number of hits some of my posts get, like the ones about-Buckacre, Howard Air Force Base, David and the Happenings, Family Classics with Frazier Thomas, and Panmunjom to name but a few. And I am quite delighted when someone leaves comments, like some […]

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Ghosts of Christmas Past — A snowy night in the Illinois Valley

On a quiet, snowy Tuesday night in December 1980, I am sliding and fishtailing down Water Street on my way to Murphy’s Saloon where The Jerks are playing that evening. It’s a good thing there are no other cars on the street-that runs through an industrial section of Peru, Illinois that in turn is located […]

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Hey Earring!

Boy George’s hat almost got my ass kicked in Davenport, Iowa.   It was the winter of ’84 and I was back on the road again helping out 87 Men, formerly known as The Jerks. The band was still doing a lot of these one and two-night gigs in small clubs in Illinois and Iowa […]

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“Thou hast it now, King, Cawdor, Glamis all….”

One of the things that I have always been proud about my past were the two years that I attended Eureka College, a small, Christian (Disciples of Christ) Liberal Arts College located in Eureka, Illinois (about an hour west of Peoria, Illinois) from 1985-1987. There is a lot to be said about attending a small […]

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On the road with The Jerks, Part 1

Meet The Jerks   After my first road trip with The Jerks to Peoria there was another one-night gig at a youth center in Dixon, Illinois. There would another date at the Second Chance as well as a few nights at T.J. McFly’s in Carbondale (that was a lot of fun heading back to SIU […]

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Buckacre — Country Rock from America’s Heartland

  When I was a junior and senior at LaSalle-Peru Township High School 1974-1976 most of the kids hip to the local music scene were raving about this band called Buckacre.   A country rock band, Buckacre’s music was a cross between Poco and Buffalo Springfield with a bit of the Eagles and maybe a […]

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Goodbye My Friend — Bill Waite Jr, 1958-2008

I can’t recall the last time I saw you. Maybe it was those first couple of years after I moved away from Cherry and came back during the summers to stay with my grandparents across the street from your house when we saw each other. Maybe we bumped into each other at your Dad’s Gulf […]

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Meeting an old friend on the road

This essay originally appeared in the Korea Times in September 2003. One of the downsides to living overseas for any length of time is that it’s often hard to meet up with old friends. Either you don’t get home enough or stay home long enough to include a visit on your itinerary or your friends […]

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