Turn your radio on.

I was born in November, 1957. If I read his obsessive ongoing autobiography closely, James Lileks was born in August, 1958. How the hell did I get so much older than him, anyway? Ahem:

Kids today. No respect for kids of yesterday. Thing is, we were required to know every fargin’ thing about the 60s when we were coming up, being schooled in the ways of the Most Important Musical Genre Ever. You were required to nod at your elder and respect their sage ways, and thus I found myself in a few dorm rooms listening to peers explain why Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Reefer and Cocaine were incredible not just for their harmony and song-writing skills, but their abilty to make music that on longer than three minutes. To which you could only say: may all your girlfriends take “Love the One You’re With” to heart everytime you’re out of town.

What the hell is he talking about? I have no recollection of this. There was no bright line between ’60s music and ’70s music. There are few bright lines in any art form, but I guess if you wanted to pick it apart, you could find places where the next thing seemed to arrive allofasudden, but it certainly wasn’t between the ’60s and ’70s, unless you’re talking disco, but I don’t think he is. Rather, I think he’s pooching his little lip out and pouting that in the ’60s, we elevated drug addicts and America-haters to the Top 10.

Of course, I had older brothers and sisters, and picked up their enthusiasms along the way. I started listening to pop music when I was very young; everybody did. You tuned your AM radio to WCOL and left it there until 1972 or so, when WCOL-FM started playing some crazy stuff called “progressive rock” in the overnight hours. (Yes, way — they were country-and-western during the day, and at 9 p.m. or so the Stetsons went home and the hippies took over.) But everyone still listened to the Top 40, too, and the ’60s were a rich, rich time for that. You had everyone from the Jefferson Airplane to Glen Campbell to Martha and the Vandellas elbowing for space. I can still recall, as vividly as the moon landing, the DJ telling everyone they’d be playing the new Rolling Stones single at 2 p.m. sharp, so be there if you wanted to hear it first. And that’s where I heard the opening cowbell of “Honky Tonk Women” for the first time, in my bedroom, on my transistor radio.

Checking Wikipedia; it was the same summer as the moon landing, and guess what the B-side was? “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” In many ways, the ’60s were better, Jimbo.

I asked a friend of similar age for a reality check. He replied, “my bet was his little turntable in his room with the cowboy wallpaper only had Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Sgt. Barry Sadler and the soundtrack to Patton.”

Lileks has made some money trashing the ’70s, but I won’t have any of it, especially where music is concerned. There was some great pop music made then, and for some genres — I’m thinking soul and funk — there wasn’t any better time, before or since. I wouldn’t imagine Parliament/Funkadelic made it all the way to Fargo, however.

But don’t trust me; I even liked disco, at least in its natural habitat, i.e., the disco. If you’d ever joined a dance floor full of sweaty, shirtless men waving their hands in the air to “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” you would, too. And as for the bright line between the ’70s and the ’80s, which Lileks loves, I have only to note that I heard quite a few of those early New Wave tunes in the disco, and the shirtless men danced to those, too. They fit right in for a reason.

Eh. I hate all this genre fascism. Bring back the melting pot of ’60s Top 40. There are still places in this racist town where you can turn on a rock station and hear their top of the hour promos: Today’s best rock…and NO RAP. Oh, that’s comforting. Meanwhile, I was driving home late last summer listening to an R&B station, black DJs, black artists, the usual. They were in their Saturday-night old-school groove, Prince and LTD and so on, and guess what they slipped into the mix? Thomas Dolby, “She Blinded Me With Science.” I’m glad they’re not as tight-assed as their colleagues at the rock stations.

Enough. Now I’m boring myself. So let’s start the bloggage off with an unveiling:

WashPost pop-culture writer and NN.c reader Hank Stuever has a blog! Yay! It’s called Tonsil and it’s not about throats, but a build-up for his great new book, due out in November, “Tinsel: A Search for America’s Christmas Present.” (It’s available for pre-order on Amazon, via Nance’s Kickback Lounge.) I for one hope Tonsil will live beyond Christmas, since Hank’s voice is one we need to hear more of:

When the Post was starting a far too many blogs in the mid-‘00s, I carped in an in-house memo that none of the paper’s writers should be blogging at all; we should be writing stories that are blogged about. I also have enormous issues about writing for free.

Well, some things have changed. I still work at the Post (last I checked), but I feel like now I have some reasons to blog. (As for writing for free, well, it’s a fucking renaissance out there, isn’t it? So long, six centuries of the printed word! Hello, crapola!)

Anything else?

…it’s nice to be able to type the word “fucking” and just hit publish.

Yes, isn’t it? Anyway, I’m working my way through “Tinsel” now, and will discuss it at length as we get closer to its pub date. (Or when it “drops,” as the hip-hoppers have taught us to say.) It’s Christmas in July in my recreational reading, but as life in Michigan will teach you, winter is never that far away. In the meantime, bookmark Hank, and ignore that pimpage of yours truly in his first entry. This is a mutual-admiration society built on mutual admiration.

Next item: Next month our little family, plus dog, will be vacationing in Chicago for a couple of days, before moving up the west coast of the Mitten to spend the rest of the week at the beach. Any interest in a modest Chicago meetup? Grab a big table at someplace like Buca di Beppo and pass around a platter of meatballs? If so, e-mail me separately.

Breakfast time, and a lot of work ahead. Enjoy it.

Posted at 9:25 am in Popculch |

57 responses to “Turn your radio on.”

  1. alex said on July 15, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I’m glad they’re not as tight-assed as their colleagues at the rock stations.

    I credit Herb Kent, “the cool gent,” in Chicago for turning me on to Chris Isaaks. On the other hand, I remember listening to the same station on the day the O.J. Simpson verdict came in and it was as disgusting as listening to el Rushbo on any given day. Another time Richard Steele, one of the hosts, was interviewing singer Angela Bofil and giving her a hard time about having married a white man.

    As for Bucca di Beppo, you can find much better Italian food in Chicago than that. I have a lengthy list of recommendations, if you like. And of course, a couple of outstanding places that do tapas.

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  2. Randy said on July 15, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Lileks recalls your post from earlier this week, about memory and how we shape it to our needs. If life was “Animal House”, Jimmy had to be more Flounder than Otter, but you know who he wanted to be.

    Recommendation: Saturday nights at 7:00pm Central, go to the cbc.ca website to listen to “Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap”. He identifies a theme for each show, but usually it only makes sense to him… more importantly, he plays all kinds of music, known and obscure, and tells all kinds of great stories about touring with nearly every band you can think of. It’s a great way to spend two hours on the deck on a warm summer night.

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  3. James said on July 15, 2009 at 9:57 am


    I had the most embarrassing records around when I was growing up.

    I swear we had the Green Beret one, and I’m certain of the Herb Albert one, but add to that “Herman’s Hermits on Tour”, “Peter and the Wolf”, and some Pixie and Dixie album that I’ll have to Google to find, now.

    Uhhhh…. let’s say it was this one.

    I’d guess in the later 60’s we got our share of Beatles albums, which we listened to reverently, referring to our Beatles Lyrics Illustrated book.

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  4. Deborah said on July 15, 2009 at 10:03 am

    This is funny:

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  5. beb said on July 15, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Lileks lost me when he spoke of “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and Reefer and Cocaine.” I don’t recall CNSY ever working with anyone named Reefer or Coaine, or bands of those names. And if he meant listening to CSNY amd smoking pot those are two disparate things and shouldn’t be smashed together in a run on sentence.

    I’ve always thought rock and roll began with the British Invasion I guess in part because it was seen as something apart from American Pop Music. But then I never was a fan of Elvis or the other early American rockers. As for “All Rock and no rap…” I guess this makes me a horrible person, but I loath rap beyond all other types of music.

    I’m not terrible fond of current rock music but often I don’t even know what constitutes current rock music because there is no Top 40 radio stations anymore, as Nancy points out. We all live in our little enclaves.

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  6. coozledad said on July 15, 2009 at 10:10 am

    We have really poor radio reception out here, and the college radio stations are frequently drowned out by shrieking fundamentalists or that country-tinged gospel stuff that’s aimed at the soon-to-die; but when we can get them in, WXDU plays plenty of new stuff that sounds good to me. A lot of new music is better played and conceived than the stuff it references.
    I don’t know how people develop an exclusive affinity for a particular style of music and stick with it for the remainder of their lives. It isn’t healthy.

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  7. MichaelG said on July 15, 2009 at 10:19 am

    One day a year and a half or two ago I was reading Lileks when my brain suddenly called a halt. “Why are you reading this precious twit and his stories about buying toilet paper at Target and his rants about how it’s so good that the US is bombing the shit out of Iraq because he’s so manly?” Well, that didn’t exactly track, but I got the point and I couldn’t think up a quick response so my brain took control of my right hand and clicked the screen somewhere else. I can’t remember where, but I haven’t read Lileks since.

    Thanks for directions to the “Tonsil” blog.

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  8. Jeff Borden said on July 15, 2009 at 10:20 am

    James Lileks is cut from the same cloth as Bob Greene, Mitch Albom and the abominable souls who regard the present and the future with trembling trepidation while celebrating a bygone era that never really existed. They are mopes. Period.

    I’ve gone through periods of musical snobbery, where I would look down on those who listened to music I deemed beneath me, particularly soulless, prefab rock from the likes of Journey and Foreigner. I’ve already revealed on this site my undying hatred of Supertramp.

    But in the end, who really cares? If you enjoy Slim Whitman or Wayne Newton or Barry Manilow or Britney Spears, who am I to say you shouldn’t?

    This does not excuse Lileks, a professional party pooper who would be, I’d wager, a laughingstock if he ever hit the dance floor at one of the parties Nancy and I used to throw. The music at those throwdowns was all inclusive: classic 60s, Motown, soul, R&B, New Wave, punk, and yes, even a couple of dashes of disco tunage. I fear Little Jimmy would be standing in the corner, wondering what social labels to assign us if we listened to this musical melange.

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  9. Jeff Borden said on July 15, 2009 at 10:21 am


    You might think about investing in a power antenna. My tuner is in the basement of our house, where I had some problems with the weaker stations until I bought a power attenna. It boosts the signal and increases clarity. I’ve had mine for at least 15 years, but I recall it was about 50 bucks.

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  10. brian stouder said on July 15, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Well – looking past our Mackinac Island/Dearborn/Henry Ford thing in late July, I was beginning to cast around other short trips; for example, the Indiana State Fair is in early August, and I’ve never been to one of those, but Pam has, and she nixed it.

    But Chicago always beckons…

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  11. jeff borden said on July 15, 2009 at 10:35 am


    It’s been a great summer. Only one day over 90. Not much humidity. Weekends filled with free music festivals downtown and in the ‘hoods. Last night, the city showed “Sunset Boulevard” on a giant screen in Butler Park, one of six free classic films. Several thousand folks turn out with lawn chairs and coolers of food, wine and beer to enjoy the flicks in a communal atmosphere.

    There’s no question the Midwest winters here can be tough to take, but summer in Chicago is almost always worth the grind.

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  12. LAMary said on July 15, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I’m not from anywhere near Chicago but I’m betting you can find something better than Buca di Beppo. Trust Alex and shun the fake ethnic chain.

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  13. Julie Robinson said on July 15, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Chicago always beckons us, too. I grew up nearby and now it has the added advantage of our daughter, for one last year of grad school. She went to a Shel Silverstein celebration at Millenium Park the other night. How great is that? Don’t even get me started on the shopping.

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  14. ROgirl said on July 15, 2009 at 10:56 am

    In the 60s the AM stations in Detroit and Windsor (WXYZ, WKNR, CKLW) naturally played a lot of Motown along with everything else in the Top 40. I remember riding my bike to the drugstore (they sold 45s and albums) to pick up the weekly Top 40 list put out by Wixxie and Keener. Keener morphed into WABX FM, which was the “progressive rock” station in Detroit.

    My older brother brought home Jefferson Airplane, the MC5, Bob Dylan, CSN, etc. I also fell for Herman’s Hermits and the Monkees, but their tunes were catchy.

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  15. nancy said on July 15, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I knew someone would give me shit about Bucca di Beppo. I only suggested them because they do a good job accommodating large groups. I don’t know how many will want to do this, but I bet we could make the Pope’s table work for us.

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  16. LAMary said on July 15, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I associate Buca di Beppo with all day regional meetings where we get yelled at for the first four hours, go eat at Buca di Beppo, then have team building exercises in the afternoon. You’d hate it too if that was your Buca experience. I’m going to let it go now before it fucks up my whole day.

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  17. moe99 said on July 15, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Funny dat. I posted about this a while back:

    But, for me it was done in terms of albums not just records. Oh, I remember playing my transistor radio next to my towel at the pool in the summer and it was always turned on to CKLW. At night, you could get WBZ in Boston and a station in Chicago whose letters I don’t remember (WLS?). I still have in my 45 collection such hits as “Judy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Time Won’t Let Me,” and “Born on the Bayou.” The slow move from singles to albums was finalized by college when I discovered fm. Love the Firesign Theater send up of the difference between am and fm on their Ralph Spoilsport part of the “Marx/Lennon” album. But there I go talking about albums again.

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  18. Sue said on July 15, 2009 at 11:14 am

    WLS and WCFL for this Chicago-area girl, along with all the great DJs associated with them, including of course Larry Lujack in (almost) all his incarnations. Some of my friends listened to ‘The Fox’, some FM station, but whenever I tuned in I thought the music was awful, so self-consciously 60’s – 70’s cool.
    I missed a lot of 80s music while I raised my kids; it just wasn’t part of my life beyond what was playing on the radio in the minivan. Once the kids hit the early teen and teen years, a nice mutual education occurred. Now our boxed set of Pink Floyd is scattered around three households as various of the cds sprouted legs and walked out our door, my boss looked at me funny the other day when I referred to “Freak on a Leash” and my husband purposely annoyed his parents last year by putting in a Gorillaz cd and turning up the volume in the car.

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  19. Joe Kobiela said on July 15, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Why was it that stations you could hardly pick up, always seemed to have better dj’s and play better music than the ones in your home town. I can remember hearing bto for the first time at a party at Lake Gage in 1975, Long cool woman in a black dress the same year,Radar Love, the same. Sure brings back good memories. I now listen to alt country on xm, and Pandora on the computer.
    Pilot Joe

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  20. coozledad said on July 15, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I made the mistake of watching (via Youtube)a documentary about Badfinger. In addition to the depressing story arc, they had some British sportscaster do the narration. Awful.

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  21. Dorothy said on July 15, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Wasn’t it “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”? Maybe Judy came along one day for a visit – she was Lucy’s cousin, right?

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  22. jeff borden said on July 15, 2009 at 11:47 am


    Satellite radio changed our listening lives, too. We were really fond of the CrossCountry station on XM-12, but after the merger, it appeared to disappear in favor of something Sirius called Outlaw Country. They have hosts like Mojo Nixon and the (honestly true) former pro wrestler Hillbilly Jim, but not the same brand of C&W lunacy that turned me on to Antsy McClain, Railbenders, Dave Gleason’s Wasted Days and Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Snake Farm.” Man, if you have found a channel for CrossCountry, let me know. Hell, I’ll even vote for a Republican to pay you back, man.

    Dorothy: It’s either “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” or, maybe, “Judy in Disguise.”

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  23. Sue said on July 15, 2009 at 11:48 am

    “Judy in Disguise” maybe?

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  24. Connie said on July 15, 2009 at 11:54 am

    WLS in Chicago with Larry Lujack for me too. If you lived within 200 miles of Chicago that was where you tuned your transistor to. Something wrong with that sentence.

    I just had a fine 5 days in Chicago, ribs at Carson’s, cajun at Heaven on Seven, lunch at Boston Blackie’s, and lots of free meals. Had bought a ticket for the big scholarship endowment party at the Art Institute, which was wonderful to wander through with just us librarians there. Weather was perfect. And if I pressed the side of my face to the left edge of my hotel room window I could even see the big lake.

    Somewhere in a box in the basement are all those vinyl records from back in the day, yes starting with the Monkees, Herman’s Hermits AND Paul Revere and the Raiders, moving on to CCR, Beatles, and CSNY. Our last vinyl album was Cindy Lauper’s first.

    9 days till Glen Lake.

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  25. brian stouder said on July 15, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Or possibly, Hey Jude.

    Thanks to the Google: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/5467938/Lucy-who-inspired-Beatles-song-seriously-ill-says-Julian-Lennon.html

    As the story goes, one day Lennon was picking Julian up from nursery when his son showed him a picture he had drawn of a girl surrounded by starlike shapes. His father then used the image as the inspiration for the song that features on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released in 1967.

    But according to Julian, Lucy, now 46 and Mrs Vodden after marriage, is suffering from the chronic auto-immune disease where the body’s defence system begins to attack itself, causing damage in joints and organs.

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  26. LAMary said on July 15, 2009 at 11:56 am

    …with glasses.

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  27. Joe Kobiela said on July 15, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Jeff B,
    Yea sirus pretty much ruined channel 12. The only reason I kept it after the merge was for the weather in the airplane on my Garmin 496. I e-mailed and called sirus and let them know how I felt. Did no good. MoJo is a IDIOT, I told sirus, I didn’t need to be cursed at and yelled at, just play the music.
    Try Pandora radio on the internet. You put in a artist and it will play their music plus similar music.
    Pilot Joe

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  28. MichaelG said on July 15, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    WLS in Chicago with Dick Biondi, the Wild I-tralian (not a typo). Also Dan Sorkin on I don’t remember what station. He was for the hip and cool. I was out of there by the early ’60s. Sorkin has also been in SF since about then.

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  29. MarkH said on July 15, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    “Judy in Disguise”, John Fred and the Playboy Band, 1967

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  30. alex said on July 15, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    CKLW was my fave. Fort Wayne had its own 50,000-watt station, WOWO, but it was kind of cornpone with a top 40 playlist skewed more toward country while CKLW’s skewed more toward Motown and R&B.

    Connie, I just had a fab saturnalia in Chicago a few weeks ago and was disappointed to see the Carson’s Ribs on Ridge shuttered. Was worried Carson’s was completely kaput. Glad to hear it’s not. (Btw, used to work as a freelance editor for the ALA.)

    EDIT: Nance, for a crowd pleaser that can also accommodate a crowd, I heartily endorse Emilio’s at Fullerton and Clark. It’s a Spanish/tapas place with a gynormous facility and the place doesn’t get mobbed until around ten o’clock at night, as is the Spanish tradition, so it’s perfect in late afternoon or early evening. The food’s superb, every bit as good (and some say better) than Arco de Cuchilleros, the cute little place I took you on Halsted.

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  31. Rana said on July 15, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Seconding Joe’s recommendation of Pandora – great concept, that.

    I was living in Minnesota when I first became acquainted with Lileks, who, like Garrison Keilor, is a lot more bearable and makes a lot more sense when you’re living in the place they’re writing about. Then 9-11 came, and clearly something broke inside the man. The disjuncture between the twee little columns that appeared in the paper and his increasingly venomous Screeds was more than a little alarming.

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  32. Sue said on July 15, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    A few weeks back I tuned into a local Milwaukee station and was surprised to hear a syndicated 70s show hosted by John “Records” Landecker (“Records truly is my middle name”). I didn’t recognize the voice, it sounded like some old guy!

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  33. Mindy said on July 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    WLS in Chicago – I was a big Larry Lujack fan and loved John Records Landecker (boogie check, boogie check, ooh ahh!) I had Lujack’s book so long that the librarian actually showed up at my house to retrieve it. So I checked it out again. It’s now thirty-one years overdue.

    Then I graduated to WXRT. Made lots of mix tapes since I was too poor to purchase albums and included plenty of witty patter from Terri Hemmert and Frank E. Lee. When I had my car worked on in Florida soon after moving there, I remember walking through the Honda dealer’s garage to pick it up. All the mechanics looked at me intensely and smiled. Made me wonder if I had toilet paper trailing from my shoe. Then I started my car and the music was so loud it blew my hair back. One of those XRT tapes was in the deck and no where near where I’d left it. Those poor guys living in radio wasteland had probably listened to it all day.

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  34. moe99 said on July 15, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Yes, it was Judy in Disguise by John Fred and his Playboy Band. All I can say is that it was 8am and I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

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  35. Peter said on July 15, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    While I came of age during Dick Biondi and Larry Lujack I stuck to the FM dial with WSDM (now WLUP – 97.9 – We’re Smack Dab in the Middle) and WDAI (was and now is WLS-FM, 94.7, for We Dig American Indians).

    I’m also so old that I listened to WXRT when they were on evenings only and shared air time with ethnic programs, so if you fell asleep with the radio on you woke up to Polka Party (on weekdays) or Serbian Melodies with Mitar Bilatovic on the weekends (on devit tree jedan a FM skala).

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  36. Joe Kobiela said on July 15, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    My wife and I used to listen to wxrt over our cable radio when we lived in Fort Wayne. anyone remember that?
    Pilot Joe

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  37. alex said on July 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Yeah, Joe, I remember when Comcast let you run a wire from your cable box to your stereo system back in the early ’80s. You could get WXRT, and also WBMX (now WVAZ, which is the station I was discussing at #1). Comcast also had sales reps who’d show up to your house and get you stoned on pot before talking you into getting HBO and Showtime. Imagine anyone doing that today.

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  38. Dorothy said on July 15, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I forgot about that Judy one! My bad. And I hope you all know I was trying to be a smart ass with that comment about Judy being Lucy’s cousin. Sarcasm does not always translate well on the Interwebs.

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  39. brian stouder said on July 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Well, when it comes to Fort Wayne radio, we LOVED WLYV and the’Live Guys’, when WLVY was a new top-40 station (before it went all hillbilly)….and especially Phil Gardener – who was genuinely funny. When the station very first went country, I remember tuning over to hear Phil’s morning show, and he memorably stopped some C&W tune or another, right in mid-twang, and said “I just CAN’T DO IT!” and spun up some Foghat (or whatever); of course, he was gone from that station. But in WLYV’s absence, I still could never stand WMEE, back in it’s Charlie & Tony days*. So that eventually lead me to WXKE, Rock 104, and Doc West and Liz. I seem to recall the Proprietress expressing wonderment (maybe in one of her Telling Tales columns? Don’t remember) at the WXKE newscasts, wherein for example if a celebrity died of an overdose, they would wonder aloud whether it was a good high or a bummer. WXKE was always an arm’s-length presence in my conciousness; they had a bizarro owner named Art Templar (I think) who would deliver 3 minute opinion pieces on various subjects, which he called Point Blank ( if memory serves) and which my friend’s mom dismissively called “Point-less”.

    But then they shutdown/changed format, and were gone for years; and in the past year or two, WXKE is back – with Doc and Liz and everything – and I find that they are who I turn to…although now, they might rightly be called an oldies station!

    *I once wrote a letter to the editor at the N-S about those WMEE guys – called ’em ‘philistines’ and everything…and a day later at South Side, I learned (repeatedly) that they read the thing on the air that morning, with added commentary. So THAT wasn’t the smartest thing to do..

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  40. Dexter said on July 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    The Buca Di Beppo by Nationwide Arena in C-Bus is a great place to go if you’re in a really good mood. We go there sometimes and it’s a fun place with great service and lots of clowning around and laughs with the waitstaff.
    Not to worry, nnc-ers, cuz they hain’t no Buca in Chicago anyway.

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  41. Dexter said on July 15, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    It would take hours to discuss 60s and 70s pop and rock trends, but as The Beatles shut down and CSNY ascended, even as drug deaths robbed us of our stars, there was no distinct breaking off into a new direction like which happened in the early 60s with the British Invasion.
    The big difference was how the social norms changed. “Free love” in the 1970s was not a myth. By 1981, it was over, and the condom-and -caution era was born.
    ( It’s amazing to me how Twitter itself and my own Tweets have made my regular posts so concise…brevity is catching, I guess!)

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  42. Connie said on July 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I walked by a Buca in Chicago the other day, on Grand somewhere west of Michigan.

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  43. Sue said on July 15, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Danny’s going to be mad that he missed this discussion.

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  44. LAMary said on July 15, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Rush and Grand, Connie.

    According to the website, there is only one Buca di Beppo in NJ.

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  45. alex said on July 15, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Not to worry, nnc-ers, cuz they hain’t no Buca in Chicago anyway.

    Is too. On Clark somewhere between Surf and Wellington.

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  46. Bill said on July 15, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    There’s a Buca in Lombard on the Yorktown Center pad. Or you could try Maggiano’s. Molto bene!

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  47. Jim in Fla said on July 15, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Brian…I remember Phil Gardner. He played the 16 minute album version of “In a Gadda da Vida” on has last day at WLYV. Funny, funny show.

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  48. Dexter said on July 15, 2009 at 5:48 pm


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  49. Mark Gisleson said on July 15, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    I was talking to a City Pages guy a few years ago and he told me about when he first met Lileks in the ’90s. Lileks was still fairly new to the Twin Cities and wanted to hang out with all the other cool writers. None of the cool writers wanted to hang out with Lileks.

    It’s all kind of sad, the more so because all those cool writers are now underpaid and struggling while Lileks has a license to print money thanks to the slavish devotion showed him by his wingnut readers.

    FWIW, the dude can be funny. I’ve always thought of him as the redneck David Sedaris. Except for the talent part.

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  50. moe99 said on July 15, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Dexter-your link doesn’t work for me. Wah.

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  51. Deborah said on July 15, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    I walk past Buca’s in Chicago nearly every day on my way to work, if I don’t walk down Michigan Ave that is. I’ve never been in there, only went to one Buca’s in Minneapolis when I met my 3 nieces there a few years ago, it was their choice. It was OK, there were 8 of us including my daughter and nieces boyfriends, so it was a good place for a larger group. We have our favorite places that we frequent here in Chicago, but they’re kinda small and intimate, not places for large groups. Alas, I will be out of town for 2 weeks in August so will probably miss the festivities. Would love to join you though.

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  52. basset said on July 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    WLS for us down in Martin County, southwest of Bloomington… John Records Landecker, Yvonne Daniels, Lyle Dean news… and WAKY Louisville on the school bus in the afternoons. Closest thing to “progressive” rock radio we could get was WAOV from the junior college in Vincennes; I remember hearing ELP for the first time there, “Lucky Man” out of my folks’ Curtis Mathes “entertainment center.” Had the “Beatles Illustrated Lyrics” book, too.

    A few years later, a carload of us from IU student radio went to a college-radio convention in Chicago and, in the course of the weekend, visited one of the former big-name WLS “jocks” who’d bumped down to WIND. Won’t say who he was, because it was just pitiful – fat guy in a tattered football jersey sitting in the dark telling us kids to stay the hell out of radio. Which, of course, we didn’t, most of us anyway.

    There’s at least one Buca di Beppo here in the Nashville area, out in a Republican suburb with hardly any sidewalks. Haven’t gone and don’t intend to.

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  53. MichaelG said on July 15, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    I looked on their site and there’s two BdBs here in Sacto(one is in Roseville). Never even heard of the place before this string. No hurry to go there after what I’ve heard. Sacto has a huge and vibrant restaurant scene. No need to hit the chains.

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  54. Dexter said on July 16, 2009 at 1:40 am

    moe…just an image of a fat guy with egg on his face…my brother lives in a Chicago ‘burb and he never mentioned Buca di Beppo, which roughly translates to “Giuseppe’s basement”.

    Sir Paul was funny with Dave, and then he played atop the Ed Sullivan Theater marquee. I was listening to Ron and Fez on XM 202 and a caller told us “they’re doing sound checks right now from the roof…”, this was at 2:00 PM, and so I thought Paul was playing from the roof, but no…too high. The marquee was perfect, a great stage for Paul McCartney. Paul’s playing CitiField shortly. I wonder if he’ll sell it out? I mean, it’s gotta be at least $500 for a cheap seat, right? Here’s some prices; really cheap seats start at $42…expensive ones are going for $4117.

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  55. Dexter said on July 16, 2009 at 2:01 am

    Oh, Pandora Internet Radio is great, no question.
    A simpler station I use a lot is Iceberg Radio out of Canada…I get a kick out the French songs, pre-1960, cuz that’s all new to me.

    No registration, no nothing…just two clicks and you’re in like Flynn.

    I too was an AM radio junkie as a kid. Jerry Williams, WBZ 1030 Boston.
    Cousin Brucie WABC 77 NYC (770 in today’s parlance), Dick Biondi, WLS, Larry Lujack’s Animal Stories, sure…John Cygna , WOWO and then on to KDKA 1020 Pittsburgh where he became a big shot, super-cool Dale Ulmer on WOWO ( I just flew in from the coast and here’s what the cool kids are playing out there…”—and a few years ago I found out that WOWO had thousands of fans in New York City, that WOWO was the ultimate rocker of the airwaves in the 1960s.
    You Sirius/XMers know that Cousin Brucie rocks the satellite even today.

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  56. Deb said on July 16, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Sorry to be late to the party on this one, but all the talk about WLS brought back so many memories. In the early 1970s, I lived on the Georgia coast. After dark, I would open my bedroom window and prop my little transistor radio on the window sill and carefully tune in WLS. I would have it on all night long. It was the first place I heard “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye, among many other great songs. Also, I seem to remember they had a long-running skit about the Tooth Fairy (but I could be getting that confused with something else) and the morning agriculture/stockyard reports that began with a song that went, “Down on the farm/Down on the farm,” in a hootenanny way.

    Nancy, I’m one month older than you and agree totally re Lileks. When I read him (which isn’t often, since he’s just a broken record on so many things), I think “Jeez, this guy sounds like someone’s crotchety ol’ Grandpa circa 1967.” I never think of him as being my age or somewhat younger than me. I suspect that Lileks started out adopting that voice to be a contrarian and now he has become his persona. Any minute now he’s going to be telling kids to get off his lawn and go get a haircut.

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  57. joodyb said on July 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Radio nerds, rejoice. I never slept in high school (either). Instead I tuned across the dial and burned out many a set. I am a repository of useless modulation, to wit:
    Dick Orkin was the voice of Chicken Man as well as the Tooth Fairy. He lives and is still heard in fresh commercial voiceovers. For more on Dick, check out http://www.radio-ranch.com. (The entire Chicken Man oeuvre is available in boxed set.)

    Cousin Brucie is on SiriusXM on Saturday nights.

    Pity my poor husband.

    Meanwhile, I’m as big a chain snob as you’ll find, and I (heart) the Pope’s Table. Buca originated here, and the guys know how to turn out authentic recipe in mass quantity.

    When is this meetup anyway?

    Tonsil. Hilarious.

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