Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Back after July 4th holiday

I'll be out of the office for the next few weeks, but the beat goes on at my various different ventures.

Eckhartz Press has at least six books in the pipeline for this summer. A few will be coming out on e-book in the coming weeks and a few brand new paperbacks will be coming out soon. My co-publisher Mr. Stern will keep everyone apprised of the new stuff via facebook, twitter, and the eckhartzpress website.

Just One Bad Century
will continue to update new content every day; this week in Wrigley history, Cubs birthdays, historical events, and more. If you're a Cubs geek and you don't like JOBC, I worry about your true Cub-geek-ness.

My regular Illinois Entertainer column will come out on July 1st. This month I interviewed a former Chicago radio pro who is now mentoring and teaching the next generation of broadcasters. Don't laugh. There is a next generation. It's an uplifting interview.

Episode 55 of Minutia Men will come out on Thursday June 15th. Dave and I will discuss where I am, Canadian duels, an eating and drinking history of the Netherlands, Jenkins at the funeral home, the worst trade in Cubs history, and my brush with Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards. Episode 56 won't air until July.

Hope everyone has a great couple of weeks!

Your pal,

An Ode to Prog Rock

I always had a soft spot for the 1970s progressive rock movement. It made me feel like we were headed to a higher, grander style of music. Turns out we never quite got there.

The New Yorker has a great piece about this movement today.
It appears the kids are now discovering it. I know my oldest son loves it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

As the Sumner Turns

This is the lawsuit that just won't go away for CBS/Viacom chairman/vegetable Sumner Redstone. From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

Sumner Redstone’s love-life is back in the courts. So are his finances, because the man who’s still the controlling shareholder in CBS and Viacom allegedly gave tens of millions of dollars to his romantic companions, before they were ousted from his estate. Sumner later sued two of them to recover the money. Turns out we haven’t heard the last of gal-pal Sydney Holland. Bloomberg says “A Los Angeles judge on Monday refused to dismiss her complaint that [Sumner’s daughter Shari] secretly paid her father’s staff to dig up confidential information” to use against Holland. Sydney wants “about half of Sumner’s liquid assets” in the California-sanctioned category of palimony. That could be 1% or 2% of $5 billion. Shari Redstone wanted the new Sydney Holland suit to be dismissed – but the judge didn’t see it that way.

Well that's gonna be a leverage killer

Eric and Kathy fans know that Kathy has been off the air for a while now embroiled in some sort of dispute. The ratings news that came out yesterday (Robert Feder reports) probably isn't going to help her if she was looking for leverage.

The show remains #1 in Chicago, even without her.

Eckhartz Press Signs Mitch Michaels

This is what I was doing yesterday...

Four Wrigley backdrop
Photo: (left to right) Author Ken Churilla, Mitch Michaels, Eckhartz Press Co-founder & Publisher David Stern, Eckhartz Press Co-founder & Publisher Rick Kaempfer

For immediate release:
June 12, 2017 (Chicago)

High atop the city on the rooftop of LondonHouse Chicago, legendary Chicago DJ Mitch Michaels and Chicago based book publisher Eckhartz Press came together on an agreement to release Michaels’ book Doin’ The Cruise: Memories of a Lifetime in Radio and Rock & Roll.

Michaels, a radio disc jockey since 1969 and in Chicago since 1971 is synonymous with rock & roll to generations of Chicago rock fans. Michaels career has included stints on nearly all of Chicago’s biggest rock stations including WLUP, WCKG, WKQX, WXRT, WDAI, CD 94.7 and now as afternoon drive host on 95.9 WERV-FM ‘The River’

Michaels book Doin’ The Cruise: Memories of a Lifetime in Radio and Rock & Roll is a memoir tell all that delves into his great personal rock and roll stories including the direct impact he had on Rod Stewart’s career, his place in the infamous Disco Demolition, Studio Jams from Mantra Studios, and his personal dealings with Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry to breathe life into a lagging Who concert promotion at the Chicago Stadium. Michaels also sheds light on his life outside of radio as well including his successful (and then failed) boutique retail operation, his family life including his marriages, children and the untimely passing of his son.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this book,” said Michaels. “I’ve been rocking in this town since the early 70’s and I've got some stories you wouldn’t believe…but they’re true!”

"I grew up listening to Mitch on the Loop," Eckhartz Press' Rick Kaempfer said. "If you would have told the high school me in 1980 that I'd one day publish the books of my radio heroes (Mitch Michaels, John Records Landecker, Bobby Skafish), I never would have believed it."

Doin’ The Cruise: Memories of a Lifetime in Radio and Rock & Roll is slated to be released on September 5th, 2017 and published by Eckhartz Press. The book was written with Chicago-based author / noted music journalist Ken Churilla. This is Churilla’s second book.

Cover - ROUGH

Monday, June 12, 2017

RIP Adam West

The former star of Batman died over the weekend. I loved that show. I loved the crash, boom, pows. I loved the batmobile. I loved the celebs looking out the window. Julie Newmar as the Catwoman was the first girl that made me tingle a bit. And I loved the vivid colors. It was the first show that really made me want to get a color television.

I met Adam West a few times in my radio career and told him that. He wasn't impressed. Oh well. His legacy remains...

Farewell to Coaching

Yesterday was my last official day as the soccer coach for my son's team, after seven years at the helm. My fellow coach and I Adam Howarth have one last job with this team. We are taking them to Europe on Wednesday for a two week soccer-playing tour of Holland and Germany.

I must admit, I got a little verklempt when the boys gave us this going away gift...

JRL in Union, IL

Had a great time in Union Illinois on Saturday with John Records Landecker. We were at a phonograph show, and selling some books.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Big Win for US Soccer

The next game will be tougher (vs. Mexico in Mexico)...

Cubs Issues

This 2017 season is starting to feel like a repeat of the 1985 season. That year the entire Cubs pitching staff, which had led them to the brink of the World Series in 1984, went down with injuries.

The second Cubs starter went down this week. Kyle Hendricks is on the DL.

But more disturbingly, Addison Russell has been placed on leave, after being accused of domestic violence. MLB is investigating.

Not good.

On the other hand, this was a touching moment last night...

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Minutia Men, Episode 54

EP54 – Rick and Dave discuss embarrassing misspelled searches, a man truly committed to mowing his lawn, Jenkins shutting down an airline, and Rick’s brush with Charlton Heston.

You can listen to it here.

Is there something on TV today?

Hunkering down for a little daytime TV.

When the Watergate hearings were happening, I was mostly ticked off because they interupted my Dick Van Dyke show reruns.

This time I have a box of popcorn.

JRL in Union, IL

This Saturday from 10am-4pm as part of the 42nd Annual Phonograph & Vintage Music Show, 8512 S. Union Road, Union IL, 815-923-7000.

Dave and I will be there too.

Mark Gelinas on HLN

Eckhartz Press' very own Mark Gelinas on national television...

Another one out of middle school

We took him out for ice cream after the ceremony...

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Graduation Day

Son #3 is graduating from 8th grade today.

Back to blogging tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

John Landecker in Union, Illinois

This Saturday beginning at 10am, I'll be joining John Landecker in Union, IL for a phonograph & vintage music show. Should be a great time. John will be signing and selling copies of his book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name"

Details about the show are right here.

This is an area we've never gone before, so any of those Landecker fans in that general vicinity should come on out! A good time will be had by all. John is bringing some of his own personal records to sign as well.

John Williams Back in Chicago Full Time

From this morning's NOW Newsletter...

John Williams has had one foot frozen in Minneapolis and the other one planted in Chicago, but now he’s leaving the Twin Cities – and its reticent listeners. The talk-host tells the Star Tribune that Chicago audiences – like the ones he’s entertained on Tribune’s talk WGN/720 – “are much more forward. They tell you what they think.” While Minnesotans “are more inclined to text or tell you what they feel at a cocktail party.” He says getting listeners of CBS Radio’s news/talk WCCO/830 to call in and voice opinions “always felt like an uphill battle.” John just did his last 3pm-6pm show for ’CCO last Friday, and is moving to Chicago where he’s got family. He’d been originating a Saturday morning show for WGN after moving to the Twin Cities, and in recent months he’s also created a 1pm-3pm weekday show for WGN – followed by that three hours on WCCO. Doing two markets every day, he says, is “not good for your mental health.” He started offering $50 to a caller’s favorite charity if they caught him using the wrong call letters.

Cumulus Wants No Dickey

The people who run Cumulus broadcasting have noticed that their former chairman has been slowly amassing a war chest of cash, and they are getting nervous. From this morning's Inside Radio...

The plan includes what’s known as a “poison pill” which would automatically be triggered if someone buys more than 4.9% of the company’s stock on the open market. It comes as former chief executive Lew Dickey’s newly created Modern Media has amassed a $207 million war chest seeking acquisition targets.

Once activated, Cumulus’ poison pill would award shareholders with incremental shares of stock or give them the option to buy shares at a significant discount if the company becomes a takeover target. Either action would effectively dilute the acquirer’s position to 50% or less of what they’ve acquired.

Dickey may be the founder of Cumulus, but there's a good reason he was forced out. Many people believe he is the biggest reason the company stock is now less than a dollar a share.

Must See-TV

How big is this Jim Comey testimony on Thursday?

The networks are covering it live. It could be several hours of no ads. That's how big it is.

ABC, CBS, CSPAN, and all three cable news channels will be covering this sucker.

The question is this: Will the president be live tweeting it, or will his staff succeed in hiding his phone from him?