Thursday, September 20, 2018

Jim Croce

He died on this day in 1973--a plane crash in Louisiana. He was only 30 years old.

Richard Reeder in Northbrook

On Monday night Eckhartz Press author Richard Reeder will be appearing at Max & Benny's in Northbrook (461 Waukegan Rd) at 7pm to read from and sign his great new book "1001 Train Rides in Chicago". See you there?

Sunday Afternoon

I will be there too. Looking forward to an afternoon of beer and football. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by! Should be a great time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Sean Kaempfer

My youngest son Sean turns 16 years old today.

In honor of his birthday I'm posting a few old Father Knows Nothing columns from his youth. These two columns didn't make the final version of the book, but they remain very good insights into the boy...

The first one was written in 2009, when he was 7 years old.

The other morning when I woke up my youngest son Sean, it was immediately clear he was waking up on the right side of the bed.

“You know, Dad,” he said, as he rubbed his eyes. “Life is good.”

I laughed, and agreed.

“I really mean it,” he continued as he climbed down the stairs of his bunk bed. “Think about it. I’ve got it pretty good here. I mean, this is a nice house.”

I nodded. “Nice enough, I suppose.”

“And look at all my stuff. I’ve got a lot of pretty cool stuff.”

“Yes, that’s true,” I concurred.

Our dog Ivy came up to lick his hand. He let her lick his left hand, while he patted her head with his right.

“And this dog. We’ve got a beautiful dog. Look at how awesome this dog is.”

“Are you sure you’re not sleepwalking?” I asked.

“I’m awake, Dad,” he said. “It’s just that sometimes you have to remind yourself how good you have it. I’ve got everything I ever needed.”

“OK,” I said suspiciously, “Now I know you’re up to something. What is it?”

“Nothing,” he said. “Honestly. Nothing. Everything is great.”

He walked into the kitchen and began to make himself some breakfast. I followed him.

“Don’t forget, you have great parents too,” I reminded him.

He put his cereal box down, and looked up at me. “You know what,” he said. “That’s true. You and mom are awesome parents.”

“And you have great brothers too,” I added.

“Dad,” he said, showing me his palm. “Don’t push it.”

I should have quit while I was ahead.

The second one was written in 2010, when he was 8. His brother Johnny was 12 at the time, and his oldest brother Tommy was 15.

Sean calmly told me that the fighting that used to consume every waking moment in our house would never happen again. He seemed pretty confident about it.

“And how are you going to manage that?” I asked.

“I figured out a way to protect myself and make Tommy and Johnny laugh at the same time,” he said. “Want to see it?”

So he ran into the basement, fiddled around with a few things, and then called me downstairs to unveil his incredible new invention. His voice was a little muffled, and I soon discovered why.

“How does this work?” I asked.

“Well, when Johnny gets mad, I just put on these rolled up sleeping pads. If he stays mad I can block his punches and it won’t hurt. If he pushes me over, I’ll land on pads, and it won’t hurt. But mostly he just laughs at how stupid I look, and the fight just ends.”

You may mock this device, but I should tell you that we’ve now gone two full months without a fight in my house. That’s nearly Guinness World Records worthy.

Tune in Tomorrow Night

Chet and I will be on WONC in Naperville...

Music Modernization Act

The Senate passed a bill yesterday about music rights, and the RAMP Newsletter has the details...

The three-part legislation would accomplish the following: 1) For Songwriters: Create a new and transparent collection entity to ensure that songwriters always get paid for mechanical licenses when digital services use their work while helping ASCAP and BMI secure fairer rates for their songwriters. Establish fair compensation for songwriters when the government sets rates. 2) For Artists: Closes the "pre-1972 loophole" so that digital services will pay legacy artists the compensation they deserve and establish fair compensation for artists when the government sets rates. 3) For Studio Pros: Gives copyright protection to producers and engineers for the first time in history.

Good news for musical artists who have really been taken advantage of since the beginning of time.

Bert & Ernie

For years there were rumors that Sesame Street's Bert & Ernie were more than just roommates...if you know what I mean. Well, after a writer from the program intimated the same, Sesame Street producers were asked if it was true or not.

“As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends,” said the nonprofit education organization behind the PBS series. “They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics … they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”

Magic Number is 8

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Jimi Hendrix

Gone since this day in 1970. Had he lived, he would be 75 years old now.

Toad from Mario

Just read this in the Daily Beast. Can't unread it. Now you can't either...

Ever since Stormy Daniels said she was writing a tell-all book, there has been feverish anticipation about what dirt she’d reveal about Donald Trump—but it’s safe to say no one predicted this. According to a copy obtained by The Guardian, the book gives excruciating detail of her alleged affair with Trump, including one nightmarish image in which she compares the president’s penis to Toad—the incredibly annoying mushroom character from Mario. “He knows he has an unusual penis,” Daniels writes in a book fittingly titled Full Disclosure. “It has a huge mushroom head. Like a toadstool… I lay there, annoyed that I was getting fucked by a guy with Yeti pubes and a dick like the mushroom character in Mario Kart... It may have been the least impressive sex I’d ever had, but clearly, he didn’t share that opinion.” So, now you know.

One final question. Is there a Yeti combover?

Nice Moment Last Night


This is an unheard of sales number...

Solution to Supreme Court Mess

Let's face it, the hyper-partisanship in this country is turning the government into a dysfunctional body, incapable of even the simplest of confirming a Supreme Court justice.

The Republicans are crying foul about this Cavanagh situation, which is particularly galling because they literally stole a Supreme Court seat from Obama.

How can we get past this? I have a solution that will bring this country together, or at the very least, end the inevitable payback loop we are now engaged in.

Trump should withdraw Cavanagh. Nominate the rightful Justice Merrick Garland. Consider Neil Gorsuch your newest Supreme Court justice. This is his rightful seat now. He would no longer have an asterisk next to his name, would no longer be considered an illegitate justice installed unconstitutionally. Democrats could no longer bring up the stolen seat. Republicans could reclaim a moral high ground--something they haven't been able to do in more than a decade.


4 Different Personality Types

A brand new Northwestern study has found that there are basically four different personality types in the world, and you almost certainly fall into one of the categories.

They are...

Average: Average people are high in neuroticism and extraversion, while low in openness. This is the most common personality type.

Reserved: The Reserved type is emotionally stable but not open or neurotic. They are not particularly extraverted but are somewhat agreeable and conscientious.

Role Models: Role models score low in neuroticism and high in all the other traits. They are good leaders, dependable and open to new ideas.

Self Centered: Self-Centered people score very high in extraversion and below average in openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

I can't figure out which one I am.

Vine Line Signing Off

From this morning's Robert Feder column...

It’s the end of the line for Vine Line after 32 years as the official magazine of the Chicago Cubs. The December issue will be its last. “As we explore and invest in new and existing content delivery platforms to meet the evolving ways our fans consume Cubs news and features, we’ve made the decision to discontinue Vine Line at the end of the year,” the club wrote in a message to season ticket holders. Former Cubs public relations director Bob Ibach recalled that he launched the slick magazine in 1986 as a way to monetize the Die-Hard Cubs newsletter.

The Emmy Awards

I admit I didn't watch it (Cmon, both Bears & Cubs were on), but here's the list of all the winners.

Among the winners, John Oliver, SNL, Game of Thrones, and a bunch of Emmys went to a show I've never seen or heard of (but now must seek out)...The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Behind the Scenes with Chet Coppock at the Steve Dahl Show

A few behind the scenes shots of Chet Coppock's appearance yesterday on the Steve Dahl show. It was fun hearing the two old friends reminisce and chat about Chet's new Eckhartz Press book "Your Dime, My Dance Floor: Chet Coppock in Pursuit of Chet Coppock". Also ran into my former producing partner Vince Argento, another old Loop alum.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Chet & Steve

Heading down to the WLS Radio studios this afternoon with Eckhartz Press author @ChetCoppock . Chet will be a guest on the Steve Dahl show beginning at 4pm. Tune in to 890 AM if you get the chance. These two have lots of stories about each other from their years at the Loop.


Watch the guys walking behind the Weather Channel reporter...

The High School Incident

I know this incident between the young girl and the young Brett Kavanaugh happened over thirty years ago. You can decide for yourself whether or not it should derail his attempt at joining the Supreme Court.

But I read her account, and it sure sounds believable to me.

The question is, in this #metoo moment are we just going to Anita Hill her? I sure hope the answer is no, but I'm not optimistic.

Minutia Men, Episode 107

EP107: Rick and Dave discuss Amazon caging workers, 246 Nicoles, cleaning up New Orleans, Cubs that share a birthday with Dave, celebs that Rick has met on airplanes, and they interview Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch–Robbie Rist.

Listen to it here.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Sir Paul

Great interview of Paul McCartney in GQ.

This is the Jerking off interview, but it's so much more.

Babies Laughing at Dogs

I could watch this all day long...

On Line Marketing Tools

My friend (and fellow CWA board member) Marcie Hill is having a seminar that might be of interest to you. She really knows her stuff. Here are the details...

1 day sales: 750,000 copies

Bob Woodward is making every other author in America jealous. On the first day of it's release, his book "Fear" sold 750,000 copies.

That's a ridiculous total.

And while I'm happy for our country--I am definitely jealous.

60 Minutes Producer Leaves

Yes, this is another one of those #metoo moments. From TV Newser...

Former CBS News chairman and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager is leaving the company “effective immediately.”

CBS News president David Rhodes made the announcement official in a memo sent to staff today at 1:31 p.m. ET. 60 Minutes executive editor Bill Owens is managing the 60 Minutes team, while Rhodes and Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews will search for the new permanent 60 Minutes ep.

Rhodes said the move “is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports. …However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level.”

In this case it's more like the firing of Bill Shine from Fox News. He wasn't accused for actively participating in the harassment--just in fostering a culture in which harassment was allowed to exist.

After getting fired by Fox News, Shine was hired by the president to run his communications office.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Chet at Windy City Live

A few more behind the scenes photos from yesterday's Chet Coppock appearance at Windy City Live. Thanks again to the producers, crew, and hosts of the show. Everyone was very professional and accomodating.

David Stern

My Eckhartz Press co-publisher David Stern is celebrating a birthday today. Congratulations David!

For those of you keeping score at home, everyone who had 54 in the Dave-pool has been eliminated. He is now 55.

How to Know if Your Wife May Kill You?

If she writes a 700-word-essay entitled "How to murder your husband", it should probably set off red flags, even if she is a romance novelist.

You could ask Portland chef Daniel Brophy. could have asked him a few weeks ago. His wife, the romance novelist who wrote an essay entitled "How to murder your husband", murdered him.

Free Kicks, Episode 16

EP16: Adam and Rick discuss the Nation’s League results and the retirement of Jermaine Jones, preview this season’s Champions League, and Adam takes a quiz about Everton FC.

Listen to it here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Chet on Windy City Live

This is where I'll be today, with Chet. The show airs locally in Chicago on Channel 7 at 1pm.

Wah Wah

Disappointing outcome, but still enjoyed the night out at the ballpark last night with my wife.

The Night We Stole Christmas

Quite a lineup! From the RAMP Newsletter this morning...

Cumulus Alternative 101WKQX/Chicago revealed the ambitious all-star lineup for its popular annual Christmas shows, The Nights We Stole Christmas.

This year's series of four shows, sponsored by Wintrust and Heineken, will be held at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom on November 29 & 30 and December 1 & 2, and will feature live performances from 12 acts. Follow along, won't you, as we read off the lineup by date:

Nov. 29: Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Houndmouth, Alice Merton; Nov. 30: Smashing Pumpkins, grandson, Albert Hammond Jr. (guitarist of The Strokes); Dec. 1: Walk The Moon, Chvrches, Flora Cash; Dec. 2: Death Cab For Cutie, Elle King, lovelytheband. Tickets are now on sale via

September 11

John Landecker posted this on his facebook page: “Leslie Keiling, Rick Kaempfer, Vince Argento, Richard Cantu, Brant Miller, and myself were all on the air together the morning 9-11. I certainly don’t want a repeat of that awful day but I’d give anything to be a part of a team like that again.”

In the pages of “Records Truly Is My Middle Name“, John tells the full story of that day on the air…

The most unique broadcast that I have ever been a part of, has nothing to do with planning, promotion, prizes, and listeners. It was the morning of September 11th, 2001.

I’m sure that every morning show in the country has their own story of what they did when the planes hit the twin towers in New York. This is mine.

We were doing our regular show. Our producer Rick was on the phone with Butch Patrick, who had played Eddie Munster on The Munsters. He was going to be a mystery guest — listeners were to call in and try to figure out who he was. When Rick got in touch with Butch, the news had just broken that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center.

“Are you watching this?” Butch asked Rick.

“Yeah,” Rick replied. “I don’t think we’re going to do this mystery guest bit.”

“No, you better not,” Butch replied.

Brant Miller was our weatherman and had a broadcast line hookup to his home. He was also the meteorologist for NBC-Channel 5 in Chicago, and had access to all of the NBC News information. Richard Cantu was our news man, and he’s a real journalist, and was connected to the CBS Radio network.

Needless to say, after the news had come across that the first plane had hit, we turned on the television in the studio, and we were all watching it, and the microphones were open, when the second plane hit the tower.

I’ll never forget what Brant Miller said: “We’re under attack.”

Well what do you do in a situation like that? Our decision was to go all news right on the spot. There weren’t many details early on, so there was a lot of repetition, as to the content, but we didn’t play any music. I thought it would really be ridiculous to play “Hang on Sloopy” and then do more content about being under attack.

We did play commercials, but not because the clients had paid for them to air — because we needed that time to regroup and find out as much information as we could so we could better inform our audience what was going on. News stations didn’t play commercials, but they were set up to handle this much better than we were. They had a full staff on hand. We just had the four or five of us in the studio.

But I’m really proud of what we were able to deliver. Brant was able to tap into what NBC was getting. Richard was able to tap into what CBS was getting. And I sort of quarterbacked and anchored the whole thing; repeating the facts as we knew them, and encouraging people not to jump to conclusions about who did this, because we didn’t know anything for sure.

I found out later that listeners stuck with us during that morning show, and didn’t tune into the news station, and that the radio station itself toyed with the idea of keeping us on the air until noon. The adrenaline, the being in the moment, and the feeling you have in that situation takes on a whole different sensation — one that I hope I never have again frankly.

It was certainly one of the most memorable mornings I’ve ever spent on the air.

Leslie Keiling was one of the co-hosts of the show during the WJMK run, including the day of 9/11. This is how she recalled that time… “I wouldn’t trade the time we spent together on the morning show at WJMK for anything in the world. Being with everyone on that show on the morning of 9/11/2001 is etched in my head and heart. I now have a glimmer of understanding about sharing a foxhole.”