Friday, April 12, 2013

George Carlin's Words of Wisdom

This clip is ten years old, but it's still true. Depressing, but true. (NSFW) It's essentially the message I tried to convey in my novel "$everance".

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Daniel Honigman ‏@DanielHonigman 21m
It sure looks like all puke on the street has corn in it. The lesson here: If you're super drunk, do NOT eat corn.

Ray Long ‏@RayLong 28m
Rod Blagojevich Is Bad for the Resume … via @ward_room #IL #twill Sheila Nix rises with hole in list of credentials

Morning Joe ‏@Morning_Joe 49m
TGIF, folks! Do you think background checks are 'a slippery slope'? Or agree w/Joe that we need to address issue, not the grade of the hill.

Keith Conrad ‏@keithrconrad 1h
People need to know RT @ClubLama: just came across two science stories. why songs get stuck in your head. why monkey butts are so colorful.

Mully And Hanley ‏@mullyhanley 1h
If you didn't see it, watch former #WhiteSox Carlos Quentin break Zack Greinke's collarbone #Dodgers #Padres #MLB

Marilyn Monroe ‏@MarilynMonroeDC 4h
The ones who give the best advice, are usually the ones who have the most problems

New York Daily News ‏@nydailynews 1h
Woman finds extra $100,000 in safety deposit box, but bank takes cash and offers no explanation

Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo 1h
The Athletics are 59-27 since the 2012 Allstar Break.

John Harwood ‏@JohnJHarwood 1h
NBC/WSJ poll: by 2 to 1 margins, Americans say they disagree w/GOP's approach to "social/cultural issues" & "looking out for middle class"

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy 1h
Robin Baumgarten just read a story about beaver attacks without laughing. Employee of the month.

Beaver Attack

The Big 89's 89th Birthday

From today's RAMP Newsletter...

"Tonight, a cavalcade of the biggest names in Chicago radio past and present will convene at the historic Navy Pier to participate in a special broadcast to celebrate 89 years of WLS-AM entertaining Chicago. The Big 89 launched the careers of many local and national celebrities, including Gene Autry, Larry Lujack and Bob Sirott. Roe Conn, co-host of the Roe & Roeper Show will host the 89th Birthday Bash Broadcast from 6-8pm featuring legendary 89 WLS broadcasters like Dick Biondi, Catherine Johns and Wayne Messmer, along with special birthday greetings from Larry Lujack, Jeff Hendrix, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Rep. Peter Roskam and Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will also be on hand to present WLS with a special proclamation suitable for framing. It was on the night of April 12, 1924, at Sherman House Hotel in Chicago when the airwaves crackled with these immortal words from WLS' inaugural PD, Edgar Bill, who said, "Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye, WLS, The Sears Roebuck Station, is on the air." (The WLS call letters were originally derived from nickname "World's Largest Store" in honor of Sears-Roebuck's West Side Headquarters on Homan Avenue.) "When I got into radio I never expected one set of call letters to mean so much to me, and to so many listeners," said Chicago radio legend John Records Landecker, who still works at WLS-FM. "WLS, The Big 89, truly is the 50,000-watt blowtorch of the Midwest."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Another Cub with Anger Management Issues

Thanks to "RP" for sending me this link. His message was: "Milton Bradley, Carlos Zambrano, Michael Barrett… He'll fit right in."

The Cubs hot new prospect Jorge Soler can now be referred to as their hot-head new prospect. He went after the opposing dugout with a bat.

And people ask me about the inspiration for the Just One Bad Century logo.

Dave & Rick

We were once a radio team (Champaign-Urbana 1985), and now we're a publishing team. Thanks to Shore Magazine for the photo.

Some pub from Shore Magazine

Pat Colander writes about our NW Indiana weekend in her Shore Magazine blog today...

"John Landecker Publishers Have a Brief Twinge of Guilt: Eckhartz Press' bosses Rick Kaempfer and David Stern had a moment to pause and reflect when John Landecker called in sick for a book-signing in Beverly Shores---which has already been re-scheduled for Bartlett's on Sunday, April 28th. John's promotional book tour has been relentless for a month. And last weekend on Saturday, Landecker appeared at Top Dog for a three-hour live broadcast. I'll let Rick pick up the story from here:“On Saturday morning I rounded up the boys (my two oldest sons…Tommy & Johnny and my co-publisher David Stern), and headed out to Top Dog in Michigan City Indiana...The host of the show was 'Uncle Lou' Weber, along with David Dabagia and Mike Dempsey, and we had a great time discussing the book.

The three-hour broadcast touched on many of the good stories in the book, but I think my favorite moment happened when John told the story of the John Travolta-Woodfield Mall mayhem. When he finished telling the story with the line 'I’ve never been to a Beatles concert, but I can only imagine that’s what it sounded like,' Uncle Lou casually mentioned that he had worked security for a Beatles concert in Chicago.

'I had to throw McCartney into a car to get him away from the screaming girls,' Lou said. 'And McCartney was upset because I broke a button on his coat. I said ‘If you don’t get into the car right now, I’ll break a lot more than that.' Maybe we should be doing an Uncle Lou book.”

Look for Landecker to be back on top April 28th and again May 10th at the Lubeznik Center in Michigan City.

Friendships Cut Short by Social Media

This report comes from Reuters...

"Rudeness and throwing insults are cutting online friendships short with a survey on Wednesday showing people are getting ruder on social media and two in five users have ended contact after a virtual altercation. As social media usage surges, the survey found so has incivility with 78 percent of 2,698 people reporting an increase in rudeness online with people having no qualms about being less polite virtually than in person. One in five people have reduced their face-to-face contact with someone they know in real life after an online run-in."

This has only happened to me once. A long-time friend posted a bizarre political screed, and I jokingly (I thought) told him that he sounded like one of those tin-foil hat crazies. He hasn't spoken to me since.

Are Justin Bieber's Twitter Followers Fake?

According to this piece in The Sun, it appears that half of them are fake.

Of course, the Sun announced that fact in their usual understated fashion. Click on the link. The giant bold headline reads: JUSTIN FAKER!

I'm officially starting to feel sorry for this kid. When the press turns on you, whoo boy, do they ever turn on you.

Steve & Garry on Lee Phillips

This is too weird. I had no idea these two incredibly different entities ever crossed paths...

Is Streaming Killing Discs Already?

There's a big battle brewing in the media world about streaming, and the potential it has to take away profits from more traditional media companies. According to this article, Redbox Kiosk is already feeling the heat. Their revenues are down 16% in just the first quarter of this year.

Technology waits for no-one.

At the risk of sounding a thousand years old, I must admit I'm struggling to keep up.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Heard It Through the Grapevine

Recorded on this day, 45 years ago...

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

New York Daily News ‏@nydailynews
Jackie Robinson: A life in pictures ... check out these amazing images from the Daily News photo archives:

Greg Sargent ‏@ThePlumLineGS
McConnell now on Senate floor attacking Obama budget that contains exactly what he asked for in November

ThinkProgress ‏@thinkprogress
The nation’s first privately owned state prison has quickly turned into a total hellhole

David Letterman asks Lindsay Lohan about stealing and "rehabbing": "Do you drink too much?" Watch: ‏@CNNMoney
U.S. stocks open higher, with the Dow above its record high close, topping the 14,700 mark.

The Onion ‏@TheOnion
In Sports: Wrestlemania 29 Marred By Inconsistent Officiating

kippermcgee ‏@kippermcgee
Morning Blend: Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice”? ~George Carlin

HowardKurtz ‏@HowardKurtz
Is Broadcast Television About To End? Aereo challenging networks by trying to steer TV signals to phones, computers …

Marcus Leshock ‏@marcusleshock
In Harrison Ford voice. RT @pang: Chicago weather is the drunkard stammering back to the bar "You sonsuvabitch can't kick me out blerrggggh"

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
Senators reach bipartisan deal on gun background checks

Stuart Suttcliffe

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac today...

April 10, 1962…Stuart Sutcliffe, the Beatles' original bassist, died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 21. He left the band in 1961 to resume painting because his headaches were getting too severe to play.

This is the only footage of Stu playing with the Beatles...

The Webby Award Nominees

I love this list of nominees in the same category...The Obama Re-Election Campaign & Justin Bieber's Fragrance "Girlfriend"

The full story is here.

Don't Stop Believin

Thanks to "ND" for sending this to me...

R.I.P Dick Sutliff

The former WGN Radio newsman passed away yesterday at the age of 77.

His old pals Steve & Johnnie wrote a wonderful piece on their blog about Dick. I never met him, but I did enjoy hearing him on the air.

The Alec Baldwin show?

According to the New York Times, NBC and Alec Baldwin are in talks about Baldwin hosting a late night talk show.

There are two possible time slots for that show now that Jimmy Fallon has been announced as the new Tonight Show host. It could either be for the slot currently occupied by Jimmy, or the one that Carson Daly has been filling immediately after Jimmy's show.

Records store

There are no more Record stores, but there is a store in Chesterston that is now carrying "Records Truly Is My Middle Name". If you're in the area, stop by the Schoolhouse shop.

Cubs 365

I'll occasionally post my Cubs 365 feature on this blog, but it's just a reminder that the JOBC Blog features a Cubs 365 story every single day. Here's today's...

On this day in 1921, future Cubs first baseman Chuck Connors was born.

The physically imposing 6'5" Connors played first base for the Cubs in 1951 and hit a whopping two home runs in 200 at bats, not exactly the kind of power you want from a big first baseman. That performance earned him a trip back to the minors.

Luckily for him, the Cubs minor league team at the time was in Los Angeles. While he was playing in the Cubs minor league system he got a bit part in the movie "Pat & Mike" (starring Spencer Tracy--1952). That led him to quit baseball for good and become a full-time actor. By 1958, he was starring in "The Rifleman," which aired until 1963. He also starred in Old Yeller, Soylent Green, and Roots, and is arguably the greatest Cubs actor of all-time (other than Sammy Sosa during his "corked bat" press conference).

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

My Love

Released 40 years ago today...

Words of Wisdom from Bob Schieffer

On Monday Bob Schieffer accepted an award at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas (The Distinguished Service Award), and had this to say to the assembled broadcasters in the audience...

"Unless there is some entity in the local community that in the 21st century can do what newspapers did in the 20th century, we’re going to see corruption in this country on a wave we’ve never experienced before. I believe broadcasters can become that entity...If you have a newspaper in your market that is having trouble and is cutting back, give thought to hiring some of those reporters. It’s one thing to have someone in their mother’s basement who writes something up and puts it on a blog somewhere. What we need in this country is accurate information. I think that’s your role in the 21st century.”

Amen, Mr. Schieffer. I couldn't agree more.

Does Buzzfeed Know the Secret?

This is a really fascinating article in New York Magazine about Buzzfeed's creator.

It poses the question: Does Buzzfeed know the secret to making something viral?

I read the whole piece (it's quite long), but I still don't know the answer. Sounds to me like they don't, but they have learned something else. How to make commercial content (which is inherently non-viral) as viral as possible.

Free Excerpt from "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" (Memories of Annette Funicello)

Annette Funicello passed away yesterday. She was an important figure in the lives of many Baby Boomers, including John. This excerpt from "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" comes from page 27.


The day my father told me the facts of life is a story right out of a 1950s Norman Rockwell painting. Imagine if you will, a professor/father with his pipe, wearing his suit coat and tie in his study at home. He calls for his boy to join him.

“Young John, come in and sit down.”

Then he explained to me in clinical detail about exactly how sexual intercourse worked. Direct, and to the point, without any embellishment. No vernacular, no slang.

OK, thanks Dad. Sounds good. I think I’ll give it a try.

By then, I had definitely already taken note of the opposite sex. Watching television had a lot to do with that because The Mickey Mouse Club was on every day after school. One Mouseketeer in particular had an impact on me; Annette Funicello. Yes, she was beautiful. Yes, she was talented. But more importantly, as time went on she developed breasts right before our very eyes. The Mouseketeers wore sweaters with their names spelled out, and as the years progressed, Annette’s “A” and “E” grew farther and farther apart. I’m telling you, it was a sensation. I finally got to interview the girl of my childhood dreams when I was working in Toronto in the ’80s. It was fabulous. If you can believe it, she told me that she felt very self-conscious when she was on The Mickey Mouse Club because she was the only “ethnic” one, and how did she put it? I believe she said she looked a little bit different than the others. Yeah Annette, I think we know what you mean.

"Records Truly Is My Middle Name" is available at Eckhartz Press as a trade paperback, and via all the usual suspects as an e-book, including amazon.

Robert Feder moving on?

It looks like the Time Out Chicago sale is forcing Robert Feder to move on. From Tom Taylor's NOW newsletter this morning...

"Robert Feder has covered Chicago radio, TV and other media for three decades, starting when his desk at the Sun-Times was located just outside the office of Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Roger Ebert. He says in those days, Ebert (R.I.P.) called him "Scoop." Now Feder (pronounced “feeder”) says “with the sale of TimeOut Chicago, I have agreed to accept a buyout of my contract.” He’s not ready to take a permanent job at DisneyWorld, though - “I am eager to continue my work and I expect to make an announcement soon.” That was his posting on Facebook, and you can also follow the Windy City media savant on Twitter."

Whenever and wherever he turns up next, Chicago media figures will read him again. I wish him the best.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Making the Rounds in NW Indiana with John Records Landecker

On Saturday morning I rounded up the boys (my two oldest sons...Tommy & Johnny and my co-publisher David Stern), and headed out to Top Dog in Michigan City Indiana for a live broadcast/book signing with John Records Landecker on WEFM 95.9.

The host of the show was "Uncle Lou" Weber, along with David Dabagia and Mike Dempsey, and we had a great time discussing the book. The three hour broadcast touched on many of the good stories in the book, but I think my favorite moment happened when John told the story of the John Travolta-Woodfield Mall mayhem. When he finished telling his really great story with the line "I've never been to a Beatles concert, but I can only imagine that's what it sounded like," Uncle Lou casually mentioned that he had worked security for a Beatles concert in Chicago.

"I had to throw McCartney into a car to get him away from the screaming girls," Lou said. "And McCartney was upset because I broke a button on his coat. I said 'If you don't get into the car right now, I'll break a lot more than that."

Maybe we should be doing an Uncle Lou book.

(More photos at the Eckhartz Press blog)

On Sunday we were scheduled to appear at Bartlett's Gourmet Bar and Grill, but unfortunately, John got sick overnight and couldn't make it. He has a pretty severe case of bronchotis, and a high fever. I still showed up to break the bad news to the people who came out to meet him (and there were many), and to let them know that the event has been rescheduled for April 28th.

Thanks to everyone for being so understanding--especially the owner of Bartlett's (Gary), and the people from Shore Magazine (including Pat Colander) who came out to cover the event.

We had a big get-well card that everyone signed for John.

He has to cancel a few of his interviews this week as well, but he should be ready to go again in a few days.

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

ChicagoSide ‏@ChicagoSide 9m
Our 25 favorite Roger Ebert sports movie reviews. …

Lynn Sweet ‏@lynnsweet 2m
#rogerebert At Holy Name Cathedral for Roger's funeral. Crowd streAming in.

WGN Radio 720 ‏@WGNRadio 6m
Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first female prime minister, died today. She was 87.

HowardKurtz ‏@HowardKurtz 16m
Mirror writer says Thatcher's death is "celebrated" by half the country. That's absurdly harsh …

David Corn ‏@DavidCornDC 11m
Elvis Costello explains (and performs) his song looking forward to the day when Thatcher would die: …

jon greenberg ‏@espnchijon 17m
Make sure to follow @NotTomRicketts, the funniest account Cubs officials have accused of being run by me.

Katie Couric ‏@katiecouric 24m
"I look around at these girls & my heart fills up with so much love" - @ValerieHarper with the MTM cast today:

Lou Brutus ‏@LouBrutus 2m
I met #StevieWonder. He told me I looked great. I thanked him. I didn't get the joke till about five seconds later.

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy 5m
If you were a hot dog and you were starving, would you eat yourself?

Phil Rogers ‏@ChiTribRogers 5m
Don't let the morning showers scare you. The forecast for the Cubs' home opener isn't bad …

Let It Be...Naked

In 2003 the Beatles released "Let it Be...Naked", their version of what they wanted the album to sound like instead of the slickly produced Phil Spector version that was originally released. (And that was before Phil Spector shot anybody)

Well, this week they've finally released it to iTunes. And I will now dutifully go to iTunes and spend some money there.

The Wisconsin State Journal Writes about John Records Landecker

Doug Moe is a columnist for the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison Wisconsin, and he spoke with John Landecker last week about our book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name".

His column about John and the book is in the paper (and online) today.

The book is available, of course, at Eckhartz Press.

Fake Twitter Followers

I heard about this phenomenon from a friend of mine a few months ago and thought he must be mistaken. Apparently he's not.

There's an underground market of fake twitter followers that you can purchase.

Why would you buy fake twitter followers? To make you or your company look more popular or powerful than you really are. According to the article, you can buy a thousand or so fake followers for only $18 or so.

I currently have a whopping 386 followers.

But at least all of them are real.

Roger Ebert's Legacy

I've read a lot of really nice write-ups and tributes to Roger Ebert since he passed away last week, but I think this one by David Carr in the New York Times captures a part of Roger that a lot of his friends were talking about over the weekend.

Roger was more than just a film critic or newspaper man. He really was a visionary; an early adapter of all the latest technology throughout his lifetime.

He even converted me to a brand new technology back in 1989 or 1990. He and Gene Siskel were filling in for Steve and Garry on AM 1000 and I was running the control board for them. Roger and Gene were having an off-microphone argument during the commercials about the latest advancement in home video. Roger insisted the videotape would be a thing of the past in no time, and that if Gene and I didn't immediately purchase this brand new technology, we would be left in the dust.

I don't know if he convinced Gene, but he convinced me. I went out and bought one the next day. I still have it in my basement.

Anyone want to come over to my house and watch a laser disc?

Casey Kasem's Home For Sale

This is a nice little fixer-upper if you have some extra cash lying around. For a very reasonable $42 million, you could own Casey Kasem's California home.

Photos are here.

If you tour the home, and run into Casey, whatever you do--don't mention a dog dying. Just trust me on this.