Friday, September 29, 2017

Sorry to hear the news

Julia Louis Dreyfuss has breast cancer. She announced the news in a pretty classy way on Twitter yesterday...

It was a Lutheran Seminary

Hugh Hefner Excerpt

Eckhartz Press author Pat Colander wrote a book called "Hugh Hefner's First Funeral" (which won the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year award last year).

When the news of Hefner's death was announced yesterday, Pat was kind enough to publish an excerpt on her blog.

You can read it here.

Everyone Loves Minutia Men

When people find out I co-host a podcast, they always ask me to compare it to something else they may know. That one stumps me, because it's really not like any radio show out there. It's more like the TV show "Men in Blazers" if you've ever seen that. This month's reviews are in, and they may give you a better idea of what we do...

As a father
in iTunes by DoomerT from USA on September 22, 2017

I can feel their pain deep within the marrow. It seeps into the bloodstream and the vapor of their verse. A great listen. Especially if you’re a dad...even though this isn’t really about fatherhood.

A Great Listen
in iTunes by reservation for Jerry from USA on September 19, 2017

A very funny show that will keep you in stitches the whole time. Not long enough to overstay its welcome it defintely will put a smile to your face.

Very smart and witty!
in iTunes by @chasingthemind from USA on September 19, 2017

Great quality but also great content. Wacky, funny, somewhat sad in a sardonic self-depreciating way...very fun!

This podcast is real.
in iTunes by Opokuisland from USA on September 19, 2017

I really like how raw and humorous this podcast is. The energy you guys bring and the stories are super entertaining and I love how you guys don't take yourselves too seriously.

Great show out of Chicago!
in iTunes by Arkannos from Canada on September 19, 2017

I really really really really like this show. This pod has recently been added to my daily commute! Great job! The episodes seemingly fly by.

A little bit of this and that
in iTunes by neddonovan13 from USA on September 19, 2017

This is a super fun podcast for people not necessarily looking for a specific topic, but interesting people discussing interesting things. I come out of each episode having learned a tidbit of some kind, and having enjoyed the experience of listening thanks to the awesome host.

Ha! Funny anecdotes.
in iTunes by from USA on September 18, 2017

Just random odd and intriguing stories. Good rapport and banter between the hosts. I’m going to keep listening to this one. Give it a listen.

Great Podcast
in iTunes by Perificus25 from USA on September 17, 2017

I highly recommend giving this a listen/and subscribe. Great talk smooth as silk voices and great chemistry. Would love to give this 6 stars.

in iTunes by The Woodswoman from USA on September 17, 2017

Great banter, funny hosts still informative!

Adorable dads.
in iTunes by Steph Young from USA on September 12, 2017

These two are interesting and adorable. They've got a good vibe for easy and entertaining listening. Definetly recommend.

Professional, classic sound
in iTunes by The Weirdness Pod from USA on September 7, 2017

Great podcast with interesting, personal & intricate conversations.

Hey Donuts
in iTunes by Druel from USA on September 3, 2017

I very much enjoy this podcast. I look forward to it every week. Who else can make nazis funny besides Rick and Dave. Highly recommended.

in iTunes by WWTT Podcast from Canada on September 3, 2017

This is a funny show simply based on the premise of two people 'shooting the sh--' and it works very well! I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun listen - it's like hanging out with a couple of friends!

in iTunes by FartyJannetty from Australia on September 3, 2017

Highly enjoyable and relatable observations keeps me coming back to these guys!! Hot stuff

A Good Time
in iTunes by Jacobsnyder20 from USA on September 2, 2017

These guys are a really fun time, it's something actually really interesting to listen to while at work.

Funny and Relaxed
in iTunes by Tiberius World from UK on August 28, 2017

Minutia Men is slick, funny and engaging. The conversations are natural and relaxed. A great listen.

Clever, funny and original
in iTunes by Ned Z from UK on August 28, 2017

Every episode of this innovative show brings something different. The two presenters complement each other brilliantly, highly recommended!

The show has really been catching on. These reviews are from all over the English-speaking world. We got the download figures this week, and we couldn't believe it. Thanks for checking us out. We really appreciate it. This week's episode is RIGHT HERE.

Giancarlo Stanton

If the steroids era had never happened, all eyes would be on Miami right now. Giancarlo Stanton is poised to break Roger Maris' single season homer record. Last night he hit numbers 58 and 59. From

MIAMI -- The season may be winding down for the Marlins, but Giancarlo Stanton is showing no signs of slowing down his pursuit to break through the 60-homer barrier.

Stanton slugged two home runs and drove in three on Thursday in the Marlins' 7-1 win over the Braves at Marlins Park, and the All-Star right fielder now has 59 homers with three games remaining.

"They're loud and quick, and they're fun to watch," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "They're amazing when you see those. It's been fun watching them. It's pretty amazing to me that somebody hits that many. It's just a lot of homers."

Art Vuolo's birthday bash

Art is known as Radio's Best Friend, and this weekend, radio is coming to his house. From the RAMP Newsletter...

An elite group of industry icons will be winging their way to the Detroit suburb of Novi, Michigan this weekend to celebrate another significant birthday of "Radio's Best Friend," Art Vuolo.

After holding major Radio Reunions in 1988, 1998, 2005 and 2010, folks just didn't want them to end, so Art invited them all over to his house for a marathon gathering. Running for 12 hours this Sunday, some of the radio icons expected to show up include Shotgun Tom Kelly, Joey Reynolds, John Records Landecker, Gary Burbank, Dick Purtan, Lee Alan, Mike McVay, Big Jim Davis, Bill Hennes and some other surprise guests.

Can't be there in person to mingle and raid Art's refrigerator? No problem! You will be able to enjoy the party vicariously from the relative luxury of your own home (or someone else's) courtesy of Cleveland-based online radio station, which will be broadcasting LIVE from the big event!

My brother lives in Novi. I wonder if he will also be attending this event.


John posted this on his facebook page yesterday. He tells the full story in his upcoming book, but this is the photo and the audio of his play by play. John Landecker doing play-by-play of a Foosball game at the Playboy Mansion. Elton John and Bernie Taupin versus Hugh Hefner and Barbie Benton. Note the hilarious line by Elton John towards the end.

John: Hugh Hefner RIP .. game room of the Playboy mansion in Chicago l-r Elton John Bernie Taupin John Landecker Connie Szerzen.... Hef and Barbi Benton

Cardinals eliminated

This isn't very nice, but I'm posting it because someone went to a lot of work to create it. Thanks "BP" for sending it...

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Minutia Men, Episode 67

EP67 – Rick and Dave discuss a North Korean parking scandal, a Beatles cartoon anniversary, Duck sizes, the homer in the gloamin, and Rick’s brush with Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh

Listen to it here.

This doesn't happen in our podcast office

From this morning's Tom Taylor column, this little tidbit about former Westwood One exec Norm Pattis...

Norm Pattiz is accused in a wrongful termination suit of waving around a gun in the office and bullying a former employee at his PodcastOne – an employee who alleges that he’d been “instructed to inflate download numbers,” says Variety. Raymond Hernandez claims he was fired last year in retaliation for complaining about the owner’s behavior. For his part, Pattiz says in a statement “I’ve never meet alone with him. I didn’t hire him or fire him. I barely know who he is.” He says he’s authorized to carry a gun because he’s a reserve sheriff’s deputy. Pattiz’ attorney Marvin Putnam says Hernandez “was fired for stealing intellectual property from PodcastOne, a theft he has admitted to committing.” Pattiz views PodcastOne as the kind of early mover in its industry that his Westwood One once was, for radio syndication.

The Gist of the Russia Investigation

Even if the Trump people had nothing to do with it (and we'll find out eventually), we're finally starting to find out the nuts and bolts of what the Russians did and how they did it. If you want to know, don't miss this upcoming Congressional hearing featuring the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google. We need to get past the us vs. us politics to find out what they did to us so it never happens again.

Da Cubs!

Back in the playoffs again! Here are a few photos of their previous playoff visits (1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1918, 1929, 1935, 1938, 1945, 1984, 1989, 1998, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016)...


Hugh Hefner passed away yesterday at the age of 91. I used to live right behind the old Playboy Mansion in Chicago a few years after Hef permanently moved out west. It had been converted into condos by then, but every time I walked by that building I imagined what had gone down there. When I worked with Landecker he told me stories about things he saw and did there (including playing Foosball once with Elton John, Hefner and Barbie Benton), and it sparked my imagination even more.

The inscription on a brass plate above the door said: 'If You Don't Swing, Don't Ring.'

The bunny costume started up this way...

The original Playboy Club in Chicago was patterned after the city's exclusive Gaslight Club, an elegant key club for Second City powerbrokers and VIPs. When Playboy Magazine ran an article about Gaslight in 1959, reader response was overwhelming. Playboy Promotions Director Victor Lownes pitched an idea to Hef: Why not bring the magazine's bachelor pad image to life in Playboy's own urban hangout?

Hef loved the concept -- but a key element was still missing. The "Gaslight Girls" served their male patrons in Gay Nineties-style corsets and fishnet tights, and the Playboy Club needed a sexy costume of its own. Hef's first thought was to have scantily-clad "Playmates" in nighties serving drinks, but a better idea soon came strolling in the door.

Ilsa Taurins, who was dating Lownes at the time, looked at the magazine's logo and suggested, "Why not dress them as rabbits?" Even though Hef had initially rejected the idea, Taurins tinkered with a costume design and had her mother sew one together. A few days later she entered the half-finished Chicago Club in a satin bodice, fluffy tail and headband with ears, and a new sex symbol was born.

Famous men who married Playboy Bunnies: Bob Dylan, Jimmy Connors, Mort Sahl, Dick Martin, Larry King, Victor Lownes, Bruce Forsyth.

Famous children whose mothers were Playboy Bunnies: Jon Bon Jovi, Dean Cain, Corey Feldman, Janel Moloney, Melissa Auf der Maur.

For people under 40 years old, it's hard to explain what a cultural phenomenon, Playboy was. Hef was one of the most famous people in America. Here he is getting roasted by Dean Martin back in 1973.

I met Hef three times during my radio career. Believe it or not, he was a lousy radio guest, despite having some pretty good stories. He just didn't tell them well.

But for any man who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, he was living a dream life. It didn't matter if reality matched up with our fantasy of it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Faces Behind the Charlie Brown Voices

Pee Wee Herman posted this photo on his blog today. It's a TV Guide piece featuring the voice actors who played the roles in the Charlie Brown specials in the 1960s. Very cool. (And yes, I read Pee Wee's blog. Got a problem with that?

A Daily Show Retraction

Wait for it...


The only thing I remember from 1984...

Double Tweet

Twitter is experimenting with letting tweeters use 280 characters instead of 140.

A certain orange-hued, wild-eyebrowed, verbal sniper in Washington was seen rubbing his hands together like a Bond villain.

NCAA Basketball Scandal

It's one thing when the NCAA busts one of their own. It's different when the FBI does it.

This involves big schools (including Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State and Southern California), agents and financial advisors, and even a sportswear company (Adidas). One of the coaches is former NBA star Chuck Person.

It sounds like this is just the beginning, too...

FBI assistant director Bill Sweeney had a warning Tuesday for other coaches who might be involved in similar schemes, saying: "We have your playbook. Our investigation is ongoing. We are conducting additional interviews as we speak." The FBI and U.S. Attorney's office said they have established a hotline for information related to the investigation.

You can be sure at the very least that they are investigating every NCAA program sponsored by Adidas. They were paying player families according to the charges. What other schools are sponsored by Adidas?

Arizona State, Louisville, Kansas, Indiana, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Northern Illinois, Texas A&M, and University of Miami, just to name a few.

Oh, and as for my Illini, they recently hired the coach from one of the four schools busted yesterday, Oklahoma State.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Trevor Noah on Black Protests

He has a point about where its OK for Blacks to protest, and he says it beautifully in this poem...
It’s wrong to do it in the streets,
It’s wrong to do it in the tweets.
You cannot do it on the field,
You cannot do it if you’ve kneeled.
And don’t do it if you’re rich,
You ungrateful son of a bitch,
Because there’s one thing that’s a fact:
You cannot protest if you’re black.

Made me laugh

We're just like this in my house, except the roles are reversed. Pretty funny...

Another Mitch Endorsement

Mark Suppelsa and I occasionally banter back and forth with each other on Twitter, including last night...

Great Review of "Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars"

Michael Doherty writes a respected music blog, and this week he is highlighting Eckhartz Press author Bill Paige's "Everything I Konw I Learned From Rock Stars." You can read the whole piece here. Below is a short excerpt...

How much are we shaped by the music we hear in our youth? How much is our perspective affected by certain songs? And what do we learn from that music and those musicians? I remember reading interviews with certain artists even in my pre-teens, and perhaps weighing their words a bit more heavily than they deserved. But what about those folks who were doing the interviewing? Were their lives and perspectives changed as a result of the words and thoughts of the musicians they interviewed?

Bill Paige, in his new book, Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars: Conversations 1975 – 1995, seems to answer Yes. He has worked as a music journalist, as well as in public relations and promotion, and has interviewed many famous musicians over the years. The book contains a collection of published pieces, but also functions as personal memoir, always with the focus on music. At the beginning, he gives a bit of background on his childhood and early adulthood as it relates to music. (He, like I, was a radio DJ in college.) The pieces are arranged chronologically, with the name of the artist in question used as the chapter title, so that’s it easy to find pieces on whichever artists you’re most interested in.

There are snippets of interviews, including Burton Cummings of The Guess Who, and both Peter Wolf and Magic Dick of The J. Geils Band. It’s great that Peter Wolf and Magic Dick are interviewed together, because they riff off each other, and that’s part of what makes it such an enjoyable interview. There is also an interview with the members of Shoes, a band I knew basically nothing about. I like that the server’s lines are included. I also really like the Grace Slick piece, and the ones on Steve Goodman and Lindsey Buckingham. The book contains some interesting information about Genesis, and details of Electric Light Orchestra’s stage design. Some of the information is surprising. Roy Orbison didn’t perform in New York until 1972? That’s insane! And Boy George wanted to be in Bow Wow Wow? There are some humorous anecdotes, like that about a missing contact lens which was found by Joe Jackson, and about Roy Orbison’s “Claudette.”

Bill Paige provides introductions to each section, in which he shares some of the things he’s learned. For example, he writes: “Conversations with industry veterans Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane and Starship, ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch, and Jay Ferguson, a founding member of the band Spirit who sang on the 1968 hit ‘I Got A Line On You,’ revealed that musicians are subject to a variety of mid-life crises” (p. 68). There are lots of interesting anecdotes and tidbits, though not really any big life lessons. As you might guess, as a result of reading this book, the list of albums I want to purchase has grown. I’m particularly interested in Mick Fleetwood’s The Visitor. It sounds like a fascinating and fantastic album, and I’m wondering how no one has turned me onto it before. I’m also wondering if that backing track Mick Fleetwood recorded for “Street Fighting Man” has been released yet.

This book is an enjoyable and fairly quick read, and it’s set up such that you can, if you so choose, pick certain sections to read and bounce around as your interests dictate. There are several pages of photos in the middle of the book, including one of a letter written by Kurt Vonnegut, one of my two favorite writers (the other being Shakespeare). The information on who is in each photo is contained at the back of the book rather than on the pages with the photos.

Great Review of "Doin the Cruise"

Tom Lounges of the Northwest Indiana Times has a great piece in the paper this week about Mitch Michaels' Eckhartz Press book "Doin the Cruise". You can read the entire piece here. Below is a short excerpt...
DJ Mitch Michaels was at the center of the Chicago radio scene during what many consider “the magical years” from the mid-'70s to the late-'80s, logging air time on most every major Windy City radio signal.

During his nearly 50 years behind the microphone, Michaels helped to launch two top local stations, WXRT-FM and WKQX-FM, and he was part of the WLUP-FM (The Loop) "dream team" during the station's late-'70s/early-'80s heyday.

Earlier this month, Chicago-based Eckhartz Press released a well-written memoir of Michaels' journey across the dial, aptly titled "Doin' The Cruise: Memories Of A Lifetime in Radio and Rock & Roll."

"I fell in love with rock and roll, more specifically rock and roll radio, at a very young age and that love has lasted my entire lifetime," said Michaels, who just celebrated his sixth anniversary hosting the weekday afternoon drive on WERC-FM 95.9 The River in Aurora.

Michaels is old-school and defines the term "radio personality" as he tells stories and becomes your surrogate friend on the other side of the dial, the voice you turn to when you need company and want to share a memory or two. Michaels does more than say — "That was ..." and "This is ..."

"I live the music. I tell listeners about the bands, the ins and outs of the music, share a story about the song or something about a concert by that artist I attended years ago. I don’t just talk at my listeners, I talk to them," Michaels said. "I hang out with them and rock right along with everyone who’s listening, because what it all comes down to really is we're all the same. We’re all just fans."

Magic Number is 1

The Cubs could be celebrating their divisional championship in St. Louis tonight! (#1--Jose Cardenal)

Stars & Strings

The announcement was made yesterday, and the RAMP Newsletter reports the news this morning...

CBS Radio Chicago will present its third annual Stars and Strings show to honor our nation's veterans and their families, Wednesday, November 15 at The Chicago Theatre in downtown Chicago. The all-star lineup features Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Darius Rucker, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady Antebellum and Sam Hunt with a special appearance by Lindsay Ell. The announcement was made on Monday morning by WUSN (US99)/Chicago morning dudes Stylz & Roman. "Stars and Strings is CBS Radio's annual tribute to our nation's military veterans who do so much to protect our freedoms and our very way of life," said Chris Oliviero, EVP of Programming, CBS Radio. "We've assembled an amazing roster of artists to help us celebrate this special group at the landmark Chicago Theatre."

When I worked in rock radio I was always jealous of the masterful way country radio and country music stars worked together on events like this. Rock stars rarely do the same for rock radio.

The Return of Kathy?

Yes, Kathy Hart is back. At least temporarily at Good Day Chicago. Robert Feder has the detials...

In her first broadcast appearance in five months, Kathy Hart will turn up Wednesday as guest host of “Good Day Chicago,” the morning show on Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32. It’s not likely she’ll talk about her breakup with 21-year morning partner Eric Ferguson (she’s been under a “no comment” order from her former bosses), but it will be the first time fans will see or hear from Hart since she went on leave from “The Eric & Kathy Show” in late April. Earlier this month Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9 officially dropped her from the show and retitled it “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip.” Hart won’t be a free agent until her contract with The Mix expires in December.

WBBM Keeps the Bears

According to Inside Radio, WBBM News Radio has signed a multi-year extension to continue broadcasting the Chicago Bears.

As part of the newly inked extension, Bears preseason, regular season and pregame and postgame shows will continue on WBBM/WCFS-FM. Additionally, “The Bears Coaches Show” will also air on the signals every Monday night during the regular season. The show is hosted by the voice of the Bears, Jeff Joniak.

“Bears All Access” will air weekly on sports sister “The Score” WSCR (670), featuring color analyst Tom Thayer, and Zach Zaidman of “The Score.” The “Bears Noon Update” will air on all six CBS Radio Chicago outlets during the season.

“All of us at CBS Radio Chicago are thrilled to continue our 17-year partnership with the NFL’s most preeminent franchise,” senior VP/market manager Tim Pohlman said. “We thank the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips and everyone at the Chicago Bears for their commitment to keeping WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM as part of this first-class organization for years to come.”

“We are excited to extend our partnership with such a long-established and renowned organization as WBBM,” Bears president Ted Phillips added. “It’s an honor to be a part of their broadcast family and we look forward to further growing our relationship.”

Monday, September 25, 2017

Clooney on "Hollywood Elites"

My old boss John Records Landecker makes the same point in his upcoming Hall of Fame memoir. George Clooney nails it.

Goaltender Clinic

You just won't see a better stretch of goalkeeping than this one by Sparta Rotterdam's keeper...

Rhetoric Matters

How is that ratcheting up of the rhetoric working out for us?

Beatles Anniversary

On this day in 1965, the Beatles cartoon debuted on ABC-TV as a Saturday morning kids show...

Magic Number is 2

They won three out of four in Milwaukee, and unless they totally collapse, the Cubs will be celebrating a back-to-back division championship in St. Louis this week. Sweetness. Magic number is 2 (#2--Leo Durocher)

The Bears Won?

I had them pencilled in for 0-9 start. Looks like I was wrong...although they really did try everything they could (Cooper?) to give the victory to the Steelers...

Trump Vs. the NFL

I know the president was trying to rally his dwindling base by ripping the NFL players who kneel, but once again, it was the way he did it that caused the backlash this past weekend. He called them "sons of bitches" and urged a boycott of the NFL.

The NFL didn't respond well to that, and athletes from all sports rallied to their side.

My twitter feed was full of Trump supporters comparing the freedom of speech issue with the cause of bakers who didn't want to sell wedding cakes to gay couples. Again, one is a protest against discrimination and the other is a protest FOR discrimination, but whatever--you can pick your side and stay there I suppose.

I personally wouldn't kneel. But is this really a bad way of protesting? It's quiet. It's non-violent. It's brief. It harms no-one. I wish more protests would be done this way. Or as my good buddy Dale Earnhardt Jr. said...

Or as my comrade-in-arms Tom Brady said...

When you've lost Earnhardt and Brady, you might want to reconsider, Mr. Trump.

And my man Bob Costas sums this whole thing up beautifully...


I've seen every episode of Ken Burns' Vietnam series, and I couldn't recommend it more. Absolutely riveting. I was young when all of this went down and only vaguely remember the details. The way Burns combines stories from individual American soldiers, tapes from Lyndon Johnson, and stories from Viet Kong fighters is incredible. A masterpiece.

Dahl Signs for Three More Years

From this morning's Robert Feder column...

Chicago broadcast legend Steve Dahl has signed on for three more years with WLS AM 890. The Radio Hall of Famer will continue to hold forth weekday afternoons with Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley. “When I signed with Cumulus in 2014, my dad was passing away in Los Angeles,” Dahl said. “Three years later, Janet and I are expecting our ninth grandchild. Life is a roller coaster, and so is a career in radio. I’m proud of the work Dag, Brendan and I are doing every afternoon for WLS AM 890, and gratified that they like it too. The show is funny, informative and apolitical. We could still use a little marketing, however, so I am currently in negotiations to buy the ‘Kathy’ half of the Eric and Kathy billboards.”

Bowen Out at Cumulus

From this morning's Tom Taylor column. I hadn't heard this news. Peter & I worked together back in the WJMK days. Good guy...

Cumulus cuts Chicago market manager Peter Bowen. Peter was “the man who brought White Sox baseball and Bulls basketball” to talk WLS/890, says Robert Feder. Turns out the subject of an all-hands morning staff meeting last week was Peter’s surprise departure. He began his radio career in Chicago as an AE at then-WCKG/105.9 and joined CBS Radio in 1996 for what stretched into a 16-year run. In March 2015, he came back from CBS-L.A. to Chicago, succeeding Donna Baker at WLS, classic hits WLS-FM/94.7, and two stations LMA’d from Merlin Media. (Those are alternative WKQX/101.1 and classic rock WLUP/97.9.) Cumulus tells Robert Feder that “The open market manager role in Chicago is a priority for us and we are working to find the right leader for this important market as soon as possible.” For now, Cumulus EVP/Operations Dave Milner takes the reins in Chicago.

Coming Soon

Excited about this one. Pre-order your copy today.