Friday, January 25, 2019

Smells like Pre-Teen Spirit

Instrumental ukelele version of the Nirvana song. This kid is talented...

Dave Mosele

Happy birthday to Eckhartz Press' talented illustrator Dave Mosele. He did the illustrations for "Father Knows Nothing", "Rantings of a Bitter Childless Woman", "Hugh Hefner's First Funeral" and more...

Juke Box Hero

I never knew the inspiration behind the Foreigner song "Juke Box Hero". Mick Jones says it was about a fan who stood out in the pouring rain in Cincinnati to see them. They are trying to track this fan down now, 38 years later. Cool story.

I still like the song too.

Roger Stone

The entire Roger Stone indictment is here. Don't let yourself be swayed by pundits. Read it yourself. Lots of damanging info in there. Those guys in the Trump campaign totally knew what was going on.

Oh, and you have to let John Podesta have his little moment of Shadenfreude...

Writers Scholarships

Just a reminder that the scholarship application deadline for Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference is January 25th at midnight (that's tonight). Don't lose out on this opportunity.
CLICK HERE ( to apply. There is no application fee. Scholarship winners will be announced by February 20.

Pat Colander

From Robert Feder's column this morning, another farewell to Pat Colander...

Pat Colander is being remembered as a fearless writer and editor with an infectious laugh and an endless stream of stories. The longtime journalist and author died of cancer Monday in Hobart, Indiana. She was 66. Colander, who grew up on Chicago’s South Side, worked for the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Reader, the Northwest Indiana Times, Lake magazine and Shore magazine. In 2016 she won the Chicago Writer’s Association Book of the Year Award for Hugh Hefner’s First Funeral and Other True Tales of Love and Death in Chicago, a collection of her articles. Services for Colander will be at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Mary of the Lake, 6060 Miller Avenue in Gary, Indiana.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Weezer Covers

From Slate Magazine. Does it make me lame if this sounds really good to me?

Weezer’s upcoming album Weezer, scheduled to be released in March, will be Weezer’s sixth Weezer. The albums are informally known by the color of their artwork, so the newest Weezer is the Teal Album. Their latest outing finds the band leaning into the success of their cover of Toto’s “Africa” with a lineup of cover songs that’s heavy on the early 1980s. Here’s the tracklist:

• “Africa” (Toto, 1982)
• “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (Tears For Fears, 1985)
• “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” (Eurythmics, 1983)
• “Take On Me” (A-ha, 1984)
• “Happy Together” (The Turtles, 1967)
• “Paranoid” (Black Sabbath, 1970)
• “Mr. Blue Sky” (Electric Light Orchestra, 1977)
• “No Scrubs” (TLC, 1999)
• “Billie Jean” (Michael Jackson, 1982)
• “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King, 1961)

John Belushi

Today would have been John Belushi's 70th birthday. Hard to believe. This photo comes from the pages of John Landecker's book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name". Landecker & Belushi (and Ackroyd) hung out on a number of occasions during the filming of the Blues Brothers movie. That's just one of the great stories in the pages of Landecker's great memoir, still available at Eckhartz Press.

Jimmy Steal

There's a new PD at WTMX. His name is Jimmy Steal, and he comes from LA. From Radio Online...

Steal said, "After my extended successful run at Power 106 LA I'm thrilled to be taking on the roll of VP of Brand and Content for WTMX in Chicago. I would like to thank Meruelo Media COO Otto Padron and my entire Power 106/KDAY team for the many years of amazing record-breaking radio! I'm so looking forward to being at Hubbard Radio, working in their biggest market, for Jeff England, Drew Horowitz, Greg Strassell, Mega-star Eric Ferguson and the entire WTMX staff."

Vice President Market Manager Jeff England added, "We are thrilled to have Jimmy Steal join our outstanding Programming team at Hubbard Radio Chicago as Vice President of Brand and Content WTMX. Jimmy is a tested and proven winner in one of the most competitive markets in the country. His talent and leadership will further enhance our market leading performance at 101.9 The MIX home of the Eric in the Morning Show."

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Robin Zander

Today is Cheap Trick lead singer Robin Zander's birthday. Robin and the rest of the guys in Cheap Trick are featured in the Eckhartz Press book "We Have Company" by Bobby Skafish. The band rates an entire chapter in Bobby's incredible rock and roll book (still available at Eckhartz Press). The band talks about working on John Lennon's final album, and of course their own work. Zander even swears.

(What? A Rock and Roller swearing?)

New Hall of Famers

Congrats to the four new Hall of Famers who will join Lee Smith and Harold Baines in this year's HOF class. No complaints here from the inclusion of Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, and Mike Mussina.

I knew Rivera was a lock, but whoa, 100% of the vote. Very impressive. First one ever.

Oscar Nominations

These are the nominees for Best Picture this year...

Black Panther (Kevin Feige, Producer)
BlacKkKlansman (Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Jordan Peele and Spike Lee, Producers)
Bohemian Rhapsody (Graham King, Producer)
The Favourite (Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday and Yorgos Lanthimos, Producers)
Green Book (Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga, Producers)
Roma (Gabriela Rodriguez and Alfonso Cuaron, Producers)
A Star Is Born (Bill Gerber, Bradley Cooper and Lynette Howell Taylor, Producers)
Vice (Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers)

Best Director nominees...

Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
Adam McKay (Vice)
Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)

Best Actress nominees...

Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
Glenn Close (The Wife)
Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born)
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Best Actor nominees...

Christian Bale (Vice)
Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born)
Willem Dafoe (At Eternity's Gate)
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)

Supporting Actress nominees...

Amy Adams (Vice)
Marina de Tavira (Roma)
Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Emma Stone (The Favourite)
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Supporting Actor nominees

Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)
Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Sam Rockwell (Vice)

Chicago Radio Ratings

This Christmas book is always a little skewed because of the all-Christmas format (WLIT), but nevertheless here are the ratings, courtesy of Robert Feder's column today. Feder also has the ratings broken down by daypart, if you are interested...

1. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 13.3 (8.3)
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 5.3 (5.7)
3. WVAZ 102.7-FM urban adult contemporary, 4.9 (5.3)
4. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 4.6 (4.8)
5. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 4.4 (4.2)
6. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 3.9 (4.3)
7. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 3.6 (4.0)
8. WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.2 (3.4)
9. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip hop, 3.0 (3.5); WGCI 107.5-FM urban contemporary, 3.0 (3.3); WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 3.0 (2.9)
12. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 2.9 (2.9)
13. WUSN 99.5-FM country, 2.8 (3.5)
14. (tie) WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 2.6 (2.9); WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.6 (2.7)
16. (tie) WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 2.5 (2.3); WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 2.5 (2.8)
18. WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.4 (2.1)
19. (tie) WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 2.3 (2.2); WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.3 (2.7)
21. WGN 720-AM news talk, 2.2 (2.6)
22. WPWX 92.3-FM urban contemporary, 1.9 (1.9)
23. WEBG 95.5-FM country, 1.5 (1.4)
24. WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian, 1.3 (1.1)
25. (tie) WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.2 (1.0); WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.2 (1.5)
27. (tie) WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.1 (1.4); WMBI 90.1-FM Christian ministry, 1.1 (1.1)
29. WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.0 (1.1)
30. WERV 95.9-FM classic hits, 0.6 (0.7)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Free Kicks, Episode 28

EP28: On this week’s Free Kicks, Adam & Rick recap the London Derbies, explore the nuances of the January transfer window, and take a quiz about Manchester City FC.

Listen to it here.

R.I.P. Pat Colander

Just got some very shocking news--my good friend Pat Colander passed away.

I knew she had cancer, and I knew she had been undergoing treatment for a while, but I had no idea this day was near. I'm in shock.

I met Pat almost twenty years ago when I was working with John Landecker. She was the editor of Lake Magazine at the time, and they were doing a story about John. In our first conversation I mentioned that I was a writer too, and she asked me to write an article for her magazine on the spot. I did. She liked it, and I wrote many more.

When Landecker's show ended, she encouraged me to write full-time. And I did.

My first two books "The Radio Producer's Handbook" and "$everance" were both championed by Pat in the pages of her magazine. She sent her friend Andy Shaw to write about the first one. Our mutual friend John Landecker to write about the second.

When she moved over to Shore Magazine to be the editor there, I moved with her. I wrote even more for her there, including the column that came to be my pride and joy--Father Knows Nothing.

When it came out in book form, Pat gave me an enthusiastic endorsement on the back cover.

Pat was always encouraging, always supportive. She was a great cheerleader for me and all the writers she employed. It was thanks to Pat that I was nominated several times for Lisagor Awards. I had no idea what that even was until I was nominated for Father Knows Nothing.

When Dave & I started up Eckhartz Press, Pat came to us with a book idea. She wanted to print some of the great articles from her writing days (from The Reader, The Tribune, etc). She was an absolutely gifted writer, and those articles make "Hugh Hefner's First Funeral and Other Tales of Love & Death in Chicago" a must read. We weren't surprised at all when it won the Book of the Year award in 2016. It's that good.

As long as we are in business at Eckhartz Press, it will remain in print. It deserves to be.

I'm a little taken aback by this news. You only encounter so many truly special people in your life, and when one of them is suddenly gone, it's a bit overwhelming.

I'm happy I got to know her. I'm happy to have seen the tremendous example she set for how to treat people, how to be generous in spirit, and how to be giving to others.

Rest in peace, Pat. We miss you already.

CWA Board

This photo was taken on Saturday night at the CWA Book of the Year Awards. This is the board for the Chicago Writers Association. L-R: Charlie Monteverde, Randy Richardson, George Rawlinson, Samantha Hoffman, Christina Rodriguez, Becky Sarwate-Maxwell, Me, and Dan Burns.

Great night and great turnout in the middle of a snowstorm, somehow.

Bowling for Veterans

This is where we will be this Saturday with Chet Coppock. What a worthy cause--we're happy to support it. Details below...

The Skokie Men's Bowling Inc. in conjunction with Leadoff Bowler 'Big Daddy' will be having their 1st Annual Winter Bowling Benefit on Sunday, January 27, 2019, at the Niles Brunswick Zone - Bowlero, located at 7333 Milwaukee Avenue, in Niles, Illinois; registration begins at 9:30 AM; with a special and unique kickoff not-to-be-missed for the benefit at 10:00 AM.

Over 150 bowlers have signed up and nearly 50 sponsors are in support of this event including local dignitaries such as Illinois State Representative John D'Amico (15th District), Mayor Dan DiMaria of the Village of Morton Grove, Trustee George 'Kappy's' Alpogianis of the Village of Niles and more! Chicagoland radio broadcasting legend and hall-of-famer and Chet Coppock 'The Godfather of Sports Talk Radio,' will be on-hand for the book signing of his newly-released book: 'Your Dime, My Dance Floor: Chet Coppock in Pursuit of Chet Coppock' (

A silent auction will be conducted by Hobb's Hobby Hut and raffles and prizes will be on-going throughout the event. All proceeds will benefit The Bowlers to Veterans Link (BVL) (, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit with high distinction as one of "America's Best Charities" due to their low costs in running their organization (6%). This means that 94% of funds donated to this organization are spent on programs and services to aid our veterans directly for rehabilitation and recreation.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Minutia Men, Episode 122

EP122: Rick and Dave discuss ash sniffing, Trump TV show from the 50s, an injection that won’t help your back, Rick’s brush with comedian Tom Dreesen, and they interview former Olympian track star Dwight Stones

Listen to it here.

What the World Needs Now

I share this song every year on MLK day. It was produced and recorded by DJ Tom Clay in 1970. Captures the spirit of MLK about as well as anything...

Len Kasper

Happy birthday to Len Kasper, the TV voice of the Cubs. Len was kind enough to contribute to the book "Cubsessions" last year. Spoke to the authors of that book the other night (Becky & Randy) and they are working on an updated version to be released this year with even more Cubs and celebrity Cub fans talking about their love of the team. All proceeds go to charity.

New at B-96

From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

Entercom Top 40 WBBM-FM (B96)/Chicago has filled its prime evening vacancy with Julia Lepidi, who will take over the 7-midnight show on Monday, January 28. Lepidi spent the past three years at Entercom's former Top 40 sister WDZH (98.7 AMP Radio)/Detroit -- she started there in nights in 2015, added Promotions Coordinator duties, and last June was elevated to morning co-host, alongside Chris Cruise. However, that wake-up dream came to a screeching halt in November when the station flipped to Soft AC as 98.7 The Breeze. Earlier in her career Lepidi was on the air at WBTI/Port Huron, MI. "Julia's energetic, vibrant personality coupled with her high engagement on social media will make for a tremendous addition to our team," said Jimmy de Castro, SVP/Market Manager, Entercom Chicago. "We are confident that Julia will connect with nighttime listeners and help further extend the station’s reach." Lepidi commented, "When the opportunity came to become a part of the legendary B96 staff, it was a no-brainer. Thanks to Jimmy de Castro, [PD] Todd Cavanah and [APD/MD] Erik Bradley for this opportunity. I'm genuinely humbled and beyond ecstatic to join the team in the great city of Chicago."