Saturday, March 26, 2022

Chili Dog MVP

Come on out to Orland Park tomorrow (Sunday) to meet the authors...


Lake Tahoe

 A few pics from my trip to Tahoe. Back to reality on Monday.

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview--Oscar Special

 The latest episode is live. You can listen to it here.

SPECIAL OSCAR EDITION: Oscar’s Biggest Mistakes and a preview to this year’s Academy Awards.  Rick and Dave chat with author Eric Litt. [Ep95]

Friday, March 25, 2022

Eckhartz Everyday

 *On this day in 2012, Kim Strickland held the launch party for her brand new novel Down at the Golden Coin. 

Among the goodies handed out that day, chocolate golden coins. They should have never sat Dave and I near that bowl.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Eckhartz Everyday

 *Today is Peyton Manning's birthday. The Hall of Fame quarterback is featured in the pages of Randy Merkin's great Eckhartz Press book, Behind the Glass.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Studio Walls

 Programming Note: This week's episode of Minutia Men will contain five different Studio Walls segments. You'll hear...

*Lyricist Glen Slater talk about what its like to work with his musical collaborator Andrew Lloyd Webber.

*Grand Funk Railroad's Mark Farner talk about how he created the song "Bad Time" before going into a rant about radio.

*Tube's lead singer Fee Waybill talk about the song "Don't Touch Me There" and the absolutely wild stage antics that accompanied it.

*Paul Michael Glaser from Starsky & Hutch talk about how cool it was to drive that iconic Starsky and Hutch Grand Torino.


*A super-young Ernie Banks (in 1955) in his first big interview.

The show drops Saturday.

Eckhartz Everyday


*On this day in 2013, the Chicago Tribune reviewed John Landecker's memoir Records Truly Is My Middle Name (co-written by me). It was glowing. Thank you Rick Kogan.

*On this day in 2018, Beth Jacobellis had her book launch party on the Northwest side of Chicago. Her book Cameo is still available.

*Today is Jim Geddes birthday. He was a member of the 1972 White Sox and is featured in the book Chili Dog MVP.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

From the Writing Archives--William Shatner


I only met William Shatner once, but I figured this would be a good day to tell that story. It's his birthday. I originally wrote this piece back in 2006.

My one and only William Shatner encounter occured in the late '80s.

At the time I was working for Steve & Garry at WLUP-AM, as well as doing an overnight disc jockey shift on WLUP-FM. One of the perks for my seven day work week was the occasional “personal appearance.”

I was under no illusions that people were clamoring for a Rick Kaempfer appearance. The entire concept was laughable. During the Steve & Garry years I was best known for being “the idiot” who didn’t get Steve & Garry what they wanted fast enough. The extent of my personality during my FM air shifts involved new and interesting ways to introduce Led Zeppelin. I knew the score. When I was sent out to a personal appearance by the radio station, it only meant that they were contracted to provide a radio personality for an event, and everyone else on the staff had said no.

They didn’t say “no” for no reason.

Any “non-star” who has ever done one of these appearances knows what I’m talking about. It’s not exactly a rip-roaring good time. It’s a couple of hours of schmoozing the client, saying hello to maybe a dozen people, and watching the clock.

Luckily I didn’t bring my dignity with me the day I was sent out to the Chicago Auto Show for a personal appearance. It would have just gotten in the way every time I had to answer the question: “Who are you?”

The only thing that saved this day from being a complete loss was that William Shatner was scheduled to make an appearance on the same day. Shatner’s setup was no more than fifty feet away from mine.

I had a tiny 5’ X 7’ booth. He had a roped off area in front of an elevated stage.

I had a metal folding chair. He had a fully stocked trailer attended to by three Teamsters.

I had an 8 ½ by 11 paper sign that said: “Meet Loop DJ.” He had a large poster with his picture under the headline: “MEET WILLIAM SHATNER!”

On the other hand, almost nobody was there to see him either. About fifteen minutes before his appearance was set to begin, there were maybe a half-dozen people in this gigantic roped-off area. Since nobody was there to see me, and nobody was there to see him, I left my post by the “Meet Loop DJ” sign, and got in line. I figured, “What the heck? I’ll never get another opportunity like this.”

Minutes turned into an hour, and still, there was no sign of William Shatner.

By then the throng had grown to maybe twenty people. When he finally poked his head out of the trailer and made his way up to the stage, the crowd let out frenzied cheers at the sight of him. He nodded politely and walked up to the microphone.

“Thanks for coming out today. I’m looking forward to talking to each and every one of you. Unfortunately, I won’t be signing any autographs, but I will shake your hand, press the flesh, and say hello.”

Since I was seventh in line, I heard what he said to all six people in line ahead of me.

“Hi, I’m Bill. Nice to meet you.”

That was it. Within seconds it was my turn. That’s when I smelled him. He reeked of wine.

“Hi, I’m Bill. Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you too,” I said.

He shook everyone’s hand in maybe five minutes. With that, boom, he was gone—back into the trailer.

I had never really been to a celebrity personal appearance before so I didn’t know what to expect, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be that lame. On the other hand, I looked around at the rest of the people in the audience and they didn’t seem that upset. I heard one husband and wife talking on their way out.

“What did you think of his piece?” the husband asked.

“I like the fluffy TJ Hooker one better,” the wife said.

I went back to my “Meet Loop DJ” sign, and watched that trailer for twenty minutes from my metal folding chair.

Nobody came, and nobody left.

Unless there was some sort of an escape hatch beneath the trailer, William Shatner was spending several hours on Sunday afternoon hanging out with some Teamsters in a trailer in the middle of an almost empty Chicago Auto Show.

I eventually picked up my “Meet Loop DJ” sign, folded up my metal folding chair, and left. Shatner was still there.

My pay for that afternoon was an electric can opener and two tennis rackets.

Don’t let anyone tell you that showbiz isn’t glamorous.

Eckhartz Everyday


*On this day in 2019, the Eckhartz Press book Nose Over Toes by Janet Sutherland-Madden was officially released. 

It was accompanied by a Q&A with the author.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Chicago Radio Ratings

 From Robert Feder's column today. For full daypart breakdowns, click here.

1. (tie) WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 5.7 (5.4); WVAZ 102.7-FM R&B, 5.7 (5.7)
3. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 5.1 (5.7)
4. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 5.0 (5.1)
5. (tie) WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 4.6 (4.8); WGN 720-AM news talk, 4.6 (5.2)
7. WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.7 (3.2)
8. WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 3.3 (2.6)
9. (tie) WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 3.2 (3.5); WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 3.2 (2.8)
11. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 3.1 (2.9)
12. WUSN 99.5-FM country, 3.0 (3.1)
13. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 2.9 (3.4)
14. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 2.7 (2.9)
15. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip-hop, 2.5 (2.4); WCHI 95.5-FM rock, 2.5 (2.5); WGCI 107.5-FM hip-hop, 2.5 (2.1)
18. WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.3 (2.4)
19. WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.2 (1.8)
20. WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 2.0 (2.2)
21. WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 1.9 (1.6)
22. WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 1.6 (2.0)
23. WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.5 (1.8)
24. WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.4 (1.0)
25. WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian music, 1.3 (1.3)
26. WPWX 92.3-FM hip-hop, 1.2 (1.1)
27. WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.0 (0.9)
28. WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 0.9 (1.3)
29. (tie) WDCB 90.9-FM public radio jazz, 0.7 (0.8); WERV 95.9-FM classic hits, 0.7 (0.8); WMBI 90.1-FM Christian ministry, 0.7 (0.6); WSRB 106.3-FM R&B, 0.7 (0.7)

Minutia Men--H-E-Double Toothpicks

 The latest episode is out. You can listen to it here.

Jenkins buys a football, H-E-double toothpicks, Dr. Phil Plait talks Uranus, Mike Tyson gets high with William Shatner, a truly unfortunate press conference, and a listener’s brush with Phil Donahue.. [Ep264]

Eckhartz Everyday


*On this day in 2016, Eckhartz Press author Dobie Maxwell returned his hometown of Milwaukee for the north of the border book launch for Monkey in the Middle.

*On this day in 2018, Eckhartz Press author Beth Jacobellis appeared on WGN Radio to talk about her novel Cameo.

*Today is Supertramp's Roger Hodgson's birthday. He is featured in the Eckhartz Press book Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars by Bill Paige.

*Today is also Shawon Dunston's birthday. The man who helped make him famous, Dave Cilha--creator of the Shawon-O-Meter is featured in the Eckhartz Press book Cubsessions. Dunston, of course, is in the book EveryCubEver.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Writers Conference

 Had a great time at the CWA Writers Conference this weekend. Thanks to everyone who attended and participated...