Saturday, April 23, 2022

Minutia Men--Hitler's Bathtub

 The latest episode of Minutia Men is out. Listen to it here.

A man pays over a half-million dollars for a worthless football, the most controversial photograph of the twentieth century, Jenkins in Taiwan, a celebrity prank, a how-not-to guide, and a brush with Hollywood icon Gene Kelly are discussed by Rick and Dave. [Ep268]

Free Kicks--The Salt in Your Tears is Delicious

 The latest episode of Free Kicks is out. Listen to it here.

The battle for the Premier League title is going down to the wire between Manchester City and Liverpool. Rick and Adam discuss the rivalry. [Ep152]

Friday, April 22, 2022

Paul and John

I love this clip of Paul and John discussing their partnership...

Eckhartz Everyday


*Today is Peter Frampton's birthday. He is featured in Bobby Skafish's Eckhartz Press book We Have Company: Four Decades of Rock and Roll Encounters  (Photo: Frampton and Bobby in the Loop studios)

*On this day in 1954, Joseph Nye Welch made his famous retort to Senator Joseph McCarthy, "At long last sir, have you no decency!" John Records Landecker talks about that day in his book Records Truly Is My Middle Name, because his first wife Judy was Joseph Nye Welch's granddaughter. You can read the excerpt here.

*On this day in 2018, Beth Jacobellis' book Cameo became available for purchase in the French Quarter of New Orleans (photo of the book in the storefront window)

*Also on this day in 2018, Cubsessions authors Randy Richardson and Becky Sarwate Maxwell went down to Orland Park to sell their book.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Cubs Tweet of the Week

Bill O'Reilly loses it

Again. Once a jag, always a jag. I might get mad that a flight is delayed, but I wouldn't call the guy at the desk a scumbag and tell him he will lose his job...

From the Writing Archives--Tom Sawyer

 I wrote my column Father Knows Nothing for nearly a decade--something like 400 columns. Naturally I wasn't able to include all of them in my book Father Knows Nothing when it was released in 2014. This one goes back to 2011. I repost it today in honor of Mark Twain, who passed away on this day in 1910. It's about my family's attempt to consume his story Tom Sawyer.

This spring break I had a mission in mind for my youngest son Sean (age 9). I was appalled by his lack of historical knowledge and lack of interest in learning about it, so my plan was to show him a bunch of movies about history over the break. I figured it was a low-stress, sneaky way to secretly teach him history.

I started with a softball, a classic of American literature, “Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain. My idea was to give him a slice of life from the 19th century, while opening the discussion of what was going on in history in the years immediately preceding and following that. At the very least, I figured, he would see a classic American tale written by one of America’s greatest writers.

The version of the movie I chose was the Disney-fied version from the 1970s. I vaguely remembered seeing it when I was a kid, and in my memory it was a wholesome family film.

Unfortunately, there were a few problems with my plan. In the first place, the version I chose was a musical. I didn’t remember that. (And the music was terrible). I found myself fast-forwarding through the musical numbers so that Sean didn’t walk out of the room.

Secondly, and most importantly, I didn’t remember that this was a terrifying story.

Tom Sawyer and Huck actually witness a murder; a knifing of the town doctor. In one scene that Sean will never forget, Tom (played by Jody from “Family Affair”) stands up for the falsely accused town drunk (played by Sgt. Hulka from “Stripes”), and testifies in court that the drunk didn’t do it. Tom says “I saw Injun Joe kill Doc with a knife!”

Instead of screaming out Perry Mason style “That’s a lie”, Injun Joe stands up and throws a knife at Tom. The knife sticks into the wooden chair behind him–only inches from Tom’s face.

Sean screamed and ran out of the room, vowing never to return. I finally coaxed him back, but when he started watching again, Tom and Becky were being chased through a cave by the knife wielding Injun Joe who was screaming “I’m going to kill you Tom Sawyer!”

Sean screamed and ran out of the room again, never to return.

That night he was too terrified to sleep in his room. For the first time in his life, he asked if he could sleep in our bed with us. The next night he asked me to release our pit bull Ivy (we usually crate her at night), just in case a robber came into the house. The third night he wasn’t satisfied with that, and insisted I sleep on the couch just a few feet away from his room.

Needless to say, we didn’t have the in-depth discussion about American history that I had planned. Instead we had an in-depth discussion of how difficult it would be to break into our house and kill us while we were sleeping. I showed him the locks on the windows, and the double-paned glass. I showed him that all the doors were locked and made of heavy duty wood. I reminded him that our dog was super protective and wouldn’t let anyone hurt us. And I vowed that I would take the bullet if anyone tried to shoot him.

Happy spring break, eh?

Eckhartz Everyday


*April 21, 1939 was opening day for the Chicago Cubs. They were coming off a World Series loss to the New York Yankees, and were optimistic about their upcoming season. Needless to say, it didn't end in another World Series. Every Cub in this picture is featured in my book EveryCubEver.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Chicago Radio Ratings

 These figures are courtesy of Robert Feder's column. To get a breakdown of the dayparts, click here.

1. WVAZ 102.7-FM R&B, 5.8 (5.7)
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 5.5 (5.1)
3. WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 5.4 (5.7)
4. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 5.0 (5.0)
5. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 4.8 (4.6)
6. WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 4.4 (3.7)
7. WGN 720-AM news talk, 3.5 (4.6)
8. WUSN 99.5-FM country, 3.3 (3.0)
9. WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 3.1 (3.3)
10. (tie) WCHI 95.5-FM rock, 3.0 (2.5); WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 3.0 (3.1);
WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 3.0 (3.2)
13. (tie) WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 2.9 (3.2); WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 2.9 (2.9)
15. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 2.6 (2.7)
16. (tie) WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.5 (2.3); WGCI 107.5-FM hip-hop, 2.5 (2.5)
18. WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip-hop, 2.4 (2.5)
19. WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 2.3 (2.0)
20. (tie) WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 2.2 (1.5); WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.2 (2.2)
22. WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 1.9 (1.9)
23. (tie) WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 1.3 (1.6); WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian music, 1.3 (1.3)
25. (tie) WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.2 (1.4); WPWX 92.3-FM hip-hop, 1.2 (1.2)
27. (tie) WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 0.9 (0.9); WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 0.9 (1.0)
29. (tie) WSRB 106.3-FM R&B, 0.8 (0.7); WXLC 102.3-FM hot adult contemporary,
0.8 (0.6)

Studio Walls

  Every week I send my Minutia Men Co-Host Dave Stern a list from our audio archives for this week's Studio Walls feature. These are the possibilities for this week. Which one will he choose?

*April 17, 2019, our old buddy (and Eckhartz Press author) Chet Coppock died. We had Mark Giangreco on the podcast, and he told us some great stories about things he learned from Chet. (Listen to the entire interview here)

*April 18, 1938, the first Superman comic book was released. We had comic book expert (and owner of that issue) Gary Moondog Colabuona to talk about that. (Full interview here)

*April 19 is World Poker Day. We had World Series of Poker winner Tristan Wade on the show in 2018 to talk about his poker career. (Listen to all of it here)

*April 19, 1982, 38 Special released the song "Caught Up in You". Rick jammed on that song with the writer of it, Jim Peterik, live in the studio. (Full interview is here)

*April 21st is Vince Argento's birthday. The voice of the Minutia Men podcast audio appeared on the show once, and brought along his greatest masterpiece. Psycho on Ice. (AUDIO)

*April 21, 1978, the movie I Wanna Hold Your Hand was released. Rick and Nick DiGilio talked about the greatness of that film during our interview with Nick (Full interview is here)

*April 22 is John Waters birthday. The avante guard film director did a promo for our advertising agency AMISH Chicago Advertising (AUDIO)

*April 22, 2019, the film Avengers Endgame was released. We talked to the man who did many of the stunts in that film, Bobby Holland Hanton. (Listen to the entire interview here)

*April 22, 1932, the Cubs faced the Reds at Wrigley Field. Pat Pieper was the PA Man, and we have the audio of him announcing the starting lineups. (AUDIO)

*April 23rd would have been Lee Miller's birthday. We talked to her son Anthony Penrose about his mother's incredible life, which included taking a bath in Adolf Hitler's bathtub on the day he killed himself. (Incredible interview here)

(Photo: First Cubs-Sox crosstown game. Guess which team won.)

Eckhartz Everyday


*On this day in 2021, Bruce Springsteen's website gave a shout out to Eckhartz Press author Ken Korber for his great children's book that featured Stevie Van Zandt. You can read that piece here, and of course, Grace's Rockin Roll Adventure is still available at Eckhartz Press.

*On this day in 2012, Windy City Reviews offered up this review of The Living Wills

  • What struck me most about this novel was its sweetness. Sullivan and Kaempfer navigate issues of love, loss, and family dynamics with a care that is crucial to the success of the novel. The straightforward, unadorned prose does no work to convey the depth of emotion in the novel; that job is reserved solely for the characters, and they carry the load well. The Living Wills was a pleasure to read for Sullivan and Kaempfer’s deft characterization and effective structural choices. The rich details about Chicago only add to the novel’s appeal. You can read the entire review here.

  • *
    Yes of course we also know it's 4-20, man. Eckhartz Press even has a book that's appropriate for the occasion, written by Scott Redman and Edward Reyes, it's called: Illinois Adult Use Cannabis.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Eckhartz Everyday

 *On this day in 2019, Chicago author/blogger Bonnie McGrath wrote a poignant piece memorializing her good friend (and Eckhartz Press author) Pat Colander (photo) after her untimely death. You can read Bonnie's wonderful piece here. Pat's book is called Hugh Hefner's First Funeral.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Cubs Home Movie

This home movie is from this week in either 1937 or 1938. No sound, but it's an incredible glimpse into a ballpark that still stands today.

Eckhartz Everyday

*Today is legendary radio personality Charlie Tuna's birthday. He is featured in the Eckhartz Press book Turn it Up by Bob Shannon.

*On this day in 2019, we lost Eckhartz Press author and Chicago broadcasting legend Chet Coppock. I made the rounds discussing Chet and his impact on this town, including this interview on WGN Radio with Bill and Wendy.

*On this day in 2021, Eckhartz Press author Roger Badesch appeared on Steve Dale's radio show to discuss his book The Unplanned Life. You can listen to that interview here.