Saturday, February 11, 2023

Free Kicks--Breaking the Law


Free Kicks – Breaking The Law

The boys at Manchester City have been very bad boys. Over 100 violations of financial rules. Adam and Rick discuss. [Ep178]

Listen to it here.

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview--The Mad Drummer Steve Moore


Celebrity Interview – The Mad Drummer, Steve Moore

The man behind the 50-million-view viral video, mad drummer Steve Moore joins Rick and Dave to discuss his “Keith Moon on Speed” drumming techniques. [Ep119]

Listen to it here.

Watch him in action below...

Friday, February 10, 2023

Media Notebook--2-10-23


A curation of news items about the media from this past week, with a particular emphasis on Chicago

(By Rick Kaempfer)




*Jim Johnson Update

=Jim Johnson had a legendary career at WLS radio. The newsman was a big of part of shows starring Steve & Garry, Roe & Garry, and Roe and Roeper, among others. Shortly after he retired he was diagnosed with Alzheimers. His daughter Alexis Del Cid is a journalist/anchor/Emmy winner herself, and she has been posting regular updates about her dad and his health status. The one she posted this week really tugged at my heart strings. I asked her if it was Ok to share it, and she said yes.

= Recently when my dad was spending an afternoon at my house, I went through his phone with him. We do this from time to time. I’ll read out the names of friends and relatives he has programmed into it. When one catches his attention- I’ll help him make the call. It gives him joy when he reaches someone who will chat with him. Also, I know one day the people he is calling will yearn to hear his voice. He was on the phone with my Aunt Rosie, his sister. They were on speakerphone. She is always so good about guiding him through the conversation, bringing back childhood memories, gently answering, and steering the ship when he gets off course. She asked him what he was doing. “Well… I’m here at my… my….” He looked at me quizzically. I held my breath. “Who are you to me?”

Since the moment we got the Alzheimer’s diagnosis, this was a moment I had feared, had nightmares about, daymares about, played over in my head, anticipated, rehearsed, dreaded. I always envisioned that when this part happened I would collapse. I would simply fall to my knees and die. I would disintegrate. I could not imagine living after The Moment. But my heart kept beating. I said with a big smile, “Daddy, I’m your daughter, silly!” I gave him a hug and he laughed. “Oh right right! I’m here with my daughter!” The conversation went on. That night I made him baked salmon. And after dinner, I gave him a bowl of ice cream. It was not sugar-free which is all he usually eats. I told him it was a special treat and that when he was at my house we could do whatever we want because dietary rules do not apply. He laughed. I told him whenever he’s with his daughter, he can break all the rules. He laughed every time I said it.

Later he looked at me with a very serious face, “I was wondering… do you think I could have a second bowl?”

“Of course, Daddy. When you’re with me you can do whatever you want!” I gave him another bowl. He was delighted, and as I placed it in front of him he announced, “I love my life!” Later that evening before my mom came to pick him up and I was getting his things together he walked over to me and stood before me with his hand extended. I stood up and shook his hand. Curious. He broke into a big smile and with a glimmer in his bright blue eyes he declared, “You’re my daughter. And we can do whatever the fuck we want.” I burst out laughing and wrapped my arms around him. Amen, Pops.


*Johnny B Returns!

=I had just posted my Buzz Kilman interview for this week’s Loop Files on Tuesday when I got wind of a mystery guest appearing on the WGN-TV Morning News. I knew about the show’s connection to Brandmeier (Robin Baumgarten and Jeff Hoover both got their starts on Johnny’s show), so I suspected it might be him. It was! Same boundless energy. He also updated everyone on why we haven’t seen him around lately. Watch the interview here.


*Ramblin’ Ray’s New Gig

=Ray Stevens is the new host of Drive Chicago on WLS, Saturday mornings at 8am. For the next few weekends he’ll be out at the Chicago Auto Show, along with Jim OBrill, the Director of Marketing Chicago Automobile Trade Association / Chicago Auto Show and Mark Bilek, the Senior Director of Communications Technology, Chicago Automobile Trade Association.


*Dobie Maxwell in Milwaukee

=Dobie is a stand up comedian, but he’s also been a radio guy for thirty years, including a stint at WLUP in the early 00s. Lately he’s been turning up as a fill in doing sports talk in Milwaukee for 97.3FM, The Game. He says: This is THE most fun I have ever had at a station anywhere - and technically I don't really work there. The staff is fantastic, knowledgeable and fun to work with and I grew up in Milwaukee so I have a lifetime history of sports there.”


*Dan McNeil Working on a Book

=I think I may know who the publisher will be…


*On the Mend

=You may have noticed that Blackhawks radio voice John Wiedeman wasn’t on the mic for a handful of recent games. The Chicago Tribune interviewed him this week and he explained the reason for his absence. “It just took a long time to get rid of the infection that had taken hold of my body,” Wiedeman told the Tribune. “And I tried to fight through it (but) some point you have to do what’s necessary in order to get rid of it. So that’s what I did.” Joe Brand filled in for him while he was gone.

=Also at WGN, Rollye James hasn't been on the air lately either, but not because of her own health problems. Her husband John had a stroke. Her website has the full (pretty optimistic) update.


*Podcast Corner

=If you haven’t heard him yet, local Chicago treasure Duane Scott Cerny (co-owner of The Broadway Antique Market) appears bi-monthly on Amber LeMay Live! with his "Amber's Crazy in the Attic" segments. It's live on Sundays via Facebook and YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and every platform that aren't shoes. (That’s Duane’s joke. The man is a stitch.)






*February 6, 1964, WCIU-TV signed on the air.

=It was Chicago’s first UHF station at the time.


*February 6—Ed Tyll birthday

=You might not like what he says, but he’ll say it anyway, Ed Tyll. The nighttime talker worked at AM 1000 for a few years in the early 90s. I interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2010.


*February 8, 2000—Bob Collins passed away.

=The legendary WGN morning man's death was dramatic and shocking. He died in a plane crash. Chicago Radio Archives and Memories posted the audio of WMAQ’s coverage of that day. Photo of Bob Collins courtesy of Spike O’Dell.

*February 8—Bob Shomper birthday

=The former program director of WGN (2006-2009) is now retired.


*February 8, 2018—John Landecker gets a diploma

= Landecker had dropped out of college in the late 60s to take a radio job in Philadelphia. He was just a few hours short of a degree at the time. When he was asked to speak at his old school (Grand Valley State University), unbeknownst to him, the University had a big surprise for him. It’s a great story. I wrote about it for Illinois Entertainer.


*February 10—Alex Burkholder birthday

=Alex was an investigative reporter/producer for WGN-TV (21 years) and WLS-TV (24 years) working alongside the great John Drury. Burkholder is the author Death of the Angels, about the fire that claimed so many lives at Our Lady of the Angels school in 1958.


*February 11—Jim Moran birthday

=I interviewed the former WLS man in 2011 for Chicago Radio Spotlight.


*February 11—Rob Creighton birthday

=Creighton worked at Next Media in the Chicago suburbs as a programmer and air talent.





*RIP Jack Taylor

=Anyone who grew up in Chicagoland in the 60s and 70s remembers the legendary anchorman Jack Taylor wearing that mustard yellow blazer on the WGN-TV news. He was 94 years old when he passed away this week. WGN paid tribute to him. 


*Network Corner

=Disney’s first earnings report since CEO Bob Iger returned exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. So naturally, Disney announced they would be cutting over 7000 jobs. The New York Times has the full story. Lots of big changes coming, including the spinning off of ESPN (probably to sell it), and a focus on the streaming service.

=James Corden’s replacement was named this week. Remember the Comedy Central show @Midnight? It’s getting a reboot.

=Speaking of reboots. Not sure how I feel about this one. Fawlty Towers, starring John Cleese, was one of my all-time favorite shows. This week Cleese announced that he is bringing the show back. Read this piece about it in the New York Times.


*Tom Brady Not Quite Ready for the Broadcast Booth

=Don’t worry. He’ll be there soon. Just not this upcoming NFL season. He made that announcement this week.

=Jeff Agrest has a great piece in the Sun-Times about the man Brady will probably share the booth with when he finally starts broadcasting: Kevin Burkhardt. 


*US House Decides to Restrict C-SPAN cameras

= Despite considering giving C-SPAN a little more leeway, the U.S. House of Representatives opted not to. Vanity Fair has the story.

*The Grammy Awards

=Believe it or not, this year’s Grammy Awards show was a ratings hit. If you missed the show, the full list of winners is here.




*The Chicago Tribune hires Lizzie Kane as business reporter.

=Before coming to the Tribune in January, she worked at Bloomberg, the Indianapolis Star and the Baltimore Brew.


*Block Club Chicago’s new West Side reporter is Trey Arline.

=Arline was previously with the Daily Herald and the cannabis newsletter Grown In.


*David Jackson leaves the BGA

=Jackson is one of the best investigative reporters around. He previously worked for the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, and the Chicago Reader. He won a Pulitzer, and was a four time Pulitzer finalist. Jackson joined the BGA in 2020. The BGA has lost some other big names the past few years including another Pulitzer winner, Madison Hopkins.


*News Corp to Lay off 1000

=Another media company laying off a lot of people (this time in the print world mostly). The Hollywood Reporter has the news.

*Springsteen Fanzine To Shut Down In Protest Over Ticket Prices

=When the face value of a concert ticket has four digits, it no longer fits the working man’s budget. That caused the longtime Springsteen fanzine Backstreets to end their publication. The Guardian has more on this story.




*Elon Musk’s Work/Sleep Balance

=After reading this piece in the Wall Street Journal, I’m relatively sure that Elon Musk is miserable. He does two things: works and sleeps. And the sleep is an afterthought at best.

As always, if you have any media story you’d like to share or think that I might be interested in sharing, drop me a line at or If you're in Chicago media and wondering why I didn't mention your birthday, it's probably because I don't know it. Drop me a line and let me know and I'll put you on my calendar.

If you're interested in some of my other projects from this week...

Minutia Men:  Circumstantial Evidence

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview: Friday Night Light's Louanne Stephens

Minutia Men Celebrity Interivew: The Mad Drummer Steve Moore

Free Kicks with Adam & Rick: Breaking the Law

From the Eckhartz Book Shelf: Best Seat in the House, Diary of a Wrigley Field Usher

EveryCubEver: Bill Faul

My latest novel: Back in the D.D.R

EveryCubEver: Bill Faul

   I've been working on revising the book for the upcoming 5th edition (which will be out on Opening Day). Thought I'd share a few of these EveryCubEver entries with you while I worked...

Bill Faul 1940--2002 (Cubs 1965-1966)
Some players are known as characters. Some are known as eccentrics. Still others seem to have come from another planet. Bill Faul was one of those guys…and he wasn’t even a lefty…or a Californian. Faul pitched for the Cubs in 1965 and 1966. It’s safe to say that he had a quirk or two. He claimed that he could hypnotize himself before games. He had been a Karate instructor in the Air Force, and his hands and feet were both considered registered weapons. He talked to his arm. He allegedly swallowed live toads (to get “extra hop” on his fastball) and ripped the heads off parakeets with his teeth. He once held a guy off a fourth floor balcony by his shoes. Faul also insisted on wearing #13. 
But as wild and unpredictable as Faul was, he was cool as a cucumber on the field. He had to be awakened in the clubhouse only thirty minutes before his first major league start. Faul shook out the cobwebs, grabbed the ball, warmed up, and pitched a three-hitter. Faul always seemed to be in the middle of the excitement. He was one of only a handful of pitchers to be involved in fielding a triple play, and one of only two major league pitchers in history to have three triple plays in one season while he was on the mound. Unfortunately for Faul, the league figured him out in 1966. When his ERA climbed over five, he was sent down to the minors and never returned to the Cubs. He kicked around the minor leagues for a few seasons before turning up for a cup of coffee with the Giants in 1970. Bill Faul died in 2002, at the age of 62.

                Historical note: On the day Bob Dylan went electric and stunned the audience at the Newport Folk Festival (1965), Faul was on the mound for the Cubs, three-hitting the Pirates.

Thursday, February 09, 2023

The Eckhartz Bookshelf--Best Seat in the House

With over 80 books in our library, this year we're taking some time every week to highlight one of the books on the Eckhartz bookshelf. This week's book is "Best Seat in the House: Diary of a Wrigley Field Usher" by Bruce Bohrer...

Bruce Bohrer was a Wrigley Field usher for nine seasons, and during that time he saw it all. Brushes with greatness, marriage proposals, creative signs and cheers, unique crowd control issues, and the sheer awe and excitement of Wrigley patrons are captured beautifully in the pages of this book. Maybe you’ll even recognize yourself, because after all, the real stars of “Best Seat in the House: Diary of a Wrigley Field Usher” are not the players on the field. They are the people who come to the shrine called Wrigley; everyday fans who bleed blue for their beloved Cubs.

Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview Classic: Duane Scott Cerny


We have now done over 200 interviews on our various Minutia Men podcasts, and this year we're going to revisit some of the best. This past year we got a chance to talk to Duane Scott Cerny. Duane is the co-owner (w/partner Jeffrey Nelson) of The Broadway Antique Market in Chicago, hosts a bi-weekly vintage show, “Amber’s Crazy In The Attic” with internet drag icon, Amber LeMay, wrote a #1 Amazon Bestselling Memoir,  and is a recipient of Gwendolyn Brooks/Poet Laureate of Illinois Poetry Scholarship, Northeastern Illinois University. He's also funny as hell. Something special happened when we had him on the show. We hit it off so thoroughly, that Duane asked us to sell his books through Eckhartz Press. Both are now available there (Selling Dead People's Things, Vintage Confidential)

Listen ot the interview here.

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Going to the Birds

The Loop Files: Buzz Kilman

 I'm working on a special project this year about a certain radio station, so I've been going back into my files and pulling out some old interviews with former Loop colleagues and pals. I'll feature one a week here on the blog. This week, it's Buzz Kilman. Buzz is one of the few Loopers who was part of both legendary Loop eras, first as the newsman on the Steve & Garry show in the first Loop era, later as the newsman on the Jonathon Brandmeier show in the second great Loop era. I spoke to Buzz in 2009, and this is what he had to say...

Rick: Radio news has changed quite a bit in the years since you started doing it. What are your thoughts about the changes?

Buzz: To be totally honest, it hasn’t changed that much for me. I’ve really only worked with two guys for the past 30 years, Dahl & Brandmeier, and both of those guys have a specific way they want it done.

I can’t talk to what happened to other news departments, because I’ve always really been a one-man operation. The news itself hasn’t changed. Prioritize the stories, put them together in the format you use for that particular show, and then just do it.

What has changed is the way you gather the news. That’s been a revolution. The technological advancements over the years are just unbelievable, but the final product, that thing I do on the air, that hasn’t changed at all. I just do the news.

It’s really in my blood. I’ve been doing it my whole life, starting at the age of 16 when I became a printer’s devil, back in the days before photo offset printing. After high school I was a copy boy for the Miami News for a Pulitzer Prize winner, and then in college I was an editor for the Campus Conservative at the University of Miami...

Rick: Really? The Campus Conservative?

Buzz: Yeah, I lost the gig when Kennedy was shot. The football team didn’t want to play (to honor him), and I came out in favor of the football players, and that was it. It really was the Campus Conservative. Hey, it was only Kennedy! After that, I was also the editor of the Daily Planet (an underground newspaper in Miami), so I really have spent my whole life doing the news. I’m a news geek.

Rick: The first time Chicago heard you on the air was when you came aboard as the newsman on the Steve & Garry show in 1980, which at the time was already HUGE in Chicago. What was that experience like coming aboard that show at that time.

Buzz: The exposure was phenomenal. I came from a respectable station in Florida (WSHE), but believe me--we didn’t have a Steve and Garry. They were probably the highest profile morning show in the country at the time—this was less than a year after Disco Demolition. But I fit in immediately. When I got here, and started working with them, I couldn’t believe how comfortable it was.

And I couldn’t believe they were doing what they were doing! I wasn’t shocked...I came from a wacky radio background...but still to see it put together and become so hugely successful was incredible. That was the wonderful part of that gig. Steve had a vision, pursued it, and did it! And his vision included an insistence that everyone on the show had to have fun—that was part of the format, so heck, how bad can that be? You have to have fun! OK, I’ll do it.

Rick: You’ve worked with Steve now at 4 different radio stations, if my math is correct, The Loop, AM 1000, WCKG, Jack-FM... How were those experiences at the various different radio stations with Steve different? Has he changed much over the years?

Buzz: Steve (photo) invented the modern morning talk show format, turning real life into a comedic soap opera. That’s a hell of a contribution. Over time, he’s become like a radio father figure; an elder statesmen for the medium.

Rick: Everyone knows you worked with Steve & Garry and Brandmeier, but there were a few years between those two shows. What are your memories of working with RJ Harris and Pat Still (and later Mark McEwen)--before the Loop got it right with this rookie from Phoenix named Brandmeier?

Buzz: And let’s not forget Matt Bisbee (photo) for several weeks. He was the guy on the air right after they fired Steve & Garry. It was like they blindfolded him, put him up against the wall, and handed out guns to everyone. Matt took one for the team. Anyone who knows Matt knows what a great guy he is, and that’s probably why they chose him. They figured he was the guy that would incur the least amount of wrath.

That whole place was free-falling after Steve left, but it was a lot of fun to be there, believe it or not, because you could do absolutely anything. I actually got close to Harris, and we would plot against Still, and we came up with hideous things for him to do on the air, like work in stables hauling manure—things like that (Laughs).

Rick: Did you know immediately that Brandmeier would click?

Buzz: Yes. I recognized Johnny was going to be golden the first 30 seconds I heard him. I was walking by Tim Sabean’s or Greg Solk’s office, I can’t remember which, and they were listening to this tape of his show from Phoenix. I’m huge fan of boxing, and this guy on the tape was framing some surprisingly erudite question to Muhammed Ali, and I was impressed at the way he put the question together—and the fact that he had Ali on his show, so I stopped to listen in the hallway. But when the answer came from “Ali,” it sounded like it came from a 12-year-old white kid. That’s what it was—a 12-year-old white kid. This kid knew everything about Ali and was answering the questions totally seriously as if he really was Ali. That Bob & Ray school of comedy is my favorite—and Johnny was like Bob & Ray on crack—especially in those days when he had free reign on the phones. Brandmeier changed the face of the radio.

Rick: Obviously the success you enjoyed during the Brandmeier years is hard to top. You mentioned how huge Steve & Garry were when you started, but I think Brandmeier was even bigger when you worked with him.

 Probably true, yes.

Rick: You also really burned the candle on both ends in those days. I was doing overnights for awhile during those years, and I remember seeing you come in after a night of bar gigs with your band, and I’d does he do it?

Buzz: I don’t know. I was single. You don’t answer to anybody when you’re not married. I was just doing stuff that I liked to do. I loved the radio, and I loved the music thing, and I didn’t see why I shouldn’t do both. Music was sort of new to me. Being in Chicago, with all these great places that had live music, it was like being a kid in a candy store. I was just learning how to play, and that’s what you do when you’re learning. You go all out. It’s true, a lot of nights I’d get home at 1 am, and then I’d get up 4:30, but the hangover wouldn’t hit until 9. That last hour of the show was deadly in those days.

Rick: I must confess-- I was scared of you in those days. I was warned that if something went wrong with the newswires or with the AP audio news feed overnight, that my life would be over as I knew it. I brought in alarm clocks so I wouldn’t forget.

Buzz: I’ve heard that before from others who were equally frightened. I did that on purpose, I suppose, because I was arriving in fragile condition and I didn’t want a setback at quarter to six in the morning.

Rick: So I was right to be scared?

Buzz: Nah. I never actually did anything to anybody. Occasionally I would throw a temper tantrum—just like everyone else in radio, but I was harmless. (Laughs) Although, I do remember one time I chased Greg Solk down the hall after he said something to me... I don’t remember what he said, and I don’t know what I would have done if I caught him, but I did chase him. At the time he was only 19 years old or so.

Rick: When Brandmeier first came back to town a few years ago there were sporadic reports that you were negotiating to return to his show. Were those reports true, and what kind of a relationship do you have with Johnny now?

Buzz: There was some talk, and some negotiating, but the timing was wrong, the contracts were not in synch, so it just didn’t happen. We still have a great relationship.

Rick: I also personally loved the Drive-In Movie review show you did with Tony Fitzpatrick. The two of you were so sick and twisted, and you really seemed to track with each other in terms of movie tastes. Do you still watch those movies?

Buzz: That’s a life long addiction, those movies. You bet. Now that I’m home and unemployed I’m watching them even more.

Rick: Do you and Tony still stay in touch?

Buzz: Tony (photo) is my 7-year-old daughter’s godfather.

Rick: Have you considered bringing back the show?

Buzz: Sure, I’ve thought about it. If there was someone that wanted it, we’d certainly consider doing it again. (Laughs) My agent is Steve Mandel, by the way, and I am available.

(Next week: Byrd)