Saturday, August 15, 2009
Here In the happy hunting Grounds
Here we go, folks. As I write, the party starts one week from tonight. It's been a whole lotta work, but a labor of love, to be sure. Never had any interest in my high school reunions and I never spent more than a year at any one college, so that was out. But I left my heart in DeKalb. (Thanks to STD for pointing out the capitol K.) I can't wait to see all my old pals and palettes! And I'm very excited to be promoting an all-star line-up that never could have happened at the time. We really have the cream of the crop from a decade of DeKalb bands. Once in a lifetime! Well, actually twice. Sat Aug 22 at Abbey Pub in Chicago and Sun Aug 23 at OTTO'S! (Everybody gotta go Otto, OTTO!) And I GUARANTEE! you need to attend both shows for the full spectacular. Each show boasts its own surprises, unique to the evening. Plus fun memorabilia to be purchased and jealousize yer non-attending buddies with.
But there is one thing I am looking forward to above all others. and that is the opportunity to go totally bonkers over happy hunting one mo time. The songs of Matt Parker partnered with the guitars of Tim Fowler is about as winning a rock combo as I have ever heard in my life.
I arrived in DeKalb in the summer of '85. The first time I saw hh musta been fall of '85 at Two Fool's. Mighta been the first show after Fowler and drummer Dave Fishman had left DeKalb's Blatant Dissent. At the time, Two Fool's was the place to be. A basement punk club. Really just a basement. But so many bands came through that joint. And underage were welcome. So it was a great opportunity to hobknob with the local high schoolers. And watch em get drunk for the first time.
(Note on Two Fool's - Owned and operated by Larry Henrikson, the owner of the exceptional Axe-In-Hand guitar shop. I bought my Strat and my blue thin-body Alvarez acoustic from Larry. Here's a note from his son posted to the DeKalb ROCKS! Facebook group.
It was for the most part a fun experience living on the property and hearing the bands play.
The Two Fools really was a coffee house at one time. Originally called Juicy John Pinks back in the mid seventies. They moved out and I think operated downtown for a time. Two friends took over the space and the Two fools was born. I'll have to sit down and think about the details, come back later and post. Anyway, they sold sandwiches, soft drinks, and other easy food/meals. I thnk eventually it failed, but my father continued to rent out the space to bands and groups for a place to perform. A variety of bands and music. I can't say I remember everyone who performed down there. Dress for success, Blatant descent, ring thirteen, Get smart, etc, as well as bands that evolved from some of these groups. I think my brothers band performed there, not sure which one. I even played there once back in the spring of 86, horribly I might add and received the honor of being called a poser which was exactly what I intended to do.
I was btw, the skinny guy usually sitting behind the counter up at the Ax. I apologize if I ever pissed anyone off. I wasn't always crazy about cleaning up the messes. Please feel free to share any stories, hopefully I won't be too embarrassed.
I'm happy to see any pics of the old property. Sadly, it's all been torn down. I still have dreams that I'm working and living there.)
But I digress. The happy hunting I first fell in love with was the three piece. Frank Mundo came in on bass sometime in '86, freeing Parker up to play second guitar. And adding an extra ... enthusiasm to the mix. This version of the band broke up in '88, just before I left town. I'm very happy to report that I documented one of their last, if not their very last, shows. An afternoon show on the MLK Mall at Northern Illinois University.
The band reformed after I left. First with Tom Ellett on drums, replacing the Fish Man, and Parker back on bass. When Parker and Fowler moved to Chicago, the band had one more go round with Tom Rose of Blue Green God on bass and Sport on drums.
I dunno for sure what to expect from these reunion shows. I haven't asked too many questions cuz I wanna be surprised. And I understand there will be surprises. (You better be searching Priceline, Mundo!)
For all the fans and friends, and all those who want to find out what the big deal is, I recently unearthed a tape Fish sent me back in the day of an unreleased album recorded in '89 with Tom Ellett on drums. Plus I tacked on some demos from the Fishman era. Cover art with liner notes included in the zip. Grab it NOW! What are you waiting for? As good as the best Placemats albums.
And here's a vid from the aforementioned '88 NIU show, courtesy of ME!
Seriously. happy hunting alone is worth heading out for the shows this weekend. But WAIT! THERE'S MORE! The Service, Blatant Dissent, SubVerts, Ring 13, blackcandlelove, Dan of Smile! AND OTIS BALL & THE CHAINS! I haven't even started talking about my end of this pardukee. But check back on Monday. It's the final countdown!