Thursday, September 10, 2009
DeKalb Rocks! Reunion - Post game Night Two
Fortunately, we got in early Saturday night. Got some sleep and I was up by 9. Unfortunately, I spent the rest of the morning pacing STD's apartment. I coudln't wait to get back to DeKalb. We had a 4 PM load-in at Otto's, but I wanted to get into town early and do some sightseeing. I hadn't done DeKalb up right since I left in '88.
Even the drive in from Chicago was exciting. When we passed the IMSA exit, it was as if we drove through a time warp. Next stop, DeKalb. Mission: Bring back the rock.
We left the toll road and drove down Annie Glidden Road. There had definitely been some changes, but before too long, we saw our first landmark. The Bottle Store sign. Reunited and it feels so good.
We booked a room at the Huskie Inn so we didn't have to worry about too much fun, morning traffic to the airport or where to take the Huskie babes! We made a side trip to the old Wesley Foundation, the site of so many memorable shows, including the OB&C, Kissyfish, My Cousin Kenny show, the night we all met. And walking into the Huskie Inn, we walked right through the MLK Mall, where all the outdoor summer shows were held.
So bags dropped off, we took a walk to The Junction diner, passing the old Record Rev on the way. Waiting for us in front of The Junction was a newspaper machine with the weekend Daily Chronicle. Front page above the fold story on the reunion. She still loved me!
After bottomless coffee, toast, meat and eggs, we headed to Otto's. We were early, so we took a walk down historic Lincoln Highway. Some of the old spots remained, some were gone and some were on life support. But the anchor business, Paperback Grotto, remained. It was there before us and there to welcome us home. If the town of DeKalb was a game of Jenga, the Grotto is the one stick you couldn't remove without collapsing the entire structure.
Meanwhile, back at Otto's, it was time for load-in. The bands were beginning to arrive. And I was in charge. It was a seven band bill and there was a lot of backline to deal with. If we had to deal with changing and storing seven different sets of drums and amps, we'd be there for a week. Luckily, everyone was happy to pitch in equipment for those of us who showed up without. We managed with two drum kits and 4 or 5 amps for the entire night. And Otto's was looking pretty full just from all the band members wandering around.
Dan Chambers opened the evening with a solo set of songs from his band Smile. Next year, we're getting the whole band back together! (I'm talking to you, Porcellino!) Up next was Eddy Be and blackcandlelove with a vintage set of DeKalb coffeehouse rock funkery. OB&C hit after that and then our DeKalb headliner. The return of The Service! I was especially proud of this coupe. And they delivered. By this point, I'd put a dent in the dressing room keg and The Service really hit the spot.
The Service left DeKalb just as I was showing up. I saw them a handful of times back in the day as a five piece and I even saw the pre-Service band, BB and the Guns, open for The Ramones. But this was the first time I saw the stripped down four piece. And I've been listening to their compilation CD, This Was The Service, on endless loop since I got back to Jersey. One of the highlights of this entire project was getting to know The Service. Just a pleasure. Great guys making great music.
happy hunting hit after The Service. Timed perfectly for my free beer drunk. One more show. Special guests galore! Blue Green God's Don Yanek was handling drums for the bulk of the show. And handle the drums he did. But when Parker called up FISHMAN!, well ... FISHMAN!
But the parade of DeKalb's finest hardly ended there. Tom Ellett hopped up to pound for a couple songs. And for the last song, Parker handed his bass to Tom Rose, reuniting two thirds of Blue Green God. Yanek kicked in KISS' Strutter and I swear I saw pyro.
I put down my camcorder after hunting so I could mingle. And mingle I did. Caught up with Diane and Cerny from the Rev.
Unfortunately, Bobbo was not to be found. Next time, we kidnap him. But the Deegan sisters were there! And a stroll outside for a smoke break caught Eddy from bcl schooling a young un on DeKalb rapping.
I managed to make it back inside for some SubVerts, who were even better than the night before. And Ring 13 closed out the night with special guest Tom Clark from Blatant Dissent, ending the night, once again, asking DeKalb to paint their dick.
And just like that, it was all over. But not without plenty of talk about next year. Oh, yes. Tom and I worked out all the kinks. We went into this having no idea what we were doing and it was an all around success. It can only get better. And bigger!
I couldn't possibly embed all the videos from the shows. So I made a YouTube playlist with over an hour of clips from the shows, as well as historic videos from many of the DeKalb Rocks! bands. Please head over to the DeKalb Rocks! Facebook group to catch up with all the bands, the memories and the future of DeKalb rock.