Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


I did something really dumb tonight.

I yelled at a basketball coach.

It's been a very long year for the Quincy High School girls basketball team. They never quit and battle to end of every game, and they've taken their lumps in stride. QHS won its first game of the year and has been in few games the rest of the way.

In the first half tonight against East Moline the Blue Devils hung in there, but they simply wore down against a better team.

With 30 second left and East Moline up 30, their coach decided to press.

And I screamed at him from across the gym.

One of the officials came over and told me to calm down, and he was right. I had no business doing it.

It's just been a frustrating year and I don't appreciate it getting rubbed in.

Eric Orne of Quincy Notre Dame could have rubbed it in Tuesday night, but knows what's going on and he played all his girls.

Evan Massey of Galesburg is simply one of the best high school coaches in the world. His team could have beat us by 80 if he wanted, and QHS-Galesburg is a fierce rivalry .... but he pulled the dogs off early and played everybody.

Just about every team we've played has shown sportsmanship and class.

So I apologize to the Quincy team and the fans for being jerk. It sent a poor message to our girls and other parents and fans.

I do not apologize to the East Moline coach. His girls played hard and fair. He could learn a thing or two from them.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

QHS QND girls

Last night was the QHS-QND girls game at Blue Devil Gym and it unfolded according to script. Notre Dame is really really REALLY good, unbeaten and a threat to make a deep Class 3A tournament run. QHS is having a tough year, 1-19 says it all.

QND 69, QHS 37.

There was a decent crowd on a cold night. Girls basketball will never match the boys around here, and that's just the way it is. Once the game started there wasn't much energy because the outcome was never in doubt.

Still, it was nice to see people in the stands during a girls game. And if QHS was having a good season there'd be a lot more interest.

Notre Dame has it all, a powerful inside presence in Natalie Siebers and Karlee Gengenbacher, great guard play from Renita Bunting, and the last piece to the puzzle, former Blue Devil Chloe Barnes.

Coach Eric Orne has done a nice job with this crew, too. Eric could have been a jerk about this game. After all, QHS beat QND in the last two regional tournaments, broke his heart last year especially. But he knew what was going on last night. His team got a big lead and he played everybody a lot, and that's a big thrill for girls who don't get a lot of court time.

What are you going to do, tell a Notre Dame girl to not play hard in the QND-QHS game? Ridiculous.

This year and next, should they avoid the dreaded injury bug, the Raiders have chances to do something very special. They are representing Quincy and I wish them all the luck in the world. They play in an extremely tough regional (Springfield High is at QHS Saturday, 12:30 p.m. if you want to see for yourself). But with a few breaks, they could be playing for a state title.

There are two things Quincy High supporters can do. They can give up and blame the coach and get mad at the world. Or they can realize no matter how bad it gets, it's just a game. A stupid game where you try to throw a small round object through a hoop with a net.

Emily Hart said it best in The Herald-Whig earlier this week.

"It's just a game and there are other things that I do, but I love to play basketball," she said. "As long as I can remember, I've been playing basketball. ... I do have fun, a lot of fun. I love our team and the people on there.

"I love to play. So it's always fun for me."

Fitting final words to this post.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Miss January

Geesh, is she a bitch or what? Tease us with 60-degree weather, then this?

Maybe I put the skates away too early.

Spent last night with two of the most amazing people I've ever interviewed. Ever.

Pandora - Donny Iris. A rock and roll geek I can relate to.

Possible non-Funions musical project looming.

The Funions are taking suggestions for new songs to learn. Thinking about Rambling Man by The Bob Seeger Experience. Bonus points if you can tell me who sang backup vocals.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


January, a cold-hearted witch at times, slowly releases her grip today.

The ice at South Park has been fantastic for more than a week, almost a record. But this morning the top half inch was a slushy mess, and Curtis Creek skating is likely done for the year.

Despondent, I headed north to another favorite surface. This one is tucked back on the north side of town, and the quarter-inch crusty layer of snow kept it protected.

It's a beautiful thing, gliding around a large patch of ice, and a great workout to boot.

We'll see if it's any good tomorrow.

QND Trivia tonight. I've decided Rock A. Bye, Chuck Otte and I are the Dr. Johnny Fevers of our team.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Deeeee Troy It

Could be worse. Could be the mayor of Detroit.

Looking forward to Trivia Night Saturday and the intense "practice" beforehand.

Saying goodbye to friend Julie Lane Saturday night. Julie and former Funions drummer Justin Busen, her son, head for sunshine in Florida Sunday, best of luck to both.

Speaking of The Funions, we're already getting a big buzz about March 15, and we'll have a big announcement with another event in conjunction with the show soon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

R Ya Irish?


Saturday, March 15
Turner Hall, Quincy
The Funions
Cheeks McGee
$3 at the door, $5 cover

It's St. Patrick's Day weekend, we'll be rocking!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Tookie ( had some good thoughts about Martin Luther King and how far this country has come with civil rights.

Won't disagree, but we still have a long way to go. A long, long way.

Quincy can be proud of things like the cultural fair last fall and the signs on Eighth Street honoring Dr. King. Just around the corner from where I work is the Dr. Eels house, an Underground Railroad site, and at Washington Park is a monument to one of the greatest men who ever lived and his thoughts expressed in Quincy about slavery.

But there are daily reminders if you keep heading north about our lack of progress. Five percent of our population is African American, yet most blacks live in certain areas of town. Poverty and racism go hand-in-hand.

Until the day a black man doesn't feel the gaze from suspicious eyes when he crosses Broadway heading south; until the day our jail isn't crowded with a disproportionate number of minorities, until the day when it just doesn't matter if you are black, red, green or white .... then we can look back and be satisfied.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Turner Hall ROCKS

It's pretty easy to figure out my favorite venue in Quincy - it's gotta be Turner Hall.

We had another great time as we wrapped up a busy stretch for The Funions. Thanks to all the courthouse crew, Logan, Tookie, and everybody who came out to support us.

By the end of our set we had 'em going pretty good (Hound Dog does that for you). Also got a good reaction to our original songs, which always makes us feel good.

Rock A. Bye and Jack Inghram were again on fire. It is so much fun seeing people react to well-played sax and slide guitar.

We again played pretty well, had some issues with monitors and being able to hear on stage but the sound system itself worked great.

The Funions will be off for a while, hopefully we'll book a show or two in the spring.

Again, thanks for hanging out!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Whitesnake Love Ain`t No Stranger Live 2004

I took some hits for my love of Marillion. For the life of me I don't know why you guys can't handle REAL 80s music. So I was thinking of my second favorite song and I can't come up with a clear choice, but this one ranks right up there. This clip is from 2004 and a show at Wembley in England. David Coverdale is amazing, 56 freaking years old and still rocking.

Do you ever here a song and it just rocks you? Hmmm. Even on the shuffle during the long walks it stops me cold

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Marillion - Kayleigh

Sorry, JJ Manager of Doom .... you had some good guesses.

I always think of the beautiful girl in Lake Orion, Michigan, when I hear this song.

"By the way, didn't I break your heart ...."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Prayers for the Farkas family in their darkest hours.

The memorial for young Alex is haunting.

His dad, Dave, is one of the good guys with a really tough job in our criminal justice system.

Prayers for Fred Kientzle. If you are a bad guy on the loose and Fred comes after you, forget it. You are done. And I do mean that Sincerely.

His mother passed away last weekend after a long fight. They managed to get her home from St. Louis and she died with family, the way it should be.

Sometimes it's good to step back and realize we are all human. We all bleed. Life is unfair to everybody, at times.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday Quiet Sunday

Maybe Tony Romo can use that fine Eastern Illinois education and open up a cabana in Mexico. He has the time ...

Much fun last night at the OL. As I somewhat suspected, there was a good crowd but they weren't much into the music at the beginning. I thought we played well. The host and the birthday girl were happy, and Fielder tore it up, so it was a good night.

The sound was big and booming, but not that bad. I've heard a lot worse.

Thanks Rocky Cola for taking me back 20 years!

Didn't get out of there until 2 a.m. after tearing down .... thank goodness for quiet Sunday afternoons and slipping in and out of consciousness on the easy chair.

Now The Funions get ready for this Saturday's big show at Turner Hall with Cheeks McGee and Dawg Daze Booogie. It's just $3 at the door or $5 per couple.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bright Lights OL-style

So we are setting up last night for the Web Warrior Bash Of The Century and Napalm Bill shows up with his lights, along with trusty sidekick Alan "Ghetto Fabulous" Lawless, studio guru and banana boat truck driver of doom.

Suddenly the house lights get turned off and the stage lights get turned on. In the immortal words of Dr. Brei .... "Dude, I'm getting a retinal burn here."

Let's face it. When The Funions play, lights are afterthoughts. I remember the legendary K of C driving range show when Scott Smith had the stage lit up and we could see nothing in front of us, and we figured out in a hurry NOT to look right into the lights.

Tonight's show will be all about the rock and roll experience, and as a band I think we are ready. This is the first big private party gig for us and it will be interesting to see what people like or don't like.

The Oakley-Lindsay Center is a challenge acoustically. Even with the room divided in half (there's a pool tournament on the other side) the sound tends to bounce around and it's somewhat muddy. But during soundcheck last night we got a reasonable volume and clarity, hopefully it will work out.

Tookie, thanks. Let's have some fun!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


The Funions had a treeemendous practice tonight. We dug up some stuff we haven't played in a long time and Saturday night will be a blast.

Napalm Bill is coming down to do the lights for us. Wow!

Also talked to Randy Taylor tonight and we are on for Saturday, Jan. 19, at Turner Hall. It's The Funions, Cheeks McGee and Dawg Daze, should be a lot of fun.

And yes ... we'll do Keep Your Hands To Yourself Saturday just for Rocky ....

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Private Party

Big show Saturday night at the Oakley Lindsay Center. Let's just say Web Warriors will be out in force. It's a private party and you'll need an invite, but it will be fun playing for friends both old and new.

We'll play a few Funions songs and hopefully everybody can hoot and holler with the rest. If you are an 80s child, blues fan or rock guy you'll be entertained, I hope.

Practice tomorrow night, setup Friday. We are playing with our friends Fielder, and it should be fun.

A little leery of the dreaded OLC acoustics, I've heard horror stories about the place. It will be divided in half so that should help quite a bit.

On the iPod library right now - "Walls" by Yes off the very underrated Talk album.

Monday, January 07, 2008

January Rain

Nothing like a warm spring shower on an early January day.

Safe travels to Opa Dirk Hart, traveling to Chatham tonight to watch his granddaughter play for the Blue Devils, and in Quincy tomorrow night when QHS takes on Keokuk.

Funions show this Saturday at the Oakley-Lindsay Center, it's a private party but more info coming.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Scandal, Patty Smyth - Goodbye To You

I used to watch this video and openly lust after Patty Smyth. If you've seen VH1's Bands Reunited, you know the years have been kind to her. ! Beat Of A Heart is a close second favorite (and the Solid Gold lip synch rendition on You Tube rocks).

Patty, don't say goodbye to me!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Aldo Nova-Fantasy

This was all the bomb in my high school days. The leopard spandex is killer. I love it when Nova gets the guitar and blasts his way to the stage — who did the special effects, George Lucas? The winking at the girl (2:45) in the front row is classic too.

You can't deny the guitar riff is catchy.

In every one of these videos, some guy with a tank top, huge arms and curly hair plays drums.

Tomorrow I will introduce you to the woman who I still pine for 25 years later.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Fool`s Game by Michael Bolton

Holy Crap!
Finally figured out how to post You Tube directly to the blog.
This video is unbelievably hysterical. First, check out the hair, you could stuff 100 pillows between band members.
The riff is awesome, it's Aldo Nova if you were wondering.
See Michael play the guitar. Really! It's really him! Honest!
At 1:52 I about died laughing .... he runs into the girls, and they leave him on the floor. Can you see them making this video?
DIRECTOR: Ok Michael, the girls come up to you and you lie down, then you peak up at them after they leave.
Wow. You can't make it up .... And this is just the first of unbelievably good/bad 80s videos.

Posting Videos

I've recently discovered two of the most horrendously good/bad early 80s music videos and I want to link them here.

Bill Simmons calls it the "unintentional comedy scale." These are off the charts.

A while back Uncle Tony offered to show me how to do it. ABC, help!

Quincy deserves to be exposed to early 80s greatness!

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Back from the snowy north, back to work, back to reality and life itself.


New Year's Resolutions:

1. Write a Book.
2. Drink less.
3. Stay in touch with family more.
4. Write more songs for the band.
5. Record more songs for the band.
6. Stay positive watching the QHS girls basketball team.
7. Continue to walk every day, if possible. Even if not possible.
8. Get a better myspace site.
9. Learn how to post pics and video on blogspot.
10. Not get discouraged.

2007 was .... interesting in many ways. Here's to 2008 and hopefully it will be better and more productive.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Snowy New Year

First of all, a very happy new year to everybody and hopefully it was safe.

I am thinking about resolutions and might post something later.

Meanwhile, I do not miss the long Michigan winters. But I miss the snow and attitudes toward winter people have up here.

Started snowing last night around 7 and never stopped, just a straight down world-in-white dusting.

This morning there's four to six inches on the ground and around here, it's no big deal. Shovel it off, admire how it muffles everything and makes everything so still, and get on with life.

In Q-town, this much snow would shut down everything and the kids wouldn't have school next week.

One of my resolutions is to be more grateful. So. I love waking up to the world in white!