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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

May 30 Show

Just when we decry the lack of Funions shows ...

Friday, May 30
Turner Hall
The Funions, Fielder, other bands TBA
Time and cost also TBA.

More info to follow.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lack of shows

For the first time in a quite a while, The Funions have nothing officially lined up.

We're working on it, and hope to have something to report soon.

A year ago yesterday we played at the Frank Calkins benefit, which brings back a lot of good memories.

The Trinity UCC folks are putting together a float again for Dogwood and we'll have a blast as usual. The only difference this year is that we have to play without a keyboard for a while, which means I'll have to learn and actually know the songs, which could be a huge adventure.

Pray for good weather!

Monday, April 28, 2008

U2 Rocks

An amazing experience last night at Union United Methodist's U2charist service.

People started showing up an hour before it started. That's a new one for some of us "alternative service" people.

Sherri Renner asked us twice if we were going to pray before it started. Then she accidently proposed marriage to Jack Inghram. Ahhh, pre-performance jitters, beautiful things!

Bob Morwell started the service with the "Peace On Earth" video, and one by one we went on to see a nearly full church, expectant of great things.

Well. Not sure how we sounded, which of course is besides the point. But Sunday's service is proof that if God decides, it's gonna rock!

From the opening "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" to the last crazy and adrenaline fueled "When Love Comes To Town," Union United rocked. It is so cool to sing songs that people know, or can at least follow. U2's music has audience call-backs in just about every song, and it took no prodding to get people to respond. None!

So. Thank you to Young Devon White on bass, who now has his own groupies to deal with and was trailed by a gaggle of junior high girls all night. Chicks dig bass players, Dee-Von. Now that you are a rock star, you better start dealing with it ....

Thanks to Craig Sparks, a fantastic drummer. I goofed up the intro to one song (Pride, maybe?) and it was no big deal, he just kept us going the whole time. Craig was especially good during the communion instrumental of "Forty".

Thanks to Rev. Wally Carlson, a very good acoustic guitar player with the right attitude. It was very reassuring to have him back there and not worry about screwing up my parts. Far more importantly, I have made a new friend.

Thanks to Sherri Renner on keyboards, the spiritual driving force behind everything we did. She has the voice of an angel too and I hope she continues to play music.

Thanks to Jack Inghram on sax. It doesn't matter what kind of music you play, if you have a good sax player, everybody responds. Sheryl sat in the back and took the whole thing in and said a bunch of "more experienced" women were asking about Jack. Maybe the sax guy might have to start dealing with the groupie thing, too ....

Thanks to Bob Morwell, who had the idea with Wally and put it into motion. They also trusted the burned-out newspaper guy to put the band and music together, not an easy thing to do.

Wally said he knew it was going to be good from the opening chord in the first practice. I knew it would be good, too. But last night was beyond my wildest expectations.

We also raised a bunch of money for the nets for Africa campaign, which provides malaria-carrying mosquito protection. U2 lets churches use their music free of charge as long as it's a worship service and it takes up an offering for the project.

We're talking about other projects and maybe taking this thing to other churches, so stay tuned!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Provine's Stadium

Mike Provine, easy Quincy's best blogger, has a fascinating photoshopped rendition of what a new baseball stadium in Quincy could look like. His blog is linked, or you can go to and look at his Saturday entry, or the actually photo is

Sorry about my lack of hyperlink ability.

Before you laugh off this idea, which has a lot of potential but pitfall, think of what a gleaming new stadium could mean for Quincy.

First of all, we'd have to land a team. Provine Park, as depicted, is huge. Does this mean we're going to get a Triple A team in Quincy?

Second - where does everybody park? You are taking lots of land from the river to about Third or Fourth Streets, I'm sure the foks at the Elks just south of the new bridge wouldn't be happy about people parking in their lot across the street.

Third - road access. No easy way in or out if you have thousands at a ball game, and really, just one road in all four directions. You'd have to get law enforcement directing traffic before and after a game.

Lastly - we'd have to get rid of that ugly blight on the river, across the street from the Pier and other places. That's progress. We'd be knocking down a lot of ugly buildings, but Quincy doesn't like buildings being demolished.

Huge dream, huge expense to build, huge logistics to overcome.

But I like it!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Different Service

We had another U2-charist practice last Sunday and it went well. Special thanks to Megan, who filled in on drums. Craig will be back Friday night for practice, and the service is Sunday at 7.

We've had some spirited and healthy discussions about U2's lyrics. We are doing "When Love Comes To Town," and this is not necessarily a praise and worship song.

Good. This is not a Maranatha sappy worship service. The them is "What if ..." and I'm looking forward to Bob Morwell expounding on the topic.

I am trusting Wally Carlson and Bob to make this worship-driven. But I do not apologize for the lyrics of these songs.

"When Love Comes To Town" is about a man who has made huge mistakes in his life and realizes why.

I used to make love under a red sunset
I was making promises I would soon forget
She was pale as the lace of her wedding gown
But I left her standing before love came to town

That's powerful stuff.

The last verse:

I was there when they crucified my Lord
I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword
I threw the dice when they pierced his side
But I've seen love conquer the great divide

I am so tired of people whining about being uncomfortable at church. God doesn't care if you build a mansion with marble columns and velvet pews. He doesn't care if the sound system isn't state of the art, or if the service lasts 85 minutes.

I believe God wants you to think. Even if you are like me, and Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

So ... come to this service with an open mind. We have some great songs, whether that translates into a great sound and performance, I don't know. And in the end, it's irrelevant.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I ran into Dave Fauble the other day at the tennis courts by QND. He told me about a bunch of guys that get together once a week and play ball at a nearby gym.

So last week I went out for the first time in at least four years .... when Mike Foster left QU, that was the end of the NBA (Noon Basketball Association) and I stopped playing.

It felt great to run again, rusty as I was. Not being able to walk the next two days was a small price to pay, really.

Went back tonight and had a great time with a great bunch of guys, mostly more experienced like myself. I'm still bricking 3-footers, still standing still instead of rebounding, still panting to get up and down the floor .... and I love every minute of it.

Tonight was definitely better than last week, hopefully it will keep getting better.

It better get better. The Herald-Whig Demons open up defense of our Quincy Park District Division V softball championship this Thursday at Wavering, 8 p.m.

For more:

Whose ear is that, anyway?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pray For Frank

Please pray for Frank Calkins, who collapsed in the Chicago area Saturday. He's clinging to life and on a respirator in a Chicago hospital. The family has some very difficult decisions to make. They need prayers too.

Frank is a fighter and is going to a better place. God be with him.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Can't Live Without

Some things I've recently discovered no man should be without.

1. A Border Collie named Lucy.
2. New sisters.
3. An expert poo picker for when you step in the doo doo in the backyard.
4. Toothbrush holder.
5. Frogs in the shower.
6. Soap dish.
7. A light above the kitchen sink.
8. Company for evening walks to visit Mother Wilma at Greenmount Cemetery.
9. Friends with pickup trucks. Even if they live in tough neighborhoods on the other side of 28th Street.
10. A Melrose Chapel pastor to drape his jacket over you when doing your James Brown imitation.
11. Many others, one especially two blocks up the street ....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Elks Fun

As always, a great time had by all at The Elks last night.

Not one of our better played shows, in my opinion. We work really hard on the songs and then we get up there and just hack up the endings and different parts. But ... the energy and spirt was there. Always is with these guys.

Now Warren can say he played with The Funions! And who knew Wally Carlson would literally offer the jacket off his back ala James Brown?

Like Steph says, "I like the atmosphere at The Elks. It's like you guys are a garage band."

Very true. Actually we are a torn-up basement band. Same thing, really.

The Funions are off for a bit and we're working on some summer shows, we'll keep you posted.

Next up: U2 worship service a week from Sunday.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Setting Up At The Elks

It's not every morning you wake up due to an earthquake ....

So we are ready for our show tonight at the Elks.

Many thanks to Pat Cornwell, drummer, singer and PA Guy extraordinaire. Setting up is a pain and Pat makes it a lot easier. The sound in there is good, not too loud but clear.

No Funions gigs after this one just yet, though we are working on a few things.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dreaming Of The Beach

I have a friend who is thinking about taking a vacation and sitting on a beach far far away.

It's making me pine for my Uncle Peter's Lake Michigan beach. I'm hoping to get there in August. And that seems like a million years from now, though it will be here in the blink of an eye.

So. Here is the scenario. We need to get there, even though we can't. So let's try a little power of suggestion.

DIRK: I, state your name.
YOU: I, state your name.
DIRK: Am pretending to be on a beach.
YOU: Am pretending to be on a beach.
DIRK: And to the republic for which it stands.
YOU: And to the republic for which it stands.
DIRK: Especially when your toes are in the sand and you have a Goose Island Honkers Ale that is ice cold and you are getting sunburned and every now and then a gorgeous babe walks by your secluded little spot wearing next to nothing and your iPod Shuffle is blasting U2’s City of Blinding Lights and you are doing nothing and enjoying every single second and the world is very far away and ...
YOU: What?

Monday, April 14, 2008

New Place

So the transformation in the humble Calftown abode is almost done. Gotta move a couch and chair up here and we are good to go.

The entire place was scrubbed from head to toe. I now have a soap dish and toothbrush holder. That means I've arrived.

I walked into the kitchen last night and there was a light on above the sink that I never knew existed.

It's a whole new place and just seems so much more like .... home!

Gratitude to SB and SB for the changes.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thrown Together

So tonight we had our first U2 worship service practice.

I believe God was smiling on us.

From the start, five people who'd never played together clicked and it was .... magic. Spiritual. Just really really REALLY good.

Sheri Renner is a joy to play with. Great ideas, voice of an angel, a keyboard player .... Geesh, where have you been all this time, Sheri?

Devon White rammed home the beat on bass, and Craig Sparks is simply one of the best drummers I've ever played with, and I've played with a bunch of good ones. He let loose and wait until you hear him drive us home with this project.

Wally Carlson was right there on acoustic guitar and vocals and a lot of fun. Bob Morwell and his Union United crew were a big help too.

Man. I haven't been this excited about a musical project in a long time, and this comes with The Funions as rock solid as they've ever been.

Again, Sunday, April 27, Union United Methodist, 11th and State, 7 p.m. This is a worship service, above and beyond, and something very different for Quincy.

We are doing Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, 40, Pride, When Love Comes To Town and Yahweh.

Again, this won't sound like U2, but it's an honest take on their music and if tonight was an indication, the energy and spirit will be there.

Coming tomorrow: An update on the Calftown residence transformation!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Brand New Place

So these wild and crazy Collins girls are here and my place has been completely rearranged.

SB is dusting and cleaning like a mad girl right behind me and I am completely and utterly smitten with my new sister ....

More after we are done ....

Friday, April 11, 2008

More new (old) stuff

Had a great practice last night in the Kingsridge basement, then kept the hood up with cigar smoke and groupie conversation.

We are unveiling a few new songs for the Elks show a week from tonight. The Elks tends to have an older crowd, but they love to dance and have a good time, so we've stocked two long sets of songs they'll hopefully like.

Rock A. Bye and I will start with some acoustic music.

Speaking of which, Two Deadly Weapons will be joined by a third tonight at a local birthday bash. Also rumors of massiv rearrangements to living quarters in Calftown this weekend, as well.

Have a great one!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ask a Republican - Big Oil vs Poor People

Paul Gilmartin is coming to Quincy!
Saturday, May 3, Backwaters
Benefit for QPD union
Tickets - $10 from any QPD officer
Don't miss Paul!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

U2 worship service

So there's no South Park strolls or Woodland Cemetery crawls in this stuff.

Hanging out with Devon White tonight and working on the U2 stuff. Sunday, April 27, Union United Methodist Church at 11th and State. We have ...

Rev. Wally Carlson, guitar
Devon White, bass
Craig Sparks, drums
Jack Inghram, sax
Sherry Renner, keyboards
Clueless newspaper guy, guitar and vocals

It's going to be very cool!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

South Side Boat Club

Much fun at the South Side Boat Club this afternoon for the 27th annual band jam. Thanks Danny Mabie and everybody for letting us be goofy for half an hour. No stage monitors but I thought we sounded OK. Pat Cornwell in particular did a great job and Jack was back to his usual wailing sax ways.

Two Deadly Weapons make an appearance Friday night at a birthday party, perhaps joined by a saxaphone touting attorney.

Sheyfey videotaped our show today and we'll post a couple of new songs in the next few days.

Now we get ready for the April 18 Elks show, which is going to be HUGE ....

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Stay Strong

For Frank Calkins.

Stay Strong
Can't imagine what you've been through
Can't really feel what you feel
All I can do is reach out to you
Hold on to what I feel
Long and lonely nights
All alone you fight
The demons off they will not quit
You cannot rest you cannot hide
You only know one way

Stay strong ....

It's the long way it's the hard way
No shortcuts to the end
It's the long way
I wanna hear you say
No no I'll never quit

Stay strong

Copyright 2007 D.R. Hart

Friday, April 04, 2008

Jack Is Back

Really good practice in the under construction Kingsridge basement last night. Jack Inghram is back and sounding better than ever after neck surgery. Yesterday was the first day he said he felt really good. He's got his sax on a stand so he doesn't have to hang it around his neck, and he was on fire the whole practice.

On top of that, we had a couple of Funions groupies at practice, and they said they enjoyed watching Jack do "The Wiggle," whatever that means ....

The guys were also fascinated by the whole Youtube thing. Hopefully we can have some future shows recorded and get better audio. I ain't complaining .... the whole thing just rocks!

Working on a couple of newer songs for the April 18 Elks show .... and again, we play at 1:40 p.m. Sunday at the Southside Boat Club Band Jam.

See you there!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

American Idol Is Stupid

I've accidently watched bits and pieces of American Idol lately and I don't get it.

It's dumb. The judges, especially this guy named Simon, are full of themselves. The gal who got eliminated last night was horrible. One of the guys didn't sound so bad.

But I just don't understand why people go crazy over this stuff. At work they come over and blab endlessly about how so and so should have done better and so and so might not last long and so and so nailed some dumb cover song.

I'm alone in the world, but I'm not watching it and don't care.

There. I feel better.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Who Hears You Tonight

From the March 15 Turner Hall Show ...

Close your eyes tight
Listen with all your might
Let go don't fight
Who hears you tonight

Think I hear you climbing up my steps ....

Love the interaction here between Rock A Bye and Chris ....

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Call it a Day

Video taken by Sheryl Collins of our March 15 show at Turner Hall. It's not bad for a small video camera, thanks Sheryl! We'll post a few other songs in the next few days. This is "Call It A Day" and Rock A. Bye does a great job on slide guitar!

For more, go to