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

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Back To Normal?

Things are looking better on the Mississippi River.


Give it a couple of more days to be sure, and stay tuned because this could be a very long and hot couple of months.

Tookie went dry on the levee. Mush, goes his brain ...

Burton Gaar was really good during Blues In The District last night. Had to work and only caught a little bit, but they were smoking.

Two weeks and The Blue Healers play in the park.

Rocky Cola and his bride are preparing for Rockypolooza, featuring the Blue Funions. It will be a blast!

Once again there's information out there that The Funions are playing after a Gems game this week, but that's not going to happen. Still seeing if we can get in there after a game this summer.

Three cheers for Emily Powers. And a tip of the hat to Josh Rabe. Maybe we'll see him at the Pepsi Arena this winter during QU games at the table.

Thinking about a trip to Quincy Raceways, always fun to go at least once a summer.

My daughter's cell phone went dead. Congrats, dad — the one-year warranty just expired and it's only a couple of bills to replace. Bills with two zeros behind them. Yeesh.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dodging The Drops

So the past few days every time I looked at the Internet weather map all I saw was green and orange blasting its way toward us.

After Tuesday/Wednesday a.m. showers, it became apparent the Fabius River and other areas were in no shape to take more rain.

So this stuff comes at us and it makes you wonder how long these battered levees will hold and how much these people can take.

Somehow it missed us. We have a cell coming right at us right now and it's getting dark, but it's not that big and hopefully will blow through.

We played softball last night despite the nasty green mass heading right at us. Felt one or two drops of rain on the West Quincy levee at 3 a.m. despite the nasty green mass heading right at us. Thought I'd get wet crossing the bridge home at 5 a.m.

Fat raindrops are pelting the windows now. Rain here in Quincy is OK, but not good for the folks downstream.

Seems we are dodging the raindrops, the bullets.

Meanwhile, the latest You Can't Make It Up saga hits the front pages ....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Blogger, Same Old Weather

Let's welcome Keith Franx to the wonderful world of blogging!

Yesterday got better as it went along. Tons more rain looms. The guys were completely wiped out coming off the levy yesterday from the humidity, and it's back today. Tons more flood news at

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


No sleep overnight, too much rain and nasty weather. This can't be good for our levees.

I am afraid of what we'll find when dawn finally comes. It rained all freaking night.

I am pretty sure the north section of the West Quincy levee will be fine. Just how much rain dumped into the Fabius River and Durgen's Creek remains to be scene.

Fingers crossed ....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Levee Adventures

For Monday's adventures in flood fighting, click here.

It's hammering down rain in Q-town at noon today. Pray, and I mean pray hard, the Fabius levee holds. Pray all the work done the past two weeks doesn't wash away.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fighting The Flood

This is how I spent my day today, and yes, that's me by the tractor. And those are my boots on the right.

Much more in The Whig tomorrow and on the Whig blog.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Healed by the blues

The Blue Healers have quickly become Quincy's best band.

Argue that point if you want. You can't argue they are The Funions favorite band.

Friday night at Turner Hall, before a small crowd, The Healers tore it up, down sideways and everywhere-ways. Nobody plays guitar like Ryan McSpadden. NOBODY. He is the best guitar player in Quincy and it's not even close. Everybody else is tied for last.

Well ... Keith Franx is a close second.

Helps to have a great bass player and singer in Bill Collins and Stan Jansen pounding the skins back there, too. Amazing musicians, great songs.

"Tied To The Whipping Post" and "Sweet Melissa" about made me cry ....

Do not miss these guys playing at Blues In The District July 11 and at the Bluesfest the week after.

I could say some things about the small crowd but that would be bitching and counterproductive. Many times there are good shows in Quincy and I don't go because of other commitments or stuff going on, so I understand.

But the next time a person comes up to me and complains about the local music scene, I'll ask where they were on Friday night, June 20, 2008, when The Blue Healers put on one of the best shows I have ever - EVER - seen.

They didn't care there were only 25 people left by the end of the night. They didn't care they got paid $10 a piece. They didn't care about anything except pouring their hearts out and leaving it all on the stage. And I do mean every last ounce.

I would like to thank everybody for coming out. It means a lot to us that you spent your Friday night at Turner Hall watching local music. Midnight Legend was really good in its debut as a band, and St. Amy's rocked it out in its unique and fun way.

I liked the energy The Funions had. If we did this every weekend we'd start getting there and I'd put my guys up against anybody.

Well. Except the Healers. After hearing Ryan tear through "Texas Flood" I'm embarrassed to even hold a guitar.

This is it for a while for The Funions, we'll be back in August or September. With six guys in the band and summer here, it's hard to find dates, but we'll crank it up again.

Also - Tookie dragged his tired and bug-bitten butt to Turner Hall after being on the levees all week and I don't forget people who make an effort to support local music.

Also - a huge thanks to Mark and Chris from Turner Hall, great guys who have a passion for keeping local music alive and well.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Real Help

Yes, Tookie was on the West Quincy levee with "Coach Guns" and his crew. Yes, Tookie left a comment on yesterday's blog that, as usual, couldn't be deciphered by the CIA's finest intelligence agents.

But he was there, and he has been there, working his butt off.

By the way, I was eating pasta but I was only doing my job, if you read today's paper you'll see what I mean. And you can't say no to Ann Knapheide.

God bless everybody who is fighting this thing. I'm wearing my new sandbagging T shirt I bought at the OLC yesterday. Things have pretty much wrapped up over there.

Keith Franx and I had a lot of fun playing for a benefit last night. Then it was off to Upper Moorman Park where YOUR Quincy Herald-Whig Demons came back from a 12-run deficit to go 12-0.

Some guy tried to run me over at second base but everything was good.

Big show tonight, this will be the last time The Funions play for a while. Midnight Legend starts at 7 p.m., followed by St. Amy's, us and The Blue Healers.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

National Love

NBC News began it's national coverage last night with a story from Quincy. The Today Show did another live shot. Tons of national media in town.

I was in West Quincy today, more coming up on my Whig Blog and, of course, at

Two Deadly Weapons playing tonight at a benefit, with the big show tomorrow night ready to go ....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The View


And, as always ... for more.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Flood Flood Flood

Drove to Hannibal today and the flooding around Marblehead is just horrific. Somebody put up a sign which said — "Welcome to Lake Marblehead 2008 — No swimming or fishing."

The site of water covering hundreds and thousands of acres is ... is .... just hard to comprehend.

The levy seems to be holding on the Illinois side of the river crossing the bridge into Hannibal. Seems to be, anyway.

Bags continued to get filled in Quincy. Here's the very latest from West Quincy. Check out of course for more.

Good final practice last night at Vegas Music for the big Friday night show.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dirty Water

Why on earth would anybody want to wade into the Mississippi River floodwaters?


Life goes on as the waters rise. Latest reports are talking about Friday as the crest.

After talking to several national media outlets in recent weeks, I think the thing people who aren't from Quincy don't realize is how much we invest in protecting ourselves, and how much human emotion becomes a part of the story.

I got to see it for myself Saturday and Sunday at the OLC. Stop down there to see it for yourself, and bring a shovel, too.

Heard a rumor McCain is coming to Quincy to fill 21 sandbags. But it's a just a rumor. Still, being the good Web Warrior that I am, I'm spreading it around.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Floods, More Free Music

Keep your fingers crossed, Quincy. The next three days will tell the tale.

Some guy running for President was in town Saturday.

This is one thing you really need to be concerned about when it comes to the flooding.

Shey Fey and I will be at the O-L early this afternoon before watching the final round of the U.S. Open. We desperately need help with sandbags. If you can spare an hour or two ... please come down.

More great free music Saturday. I was a judge in the Colgate Country Showdown at Upper Moorman Park and it attracted a big crowd. Jack Inghram and Jim Phillips judged with me. Carrie Joy was the winner and clearly deserved it, this gal could make some noise in the bidness. I loved Nelsonville, two guys from NE Missouri who have a blast playing original songs. Charissa Mrowka took third but I thought both Brooke Rochelle and Caitlyn Stoeckley were better.

Each act did two songs. Madd Hoss Jackson was the backing band and Jim Jenning's guys did a fantastic job - many of the 10 acts did original songs and the band was right there all night.

Then it was off the Quincy Gems games to watch The Classics play after the final out. Check out the weekend games at QU Stadium because Rob Ebbing has booked bands for most of them - The Funions are still working on that - and it's awesome.

Ted Tappe, Kevin Vandament and Gary DeClue lead an amazing band. I love Gary's bass playing and voice, even if he does look like Buster Brown ... Ted is a great guitar player and Kevin amazing behind the drums.

Grab your shovel and we'll see you this afternoon!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Blues or blues? Who cares?

Rumors abound about Barack Obama coming to Quincy today. There have been preparations made, but no official word. Stay tuned ....

Beautiful night in Washington Park Friday. Majors Junction was awesome as the first band for Blues In The District.

I heard some people bitching about the band, saying they weren't a true blues band.

Good grief. First of all, you got in free. Secondly, what is blues anyway? You are being a snob with that kind of attitude. The band was awesome, an eclectic mix of country, bluegrass, rock and blues.

Finally ... it's a beautiful night in the park. Many people just want the music as background for a great social event. Having provided entertainment for exactly that purpose many times, I say .... so be it.

I'm supposed to judge a country music showcase tonight at Upper Morman Park, depending on presidential candidates coming to town. This flood and politics stuff is messing with my pool time ....

Friday, June 13, 2008

Too Much Fun

Happy Friday the 13th ya'll. Hope the weather is OK for Blues in the District tonight.

If we have any more fun at practice with St. Amy's, we might have heart attacks. Rumor has it some of the groupies are still sleeping it off. But that's just a rumor.

So here's the big show lineup for June 20, Turner Hall, $3 at the door or $5 per couple: 7 p.m. - Midnight Legend; 8 p.m. - St. Amy's; 8:30 — The Funions; 9:45 - St. Amy's, 10:15 — Blue Healers.

The Guv comes to town this afternoon to look at floods. Always like the guys with dark suits and things stuck in the ears giving everybody blank stares.

Good lord did it storm last night. I work up at 12:50 a.m. with the TV on and thunder crashing, it shook the house it was so loud. Lucy the Border Collie cowered in her owner's tub, from what I've heard.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another NFL Baby

So Plaxico Burress is upset with his contract.

Well. He did go to Michigan State.

Hey Plax - you caught the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. You are rich and famous. I'm having trouble paying my rent and affording a tank of gas.

What a big baby.

Speaking of overpaid babies, the NBA Finals are in full swing. Nobody covers the NBA like ESPN's Bill Simmons, who hates Kobe Bryant and torches the L.A. fans with style and class.

So I've been going home for lunch (saving my pennies by eating hot dogs and corned beef sandwiches). I've been watching the Euro Cup soccer with the two English or Scottish or whatever they are guys doing the announcing, and it's been tremendous.

They say things like "Portugual is cherishing the ball" and "What a deft touch by the Dutch midfielder" and "That was creative genius in the midfield with the one-touch flick."

It's made my noon naps easier to take. Nothing is more soothing than an English soccer announcer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Weekend Wishes

You know the song ....

Everybody's working for the weekend ....

Get it started off right in the Q-Town this Friday night, click here for more.

Friday might a tough day after a Funions practice and Herald-Whig Demons game the night before.

To find out my plans for Father's Day, click here.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Not Guilty

Tookie was found not guilty. I have it on good authority the jury was rigged and his rabble-rousing attorney may have paid off the judge.

Just what I've heard.

Hey. Web Warriors only report the rumors, they don't verify them.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Gus was cut short in Morris today by wet weather. It actually cleared up later in the afternoon, but I'm not complaining about leaving the steaming Chicagoland area a little early.

Much fun on the Dream Court, as always. People in Morris and the surrounding communities really get into it.

Thomas Streety is a Macker legend who has won more dunk contests and top men's championships than I flunked math tests in grade school. Thomas' son, Derek, played on the Dream Court and has his old man's mad handles. It was so much fun to see the future right in front of us!

Back to the real world tomorrow .... we'll have Funions news as our June 20 show nears. Blues in the District is this Friday night too!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Fast Summer

I hate to say this, but the first week of June is already slipping away ....

Heading north for domestic and Gus Macker duty, so the blog will be quiet for a few days, your patience is appreciated.

I have two words for Kris Bentley — Hockey and Town!

Actually the Wings losing in three overtimes Monday was a blessing. It provided another gripping finals game and proved they were the superior team. No shame from the Pens and Sid The Kid, they played their hearts out.

Easily the best blog in Quincy is this one. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at video of a hamster in my life.

Then again, I've never seen much video of a hamster ....

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Trains, roads, weather

I'm out of town overnight and come back and geesh, trains are crashing and so are rumors about planes.

Apparently it hammered down rain here too. This is my favorite Web site to track local weather.

Heartbreak for your Detroit Red Wings. At least I'll get to watch Game 6 Wednesday. Last night's first overtime was riveting hockey and fun to watch. A game like that is good for hockey in general, as ESPN's Scott Burnside so accurately reflects.

Finally broke down and turned on the air, too. How long will you hold out?