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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Woodland Ghosts?

Check this out, really cool spooky stuff from Woodland Cemetery ....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Funions had a tree-mendous practice last night. Warren Riley from the band SevenD2 will be playing guitar with us Friday at the Elks since Chris has a big show with Fielder at Turner Hall the same night.

Warren says, "You guys have a fun band." 

Shout out for Keith Franx of the band Blue Healers. Keith broke his left wrist in a work accident earlier this week. Keith isn't the patient type so hopefully he'll hang in there and get better.

What are you going to be for Halloween? The band will hopefully be in costume if I can get Dr. Lou to help out.

Coming up ... ghost hunting!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Big Music Weekend

So life itself has been getting in the way of all things music and blog related ... let's get caught up!

The Funions play Friday, Oct. 31, 7:30 to 10 p.m. at The Elks in Quincy. It's for members and guests and we encourage everybody to dress up for Halloween.

We are also playing Saturday, Nov. 8 in LaBelle, Mo., for a benefit, more details to come.

Sunday, Nov. 2, Union United Methodist Church in Quincy, 11th and State, 7 p.m., U2charist service. We are playing all kinds of awesome songs for this music-driven worship service. There is no charge. An offering will be taken for the church's mission trip to Liberia.

Playing with me in the band are Craig Sparks, drums; Jack Inghram, sax; Devin White, bass; Rev. Wally Carlson, guitar, and Megen Guthrie, percussion and keyboards. Sherry Renner may be joining us as well on vocals. Our first U2charist service was a huge success ... get there early if you want a good seat!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Female Troubles ....

Talk about getting into trouble with the wife ... or wives, in this case ....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Havermale Benefit

Greg Havermale of Quincy has Hodgkin's Lymphoma, cancer of the Lymphatic system. Here's info about a big benefit next Sunday ....

Backwaters, Sunday, Nov. 2, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Activities, live music, $1000 money machine raffle, silent auction, food, T-Shirt sales, door prizes.

Donations: Greg Havermale Benefit, C/O State Street Bank, 801 State, Quincy IL 62301

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sad Saturday

This was a tough one to wake up to this morning .....

Alice Cornwell funeral info here ....

Keith Franx is playing up at the Spirit Knob Winery this afternoon, hopefully it warms up.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Prayers for Pat

Pat's mom died Wednesday. We'll update this post when we get visitation and funeral information.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

World What?

So it's 9:30 p.m. and I'm worn out from the day and I'm gazing blankly at the TV as the Rays are playing the Phillies in the World Series. 

I'm thinking, maybe this is the year I actually give a crap about the World Series. Especially since the Red Sox finally got beat.

But it's 9:30 and I can barely keep my eyes open and the game is only in the fifth inning.

Why should I keep watching?

This might be the lowest-rated World Series ever (quick, Cardinal fans, can you pick the worst one? I knew you could). Only true Philly and Rays fans and baseball purists care.

Then again, it's kind of cool to wake up and find out who won, like you are 7 years old again.

Where are you, Joe Carter? Miss you, Steve Rogers ....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Back Better

Thanks to Shawn Irvine, the back is much better.

I needed to hear from somebody who knows what he's talking about. No more hoops for a while, maybe for good, and I'm afraid my days with the H-W Demons softball team are done.

But ... it's OK. A week ago I hobbled into his office afraid I'd have to get a shot or MRI or something needlessly medical. We've worked on traction and stretching and it feels a ton better.

It's good, because we are nine days away from the big Halloween show and 11 days from the U2charist service. 

Prayers for Pat Cornwell and family. His mom is near the end and it's never easy, getting ready to say farewell.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cover Charges

Heard there were a couple of really good bands at Turner Hall last Friday.

Also heard the cover charge was $10, and the crowd was really small.

I salute the young man who promoted the show for all his hard work and effort, and I hope he doesn't get discouraged.

The painful lesson, as always, is this - $10 is too much for a rock show in Quincy, unless you are bringing in a huge name band.

I have this argument with people all the time but I've seen it first-hand at our shows and other shows. The less the cover charge, the more people will come to see you play. A young person doesn't mind forking over a couple of bucks to get into Turner Hall to see Fielder or Predawn Hour. A young person may or may not even have $10, but that's not the point - they simply won't spend it.

This isn't St. Louis. This isn't Chicago. This isn't Columbia or Springfield, either. It's Quincy, a unique and quirky place where national trends hit the bubble and bounce back. 

It's easy for me to say this because The Funions have never been about playing for the money anyway, and never will be. For younger bands, finances are crucial and go hand-in-hand with marketing and promotion, and I understand how tough it is.

By the way, our Elks show Halloween night is for Elks members and guests only .... and there's no cover charge. All Funions fans are invited! Just let me know you are coming.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Black Book

Watched the Paul Verhoeven movie "Black Book" which won the 2007 Academy Award for best foreign film. It's about the Dutch Resistance during World War II and very well done.

Verhoeven is never afraid of going over the top and he does it here — sometimes his gritty realism backfires. But I love the story of flawed heroes and villains you can't hate. Right and wrong means nothing when it comes to survival.

It also gives me more understanding about what my grandfather, Opa Hart, may have gone through as a Resistance leader in the Netherlands. 

How could you speak of such terrible things?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sammy, marching, yoga?

This is Sammy Fund weekend. The walk is tomorrow starting at Madison Park at 9, with the golf tournament and dinner Sunday. Easily the best charity event in Quincy. It's also Octoberfest with the big marching band parade at 2 p.m. and the competition at Flinn Stadium Saturday night. No rain please!

Somebody will be carrying my Crate amp around the next few weeks as we've added a Funions show in November (more details soon) and continue to get ready for the U2charist event.

I hate back braces, but they work. A ton of feedback from the last post .... yoga, anyone?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Back Out

Today I was told my days of playing basketball are very likely done.

I have a bulging disc in my back and I think I probably screwed it up for good in August when I played golf one day and in Gus Macker's Hall of Fame basketball deal the next day. 

I'm used to back pain when I'm a dumbass and overdo it, but this is different — it seizes up when I stand for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. Yesterday I had to be on my feet for a couple of hours and I almost passed out the pain was so bad. At church last Sunday even when I was sitting down, it seized up near the end of the service and I was wondering if I was going to walk out of there unassisted.

So ... my chiropracter Shawn Irvine sat me down today and gave me the grim reality. 

No more hoops. Golf? Nope. Walking? Not a good idea right now.

Funny - I'm very good at laying around the doing nothing. But I'm not good when told that's all I should be doing.

I'm going through the anger and denial thing right now. Really ticking me off is the fact we've got some musical stuff happening and just picking up my equipment is also a no-no.

Getting old sucks.

I'm thinking about getting an MRI, but I don't have the big bucks to shell out (don't even get me started on health insurance because I might write something stupid and regret later).

There are some options and I believe my back will get better. In fact I had some traction therapy this morning with Dr. Irvine and it does feel better. I was on my feet for a while this afternoon and whether I'm just stubbornly refusing to feel pain or maybe it's healing, I didn't feel so bad.

Back off, bad back. I simply don't want to deal with you and reality right now.

Monday, October 13, 2008

More Practice

Got together tonight with Devon White and Craig Sparks to work on U2charist songs.

Practices are funny things. Last week The Funions really struggled while working on songs for our Oct. 31 Elks show. The energy didn't seem to be there and it was tough sledding, though ultimately we did get a lot done, and there's no such thing as a bad practice.

Tonight with Devon and Craig we were right on the from the start. Craig is one of the best drummers I've played with and Devon brings a lot of youth and enthusiasm to the bass, and it was so much fun cranking out these great songs.

This U2 thing should be great. The first one earlier this year was kind of an experiment and we were stunned and how amazing it turned out to be. Now the expectations are higher and God grants us favor and a Union United Methodist crowd eager for a great worship experience, it will be even better.

So don't forget, Sunday Nov. 2, 7 p.m., Union United Methodist at 11th and State.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Prayers for ....

— Mike McGrath and family. Mike lost his wife, Stacy, to cancer and the funeral is today. I coached YMCA basketball with Mike and he's one of the good guys.

— Mike and Abby Warneke, who are leaving First Union Congregational at the end of the year for Mike's new job with a church in Evansville, Ind. Huge loss at 12th and Maine, but good for Mike and Abby, new challenges await.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Get Out There!

Beautiful weather in the Q-Town .... tons of stuff to do.

The Lincoln-Douglas celebration is underway, check here for the schedule.

High school football tonight. Will probably endure QHS at Flinn Stadium for a half, probably be better to stay in the hood for QND's big game.

Blue Healers at Sawyers Creek in Hannibal tomorrow afternoon. Cory Wilkey tribute at Winter's West Wing at night. Good luck to the Flood guys tonight as they play a reunion show at Twilight Zone.

And ... massive college football overdose tomorrow.

Don't let the weekend get away!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Guitar Speak

Great stuff from BBC's "The Story of the Guitar" with The Edge of U2 on the role of a guitar player, technology, finding the right sound, many guitars ("Don't even look at that one"). Click here and here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Had a lot of fun participating in the Harlem Ambassadors charity basketball game at John Wood Community College Monday night.

There was a decent crowd for a weekday event, and the Toyota Tundras team, consisting of former area basketball standouts and local media, hammed it up big-time. Highlights included WGEM's Ben Marth making a 3-pointer and Don O'Brien of The Whig doing The Worm.

I commend the Kiwanis Club of Quincy for putting on the event and all their hard work.

The "game" lasted a little long, two hours and 15 minutes, and I think the crowd got a little worn out towards the end, but all in all it was a fun time. I've played in 10-plus of these and basketball isn't really the point - it's an entertainment event.

Again, thanks to the Kiwanis Club, which always does good things for Quincy.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Busy Weekend

Had to work this past weekend. The Monroe City Airport dedication Saturday morning was like Norman Rockwell painting and very interesting. After work Saturday night I caught a bit of The Blue Healers at The Club - Quincy's best band keeps getting better.

Enjoyed the Quincy University "Communiversity" band Sunday at North Campus. Many times these concerts kind of drag and have boring music, but not this one. It was well paced and you could tell the band enjoyed playing some interesting songs.

Then Devin White and I went to Craig Sparks' place and practiced for the U2charist service Nov. 2. Just like the first time, we clicked and this is going to another awesome service. We learned two U2 songs, Where The Streets Have No Name and The Saints Are Coming (an awesome song), it's good to have the guts of the band together on one page. The rest of the band will gather in two weeks to continue fleshing out the songs.

For this service we are doing three non-U2 songs and you'll be surprised when you hear them, let's just put it that way. Rev. Bob Morwell is going to Africa in January and the songs fit his theme. Get there early Nov. 2! Service starts at 7 p.m. at Union United Methodist, 11th and State.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Shaking Off Rust

The Funions had their first practice in a month Thursday night, and it showed.

It took a while to shake off the rust, but four or five songs into it we started clicking.

As Jay Driscoll, the former QU basketball player and coach, used to say: "It's just like falling off a bike."

You haven't lived until you've seen and heard Mark Brei sing "La Grange."

We'll be working on our Oct. 31 set list, introducing a few new songs.

Prayers for Pat Cornwell and family. His mom is near the end and it's not an easy time.

CD project, therefore, will probably be bumped back a little bit, but we're in no hurry and we'll get it started soon.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Mark and I put together a set list for our Elks show Halloween night. This is an older crowd but they definitely like to have a good time.

Chris will be doing double duty, playing guitar for us, then zipping over to Turner Hall to play drums for Fielder.

Blue Healers Saturday night at The Club.

CD project will be discussed shortly. We are in no hurry and I suspect we'll take our time. It would be nice to get it going ... but life itself happens, you know.