Legs McNeil was my first editor in New York. In 1993, Legs was the editor of a short-lived rock ‘n’ roll magazine called, “Nerve,” which was published out of Manhattan. I had two articles in the second issue. One was a comical look at Bill Wyman’s book, “Stone Alone,” in which he chronicles every woman he had sex with through the years and a Cliff’s Notes version of the history of rock ‘n’ roll.
Legs went on to co-write (with Gillian McCain) the best selling book, “Please Kill Me,” a few years later. By then I was publishing my magazine fishwrap, and I contacted Legs and Gillian and asked if I could interview them and do an oral history of them writing an oral history of punk rock. They agreed and its always been one of my favorite things that came out of the fishwrap years.
A couple of weeks ago I found out that Legs was coming to Chicago to do a reading in a club and that my pals The Handcuffs were going to be opening up the reading.
Two words immediately popped into my mind...ROAD TRIP!
Gumby was a frequent guest on my past blogs, Marty After Dark and Tripping With Marty. Since I travel in a car here in Peoria, Gumby has pretty much stayed underneath my bed, because you don't need to travel with a bag here, but I thought I'd bring him out for my road trip to Chicago and I'm glad I did, I think he was getting restless underneath my bed. Come on Gumby, let's head out to the Windy City!
We're taking the train to Chicago from Bloomington and I have no idea how to get there, so I'm trusting that Mr. GPS will get us there on time.
Gumby's all settled in, he rides without a safety belt. Danger is his middle name!
And we're off. I overlsept and we're running late. It's about a forty minute trip to Bloomington and my train departs at 9:36AM. As you can see from the clock in the right hand section of this photo, it's 8:58, time to floor it and worry about the speeding tickets if they happen!
Okay, we've made it to Bloomington without getting pulled over by the cops, even though I eventually reached a cruising speed of about 93 MPH. I've got about five minutes to get to the train station, park and get on the train. Hopefully I'll make it, or we may spend the day with myself talking to the angry ice machine again with Gumby.
Here we are at the train station, I was told my train is just boarding now.
We just made it! Hot damn! I wasn't in the mood to spend the day with that bitter ice machine!
Plenty of seats in this car, let's grab one and sit down and relax. My nerves are frayed from speeding all the way from Peoria to Bloomington!
Gumby's settled in to his seat.
Obligatory lsaptop computer shot!
Shit, there's no Wifi on the train...
There won't be any conversation with the woman sitting next to me, she's been texting people since before we pulled out of the station. HATE the texting!
So I stared out of the window at the scenery.
And through the miracle of the internet, you're spared two and a half hours of staring at Midwestern farm land and here's the Chicago skyline just beyond this bridge.
Okay, we've departed and I'm not sure which way to go, so I'm just following the flow of the crowd.
Naaah, let's go to a bar and have a few beers!
Boston Blackies, you know I've heard this place is a great cafe and bar...oh wait, I'm just reading that now. So let's go in and see how great it really is.
Wow, it sure is crowded in here for a Friday afternoon, doesn't anyone work in Chicago anymore? I see a seat in the middle of the bar, let's go snag it!
Gumby's hanging out at the foot rail of the bar, his spot to hang out at.
How nice to see someone reading a book at the bar rather than staring at a texting device like some brain-dead zombie.
I told you all the bartenders were beautiful in here! Here's Dee, skillfully posing with the latest bottle of Budweiser.
Okay, after several beers at Boston Blackie's we're in a car service vehicle headed for the neighboring town of Skokie, Illinois, which is close to the Handcuffs, Legs McNeil gig. And of course we're stuck in a traffic jam. I had forgotten about how fun it is traveling by car around the Windy City. Hurry up and wait!
And once again, through the miracle of the internet, you're spared a mind-boggling hour plus journey through the deadlock of Chicago's rush hour freeways and we're here at the Doubletree Hotel in Skokie, Illinois.
Let's check in, between the beers and that car ride, I'm kind of beat!
Here's our room...
Gumby suggests we take a nap and that's a great idea. We need to get some energy for tonight's show and you can read and see all about that tomorrow. See you then!
Bonus Wienermobile Photo!
Yesterday we met Rich and Dee in the first installment of the Peoria Hot Dog Wars. After that ran, Dee sent me this photo that Rich took of her standing in front of an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Hot dog, thanks for sending this in, Dee, we’ll see you and Rich soon!