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When she walks, watch, the sparks will fly. Firecrackin’ on the fourth of July (complete)

I have returned. And, “man alive”, have I been busy. Considering I normally work 10 hours a day from home, try to get biking in, as well as somehow managing to maintain the MK ULTRA umbrella and sleep is challenging. Some things have been put on the back burner and these updates for “Diary of a Damned Man” was obviously the first. Even some of the regular podcasts have had the brakes put on. Max Bravo and I are jumping back into working on the book after that was put on hold in 2017. Max spent a good bit of time last spring scanning hundreds of images and documents from the archives which I had begun digging into in 2017. And now more recently I was going thru boxes and have found hard copies and CD’s packed full on concert and other events related to the journey I dived into back in 1995. Over the last few months we’ve had a good friend and family member, Matthew Clark, suffered a severe stroke shortly after relocating to Austin TX. On 5/21/2023 Amy Abramite and I shot and recorded an interview with my old friend Pete Berwick. We followed the show with a tribute to Matthew Clark. The show we did with Pete suffered a huge malfunction and though the filming with 3 cameras was all good, we lost the audio. The Matthew tribute went well and a couple weeks later 6/11/2023 Emily Sifrit would pay a visit to do a tribute to our friend Nick Huffman who passed away 1 year ago on June 9th, 2022

I suppose a good place to pick up and move backwards is to go back to the 4-day July 4th weekend which kicked off when I took an early Metra train to Aurora to see L.A. GUNS but this time without my favorite sidekick, Bob Hoeksema. I arrived at the station on a picture perfect Saturday morning and took brunch at Two Brothers Roadhouse 205 N Broadway Aurora, IL which is where this Metra station ends or begins depending on which way you’re travelling. The address also houses the Two Brothers Artisan Spirits Distillery their hybrid, two-column, 20-plate still. 

July 1, 2023

A “Detroit Jason” Kenski wet dream, the craft brewery selection.

Day 1: I stopped in for lunch two days in a row on my way from Chicago and on my way back the next day and very pleased that I did. Over the years I’d only stop in for a drink while waiting on the train to the city. I decided I’d try out their menu since I’d be in Aurora a little longer than usual. On my way in I sat at the bar and ordered my usual margarita rocks and salt with a shot of silver tequila on the side. The bartender was great and made good conversation as I sat and ordered my fish tacos. They came out VERY quickly and I wondered how can they be any good. I’m a huge fan of cabbage and their recipe is perfect with pico de gallo for the “zip!”. Well, I was wrong they exceeded my expectations, and I’m a bit of a taco snob. I knew I’d be coming back thru the next day and had already decided what I would order.

Super 8 in Aurora 4228 Longmeadow Drive On Rte 34 Behind Honda Aurora, IL

I arrived at the Super 8 in Aurora a bit skeptical after reading some of the reviews posted here which was only after I booked my stay. I arrived about an hour before check in which is not usually a problem. The man at the desk held on to my drivers license and walked out of the office area and down the hall. I was getting worried. he told me that they were getting my room ready. I was in town to cover the LA GUNS concert for my magazine and had already taken two trains from Chicago and an Uber from the train station and just wanted to get situated. I walked around the ground floor and saw that the pool had been drained. A swim might have been nice but wasn’t a big deal. I saw some members of one of the bands in the lobby who were coming back to shower. When they were done I was still waiting in the lobby getting antsy. Finally after almost an hour I checked in and was surprised that they did not charge the $100 mandatory room deposit. I got to my room and WOW the negative reviews could not have been more wrong. On my door was a DO NOT DISTURB hanger and inside my perfectly cleaned room was at a perfect 60 degrees F. I had a few hour to relax until my photographer arrived who was driving in from Gary IN. I had no problem logging on to Wi-Fi which had a nice strong connection. After i was finished catching up on messages I relaxed in one of the comfortable beds and watched TV. My photographer arrived and we were off. When I retuned that night the motel was quiet and I slept very well. Up early Sunday I went downstairs for coffee watched the news and cleaned up before leaving. I only have one negative thing to say and its that they did not have an ATM on premises  where i could make a cash withdrawal in order to leave a tip for the maid.

If I ever need to go back I will stay here again for sure. It was a wonderful experience and there is nightlife nearby and many places to dine. Thank you Super 8 Aurora. you were all fantastic and affordable.

Two Brothers Roadhouse Brunch Day 2:

I had some time to kill before my train to the city was leaving so I arrived at 11AM sharp and ordered the usual. A margarita rocks and salt with a shot of silver tequila on the side. This time the glass was smaller but the drink was just as good There was a really small young woman working the bar and I say small because she was carrying some mighty heavy food service supplies. Also as friendly as the guy the day before. I ordered the beer battered fish (cod) and chips and was very good as I had expected.

Outside a storm was brewing and downtown was getting flooded. There was the NASCAR event and a Cubs game. The train I intended to board was running very late and it would be too crowded or me. Two Brothers Roundhouse is the place to be if you wanna kill time and I had a couple of hours so I went back to the bar, opened my laptop and enjoyed the atmosphere and a couple more drinks.

I told a friend it’d be worth a ride out one weekend to try the prime rib. I haven’t had a nice prime rib in years, If its anything like what I had this rainy July weekend I know it’ll be killer.


The night before after Eden Lake an old friend/artist/model/photographer who would be working the show for me picked me up and we went to a place called the PIAZZA 85 Executive Dr. Aurora, IL. We would be covering L.A. GUNS and Eden goes back years with the band from her days living is Los Angeles. However when we entered the massive multi level establishment the greeting we received was far from friendly.

The line wasn’t very long. L.A. GUNS usually play at my favorite venue., The Arcada Theater in St. Charles. However Ace Frehley had the venue that night and L. A. GUNS only the second night of their “Black Diamonds” Tour would headline a night on their friend Chip Z’Nuff’s “Glam Slam Metal Tour”. Attendance would be divided but the band delivered one of their finest performances to date.

Eden and I got to the door and I had never seen security like this leading to the immediate impression that the club has had its share of rowdiness. First thing was like going to a courthouse, we had to empty pockets and remove all jewelry into a tray. Eden got it bad as they went thru all of her gear as they questioned why we didn’t have tickets. Well no, we’re on the guest list as I was about to say. Then we walked thru a metal detector like in a courthouse or airport and finished with a metal detector wand swiped over our persons. The man I think was head of security was rather harsh and asked for our credentials only to tell us that we weren’t on the list. “Wanna bet?” We stepped aside and Eden was texting Tracii and I was texting the tour manager Justin, and as we did he yelled at us to leave or buy tickets because we were “NOT ON THE LIST!” It was then that a well mannered lady came over and politely asked our names. She put us on the list and we walked into a place that had all the potential to be a killer space to attend a event. She told us her name was Susie and if we had any problems to call on her. She actually came by us a couple of times to check in.

AZ and Eden Lake after chatting with L.A. GUNS guitarist Ace Von Johnson and bassist Johnny Martin.

After we ate some rather bland bar food we hung in the VIP area as bands played leading up to L.A. GUNS. I should add here that our bartender was pretty awesome. I wish I got her name. But we weren’t there to drink we were there for our boys.

photos by Eden Lake for MK ULTRA Magazine with a contribution by Christine Verchota

Ace blowing bubble gum photo by Christine Verchota

After almost a solid year starving for a real hard rock show on June 9th we got to cover FASTER PUSSYCAT at the Arcada in St. Charles and less than a month later another real rock show came through Aurora IL at the Piazza headlined by another of our favorite lives acts L.A.GUNS and they did not disappoint. In fact firing on all cylinders on their second night into the BLACK DIAMONDS Tour they were tighter than ever. In fact since 2017 when Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns reunited with an all new L.A.GUNS with a combination of touring members of each other’s bands at the time, they’ve been consistently putting out product and touring extensively. Now along with Johnny Martin on bass, Ace Von Johnson on guitar and Shawn Duncan behind the drum kit they seemed tighter than ever which is really saying something considering this outfits take no prisoner professionalism when it comes to delivering a live set.

We all know by now that when the lights dim and OZZY’s Mr. Crowley starts to play over the PA that it’s showtime and they came out on fucking fire. All wrapped in black they took to the stage and opened up with ‘Cannonball’ from 2021’s “Checkered Past” and then it was a nice hour plus long time travel journey of songs from the first release to the latest ‘Black Diamonds’ which has been met with critical praise. MK has become a regular at all of the regional shows and it’s refreshing to see them shake up the setlist from time to time. At this point they have such a library of material it’s impossible to hear a tune like ‘Malaria’ each time out but they more than make it up with a classic track such as ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’.

Maybe the fellas are well rested after last years outing on the Sonic Slam 2022 Tour but not only were they on fucking fire, it was obvious that they were having a lot of fun playing for us. The 14 song set included classic hits and newbies from the latest platter such as ‘Diamonds’ and ‘You Betray’. Johnny Martin and Ace Von Johnson have been with the group long enough to have found their place in and Shawn Duncan doesn’t have us missing anyone else who has sat on the stool the last few tours.

Tracii Guns is without a doubt a guitar hero if not hero at this point and Phil Lewis sounds as fresh as ever with vocals as strong as they’ve ever been that there’s no point in even mentioning ages in this report. But we fans know how old we are and thank you L.A. GUNS for being a big part of the ride.

See ya soon!

Thank you to tour manager Justin Andres and Tim Heyne at Entertainment Group, Inc

As I mentioned earlier I would not be able to take the train I had planned. The freak rainstorms that would continue for over a week off and on not only had NASCAR cancel one race but postpone and shorten the latter. The Cubs also had a major rain delay. The train was delayed almost an hour and the platform was crowded and there was no way I was going to get one it. So I had 2 hours to kill and went back inside the Two Brothers Roundhouse and had a few drinks and opened my tablet on the bar and killed some time. I would skip the 220PM for the 420PM trip. It wasn’t much more appealing

Even with the delay the train was very full at the first stop. By the time we got downtown the drunks were rowdy. I could not wait to get home. The only thing that got me thru is was a guy and his mother and tis guy knew just about as much about SCI FI and Horror films than anyone. He could rattle off all of Charles Bands Full Moon Productions in order by the year. However when all was said and done I’d have to get thru this crowd of loud passengers and out of the station. A short walk down Jackson Blvd passed the sears Tower to the Brown Line and I was two trains from home.

1:12 PM CDT, July 2, 2023 Heavy rains flood Chicago roads and force NASCAR to cut short a downtown street race

CHICAGO (AP) — Heavy rains flooded Chicago streets Sunday, trapping cars and forcing NASCAR officials to cancel the last half of an Xfinity Series race set to run through the city’s downtown.

The National Weather Service warned the flooding could be “life-threatening,” with numerous impassable roads, overflowing creeks and streams and flooded basements across the Chicago area. Up to 6 inches of rain fell in suburban Cicero and Berwyn by midday, according to t he NWS website. Flood warnings had mostly expired by evening.

The Illinois State Police said parts of Interstate 55 and Interstate 290 have been closed because of flooding, with at least 10 cars trapped in water on Interstate 55 near Pulaski Road, a major north-south thoroughfare in the city. Trains were stopped in some parts of the city as well.

Neighborhoods flooded. This is at 5th and Cicero

The Riverwalk was flooded

When I finally arrived at my stop I walked into Walgreens and ordered a bottle of Jameson. I needed to kick back, wind down and chill. As far as I know I had to work the next day.

Monday July 3rd 2023

At 7AM I was logged into my work computer and started my research for the day and I had 6 phone calls to make. An hour or so later my boss saw that I was online and told me we were of for the day. I mentioned I had some calls to make and would wrap these calls up and call it a day. By 11 AM my workday was over. And I had 6 candidates to send in. I gather my biking gear and started biking and then I heard from Max. He had something to give me and asked that I meet him at the Bulldog Ale House. I was close enough so why not. I got there and ordered a drink and Max arrived shortly after and he forgot to bring the framed pineapple piece of art . As we sat there and caught up I suggested I just bike by his place and pick it up. We ended up watching “Spinning Gold” the movie version of the history of Casablanca Records. Afterwards I put the artwork in my backpack and peddled home. I had a big day the next day and needed a solid night of sleep.

Tuesday, July 4, 10 a.m., Longfellow Center & Park Oak Park IL

Pete Berwick had asked me if I would join he and his wife Denise and their daughter Faith to march along with other RFK JR supporters in the parade. I rarely say no to a friend when they ask for my help. Since the show we did a month earlier with Amy had failed as far as audio it would also gave us some fresh ammunition for a make up show on the following Sunday July 9th PodCast. At 730AM Pete and Denise were outside to pick me up. Next stop was their daughter Faiths apartment which is only about a mile away from my own. It was a nice place. Lots of old wood and high ceilings and windows. From there we were off to Oak Park and drove thru one of my old neighborhoods on the way. There are lots of landmarks and memories. A few places in Wicker Park have survived the onslaught of new construction that has taken over the once “hip” neighborhood. When I lived there from 1998-2001 a lot of “rock stars” also lived in the area at the time and one would usually see them out and about in stores or clubs. Now, our definitions of “rock stars” my not be the same. At this time Wax Trax Records still had a record label office in Bucktown. Al Jourgensen still lived in the area and I’d see him at Jewel quite frequently. Chris Connolly worked at Reckless records. Members of Thrill Kill Kult lived and worked in the neighborhood. I’d run into members of Filter at Ace hardware. Wesley Willis could be spotted at Kinkos and the list goes on. These were the kind of “rock stars” responsible for the music that MK ULTRA had relocated to Chicago for.

With Faith Berwick at the meet up location Longfellow Center & Park

Meeting the group preparing for the 15 block parade

The message is very important about the divide in the US as of late. I would have my belief reinforced that the far left Democrats do not want to “heal the divide”. And neither does the radical right. Whatever happened to moderates?

I went into the parade knowing full well that it’s be a mixed response from onlookers. Yes there were scatters of people cheering and clapping for us. On the other hand many people, people in Oak Park with nice big homes and yards would boo and yell go away and give us thumbs down/ One resident yelled to us DON’T FOR WEALTH? WTF? Biden isn’t wealthy? And these self righteous hypocrites in their highly valued Frank Lloyd Wright homes aren’t wealthy.

In June 2023, the median listing home price in Oak Park, IL was $379.3K, trending up 2.7% year-over-year. The median listing home price per square foot was $234. The median home sold price was $450K.

Some were even as anti anti-patriotic they booed when one of my fellow marchers yelled “GO AMERICA!”

I shouldn’t be surprised as I would play a clip of the following newscast on the PodCast pete and I would do the following Sunday

Talker.News — “a curated source of news stories and data-driven content for publishers and broadcasters” — reports how a new OnePoll survey asked 1,000 people across the U.S. questions pertaining to their knowledge regarding the meaning behind Independence Day. Of the respondents who were asked, 99 percent identified as either a born or naturalized citizen.

The results the OnePoll survey received were rather interesting (to put it nicely): When asked why we celebrate the Fourth of July, only 59 percent of people gave the correct answer — “The signing of the Declaration of Independence.” The other 41 percent got it totally wrong.

Another 45 percent of respondents also guessed the incorrect date that the signing took place — choosing 1777 instead of 1776 — and 40 percent had no idea that the “right to bear arms” is part of the Second Amendment. As far as the “right to free speech” goes, 11 percent of survey-takers had no idea it was under the First Amendment.

This country is deeply divided and the one thing I’ve fought for since I was approx 17 years old is the freedom of speech. Social media doesn’t help at all and creates even more divide by those who feel as though they finally have a valid platform for them to bark from as non qualified as they are. Social justice is very anti American. But now you are tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.

It was a hot, hot day. My water had been depleted. We all gathered at the end of the route next to a ballpark to converse before heading our own ways. Then the real fun part came when Pete forgot where he parked the car. And I was feeling overheated and thirsty. We spent about 30 minutes looking for it when Pete’s daughter called to say she had found it. Soon we’d be on our way. I had an entire day off again so I made some margaritas and grilled some ribeye’s. 

Thursday July 6th 2023

After work I went to a bike ride to do some errands and was schedule to meet my good friend John Polachek for dinner at Tank Noodle at 7 PM. John is also one of the guitarists for I LOVE RICH known as Full Throttle. I stopped into Tai Nam Food Market 4925 N Broadway, Chicago, IL. It is an Asian supermarket stocking a sizable selection of sauces, meats, veggies, snacks & fresh seafood. I picked up some good noodles and some sweets mostly several flavors of Japanese Hi-Chew!

Tank Noodle 4953-55 N Broadway, Chicago, IL .Tank provides a cozy community on the corner of Argyle street and North Broadway. In addition to tasty Pho, they serve Banh Mi Sandwiches, Rice Noodle Soups, and Hot Pot dishes. Also some chef’s specials such as the Squid with Pickled Mustard Greens, Roasted Quail, or Bitter Melon & Shrimp Soup. i’ve been eating there for years. This particular night it was busier than most weeknights. It had to be due to the Argyle Night Market. It was packed when I found a table and by the time John showed up the line was out the door.

As it got increasing more crowded the orders were getting mixed up. My entrée was brought to me before our appetizer and John waited patiently for a good 30 minutes if not longer for his entrée. Meanwhile it was getting so crowded that one person waiting to be seated was actually on top of John and he asked politely if he could have some space to eat.

Our conversation was typical o f any meal with John. The Rock n Roll business always at the top of the list. And the state of how quickly the woke culture is affecting the state of living in America.

By the time we left it was dark outside and I didn’t have lights for my bike but made it some safe and sound. I had a few days to prepare for the next MKULTRASOUND Podcast. During those days it continued to rain heavily off and on. So far July had been a very rainy month.


Fresh Spring Roll with Pork & Shrimp, Fresh Spring Roll with Shredded Pork & Pork Skin, Fried Pork Egg Rolls, sugar cane shrimp ball , lemongrass steak, pork cake, vermicelli noodles, lettuce, basil, mints, cucumber, fried scallions with garlic, and house special sauce on the side.


Sunday July 9th PodCast with Pete Berwick

Pete Berwick and his latest book: Too Wild to Tame: The Story of the Boyzz

In the late 1970s, Chicago was fertile ground as record labels fell over themselves in the rush to sign new rock acts, like how Seattle became a decade later. Local rock fans rooting for their hometown heroes couldn’t go a few days without watching one of their favorite bands from Illinois, the heart of the Midwest, get signed to a deal: Survivor, Cheap Trick, Starcastle, Gambler, Trillion, Hounds, Pezband, Off Broadway, and Tantrum, to name a few.

And then came The Boyzz, the only band from the bunch that truly mattered. This is their story—buckle up!

one of the many times onstage with Pete (Wrigleyville North 2015)

Phyllis’ Musical Inn Wicker Park

PETE BERWICK is a Renaissance man; a professional actor and consummate entertainer with over forty years experience in live performance, film, television, music production, comedy, character acting and improvisation. He has also written four novels, recorded and produced six albums of critically-acclaimed music.

I’ve always listened to both sides of an argument and though I may disagree with what one side or the other believes, I’ve never silenced their right to do so. I am aware that many listeners may not agree with my guests opinions. In fact some may want to shut it down or not listen to the podcast or read my work anymore. The ability to speak ones mind without retaliation should be the right of any citizen who wished to speak their mind. Sadly that’ not the current climate in the United States of America. I’ve always given any guest to express their thoughts in my printed page or o any of the many broadcasts or projects I’ve been a creator of whether or not they reflect my own. – Alex Zander

The next presidential election is creeping closer and closer, and during this time of political extremities and heated debates, we need to ask ourselves how we got to this point. How did our two most prominent political parties become so polarized? Liberals are labeled as snowflakes and conservatives are labeled as bigots. No matter our beliefs, how can we move forward as a country when we won’t even listen to each other?

It seems, in an effort for politicians to differentiate themselves from the others, they move further and further away from the center of the political spectrum. One apparent trend caused by this polarization of parties is the polarization of voters. The idea has become that one party garners support from minority groups while the other garners support from the white majority, but if we look deeper, is that all there is?

We’ve separated these political parties, issues and controversies into two categories: black and white, right and wrong. What people refuse to understand is that many things in life aren’t black and white; they are grey and they are nuanced.

“The State of the Union According to Pete Berwick”
MKULTRASOUND PodCast with Alex Zander

As a professional Pete was just a little early for the show and the 1 hr 5 minutes went so quickly I was only able to squeeze in two of his songs from his most recent album.

Aftershow rite of passage at El Palmar

The Pineapple Art that Max gifted to me on Monday 7/3/2023

Friday June 9th 2023

The test/trial of the Metra Bike cars obviously didn’t work and I’d have to put Bike O Negative on a car with other commuters.

I got my bike downtown early to ride it from the Aurora Train station to Bob Hoeksema place in Montgomery. I’d been wanting to bike these trails for years. I bike from Bobs to the train in April of 2022 when the bike was assembled by BH. It was rough as the bike was stuck in only one gear. That ride was a fucking hellride. This trip t would be different and Bike O was newly tuned up. It was a hot day and the weekend weather would turnout to be perfect.

BH was still working as I arrived. We would be attending the FASTER PUSSYCAT show that night at the Arcada Theater. When I got to his driveway I was outside singing VOLARE’! Bib opened his garage door and let me in.

I love this bike and it really gets around trails as well as city streets.

The trails were amazing and so was the wildlife. We hung out a short while and made or way to a place in St Charles that was known for Lobster Rolls and expensive but favorite food of mine.

CHUM’S Shrimp Shack 2115 W Main St St. Charles, IL

Bob looks as unimpressed as I felt with the quality of food at CHUM’s

I ordered Lobster Rolls (2)…$23.99 Maine Lobster, mixed with chopped celery and red onions, served a garlic buttered brioche bun with a homemade seafood dressing and Chums Skewers…$6.00 Grilled Andouille sausage & Cajun Shrimp on a Skewer

The order took a good 30 minutes to come out and I was hungry. I made the mistake of saying to Bob that I judge a place by it’s cole slaw. I took a bit and it SUCKED. Very bland. The lobster rolls looked like it was ground lobster and not chunks. And the taste was bland as well. I went to the register to ask for a container for my skewers and dropped it and that was the end of that. At least it didn’t stink up BH’s ride by sitting in a warm trunk for hours. I hadn’t be so disappointed in a meal in years. Live and learn. We should have gone to Asadora’s.

Dianna Brankey came over to say hello

My new friend Tara and Lane along with Taime Downe and his dog Carlos

At this point I may as well just come out and declare that The Arcada in St. Charles has replaced the House of Blues as my favorite concert venue. Once upon a time I spent so many nights per week at the House of Blue and in the Foundation Room that they asked me why I just don’t put a cot back in the storage room. For years I’d see 3-5 or more concert per week to cover for MK ULTRA Magazine. Slowly over the years Chicago has pretty much stopped putting on the “rock show” and I see more shows in the burbs over the last few years than I do here at home. Considering that I’m less than a mile to the Metro, Aragon, and Riviera Theater that says a lot. Last year I saw The Cult at the Riv and that was pretty much it, and of course we have something called COVID that shut a lot down. Shut down so many places that many never recovered. I have to give props to smaller venues such as Liars Club and Live Wire for staying true to smaller rock shows’ and they do bring in some well known names. And going back to the beloved Foundation Room, they have relaxed all of the standards that made it feel like it was a “special” place to hang.

Last year we were blessed to see The Sonic Slam Tour two nights in a row. The show featured FASTER PUSSYCAT, LA GUNS and Tom Keifer #keiferband. The first night it was in the newly refurbished Des Plaines Theater, followed the very next night in St. Charles at the Arcada. And after COVID the Arcada has become more than a concert venue, See for yourself: and you can read all about the Speakeasy in my Diary of a Damned Man.

The ultra friendly crowd and staff at the Arcada were fun as always and Bob made is way down to see the opener Jason Charles Miller something I really regret. I chose to hang on the bar/arcade area and socialize. As it turns out Jason Charles Miller is an old friend of MK ULTRA back in the print days. In support of his band GODHEAD who we saw open for Marilyn Manson and Rammstein in the good ol days. He also appeared on the MK ULTRASOUND Syndicated Radio Show as well as in the pages. I last saw him in person at the CLEOPATRA Records 10 Year Anniversary concert Oct. 2002 at the Key Club in Hollywood. I ran into Taime there the same night as well. It was too little too late that I discovered this fact, as a matter of fact it was over a week.

As the main event was about to take place I went down to the front row next to Bob and waited for Ron Onesti to come out and lead the audience in a heavy metal ‘Star Spangled Banner” while proudly toting O’l Glory. A lot of people, me include dgreatly apprciate this small token of apprciation and respect. The out came the rock band, wrapped in baclk all sweaty and sleazy ready to blow the roof off the dump (as David Letterman would say) and with the very first drum beat and guitar chord I got the familar chills gain. It had been so long and in between shows it was like I was 17 all over again. And from there it was a non stop full of enrergy fun rock n roll show. A solid set and a full fucking set finally as they got to headline this time out.

The band, of course founder and voacalist Taime Downe is no stranger to the Hollywood hard rock scene and he’s managed to take the best parts of classic FASTER PUSSYCAT and The Newly Deads and gives us exactly wheat we’ve come to love. Atleast those of us at MK. Taime remains the only constant ofthe band across the last three decades, but drummer Chad Stewart and bassist Danny ‘Slim Tender’ Nordhaul have been at it for over 20 yrs if not longer. And they are a prefect fit for the troupe. The always over the top showman whi never misses a note Sam Bam Kolton was in full form and we got to see a lot of his work being were on that side of the stage. This kid is fucking amazing.Talent oozes from his pours as he practices his art. The new kid filling in for Ronnie Simmons (Rose Tattoo, Richie Ramone) Mihailo Lukic fit in with the band perfectly and looked like he was have a really great time playing his parts.

So many great songs on this outing. I couldn’t believe some of what I got to hear. The opener “Where There’s a Whip There’s a Way” two new cuts “Like a Ghost “and NOLA” and I was over thrilled to hear the Betty Blowtorch number ““Shut Up and Fuck”, and “Nonstop to Nowhere” as well as the staples “Bathroom Wall”, “Don’t Change That Song”, and “Cathouse” made for a rock show almost worth the wait.

The performance shows that the old guard still does the best job and these old school vets may very well be at the top of their game. Please come back soon! We’ll be waiting.


Saturday July 10th 2023

I got a very early start leaving Tubby’s and planned to stop for a bite to eat and more exploring. I was in no hurry since there was nothing on my calendar till the PodCast the next day.

Tecalitlan Restaurant 35 S Broadway Aurora, IL

I had been wanting to eat here for years every time Bob would drive me to and from the train. It’s family owned and operated. We had 2 with the same name in Chicago, my favorite but they are now gone. Al Jourgensen turned me onto it back around 2004. It wasn’t bad. Not crowded really and priced decently.

My standard: A margarita with salt on the rocks and a side of silver tequila

Coctel de Camaron/Shrimp cocktail and a Taco Birria (goat) with onions and cilantro

The I began to bike around town and was impressed with all of the street art especially the Warhol related displays.

Before long I as home and happy. The trains were so packed due to a CUBS game I had to bike in areas I’ve been attempting to avoid. My plan was to make a big pot of Seafood Boil for the first time and by surprise Greg Duncan called to tell me he picked up guitar strings and was coming over to clean and string my guitars. Tings were about to become more fun than expected.

2 lbs raw shrimp, mussels, andouille sausage, corn on the cob, red potatoes and Louisiana Boil Seasoning Bundle – 4.5 lbs Powder Boil and 16 oz  Concentrated Liquid Boil – Spicy, Delicious, and Low Salt Cajun Seasoning

It turned out very spicy and salty as Greg the Drunken Duncan put too much seasoning in it.

Stringing, cleaning and tuning my guitars. It got so late Greg stayed over and sat in on the podcast the next day.

Sunday July 11th 2023

Emily and Greg after the podcast

Alex with Emily Sifrit, Max Bravo, Greg the “Drunken Duncan”, Detroit Jason Kenski, Tana Leggo and Cory Stalcup

6/9/2023 it’s been a year.

Music by:

David Allan Coe
Faster Pussycat
Guns n Roses
SLIM Naked Raygun
Rose McGowan
EYE AM – Dreams Always Die With The Sun
Johnny Cash

There’s shock, disbelief and, most importantly, an outpouring of love for Nick Huffman, who passed away unexpectedly Thursday. Huffman, 42, was the co-owner of the Looney Bin bar in Bradley.

Huffman had a big heart for those close to him, was charismatic and had no filter. As the news broke Thursday morning of Huffman’s death, the tributes started pouring in on social media.

Huffman was a big supporter and promoter of rock music, mostly bands who weren’t mainstream and earned their living performing live. He brought many of those bands to the Looney Bin, as well as local, regional and national acts.

Ty Del Rose, a drummer for Smile Empty Soul, originally from San Clarita, Calif., posted on Facebook on Thursday:

“I woke up this morning at a loss for words. I still don’t really know what to say, other than that I am beyond crushed. … I will forever cherish all the great memories from the shows I’ve been to as well as the times I played with Another Lost Year and Smile Empty Soul. … Rest easy, my friend. The music scene in the 815 will always carry a piece of you with it for decades to come.”

“Nick was a newsmaker,” Kalantzis said. “At times he could be polarizing — that was mostly intentional. But he was undoubtedly Kankakee County’s greatest ambassador of his generation.”

National bands that have appeared at the Looney Bin were Local H, Trapt, Faster Pussycat, Gus G., Tracii Guns, Green Jelly and Third Eye Blind among others.

“Because of him, I’ve met so many people around the world as far as musicians [who] I’d never thought that I’d be able to,” said Dan Braisher, formerly of the local band Bad Influence and now with Full of Moxie. “All the stuff I’ve done musically has been because of him.”

Brashier gravitated to the Bin on Thursday afternoon, as did many of Huffman’s friends to share their grief and enjoy each other’s company.

“I wasn’t coming here. I was going to get my nails done,” said Jessica Scott, of Limestone. “I don’t even pass here on the way through, but somehow through the tears I ended up here. The only thing that comes to my mind is who is going to save me? Nick saved me time and time and time again.

“He was my best friend. He was ornery as can be, but, man, if he loved you, you knew it. You could just feel it in the air. There will never be another person like him. Ever.”

“There’s no other way to explain it,” he said. “He loved rock ‘n’ roll.”

Huffman, a 1997 Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School graduate, was also a comedian, and he was the man on the street reporter and various characters from 2013-15 on the Mancow TV show that ran on Fox and WPWR 50 in Chicago. He quit chasing his comedy career to run the day-to-day operations at the Looney Bin in 2014.

Comedy was never too far from his realm, as Huffman often booked comedians at the Bin, including members from the “Jackass” movies and TV series.

“Nick was all or nothing. If he was into it and it was a good idea, he was all in. Just like the sign says, ‘No bull.’ He would not entertain it if it wasn’t right; he’d leave the table.

“We were very good friends. He’ll always have a special place in my heart. Those were great times in my life. I’ll cherish them forever.”

Bradley Mayor Mike Watson said it’s a sad day for Bradley.

“I have a deep sense of loss, especially for his mother, Maureen, who I’ve gotten to know over the last few years,” he said. “I know Nick was her only child. It’s a huge [loss], and for Nick’s children. He had a daughter, who just went off to college, and for his twin sons who are young.”

And to close out this section which only took 4 days to document. Here are my spoiled rotten cats.