Sweet Home Chicago...

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Posted by StonesProfessor[form. StonesDoctor] on September 15, 2000 at 14:28:36:

Got back from my trip to Chicago...If any of you EVER get near the town,the ESSENTIAL place to stop is 2120 So Michigan Ave...a.k.a Chess Studios a.k.a Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven. Yes, the former Chess Studios/offices building was bought by Willie Dixon's widow,and currently being restored to its former glory.Right now, it is open from 10-2 Mon-Sat for tours...Just walk up to the door, and ring the bell [It looks real deserted, but everyone is inside]. On my visit, a nice lady named Elise [?] greeted me at the door, let me in, and had me wait for a sec in the tiny waiting room, letting you comtemplate the history of the waiting room alone! Everybody there is VERY nice- they check any bags you may be lugging, they give you cold water if it is hot. Anyway--Elise led around the building-which is very much a work in progress-showing me Phil Chess' office [where a thousand musicians got screwed...lol],taking you upstairs, etc etc....As soon as you tell her youra Stones' fan, she gives you all the usual stories- debunking Keith's story about finding Muddy painting the ceiling, about the 144 rehearsal takes of "Johnny B Goode", etc...It IS so cool being in that building, though-did you know at one point in the 70's the building had a-UGH!!!!- DISCO in the place with a mirrored ball hanging in the old recording studio?? SACRILIGE!!!!! There is all sorts of neat stuff to see, like the pipe in the studio leading down to the echo chamber in the basement some stuff that various stars have donated-incuding some Ronnie W drawings [whether they are prints or origs..I don't know!], and so on...The 'donation' for the tour is $10-well worth EVERY penny! PLUS- neat t-shirts [no sales tax!!] and other stuff in the small gift shop...Also, if you do go, go EARLY in your Chicago visit, as one of the things you receive for your 'donation' are coupons for free admittance to Buddy Guy's and Koko Taylors blues clubs! There is a bit of on-street parking around the building; or you just take any Michigan Ave bus south to 21 St....Again, for any Stones [or rock fan for that matter..], an absolute MUST pilgramage........

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