Chicago Part Two

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Posted by Fleabit Peanut Monkey on April 14, 1999 at 00:38:24:

(In part one, although Muddy's tombstone's dimensions do not match his stature, they should read 2', not 2".)

Against her better judgement and innate sense of decorum, I insisted that Dandelion take my picture in front of Muddy's grave. But I AM a tourist, I protested -- why shouldn't I act like one?
We drove into the city to Chess Records, 2120 South Michigan Avenue. The only address in the city I know by heart. We had missed the last tour of the studio; the nice receptionist of Blues Heaven told us she'd given eight tours that day due to the Stones concert that night. It didn't matter to me; I wasn't in the same room, but I was in the same building, where Little Red Rooster, Hoochie Coochie Man, Around and Around, and a thousand other incredible songs had been recorded between the 40's and the 60's. I took a picture of the address above the door. Tourist!
We made it to the Billy Goat at 6:30 and immediately met Marilyn. It is so WONDERFUL to meet board friends in person. Marilyn showed us the incredible photos she'd taken in Florida in '99 AND '97, and I showed her the ones I took in Pittsburgh. Ridgely joined the party. A gang from Undercover posed for photos bestrewn with yellow security tape. Some nice folks from Pittsburgh told me how much they liked my review of that show, which made me feel great (if a tad full of myself!) Ridgely, Dandelion and I spent a pleasant hour chatting, then we went to the United Center.
Our seats were great, 16 rows up from Woody's side of the stage, looking down on the left end of the omega ramp. Jonny Lang was already playing when we sat down.

Jonny is the best opening act for the Stones I have seen yet. If you haven't heard him, he sings like Joe Cocker, plays guitar like Albert Collins, and is all of 19. This kid has a brilliant career ahead of him if he avoids the pitfalls of fame; he is one of the few new performers I can picture lasting decades instead of a few years. Besides being supremely gifted musically, he's tasteful, doesn't overplay, gives his band room to stretch out, and is handsome (although his face hasn't completely cleared up yet.) He spoke about how honored he was to open for the Stones, said they would be out to "blow the roof off the place" soon, then introduced some special guest stars for his last song, Leah Wood and "Lizzie Jagger". Looking and sounding really great, the girls danced and sang backup on Jonny's hit, "Lie To Me". Dandelion has long wanted to poll the posters here about whether or not I am a DORK for getting Leah Wood's autograph in Pittsburgh, but I think I'm just ahead of the game. She sounded great Monday. "Lie To Me" earned Jonny a resounding ovation as he left the stage, and the road crew began to change the equipment for the main event.

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