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January 2006

 Another new year!

 The Re-Vue staff were primed and ready at the end of 2005 to start the fourth year for Re-Vue… then the Holidays struck and some of us did a little too much celebrating!  So, the Re-Vue gang are EASING our way into 2006 with a no-frills issue.

 This month our most dedicated writers went forth into the farthest reaches of the city to bring you a look at what will be missing in Chicago this year.  So many great places shuttered their doors in December and we wanted to do a little something to mourn their passing.  Time-honored favorites like Marshall Fields, the fabulous Berghoff Restaurant (the oldest restaurant in the city will close its doors in February!!), and Trader Vics. We also felt that the time was right to take a woeful look back over all the celebrities that we lost in the last year. Col. Dan Sorenson started his own version of (pardon the expression) “death watch 2005” early last year.  He complied a very comprehensive list of celebrities, has-beens, and the almost never-weres that passed on to the great beyond. Next month we’ll have the full list for you!

Coming in the next few months are several events that should not be missed.  Of course everyone by now is aware of the hoopla that takes place in Vegas every Easter.  But we’re shedding a little light on the often-raved-about Ponderosa Stomp which will happen this Spring.  Due to Hurricane Katrina, the hosts for the event had to find a temporary home for it.  They found this home-away-from-home at the Gibson Guitar Factory in Memphis, Tennessee.  This year’s Stomp will also donate proceeds to assist New Orleans musicians that were affected by the hurricane.  Also, this very month in just a matter of days, Deke Dickerson will be assemble one of the largest showings of guitar greats on his side of the Mississippi during his Guitar Geek Festival.  Make sure you check out the list of acts and the ad in this issue.  Make the time and take the trip to California.  That one is a sure fire hit. 

Matt Strickland shares his reviews for several CDs in this issue.  Matt is fairly keen on all that’s rockin’, and this time in, he reviews the release, "The Many Sides Of…" by Spo-Dee-O-Dee.  He additionally reviews another European act’s release, “Good Lookin' Daddy" by The Round Up Boys.  

Doug Freedman has never let the Re-Vue reading public down.  He has never failed to send in an outstanding review.  Not to be confused with that 80’s sit-com of the same name, “Night Court USA” was a series on TV back in 1958.  Doug thinks its another one of those entertaining gems on DVD that shouldn’t be missed. 

Who doesn’t love an old all-American black-and-white television comedy show.  Re-runs of shows that most of us were too young to see the first time they aired are now accessible to Chicagoans on 

network TV.  Julia Baresch sent in this article that describes the many programs that can be seen in syndication on Channel 23, ME-TV.

James Ventrella spent quite a few years working in downtown Chicago.  He learned the ins and outs and all the best places to catch that noon-time meal.  He weighs-in on the recent decision by the Berghoff family to close the oldest restaurant in the city.

Ken Mottet loves to chronicle the Chicago rockabilly scene.  He’s been Johnny-on-the-spot, a regular Jimmy Olsen with that ever present camera.  Sure to catch the shot when someone trips, makes a funny face, rips a dress, or does something equally undignified, Ken has volumes of photos he’s taken over the years.  Sometimes, if you’ve been lucky enough, and you’re kicking back at his and Mary’s homestead, he’ll pull out some of the dusty volumes to share the joy of previous rockin’ nights.  Don’t ever try to get him to take a picture OUT of the album though (I’ve tried, believe me!).  Ken explains what he’s learned after looking back over the many, many years of photos.  Ken also gives a little buyer’s tip to the readers regarding super sale-priced DVDs on sale at your local (dare I even say it??) WAL-MART.

Rocko submitted an article this month that was a bit unexpected.  After the holiday rush and the family gatherings and the happy days of celebration… he describes the darker, seedier, and sadder side of the holidays. 

Within the last month there were quite a few stories in the news that were of interest. City News, a neutral ground for all the city papers and TV stations to gather the same information and a training ground for countless aspiring Chicago newsmen and women was closed on Dec 31.  In our “Saying Goodbye” section, we cover more about City News. 

 It was announced late in 2005 that the famous James Dean Gallery in Indiana (owned and run for many years by local rockabilly well-loved promoter, David Loehr) would be closing at the end of the year.  After moving into a state-of-the-art building in recent years which dwarfed the original space for exhibits related to silver screen legend James Dean, hopes were high that the new location would increase traffic.  Due to sky-rocketing energy costs and some other operational factors, it was no longer cost effective for the Dean memorabilia to remain housed at the new facility.  More information about this can be found later in the issue.

 Busy as the holidays are, Desiree Kiss still managed to keep track of all the new dates for coming events in the month of January.  Special thanks to Dez for maintaining the list and providing the dates to us so we can generate the handy-dandy back-page calendar.  As always, if your band plays in Chicago or in the Midwest area, drop us a line with your dates:

Dennis Leise is a jack-of-all-trades lately.  Guitar-picker, door-man,  dancer, and all around nice-guy… It’s the nice guy that asked that we dedicate an article this month to a pal that runs sound at Fitzgerald who fell ill over the holidays and ended up in the hospital.  Some benefits are planned for him in the coming month and Dennis wants to be sure you know where and when. We excepted the info from the Bloodshot Records Webpage.

If you have an event to promote, feel free to send us photo-ready digital images or the description of the event and we’ll do our best to help you get the word out.

As always, if your band has a CD or record you would like us to review, you can send a copy to us and we’ll get it reviewed.  Just drop us a line at and we’ll tell you where to mail it.

Covering all the angles, all the time…  

  Susan E. Funk