Friday, July 28, 2017

The Atomic Punks

The Cradle Rocks In Rosemont

The Atomic Punk
July is a month without mercy for cover bands in this fair city. There is no such thing as a casual spectator when that first note screams off the amplifiers into the ears of hundreds of adoring Van Halen fans. Indeed. I have many battle scars on my soul covering live events, and now The Atomic Punks have added more feel-good music to the history books. I have been keenly aware of this Van Halen tribute band for quite some time and jumped on the opportunity to take advantage of this free outdoor festival in Rosemont, Illinois on this chilly summer evening.

As for The Atomic Punks, they have been jamming old school Van Halen  hits since 1994 from the "Diamond Dave" era with songs such as "You Really Got Me" and "Bottoms Up" just to name a few.  Members include: Brian Geller (Vocals) Lance Turner (Lead Guitarist) Joe Lester (Bass) and drummer, Scott Patterson had folks dancing in the streets to feverish beats to all the Van Halen classics. This had been a spectacular moment, so far with pure rock-n-roll energy.

My dear friend and associate producer for Sounds of the Underground, Eddie Bak was my ride to the show. It seem as if all the cool kids came to this party, and I mean everyone I know was there that night.  John Dobbs (Paradoxx)  Danny Romaine (One Way Street) and Mike Gaynor (High Alert) were the all at the show enjoying the good life.  Mike and I dipped out of the crowd to smoke-up, but that was not a good idea with all these bratty kids running around being nosy. So, we went back to the front of the stage and I wanted to take some pictures for this article.  "Can you hold my beer Mike?" I asked politely. Gaynor nodded with agreement and in less than a minute, that bum ran off with my half full cup of cold beer. At first, I wanted to chain whip Gaynor for being a beer thief. However, Mike was cool smoking up with me, and who can blame him with those long-ass lines waiting for cold suds.

Mike Gaynor & Dee Milenkovic
I saw Michelle Paul and asked if she had seen Gaynor running around with my beer. "No, I did not see him she said with a warm smile. "Good seeing you again, I said. I must hunt this dog down and more importantly, I need to find Eddie Bak, that's my ride home." I gave Michelle a quick hug good bye and capture this beer bandit.  With no luck, I was forced to wait in a long line at Bub City's beer tent and that's when I saw Stan Bozek in the line next to me.  He was about twenty people ahead of me and I asked if he can grab me two beers. ?Sure, anything you need Evil Genius," Bozek said. I handed him my loot and I was happy once again hitting the ground running. .

I did not see Eddie until the second half of The Atomic Punk set as they  played "Hot For Teacher." and we needed to get more beer. The beer lines where bogus as well as being ridiculous and waiting  a half hour to get a drink around here was Un-American in my eyes.   Ah. The memories of "Little Dreamer" is all I can recall for our third round of drinks.  Oh, I almost forgot about that Guy Fieri wanna be running around starving for attention. I remember this fool from the last TNT Chicago  show I finished last month and I am beginning  to think that this dude lives under a rock around here. What a fucking joke!  "He's a poser," said Dee Milenkovic as we both pointed and laughed his stupid hair and him wearing those doltish sunglasses at night time.

Stan Bozek & The Evil Genius
Enclosing, this was more than a great show. This was about seeing old friends and listing to some killer tunes outside. Myself, I am an old school Van Haeln fan and I never did like Sammy Hagar for personal reasons during my brief encounter at World Music Theater in Tinley Park. But you'll have to find a copy of my book to get the full scoop on that story. You may ask yourself  where have at the good times gone?  Well, The Too Much Fun Club has a choke hold on these adventures, and if you're lucky I might see you there and enjoy an adult beverage watching the fireworks. Until Then, Cheers from Pelletier...Salute!!



Friday, June 16, 2017

Maiden Chicago Pre-Party Show

80 Miles for Maiden.

Lead Singer:Bill Swanson & Lead guitarist Al Contras
Photo by: Devon Buhmann 
This has been an extremely busy week for Heavy Metal Thunder. First there was Vader at Reggie's in Chicago on Wednesday and on Thursday I was going to cover Ghost and Iron Maiden at Tinley Park, Illinois. For six long months I worked on getting press credentials and at the last minute was informed by their publicist that there was limited press coverage for this event. The Too Much Fun Club had been closed by Live Nation, a greedy booking agent with a net worth of 4.184 Billion dollars with a B! Greed is good in America if you're in the 1% while the rest of us work like Powerslaves for three, eight hour shifts just to see a show. If you do the math, that adds up to one 24 hour work day that this company steals, and I am sure these guys reek with fraud and bad karma. But even worse than that, small press has been denied freedom of speech and you'll see no news reports unless it's that brainless Bruno Mars or that ding-bat bitch, Katy Perry. I am sure after Live Nation reads this review, a lawsuit will come in the mail. No worries, I'll just bring a turnip to court and tell the judge he'll get more out of this rooted vegetable then he will out of my broke ass. I have no money, no car and I have no cell phone. I have been reduced to a fourth class civilian and all they will get from me is some jail time.The music business has become an ugly place and soon I'll be out of this circus of fools for good. 

Maiden Chicago
Photo by: The Evil Genius

Racing with the hot wind in my face with a dry temperature of 90 degrees down Route 43 on my 10 speed mountain bike,the time had come to see some old friends from Maiden Chicago. They where throwing a pre party show at the Side Street Tavern located just minutes away from the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater and I was not about to miss out on this feeding frenzy of Iron Maiden.  After blazing down Harlem Avenue for about 40 miles I found the place and order a Trooper Beer and a pitcher of ice cold water.  "Ah yes, give me Maiden or give me death," I said to myself and then the pre-show began. 

Classics such as Prowler and Phantom of the Opera were performed by: Bill Swanson (lead vocals)  Mike Z & Al Contreras (lead guitars) Gary Ingram (bass) and Dan Driskill (drums) and the crowd was running free on this hot summer afternoon. Other songs such as Sun & Steel and Sea of Madness were all preformed with accuracy and precision. What really impressed me the most was how well Contreras chopped out the guitar solo in The Trooper, and as we all know Adrian Smith is one hard act to follow. Nice Job Al. Keep up the good work!! I was very impressed. Some other guy from Wisconsin sang a tune, while Swanson wet his pipes with some cold water to close the show.  

The Evil Genius & Mike Z.

So, if you're feeling down, depressed and lonely and cannot see Iron Maiden, take my honest word for the fact that Maiden Chicago is the best act in town, Maiden fans. Not many folks can say they took an 80 mile flip-flop trip on a bicycle just to see a cover band and live to tell the story. Everyone there jumped on the party bus but me, and there was a long ride back to Chicago. But in the long run, the trip was worth every mile and that's how much I love Maiden Chicago! Until then, UP THE IRONS!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hammer Down with the 2017 Freightliner Sprinter

2017 Frightliner Sprinter

As we all know, trucks are the lifeblood in this great nation of ours. Since the turn of the new millennia, the Chicago Auto Show has featured smaller non-commercial vehicles for personal use. This year is a little different as Freightliner made its first appearance in the city that works, with the all new 2017 Sprinter on display. Performance, fuel efficiency and safety are all thunder-clapped into one solid transport unit as professional drivers take to the open road.

This standard 2.1 liter engine is the most advanced technology found in any commercial van. Equipped with a 4-Cylinder Turbo diesel engine and 7-speed transmission allows a driver to save up to 18% on fuel costs. Furthermore, the optional 4x4 drivetrain is great and will keep you moving in just about any adverse driving conditions. From an engineering standpoint, placing a 4-Cylinder turbo diesel inside a work truck was unheard of until now.  "You get more power with a turbo piston ring, explains Alex Rivera, a leader in the automotive industry for twenty five years. He adds to say, "This is big power in a small package, giving the consumer the performance they need at price they can afford. Having this type of fuel economy, makes the Freightliner Sprinter a class all its own."

Equally important, are the five chassis options including the cargo and passenger Sprinter from Freightliner. First, what a great name for a work horse like the Sprinter WORKER Cargo van. With a 3,500 lbs payload and 486.5 cubic square feet, make this vehicle perfect for LTL runs or major city deliveries without that large 53-foot wagon on the back of your truck. Working hard means staying on the road, and drivers can do that with a 20,000-mile service interval.

In the same fashion, we focus our attention to the Sprinter WORKER Passenger van. This 12 passenger van is perfect for picking up new recruits at the bus station, or taking drivers for their DOT physicals. Your daily trips will be more secure knowing that you have advance safety features such as Crosswind Assist (sensing dangerous winds at 50 mph) and Load-Adaptive Electronic Stability Program. This would make a good investment for just about any motor carrier that is looking to protect their bottom line.  

 So, if you are in the market for big power with fuel efficiency, then the Freightliner might be a wise choice. While oil markets soar, these diesel engines have a higher compression ratio, making this vehicle cost effective. On average, most Sprinters have 22 mpg with a 5000 lbs towing capacity and several outstanding interior configurations makes the Freightliner Sprinter Smart, Stylish and Reliable for non-CDL holders that would like to run with Big Dogs in the transportation industry. Until then, have fun and drive safe.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Silence Movie Review

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son. -Colossians 1:13 

In this Martin Scorsese motion picture titled: "Silence," two Jesuit priests played by Adam Driver (Father Francisco Garupe) and Andrew Garfield (Father Rodrigues) travel from Portugal to Japan on a very dangerous mission. The price for glory, sharing hope and enduring suffering has prideful conquest as the two priests are in search of Father Cristovao Ferreira played by Liam Neeson. This Seventeenth century backdrop  that was filmed on location in Taipei, Taiwan will take you back in time and have the movie goer question their own fate and the higher powers that may exist.

The will of God's work is not easy as the two priests discover a small village that welcome the Christian scripture. However, the Emperor of Japan is  not so welcoming with God's word and villagers are forced into hiding their love for god, or face brutal torture methods before facing execution. Some Japanese Christian followers are burned alive, while others drown in a sea of death as some they are forced to  pray in Silence. King James Bible states that hope and courage are the tools for survival in this evil world and without these treasures hard travels will be bestowed upon the non believers. "For I know the thoughts that I thinks toward you," saith the Lord thoughts of peace. and not of evil to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11 With that said, the pain and suffering continue as the quest becomes a daunting task.

There is not much face time for Neeson in this motion picture and his trials and testimonies bear witness for those whom undergo the Emperor's interrogation methods. Furthermore, Scorsese is a master at capturing time with vibrant images, fantastic costume designs and majestic landscapes throughout the entire film. The running time for "Silence" is approximately 160 minutes of pure sorrow and will have you at the edge of your seat in nearly every scene. If you love God as much I do, this motion picture will touch your heart and challenge one's own destiny during that final transition into the afterlife. Beware my brothers & sisters, because we have been sent as sheep into this world among the howling wolves of wrath, and the Lord is our only protection against a greater malignancy of self-loathing.



Friday, November 4, 2016

2016 Chicago Cubs World Series Pairide

                          A City of Champions and Soldiers of Faith

There was a strangeness in the National Baseball League once the Cleveland Indians lost to the Chicago Cubs. First, let's get one thing clear, this evil vortex with an odd mix of people at Wrigley Field was a dream come true for most die-hard Cub fans in 108 years.  Major League Baseball has witnessed a dream come true for us "North-Siders" and today was a great day to be alive!! Five Million fans gathered in the streets, on roof tops and anywhere else to catch a glimpse of the 2016  World Series parade for the Chicago Cubs. You can feel the love, joy, and magic in the air as spectators cheered across the city of champions.

Above, six helicopters flew over the crowd and stadium  as the Cubs players got ready to jump on some buses and zip down Sheffield and toward more madness. A Bear in the air can be a good thing when dealing with the masses such as this and luckily, having my press credentials was helpful getting into tight security.  But never mind that. I have News to report.

Mr. Cub
I mention this only because Mr. Cub AKA  Jimmy McGrough has been a Chicago Cubs fan since 1945. Mr. Cub has been on numerous talk shows and news casts explaining his admiration for the Cubs. Looking back on the Bartman years we shared a casual conversation. Ah, yeah. Mr. Cub with his genial manner and love for the Chicago Cubs, he breaks into excitement,  the winning years such as 1884, 1989 and of course 2015. There was much rich history that Mr. Cub shared and seeing this die-hard Cubs fan happy was close to my heart, for my mom shares the same passion for Chicago baseball. He slipped into the Cubby Bear for a beer, never to be seen again.

At this point the place was packed, and assholes and elbows were everywhere and the lack of sleep made some folks a bit edgy. This one older swine in his late fifties starts nagging this smaller woman and trying to bully her about space issues. If there wasn't over 100,000 cops there, I would have had some words with that guy. How dare he talk to this woman like garbage? I was pissed that this jag-off was talking like that toward a lady and wanted to say something. Defending this woman and telling this guy to piss-off would be the noble choice. However, these are different times and judging by this joker, he would cry wolf and my ass would go to jail.. Not today! No Sir! And there will be no more easy wins for the Chicago Cubs, and no more double-stacker baloney sandwiches for the Evil Genius. Victory or Death!!!

Last week was extremely busy and at this point it would take me about a week to catch up. This is not good. My only hope for next year is to see two victories in a row. It's late. Good night.

Friday, June 24, 2016

T-N-T Chicago

                                 Thunderstruck at Montrose Beach 

Lead Singer: Jim Irwin
There was a strangeness of rock-n-roll thunder in Chicago on this brisk Thursday in June. Adoring fans bundled up in blankets and drinking beer as T-N-T Chicago hit the stage ready to perform all the AC/DC classics. Just then I heard the sound of the drums beating along the lake shore as the waves crashed on the golden sand. In times like these, when the War Drums of rock-n-roll howls for more music and more adult beverages it's best to relax and not to think about all the chaos and trouble around the world. No Sir. Spectators were about to stand up, be counting and pay for drinks they were about to receive.

This was some pretty awesome news as the sun-set faded behind the concrete mountains of the windy city. Lead vocalist, Jim Irwin belts out each song living on the razor edge with his tribute to both the late Bon Scott and Brian Johnson. However, with good news, bad news will follow closely behind. Rolling Stone reporter, Kory Grow mentioned that Johnson was forced to retire due to a hearing loss. 
Lead Guitarist: John Urban
"I've had a pretty good run," explained Johnson. It's like a sports player getting injury he adds to say and expressed compassion for athletes that face occupational hazards at work.

Working the crowd was lead guitarist, Jonathan Urban jamming out to "Play Ball" for all those sports fans at The Dock next to the bait shop near Montrose Harbor. Other members include:  Blake Kobiska (guitar) Stevie Conlon (bass) and Dennis Field (drums) make up the rest of this ultimate AC/DC tribute cover band.  The night continued with top charting hits such as "Have a Drink on Me" and "Shot Down In Flames." Witnessing a heavy police presence cruising

around on ATV's, that was my time for "Evil to Walk"  and get the Hell out of there. I don't like Cops much these days, and the last thing I wanted from these rollers, were to rob me of my stash of pot and write me another bull shit ticket.

Ah, but never mind all that. That's all in the past now and the future of T-N-T Chicago looks pretty promising. If you're a die hard AC/DC fan you will love T-N-T Chicago. This is where the fun begins with an outstanding performance each and every time. I suggest you get that next ticket for House of Blues and check out the ultimate AC/DC concert experience without spending a ton of cash.   

T-N-T Chicago

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Under The Nazi Thumb

                                  Racial Profiling & Code of Silence in Chicago

The treasure of guilt and shame has been buried deep within the Chicago Police Department for decades regarding racism. This brutal democracy has now become a horror show of death and violence as the world watches metropolitan Chicago struggle to find the real truth behind this anti-Semitic establishment. “Everyone, in some way has a racial subconscious,” explained, 21-year old Danny Vargas.  If I see a group of Black guys on the street I try and avoid them because they might start trouble,” Vargas adds to say. However, the only trouble now are the new findings from the New York Times last April. News reports suggest that C.P.D had banned most anonymous citizen complaints. Furthermore.  unvarnishing the facts to cover up the written reports made by officers was just the tip of the iceberg.  Murders have increased 84% since 2015, and with 605 shootings and 131 homicides the darkest fear could be on your street next.  
Admittedly, news media, gangster rap music videos and Hollywood motion pictures have fuel the fires that have cremated our society of kindness into dark ashes of hate. This type of brainwashing has ensued a negative effect among African-Americans and has undermined their civil liberties. Today, most people cannot drive in their own towns or neighborhoods without civil rights being violated. For example, Irish Djurdjulov was pulled over in Niles just driving to the store. “One time they [Niles law enforcement] stopped my son, explained 32-year Djurdjulov. “They said my son was looking through house windows in Niles which is a Caucasian suburb. However, I guess we’re the only the Black family living in this town, and that to me seems to be harassment,” adds Irish Djurdjulov.

In the same fashion, 42-year old Gigi Starr was parked with her flashy new jeep in front of some "Rib Crib" near Chicago avenue & Austin, when police rolled by, making heavy eye-contact with each other. Gigi Starr gives a warm friendly smile toward the officers and the police vanish around the corner. Approximately two o’clock in the morning Starr's friends jump in her Jeep then zipping onto Austin Blvd and zagging on Rice Street. The officers closely followed behind with the blue cherry lights blazing, ready to bust someone! Regardless if this area is a well-known hot spot for drugs. shootings and robberies Starr’s fourth Amendment rights had been sequestered on that hot August night.

The police officer approached the vehicle  and told everyone to put their hands up in front of them, explains Starr in shocking detail. "GET YOUR HANDS UP NOW" yelled the red-headed cop with fire in his eyes," Starr continues. As Gigi Starr stepped out of her Jeep the officer looked her up and down with disgust. "What are you going in this neighborhood?" asked the officer with an unpleasant tone to his voice Starr adds to say. Next  the law enforcement officer asked if she had any contraband in her vehicle. No! Starr replied in an irate tone to her voice. Be my guest officer" The officer then gave back Starr's drivers license without any pleasantries or concerns for Starr's safety. .  

Even though no arrest had been made, Both Djurdjulov and Starr could have suffered negative effects after being sized up and verbally abused by officers that lack respect for the US Constitution. In a written statement by Gigi Starr she stressed some important facts. As an Irish-American decent, Starr was profiled as a person of interest without probable cause. Sure, folks may have been mugged or murdered in broad daylight in this area yet, there are good people who go to work everyday. Life can be hard for most of us and some try to help each other Starr writes. But in the end, it's family and placing a label on our home is down-right appalling expressed Starr with deep concerns about Chicago's future.

Under those circumstances, we look back at the death of Laquan McDonald who was shot sixteen times by a white officer back in 2015. This action caused a major uproar as Chicagoans tried to force Mayor Rahm Emanuel out of office and into the streets.  The only true victory was removing Anita Alvarez and replacing her with Kim Foxx as Cook County State’s Attorney. Meanwhile, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has geared up this Gestapo Task Force to try and combat racial tension between the Chicago Police Department and its citizens. Stepping into the bright hot spotlight is new appointed Police President, Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police superintendent, Eddie Johnson.  “What we hear from people all across the city is they felt like they didn’t even have a claim to the geography in the front of their house, on their street or in their neighborhoods, said Lightfoot during her interview with the New York Times.

For the most part, our code of silence may or may not protect us from our own Nazi law enforcement. Just remember folks, it’s going to take more than Lightfoot and her army of flatfoots to end racial profiling in this beautiful city with an ugly hidden agenda. I take no pleasure in reporting the truth about our white masters. For centuries white men from England have killed other races around the world and have exploited the whole human race. But once you start gibber-jabbering about civil rights, strange things begin to happen. For example, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, two very wealthy and powerful men had been shot in public. Though King’s triggerman was capture by local police, no one went to jail for Kennedy’s murder. Point being, our own establishment can and will kill you without shedding a single tear.
It would be unwise not to cooperate with the police and go about your business. If you think for one moment that you are special and have rights, well you could be dead wrong or you’re going to get the business by the fuzz. They are called fuzz because they blow around the city bothering folks. This is what cops do and they seem to like it this way. Should you get pulled over and questioned by the police, here are some helpful tips to keep you out of jail.  Always place your hands on the wheel in plain view. Do not give these bastards a reason to shoot you. Next, ask why they pulled you over in first place. This will assert your innocence and opens up the door to exercise your Fifth Amendment right.

This is where critical thinking come into play. A smart driver will exit the vehicle, lock the doors to prevent an illegal search. Make this verbally clear that you do not consent to a search. This will anger the officer and he will try and manipulate you by offering to help you. Do not trust him, for he was trained to lie and trained to steal your freedom. Do not let this happen, ask if you are free to go and get the Hell out of there.  The Supreme Court says once you are cited, you are free to leave and go about the day. If people can learn to practice their own code of silence, jails and cemeteries would be less crowed.