Archive for September, 2010

Tremors / Eklevnis turns 40

A return to Tremors and two good nights for the band. I did notice a few other musicians out: Gary McAdams, Steve Peck, Kaj Anderson, Mark Gilmore, and the sax player from Boplicity (hope that’s the right band name and I forgot his name – sorry). And even webmaster Greg made a showing on Saturday. Being in Milwaukee doesn’t allow me to see other Janesville bands often. And when the band’s off, Holly and I pretty much stay around home. It’s catching up on the honey do list for me! Speaking of off, that’s the case for the band this weekend, although Cyndi & I will be at Club Belwah (Beloit) this Wednesday along with Denny and Kirk from 6 – 10. We’ll also be back at the Castaway jam (Indianford) on Sunday from 3 – 7. The band will be back at a new place: “Sneakers” on Saturday, Oct. 9th from 8 – 12. Sneakers is just off Milton Ave. behind the Exclusive Company; where Rogin’s Shoes used to be. I’m curious about this place as I’ve always believed part of the success of Slicks was being on Milton Ave. I’m a little leery of the early hours as it seems most of Janesville likes to party later. We still had a decent crowd at Tremors while we were packing up at 2:00! I guess we’ll see.
I also want to send a special birthday wish to Ken (Elvis) Fraser who turns 40 this Wednesday and is the biggest Elvis fan I know. To say Ken, also known as Eklevnis, has faced obstacles in life is putting it mildly and hitting 40 is a big deal. I remember Holly’s mom, Helen, waking up every day and saying, “Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful day.” Some people look at each day as a gift, while others spend too much time thinking and planning ahead to enjoy life’s moments. Gotta admit that I’m guilty of that. It was John Lennon who said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” We probably could all learn from this, and people like Ken and Helen. Happy 40th to you, my friend. We’ll see you next Saturday at Sneakers!

Kami & John wedding / Castaway Jam

Well, Kami and John tied the knot. Holly, her son, Pat, Erin, and I drove over for the wedding on Saturday. Lots of friends and relatives which was especially nice for Holly as she hasn’t been back here much. It was a short service with Jason as best man, and Corey as a groomsman. Then it off to Meyer’s Market for the party in the barn, same place they had Bryan’s 50th. It was a nice time which included food, drink, and a DJ. Holly and I even did a little dancing in spite of her boot cast. Side note – not getting any better and we’re probably talking surgery down the road. Tim was the only missing band member, unless he showed up later. Holly, Erin, and Pat had to drive back so they didn’t stay long. I heard the party moved to Al Frescos after the DJ shut down. All said, it was a good time and nice to have friends and relatives together for a happy event.
Sunday had Cyndi and I back at the Castaway jam, after the Packer game. To our surprise, Kami and John were out. Apparently, Kami was craving a Castaway cheeseburger. Matt and Stacy were out and Matt played a few. Cary and Crud also sat in. Captain Jack and Bob Geise (guitar player in Soul to Soul) also played. We had a good time and will be back in two weeks. I was told Cyndi and Cary are going to alternate as Cary’s schedule might allow for a few Sundays. Cyndi will be at the next jam. Friday and Saturday has the band back at Tremors. We’ll see you there!

Finns / Todd Algrim

Just one night at Finns. The highlight of the night was Kami’s bachelorette party, complete with male blow-up doll and the “suck for a buck” suckers. Let’s just say I think she had a good time. Lots of regulars out, which is always appreciated. Renee and Ben made an appearance; 1st time out as husband and wife. We blew the circuits in the 1st set, which made for an unexpected break, but Tim and Trevor got us up and running soon. Dave Turner, guitarist for the Blue Olives, was out after their gig at Chilimania. All said, it was a good night. We didn’t get a chance to practice Saturday, but are hoping to add a few new tunes soon. We’re off this weekend, but Holly, Erin, and I are heading over Saturday for Kami and John’s wedding and reception. Sunday has Cyndi and I back at the Castaway jam, so stop out and say hi. The band will be back at Tremors on the 24th – 25th, which we always look forward to.
Todd Algrim, a childhood friend and classmate, died this past week from ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease. Todd and I started taking guitar lessons around the same time. We had our lessons scheduled back to back so our parents could alternate driving us. When we were in 4th grade, we formed a duo that would go around to the other classes (during school) and perform. We played and sang Monkee songs, Paul Revere and the Raiders songs, and other pop tunes of the day. Gotta remember that this was the ’60s! Eventually, and while still in grade school, we added Beth Deal on vocals/tambourine, Mike Striegl (now local builder) on drums and called ourselves the Royale Society – my 1st band. We played at school events, the Old Towne Inn (now Junction Pub) Blackhawk campground, and other local events. We went our separate ways in junior high, but it was so much fun and had me hooked for life. I read in his obituary that Todd still enjoyed playing guitar. We exchanged emails a few months before he died, and I feel good about that. Our guitar duo was my first experience performing and a cherished memory. We lost touch over the years, but he was a big part of my life. The visitation was hard as all these memories came back. He was a good guy, a good friend, and I’ll miss him.

Labor Day Weekend

It was a rough start but Labor day weekend was good. We haven’t played the Anchor Inn in years and were looking forward to returning there. We were scheduled to play  6 – 10 which was too early for Matt and we assumed Denny Wayne would probably play a set or two. Matt got off work in time and we managed to get everything on the barge. It was the coldest night of the summer; John put out fire pits which helped, but the weather kept people inside and home. Then a little after 9, it started raining and we tore down in the rain. All of our equipment got wet as we had to clear the stage pretty much a piece at a time. But a big thanks to Doug, Deb, their gang, Dan Reddy, Nina, Arden, Bonnie, Earl, Bob, Lisa, Chief, and all the rest who stopped out. I took all of my stuff home and spent the rest of the night cleaning. Fortunately, everything was okay and no equipment problems the rest of the weekend. Hopefully, John will book us there again. Saturday had us at a wedding at the Janesville Motor Lodge for band regulars Renee and Ben. It was a fun night. It was a pink theme and the band all wore pink ties. There might be pictures somewhere. I spent some time talking to guitarist Bill Lawrence, who played the service. Nice guy, and hope to run in to him again. We finished Sunday at Crazy Horse campground in Brodhead. It was sprinkling when we pulled in – here we go again! Luckily, they have a pavilion which we set up under. The rain let up and we had a great night which was a good way to cap things off. Next Saturday has us at Finns – the other side of the river. We’re looking to practice Saturday afternoon and add a few songs. See you there.

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