Monday, June 17, 2019

Happy Doggy Father's Day

Emily and Tucker
Border Collie love!
I HAD A really good Father's Day. I'm blessed to have an awesome daughter, Emily, who came down from Macomb and bought dinner at Maya for Sheryl and Me. Nothing says Father's Day like Mexican!

Emily likes our new cat, CoCo, and she enjoyed playing with the dogs. She's like her dad in that she takes to Tucker, who is like a son to me. So he'd be a brother to Emily. Or something like that.

I had a golf-induced nap in the afternoon, and after we ate I discovered the U.S. Open was still on. In fact it was on until 9 p.m. In fact I took ANOTHER golf-induced coma nap before I went to bed. I'd call that a really good Father's Day!

Saturday night was the last Saturday I'm not playing or doing something until, well, forever. So Sheryl and I decided to be productive and binge-watch the Amazon Prime series Bosch. I actually started watching in the second season and got hooked right away. Now I'm debating whether or not to watch season one, then skip to season three. My next night off will be Sunday night, so I already have an idea what I'll be doing.

CoCo on Twitter
So bring on another week, a busy one at that with three HartLyss shows and Q-Fest only 12 days away. I'm also working on a music project that is going to be really cool, with more details to follow.

I might need to binge-watch more Bosch shows to recover.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


HARTLYSS IS PLAYING Thursday night at the Adams County Suicide Prevention Coalition's Cocktails For A Cause. It's at Revelry in Quincy, and it features local celebrity bartenders and a silent auction.

You know our feelings about playing benefits. We don't do them, unless we are hired or it has a special connection.

Last fall Cori and I played at a benefit for somebody we didn't know and it was a disaster. It was too cold to play outside but we did it anyway. There was a misunderstanding about how long we were playing and using our PA. They paid us but I gave it back because the organizers were ticked off, we were ticked off, and it just wasn't worth it.

Last Saturday we were in Camp Point to raise money for Camp Callahan. We were hired, and we were treated very well. I hope things worked out and they made some money for a very worthy cause, but I don't apologize for doing the job and rocking our butts off.

It's been said a thousand times, but we don't do this for the money. Sure, it's nice to get paid, and these guitars and guitar strings don't grow on trees. I played about 15 gigs with HartLyss before getting my Bose PA paid off. I think we get what we are worth, and I'm grateful to the local establishments for supporting live music.

But if you don't love it, you won't last very long.

Thursday's event is special. My brother, Greg Hart, took his own life in 2002. It shook our family to the core and ultimately led us to a better place, but I wasn't a very good brother and there is still a lot of pain and regret when I think of Greg.

So Thursday night, I'll do it for Greg, and I'll do it for the people left in the wake of senseless tragedy. The organizers have direct connections with suicide and the aftermath. If we can reach one person, and tell one person things will be OK and there are better options, well, we've succeeded.

There will probably be a lot of people there, but that's immaterial. I'm going to play my ass off, I'm going to have fun, and I'll think of my brother. And that's all that matters.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Thank you magnesium pills

THE THING ABOUT rock and roll is that it makes you young again. For a short time. Until the next morning arrives.

The Cheeseburgers had a blast at the Camp Callahan Summer Jam in Camp Point Saturday. The crowd got into it and we got into a groove and cranked it out, and it was so much fun. It would be a good idea to wear a FitBit and see how many miles I walk/run/dance during a show, because it's a massive workout.

What people don't realize is how much work goes into setting up, then tearing down. So Sunday Morning Coming Down is a real thing. This past Sunday morning I could barely get out of bed, and I was hurting for two days.

I am not complaining here. It's part of life, getting older, realizing you aren't 22 years old again. I'm 54 and feeling every day of it. And it's OK.

Sheryl gave me a back and leg rub with CBD oil and it really helped. Last night I took 600 mg Magnesium Glycinate for my sore leg muscles and it worked wonders. We just walked the dogs with Sheryl's niece, Kristie, and it was nice to move without jolting pain in the calf muscles. I even walked extra after they took off.

We have two weekends coming up where The Cheeseburgers are playing on both Friday and Saturday nights. Geesh. It's a marathon, not a sprint, and we'll try our best to be careful. But playing music is so much fun and you get to moving and cranking it out, and before you know it you are doing cartwheels and back flips up there and it's just part of the show.

We're gonna keep rocking and we're gonna keep using the official fragrance of The Cheeseburgers, Ben Gay, and we aren't going to stop until the last muscle is pulled and the last pain pill is popped.

Just don't call me too early the morning after a show.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Kart Krazy in Q-TOWN

I WENT TO the Quincy Grand Prix kart races in South Park Sunday afternoon. It. Was. Awesome.

Kudos to Terry Traeder and everybody involved. It was a hugely successful event for many reasons, but it takes patience, attention to detail and commitment to pull something like this off.

I remember going to the South Park race in 1987. I covered it for the Whig and the late Gus Traeder couldn't have been nicer and it was a lot of fun. Then it stopped for many years until being revived last year. Gus passed away in 2016 and is buried right across the street at Greenmount Cemetery, and they put big finish line flags by his grave over the weekend, a nice touch.

A couple of buddies and I found a nice shady spot along the 12th Street side of the park toward the south end. We could see the karters zoom down the hill out of the starting blocks and negotiate the hairpin turns at the south end, then blast up the long straightaway across the park and up the hill.

Adam brought out his canopy when the sun was directly overhead. There was a nice breeze and conditions were perfect. If you have an outdoor event in Quincy, make sure you can sell or have beer and strike a deal with the weather gods, and you will be successful.

I had way too much fun with the Cheeseburgers and HartLyss on Saturday night at the Camp Callahan Summer Jam in Camp Point, so I was content with a nice stogie, crushed ice and corn dog. Save for the obnoxious family throwing ice cubes at each other in front of us, it was perfect.

There were tons of vendors, plenty of strategically placed trash cans and portable potties, and you could even hear the PA announcements.There was only one crash (out of our sight) and the organizers were right on it, getting to the drivers right away and making sure the track was OK to continue racing.

If I know Terry and the people involved, South Park will be far cleaner today than when they arrived a week ago to set up.

What a great event for Quincy! I think it would be a fun venue for a concert on Friday and/or Saturday night, too. Hmmmmm .... dare to dream, and here's to 2020 and beyond for the Quincy Grand Prix.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Let is grow, let it grow ...

IT'S BEEN 10 years since we've moved into our Calftown house. One of the first things Sheryl planted was a clematis by the fence, and it has flourished. Our dumb dog Bella dug it up immediately and she replanted it with the hope that it would survive. Every year about this time it flowers and it's really beautiful.

We don't have to do much. We pull the weeds by the base and try not to kill it with the lawnmower or weed whacker, and it has survived and thrived. Somehow there is a metaphor for life in there - plant it, let it grow and admire it. And don't do stupid stuff to kill it.

Let's have another awesome early summer weekend! HartLyss is playing Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Camp Callahan Summer Jam in Camp Point, and the Cheeseburgers play at 6. It's at the Village Winery in Camp Point, a venue we've never played before, and Rich Louden has done an amazing job getting the entertainment lined up. Hopefully the weather is good and we have ourselves an awesome time for a great cause.

Whatever your plans are this weekend, be safe and take time to step back and admire the view. Let it grow, let it grow!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Wrong way on a one-way bridge

I VENTURED INTO West Quincy last night for the first time since the latest round of flooding and the closure of the Memorial Bridge, which leads from Missouri into Quincy. The Bayview Bridge is two-lanes in both directions, and it's a little bit freaky coming back from Missouri.

The flooding along the riverfront is massive and it's going to be a while before we recover - the Pier and the Quincy Boat Club will have a lot of cleanup to do. The Mississippi River is slowly going down but our levees are still under strain and we are not out of the woods yet. As we speak the Quad Cities is getting pounded with more rain, and the extra water will work its way down to our area soon enough.

I went up onto the Second String Music building roof last night and tried to get some photos of the high water. You can see the end of the Memorial Bridge is still under water and there are all kinds of dead trees, logs and debris piled up against the bridge. Who knows how long it will be closed, but the sooner it opens the better. It was sure strange not seeing any vehicles coming into town.

Let's hope for continued dry weather and for the river to keep going down.