Friday, May 29, 2015

Former owner loves the progress

WE HAD A very nice visit this morning from Quincy attorney George Lewis, who used to own our Second String Building back in the 1970s and 80s.

George was an attorney for one of the Schmeideskamp brothers and actually had an office on the fifth floor. He said it was so small that his clients had to sit outside the door when visiting. He also had fun with the pigeons, so it's good to see nothing has changed that much up there. Right.

I took George up to see Missy Myers, who has her M2 Photography studio on our second floor. He's blown away by our progress and loves the fact we are breathing life back into a piece of Quincy history.

He has all kinds of great stories about the building - the two women who ran the elevator, the "rope and pulley" communications system, his third-floor campaign headquarters when he ran for state senate in 1980, how the first floor was laid out and the dreams he had for the first floor.

We honor our past by improving on the present, and looking to the future. Thanks for the visit, Mr. Lewis, and you are welcome to stop by any time!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Concert Venues In Quincy

IT'S NOW THE stuff of legend and lore, but there actually was a riverfront concert venue in Hannibal some 30 years ago that drew top rock bands. From hazy memories come tall tales. Bet it was fun.

About the most people we could stuff into a concert in Quincy is 5,000. Maybe. The raceways have had shows over the years, with varying success. There have been some decent Quincy firefighters concerts at QJHS, and during the Adams County Fair. A nice night at Blues In The District draws massive crowds - those are free shows and you can bring your own booze, so of course they are packed.

The Christian contemporary shows at the Oakley-Lindsay Center always seem to be well-attended. The concerts are organized and promoted, and admission is reasonable. Hmmmm .... they might be on to something there.

Lucy looking down on Front Street from Woodland Cemetary
If we build it, will they come?

My dream venue would be built on the river, where the old paper box company used to be near Front and Jefferson. I look down on it from the bluff on our Woodland Cemetery walks all the time, and I dream. All that remains on the river property are slabs of concrete and the smokestack.

You'd have to deal with flooding and parking, EPA red tape and bugs bigger than Charlie Brown's head, but it could all be worked out. It really could.

Would national acts come to Quincy? Would we pay $50 or more for a great rock show? So many questions. The idea lingers and tantalizes.

After I wrote a column about this for The Whig in 2010, Bob Mays sent me a letter with a $2 bill. He said he had a pipe dream many years ago about a project, and his dream became reality. That happened a lot with Bob. Sheryl framed his letter with the $2 bill, meant to symbolically jump start my venue dream.

The next thing you know, I'll be quitting my job and opening my own business with my wife, and buying a big old downtown building and breathing life back into it.

That's crazy talk, right there. Dare to dream!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Take the survey

QUINCY IS LOOKING for input in a branding project. If you want to voice your opinion about our community and what makes it unique to live here, fill out the survey online.

We have a tendency to get bogged down by the challenges of life and the issues we face. Quincy is a great town and has a lot to offer, but a city and community is only as good as the people who live in it. 

Take a few minutes to fill it out. I look forward to seeing the survey results!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The future of Gus Macker in Quincy

AS USUAL ON the day after Memorial Day, I have the post-Gus Macker blues. Our 2015 tournament went well, and I had a blast on the Dream Court, as usual.

I prefer to dwell on the positives. We had perfect weather Saturday and dodged storms Sunday. Except for the usual idiots on the high-testosterone adult courts, most people behaved. There was the expected BS in the park late Saturday afternoon when a couple of women started fighting, and when I heard the names I wasn't surprised. Stupid people do stupid things, and bringing their drama down to Gus Macker is par for the course.

This was the 25th consecutive tournament in downtown Quincy. Every year you hear about how it might be the last, that it might get moved, that people of are tired of it.

The No. 1 reason Gus Macker works in Quincy is because of the Quincy Exchange Club. Those guys are amazing and I applaud them for all their hard work and efforts. It's not easy giving up your Memorial Day weekend year after year. Now I've noticed some of the members I used to see every year have stopped coming, and I don't blame them. They've given enough.

What worries me is that the Exchange Club has taken over the Avenue of Lights. It's a noble endeavor and I'm glad the annual Christmas tradition continues in Quincy, but if Exchange Club members think Gus Macker is a lot of work, well .... just wait until later this year, guys.

I hope we have another 25 years of Gus Macker tournaments in Quincy. As long as we do, I will volunteer my time and do whatever I can to help.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Closed Monday

WE ARE READY for Gus Macker weekend at Second String Music. The tournament is literally right outside of our doors. We'll be open Sunday for a while, too.

Some downtown businesses are closing this weekend. Our neighbor, Jeff Schuecking, has decided to lock the doors and take a few well-deserved days off. Good for him! It's your business, and you decide what you need to do.

We are closed Monday, Memorial Day. Mondays are usually busy days for us, and we have a full slate of guitar lessons scheduled, as well. But we need a day off and it will be appreciated.

The Court of Dreams!
July 4 falls on a Saturday this year. This presents an issue for us, because Saturday is almost always a huge sales day. It's hard to predict if we'll have any traffic since it's a holiday. At this point, we are staying closed - it will be nice to have two straight days off, and The Cheeseburgers have a huge show starting at 6 that night at the Illinois Veterans Home.

Have a great weekend, and we'll see you on the Dream Court at Fifth and Maine all weekend.

Then, I will sleep until Tuesday!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Happy 25th, Gus

GUS MACKER IS back for the 25th time in Quincy. This weekend's annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament is one I always look forward to, and I always have fun.

I worked my first Quincy Macker in 1997. I believe there were around 1,500 teams. Not players, TEAMS. It was one of the biggest tournaments in the country. I was a Gus Buster on a high school boys court on Maine Street, and the parents were lovely. I remember on Sunday afternoon a parent got on my case about missing a call at the other end of the court, so I calmly went up to him and said, "No more. Don't. DON'T." I think he was actually afraid. He shut up, and his kid's team went on to win.

A year later I actually got bumped by a mad grandfather after I warned him for using abusive language. I had the last laugh - he got cited for battery and eventually had to pay a hefty fine in court. It's one of few bad things I remember about working for Gus.

In the late 1990s I worked the top high school girls courts, on Fifth Street right in front of our store. Gosh, those were battles. Quincy had some really good players back then and I think their girls usually won. I remember the Monroe City girls were gamers and hung in there against taller players.

Emily played for many years, then was a Gus Buster for a few tournaments. I was especially proud of her when she put a heckling parent in her place. Just like her old man, she wouldn't tolerate foolish behavior.

Rodney goofing off with Scott McNeal (Gus)
My favorite tournament was 10 years ago. I was assigned to work the Dream Court, where youth teams are placed from their regular courts. It's played on a special surface, there are announcers and starting lineups, and when Gus Macker founder Scott McNeal did play-by-play, I often had trouble blowing the whistle because I was laughing so hard. This was less than a month after my mom died, and I was really down and depressed. Dream Court helped pull me out of the doldrums and have fun again.

I still officiate games on Dream Court. I have to literally step out of my door at Second String Music and walk about 10 yards to the court. It is a dream. I love it.

The music store is open late Friday, all day Saturday and also on Sunday this weekend. We really do love our Gus Macker. Come by and see the side store (the old Dancer's Dream) set up to sell snacks and drinks too.

Let's have more fun this weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Be quiet, Claire

SHERYL AND I watch Game of Thrones. We were disgusted at this week's final scene, like every moralist and cultural critic.

A U.S. Senator was also disgusted, and made sure to let everybody know she will no longer watch the show. Well, it's not her fault she's from Missouri, but if she won't watch anymore, certainly we should all jump up and down and agree with her and never watch Game of Thrones again.

Daenerys, meet Khal Drogo. 
So, really? You are disgusted NOW? I guess we should discount the previous scenes of throat-cutting, castration, flaying, evisceration, gratuitous nudity, beheadings and even prior rape, or whatever you want to call what happened to Queen Daenarys when she married Drogo. Jamie Lannister technically raped Cersei Lannister in front of their son's coffin. But all that stuff is OK.

There is a far bigger problem with Game of Thrones, one that is being ignored, one that threatens to propel their world into a further abyss of debauchery. Yup, that's right - the TV series is straying waaaaaayyyy too far from the books.

In fact, Sheryl says they aren't following any book by allowing Sansa to be raped on any wedding night. Apparently Sansa doesn't even marry Bolton in the book. And there is a fake Sansa, or something like that.

But that is the thing about television. It doesn't have to follow the book. Sheryl will keep "forcing" me to watch Game of Thrones. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Buh Bye, Dave

DAVID LETTERMAN IS calling it quits. This is sad. I don't watch television and I didn't know he was quitting until I saw it online yesterday. I turn into a pumpkin after 9 at night, so it's futile to even try and stay up.

Eddie Vedder is his last musical guest, a good choice. You won't find a Better Man. I just tried to call up his performance for the final show, but I was blocked because my ad blocker is working, and the video won't play since the ads can't play. Wow - that's so 2015.

I watched Letterman 30 years ago. Back then I could stay up late and not worry about dragging the next day. I loved him because he wasn't afraid to take on pompous idiots and people who thought highly of themselves. Plus he delighted in the absurd and invited the strange and weird to do their things on network TV.

What is so funny about stupid pet tricks and throwing stuff off a roof and watching it explode when it hits the ground? I don't know. It just is. Letterman figured it out and exploited it to the max.

His Top 10 Lists are legendary. Watch the one below, where he skewers Star Wars. Really, you could just see Chewbacca complain about not having a razor. Right? CBS big wigs probably wanted to kill him time and time again, but couldn't, because he was so.... right.

Farewell, David Letterman. Hope the last show rocks. I can't stay up that late anymore, so I'll watch it online the next day - if my ad blocker isn't working.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A bike ride, and dying with dignity

QUINCY IS A great place for a bike ride. I'm pushing my new Trek through the south end neighborhoods on pleasant spring evenings, and I love the breeze in my face and the smell of promised summer.

Last night I drifted onto the north side of State Street, and down an alley I saw a friend, standing behind her house.

I thought about leaving her alone. Her husband has cancer and is down to his last days, maybe hours. Hospice is keeping him comfortable, and it's a matter of time.

Stolen from Madison Davis facebook page
Something made me turn around and head down the alley. I apologized for bothering her. She actually appeared glad to see me. "I'm just getting some fresh air," she said. She had tears in her eyes.

I gave her a hug. She is prepared, as ready as anybody can be to watch their one true love pass away. We talked about her husband for a while. Then she said, "How is the business?"

She has a demanding job and is fascinated with the whole quitting the steady gig and jumping from the plane idea. She loves the fact our old Fifth and Maine building is coming back to life. For a short while, her mind was away from what's going on inside her beautiful home, where her husband is drawing his last breaths.

I told her to call her neighbor a few doors down, and we'll make a plan to hang out on their deck this summer and make some six-string noise, as we did a few summers ago. "I have a feeling I will have the time and I'll need it," she said. Now she was smiling.

Many don't get to say goodbye - Sheryl and I lost our mothers and each a brother without warning, a regret we will take to our grave. Closure is so important. So my friend says she is treasuring her last days, grateful for celebrating a life well lived as it winds down.

She said, "I've never met a man with more courage."

I've never met a woman with more, either.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Trees in the park

Crabapple Tree
SHERYL AND I arrived at Fifth and Maine this morning in time to catch the "Kids For Cops" tree planting ceremony in Washington Park. Children planted a tree by the Lincoln-Douglas sculpture as part of National Police Week.

It was nice to see the park with people in it for all the right reasons. Angus wanted to run up to the tree and officially make it feel welcome. We will wait until the park clears out.

We love Washington Park. It adds so much class and ambiance to our downtown. The Quincy Park District does a good job of maintaining it and I think more people should take advantage of the square.

It's good to be downtown!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It shouldn't rain on Thursdays

WE WERE SUPPOSED to have our first Concert In The Plaza today. Obviously the weather isn't cooperating, so Ted Holt will not play and I'm stuck watching the rain splash down at Fifth and Maine.

The past three days have been perfect - sunny, 70 degrees, light breeze, low humidity. Of course it pours today. Of course.

Somewhere, a farmer asks God, "Dear Lord, we could really use some rain. Please bless us with your divine wetness and help us feed the people of this dear land." God has a lot of important stuff on his plate, including a request from the organizer of the Concerts In The Plaza for dry weather. So what does he do?

He makes it rain, right?

Look. God is in control, I understand all that. But I don't think He says, "The farmer has been going to church twice on Sundays and his soybeans are a bit dry, so I will bless him with rain." God says, "That front from the Rockies has a mind of its own and I couldn't do anything about screwing up your concert today, Rodney."

You just gotta learn to accept it and move on. Rain is just tears from heaven, and all that stuff. And if I can use a Youtube video about reign, er, rain, to illustrate my point, it helps mask the disappointment.

Next week Steve Rees is scheduled to play in the plaza. He probably has a hook with somebody up there, so we should be good. I think.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Jumping out of the plane

EMILY JUMPED OUT of a plane the other day. With a parachute. And a fellow skydiver strapped to her back.

She did it to celebrate finishing her master's degree from Eastman School of Music. In a way, it makes sense - skydiving to culminate six years of hard work.

I haven't talked to her much about it, but looking at the photo, I can tell she had the thrill of a lifetime, and I guarantee she wants to go back.

I couldn't do it. Of course, quitting a job to hang out at a music store could be considered jumping out of a plane, without a parachute.

I'm proud of Emily. I think it's great she went skydiving. She's got guts and a free spirit and the whole world in front of her, and I'm envious. She's earned every bit of it.

She gets her degree Sunday, heads to Europe in a few weeks leading a Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp tour, then has to figure out what to do with the rest of her life.

I'm sure she's finding out the real world isn't all it's cracked up to be. You gotta know when to pull the cord on your parachute, and how to land properly after plummeting from the sky.

But you still have to jump.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Catching a break in a murder case

ARRESTS HAVE BEEN made in connection with the murder of a 12-year-old boy in Quincy. As usual, The Whig has the best coverage. Make sure you read Don O'Brien's blog about the stupidity of the alleged killer, which led to him being caught.

You Can't Make It Up. It's obvious police had a good idea from the start who was behind all this. Sometimes it just takes time and a stupid Facebook post to catch a break.

I dropped Sheryl off at the courthouse this morning because she had some business at the clerk's office. There were TV cameras and people milling around because several of the arrested people had initial court appearances.

I remember those days, when court appearances were more interesting and riveting because of family reaction and threats of violence between the two sides. I learned to look behind me without turning my head and always be ready.

Now we are hearing about how the accused acted in court this morning. I'm not surprised - the family in question, the Criders, are an interesting bunch, and that's putting it politely. I wrote about them during my days at the Whig, and they will be getting a lot more ink in the days and months to come.

The father of the boy who was murdered has urged his friends and family to be calm and to let the authorities handle the investigation. It's smart advice, because now comes the really hard part - the often unfair and agonizing criminal justice system.

I hope the family gets justice. It won't bring anybody back or help make any sense of a terrible thing, but it will help.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Emergency gigs with Liz

THE ROCK AND Roll Bus has run me over, yet again.

Cellar 21.
It started Friday night with a crazy Pepper Spray gig at One Restaurant that quickly careened out of control. You know it's good when you look out at the crowd at about 11 p.m. and nobody wants to leave. I guess it's a good thing that Pepper Spray doesn't know when to quit - we played for another hour.

At one point The Mighty Adam Yates started into "Uptown Funk" and from what I remember, it went off the rails pretty quickly. But then I looked up again and everybody, and I mean everybody, was singing along and dancing.


Saturday after another huge day at Second String Music, Sheryl and I went to Cheeseburger guitar player Tim Lawless' wedding reception. Then we were at Chicks On The River eating dinner and decompressing when I got a phone call from Tom Bentley. His daughter is the uber-talented Liz Bentley - nobody should be that good and just 17 years old.

Anyway, Liz had lost her voice and was playing a show Saturday afternoon, and she had another gig Saturday night at Cellar 21. Would I be interested in helping her out and playing with the amazing percussionist, Paul Wood?

Uh ... yes!

So we had a blast at Cellar 21. Liz was a trooper and playing with Paul is so easy - he's great on the djembe and it goes perfectly with acoustic guitar and piano.

Spirit Knob - during the rain!
It went so well that we got invited yesterday afternoon to play again with Liz at Spirit Knob Winery, and again, it was More Fun Than You Should Be Allowed To Have.

We used Liz's amazing Bose PA and played for two hours on the outdoor stage. Then a thunderstorm rolled in, so Tom and friends grabbed stuff, hauled it inside to the lodge and we jammed for another hour. Kathy Brink came by and sang a few songs for an even better time.

Here is the thing about Liz. She can sing and play guitar and piano and she's everywhere, always doing shows. But she's the nicest girl you'll ever meet and her parents are the same way. While it was our privilege and honor to hang out with her, she took care of us and made it easy.

That's what good musicians do around here. They support and take care of each other.

Good grief, that was fun. Now it's Monday morning and I can't move.

When do we do it again?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Who? When?

I WAS FEELING sorry for myself yesterday because The Who was supposed to play in St. Louis and I wasn't going. Turns out the band announced a few days ago that singer Roger Daltrey had throat problems and they had to cancel three shows, including the one in St. Louis.

I don't know if I want to watch a bunch of 70-year-olds play. But then again, if they are in shape and able to perform, The Who live is an amazing thing.

However, you could have predicted this would happen. It did a few years back on another tour, and to say Roger Daltrey wouldn't lose his voice at his age as the band plays so many shows in such a short time borders on absurd.

I'm not comparing what I do around here to The Who. But I can say that after playing a four-hour Cheeseburger show, I'm exhausted. Townshend and Daltrey don't have to set up and tear down, but all the travel and preparation and sleeping in strange beds has to catch up with them, especially at their ages.

The Who has always been more about raw power and expression than musical brilliance. They forced themselves upon audiences with massive volume and showmanship. Sure, you gotta love the songs. But The Who were among the first to make going to a concert an event, and the times I saw them in the 1980s were mind-boggling. It took several days to recover from bellowing along with the band and soaking it all in.

I hope Roger gets better. I hope they make up the dates they canceled this week. I'd love to go see them again one more time - if I'm not too tired and still have a voice left, that is.

I'm getting older, you know.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

My mental health is just fine, thank you

GENERALLY SPEAKING, IT'S rude to inquire about another person's mental health.

There are always interesting people coming into Second String Music. On Tuesday we had an older man come in and give Sheryl a hard time about one of our instruments. She dealt with it and moved on.

The guy came back yesterday. Of course I was in the back in lessons both times. He started in with Sheryl again, and he admitted to trying to make her angry. That morphed into him inquiring about her mental health, because he was quite concerned about upsetting her and how she held in her emotions.

Sheryl looked at him calmly and said, "My mental health is none of your business. I'm going to walk away now, before both of us says something we'll later regret."

And she did.

After Mr. Mental Health left, another customer who witnessed the exchange looked at Sheryl and quipped, "Momma said there'd be days like this." Tension broken, laughter ensued. That is how we roll here.

Owning a small business means dealing with people, all kinds of people. You have to be as fair and calm as possible. And you have to keep it together at all times.

So. Sheryl's mental health is fine, although she is married to me and that's enough to drive anybody bat-bleep crazy.

Thanks for asking. or not.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Can't Wait For End Of The World

FRANKIE MURPHY GIESING knows how to throw a party.

Camping, Parking, Music, Food and Nature
He's doing it again July 11, at his family property about a mile east of Quincy. It's called the third annual End of the World Party, and features the bands Pepper Spray, Avenue Beat, Fielder and Tri Point Paradox. There will be an acoustic area, a drum circle, camping, fire, food from the Butcher Block and the Maine Course, and sea of music festival wonder.

Frankie has been working hard on the 40-plus acres of property. It's carved out of a thicket of woods and brush. There are designated camping areas with water and electrical access. There's tons of parking. The party starts with camping the Friday night before, and Frankie is treating the performers like royalty. The main stage has the mix of nature and music perfectly intertwined.

There won't be any bugs - the area will be sprayed and there will be citronella everywhere.
Stage at the End of the World

It's 20 bucks to get in, worth every penny. Normally you have to travel hours to attend a music festival. This one already has that feel and vibe - there were 700 people at last year's event, and more expected this year.

Can't wait to End The World and for Pepper Spray to play. We have a show Friday night at One Restaurant, come out and enjoy great music and food. I can't wait to tell the guys about how fun the End of the World is gonna be.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Posting and honoring store hours

THERE HAS BEEN talk about downtown businesses and honoring posted store hours. There is nothing more frustrating than going to a place of business, assuming it will be open, only to find the doors locked. There is someone inside but no one to help you out.

At Second String Music, we try our best to be here before 10 a.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. Saturdays. We stay open until 6 each night. If I'm doing lessons, we may keep the doors open later.

Why yes, we were open late last Saturday!
(Bad Wolf Media pic)
Many times on a Saturday I look at the clock and say, "Let's just shut it down and go home early." And Sheryl will say, "Nope. We are open until 6. You never know who is going to show up." It's every important to honor your store hours. We tend to get a lot of customers late on Saturday and also on Monday when other music stores aren't open. When a customer finds your doors locked, they drive to your competitor or buy online.

We love that people come to us.

Downtown Quincy is usually quiet after 5 p.m. and it would be great to have a bustling retail center down here as the sun goes down, but most store owners will say, "We have to go home sometime." We try to cater to a later lifestyle with jam sessions and store parties to help encourage our patrons to keep supporting our businesses. Enough said.

Also, small businesses are often mom and pop shops. Or, in our case, me and my wife, and not necessarily in that order. If we are sick or have appointments or want to get away for a few days, it's not always easy to find help or make arrangements. There's no such thing as paid vacation days when you own your own business. We are extremely lucky to have Steve Rees to help us out when we need to get away.

Every business and clientele is different. You can't make a business close and/or open at certain times. But you should expect businesses to honor posted business hours.

We want you to have a positive experience shopping downtown. We are open until 6 p.m. at night Monday through Saturday, and we'd love to have you visit.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Tilling for patio stuff

WE HAD TO buy a new tiller last week. We used to borrow one from a family member, but it died. Not the family member, the tiller. Right.

So Sheryl and I are out looking at new tillers, and I'm having a heart attack when I see how much they cost. I stumble over to the patio furniture area and see a really cool table with chairs and an umbrella. And I have another heart attack when I see the price.

"Look," Sheryl said. "We can afford it. What are you, Dutch or something?"

Yes. Very, very, very Dutch.

She's right, as always. We are careful with what we spend but if we want it or really need it, we figure it out.

Anyway, the new tiller works great. We've doubled the size of our backyard garden and added a big section along the fence for sunflowers. I even tilled up a small section of garden Sheryl had already planted. "Now I have to re-buy the baby asparagus and two blueberry plants. I thought you were Dutch?" she sadly said.

Saturday was an amazing time downtown and we did it up right, too right. Yesterday I woozily managed to make it back to the store and bought the patio furniture. It's a nice glass table with four solid looking chairs and an umbrella. I'm quite proud I did it all by myself. I won't talk a lot about sitting in the parking lot and realizing the box wouldn't fit in the car trunk.

Yup. You guessed it. This is turning into another "Frank Haxel is in the wrong place at the wrong time" story. I called him up, since he lives nearby.

"Ouch," he said. "My head hurts."

Look. It's all fine and dandy we had so much fun in the store Saturday and watching some amazing bands play literally right outside the door. And had to arrange two separate beverage deliveries from our fabulous liquor stores. But getting the patio set home was important. (BTW, recycled aluminum cans this morning and made $7. Yup, I'm Dutch.)

So Frank and his truck saved the day yet again. He had to run some errands on our end of town anyway, so it all worked out. I admired the purchases as they sat in my backyard, admired them even more after Sheryl put them together.

Hey. I can till the already planted garden. But a man needs to know his limitations.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Enjoying Dogwood weekend

DOGWOOD FESTIVAL WEEKEND is upon us, and we are fired up at Second String Music.

To celebrate Quincy's 175th anniversary, Maine Street between Fifth and Eighth is closed Saturday, with two big stages at either end and live music starting at 4 p.m. We are keeping the store open late and plan to party and have fun. Here is the weekend schedule.

There's been objections to the fact five bands have been hired, but only one is from Quincy. The Cheeseburgers were contacted about playing, but at the time we were in limbo and unable to commit.

Part of me wishes we had - it would be great fun playing a show literally yards from our front door. But the other part of me is glad. I don't get the chance to see a lot of bands and now I have no excuse - they are right in front of us!

I wish more Quincy acts were playing. I'll put the good Quincy bands up there against any band from any area. Jared & The Gentlemen is included in that list. They rock and I hope they have a great show Saturday night.

By the way, if you don't like the lineup, simply ask for a refund. Wait a second .... it's all free. FREE. You don't have to pay a thing if you come down, or you don't have to come down.

It does no good sniping at other bands. I've spent this week channeling negative energy because of our Outside People problem and it's draining and frustrating. We need to support each other and keep the vibe positive in our music scene.

Let's have a blast this weekend and enjoy the live music.