Friday, December 18, 2015

Chemtrails, Mystery Missiles Over Chicago ?

Five years ago on 3/16/11 I'm sitting on Lake street in Oak Park just west of downtown Chicago looking straight west. All of a sudden I see something going straight up off the ground into the sky and leaving a whomping big trail. Luckily I had my video camera and took this footage and I still don't know what it is. The area it was "taking off" from is not anywhere near either O'Hare and Midway the big airports. There's no military base in the area. That we know about. The only thing in that general area might be the DuPage county airport but I can't imagine what would be going straight up from there and leaving this kind of trail. 

I took a cell phone video and posted it on ChiTownView and it didn't garner much interest and I soon forgot about it. Until the last Sunday in November when I had my second “X Files” experience. I was at the Jewel store on Lake St. in River Forest Il. when I saw this vertical trail coming straight up from where Chicago's downtown would be some ten miles east. It went up and then arced west so it passed over my head at a fairly altitude. Aonce again all l I had was my cell phone camera so the detail is scant. What I saw looked to be an orange colored missile.

So are these chemtrails, UFOs, some kind of mystery missile or elaborate drone based hoax?

What do you think?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

From the late 1970's to the early 90's I took thousands of instant photos. I've been converting these Polaroid images I took into digital bits and now it's time to sell off these one of a kind photos. Each one is signed and numbered as they are being sold. 

If any of these interest you let me know.

This vintage Polaroid photo was taken at Waldhiem Cemetery in Forest Park Il. some 35 years ago. It's some cemetery gafitti commited by some stoner who was into Pink Floyd's “The Wall”.


This vintage Polaroid photo is entitled "Flying Bobs" and was taken at one of those traveling carnivals in 1984.

For a list of photos currently on eBay click here.Free shipping for the continental US. All others contact me for a quote.

Visit to view our photo and video galleries

Monday, December 14, 2015

Vintage Polaroid SX-70 Photos, 20th Century Retro Sale

From the late 1970's to the early 90's I took thousands of instant photos. I've been converting these Polaroid images I took into digital bits and now it's time to sell off these one of a kind photos. Each one is signed and numbered as they are being sold. 

If any of these interest you let me know.
This vintage Polaroid photo of a female mannequin is from a window display & hand painted with Sharpies. $7.99
Here's another vintage Polaroid photo from the 1980's. Bob strums a silver sparkle electric guitar with Jesus looming in the background. It measures 4" X 4". $6.99
With the original Polaroid SX-70 film it took awhile for the colors to set so you could mannipulate the picture. This is (I belive) a picture of 1980's Oak Park power pop band Ha! Or Aha. $7.99

For a list of photos currently on eBay click here.Free shipping for the continental US. All others contact me for a quote.

Visit to view our photo and video galleries

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Chicago Cubs Win The 1st National League Pennant T Shirt & Postcard

Today's new additions to our stock of items for sale at the MindsiMedia Zazzle store commemorate the winners of the first National League pennant. A team that became the Chicago Cubs. We have a T Shirt and postcard with this design that would make a great gift for your Cub fan.

A lot has changed since 1877 when baseballs National League took to the diamond. There wasn't a World Series the American League wouldn't exist for more than a quarter century. Chicago's entry to this new baseball association wasn't even called the Cubs they were the White Stockings and they wouldn't play in Wrigley for more than thirty years. The game of baseball was different as well. The pitcher was 45 feet away from home plate, which had four sides instead of five. The overhand pitch wasn't allowed so all balls were delivered underhanded. There was no mound with the pitcher operating from a 4'X6' box and a batter had to get nine balls to get a base.

There were other differences but I digress let's move on to the season that was for these White Stockings (or any pro baseball team) one of the best ever. Many people think the Chicago Cubs are headed towards the Worlds Series next year. What better way to celebrate the 140th anniversary of Chicago's National League team? Because the White Stocking won the first ever pennant amassing a record of 52-14.

After clinching the pennant on September 23rd by defeating the Hartford Dark Blues 7-6 the Tribune summed up the season this way. "they won everything if they won, and lost nothing to speak of if they lost. But they won and now, despite every combination, every abuse, every unfairness, they have played themselves fairly to the front, and so cleanly that nothing can throw off the grip they have on the flag."

Here is the team 11 man team pictured in this card.
Position Players: White, Deacon C. .343 McVey, Cal 1b .347 Barnes, Ross 2b .429 Peters, John SS .351 Anson, Cap 3b .356 Addy, Bob OF .306 Glenn, John OF .282 Hines, Paul OF .304 Bielaski, Oscar OF .209 Andrus, Fred OF .306
Pitchers: Spalding, Al 47-12 ERA 1.75 McVey, Cal 5-2 ERA 1.52
White, Barnes and Peters also made relief appearances.

Mr. Spalding was also the manager he went on to open a sporting goods store in Chicago and the famous athletic equipment and sports publication company. Cap Anson went on to collect 3,031 hits and a .333 batting average during his career. He became a player manager in 1879 and led his team to five more pennants in the 1880's. Later he entered politics when in 1905 he was elected Chicago's City Clerk. 

For more Cub history ChiTownView has a couple of videos about where the pre Wrigley era Cubs played ball. 

Photo is from the Library Of Congress.  

The Christmas Angel Meets Unsilent Night

Todays Christmas Post Is about a film music project that was posted on ChiTownView last year. “The Christmas Angel” brings together two holiday season works of art separated by 104 years. Make sure you check out our other Christmas posts.

The Movie: The Christmas Angel
Originally titled Détresse et Charité (Distress and Charity), this short made in 1904 is from French film making pioneer Georges Méliès. It tells the tale of a poor family in crisis, a young girl who is sent out by her father to beg for money when the family faces eviction. There were two versions made for French and American audiences, each with differing endings. In the American version (shown here) the little girl is saved by passing automobiles who shower her family in gifts, a distinctly more Hollywood-style happy ending than the version shown to the French in which the girl dies and is carried off to heaven by a “Christmas Angel”.
Director: Georges Méliès
Producer: Georges Méliès
Production Company: Star Film
Creative Commons license: Public Domain

The Music: Unsilent Night

The soundtrack is a version of "Unsilent Night which is an original composition by Phil Kline. It is written specifically to be heard outdoors in the month of December. From there it takes the form of a street promenade in which the audience becomes the performer. Each participant gets one of four tracks of music in the form of a cassette, CD, or Mp3. Together all four tracks comprise Unsilent Night. The fact that the participants play different "parts" simultaneously helps create the special sound of the piece. Participants carry boomboxes, or anything that amplifies music, and simultaneously start playing the music. They then walk a carefully chosen route through their city’s streets, creating a unique mobile sound sculpture which is different from every listener's perspective. This recording of Unsilent Night Event is from San Francisco CA, December 20, 2008. and can found on It was created by RTB45 and was found on 

For information on cities and dates for this years performances of “Unsilent Night” check out their website.

This work is licensed under the Attribution License.

Another ChiTownView produced by Mike Beyer and presented by MindsiMedia.Visit our web portal at

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Twisting Santa & Christmas With Satan, Christmas Once A Day

Welcome for our third daily dose of holiday cheer the first is this ChiTownView video from Christmas 2013. “I went to go get my haircut over at Franks on Grand in Elmwood Park. Walking up the street I knew it really was Christmas because there was the mechanical Santa out in front of the joint dancing, handing out greetings and singing a little song to the passerbys. After the haircut I stopped for a beef at Johnny's and went off to do a little Christmas shopping.”

And todays musical contribution comes from 1980's punk jazz artist James White with his classic “Christmas With Satan”. Yesterdays post about 60's classic film “Santa Vs.The Devil” reminded me about this tune and I dug up this copy on YouTube this morning. The photo / video montage features a number of clips from “...Vs The Devil”.

Visit the MindsiMedia web portal.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

1950's/ 60's Sword & Sandal, Peplum, Film Lobby Cards, Lot Of 18 Different

Before Sergio Leone gave us the spaghetti western bringing America the Italian western. There was the genre of Peplum the sword and sandal films of the late 1950's and early 60's. Like the westerns these movies aped the offerings of Hollywood. That was of course the golden age of tinsel towns historic epics like Spartacus, 10 Commandments, Samson & Dehlia or any of the others of that era.

I recently came across a collection of Peplum movie lobby cards and have placed the lot of 18 on CragsList /Chicago. Below are the backgrounds on the cards and the films there promote. Price is $30.00 for more information click on any of the lobby card titles to see the CraigsList, Chicago ad.
Genghis Khan was a 1965 spectacular that featured; James Mason, Eli Wallach, Telly Savalas and the recently departed Omar Sharif as Genghis. Here we are offering four 15" X 11" lobby cards from this film. They in real nice shape with a few tears and dinks along the edges.

Four 15" X 11" lobby cards from The Giant Of Marathon. The 1959 film starred Steve Reeves who had a nice little career going in the late 50's and early 60's playing in these sword and sandal epics. Then turned down the James Bond role in "Dr. No" and the man with no name in "Fistful Of Dollars". After making 14 films from 1957-1963 he made one after '63.

The cards are numbered and #'s 1,3 & 4 are in nice shape with a few tears and dinks along the edges. Number 6 has a couple of rips examine the photo.

Queen Of Sheba was a 1953 "sword & sandal" epic from Italian director Pietro Francisco. Here we are offering a 15" X 11" lobby card from this film. It's in real nice shape with a few tears and dinks along the edges.
Tarzan & The Valley Of Gold sees this iconic jungle warrior taking on tanks and helicopters with hand grenades. We are offering a pair of 15" X 11" lobby cards from this film. They in real nice shape with a few tears and dinks along the edges.
The Long Ships is a 1964 British-Yugoslavian Technirama spectacular that featured the trio of Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier and Russ Tamblyn. We are offering a pair of 15" X 11" lobby cards from this film. One is real nice with a few tears and dinks along the edges. The other is the same with the addition of some staining in the upper left area.
Captain Sinbad is a 1963 German Film that stars Guy Williams best known as Disney's Zorro and Dr. Robinson in "Lost In Space". Despite that kind of resume the lobby cards list no stars names but under each picture is a question about the scene depicted. We are offering a trio of 15" X 11" lobby cards from this film. They are in real nice shape with a few tears and dinks along the edges.
The 10 Commandments was a 1957 spectacular that featured; Charlton Heston, Yul Bynner, Edward G. Robinson, Vincent Price and many others. Here we are offering two 15" X 11" lobby cards from this film, numbers 5 & 7. They in real nice shape with a few tears and dinks along the edges.

Christmas Every Day, Santa Vs. The Devil

For today's Christmas treat we go back to the swinging 60's for this cinematic slice of holiday magic. Santa Claus Vs. The Devil  a movie that combines Santa Claus, the devil, Merlin and outer space that was made in Mexico. This holiday classic is considered by some to be the worst movie ever made. 

To that I say stop yourself just the concept itself is enough to elevate above the bottom of the barrel. Heck I've seen Christmas movies much worse than this.Henry "the Fonz" Winkler as Scrooge comes to immediately to mind. No this is a bad movie that's great fun.

And for today's musical selection we turn to Gisele MacKenzie and her classic "Too Fat For The Chimney".

Monday, November 30, 2015

Vintage Neon Art, A New Post Card On Zazzle

MindsiMedia has opened a Zazzle store and are now adding items almost daily. Starting off with postcards we are now starting to offer T shirts, posters and more. Like most what we do here it is a mixture of original art and historic images. Our two newest releases reflect this.We have this newest addition to our collection of neon postcards.

And we also have a collection of postcards that trace the development of Times Square in New York City. Including this great shot of the Empire State Building.

Christmas Once A Day, Christmas With Sun Ra & Pink Floyd

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday mainly because it's the most 20th century of all our annual celebrations. We took what is a Christian religious celebration and turn it into an orgy of greed,and consumerism. Christmas has also created a huge hoard of cultural moments which I pick through and collect In honor of the season for sharing I will share one of these 20th century cultural remnants. This one takes a look on the radio broadcast avant garde jazz composer Sun Ra did on Christmas Day 1976. From my Christmas Pintrest board.

"Everybody spreads holiday cheer in their own way. On Christmas Day 1976, the eccentric jazz composer and bandleader did it by appearing on Blue Genesis, a show on the University of Pennsylvania’s radio station WXPNreading his poetry with music. “The choice of poems and their sequencing offers what Sun Ra thought was most important in his writing,” writes John Szwed in Space is the Place: The Life and Times of Sun Ra. “Here are key words like ‘cosmos,’ ‘truth,’ ‘bad,’ ‘myth,’ and ‘the impossible’; attention to phonetic equivalence; the universality of the music and its metaphysical status; allusions to black fraternal orders and secret societies; biblical passages and their interpretation; and even a few autobiographical glimpses.”" Click to read more from an excellent post on Open Culture;

More Ra

I also recently checked out from my local library a new 2 cd collection of Sun's called "In The Orbit Of Ra". Which is well worth checking out. To read more about it follow this link.

And to wrap up today's holiday post here's a Pink Floyd Christmas song.

We have some more early Pink Floyd videos posted on our web portal.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Giancana Love Nest, The Pink Clock Lounge / Golden Steer Forest Park Il

Here at ChiTownView we've told many tales about the history of organized crime in Chicago. Most of them have been stories of violence and murder this story is about love. It's about how a father and his daughter both found love in the same place. In this case the father was notorious mob boss Sam Giancana and the daughter his oldest daughter Antoinette.

The location was an obscure cocktail lounge on Roosevelt Rd. the Pink Clock. In suburban Forest Park. The men who made up Chicago's version of the Mafia aka the Outfit were slum kids born into extreme poverty in the city's near west side. It is only natural that as they gained wealth and power that they would leave the city for the peace and quiet of the suburbs.

Two of the more popular destinations for these fearsome gangsters were Oak Park and River Forest. It is ironic when you consider that these men gained their riches and power because of prohibition that these were dry communities. Oak Park until the 1970's and while you can buy liquor in a couple of place in River Forest there still no bars or restaurants that serve it by the drink.

Forest Park which is adjacent to both Oak Park and River Forest was where the mobsters and others seeking to slake their thirsts went. This village is mostly known for it's cemeteries and is home to way more dead people than living. It was also an entertainment mecca in the first half of the 20th century and was home to; an amusement park, a race track, golf course and a womens pro softball stadium. As well as the bars and lounges.

Mr. Giancana lived in a fairly modest looking bungalow on Oak Parks more working class south side. His 1950's headquarters was the infamous Armory Lounge where the FBI had an illegal wiretap installed. The Pink Clock was another mob owned bar a couple of blocks further west. Today it is home to the Golden Steer an old school steak house.

Even though I've lived in this area all my life and consider myself fairly well read on it's colorful past it's only fairly recently that I came across this story. The Pink Clock was where the recently widowed Sam would meet his female friends. He had three daughters living at home and needed a little privacy and the apartment above the bar provided that. It is also where his youngest daughter Antoinette met her first husband Carmen Manno.

I came across this little story while I was reading two books at the same time. “Double Cross” by Sam Giancana's younger brother and “Mafia Princess” which is Antoinette's memoir each provided me with part of the tale we present in this short video.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lightnin' Hopkins - Somewhere In Munich, Germany - June 23rd, 1977 [AUDIO] - YouTube

Bernie Sanders Interview: Attacks From The Establishment | MSNBC - YouTube

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders joins Andrea Mitchell to talk about a new poll that shows he is closing the gap between his and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. | MSNBC - YouTube

V3Solar's Spinning Cone-Shaped Solar Cells Generate 20 Times More Electricity Than Flat Photovoltaics | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

V3Solar's Spinning Cone-Shaped Solar Cells Generate 20 Times More Electricity Than Flat Photovoltaics | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Chicago White Sox, Cubs, Virgin Suicides and Piss Factory

This morning I'm listening to the score by Air for the film “The Virgin Suicides”. The film is an excellent story about a suburban family with troubles underlying their seeming normality. It was directed by Sofia Coppola and stars James Woods. The music is for the most part Air's usual first rate modern loungey sound. There were also a few more uptempo pieces that didn't do much for me. I then started thinking about work which reminded me a Patti Smith's “PissFactory” which is a fitting ode to crappy jobs everywhere.

I went to the library yesterday and picked up a couple of books and the DVD of “Mildred Pierce”. One of the books I got was “The Good The Bad & The Ugly” which is not a western but a book about Chicago White Sox history. It's part of a series of books with the same name about different sports teams. This one was written by Tribune reporter Mark Gonzales. With the Sox not having much to show for themselves this year and (even worse) the Cubs doing well I haven't been indulging in much baseball. I saw this and thought what a great way to get my baseball fix without having to watch the current team.

It's not a formal linear history of the team but a collection of “Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping and Gut Wrenching Moments From Chicago White Sox History” Along with some mundane but interesting tidbits. Like the story of pitcher/broadcaster Steve Stone. He was traded from the Sox to the Cubs as part of the Ron Santo deal. Then came back to the Sox a few years later. For many years after baseball he was a Cubs broadcaster. Only to end up now a one of the voices of the Sox.

The book starts with a recap of the 2005 World Series season which was a pinnacle of achievement for the past century. It brought back some memories which got me going through my old pictures looking for the ones I took at the first game of the Series when we beat Roger Clements 5-3. I thought I'd post a couple here.

 Pre game pagentry

Jermaine Dye's homer!

And for the Cub fans that beginning to World Series dream here's a clip showing where the Cubs played when they were last a dynasty. It wasn't Wrigley field and they weren’t called the Cubs yet.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Music Reviews, Classic Jazz & Afro Blues

I worked at a record store for almost fifteen years as a result I spent a large part of my day listening to albums. In the years since then as music played a less central role in my life my choices became more passive. I still listened to music mainly when I'm working on the computer. And I listen to the radio or my Pandora stations.

A couple of months back a friend of mine gave me a stereo system with a CD player so I've begun spinning my own tunes once again. Most of what I listen comes from the local library which has a pretty good selection, for example they have the Stooges “Fun House”. Also stuff I pick up at the local record store where they have an extensive array of bargain discs for a couple of bucks.

So after taking a couple of months off of online activity I'm returning with a post of the discs I've been listening to.

First up “Talking Timbuktu” a east meets west collaboration between roots explorer Ry Cooder and Ali Farka Toure a guitarist from the the African country of Mali. When you add in Clarence Gate mouth Brown & Jim Keltner you end up with a musical stew of afroblues. It's twenty years old but well worth seeking. I couldn't find any video from this LP but did find this appearance of Toure performing one of the selections from it.

Next up were a pair of jazz albums. First the all star line up of; Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Hank Jones, Sam Jones and Art Blakey. All on the 1958 masterpiece “Somethin' Else” on the Blue Note label. The tunes are a mixture of originals as well as standards like “Love For Sale” and Autumn Leaves. This 1999 compact disc release contains a track not on the original lp “Bangoon”. Really good stuff here one of the albums that got me interested in jazz music.

In fact some people call it perfect like A.B. Spellman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Quoting from a story on the NPR site.

not a wrong note on it. Not a tune on it that's a throwaway. It is a marvelous record. We catch Cannonball Adderley here at his best, I believe, because Cannonball was such a fluid musician. He was a musician for whom playing was so easy, that sometimes it seemed that he wasn't even paying attention to what he was doing. He just played a lot of lovely little solos. But they don't stand out in the sense of the kind of permanence of great music that we look for in this collection.

To read the whole interview click here.

“Money Jungle” was the other excellent jazz disc I listened to today, listening to it now in fact. It's a 1962 release that features a trio consisting of; Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach. There was a, not always, beneath the surface tension between drummer Roach and the sometimes difficult Mingus. This is an expanded edition featuring a number of alternate takes and unissued cuts.

There's more information on this pivitol recording on it's Wikipedia post. To see it click here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bernie Sanders House Party & Defence Of Planned Parenthood


It's been almost three months since Bernie Sanders announced his entry into the 2016 Presidential race and I made my first post in support of his run. In that time his candidacy has made a huge impact he has drawn the largest crowds of any candidate and he has raised millions of dollars from more people than any one else seeking the Presidency. He's the first candidate I've ever volunteered for and the first one I've given money to. And now I'm going to turn my blog into my own personal soapbox for my reasons and activities I support of his race.

Tonight was another first for me as I gathered with another 20-30 people in a strangers apartment to listen to Mr Sanders speak and find out what else I can do to help him become the next President of the United States. Our gathering was one of more than 3500 with more than a hundred thousand attending taking place in every state.
We were treated to some light refreshments watched a brief speech by Senator Sanders via Internet hookup and were asked to volunteer. The theme of his ten minute speech was “enough is enough” a phrase he repeated over and over as he summed up the nations problems. With the focus being on our economic challenges. His solution for the most part revolves around opening up the system so that more people can benefit.

The other message that Bernie had tonight was that he alone won't be able to create the kind of change that we need. To fight the power of concentrated wealth that is strangling the nation it's going to take millions of aroused citizens to also stand up and say “enough is enough”. It's a message that that I take to heart which is why I'm standing up and making my voice heard.

Here is a video of Bernie's introduction & speech.

Another reason I support Senator Sanders is he's not afraid to speak out on any issue. For example while many Democrats have been silent on the issue Bernie Sanders has delivered a strong defence of Planned Parenthood. Here is his statement.

"The attempt by Senate Republicans to cut off support for Planned Parenthood is an attack on women’s health. Stripping funding for Planned Parenthood would punish the 2.7 million Americans, especially low-income women, who rely on its clinics for affordable, quality health care services including cancer prevention, STI and HIV testing and general primary health care services.
The current attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood is part of a long-term smear campaign by people who want to deny women in this country the right to control their own bodies.
Let’s be clear: Federal funding for Planned Parenthood does not pay for abortions. The vast majority of government funding that Planned Parenthood receives is through Medicaid reimbursements. Cutting that funding will be devastating to the health needs of millions of women who desperately need the quality services Planned Parenthood provides.
The videos that are the basis for the latest attack on the rights of women were heavily and obviously edited, but none of that matters to Senate Republicans who are always looking for a way to pander to an extreme segment of their extremist supporters.
The reality that Planned Parenthood provides vital health services to millions of women. What Senate Republicans are attempting to do with this legislation would literally kill women by denying them access to basic care. Abortions represent only 3% of all services provided by Planned Parenthood, and no federal money is used to pay for abortion services.
Mitch McConnell has scheduled a vote on the legislation to defund Planned Parenthood for next week, but the American people need to speak out against this shameful, deeply partisan, and deceptive attack on women before the Republicans take their show vote on a piece of legislation that will never become law while President Obama is in office."

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Long Strange Trip With Charles Manson

Can it be that Charlie Manson is now eighty years old? Has it really been a half century since that chaotic summer when the murders he inspired shocked the nation? The calender don't lie boys and girls so the answer to both is yes. And this summer is seeing America's favorite cult leader creep back into the public eye.

Mostly thanks to a new NBC series called “Aquarius”. It stars X Files star David Duchonvy as Sam Hodiak a divorced, loner, cliche ridden LA police detective with a drinking problem. As Charlie Manson we have Gethin Anthony who plays Renly Baratheon on “Game of Thrones”.

It is a long strange trip spread out over 13 episodes and if you have Comcast on demand you can watch them all. The story takes place over a year before the infamous killings and revolves around a teenage girl that joins the Manson family. Her mother is an old flame of Hodiak who is now married to a lawyer politically connected to the California Republican party.

The story telescopes out from the Manson story and covers the social upheaval taking place. You've got everything here; Viet Nam, womens rights, gay issues, the black power movement, police corruption, drugs, sex and rock and roll. And therein lies the rub you've got this sprawling story spread out over 13 episodes but it's told in little three or four minute bites because every eight to ten minutes you get interrupted by a block of commercials.

Aquarius tries to be a cable show but fails due to the limitations of the format. It's also pretty bad like another NBC cable style series “American Odyssey” the storyline gets to be a little far fetched without the style to really bring it off. Now I like bad and far fetched but I'm not sure if this is a trip I'll be taking all the way til the end. I just finished with the fourth episode and I'm not sure I can get through another nine. I give it 2 and a half out of 5 stars.

My Manson curiosity got further tweaked when I came across this strange story on the Dangerous Minds site about a copy of the Beatles “White Album” and a bible autographed by Charlie, Tex and the gals up for sale. According to the story “The signatures were obtained by a gentleman who was at one time associated with the Manson family at the Spahn Ranch, I choose not to post his name here. He acquired them at the respective prisons where they are incarcerated in California, including Corcoran State Prison, and the California Correctional Institution for women”. Interesting sounds like Charlies trying to make some cash? For more info follow this link.

Could it be for a wedding? It seems as if the 80 year old Manson has found a hot twenty something that wants to be his bride. Although it seems as if she just wants his body. More here.

At this point I wondered if the whole bizaare Manson story could get any stranger. That's when I came across this 1971 radio broadcast on YouTube. Here's the title and a sentence from the discription and you'll see this must be the true outer limits. Mae Brussell - Charles Manson Was a Patsy - October 13,1971. “Destruction of the hippie movement is similar to the CIA's overthrow of Greece in April 1967.” 

Friday, June 5, 2015

BB King “Why I Sing The Blues” Briefcase Of Blues Pt. 2

A friend of mine recently gave me a briefcase containing 120 blues cassettes tonight we are making another excursion into it and posting about one of the tapes. Tonight we are listening to the late B.B. Kings album “Why I Sing The Blues”. This is a collection of recordings BB made for the ABC label in the late 1960's & 70's during his commercial heyday.

Now I'm not a huge BB King fan he's a legend and all but he never did much for me. So listening to this tape is as much much as I've done previously. And now I know why while there some good cuts on here like The Thrill Is Gone a lot of it is pretty average stuff and some cuts like Hummingbird suck. A lot of it is overproduced with horns and strings and BB doesn’t really put much into his delivery. Let's just say I'm not buying what he's selling.

Hey out of 120 tapes i'm not going to like all of them and it would be boring just to review the ones I like. Now I did go out and look for some live BB King videos to see if I could appreciate him more away from the studio. Blues in general is a lot better live thanin the studio Mr. King is no exception. While my overall opinion of him still stands I did find some decent live recordings. Here's a couple of clips including one where BB is sharing the stage with one of the true bluesmasters T-Bone Walker.

From 1968 "I've Got a Mind to Give Up Living"

With T-Bone Walker "Sweet Sixteen"

If you would like to take a look inside this briefcase full of blues here's a look inside.

You will find some live blues clips on our ChiTownSoundz YouTube station 

And to get the full MindsiMedia experience visit our web page.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Gangsters, Strippers, Punkers, Gays & Musicians A History Of The Kerryman

In Chicago's river north neighborhood at the northest corner of Clark and Erie is an Irsh bar by the name of the Kerryman. For more than a century this building has hosted a variety of drinking establishments. The one more or less consistent theme has been music among those who have appeared here are The Dead Kennedy's. The Replacemats,Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday and a singing Dion O'Banion. It's been the cities biggest strip club and home to Chicago's first live DJ gay disco.

Below are a couple of then and now photos but to get the full story you'll have to watch the embedded video newly uploaded on out ChiTownView YouTube station.

                                         Photo by Ken Mierzwa

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Lightnin Hopkins / Strikes Again, A Briefcase Of Blues Pt.1

Chicago's Bluesfest is coming up June 12 – 14 down in Grant Park. It's always a good time although I prefer to go down during the day and check out the action on the smaller stages rather than taking in the main acts at night. I also like wandering over a couple of blocks to Millers Pub to slake my thirst rather than deal with the hassle of getting beer at the fest. It's a great way to recharge your batteries.

If you want to see this years completelineup follow this link. We'll be posting more on the fest later because today we are posting on another matter of the blues.

Coincidentally I have a good friend who has lived in the same apartment for a long, long time and has accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. He recently got the word his building was sold and he had to clear out his storage locker so he has been cleaning house. So he calls to me the other day to see if I want a briefcase full of blues tapes.

Being something of a pack rat myself I said sure and drove over to pick it up. It was one of those monster cases that hold 120 tapes and man it was heavy, in the physical sense. After I got it home cracked it open I discovered it was heavy in the metaphoric sense as well. This was more of a goldmine than a briefcase. It was a superb collection of tapes offering a musical journey. If I still had a tape player.

My original intent was to put the whole thing on eBay and try and make a quick buck. Once I saw what was inside a better plan came to mind. Since I still did have a tape player why not dive in listen to some of the tapes. Then share what I've heard here on my blog taking you along with my journey.

So we begin with Lightnin Hopkins “Strikes Again” a cassette on the Collectables label #5216. The keyword on this collection of tunes would be laid back. If your looking for frenetic guitar solos and searing vocals this is not the set for you. On the other hand if you'd like some easy going “front porch” style blues this one comes up aces and you should defiantly check it out.

The LP was originally released on Home Cooking records during the 1970's. Here is the recording info I got from the book “Lightnin Hopkins His Life & Blues”
Recorded 4/11&12/1968 ACA Studios in Houston Texas. Lighting Hopkins guitar & vocals, Cedric Haywood piano, Lawrence Evans bass & Ben Turner drums.
Side 1; Born in the Bottom, Mojo Hand, The World's in a Tangle, I Went to Louisiana, Feel Like Balling the Jack
Side 2; A Man Like Me Is Hard to Find, Go Ahead, I Wonder Where She Can Be Tonight?, Old Man, Movin' Out, Crying For Bread

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Early Chicago History, The Cities 1st Murder & The Fort Dearborn Massacre

Chicago, the windy city, hog butcher to the world, slab city, the wickedest city in the world from its earliest days it has been known for vice, corruption and murder. It was not a very pleasant area before it was settled just a low, wet expanse of sloughs and bogs. The river was full of wild rice, the banks teemed with skunk cabbage and wild onions. This is why the natives called the area Chickagou meaning bad smell.

We here at ChiTownView have tracked the history of organized crime from the 1850's on. We've chronicled the likes of; Mike McDonald, Roger Plant, Big Jim Colosimo, Al Capone, Franks Nitti, Tony Accardo, Sam Giancana and many others. In this clip we go back to Chicago's very beginning and tell a tale of corruption, murder and a massacre that wiped out the early settlement.

Chicago's first permanent resident was Jean Du Sable a black man from the island of Hispaniola. He lived where the Chicago River emptied into Lake Michigan which at the time was just east Michigan Ave. Du Sable lived on the north side near where Tribune Tower now sits. His residence lasted from 1779 to 1800 when he sold his property to Jean LaLime an agent for land speculator William Burnett. Thus LaLime became the city's first permanent European resident. He lived there until 1804 when Burnett sold the property to John Kinzie, another of his agents. LaLime moved across the river into the newly constructed Fort Dearborn. There he worked as an interpreter for the army. Kinzie an Indian trader went on to become the unelected leader of the settlement that soon grew around the fort.

Among the items Kinzie was trading to the Indians was alcohol which eventually led to him conflict with Fort Dearborn's commander Capt. John Whistler. Apparently in another grand Chicago tradition the fix was in and in 1810 Whistler and his senior officers were replaced. The new commandant was Capt. Nathan Heald. On June 17 1812 Jean Lalime became Chicago's first murder victim when he was stabbed by Kinzie. Kinzie was exonerated by an inquest held by Capt. Herald but speculation was Lalime was a spy informing on corruption going on at the fort. LaLime would go on to become one of Chicago's first ghosts. When the first Chicago Historical Society opened it's new museum at the northwest corner of Dearborn & Ontario in 1890 one of the exhibits were the bones of Jean LaLime. Since that time there have been numerous reports of ghostly goings on at this location. We have posted a video of thelocation that you can see.

The bones of Jean LaLime?

At that time American and Britain were fighting the War of 1812 and throughout the northwest territories Indian tribes were joining the British to fight the invading Americans. By August 12 local Indian tribes, the Pottawatomie and Wynado, had surrounded the fort with hundreds of braves. Captain Herald struck a deal with the Indian chiefs for safe passage in exchange for whiskey and guns. When they heard of the deal Herald's officers rose in revolt against this bargain the weapons were destroyed and whiskey poured into the river. That evening another council was held and the Americans were told they would still be allowed to flee to Fort Wayne some 150 miles away as long as they left right away. After spending the night packing the troops and settlers set off the next day.

They only got about a mile and a half near where Prairie and 18th St. is today when they were attacked by some 500 Pottawatomie who had been escorting them. It was a savage bloody slaughter that killed most of the fleeing Europeans those that weren't killed outright were captured and sold into slavery. Capt Heald and his wife were captured and transported to Mackinac, where they were turned over to the British commander there. John Kinzie and his family were also spared due to his business dealings with the tribes. He returned to Chicago a year later and worked as a trader and Indian interpreter until his death in 1828.

Fort Dearborn was burned to the ground by the victorious Indians with the bodies of the massacre victims left scattered to decay on the sand dunes of Lake Michigan. The bodies were given proper burials by the replacement troops when they arrived a year later. By the end of the century this area would become an enclave for the cities wealthy elite after The Great Chicago Fire.

The natives victory was short lived settlers returned with the troops and Fort Dearborn was rebuilt. Chicago was incorporated as a city in in 1837 and continued to grow and prosper. By then the last of the Indian tribes had been removed to lands west of the Mississippi.