Chicago’s Rock and Roll Radio Giant, WLUP, the LOOP, 97.9 on your radio dial is going away this Friday, March 9. After 41 years of being the Classic Rock 4,000 watt monster midway on the radio dial, the Loop has been sold. Dial 591- ROCK or 591 ROLL after then and you won’t be requesting Led Zeppelin anymore.

But rather than get nostalgic about the sale, or tell classic old stories about classic old rock and roll radio, I was wondering, what would be a fitting final song to play for WLUP’s farewell spin?

At first I thought, Led Zeppelin, “Stairway to Heaven”. A classic tune by a classic band seemed an obvious, “to be a rock and not to roll” would be a nice way to sign off.

Then I was thinking, maybe a little “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger “I reminisce about the days of old, with that old time rock and roll.”

“Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who was a contender as well. “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss” seems an apropos lyric given the sale of the station.

Then again, what is classic rock without The Beatles? “When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me” might be choice lyrics considering the station sold to a Christian Rock broadcaster.

Or, maybe “Sympathy for The Devil” by another classic rocker, The Rolling Stones just to be rebellious. “Pleased to meet you. Hope you guessed my name.”

After mulling over and contemplating the possibilities, I landed on a very slight favorite by a vote of .097.9 percent.

“I was playing rock and roll and you were just a fan, but my guitar couldn’t hold you so I split the band. Love lies bleeding in my hand.” Yep, Elton John.

“Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” is my choice for last Loop song. Cause WLUP was a radio friend of mine since 1977 and they “split the band”, the radio 97.9 band and a radio funeral seems a good way to go out.

Please complete the Poll below with your choice for the WLUP finale.


Time for Wedwand’s 5th annual Thanksgiving Eve address to the nation.

I willingly profess Thanksgiving to be my favorite holiday. It has no pretense. It has no hype. And every year it reminds me to be thankful for what I have.

Thanksgiving is a holiday without a lot of glitter. Just turkey, trimmings, dinner traditions and just maybe a little giving of thanks along the way.

It’s a holiday that’s become accustomed to be trampled on by the greedy retailers of Christmas. But it is not without a few media sources out there that honor the day in their setting. Here’s three of them:

1) I recently “discovered” one of these traditions to be a folk song by Arlo Guthrie called Alice’s Restaurant actually formally titled “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.”

Now there is no Alice’s Restaurant in the song as the song will tell you. In addition, the song is roughly 16 to 18 minutes long and it has nothing at all to do with Thanksgiving Day other than the fact that the story of the song takes place ON Thanksgiving Day.

And even though Arlo Guthrie has been singing this song since 1967 or so, and many people have listened to it as a Thanksgiving tradition, it wasn’t until just a couple years back that I actually took the full 16 to 18 minutes to listen to the tune which is more or less Arlo telling a quite captivating tale, at a time when folksingers told tales, that happened after a “Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat” while accompanying himself on the guitar. And by golly, it’s a Thanksgiving tradition of mine now too.

If you just want to be entertained by a guitar accompanied story for about 18 minutes and 15 seconds give it a listen: (People these days might call it a “Podcast”):

Or, if you just want the short version you can sing along, “You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant. Walk right in it’s around the back just about a half a mile from the railroad tracks.”

2) Another media tradition is the 1992 movie “Scent of a Woman” starring Al Pacino and Chris O’Donnell. It’s set at Thanksgiving Break and includes an infamous dysfunctional Thanksgiving meal as well as a blind man who can Tango and if only for a couple blocks or two, drive a Ferrari and an incredibly inspiring back story.
Here’s the Tango:

The movie won Pacino an Oscar and was named the Best Motion Picture by the Golden Globes. A few quotable lines have become recurrent with my wife and me over the years.

“I’m in the dark here.”
“I saw something.”
“Oh, I’m just getting warmed up”
“And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, F_ _ _ you too.”

3) And of course, there’s the “Turkeys Away” episode from the 1970’s TV series, WRKP in Cincinnati. I found a 30 second mash up of the episode in case you don’t have the 25 minutes to watch the whole episode:

“As God as my witness, I thought Turkeys could fly.”

Below are the links to the four previous Wedwand Thanksgiving Eve entries. I thank you for your support over these five years.

Of course, we end with the John Mellancamp Pink Houses YouTube salute to America on this Thanksgiving Holiday!

The 2017 Cubs run for the repeat has ended.

After a thrilling 3-2 victory on Tuesday night to avert the sweep, I began conjuring scenarios whereby the Cubs could orchestrate a miraculous comeback of epic proportions to reach the World Series.

It would involve incremental moments. A run here, a rally there and bang, the Cubs were playing game 7 with the Dodgers on the ropes on Sunday. I really had the scenario all set in my mind. Never underestimate the optimism of a Cubs fan.

It didn’t happen.

Instead, for the second consecutive year, the National League Championship was celebrated at Wrigley Field. This time, it wasn’t OUR celebration. The Dodgers won it in OUR house. THEY were the young and energetic team on a mission. THEY returned to the World Series after missing out the last 29 years. Boo hoo for the seemingly lengthy Lala Land hiatus.

There is much I could say about the 2017 version of the Cubs. First of all, it was fun. I will limit the remaining observations to three.

1 Heck yeah, the Cubs made it to their third consecutive final four, the NLCS. As a fan, am I happy about that? Indeed. But, since they’ve lost two of those three series in embarrassing fashion, I prefer to say the Cubs have WON three consecutive semifinals, the NLDS. Those have been the more positive defining moments that made us happy. The Addison Street Miracle needs a more consistent performance in the finals.

2 I love Anthony Rizzo. Don’t get me wrong. But what the hell was that “Respect Me” rant all about after a bloop single in Game 3 of the NLDS at Wrigley? He didn’t go yard. He didn’t hit a monster blast. He hit a flare with eyes.

The story of the Cubs in this three year miracle run has been all about TEAM. They stick together. They pick each other up. They’re a TEAM. There’s no “I” in team, but apparently Rizzo recognized there’s a ME. “Respect Me.” Really?

Tony, after your chest pumping rant, you went 1-22 with 11 K’s. Baseball karma. Catch it. Time to be a leader.

3 Sign Jake Arrieta. He has been the biggest BIG GAME pitcher in the history of the franchise. Jake has won EVERY “must win” game played in the past three years on this run. Don’t let him getaway. (See Greg Maddux.)

That said, as Humphrey Bogart said in the movie classic Casablanca, “We’ll always have Cleveland (2016).”

It tempers the blow of this year’s thwarted run. It NEVER gets old. It makes this year’s disappointment (if indeed it was) just a little more tolerable. It harbors hope for next year. The Chicago Cubs DID win the World Series.

“Wait until next year” has a new ring too it now. Not because MAYBE we’ll finally do it this time. No, this time it means, let’s do it again.

Who would have ever thought in the history of Cub fandom, we would “expect” a championship? This is how far the bar has been raised in this new culture of the Cubs. I’m kinda liking it. See ya in 2018.

FOOTNOTE: I located the Cubs “Season ending” posts from the last two years, in case you’d care to take a peek: