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3 dog night
1. What is it that makes some bands successful?
2. Why do some bands make it and some don’t?
3. What is it that gives some bands an in explicable run of longevity?
4. Why do some bands continue to fill stadiums, while others play neighborhood fests?

These may be considered “Questions 67 and 68” that a band named Chicago may have asked. They’re still around, some of them. I guess enough of them to still be called “Chicago”. They play state fairs, casinos and will even hit Bangor, Maine on my birthday this year.

I only had 4 questions.

1. There was a band my wife and I went to see in the early 90’s at a little bar on Belmont Avenue in Chicago. They were outstanding, very similar style to Journey. I bought their 4 song cassette after hearing them convinced they were on the road to stardom. Don’t recall their name. Never heard of them again. Can’t find the cassette. Maybe someone bought it in our garage sale.

2. One Hit Wonders abound. Big Country, Free, Iron Butterfly to name a few. They have that one spectacular moment of inspiration that turns into a song that lasts forever, while the band fades away.

3. The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith and others, all continue to fill stadium venues after years and years of success. Cover bands make a living copying their songs. These are the bands of legend. Why? Not sure.

4. Neighborhood fests, State Fairs. Damn, we all go see those bands or artists we remember.

Last night, I saw a band called Three Dog Night. According to the website

“From 1969-1974, nobody had more Top 10 hits, moved more records, or sold more concert tickets. During this period Three Dog Night was undoubtedly the most popular band in America with twenty-one consecutive Top 40 hits and twelve straight gold LPs. By late ’75, they had sold nearly 50 million records.”

Their unique name came from an Australian Aborigine folk legend. On cold nights, they slept in a hole with a dingo, a native species of wild dog. On colder nights, two dingos. On very very cold nights, you guessed it, it was a three dog night. Ergo the name.

(Maybe the dingo ate the other dog, since on this night, this show, only two of the three original singers were there. However, I did see an attendee bring their Irish Setter, and I couldn’t resist telling them they were two dogs short.)

In honor of Tuesday’s show, my wife and I each had a hot dog, two dogs, for lunch. The Three Dog Night trilogy was completed at the free show on a village green in Elk Grove Village.

How prolific this bad was is amazing. They banged 3 minute hit after 3 minute hit for an hour, then continued to play more. We even liked their two new songs.

It was a camera moment, but I didn’t have a camera. About ten feet in front of me, a little girl no more than eight years old was dancing her heart out. Behind her, a man sat in a wheel chair smiling. Talk about bridging generations.

Celebrate Celebrate dance to the music.

Gonna share a meatloaf secret here. When you try this recipe, you’re gonna say, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that?” Well, you took the words right out of my mouth.

So hold tight. Here we go.

Now traditional meatloaf is a ground beef and a ground pork combo.

How bout this? White Meatloaf. O God. Stop right there! I don’t mean it like that. I am talking about the meat, not people. In fact, this dish can be enjoyed by all people.

Before I tell ya how to cook it, you gotta know right now …you’re gonna love it, gonna love it forever.

Since I tried this, there’s only one meatloaf I will ever love, and it was so many years ago when I came up with this recipe.

Here’s what happened. I had a taste for meatloaf. Though it was cold and lonely in the deep dark night, I could see paradise in the refrigerator lights. But I only had some ground chicken and ground turkey. Usin’ whatcha got baby.

To the turkey I said, “I want you.” To the chicken I said, “I need you.” Guess what? I found a way to love them. Here’s what happened:

Basic White Meatloaf Recipe:

1 pound ground chicken
1 pound ground turkey (sometimes they are 20 oz. pkgs. That’s OK use it.)
1/2 Cup bread crumbs or even up to a cup you decide that’s right.
1 egg or 2 if ya got 2
Combine the ingredients and shape into a football sized loaf.
If ya got a loaf pan, use it, if not use a casserole dish.
Bake in a 350 heated oven for an hour or so. Add 15 minutes if you need to.

We’re gonna go all the way tonight
We’re gonna go all the way

So recently, I decided to enhance it.

Paradise White Meatloaf Recipe:

Finely dicing the veges is the key. You might need that extra egg. For the Paradise version, add to the above basic recipe, as follows::

1/4 cup green pepper finely chopped
1/4 cup pepper finely chopped
1/4 cup yellow pepper finely chopped
(If you only have green and red, now don’t be sad, cause two out of three ain’t bad, Use 3/4 cups or so, any color peppers.)
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
1 stalk celery (do I need to say it again, finely chopped”)

Sauté these like a bat out of hell in olive, vegetable or canola oil (anything but motor oil) until the onions are translucent and the peppers and celery soft. Do not let them burn, I would do anything for a recipe, but I won’t do that. Let the mix cool.

Add to the basic meat mix listed above:

The cooled finely chopped vegetables
1/2 envelope onion soup mix. (Yeah sorry, purists, it gives it flavor if ya got it, if not, no thing)
Italian seasoning (if you need to measure, 6 good shakes, shaker top ON)
Garlic powder (half as many shakes as above, same rule for the shaker top)
Salt and pepper to taste

Give it 75 minutes in a 350 oven (or cook until done)

Do this, and you will go all the way tonight when you try it. If you only get to third base, add some white wine to the recipe. Save some for consumption.

PS: The leftovers make a great sammich.

Never does a soft summer rain feel so good than after a sweltering heat wave in a scorching July.

Rather than run, you want to feel the simmer from the scorch of the sun of preceding days run off your skin so you stand in it and embrace the cool.

The absence of thunder and lightening and the rhythmic patterns of raindrops reassure that nature has run her course once more.

All week the weather wilted spirits, but the refreshment of that same nature reassures us that all things are cyclical and will ultimately be good.