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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.

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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.

https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/giving-thanks-for-thanksgiving-part-four/
https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/tales-of-the-giving/
https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/the-393rd/
https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/on-the-eve-of-thanks-give-it/

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

PROOGUE 10/5/17

Here we go again.

In former traditional Cubs lore, this would be an utterance of impending doom. A sighting of a black cat or a hex spewing goat.

But a flash rainstorm on the banks of Lake Erie on a November’s eve washed away all the curses, if indeed they did exist, from Cubs seasons past.

Now, in 2017, “here we go again” means October playoff baseball for the third consecutive year on the Northside of Chicago. The times they are a changin’ for the Addison Street Miracle.

Oh, it was a different ride to playoff-ville this year. Instead of the 2016 express train barreling into the station looking to win games and ask questions later, this year’s team was the local. The 2017 Cubs had a slow start and made several stops along the way before heating up down the stretch.

As seen in the cover photo, some old faces from the 2016 Rally Towel were gone (ten by my count), but the core remained and the result was the same. A National League Central Division title.

Round one opponent are the Washington Nationals. Fondly known to their fans as the “Nats.” I find them akin to the gnats, an annoying little bug. A bothersome roadblock on the path.

GAME ONE 10/6/17

No home field advantage here this year. The series begins in Washington DC.

A classic pitcher’s duel looms. Power versus finesse. Hendrix versus Strasburg.

My notes from the game.

7:55 Game half over. 0-0. Top of 6. Strasburg with a no hitter.
8:00 Feeling a Cubs breakout here. And, it happened.
Two runs. No hitter gone. Shutout gone. Cubs up.
8:40 Defensive changes in the outfield. Hendrix on the hill still. Bottom of 7.
9:00 An insurance run on a double by Rizzo in the 8th inning. The Bryzzo combo coming up big in the late innings with all three RBI.
9:30 Bottom of the 9th Up 3. Old habits die hard. Cautiously optimistic. Sort of loving a silent DC crowd. 1-2-3. Cubs Win 3-0. Home field advantage eliminated.

GAME TWO 10/7/17

A retrospective.

Poof.

If Frank Sinatra was singing a song about this game the lyrics would be, “That’s baseball. You can’t deny it. Riding high in the 7th, shot down in the 8th.”

Cruising comfortably with a two run lead and just five outs to get, Carl’s Jr. delivers a new menu item, the hanging curve burger to Bryce Harper and bang just like that the lead vanishes. Ryan Zimmerman goes yard on normally reliable Mike Montgomery and the gnats get a five spot in the 8th for a 6-3 win.

The bullpen exploded. Series tied. Back to the Windy City for game three on Monday Monday, hoping never to return to that city on the Potomac.

Cubs got two games at Wrigley now. Let’s win two!

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