Although this was essentially a personal trip there’s a few things Onda Sonora related I’m gonna share about it. One of the main reasons I went to Chicago was the musical heritage of that city and I’ve experienced more than a few remarkable moments related to that.
First and foremost there was the record digging. I hoped to do some major finds but I never thought to dig up what I brought back. I stuffed about a hundred records in my bags when heading back to Belgium. Can’t say there are any average ones among that. On the contrary. Some of them were on the top of my wants list. And the – by far – most expensive vinyl I bought cost me 25$. You’ll definitely hear a lot of them in our radio show, mixes and dj-sets in the weeks to come. When you come to Chicago reserve some days for record shopping. Hyde Park Records, Dusty Grooves, Reckless Records, Dave’s Records, … there are a lot of quality ones.
But the most special ones were Gramaphone and Mr. Peabody’s. Thanks again to Michael Serafini for the free entrance to the BoomBoomRoom with Lil Louis and the opening set there (hearing Roy Ayers’ Chicago was a treat). What a change from the grumpy shop owners I’m used to. And it’s great to hear that We Play House is known and recognized in the home of House music. Big up to Gramaphone.
Mr. Peabody’s was one of the best, if not THE best, second hand record shop I’ve ever been in. Did some ridiculous finds there and Mark made me discover some great records. And he drove us back to our hotel (which was on the complete other side of Chicago). How well can you treat your customers. Can’t wait to see their site go online. And be sure that we’ll try to bring them over for a set. Gutted I missed their party that happened the night we left. I’ll be back if only for another round through the crates there.
Next to that you always hope to catch some of the past glory that got the city the reputation it has for you. In this case see a glimpse of the days of the Warehouse and Music Box. Which is of course a stupid thought as those days are long gone but I think we got as close as we could get. Caught a RBMA/ Sonar festival lecture by Ron Trent that was attended by Robert Williams, the owner of the Warehouse and Music Box and thus a major contributor to House music. And went to a party where Lil Louis deejayed which was attended by the who’s who of Chicago House (Frankie Knuckles, Robert Williams, Ron Trent, Boo Williams, Glenn Underground, Alton Miller (who I managed to miss) …). Feel blessed I could be part of that. Something I won’t forget soon.
Third thing is that I got to meet Paula, one of our radio show’s most regular listeners, and got treated to some pure windy city hospitality. She gave me tour of her city I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, introduced Harold’s Chicken to me and got me me to Mr. Peabody’s. I feel a bit sorry we couldn’t meet more often. But on the other hand that’s giving me another reason to go back. Big up to her and Doug for the great afternoon.
I had a fantastic time in Chicago. Not only for the music but also for the architecture, food, beer and spectacular sights. Exhausted now but got a lot of records to go through while recuperating. And I4m going to try to come back soon.