Friday, June 02, 2006


"The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable."
James Madison, Annals of Congress 434, 1789

Chapter 5
The insanity that we were involved in began as all great adventures do, as a bet. "I bet," I declared to DJ, " I can go to Chicago, get into the Rosemont Horizon, cover the Grateful Dead show and write a kick-ass concert review for your magazine Blind IguanaPress all without press credentials or a ticket to the show. "Bullshit," DJ shouted, "Bullshit, it can’t be done." "Those fucking Rosemont cops will kick the ever living shit out of you," he added. That was a sure bet. The cops in and around Chicago do not fuck around. The show was already sold-out and there was no way that we were gonna get credentials so the only way we were going to see the show was to sneak into the Rosemont Horizon.
DJ was the publisher, editor and lead writer of this far-reaching, yet small circulation literary magazine. The kid was a straight out creative genius. He was a Journalism student, a fellow classmate and was living the "working journalist" thing. Ya know, a chain smoking, hard drinking, overly opinionated five foot four bundle of dynamite with a large chip on his shoulder, a story to tell and his own publication to facilitate his aims. When he was on, there was no one better, but he was a drinker, a bad drinker. He offered to give me space for 1000 words, a byline, $200, and a pat on the back if I could pull it off and have the story on his desk in 72 hours; then he kicked me out of his house. This crazy late afternoon I was going to make it happen.
I tried to locate Young Elvis. I made three unsuccessful telephone calls, left a message then slammed the telephone down in frustration and lit a cigarette. Where the fuck can he be, I thought to myself. Twenty minutes passed and I was starting to get shitty. As I picked up the phone to try again, I heard Young Elvis' voice in the receiver, "Whats the plan and where do we meet?"
Young Elvis and I were an interesting pair. He was a gifted art student from Michigan who lacked some direction and I was a 10-year college student. When he was a senior in high school, he lived with his aunt who at that time was married to a famous rockstar. He knew people and he always had a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He was attractive, friendly, well-spoken and just plain lucky, well mostly lucky; we would end up needing that luck.Two and half-hours later we were barreling toward Rosemont, Illinois in a borrowed Buick to cover a Grateful Dead concert.