Clay Eals (clay-eals) Wed 19 Sep 07 13:36
Thanks for the kind words, Gail. Passion's what it's all about.
uber-muso hipster hyperbole (pjm) Thu 20 Sep 07 00:14
This was a fantastic Inkwell interview. Thanks to everybody, especially David and Clay.
Yo hablo Greenspaņol (sd) Fri 21 Sep 07 17:54
The book is terrific, Clay. Sorry to be another later bloomer but I wanted to read it before chiming in. You couldn't have picked a better subject for such an exhaustive biography. I thought I knew a lot about the guy and enjoyed a couple of conversations with him over the years but you floored me with the great trove of information, thanks. One of my favorite personal memories was seeing him at the now defunct Great Southeast Music Hall (where the Sex Pistols ended up opening their one US tour) and I asked for his a capella anti-war song, The Ballad of Penny Evans, he sang it to a silent house who were too stunned to applaud for a moment after he finished then he looked down from the stage and thanked me for the request. Huge applause for his performance followed. It was a moving experience.
David Gans (tnf) Sat 22 Sep 07 12:31
A classic Steve Goodman story! Thank you fr telling us.
Clay Eals (clay-eals) Sat 22 Sep 07 20:42
Alan, thanks for the kind words on the book, and for reading it! Nice story about "Penny Evans" at Great Southeast Music Hall in Atlanta. Could the night you're speaking of be one of these: -- Tuesday, Aug. 14, 1973. Opener: Lori Jacobs, of Detroit. -- Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 20-21, 1975. -- Tuesday, Nov. 1, 1977, two shows. If it was the 1977 date, I have tape of his second show, which was simulcast on WKLS-FM. Goodman says near the beginning that he thought that the first show that was simulcast, so he was apologizing for having to repeat some songs that Asylum expected him to get onto the radio airwaves. His second-show voice also is a little hoarse, reflecting that he had given it his all in the first show.
No hablo Greenspaņol (sd) Sun 23 Sep 07 08:14
Wendy Waldman was the opener and there were two shows but the simulcast business doesn't ring a bell. There was the potential for the string break business but there weren't any spare strings on stage. He asked a couple of times for someone to grab a set from the green room but after no response from the sound booth he went for the strings himself. I believe he asked us to keep singing the song or keeping time while he was gone but couldn't swear to that.
Clay Eals (clay-eals) Sun 23 Sep 07 16:50
Wendy was one of many who told me of the "nightmare" it was to open for such a "warm and sweet but sidesplitting" act such as Goodman. "It's like, 'Oh, I love him, but don't put me there! He's gonna slaughter me, and he doesn't mean to, but I'm gonna get slaughtered.' I was nowhere near his caliber, but I loved him, and we got along really well."
Clay Eals (clay-eals) Wed 3 Oct 07 12:31
Any Cub fans out there? Check out this announcement, just released: ===== State of Illinois OFFICE OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PAT QUINN To: All Media From: Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn (o. 312-814-5220; cell 312-485-1852; Elizabeth Austin (o. 312-814-8760; c. 708-912-2247) What: Lt. Gov. Quinn declares Steve Goodman Day in Illinois as die-hard Chicago Cubs fans prepare for the first playoff home game in Wrigley Field Great visuals! Goodmans "Go Cubs Go" plays on giant video screen!! When: 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, 2007 Where: Blue Room, 15th floor James R. Thompson Center, Chicago Lt. Gov. Quinn declares "Steve Goodman Day" to honor legacy of great Chicago musician, composer and lifelong Cubs fan (CHICAGO) As Chicago Cubs fans joyously (if anxiously) awaited the first Wrigley Field home game of the 2007 National League Championship series, Lt. Gov. Quinn Friday paid homage to a legendary musician and legendary Cubs fan by declaring Steve Goodman Day in Illinois. Quinn will be joined by Goodmans mother, Minnette Goodman, Goodmans close friend, longtime WGN radio and television host, Roy Leonard, and Goodmans biographer, Clay Eals, author of Steve Goodman: Facing the Music," at a ceremony in the 15th floor Blue Room of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. "Today, nearly a quarter century after Steve Goodmans untimely death, his anthem 'Go Cubs Go' is played at Wrigley Field whenever the Cubs win at home," Quinn said. "Tomorrow night, Cubs fans throughout our nation will be waiting to hear his voice resonating once more throughout the Friendly Confines, and they will pay homage to Steve Goodmans talent and his undying faith in his home team by singing along." Goodman, born and raised in Chicago, was a singer-songwriter whose warm voice, engaging stage presence and masterful guitar playing made him an icon of the Chicago folk music scene of the 1970s. Best known for his enduring ballad, "City of New Orleans," Goodman wrote intelligent, insightful and often wickedly funny lyrics that spoke to the heart of Chicago. Whether he was eulogizing the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, skewering illegal car-towing services or in two of his most popular tunes expressing the bittersweet emotions of the often heartbroken but ever hopeful lifelong Cubs fan, Steve Goodman and his music were, most profoundly, Chicagos very own. The Chicago Cubs commissioned Goodman to write "Go Cubs Go" in early 1984, as the opening theme for WGNs game broadcasts. At that time, Goodman who had been battling leukemia for some 15 years was better known for his wry song, "A Dying Cubs Fans Last Request." But with the bouncy, upbeat "Go Cubs Go," Goodman expressed the undying optimism of Chicagos North Side fans. His optimism proved well-founded: That very season perhaps inspired by Goodmans lyric, "the Cubs are gonna win today," the Cubs clinched the NL East Championship and made their first post-season appearance since 1945. Sadly, Goodman did not live to see post-season play in Wrigley Field. He died at age 36 on Sept. 20, 1984, four days before the Cubs clinched the Division title and 17 days before the Cubs blew a two-game lead and lost the NL pennant to the Padres. This year, however, Cubs fans nationwide are looking forward to raising their voices in five (or if absolutely necessary, nine) more joyous renditions of "Go Cubs Go" (one, maybe two home games in the Division series, up to a possible four in the National League championships and potentially three in a World Series victory) as Chicagos North Side team makes its way to the World Series Championship. "Its a privilege to declare Steve Goodman Day in Illinois, to honor this great Chicago musician and Cubs fan," Quinn said. "I know that even Cardinals and Sox fans will join me in celebrating the life and extraordinary talent of Steve Goodman." "Go Cubs Go" by Steve Goodman Baseball season's underway Well you better get ready for a brand new day. Hey, Chicago, what do you say The Cubs are gonna win today. They're singing ... Go, Cubs, go, Go, Cubs, go Hey, Chicago, what do you say The Cubs are gonna win today. Go, Cubs, go, Go, Cubs, go Hey, Chicago, what do you say The Cubs are gonna win today. They got the power, they got the speed To be the best in the National League Well this is the year and the Cubs are real So come on down to Wrigley Field We're singing now ... Go, Cubs, go, Go, Cubs, go Hey, Chicago, what do you say The Cubs are gonna win today. Go, Cubs, go, Go, Cubs, go Hey, Chicago, what do you say The Cubs are gonna win today. Baseball time is here again You can catch it all on WGN So stamp your feet and clap your hands Chicago Cubs got the greatest fans. You're singing now ... Go, Cubs, go, Go, Cubs, go Hey, Chicago, what do you say The Cubs are gonna win today. Go, Cubs, go, Go, Cubs, go Hey, Chicago, what do you say The Cubs are gonna win today.
Gail Williams (gail) Wed 3 Oct 07 12:34
David Gans (tnf) Wed 3 Oct 07 16:53
Oh, that is so wonderful. Go Cubs GO!!
Lisa Harris (lrph) Wed 3 Oct 07 17:27
go cubs, thanks for the update, Clay.
"The Best for Your Health!" (rik) Thu 4 Oct 07 08:25
That is so fucking cool.
David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Thu 4 Oct 07 08:35
Yeah. Go cubs, Go Steve!
Andrew Alden (alden) Thu 4 Oct 07 21:43
beneath the blue suburban skies (aud) Fri 5 Oct 07 08:29
totally fucking cool.
Gail Williams (gail) Mon 8 Oct 07 17:25
Great that that happened! But there's lots of prediction mojo above in this topic: From inkwell.vue.307.84: Clay Eals (clay-eals) Fri 7 Sep 07 11:58 > Gail, don't call it a season yet. The Cubs have been this close in > other recent years, but Goodman's "Dying Cub Fan" remains accurate. > I've got severely mixed feelings about the prospect of the Cubs getting > to the Series. If they do, who will rewrite "Dying Cub Fan," and how? Sooo... Wait til next year for any attempt at a rewrite.
Clay Eals (clay-eals) Wed 5 Mar 08 15:00
I have good news to announce to The WELL audience: I deeply am grateful to all of you and many others whose support for my 800-page biography "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music" prompted its first printing of 5,000 copies to sell out in just eight months. My publisher, ECW Press, graciously has taken the plunge for a second printing of 5,000. Those copies are hot off the press and now available at my site. Just visit <http://www.clayeals.com> and click on the "Online Store" tab to order it at a discount. Included inside each book ordered from my site is a signed postcard (new version) that can be used as a bookmark. The new edition is more than a mere reprint. It includes hundreds of little fixes, clarifications, updates and additions, including 30 new photos, bringing the total number of images in the book to 575, all in the same 800 pages. My thanks go to ECW for allowing me to revise the book for its second printing and for taking this huge financial step to meet the demand that has been building for several months. If you have any questions, please contact me directly at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or via a reply here at The WELL. Thanks! Clay Eals 1728 California Ave. S.W. #301 Seattle, WA 98116-1958 (206) 935-7515 (home) (206) 484-8008 (cell) email@example.com http://www.clayeals.com
David Gans (tnf) Wed 5 Mar 08 15:07
uber-muso hipster hyperbole (pjm) Wed 5 Mar 08 17:17
"The Best for Your Health!" (rik) Wed 5 Mar 08 17:26
Well done. Congratulations.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 6 Mar 08 07:57
Second printing... Most excellent, Clay!
No hablo Greenspaņol (sd) Thu 6 Mar 08 11:50
so glad you went to a second printing, clay. what a great book.
Gail Williams (gail) Thu 6 Mar 08 16:44
Bravo! That is excellent. By the way, from the MLB site: > Ryan Dempster plans to move from closer to starter for the Chicago Cubs >this season. On the first day of spring training, he took on another role: >prognosticator. > > "I think we are going to win the World Series. I really do," Dempster said. > > That's a bold prediction before the start of a season that marks the 100th >anniversary of the Cubs' last World Series winner. Yet another good year for the lore and music around the Cubs, and two beloved great Steve Goodman tunes. And your book!
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 6 Mar 08 19:00
Sorry about that Cubbies prediction. Clay lives in Seattle and this will be the year of the Mariners. Maybe the M's will play the Cubbies, though, and Lou Pinella's protogé, John McLaren will show his old mentor a thing or two. Congrats on the second printing, Clay!! Excellent.
David Gans (tnf) Thu 29 May 08 17:14
News from Clay: Goodman bio wins IPPY Silver Medal This just in: "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music" won a silver medal in the biography category of the 2008 Independent Book Publisher (IPPY) Awards. What wonderful news to receive on the book's first anniversary! The book is one of 450 award-winning works in 64 categories, selected from 3,175 entries to IPPY. Find out more at <<http://www.independentpublisher.com/article.php?page=1231> The 2008 awards, the organization's 12th annual honors, will be presented May 30 in Los Angeles. California events are in the works Speaking of Los Angeles, I've received the go-ahead from my publisher, ECW Press, to set up reading/music events on behalf of the Goodman bio in Southern California and the Bay Area this summer. Dates and venues are not set yet, but I will let you know about them as soon as they are firm. Any musicians wishing to participate in these events, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Utah Phillips on Steve Goodman After a long bout with congestive heart failure, labor folksinger/songwriter Bruce "U. Utah" Phillips died in his sleep Friday evening, May 23, 2008. He was 73. Phillips crossed often paths with Steve Goodman, and for the Goodman bio I was fortunate to be able to interview Phillips on March 2, 2000, in his hometown of Nevada City, California. Phillips comments are incorporated in several places in the book, but on the occasion of his passing, it seems appropriate to honor him by sharing an extended expression of his wit and insight. To read an edited transcript of the Phillips interview, visit my home page, <http://www.clayeals.com/>, and click on the link, or click this direct link: <http://clayeals.com/pdfs/2000_03_02_Phillips_int.pdf> Goodman bio for visually impaired New Jersey radio host John Weingart has heartening news. The non-profit volunteer organization called Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFBD), based in Princeton, is recording the Goodman bio so that those who have visual impairments or dyslexia can enjoy the book. Weingart, who has hosted a Sunday evening show on WPRB-FM for more than three decades, was one of several "celebrity readers" recently invited to record portions of books for RFBD. His contribution was to read the section focusing on Goodman's leukemia diagnosis and treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the genesis of the poignant "Song for David." RFBD, <http://www.rfbd.org/> serves students of all ages at locations all over the country. No word yet on when or how the recording of the Goodman bio will be available, but when I learn that information, I will pass it along. Cool updates to the Internet site If you haven't visited <http://www.clayeals.com/> lately, now would be a great time. Recently, we've added: Links to stellar recent press coverage (including the Washington Post, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Lake Forest College Spectrum magazine). Click on the "Reviews" tab in the "Inside the Book" menu. Vivid photos by Jef Jaisun and Jean Sherrard of recent reading/music events in Seattle featuring eight musicians. (The event at Third Place Books drew my largest crowd yet, more than 200 people.) Click on the "Schedule" tab in the "About the Author" menu. Newly posted vintage images of Steve Goodman with John Prine, young friend Alan Brin and a very large fish, courtesy of Marcia Brin and Geoff Muldaur. Click on the "Bonus Photos" tab in the "Inside the Book" menu. Now we can see the broken-string song When Steve Goodman broke a guitar string mid-song onstage, he was at his most charming and captivating. He averted disaster by improvising a dozen or more lyric stanzas while maintaining the song's chords and tempo and simultaneously restringing the instrument. Once the string was intact and in tune, he resumed the song where he had left off. This shtick was both unique and astonishing, and the Goodman bio delves deeply into it. Scores of audio tapes (mostly bootleg) have documented this maneuver, but there has been no publicly available video of it -- until now. This hour-long compendium of the 1980 Telluride Bluegrass Festival <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7298847911422706933> includes footage of Goodman from minutes 42 through 46. Therein, he performs two verses of "Danger" before breaking a string. The result is not quite a full broken-string song because he doesn't end up re-stringing the guitar and instead is handed a new one. Still, it's much the same shtick, and you get the idea. His facial expressions and body movements are priceless, as are the typical, post-song head-scratching and shrugging. Thanks to the poster of this precious visual document. Enjoy! Thoughts on the first anniversary It was mid-May of 2007 that the first printing of "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music" was published, with a six-event Chicago launch followed immediately by two sessions at the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle. Evidence of the book's reach over the past 12 months boggles my mind: a total of 39 reading/music events around the country, four TV interviews (including a 30-minute, 11-part conversation now on YouTube), 41 radio interviews, coverage by more than 1,000 newspapers and periodicals (aided by a widely circulated Associated Press profile) and countless reviews and references on the Internet. The key statistic, of course, is that the book's first printing of 5,000 copies sold out in just eight months, prompting an updated second printing of 5,000 in February. And word keeps spreading by the day. I am grateful beyond words to my wife, Meg, my publisher, ECW Press, my webmaster, Valerie Magee, and the literally thousands of interviewees, helpers, musicians, venues, media, hosts and readers who have made this project possible. It has proven what I've long known deep in my heart, that Goodman people are everywhere. To order the second printing Just visit <http://www.clayeals.com/> and click on the "Online Store" tab to order it at a discount. Included inside each book ordered from my site is a signed postcard (new version) that can be used as a bookmark. Happy spring, and thanks again to all! Clay Eals
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