In the summer of 2004, I got an idea of how to celebrate our 10th anniversary. A concert featuring all of our signature artists. At that time:
I would put them on a stage – dead center and let them do what they do! Play the bass.
Chicago has a great band called Tributasorius. They “become” an artist – open every month. For example, they might be The Doors or the Stones, etc. They would be my
band and recreate songs from each of the artist’s careers.
I hired Sheryl Holtzman to handle the production. I jumped in full force. My first step was to select tunes. I worked with each artist only giving them choice of what they wanted to play. Once this was ironed out, I sent CDs to each artist with their homework! Most of these tunes were created in the studio and never played live by these guys.
We selected the Park West for the venue. I hired Steve Goodman to handle filming it – a 5 camera shoot. I hired Steve Koccur to do sound.
I created little 2 minute histories of each artist and had Norm Weiner at WXRT to do the voice-over. My closest friend Joe Flanagan handled the editing with me.
We then started selling tickets at $25 – 50 – tables sold out quickly. The door proceeds were given to charity. In January of 2005, things were getting heavy, I came very close to canceling the show. The production was driving me mad. John, who was handling all things Lakland while I was buried in the concert – called “Raising the Bottom” – told me to grin and bare it. Get it done! Great advice!
The show which eventually sold out was a huge success! Many friends told me it was the best concert they had ever seen. Norm at WXRT – which sponsored the show – told me many listed it on the WXRT poll as best concert of 2005.