inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #226 of 249: David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Fri 30 May 08 09:25
All great news!
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #227 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Sun 22 Jun 08 10:04

There's a Canadian Mockumentary called "The Life and Hard Times of Guy
Terrifico," with a number of real musicians telling stories about the fake
subject.  Kris Kristofferson appears in the film, and among the DVD bonus
features is a generous interview in which Kristofferson tells stories of his
real life, including the "discovering" of Steve Goodman and John Prine.  Fun
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #228 of 249: uber-muso hipster hyperbole (pjm) Sun 22 Jun 08 21:14
You can argue that Kris was a big part of getting Prine into the
spotlight.  Goodman was just a force of nature.
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #229 of 249: Clay Eals (clay-eals) Wed 9 Jul 08 11:06
Here's an update for WELL participants from my latest blanket e-mail:

Will you be in the vicinity of Los Angeles or the Bay Area later this
month? You're invited to attend one or more of six reading/music events
July 25-28 that will celebrate my biography, "Steve Goodman: Facing
the Music." 
The 800-page, 575-photo book, now in its second printing, has received
rave reviews and a silver medal for biography in the 2008 Independent
Publisher Book Awards. 
During the California tour, I'll will be joined by special musical
guests for events in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Seal Beach, Covina, Yucca
Valley and Berkeley. The tour begins July 25, which would have been
Goodman's 60th birthday. Musicians will perform Goodman and
Goodman-related songs, and all events are free of charge. 
Here's the tour schedule: 
7 p.m. Westwood Music, 1627 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles 
3 p.m. Borders Books & Music, Los Altos Market Center, 2110 Bellflower
Blvd, Long Beach
6 p.m. Eddie Montana's Seal Beach Music, 118 Main St, Seal Beach 
1 p.m. The Fret House, 309 North Citrus Ave, Covina
7 p.m. Water Canyon Coffee Co, 55844 29 Palms Hwy, Yucca Valley 
7:30 p.m., Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley 
For more information about the book itself, please visit or e-mail me at 
Please forward this announcement to anyone you think may be
interested. Thanks!

Will Cubs ride Goodman song to the World Series? 
Can the Chicago Cubs go all the way to the World Series this year? If
they do, it'll be the first time since 1945, and if they win the
Series, it'll be the first time in exactly 100 years. For most of the
2008 season, the Cubbies have held the major leagues' winningest
record, so the Series prospect is far from outlandish. 
Steve Goodman's catchy 1984 anthem "Go, Cubs, Go" has served as potent
fuel for the team and its fans. Last year, at the end of every home
win, the song rocked Wrigley Field, and everyone joined in the singing.
This led to Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn declaring last Oct. 5 to be
Steve Goodman Day throughout the state. This year, the bellowing
continues, both in and outside of Wrigley. It's a truly infectious
The prospect of Cub success this fall begs some serious questions.
Would the team lose its national mystique? More pertinent to Steve
Goodman, if the Cubs go to the Series, who will rewrite Goodman's other
classic baseball song, "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request"? And how? 
Of course, the symbiotic origin and impact of both songs is a topic
that is covered in great detail in "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music."

'Facing the Music' available for the visually impaired 
I'm delighted to pass along that the largest educational nonprofit
library in the United States for people with print disabilities,
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D), based in Princeton, New
Jersey, has completed its recording of "Steve Goodman: Facing the
RFB&D serves a member population of people who are unable to read
standard print due to a documented disability. These disabilities
include blindness, visual impairment, learning disabilities and
physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, in which individuals
cannot physically manipulate a book to read it. 
"Steve Goodman: Facing the Music" already has an RFB&D product number,
DT-JC722, and it is available for ordering from the RFB&D library.
Individuals with print disabilities must register and provide proof of
their disability. There is a one-time $65 fee and an annual $35
membership, then members can order books for free, as with a library
card. (RFB&D relies on private contributions from foundations and
individuals, as well as member fees.) Books come on protected CDs, and
members can order as many books per year as they like. For more info,
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #230 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Wed 16 Jul 08 11:30

Tonight's Dead to the World will feature a two-hour interview with Clay Eals,
author of Steve Goodman: Facing the Music, and multi-instrumentalist Jim
Rothermel, who played with Goodman for many years.

8-10pm Pacific Time on KPFA 94.1 in Berkeley, online at

More info on the GDH blog:
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #231 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Thu 11 Sep 08 17:09

Jerry Reed "City of New Orleans":

inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #232 of 249: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Thu 11 Sep 08 17:44
Is that Ralph Emery trying to look like a hippie?
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #233 of 249: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Thu 11 Sep 08 17:59
Hmmmm... Aside from being thin, handsome, and talented, what did Jerry
Reed have that I don't have?  He actually had a really nice way with a
serious song.
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #234 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Thu 11 Sep 08 18:40

> what did Jerry Reed have that I don't have?

Spangly clothes?
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #235 of 249: "The Best for Your Health!" (rik) Thu 11 Sep 08 20:35
Chops.   Just chops.

That's an interesting video because Jerry's actually Travis picking.
Folkies used that term for any alternating thumb style, from Chet Atkins to
Mississippi John Hurt, but the Merle Travis style was done with thumb and
index finger.   That's all.    Ike Everly played the same way.

Jerry hardly ever used his index finger, and usually kept it tucked up in
his palm, working with the thumb, middle, and ring fingers.    I've never
seen him play strict Travis style before.

Oh, and yeah.    Ralph's trying for the hippie look.   Everybody in
Nashville did once it was over.
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #236 of 249: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Fri 12 Sep 08 05:07
It actually conceals some of his essential creepiness.  For all I
know, Ralph may be a nice guy, but he always makes me nervous.  I would
not buy a used car from him.

As a non-player, the fine points of Reed's performance were lost on
me, but the quality was not.  I knew him mostly for novelty songs and
comic acting.  He was real convincing on that song.
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #237 of 249: posting for JOHN FINEBERG (davadam) Mon 6 Oct 08 06:42
Dear Clay,

I've just begun to read your blog about Steve Goodman online.  After
just one page, I'm already interested in the discussion from your
statement, "My jaw dropped when I saw him on PBS' 'Soundstage' in

I was sitting in the audience in Chicago that day.  As I've watched
the video of it several times since then (I secured a copy from WTTW
years later, right after Steve died).  I was there as the guest of
Stevie, as I was also his house guest for a week (with Nancy and baby

I hung out with Stevie, Arlo and Hoyt for the entire day, including
the rehearsal.  How much fun can a guy have!  Someone from the show
asked Stevie what he was going to play during his segment of the
program.  As usual, since he always flowed with the moment, he had no
idea what he'd feel like playing in a couple of hours.  So he made up a
playlist, to satisfy their need for the moment ... and then ignored
the list when the show began.  (I must have seen him in concert around
50 times, and although there were similarities from one concert to the
next, he loved to mix it up and go with the flow.)

When I arrived at their apartment in Evanston, the first thing Stevie
did when I walked in the door was play me a song he has just written
("This Hotel Room").  During that week, I went to a Cubs game with
Stevie, John Prine and Al Bunetta, their business manager.  (I was a
passenger in John's 2-seat Porsche, which is on the cover of "Sweet
Revenge.")  Stevie literally stopped the game, yelling out at the
umpire from our seats near first base.  (That's a funny story, but I
won't get into it here.)  Also during that week I went to dinner with
John and his then-wife, Ann Carol, a dinner that was hosted by Studs
Turkle.  (I'd never heard of Studs before; I just knew whoever this guy
was, he sure was fascinating to listen to.)  Another time, I sat at
the front table when John made his debut at Stevie's club, "Somebody
Else's Troubles."  It was on an evening they called "Eat and Sing" (or
something like that).  For Stevie's debut, a few weeks earlier, since
he loved gourmet foods and fine wines, they served a shrimp dish that
he prepared himself.  Unfortunately, I wasn't present that night.  But
on John's night, since the performer got to choose the fare, we ate a
catered meal from ... yes ... White Castle.  It was hysterical! 
Everything was served on paper plates and the servers were in full
White Castle uniform.  Anyway, back to my week-long stay with Stevie,
we went to see Jimmy Buffett play at the Quiet Night, and then the
three of us hung out together the next day.  One of my favorite
memories of that visit was being serenaded by Stevie, sitting in his
living room — in his underwear — singing and playing an electric guitar
(and I have pictures to prove it).

I went to the Philly Folk Festival one year to see Stevie and John
perform together.  I'd seen both of them play individually many times,
and I'd heard them play together on record, but I wanted to see them
perform live, and it was worth the cross-country trip just to do it.  I
went to the festival with an old girlfriend and her current boyfriend,
the three of us sleeping in a tent together (now that's an odd
situation!).  It was so hot and muggy there, I spent much of the next
day in Stevie and John's air conditioned mobile home (bus, maybe?). 
Since Stevie had a spare bed in his motel room, he invited me to join
him for the next two nights.  Not only did I then get to hang with the
performers as they jammed at night, I got to go to John's room and
watch as he and Leon Redbone attempted to play together (it was a
failure, though, as their styles were just too different).

I was an announcer on an extremely progressive Twin Cities radio
station in 1972 and a slightly progressive station in 1973.  We played
Stevie's music a lot.  Although I think we first met after his
performance at the Whole Coffeehouse (on the University of Minnesota
campus) in 1972 or 1973, we first became friends in 1974, when I went
to Boulder to visit a girlfriend at the University of Colorado.  Stevie
was playing the entire week at Tulagi's.  I introduced myself after
the first night's show.  He had heard about me from Al (who I'd met
when Prine and Bonnie Raitt came to a party at my house).  As soon as
Stevie heard my name, he gave me a huge hug ... and that was that.  We
were friends.  He, my girlfriend and I were together day and night for
the rest of that week.  One afternoon we were walking around campus
when we ran into a group of students standing in a circle playing
acoustic guitars.  One of them recognized him and offered up his guitar
for Stevie to play.  He tried saying no, as he didn't want to deprive
the kid of his opportunity to play.  But he insisted, and Stevie joined
the group.  He took his turn when the time came, but he in no way
monopolized the group.  Surely he was the best player in the group, but
he didn't try to show off.  He was always a modest team player, as
evidenced by his playing backup on friends' albums.

At some point in time in our friendship, Stevie asked if I'd be
interested in becoming his road manager.  Of course I would.  That was
a no-brainer.  But it never went anywhere, because Al vetoed it.  He
thought that Stevie and I would party all the time and never get to
gigs on time.  Unfortunately, Al didn't know that I'd grown up and
grown out of partying, and was incredibly responsible.  I didn't blame
Al, as old impressions are hard to change.

Stevie serenaded me many, many times throughout our friendship.  A lot
of happened in the car while I was driving.  I volunteered to pick him
up, bring him to his hotel, take him to his concerts and drop him off
from the airport each and every time he played my hometown
(Minneapolis-St. Paul).  He sang whenever we were driving.

Stevie used to say that royalties from "City of New Orleans" paid his
rent.  It is the song that defined him.  But he was such a fabulous
writer beyond that.  Plus his voice was gorgeous.  And he played an
acoustic guitar like no other.  When I first watched him up close, I
wondered how those fat, stubby fingers could move so fast and hit the
right strings.  I remember going shopping with him once or twice,
picking up lots of strings, because it was almost guaranteed that he'd
break at least one string each night.  He got so much mileage out of
continuing to sing while restringing right in the middle of a song. 
The crowds loved it.  The crowds also loved his comedic antics, like
when he'd ask to borrow a cowboy hat and cowboy boots, both way too
big, when he'd play "But You Never Even Call Me By My Name." And Stevie
would love it when the crowd was so into his performance that he could
play a bunch of new music and not lose the excitement level.

With Stevie, I got to have dinner with the aged musical team of
Martin, Bogen and Armstrong.  We had to wake up Carl Martin, as he fell
asleep between ordering and getting his food.  Stevie once told me
that the reason that Carl chose to sing rather than play his mandolin
on "Mama Don't Allow" was that he was intimidated by the presence of
Jethro Burns, one of the premier mandolin players around.  Jethro was
another character I got to know through Stevie.  Goodman once called
and asked me to get the three of us tickets to a Twins baseball game. 
I went through the normal channels and arranged for tickets.  A little
while later, Stevie called me back and told me he'd taken care of it. 
"I called Calvin (Griffith, the team owner).  We're sitting right
behind home plate."  His connections were always better than mine.

I once secretly arranged for a radio announcer friend to play a song
of his while we were enroute to a concert.  She said, "I wonder what it
would be like to be a touring musician and hear your music being
played on the radio."  He looked at me and said, "You did that, didn't
you?"  I didn't get to pay him back for his incredible generosity
often, but that one was good.  I recored a few lines of "My Hotel Room"
on my answering machine ("I ain't home, I ain't home, you'd better
leave a message cause I ain't home.)  He called one night and heard it.
 "Thanks for the plug, man."  In his message (which I've kept), he
asked me to sell albums after a concert.  Of course I would.  I did. 
And he joined me at the sales table to sign autographs.  I thought
about asking him for an autograph myself, but I decided not to, as I
tried not to act like a groupie when I was around him (even though I

Typically when he played here, he played solo at the Guthrie Theater,
a beautiful venue with just 1,400 seats, a thrust stage and great
acoustics.  But I also saw him play as the front act at the Carleton
Celebrity Room in Bloomington, MN, when Stevie was touring with Johnny
Cash.  Another time, when he was booked at a biker bar in Minneapolis,
some mean-looking folks came backstage after the show to meet him. 
They said that one of their friends had gotten sick and couldn't make
it to the concert, so they asked if he would come back to their house
for a party.  What an odd invitation, we both thought.  He looked at
me.  I looked at him.  And then he said, sure, we'd love to come. We'd
misjudged their looks, as they turned out to wonderful, loving people.

The next morning, I forced him to make an unscheduled stop along the
way to the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.  He was afraid he'd be late
for his flight, but I insisted on stopping.  I brought him to Minnehaha
Falls, then talked him into walking with me on a precarious path to a
spot behind the falls (where I had our picture taken together).  He
thanked me profusely for making it happen, as it was a gorgeous spot
and a great moment of relaxation in his hectic touring schedule.

I drove Stevie down to Northfield, MN, a few times, when he played at
a college campus there.  Once, Michael Johnson was also on the bill. 
Even though Stevie had a bigger following than Michael, Stevie insisted
on going on first.  He was amazingly generous, allowing Michael to
look good in front of his home-state crowd.

As my career shifted from radio announcer to flight attendant, we were
able to visit more often, in various cities around the country.  He
took me to a Lakers basketball game in Los Angeles (we watched Rudy
Tomjanovich get his jaw broken in a brawl).  I saw Stevie play in
Honolulu, when Steve Martin took him on a lengthy tour with him. 
Stevie was hesitant to go out as the warmup for a comedy act, rather
than as the headliner.  He'd only have about 20 minutes on stage and
couldn't play his full range of music.  Still, he decided to do it, as
it would provide him with exposure to a huge new audience who had never
heard of him before.

The last time I saw Stevie was just a few months before he died.  He
was in the Twin Cities on April 11, 1984 to record a show at KTCA-TV
(our PBS affiliate) with Jethro and Chet Atkins.  I attended and have
video recordings of both the dress rehearsal and the televised
performance.  I felt bad because that was the first time in all those
years that we only spent a few minutes together visiting.

He had told me very early on in our friendship about his leukemia (I
asked him about it, since I'd heard a rumor).  That was the only time
he talked about it, other than when he told me they were moving to Seal
Beach, CA, because the milder weather would be better for his health. 
I knew that he went to Sloan-Kettering every month for treatments. 
Sometimes I could tell how down he was after those treatments.  But
when I saw him in the green room at KTCA, I did not know how close to
death he was.  I just knew he looked really tired and didn't have the
energy to hang out.

I'm sure he had many closer friends, but he and I were bonded for 20
years, from 1974 until he died in 1984.  I had hoped to have Stevie
sing at my wedding, but it took too many years to find the right
person.  I finally got married three years ago, for my first time.  At
the end of the ceremony, we played a CD of "You're the Girl I Love" as
our recessional music, swaying together in place, and then our first
dance music was "Would You Like to Learn to Dance?"  He was there,
right on cue.  No big surprise!
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #238 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Mon 6 Oct 08 10:05

Thanks so much for that post, John!

>As usual, since he always flowed with the moment, he had no idea what he'd
>feel like playing in a couple of hours.

One of the many things I learned from Steve about performing.

Of course, we'd love to hear the story of the Cubs game!

Wonderful, wonderful post.
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #239 of 249: posting for JOHN FINEBERG (davadam) Tue 7 Oct 08 10:44
John Fineberg says:

Okay, here’s the story about that Cubs game.  Stevie, John Prine, Al
Bunetta and I were seated around first base.  Out of nowhere, Stevie
stood up, all five foot nothing of him, and he started shouting at the
umpire:  “Ump, ump!  Aren’t you supposed to announce when I new player
is placed into the line-up?”  The umpire took the man at bat,
physically turned him around, pointed at the number on the back of his
jersey, and said, “Okay?  Can we go on now?”  Stevie waved his approval
to the umpire, and the game continued.  I was in shock.  One tiny
spectator spoke up and the game came to a halt.  But it wasn’t just any
spectator.  It was Steve Goodman.  Around he country, he was a minor
star, as far as stars go.  But in his home town of Chicago, he was 10
feet tall.
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #240 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Tue 7 Oct 08 11:26
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #241 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Thu 27 Nov 08 13:36

Moe's BOoks has an audio archive of the July 28 event:

inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #242 of 249: Ed Ward (captward) Wed 11 Aug 10 07:51
Obama signs law renaming post office after singer Steve Goodman

WASHINGTON — A day before he heads home, President Barack Obama on
Tuesday signed into law a bill to rename a Chicago post office for
legendary folk singer Steve Goodman.

Goodman died in 1984 at 36 after a long battle with leukemia. He had
penned hits including "City of New Orleans" and local anthems such as
"Lincoln Park Pirates" and "Go, Cubs, Go." His ashes were scattered at
Wrigley Field.

Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., in March introduced a measure to have the
Lakeview post office, 1343 W. Irving Park Road, renamed for Goodman.
The lawmaker had the support of every House member from Illinois, the
Old Town School of Folk Music and musicians including John Prine,
Bonnie Koloc and Corky Siegel.

inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #243 of 249: David Gans (tnf) Wed 11 Aug 10 07:58
Thanks, Ed!
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #244 of 249: Gary Lambert (almanac) Wed 11 Aug 10 08:20

Wonderful news! Although I'm surprised the Trib article didn't mention
"A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" among Steve's credits.
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #245 of 249: jelly fish challenged (reet) Wed 11 Aug 10 08:54
That isso sweet. I actually thought of Goodman during MOnday's Giants vs
Cubs Jerry Day match up.
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #246 of 249: Ari Davidow (ari) Wed 11 Aug 10 09:49
I was here late just a week or so ago, because I started playing my Steve 
Goodman anthology and then couldn't leave until I heard the whole thing. 

Very sweet news.
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #247 of 249: Dave Waite (dwaite) Mon 8 Nov 10 09:15
lat to the party - but it is my p[ost office 60613 that was renamed.
and the building has a great mural inside depicting all things Chicago up
until the 30s.
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #248 of 249: Gary Greenberg (gberg) Mon 8 Nov 10 09:39
Is that one of the WPA murals?
inkwell.vue.307 : Clay Eals' "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music"
permalink #249 of 249: Dave Waite (dwaite) Mon 8 Nov 10 12:13
Sorry - my spelling really took a bath on my last post.
Gary - the inside mural is one of several WPA murals at Chicago POs.  A
friend tells me that there are only a few left becuase the other POs have
either closed or moved without the murals.

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