November 10, 1998

Post #769 – 19981110

Dear Daniel—

Several years ago when you were regularly doing commentary for NPR, you did several commentaries on your life in Chicago. One of them was on the Chicken Man, and one other was on being a hip, cool artist-wanna-be hanging out in Old Town, and going to the Old Town Tavern and the Oxford Pub across the street. When I heard the one about the Old Town Tavern, I cried!!! It was me you were talking about, I mean I was you, or rather I was just like you! Your commentary took me back to those days—I might have actually been sitting at the next table, actually. I would really like to obtain an audio copy of that commentary, and the one on the Chicken Man if at all possible. I’ve been trying for a long time to explain to my daughter how life was for me at her age, and your commentary does it better than I possibly could. It also shows her that I’m not making it up—-a necessity for when trying to explain something to someone who always says—yeah, yeah, yeah. Also, the Chicken Man is a phenomenon that she has a hard time believing ever existed.

Are these commentaries available in any form and what would they cost?

Thanks for all the wonderful fun you’ve given my daughter and myself with all your books—–especially Lizard Music, my favorite!

Daniel replies:

I am STILL regularly doing commentary for NPR! You just haven't been listening, have you? Admit it. Well, I don't listen as much either since the program got real boring. They haven't been using my stuff as much either...but that is all supposed to change! So come back. (If I have to listen to the blasted thing, I see no reason you shouldn't--and you might hear me!)

There are two out of print collections, FISH WHISTLE and CHICAGO DAYS, HOBOKEN NIGHTS. Pretty rare. People have paid over $100 for one, and others have picked them up on used book tables for a few bucks. Both of them made a profit, but not an obscene profit, so no publisher has shown interest in bringing out another collection. If WBEZ would carry Chinwag Theater, in time, the old commentaries and newer ones available nowhere would all get at least aired once more. Call WBEZ. Ask for the Program Director. Ask for Torey Malatia. Ask them to carry Chinwag Theater. Have everyone you know call. Have everyone you know have everyone they know call. Tell WBEZ the program is free, and will remain free, and we don't care what time they air it. It's on the satellite.

Thank you.