Tag Archives: Short Stuff

50 Dates in 50 Posts – Tour Stop # 20 – Park West, Chicago, Illinois

50/50 Tour Stop:  # 20

Date:  November 11, 1981

Venue:  Park West.  322 West Armitage Ave.  Chicago, IL.  60614.

Find it on Google Mapshttps://goo.gl/maps/bYdsmgRnkuB2

Venue Exterior

1981: 

I do not have a good photo of the Park West’s exterior as it looked in 1981.  I would be much obliged to anyone who can point me to a good picture from that era.

2011:

20 Park West Chicago Street View 2011

Venue Interior:

1980:

20 Park West Chicago Venue Interior 1980 Manhattan Transfer Concert v2

Above:  The interior of the Park West venue during a Manhattan Transfer concert.

1983:

20 Park West Chicago Venue Interior 1983 Renaissance On Stage v2

Above:  The interior of the Park West venue.  The group ‘Renaissance’ is on stage here.

Opening Act:  Short Stuff.

20 Short Stuff Talk is Cheap LP cover

Above:  Photo of the band Short Stuff from cover of their 1980 LP “Talk is Cheap”.

Short Stuff was a funk-blues-synth-rock group from Wisconsin led by harmonica player Jim Liban.

Poster / Flyer / Handbill:  I have not come across a poster, flyer or handbill for the Park West show to date.  Please get in touch if you have a scan that you can share.

Press & Promotion:  A few concert listings for the Chicago 50-50 tour stop appeared in area newspapers.

20 George Thorogood Park West Concert Ad w 50 50 Wording Chicago Tribune Oct 18 1981

20 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour Chicago Park West Text Advert 1

20 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour Chicago Park West Text Advert 2

20 Thorogood Park West 50 50 show ticket ad

Ticket Price:  Unknown.

Ticket Stub:  I have not seen a ticket stub from this show to date.  A quick check of eBay tells me that Park West shows during this era were ticketed events.  Please contact me if you have a ticket stub from this concert for sale.

Attendance:  Unknown.  The Park West had a capacity of 750 in 1982.  (Source:  Billboard Magazine.  Nov 13, 1982.  Pg. 56).

Set List:

  • Intro music:  Theme from Jaws (John Williams & the Boston Pops Orchestra)
  • No Particular Place to Go
  • Madison Blues

Source:  Catch a Star documentary.

Was the Concert Recorded?  Yes, at least in part.

Video footage from the Park West 50-50 show appears in the 1982 film “Catch a Star” (Image Union Productions).  Concert highlights, interview segments with George Thorogood, and footage of the Destroyers’ 1979 Checker Cab driving on Chicago-area roads make up the final segment of a larger documentary about performing artists in Chicago circa 1981.  The other acts in the film are comedian/radio personality Steve Dahl, the Michael Stanley Band, and blues legend Muddy Waters.

The entire “Catch a Star” documentary is posted online at this site:  http://mediaburn.org/video/catch-a-star/

In his interview segments, Thorogood laughingly suggests that the band is “cracked” for their touring style, mentions a “close associate” of the band “who wishes to remain anonymous” that suggested the 50-50 tour concept, and discusses his desire to put on a great live show that people will talk about “forever and ever”.  Thorogood ends by noting the band is off for their next 50-50 concert in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

To date, I have not come across a complete audio or video copy of the Destroyers’ entire Park West 50-50 concert.

Concert Photos:

Below:  Screen shots from the 1982 “Catch a Star” documentary of George Thorogood and the Destroyers at the Park West on November 11, 1981.

20 George Thorogood Park West 50 50 Tour Chicago Catch A Star Documentary Still 2

20 George Thorogood Park West 50 50 Tour Chicago Catch A Star Documentary Still 3

20 George Thorogood Park West 50 50 Tour Chicago Catch A Star Documentary Still 5

20 George Thorogood Park West 50 50 Tour Chicago Catch A Star Documentary Still 6

20 George Thorogood Park West 50 50 Tour Chicago Catch A Star Documentary Still 7

20 George Thorogood Park West 50 50 Tour Chicago Catch A Star Documentary Still 8

Concert Reaction

20 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour Chicago Tribune Review Headline

In her review of the 50-50 show at Park West, Chicago Tribune pop music critic Lynn Van Matre notes that the Destroyers started off the concert “in high gear and [went] from there […] mostly pumping and pounding out rave-up roots music”.  The review also mentions Thorogood chiding the crowd mid-show for not dancing – presumably, this was George doing his “Is that what you call dancing in [insert name of city]?” routine.  There are few other specifics about the show beyond these pieces.  For the most part, the article focuses on the Destroyers’ musical debt to all-time greats like Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley.

Other Notes:  The CD tray inlay for the album George Thorogood & the Destroyers Anthology (Capitol Records, 2000) shows a sepia tone montage of backstage passes from the 50-50 tour, including one from the Chicago Park West show (Right-bottom of photo).

00 George Thorogood Anthology CD Inlay w 50 50 Tour Backstage Passes

Other Notes:  50/50 carpet sighting!!!

00 Carpet 50 50 Tour Chicago Park West Nov 11 1981

Fate of the Venue:  Chicago’s Park West continues to function as a venue for concerts. 

Read more about the Park West at this link:  Park West on Wikipedia.org

 

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