We are trilled* at the publicity for the Mythic Figs in the excellent article on the Gallery Cabaret [Our Town, April 29], one of the remaining strongholds for The Arts. Proprietor Ken Strandberg is in the Mythic Fig Hall of Fame for his continuing support.
In the interests of the whole truth: your reporter is 2B commended for not printing what I asked her not to, and (mostly) accurately quoting me and Fred; still, I’m constrained to add:
(I) No article about music at the Gallery (or in Chicago, if not the midwest) would be complete without mention of Mythic Fig Earl Pionke, “Thee Earl of Old Town.” It was at his joint that all of us older players originally met; he has no joint open now, but stay tuned . . . Incidentally: To identify the descriptions given in the story, p. 46: The “guy who got some national radio play a few years ago” is Mythic Fig Jim Post, and the one who wrote a song for Arlo Guthrie is [the L8, gr8] Steve Goodman–“City of New Orleans.” Both, of course, rose not from the Gallery, but from the Earl of Old Town, just north of North Avenue on Wells Street, when Old Town was in its heyday.
(II) “Ray,” the keyboard-artist featured in the last segment, is Ray Watkins; some of your readers may want to know that they can still see the suave fella who used to be the MC at the (original) Gate of Horn and shared the bill with people like Fred Holstein at places like Monte Marte and the Barbarossa.
(III) Please augment my quoted self-description to add–“pacifist anarchist revolutionary”; I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, and I promised my Mother I’d try 2 set the record straight.
(IV) The Mythic Figs are not a band, but an alliance of persons, some of whom sometimes perform as the Mythic Fig Traveling Variety Showcase.** Our motto is “Keep the music alive!” The band in which Fred and I work (along with singer-songwriter/guitarist/banjoist/harpist/artist Thom Harris & just added drummer Tom) is the Fig Street Band. (Also, Fred has been, but is not now, “in three bands”; he is in the Fig Street Band, and also works solo.)
(V) “An Open Stage Is Not a Gig.” The 1st gig Fred and I did together was not an open stage, but a “gig” of mine (as CJ of IT, the Band That Comes FroMother Space) at the Gallery about four years ago; and (stranger than fiction) my usual opening act, (banjoist) Jon Calhoon, had broken a leg, and suggested Fred call me. People do “open stages” for years to get “gigs.” A gig is where you get to do more than 15-20 minutes a/k/a 3 or 4 songs, and you have been specifically “booked,” with publicity–as in the Reader.
(VI) Finally: I spell it CJ with no periods; both because I’m too old for periods and to save printing space.
*Please note: this spelling is intentional; trilled. Not that we’re not thrilled, when Figs are thrilled, they’re trilled. It’s a Fig thing . . .
*OfFIGcially, the first Mythic Figs –Fred, CJ & (musillusionist) Nonk (now of Spellcast)–played every Tuesday night @ Club Stodola in the L8 fall/early winter of 1990; our last gig there was New Year’s Eve 1990.