In case you asked to be removed from this list, hey, it's my annual Christmas
message. It'll take you like 30 seconds to decide to read it or delete it.

So. It was kind of a tough year. A lot less work for most of us, and what
there was often didn't pay as well as it should have. The city and federal
governments did their part, making it harder and more expensive to park
and/or load-in to gigs and more of a hassle to travel with equipment. The
mass media foisted a manufactured celebrity on us in the guise of a talent
search, a celebrity who probably wouldn't last 2 weeks in a jobbing band, but
now everyone who sings in their car on their way to work thinks that they,
too, can be a star.

A lot of us didn't even survive. We lost some good ones, locally and

But if you're reading this, you made it through another year.
Congratulations. Have a piece of government cheese...

My year wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible either. And I have a lot of
people to thank -- you may be on this list:

The following helped me to pay the rent, by hiring me, by subbing out a job
to me, by paying me to write or do artwork or charts, renting a p.a., or
recommending me for a gig. My gratitude knows no bounds.

Hunter Adams, Neal Alger, Mick Archer, Cas Baczinskas (Bacino's), Carlos
Basile (Guitars of Spain), John Beard, Doug Brush, Carlo and Dave from High
Society, Scott Chisholm and Michele Gaudioso (Andy's), Maureen Christine and
Mike Bazan, Kevin Cline, Barbara Lee Cohen, Meredith Colby, Community
Specialists, Dakota and Jim Sunseri from Souled Out, Al DiGenova, Donn
DiSanto, Terran Doehrer, Todd Donnelly (Mr. Meyers), Jim Doyle, Steve Doyle,
Nancy Erickson, Mike Finnerty, Mike Fiorino, Dave Flippo, Bill Fornari, John
Fournier, 4th Presbyterian Church, Tom Fox, Guy Fricano, Gethsemane Garden
Center, Mike Glick, Dave Glynn (Empty Can Band), Tim Green, Lanny Grilly, Ken
Hall, Pat Hall and Marcus David of The Fat Guys Blues Band, Harmony
Productions, Akemi and David Henderson, Dan Hesler, Dan Hixon, Hank Horton,
Wally Hustin, Janice Javors (Chicago Music Mart), Dave Jemilo (Green Mill),
Robin Kay, Fred Kuch, Jeff Lasky, Mike Levin, John Lewis, Mike Liptrot, Bob
Long, Mark Madsen, Steve Magnone, Lenny Marsh, Scott Martin (Simon's), Shmuel
Maschiach, Colleen McNabb, Scott Meland, Pete Miller's, Ron Mills, Peter
Molina, Glenn Morimoto, Donald Neale, Bryan Nichols, John Novi, Bill
O'Connell, Bob Owens, Mike Pace (Avenue Alehouse), Frank Palermo, Greg
Pasenko, Greg and Marvinetta Penn, Richie Pillot, Anne Pringle and Mark
Burnell, the public libraries in Highland Park, Downers Grove, Rolling
Meadows, Lincolnwood, and Vernon Hills, Corey Radford, Carol Ray, Nancy
Richman, Al Rose, John Roothaan, Jim Ryan, Rob Ryndak, Dick Sarlo, Bobby
Schiff, Richard Schoen, Kurt Schweitz, Rick Shandling, Pete Sliwka, Marc
Smith, Barry Sperti, Spiro at Gateway, Mike Staron, Mitch Straeffer, Andy
Tamrasz (Andie's), Jeannie Tanner, John Temmerman, Zvonimir Tot, Ursula at
Leopard Lounge, Julie V., Joe Valentino, Tom Van Kanegan, Marshall Vente, Tim
Walters, Mark Weiss, Ralph Wilder, Barry Winograd, June Yvonne. If I missed
your name, my sincerest apologies.

A special acknowledgement to my student, Ezra Siegel, the best student I've
ever had. He'll be stealing my gigs in a couple of years.

And that, gentlemen, is how you cobble together a living.

I'd also like to thank the brave souls who helped me make my own strange
music: Mike Levin, Bob Long, Heath Chappell, Dan Hesler, Neal Alger, Pat
Fleming, Kathy Kelly, Sarah Allen, Carter Luke, Ben Lewis, Steve Magnone,
John Lewis, Zvonimir Tot, Mitch Paliga, Joe Rendon, Joe Sonnefeldt, Tim
Green, Brian Wilkie, Pete Sliwka, Leandro Lopez-Varady, Chris Mahieu, John
Beard, Peter Lerner, Steve Roberts, Donald Neale, Steve Thomas, Nancy
Erickson, Jen Zias, Bryan Nichols, Derek Henderson and Mike McLoughlin. Have
an extra piece of cheese.

This week Steven Hashimoto will wind down the year at:

MON. 12/23: a last-minute gig courtesy of Steve Magnone. Thanks!

THURS. 12/26: at ANDY'S, 11 E. Hubbard, noon-2:30pm, with guitarist Pat
Fleming; then later on (9-ish I think) at THE BOULEVARD CAFÉ in Logan Sqaure
with Al Rose & The Transcendos (I imagine Al, Laura Blye, Steve Doyle, Carter
Luke and Sarah Allen).

FRI. 12/27: at THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N. Broadway, 1:30-3:45am with The Green
Mill Quartet (Barely Winograd, bari sax; Bob Long, piano; and Rick Shandling,
drums) for The After-Hours Jam Session.

By the way, I wouldn't mind filling this Saturday (the 28th). As well as
every Saturday in January and February (except Jan. 10). 708-222-6520.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each and every one of you, whether you
want it or not.