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Before I go on, let me say this was swiped w/o permission from the Prine Shrine. I have since cleaned up the chat session because it appeared there with all the garbage text that usually appears with such chat sessions. I find all that crap annoying as hell so I edited it out. The Prine Shrine is invited to swipe this stuff back if they so choose to do so.



Thursday, Nov. 13, 1997 / Digital City Chicago

The auditorium consists of two major areas: the audience (where you are right now) and the stage where the MC/host and guests appear Remember, text which you type onscreen shows only to those in your row, prefaced by the row number in parentheses, such as (2) if you are in row 2. To interact with the speaker, use the "Interact" icon on your screen.

Pomond: Folks, I want to take a moment to explain how tonight's event will proceed, because this IS NOT like a regular celebrity chat on America Online. We are currently chatting live from the cavernous ballroom beneath the stage where the Steve Goodman benefit concert is taking place.

The "Steve Goodman Tribute Concert" at Chicago's Medinah Temple brings together a wide spectrum of world class singer-songwriters to both pay homage to the late Chicago favorite and to raise money for his alma mater of the Old Town School of Folk Music. Proceeds from the concert -- featuring Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris,John Prine, Kathy Mattea, Arlo Guthrie, Iris DeMent, and Todd Snider -- will go to the school's building fund as well as to establish a Steve Goodman Scholarship Fund for underprivileged students.

As this chat proceeds, we will pull the featured performers over to our chat station as they become available. Tribune music critic Lou Carlozo (screen name: LCarlozo) will spend a few minutes interviewing each musician in this chat space, and then we'll jump to user-submitted questions.

Because this live chat is being produced on-site at the benefit concert, we do not know the exact order in which our special guests will appear ; Also, please keep in mind that we may not be able to get to every user-submitted question or comment due to time constraints.

Pomond: Welcome to tonight's big event, a special chat from the Steve Goodman benefit concert in Chicago, Illinois!

Pomond: Hello, Lou, how are you this evening?

LCarlozo:I'm very excited Steve Goodman is an awesome performer, and some of the people we'll be talking to tonight are legends in their own right.

Pomond: Folks, Arlo Guthrie is about to join the chat ... and he's even carrying a ukulele!

ARLO GUTHRIE continues to put on entertaining, hysterical folk shows as a live performer. The brains behind "Alice's most recently served as master of ceremonies for the post-Grateful Dead Furthur Festival tour.

LCarlozo: You've got the ukulele! Do you want to play it?

Arlo Guthrie: I'd love to, but you couldn't hear me.

LCarlozo: I saw your show at the Abbey Pub and thought it was super. You did "City of New Orleans."

Arlo Guthrie: I generally try to do "City of New Orleans" at every show.

LCarlozo: How did you go about finding that song?

Arlo Guthrie: I was playing a gig here in Chicago in 1971. Steve Goodman came to the show. He gave me a lead sheet.

LCarlozo: I'd heard a story about the first time he met you, and you had a beer on the bar and you told Steve that he had as much time to play his song as it took you to drink the beer.

Arlo Guthrie: That's basically true. But as soon as I heard him play the song, I made him buy me another beer.

LCarlozo: What was it about Stevethat made you and him really connect?

Arlo Guthrie: Steve was a greathuman being. He was a terrific entertainer. He was a fabulous guitar player and songwriter

LCarlozo: What made him stand out?

Arlo Guthrie: Even if he didn't have any of those attributes, he would still stand out.

Pomond: (folks, if you have a question for Arlo, use your Interact button now)

Arlo Guthrie: He had a tremendous amount of energy and life force -- It just burst from him and it affected everyone around him.

Pomond: OK, let's go to questions from users ... This question comes from "Deb0147" ..

Question: arlo...from your friend in blunderchat do you really drink Folgers, or did Juan make you an offer you couldn't refuse?

Arlo Guthrie: I drink whatever they give me. I don't generally sing about coffee. I don't usually drink it personally. I'm sort of an elitist snob pig when it comes to coffee.

Pomond: OK, here's another user question .. This comes from "Gtaulb":

Arlo, how many children do you have and are any of them musicians?

Arlo Guthrie: I have 4 kids, 3 of which are musicians, 2 of which are good, 1 of which actually earns a living from it.

Pomond: Here's another user question ...] This comes from "firstwdjo" ...
how long did you know Steve?

Arlo Guthrie: I knew Steve from 1971 until he died in '84.

Pomond: OK. Here's another user question; this one's from "LadyLaw20" ...
Question:Are you still writing yourself?

Arlo Guthrie: Yep! I still write, but I'm also still doing other people's songs too. A lot of people think I wrote "City of New Orleans" -- I don't usually tell them the truth.

Pomond: Here's a question for Arlo Guthrie from "Work2deth" ...

Question: Arlo, what is your favorite part about being an entertainer, and what is the worst part?

Arlo Guthrie: Best: You don't need reservations in restaurants
Worst: Most restaurants don't know who you are.

Pomond: The next question for Arlo comes from "DubbleStu" ...

Question: What do you think of Bonnie Raitt's guitar talent?

Arlo Guthrie: Bonnie Raitt is a TERRIFIC guitarist - period.

Pomond: OK; let's go back to more questions from Tribune music critic Lou Carlozo ...

LCarlozo: Tell us a little bit about the Web site you've got up.

Arlo Guthrie: I have a wonderful Web site, put together by a fan: Dave Downin.

How did this happen?

Arlo Guthrie: I found out about it by accident. I thought it was terrific, so we became friends. It continued into a monstrous site.

LCarlozo: Not just a Web site, but a labyrinth.

Arlo Guthrie: Yes.

LCarlozo: I saw you acting as master of ceremonies this year at the Furthur festival.

Arlo Guthrie: The Furthur Festival was a great way to spend six weeks. I don't know that I want to do it all the time. But it was great playing the Grateful Dead crowd -- an audience that wasn't usual to me.

LCarlozo: The show that I saw was at Alpine Valley.
LCarlozo: That was the time you told the story about the Moose.
LCarlozo: Will it translate online?

Arlo Guthrie: Its too long to do that now!

LCarlozo: I would recommend to users to see Arlo Guthrie and run, not walk!
LCarlozo: He is a wonderful entertainer very much like Steve Goodman, and remember to listen to the Moose story.

Arlo Guthrie: If you can't see it live, the moose story is actually a moose book: "Mooses Come Walking"

Pomond: Arlo has to get ready for his set at the concert ... thanks for joining us, Mr. Guthrie!

Arlo Guthrie: My pleasure!

Pomond: OK, folks, we're going to get ready for the next special ... Lynn Brehmer from WXRT radio. ...sorry, that's LIN Brehmer. Mr. Brehmer is seated ...

LCarlozo: I understand this your first experience doing an interview in cyberspace. Vast, isn't it?

Lin Brehmer: It's much bigger than I anticipated - It's a vast, unlimited universe!

LCarlozo: Isn't it?

Pomond: (folks, use your Interact button to submit a question or comment for Lin)

LCarlozo: I think WXRT has a really unique perspective on Steve Goodman. You're the only radio stationin town that keeps his memory alive musically.

Lin Brehmer: Well, I think you have to remember that the historical context of Steve's career parallels that of XRT. Steve's album went out in '71. XRT went on the air in '72.

LCarlozo: What about your background with Steve?

Lin Brehmer: I was actually doing college radio when Steve began.
My perspective was as an outsider, as a fan. I listened to a lot of Woodie Gutrie albums. (Steve) was really a shining light in Chicago's acoustical music scene.

LCarlozo: I understand Steve was a really different kind of performer. I had the chance to see him twice. It sounds like in the ironic, post-modern '90s, we could use a dose of Steve Goodman.

Lin Brehmer: Steve Goodman inspired the irony of songwriters from the time he began.

LCarlozo: One of the things that's funny is that a song like "Lincoln Park Pirates" still sparks a 30 minute conversation about cars being towed and feeding the meters.

Lin Brehmer: I was thinking how not a day goes by in Chicago when I don't think about Seve Goodman ... I'm late or feeding a meter, and immediately I hum the song "Lincoln Park Pirates."

LCarlozo: We met Jackson Browne earlier, and he told us about the XRT Christmas For Kids concert.

Lin Brehmer: We raise money for a variety of charities, such as toys for children. It's fun because you can see tangible results of our efforts. Jackson Browne is doing the acoustical at the Riveria - that's pretty rare. This is completely for the holidays. We were excited to have a musician of his caliber.

Pomond: Lin, we have some questions for you from users ... "Work2deth" would like to know ...

Question: Mr. Brehmer, what has been the funniest thing that has happened while you were on the air?

Pomond: (Lin's laughing)

Lin Brehmer: How about embarrassing?

Pomond: Sure!

Lin Brehmer: How about John Popper, about a month ago,
being interviewed after opening for the Rolling Stones. I asked him and his guitarist if he could be having more fun. He said only if a pair of feminine lips were wrapped around his (expletive deleted). XRT has no censor for that event. Our phones were quite active that day.

LCarlozo: I'd like to know how you reacted to that.

Lin Brehmer: I actually said on the air, "Wait a minute, let me hit the delay button." then ... "We don't seem to HAVE a delay button!"
I issued what I thought a very cogent apology.

I also once mispronounced Bono's name on air I called him Bono, as in Sonny Bono. That was the only Bono I knew.

LCarlozo: When in doubt, you could always say, Hey Paul! If I had met him in 1981, I would have asked him why he named himself after Sonny.

Pomond: :-) Lin Brehmer: (laughs)

Pomond: OK, here's another user question for Lin Brehmer, WXRT DJ.
Pomond: This question comes from "PharmBoy8" ...

Question: Has Lin ever studied literature? Listening to him in the morning, he seems very well read!

Lin Brehmer: I was an English major, and like so many failed English Majors, I found myself with very few employable skills. At one point in my life, I considered hiding in an ivory tower as an English professor. But I discovered that at the age of 18 I preferred playing pool to re-reading Spenser's "Faerie Queen."

LCarlozo: All right! Another English major! That book was brutal!

Lin Brehmer: A little of that leaks onto the air. yep

Pomond: We have another user question ... This comes from "Deaf Elvi" ...

Question: Do you have anything to say about Elvis Presley?

Lin Brehmer: Absolutely. He's the king, he wears the crown, no one will ever take it away from him!

Pomond: Here's another user question, this one's from "Cnunez1" ...

Question: What type of a relationship did you have with Steve Goodman?

Lin Brehmer: I did not know him personally. I was a fan, a record buyer. I was a very bad acoustic guitarist. I failed to copy any of the masters.

Pomond: All right, let's go back to music critic Lou Carlozo, who has
Pomond: some more questions for Lin ...

LCarlozo: This has been quite a year for XRT, not just a year to celebrate, but emotional with all the old staff back together. What are some of the highlights?

Pomond: (we're chatting with WXRT dj and concert co-host Lin Brehmer)

Lin Brehmer: Well, you have to remember that as a 14-year veteran of XRT I'm still the rookie!

The weekend that the alumni came back to the station, no one was quite sure how that would work out, but we did some great radio from the Museum of Broadcast Communications We pretended that we flashed back to the Scott McConnell show and had Scott and C.D. Jaco recount the news and the music of the year 1979. It wasn't all work, however. The parties we all had that weekend are legend, and that's saying a lot. It was only 2 months ago.

Pomond: Let's get another user question for Lin; this comes from PharmBoy8 ...

Question: Has Lin always lived in Chicago?

Lin Brehmer: One of the great secrets of my life is that I am a reformed New Yorker. Born and bred in Queens, I have repudiated all attachments to that failed laboratory.

Pomond: :-)

LCarlozo: So you have a unique perspective on the whole NY vs. Chicago thing.

Lin Brehmer: Yes I do. I feel like I was taken to the Gulag Archipelago and brainwashed.

Pomond: OOOF!

Lin Brehmer: I'm a Bulls fan; I'm a psychotic Chicago baseball fan, and consider the NY Mets a loathsome lot of baseball players.

LCarlozo: Lin, thanks for coming down. It's been wonderful. Anything else you'd like the cyber audience to know about?

Lin Brehmer: I wish you all could be here.

Pomond: Thanks for joining us, Lin!

Pomond: Folks, we're going to go to music star Iris DeMent, up in just a few minutes ...If you have a question or a comment to submit to Iris, use your Interact button now.

In the meantime, here's a little information about the Old Town of Folk Music: The Old Town School of Folk Music, a nonprofit Chicago cultural landmark, is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary while raising money for its move into larger headquarters, slated to open in late 1998. Notable school alumni range from Steve Goodman and John Prine to the Byrds' Roger McGuinn and members of Veruca Salt. Each week, some 1,800 adults and 1,200 children attend the school's classes, which range from banjo picking to African drumming and the music of the Beatles.

OK, folks, here's Iris. IRIS DeMENT's third album, "The Way I Should'' (Warner Bros.), tackles the topics of sexual abuse ("Letter to Mom''), materialism ("Quality Time'') and who's to blame for the way things are ("There's A Wall in Washington''). Prior to becoming a singer-songwriter, she worked a string of odd jobs, including one at a K-Mart.

LCarlozo:       Iris, it's great to have you here tonight.

Iris Dement: Its good to be here.

LCarlozo: I think people would be interested how you've connected with Steve's music and what it means to you.

Iris Dement: I first became familiar with Steve Goodman through the song "City of New Orleans." I heard it on the radio. I loved it! By coincidence, 15 years later, I learned the connection between Steve and John Prine.

LCarlozo: We had Arlo here earlier, and he was talking about what you just said. For a lot of people, that's the entry on finding out about Steve. This is a special gathering of people tonight. Are they swapping Steve Goodman stories?

Iris Dement: This is one of those peak moments in a person's life. Most of the people here are people who I bought albums of. It's scary and fun.

LCarlozo: You have an interesting story. You started writing in your mid-20s, worked at K-mart and went to Nashville where it all happened.

Iris Dement: I feel like a dream a lot, The further along I get in years, the more it seems like a dream.

LCarlozo: What gives you the courage?

Iris Dement: I've always sung in church. I was very shy - it's the songs that give me courage. I just said, "No matter how scared you are, you must go on."

Pomond: (folks, we're now chatting with singer/songwriter Iris DeMent)

Iris Dement: It motivates me to get over my fear.

Pomond: We have a user question for you, Iris; this comes from "Jaynehone" ...

Iris, some of your music reminds me of Jackson Browne's, did he influence you?

Iris Dement: No one has ever asked me that before! Yes it did. I had several albums of his in high school. (Tonight), I told him that I wanted to play piano like him.

Pomond: OK. We have one more user question for you, Iris. This comes from "MCarper49" ...

Who was the one performer that inspired you the most?

Iris Dement: Woah, hard question, I'll give you two.
Man -- Johnny Cash;  woman -- Emmylou Harris.
That's why I'm nervous tonight - she's right here singing.

LCarlozo: Iris, thanks so much for being with us. It was a pleasure having you.

Pomond: Thank you, Iris!

Iris Dement: Thank you! I enjoyed it

Pomond: Folks, up next we have concert co-host Roy Leonard ... Veteran WGN-AM broadcaster Roy Leonard frequently featured Goodman as a guest on his radio program. Leonard is a co-host for tonight's benefit concert.

LCarlozo: Roy it's great to have you. The connection between you and Steve Goodman was intense.

Roy Leonard: It was an amazing relationship with Steve Goodman.

Pomond: (folks, if you have a question for Roy Leonard, use your Interact button now)

Roy Leonard: I'd had a radio show for 30 years, and one day someone brought in a gnome character and said he sings songs. It was right after "City of New Orleans." I got to know him that day, and he's the kind of guest you pray for: He was witty, funny , talkative ... The moment I remember the most was 1973 -- him and Jethro Burns had done a show in Park West, a wonderful venue ... an intimate venue ... They had performed on Friday night. I didn't know what he was going to do. He said, "We have just introduced a song," and he played "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" ... a very good recording.

LCarlozo: I think about the two Steve Goodman songs that have held up over time, and they are "Lincoln Park Pirates" and "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request."

Roy Leonard: He had such a sense of humor! he expressed it in his songs and when you talked to him. We covered the Oscars once. We did the show the next day: 8 to 10 a.m.; He had to get up around 6 a.m. to do the show and said "of course I'll be there."

LCarlozo: A man -- from what I understood -- who had a sense of "I'm going to live in the present and soak everything out of life."

Roy Leonard: He never talked about his illness.

Pomond: All right; we have some user questions for Mr. Leonard ... This question comes from "Marjery" ...

Question: Roy, what is your favorite Steve Goodman song, and why?

Roy Leonard: "Santa Ana Winds," only because I have to get up very early in the morning,[ and it's a great musical fix.[ The next one is "The Dutchman" ... he didn't write it, but his version[ just tears me up. ... Thanks, marjery!

Pomond: All right; here's a question for you, Roy, from "MEOlson"

...[Question:       How do you like working with Steve Bertrand?

Roy Leonard: Steve is a newsman at WGN, one of the brightest men I ever worked with. You should be proud to know him.

Pomond: All right, here's one more question for Roy ...
Pomond: "SwtGaBrn" would like to know ...

What is your favorite kind of music?

Roy Leonard: I am a basic Jazz fan, so if I had to put my tastes in order, jazz would be number 1, and folk number 2; this stuff will be around forever. I don't understand rap, but it won't be around long, so I don't worry about it.

LCarlozo: I guess that makes two of us!

Pomond: Thanks very much for joining us, Roy! Folks, we have John Prine lined up next ...

Roy Leonard: my pleasure it was fun

Pomond: He'll join us in just a just a couple minutes ... We're going to take a really quick break while we get John to our chat table. Just a little detail about the atmosphere ... our chat team is currently sitting at a table in the ballroom beneath the stage where the Steve Goodman benefit concert is taking place. We're all very excited to have the opportunity to chat with these music luminaries; Everyone who has chatted with us has been exceedingly mellow and very personable.

Pomond: All right; enough of my chitchat; let's talk to John Prine ... JOHN PRINE is an Old Town School alumnus and former mailman who has gone on to bigger and better things. He has his own record label, Oh Boy Records, and his most recent album, "Lost Dogs & Mixed Blessings,'' features Howie Epstein (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers).

LCarlozo: Hello there John.

John Prine: How are you?

LCarlozo: Do you still have the Wurlitzer?

Pomond: (Folks, use your Interact button now to ask a question of John Prine.)

LCarlozo: Maybe we should tell the users what we're referring to ...

John Prine: Well, the song Steve and I wrote together ... I lost interest and dropped it. He kept with it, and called me to put all the words in the song. I told him to take the song. It went to number 1, and I was shocked. The next day, he showed up with a $1,200 Wurlitzer jukebox.

LCarlozo: How did you and Steve Goodman meet? I know your history goes back a long way.

John Prine: As far as I can remember, it was in the back, or kitchen, of the Earl of Old Town. I think it was the first time I played at Earl's ...

LCarlozo: And what was your first impression of him?

John Prine:  He was definitely brash. We met a lot of people and had a lot in common. Brash is the word for him. We called him Little Caesar. He would come right up in your face and tell you something.

LCarlozo: This may be a hard question, but if you could pick out one memory of Steve Goodman that sticks out, what would it be?

John Prine: Actually it would probably be him on stage. Steve would get nervous before he got up on stage. But after he got on stage, he would come off glowing. I remember watching him change from being onstage.; We played a show at the Sanger Theater in Mobile, AL. He was going up for an encore. He hit the guitar, and two strings snapped. The crowds were still; cheering. When he broke the strings, he decided to sing "Mammy."

Pomond: Folks, we have time for one user question for John ... This comes from "Jacksonit" ...

Question: hi john -how come you don't tour more?

John Prine: I don't know where you live, but we're out all the time.

Pomond: Folks, unfortunately, we don't have time for more user questions ...

LCarlozo:       John, thanks for being here. Hope you have a great performance and it's great to see your success with Oh Boy records.

Pomond: Thank you very much, Mr. Prine!

Pomond: Folks, we have Todd Snider up next; he'll join us in just a moment ... OK, everyone, Todd has joined us now ... MCA recording artist TODD SNIDER is nearing completion of a new album slated for a mid-January release, produced by John Hampton (GIN BLOSSOMS). With two albums under his belt, Snider lists Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynyrd as his influences.

Pomond: (folks, if you want to ask a question of Todd Snider, use your Interact button now)

LCarlozo: Todd, great to meet you.

Todd Snider: Its great to be here.

LCarlozo: One of the good things about events like this is that it's not only giving us established performers but rising performers like yourself.

LCarlozo: I'm a Scorpio.

Todd Snider: Lets see, I'm a Libra, and I just made my third record. We are a band from Memphis.

Pomond: (his girlfriend, who is with Todd right now, said "he's taken")

Todd Snider: I grew up in Oregon but always wanted to go to the south.

LCarlozo: A lot of really rockin' influences there Todd.

Pomond: OK, folks, we've just been informed that Todd has to jump into a photo opp. .. He'll join us again in a moment; David Goodman, Steve Goodman's brother is with us in the chat room now.

LCarlozo:       To everyone in the cyber audience, we have a really special treat. Photographer David Goodman has stopped down to chat. If the last name sounds familiar, it's because he's Steve's brother.

David Goodman: Its a pleasure to be here.

LCarlozo: David, it's wonderful to have you with us.

LCarlozo: Steve was such a wild and energetic performer, what was it like to grow up with him?

David Goodman: He was pretty much the same all the way through. We had our fights, our rivalries; we went our separate ways. This is one of his lines: He kept me out of the music business because he said "Music is a dirty business."

LCarlozo: When Steve found out that he had leukemia, how did that change him? I've heard two things from artists tonight -- one is that he never told anyone. He never wanted to sleep, he just wanted to go out there and do it.

David Goodman: That's what they've said - it's true: He lived to the last. Nothing stopped him. He was an amazing man: Right from the hospital to a show, sick from the chemotherapy, but it didn't stop him.

LCarlozo: Was there ever a day where Steve came home and made an announcement to the family and said, "I'm going to be a performer"? I understand he got a lot of support from your mother.

; David Goodman: Yes, but my dad wanted him to be Steve the doctor!

Pomond: (folks, if you'd like to submit a question for David Goodman, Steve Goodman's brother, use your Interact button now)

LCarlozo: There was a side of Steve that was comic, and there was a side that was folk singer. Was he more of one or the other?

David Goodman: Actually, he was just a brother to me. He was the same man on stage.

LCarlozo: One last question ... What does this night mean to you as Steve's brother?

David Goodman:  I'm just amazed at the outpouring of love and turnout of this show.

LCarlozo: David, thanks so much.

Pomond: Thank you for joining us, David!

David Goodman: Thank you very much. I'm not always that spontaneous!

Pomond: All right, everyone ... we're working on getting Lyle Lovett in the room for you. Our intrepid event producers have to track Lyle down ... I'm being told that all of the performers are engaged in group photo As soon as they've finished, we'll continue with this event.
Pomond: BTW, I wanted to mention that Arlo Guthrie regaled us with some ukulele music during his earlier interview. He mentioned that he wished it could have been broadcast into the chat room.

Pomond: Jackson Browne stopped by briefly before the chat began, and we hope to see him again later .. In the event that Jackson doesn't come back down to the ballroom, Digital City Chicago will still publish the full transcript of his interview with Lou Carlozo, along with RealAudio soundbytes.

Pomond: Right now, we're being joined by Michael Miles, asst. director of the Old Town School of Folk Music. The Old Town School of Folk Music, a nonprofit Chicago cultural landmark, is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary while raising money for its move into larger headquarters, slated to open in late 1998. Notable school alumni range from Steve Goodman and John Prine to the Byrds' Roger McGuinn and members of Veruca Salt. Each week, some 1,800 adults and 1,200 children attend the school's classes, which range from banjo picking to African drumming and the music of the Beatles.

LCarlozo:       Michael, it's great to have you. I just finished my course -- Applied Harmony - at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

Michael Miles: Did you get a good grade?

Pomond: :-)

LCarlozo: I didn't know I was being graded. People in Chicago are really lucky to have a place like the Old Town. It's been a launching pad for stars like John Prine and Steve Goodman, but still has a humble heart and deep connection to the everyday musician. Tell the people the reason why we're here. Where is the money going to go?

Michael Miles: We are opening a new facility in 1998 where we will be able to offer more classes and the opportunity to learn the traditional music of the world that we teach at Old Town Music School.

LCarlozo: I haven't seen the new location on Lincoln Ave, but I've heard it's a beautiful building that will allow you to do a lot more.

Michael Miles: We will have 18 full size classrooms, 10 private studios, a concert hall that seats 425, a cafe, a dance studio and a resource center of recordings and books that will be available to the public.

LCarlozo: The old location at the Aldine will still remain in the Old Town family, but with a slightly different function ...

Michael Miles: It will be a children's center for performing arts and music.

LCarlozo: What else lies ahead for Old Town ? Concert artists?

Michael Miles: We have lots of new classes -- they include: guitar, banjo, harmonica, flamenco dance, African dance African percussion, Native American flute, vocal techniques classes, classes in doo-wap harmony ... There are about 3,500 students that come through the school each week, and we're looking to expand our resources to serve more people in Chicago.

We will also have parking!!!

Pomond: :-)
Pomond: ... much needed in Chicago.

LCarlozo: Are there any concerns about the new location being less accessible?

Michael Miles: Well, for some, yes. It's 1/2 block away from the Lawrence stop on Western Avenue. Many who go to the school live north of it. The new amenities will make it much easier to get to. We hope to gain many new people as well.

LCarlozo: I have no idea whether you can answer this question, but it's been on my mind all night: How does a real home-grown, humble institution like the Old Town School get all of these big stars together for one concert?

Michael Miles: Well, it's all about personal relationships, Steve Goodman learned to play guitar at the old school, as well as John Prine. It's all made possible through Al Benetta, who is John Prine's manager and was Steve Goodman's manager. It's on the basis of their relationships with the other performers. This is a good reason for them: to pay tribute to Steve and the school, which is the oldest of its kind in North America. We've had 3,500 students come through each week. The reason that these people have come together is to show support for what we've been doing. We have a scholarship program. We have the best staff to help as well, from every background. Many people can share the experience with others.

Pomond: (Folks, I just wanted to mention that we're working on getting either Jackson Browne or Lyle Lovett in the chat following Michael Miles.)

LCarlozo: When is the move date for going to the new home? It seems like a long way away, but it will be here before you know it.

Michael Miles: September 11, 1998, our GRAND OPENING.

LCarlozo: This may be a bit of premature question, but has there been any talk about having a huge grand opening bash?

Chigochat2:     Michael Miles: Yes! there will be a HUGE grand opening bash. It's too soon to tell, but it will be a good show.

LCarlozo: What else would you like people out there to know about getting in touch with the school?

Michael Miles: Give us a call at 773-525-7793!

LCarlozo: Just a note. Compared to getting private instruction, the prices at Old Town are very reasonable, and the teachers are first-rate. Thanks for coming, Michael!

Michael Miles: Thank you very much!

Pomond: All right, folks, we're going to end the chat with a short interview with Lyle Lovett.

Pomond: All right, Mr. Lovett is now with us ... LYLE LOVETT wanted to be a journalist before becoming a musician. He celebrates his 40th birthday this month; his most recent album ``The Road to Ensenada,'' released in 1996 (MCA/Curb), won him his fifth Grammy for Best Pomond: Country Album.

LCarlozo: Lyle, I know we have to keep this short, so let's dive right in. What is it in you that connects to Steve Goodman's music?

Lyle Lovett: I was a fan of Steve for a long time.
The first song I heard was "City of New Orleans." I wanted to learn more about the writer. I saw him live in 1978 while on tour with Steve Martin.

LCarlozo: I saw that same tour

Lyle Lovett: I loved his music.

LCarlozo: For me, it emphasized that connection that he's a folk singer, but he's got a comic element

Lyle Lovett: Exactly.

Pomond: Let's go to some user questions; this comes from "DIVA508" ...
Question: lyle, what song of yours is your favorite?

Lyle Lovett: I like so many things, its so hard to say a favorite ...."City of New Orleans" is one. The song I sang tonight, "I Just Keep Falling in Love," is a good one.

Pomond: Here's a user question from "Femlite" ...

Question: Lyle, how do you classify the type of music you write It is not really country, nor western, nor folk....what is it?

Lyle Lovett: I don't classify it.

Pomond: Folks, unfortunately, Lyle has to go up to the concert now ...

Lyle Lovett: Besides being privileged to be part of this tonight ... All the great artists, it's thrilling to listen to them. The reason I play is to be a part of this all. I LOVE MUSIC! I want to go hear Arlo Gunthrie! He's playing right now.

Pomond: All right, folks, Lyle just boogied upstairs to catch Arlo Guthrie's set. Unfortunately, we're out of time for tonight's event, but you'll be able to find a complete transcript, plus RealAudio clips and photos of the musicians at Digital City Chicago.

Pomond: Thanks for coming, everyone!

LCarlozo: Thanks to everyone for participating. This is experimental. Someday, we'll figure out a way to get to everyone's questions. We're sorry we couldn't get Jackson Browne for the live chat, but we did tape an interview of him earlier, and we'll have it up at Until next time, surf safe, and don't spread any viruses.

Pomond: Thanks, Lou!  Good night, everyone!

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