The Note January 1989

In this issue: Mike Finnigan, Patrick Quinn, Brent Kessler, The Kid, Big Dipper, Bill Goffrier, Joel Hornbostel, The Embarrassment, Pedal Jets, Homestead Grays, Joe Pascarelli, Trip Shakespeare, Matt Wilson, Jim Doyle, Steve Hunt, Backsliders, and Steve Ozark.

            A friend, Phil Miller, introduced me to Mike Finnigan in 1985. During the 70s, Phil owned Sgt Pepper's head shop in Wichita until head shops were banned in the early 80s. In two separate cases during 1985, Phil and I were busted by the feds for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.


      One winter morning (about 9am) in 1985 I got a phone call from Phil asking me if I'd be interested in talking with Finnigan. I thought what an opportunity it'd be to talk with a guy who played on Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland record. Since Phil and I were both going through our trial process with the feds we probably weren't supposed to be talking to each other. I wasn't really worried about our phones being tapped even though they surely were.


     "Hello," a crackly voice came over the line. It was Finnigan.  I spoke with Finnigan for a good 30 minutes about music and such. Mike had obviously been up all night and it's unlikely he remembers the conversation, but it is etched in my mind. He gave me his home phone number at the end of that conversation and The Note used it sparingly over the next ten years.


       The main reason we featured Finnigan in this issue was because he was doing some shows in the area over Christmas with Bill Lynch. But Finnigan also addresses his reputation to party it in this story  - "every night was Saturday and every day was Sunday. To his credit, Mike stopped the partying. Mike's wife Candy, also in recovery, wrote a book "When Enough is Enough:  A Comprehensive Guide to Successful Intervention ".  Or you can catch Candy Finnigan on A&E's "Intervention" where she is a regular interventionist.


     This issue also brought back the memory of Roy Orbison dying. It's hard to believe Roy Orbison died at the age of 52. Back then that seemed so old. Author of the obit, Dr. Robert Kite, was really Mike Roberts. I'm not sure why he wanted to write under a pen name. We got stories on Mike we'll tell later (just kidding Mike).  However, full disclosure dictates that I reveal that I did play in bands with Mike for at least a couple years during the 90s. I recall remember Mike telling me that he'll be playing on weekends at whatever gig there is for the rest of his life. Mike currently plays in the band Blue Orleans and Headshandsfeat or you can check out his website at


     The record reviews page in this issue has an interesting combination of writers and artists. Joel Hornbostel, now the publisher of The Pitch in Kansas City, pens a review of the band Big Dipper from Boston. The hook here is Big Dipper featured Bill Goffrier of the Embarrassment from Wichita. The Embarrassment are featured on the Cover of the October 1989 Note ( we do have it and when it's posted remind me to make a link to it here). The Pitch is an important part of The Note's life. Publisher Hal Brody was always very kind to us in a competitive arena.  There'll be much more to say about The Pitch as we revisit the issues. The Pitch has also put their archives online which stretch back to 1980. You can see them here:


          The review of the band Manilla Road was by Max Worthington ( who was really Rob Wilper, the road manager and sound man for the Backsliders). Robbie was a headbanger to the max. The Manilla Road band house was only a couple blocks away from The Note office's located at the MD Complex on Commerce in Wichita. During 1986 and 1987 I could always drop by the Manilla Road house for "break" just about any time of the day. I spent a lot of time talking with guitarist and song writer Mark Shelton and I'm pretty sure we had some fun hanging out. I probably was at his house more than I should have been, but I was trying to understand where the music of Manilla Road was coming from.  I promoted at least one Manilla Road show. I'm pretty sure I never figured out their music, but Max Worthington did and so do a lot of other people.


      I will go in a rescan page 7. It's got a review of the Homestead Grays Fresh Sounds Release by Mark Roseberry. Part of the review was lost during the scanning process. The Homestead Grays were the most popular band in Lawrence during this time. The Homestead Grays were responsible for many boys getting the girl. Lawrence musician Chuck Meade was the lead singer for the band and later would be in the Nashville band  BR549. They released seven albums, had three Grammy nominations and the Country Music Association Award for Best Overseas Touring Act  I did play a couple gigs with Chuck sometime in the 90s with JR Daniels band. I'm sure the gig was fine, but I remember crashing the Kitchen at Denny's after the gig with a video camera. We interviewed the kitchen staff and I'm pretty sure it was funny.


     In this issue of The Note, we announced the opening of a new brewery, The Free State Brewery in Lawrence. That seems to have worked out pretty well.


      This issue featured the Musician's Corner and the first part on music theory in a series done by Steve Ozark. If I remember correctly Ozark has a degree in Music Theory or something like that. I did like the way he explained that music is fundamentally harmony, rhythm and melody. There's lots more to say about Ozark, owner of Ozark Talent, and we will.


      Finally, you may have noticed that even though this is the January 1989 issue, many of the pages have January 1988 on them.  Yep. We made mistakes and lots of them.









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