Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 23, 2011.

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Help fund the definitive history of one of Chicago's most beloved and notorious rock stations!

Pictured: author with Josh and Eli Caterer of Smoking Popes ... apologies for the shoddy Blackberry-made video.

(update 7/22/11: THANK YOU!)

After almost two full decades on Chicago’s FM dial, Q101 is going away. When the station is officially handed off to its new owner, Merlin Media, in August, a format flip is expected to happen immediately. Before the memories fade, I decided that I should write a book about the station’s run as an “alternative” rock station.

Smells Like Rock Radio: an Oral History of Chicago’s Q101 (1992-2011) will chronicle the complex, hilarious, and culture-influencing history of the soon-to-be-gone station. The story will be told by the most qualified people to tell it: the DJs, programmers, support staff, and friends of Q101.

The book will be published in two ways:

1)  Publish on Demand. The paperback version will be made available through Amazon and other outlets to be determined.

2)  E-books (multiple formats). Versions will be professionally formatted for iBooks, Kindle, Nook, and more.

My expenses will include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Photos for use in book
  • Part-time assistants to help conduct and transcribe interviews
  • Copy editing
  • Book formatting for multiple e-book retailers
  • Unique ISBNs and bar codes for all versions
  • Design work (cover, paperback formatting, website)
  • Legal work
  • Contributor and backer copies

I’ve estimated costs at $9750, an admittedly large chunk of change. As such, I’ve tried to make the incentives worth it! 

As for why you should back this book, I'm uniquely qualified to pull it together. I've spent a lot of time at Q101 over the years, handling a lot of different responsibilities:

1993-2000

  • Air talent (nights, weekends, even Morning Drive for a fleeting moment)
  • Assistant Music Director
  • Host, "Local 101"
  • Webmaster
  • Producer, "Sound Opinions"
  • Producer, "Live 101" and "Local 101" CDs
  • Syndicated host, "Levi's Spark Radio"

2006-2007

  • Overnight jock
  • Morning host

2009-2011

  • Weekend jock

When I wasn't working at Q101, I was competing against it at stations like WXRT and WZZN. I have a comprehensive knowledge of the station's personnel, history, and operations. More importantly, my connections and familiarity with the station will make lining up interviews (the foundation of the book) a breeze.

FAQ

  • The simple answer is invest that money in the book, just as I would all the funds before it. I budgeted the minimum amount for everything I need to get the book published. Extra funds would mean additional and enhanced resources. For instance:

    If I had budgeted X for a copy editor based on my goal, additional money would mean that I could spend XY on better or enhanced services to get the job done.

    If I had budgeted X to pay for freelance interview help, additional money would mean that I could spend XY to offer a more dignified rate to my freelancers, or hire more on.

    I'm positive that I under-budgeted for mailing out rewards and publicity copies. Extra money will cover that.

    Ditto on per-book production costs.

    Last updated:
  • Five logs' worth.

    Last updated:
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    Your name is included in the "Thank You" section of the book.

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    A PDF copy of the book before it's published and a mention in the "Thank You" section of the book.

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    My personal, slightly used, CD copy of "Black Holes and Revelations" by Muse. Also: a mention in the "Thank You" section.

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    My personal, slightly used, CD copy of the soundtrack to "Singles." Also: a mention in the "Thank You" section.

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    My personal, slightly used, CD copy of "MTV Unplugged in New York" by Nirvana. Also: a mention in the "Thank You" section.

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    My personal, slightly used, CD copy of "Nightmare" by Avenged Sevenfold. Also: a mention in the "Thank You" section.

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    Butthole Surfers "Electric Larryland" record cover, signed by King Coffey (album not included).

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    The Donnas "Spend the Night" vinyl wall hanging, autographed by the band.

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    My personal, slightly used, CD copy of Pearl Jam's self-titled album (2006). Also: a mention in the "Thank You" section.

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    My personal, slightly used, CD promo copy of "The Unraveling" by Rise Against. Also: a mention in the "Thank You" section.

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    Smoking Popes "I Know You Love Me" 10" record. Hard to find.

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    Godsmack "The Other Side" promotional poster (11x17), signed by the band. Note that the poster is pretty wrinkled and creased.

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    A personalized, autographed copy of my first book, OFF THE RECORD COLLECTION.

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    My personal copy of "Local 101 Volume Two." The long out-of-print CD features tracks from Lucky Boys Confusion, Caviar, Sister Machine Gun, Apocalypse Hoboken, and more

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    THE NO FRILLS REWARD! For your pledge, you get a copy of the book. No "thank yous," no personalization, just the memories and awesomeness contained within the book's covers.

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    Autographed Mudvayne setlist ("Lost and Found") tour

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    My personal copy of "Retro 101 v.1," a Q101 compilation of 80s music I helped produce. Artists include Ramones, Missing Persons, Wall of Voodoo, New Order, Bow Wow Wow, Oingo Boingo, Duran Duran, Romeo Void, Ministry, Haircut 100, Devo, Big Audio Dynamite, and the Cure (recorded at Twisted 4 in 1997). Also: a mention in the "Thank You" section.

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    My personal copy of "Local 101 Volume One." The long out-of-print CD features tracks from Smoking Popes, Liz Phair, Wilco, Kill Hannah, Local H, Dovetail Joint, and more.

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    My personal copy of "Live 101 Volume One." The long out-of-print CD features exclusive live tracks from Live, INXS, Bush, Our Lady Peace, and more

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    Cake "Motorcade of Generosity" promotional flat, signed by band on that tour ('94).

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    From my home collection: every Clash CD I own. Includes: London Calling, The Clash, Super Black Market Clash, Sandinista! Burning London (tribute to the Clash), Clash on Broadway, Give 'Em Enough Rope, From Here to Eternity Live, and Cut the Crap.

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    59 backers

    Your personal, signed copy of SMELLS LIKE ROCK RADIO, including your name listed in the "Thank You" section.

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    Rare promotional poster for Q101's "Twisted Christmas": the very first Twisted event. Bands featured on the poster include Hole, Weezer, Bad Religion, Dinosaur Jr., Killing Joke, and Veruca Salt. This poster was created for the first-ever Twisted show, which led to an annual tradition that kept growing bigger each year.

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    The promotional poster for "Local 101 Volume One," signed by every artist on the CD: Dovetail Joint, Smoking Popes, My Scarlet Life, A Modern Joy, Fondly, Claire, Pulsars, Kill Hannah, The Rolls, Doris (featuring Paul Adelstein of TV's "Private Practice" and "Prison Break"), Liz Phair, John Huss Moderate Combo, The Aluminum Group, Atrixo, Certain Distant Suns, Local H, Massivivid, and Wilco. Note that there's an approximately 12" tear up the bottom center of the poster, though it does not interfere with any of the autographs.

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    18 backers Limited (7 left of 25)

    You get to write a 125-word essay on a Q101 memory, thought, or opinion and have it included in the book. Please note that essays may be edited for print, and must not be libelous, slanderous, or otherwise icky. This includes a personal, signed copy of SMELLS LIKE ROCK RADIO.

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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    You get to write a 250-word essay on a Q101 memory, thought, or opinion and have it included in the book. Please note that essays may be edited for print, and must not be libelous, slanderous, or otherwise icky. This includes a personal, signed copy of SMELLS LIKE ROCK RADIO.

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    My personal RIAA-certified "gold record" plaque for Radiohead's OK Computer album.

Funding period

- (31 days)