Friday, January 20, 2023

Gigantar Arrives at Illinois Rock & Roll Museum — Lighting Ceremony Planned

Photo: Courtesy Rock&Roll Hall of Fame, Joliet.

The Illinois Rock & Roll Museum has announced another superb milestone in its progress of making Joliet, Illinois, the destination home of the most important and dynamic musicians ever born in the state. On Friday, Jan. 20, at 5:00 p.m., the public is invited to the official lighting ceremony for the Giagantar at the Museum.

This wonderful 24-foot sculpture was made specifically for the museum and according to the Joliet News, The “world’s largest hand-made guitar,” called Gigantar, crossed over five states last weekend before its arrival in Joliet. The artist is Shannon McDonald who is known for her entertainment industry artwork (see her website here), has been lauded by many, including Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick (pictured below), Sylvester Stallone, and Diane Sawyer.

As part of the museum’s growth and development, President and Founder Ron Romero continues to bring together in Joliet some of the most exciting events that celebrate the state’s most beloved musicians.

Carl Giammarese (above) said, “On behalf of The Buckinghams, I am excited to be a part of the sign lighting. It is an honor to be in the company of (fellow 2021 Inaugural Class Members) Jim Peterik (The Ides of March)(photo below), and Rick Nielsen at the VIP event. There has been so much talent from the great state of Illinois, and they deserve to be recognized!”

Partial funding for the sculpture came from a grant by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. In addition to the VIP Rockstars invited, Romero says that “on hand for the special event will be the Mayor and Joliet’s Economic Development Director.” The results of a contest, sponsored by Rock’N Vodka, to name a special drink in honor of Gigantar will be announced.

In the short period of time that the idea has gone from dream to reality, Ron Romero continues to build a truly exceptional home for memorabilia and other treasures of Illinois’ greatest musicians.

The Museum is located at located at 9 W. Cass St., Joliet, IL 60432.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Remembering David Crosby

[Photo: Ron Elkman, Published across USA TODAY network]

Another musical milestone was reached with news of the passing of extraordinary musician, David Crosby, on January at the age of 81. Audiences know him best as the first-named part of Crosby, Stills & Nash (later Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young), but he actually entered the music scene as a founding member of the Byrds. His clean, clear vocals added a dimension to a song like no other in his time.

His youthful indifference to what was best for him in his having a long life was part of his trademark rebel self. On the other edge of his defiance was a heart and soul that went beyond the pale for others. Often at odds with himself, it was the harmony he would create in music that kept his colleagues willing to collaborate and create works that stand forever as “classics” against six decades of possibilities. He brought Joni Mitchell’s talent to light for all of us. He produced and inspired music that is on everyone’s playlist today. Look at your phone and see.

Carl Giammarese said today:

The passing of David Crosby brings tremendous sadness. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but his music was a major influence on me, starting with the Byrds. But when Crosby, Stills and Nash released their first album, I was blown away! God, those infectious songs wrapped in those beautiful harmonies, so new and refreshing. I don’t think there was a sound that I embraced that much since The Beatles! They were a major influence on Tufano and Giammarese, the duo Dennis and I began after The Buckinghams came to an end in 1970. David Crosby will be so missed, but his music will live on, burned in my soul!

Nick Fortuna agreed and added:

On behalf of The Buckinghams, our prayers are with his wife Jan and his son, Django, and all the extended family of musicians who were fortunate to have his friendship and example to follow.

Thanks to music journalist/photographer Ron Elkman for sharing his exquisite photo of David Crosby (published across the USA TODAY network) to reflect on this very special life.