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Our first show would be an all-ages punk cruise with No Empathy and Rights of the Accused. A tour boat would leave Navy Pier at midnight and dock at 7 a.m.

Then, hours later we would play at Navy Pier itself for a giant bash called “Halfway to Saint Patrick’s Day” at 10 a.m. -- one of many acts to perform at the pier’s enormous stage in front of giant crowds of rock and roll fans.

I dug out a pencil from my purse and carefully spooled some of the tape back into the case, then unwrapped the rest from each branch of the shrubbery.

I hid my ancient Schwin behind the fence, locked it out of sight and brought the tape upstairs.

The cassette would have music on it. This tape was a love offering, and it had ended up ripped apart and strung through the bushes in the alley.

Who made it? Who threw it away? What was the back story?I knew one thing: It was a sign. Tina and Mary would have to agree it was a talisman. No matter how awful the music was on this tape, the band would have to cover at least one of the songs on it. Only we would know WHY we were playing that cover.