It was the summer of 1987 in Hyde Park on Chicago’s South Side. Hyde Park smelled like oil and musty bricks and evaporating plants, as only Hyde Park could smell.
The day before the midnight boat gig, I steered my ratty bike into the alley behind our 57th Street K & G apartment.
I saw a cassette dangling in the bushes. The grey-brown tape snaked along the chain link fence.
A simple label, written in red pen, read:
“A token of my esteem.”
A message. A sign.
I was 22 years old, and how could Barbie Army not be on the hinge of Chicago punk rock greatness? How many other bands in this city were going to play two gigs within 24-hours this weekend? Nobody.
And nobody else from University of Chicago was going to be playing electric guitars in the middle of Lake Michigan tonight.