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Ronnie at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue
Posted by: cbtaco19 ()
Date: February 3, 2011 00:28




I was in Chicago last week for a Buddy Guy show at Legends. On Friday afternoon, my friend and I were kicking around town and decided to visit 2120 S. Michigan Avenue. My friend had a vague idea that the old Chess Records studio had been turned into a museum.

I am really glad we visited, it was a great way to spend the afternoon. It serves as the headquarter's for Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven foundation and is not at all slick and touristy. It is pretty down-home and run by one guy who shows you a pretty good video about Chicago blues and then answers questions while you are walking around. It is pretty cool to sit in the room where all those great artists recorded so many classics.

The memorabilia on the walls is pretty sparse, there is probably more Chess Records memorabilia in any Hard Rock Cafe in the world than there is here but Ronnie had obviously done his part as he has several drawings hanging. In particular I remember a self-portrait and a drawing of the Stones during the Voodoo Lounge tour. Also some framed CD's signed by Don Was.

Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven

On my way out. the curator mentioned that they sometimes bring in mobile recording equipment and do sessions in the old studio. George Thorogood visited and talked about recording there but it hadn't happened yet.

I was pretty surprised when he told me that Ronnie Wood had recorded there along with Hubert Sumlin and some other folks last year right after Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival and that it was supposed to be coming out ("soon"). He even had some snapshots of the sessions in a photo album.

I do not remember reading about this here or anywhere else so I did some Googling. The funny thing is, the only documentation of these recording sessions I can find is from the mother of one of the engineers who seems to have no clue about how cool this is.

See her pictures here:

Chess Session Pix

Read her blog post here:

Description of the June 2010 Sessions

The sessions were June 26 and 27 2010 at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue Chicago

The players are:

Ronnie Wood- Guitar
Hubert Sumlin Guitar
Taio Okuda- Guitar (he is evidently a Japanese rock star but I had never heard of him)
Pino Paladino- Bass
Steve Jordan- Drums

No information that I can find on what was recorded, who is releasing it etc.

Does anybody else know about this?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-02-03 00:30 by cbtaco19.

Re: Ronnie at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue
Posted by: erikjjf ()
Date: February 3, 2011 06:55

From nzentgraf.de:

100627B ca. 27th June: THE VERB. Chicago, Illinois, Chess Studios. Producer: probably Steve Jordan. Incl.
- Woman You Need Love (Willie Dixon) -unverified
Line-up: RW (gtr) / Steve Jordan (dr) / Hubert Sumlin (gtr, voc) / Pino Palladino (bass)

Re: Ronnie at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue
Posted by: 71Tele ()
Date: February 3, 2011 07:41

This is great. For some reason I thought the building was gone...Check out the Stax Museum of Soul too, if you're ever in Memphis. The old place was lovingly restored.

Re: Ronnie at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue
Posted by: bigtyke66 ()
Date: February 3, 2011 08:59

I visited the place just over a year ago, and had a blast. My wife had to drag me out. What a kick!. Here are some shots I took. If you're in Chicago, it's well worth a visit.













Re: Ronnie at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue
Date: February 3, 2011 11:54

BigTyke, can you tell who the face masks on the wall are of?
And in the video room with the chairs, is that Jagger on the screen at the end?
Great, great looking visit.

Re: Ronnie at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue
Posted by: bigtyke66 ()
Date: February 3, 2011 16:43

Individually, I can't remember who they were, but the collection was of some classic and current Chicago blues guys. And yes, that is Jagger on the screen. They were playing a video with a Chuck Berry gig, along with an interview with Jagger. I made a short video recording of it but can't find it at the moment. I remember thinking it would be great to get hold of a DVD copy, but they weren't selling it, and I haven't been able to find it anywhere. However, this is worth checking out:

Roll Over Beethoven - The Chess Records Story (BBC)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-02-03 16:53 by bigtyke66.

Re: Ronnie at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue
Posted by: cbtaco19 ()
Date: February 3, 2011 18:18

The video they were showing when I was there was Sweet Home Chicago and it was excellent. It included interviews with Jagger and Buddy Guy as well as the old guard legends.

I did notice that they were playing a VHS copy at the museum and it looks like it has never come out on DVD. Too bad, it is a good one.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-02-03 18:19 by cbtaco19.

Re: Ronnie at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue
Posted by: bigtyke66 ()
Date: February 4, 2011 02:32

Thanks for the "Sweet Home Chicago" info. Pity it never came out on DVD; I really enjoyed the parts I saw at Chess.



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