Early voting is underway in Illinois! And in Chicago, if you requested a mail-in ballot, you can drop it off in a secured drop box at any early voting location. Learn more about voting in person or by mail at chicagoelections.gov. Not in Chicago? Find the information you need at vote.org.
Today, let’s pay tribute to an original punk rocker, who spent some time in Chicago. I’m talking about Jake Burns, the lead singer for the incendiary Northern Irish punk rock band Stiff Little Fingers. Jake got his start in a covers band, but when punk hit, his band morphed into a group call The Fast. That didn’t last long, as they learned the name had already been taken, so they named themselves after a Vibrators song. They got good really quick – their first single was the classic “Suspect Device”. By early 1979, they charted with their first album, the first of a string of intelligent, socially aware punk albums. After originally splitting in 1982, they got back together in 1987 and have been around just about ever since with Jake being the one constant over the years. Jake lived in Chicago for a while, because he married a woman who lived here. One of my cooler rock fan moments was getting an email from Jack Rabid of The Big Takeover Magazine asking if I wanted to hang out. Turned out he was in town for Jake’s wedding, and the reception was held at Jake’s Pub on Clark St. in Lincoln Park. I ended up sitting at a table for a while with Jack, Jake and John Kezdy of The Effigies. Only in Chicago! So let’s celebrate Jake’s birthday by getting your iPod, hitting shuffle and sharing the first 10 songs that come up.