A 25th Anniversary Thank You Note From Corey Rusk
I would like to personally thank all the bands that played, the whole Hideout staff, all of the tireless volunteers, the City Of Chicago Department of Fleet Management, the Touch and Go staff, the sound and stage staff, the drivers, and all the fans that attended the block party this past weekend! It has taken me a couple days to write this because there are really no words that can express just how amazing and meaningful the whole event was. And there are no words that can express the love and gratitude I have for everyone involved in making it happen. It will forever be three of the very best days of my life. Thank you.
Much love and undying appreciation to all the bands that played. You took time out of your busy schedules. You came from hundreds and thousands of miles away. You agreed to make no money so that the profits could go to local charities that help people less fortunate than all of us. I know you did all this to show your support for Touch and Go and the family of bands that you are a part of. You indulged my desire to have you all in one place at the same time. You all played some of the best sets of your lives. You have overwhelmed me. You have made me cry. I can’t thank you enough.
Also, a special thank you to the bands who reformed just for the block party. On top of everything the other bands went through to be part of this, you re-learned songs you had long since forgotten. You had to reconnect with people you hadn’t been in touch with for many years, and you had to re-learn how to play music with them. You practiced long and hard to be able to show the thousands of people at the block party what your music and your energy were like during the years you were making records for Touch and Go. You pulled it off with heartfelt enthusiasm... you kicked ass. The intensity of your performances was as though you had never stopped playing together. You blew me away. I can’t thank you enough.
Sincere thanks and love to Tim, Katie, Jim, Mike, Jessica, and everyone at the Hideout. This event never would have happened if you had not agreed to do all the hard parts. You secured the space, interacted with the city, coordinated all the logistics of the PA rental, the food, the beer, the tickets, the security, the medics, the fences, the tents, the hundreds of volunteers, etc… I could go on and on. You are pros with endless energy and dedication, and I feel very fortunate that you were gracious enough to let Touch and Go be the theme for your 10th annual block party. Everyone who attended and everyone who played at the block party owe you a massive thank you. Personally…I can’t thank you enough.
Thank you to the hundreds of tireless volunteers. I only met a small fraction of you, but the block party was flawless from start to finish, and this never could have been without all of your efforts. You gave up your time to help Touch and Go, the bands, the Hideout, the fans, and the charities. All of the bands kept telling me how well taken care of they were and how nice everyone working the event was. You are very kind people. I can’t thank you enough.
Thank you to the City Of Chicago Department of Fleet management. I never met you in person, but the Hideout staff has told me multiple times how accommodating and gracious you were. You moved a lot of machinery, concrete, and steel to make this a safe and enjoyable event for all. This is not a part of your normal job. You didn’t have to do it…. but you did, and you did it with a smile. I can’t thank you enough.
Thank you to the whole Touch and Go staff.
• Ed, we all know this would have never happened, and certainly would have never been so smooth, without your continuous efforts over the past 9 months. You took a big load off my shoulders. I truly appreciate it.
• Jamie, thank you for all your work with the bands and the backline. I know it was all very complicated but in the end, the bands had what they needed. That was important to me, and crucial to them.
• Dave, you came through with all the last minute art needs (and there were lots of them), with lightning speed. Postcards, signs, passes, food tickets, etc…, thank you for making sure we had them when we needed them. They all looked great.
• Justin, Joe, and Jim, thank you for the T&G 25th mini-site. You were always ready to update it with the latest information. Without the mini-site, there would have been a lot of confusion. Your efforts made the event a more organized place for the fans.
• Miranda, Chad, and Sara, you got the word out. The volumes of press and radio pieces about the T&G 25th anniversary and the block party event are proof of all your hard work. Wait a minute… am I really thanking you for making me do all those interviews? Yeah… I am. We would have never had all those thousands of people there if you hadn’t pushed me into it and convinced all the publications and stations that it was an event worth covering. Krista, thanks to you too, for co-coordinating all the T&G 25th press in foreign countries. We had fans from all over the world in attendance and your efforts helped spread the word in all those far away places.
• Taylor, if you had not suggested I speak with Tim & Katie at the Hideout, I would not have thought to do so myself, and this event would not have happened.
• April, I know there are thousands of happy fans who bought records and CDs at the Reckless tent. You came to the warehouse Saturday morning and Sunday morning to pull inventory for the Reckless booth to replace all the items that had sold out each day. Speaking of which… thank you to Reckless Records for putting up a booth to exclusively sell Touch and Go and Quarterstick records to the thousands of music hungry fans. I know it was a lot of work.
• Everyone else at Touch and Go also did their part by picking up the slack for those who were busy doing what needed doing for the event. All your efforts are greatly appreciated.
You all kick ass! I can’t thank you enough.
Thank you to the sound engineers, stage managers and their crew.
• Bob Weston enlisted some of this country’s best sound engineers. He offered to do this as though it was no big deal. He then proceeded to coordinate all their schedules and take care of all the details. I could never have done this myself. Everyone should be lucky enough to have great friends like Bob. Scott Adamson, Che Arthur, Tim Iseler, Jeremy Lemos, Kris Poulin, Jason Ward, and Bob Weston… thank you for making our event sound great. You are the best.
• Howard Greynolds and Ryan Hembrey, the stages were run so smoothly that we were on time for every set all 3 days. That’s no small feat! You and your crews busted your asses all weekend with no breaks and no time to just enjoy what was going on around you. I can’t thank you enough. Howard, you have been a friend to Touch and Go and our bands for many years. Thank you for putting so much energy into all the little details leading up to and during the block party. You made a positive difference for everyone involved!
I also want to thank Carol, Nate, and Evelyn who were our shuttle drivers. They drove back and forth between the Hideout and the band’s hotels for over 12 hours every day…in Chicago traffic! A thankless job, and one done with cheer. I know you were well appreciated by all the bands, and by myself (special thanks for bringing me all those coffees between runs!). I can’t thank you enough.
And, a very big thank you to all the fans who attended the block party this weekend. You raised tens of thousands of dollars for important charities. You showed an unbelievable amount of love and enthusiasm for a group of bands and people who mean the world to me. And you showed support for my life’s work: Touch and Go. I hope you all had as much fun and treasured every moment of the festival as much as I did, because I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun for 3 days running! I can’t thank you enough.
As many of you saw, we had a video crew documenting the whole event. Over the next twelve months, we will be putting up short video segments from the block party on the Touch And Go Records web site (www.touchandgorecords.com) every couple of weeks. We will also be posting photos from the event over the next couple weeks too.