Metro-East Living

A long list of Hall of Fame rockers played Belleville

Ike and Tina Turner, shown here in 1971, performed at the Shrine in 1973.
Ike and Tina Turner, shown here in 1971, performed at the Shrine in 1973. Nationaal Archief

Q: Did Ike and Tina Turner ever play at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows back in the early 1970s?

Mark, of Fairview Heights

Q: I remember seeing Bo Diddley at Club Babalu in Belleville back in the 1990s. Have there been any other Rock and Roll Hall of Famers to play Belleville?

B.C. Belleville

A: Being a Belleville native, I am happy and proud to answer both of your questions with a big, fat, resounding yes. (And many thanks to Jack Weck, of Belleville, for helping me pin this down.)

Let me take you back in time to the East St. Louis Summer Fest during the week of Aug. 20-24, 1973, a gala extravaganza designed to promote civic pride and emphasize the city’s achievements, George Mitchum, the planning chairman, told the News-Democrat then.

What a lineup he helped put together. In addition to a ton of local acts, it opened with Rare Earth on Aug. 20 before Ike and Tina, who would be inducted into the RnRHOF in 1991, rolled into the Shrine at 10:30 p.m. Aug. 21. But things were only getting started. The rest of the week saw Albert King (a 2013 HOF inductee), Kool and the Gang (can Cardinal fans in 1982 ever forget “Celebration”?), Buddy Miles and the Isley Brothers, who would enter the HOF in 1992.

And, after an admittedly quick scan of all the Hall of Fame inductees, I found at least five others who played our fair city — although all except one did it before they entered the musical shrine in Cleveland. They include Rush, who played what was then Belleville Area College’s Fine Arts Festival in 1973 before going into the hall 40 years years later. Ray Moddrell, the college’s student activities director back then, told me in 2008 that they had to call in Page Electric at the last second so the band would have enough juice to power its amps and light show.

Also, we shouldn’t forget Joan Jett (2015 inductee) playing the St. Clair County Fair on Aug. 3, 1988, and Brenda Lee (2002) following suit in the 1990s. Before they were stars, Duane and Gregg Allman came to the former Rex Theatre at 1317 W. Main St. with their Hour Glass band, and the Beach Boys (1988) had us surfin’ USA during the Belleville Bicentennial on Sept. 19, 2014.

Hopefully, as I did Friday night at one of Head East’s sold-out shows at the Wildey in Edwardsville (thank you, Roger Boyd), we will continue to rock on for years to come.

Q: I find politicians frequently do not list their party affiliation in their ads. I am sure there are reasons why, but this to me just verifies how deceptive they are. Why do they do this?

S.K., of Collinsville

A: Deceptive? Well, maybe, depending on your opinion. But smart advertising? Very definitely, I’d say. Here’s why:

Let’s say I would run for office in St. Clair County. I figure I have good name and face recognition (I was stopped in Schnucks five times recently by mostly strangers wanting to know more about my recent trip). I also hope I am reasonably well-liked by most and thought of as intelligent.

Just one potential “problem” I can see (and please remember this is totally hypothetical): I am a Republican in a county with the reputation of electing Democrats to countywide offices for decades.

Now I know what many people say: “I vote for the (wo)man, not the party.” But do I really want to take that chance when the results seem to indicate otherwise? So instead of listing my party and having the Democratic faithful see it as a red R around my neck, I simply try to hammer home my name and my views, hoping that I am popular enough to defeat any opponent. And, even if I were a Democrat, I might not mention that fact, either, if I felt that this were an election in which the throw-the-bums-out sentiment was strong.

I might try the same strategy if I were running as a Democrat in rural Missouri. Rather than constantly bashing readers or viewers over the head with the fact that I’m one of those radiclib Democrats, I’d just show my honest-looking face and moderate platform and hope for the best. Whether it’s deceptive is something you’ll have to decide. I’m not so sure if you pick candidates based on their background and views. Hopefully, not all of them are 100 percent in lockstep with their party leaders.

In addition, some ads may be targeted at independents who don’t care about parties, so why waste precious seconds mentioning them? Finally, some research suggests that parties have become less important over the last 50 years. According to “Lights, Camera, Campaign! Media, Politics and Political Advertising” edited by David Schultz, a study of the 2000 election found that 95 percent of gubernatorial ads and 96 percent of presidential ads did not mention party, choosing to rely on the candidate instead.

But, thank goodness, all of those annoying ads have now disappeared again — at least until Saturday when the first candidate probably will throw his/her hat into the ring for the 2020 melee.

Today’s trivia

Who was Time magazine’s first foreign Man of the Year? First woman?

Answer to Sunday’s trivia: In 2010, 10 members of Congress and 32 staff members were investigated for accepting $750,000 in travel expenses and gifts from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan to attend a conference in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The lawmakers included Danny Davis of Illinois and Yvette Clarke, of New York, a member of the House Ethics Committee. Investigators found the lawmakers were unaware that their trips had been funded by a foreign government.

Roger Schlueter: 618-239-2465, @RogerAnswer

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