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We have a winner for the Alice Cooper tickets

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Move over, Steven Tyler. I'm ready to join you on stage.

Hey, I'm just trying to help a friend fulfill his dream.

OK, I'm joking. About getting on stage to sing some blues rock with one of my favorite front men and bands, Aerosmith. But man, given the chance ...

Let me explain. You may recall we at The Peorian had a contest whereby we will give two free tickets to the upcoming Alice Cooper concert at the Peoria Civic Center to someone who told us what their dream concert would be. It could be any band or artist, dead or alive, at any venue of their choosing.

One of my friends from college, Robin Jerstad, with whom I was a roadie for a rock band called Headmaster, wrote in and said, "Dream show would be Aerosmith with a special performance by Paul Gordon singing "train Kept-a-rollin' " with Steven Tyler......maybe the Beatles as an opener."

I actually sang that song with our band once and kicked butt (or so I was told). It was fun. I also sang "Lord of the Thighs" that time and my sister Rose, who witnessed it, said I should sing that one as well in Robin's dream concert.  

For obvious reasons that was my favorite of the entries. But alas, Robin, I sincerely doubt your dream will come true. And, you didn't win the tickets, which I'm sure you would not have been able to use anyway since you live in San Antonio (where he is a successful photographer).

I should say that I considered trying to pick a winner based on what people wrote but it would have been difficult because there were a lot of clever and well-done entries.Also, most were from personal friends and I didn't think it would be fair to try and pick one. So instead our staff picked our six favorites and their names were placed in a hat.

Our company president Julie Russell had the honor of picking one from the hat.

Conrad Stinnett was chosen and he will be going to the July 19 Alice Cooper concert, courtesy of The Peorian in conjunction with the Civic Center, Jam Productions and Jay Goldberg Events and Entertainment.

I liked Conrad's dream concert a lot, largely because he brought local history into it and came up with a show I'd like to see myself. He wrote:

"My concert would be held at the rehabbed and re-opened Madison Theater in Peoria, of course. The opening band would be the "Get What You Play For"-era REO Speedwagon, with a lean and mean Gary Richrath on Guitar, Bassist Greg "Regis" Philben, Drummer Alan Gratzer, Keyboarder Neil Doughty and Lead vocalist Kevin Cromin. KC had just completed some intense therapy on how to rock and how to get along with others, in addition to internalizing the "less talk, more rock" mantra. In short, these guys would be ready to reclaim the good name of REO by actually getting down and rocking.

The main act would the original line-up of Kansas. Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh worked together to create the first new Kansas album since 2000 and have some great new songs. Violinist Robby Steinhardt is in peak form and ready to rock. Needless to say this would be one helluva show."

Yes it would, Conrad, yes it would.

I don't have space here to include all the other entries and some of them were sent to me via email or on Facebook rather than on The Peorian forum. You can read those on the forum by simply clicking on it.

Some of the entries say a lot about the people who submitted them. For example, Chip Joyce liked groups that did high-tech shows or artists who "play characters" as part of their shows, such as Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osborne or KISS.

Nate Downs wants to see "duelling pianos of Manilow, Joel, John and Liberace closing for The Beatles after Frank Sinatra opened." Nearby would be tents where Green Day, Blink 182, Me First and The Barenaked Ladies would perform.

Laid-back Nancy Marcussen would drag her husband Brent to Red Rocks to see Jack White. "Of course, since you said living or not, if Bob Marley happened to wander on stage it would be another natural high for me. A Rocky Mountain high!"

From the younger set Caleb Finley wrote that his dream concert would include The Beatles and Jefferson Airplane "mixed with some current bands, such as Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and Olly Murs."

Thank you to those who wrote in. We will do something similar in the future, I promise.

Conrad, congratulations and enjoy the concert.

Paul Gordon is editor of The Peorian. He can be reached at 692-7880 or

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).