An Alternative Approach to Publishing: James VanOsdol and the 1990’s Chicago Music Scene


My friend and co-worker James VanOsdol is raising money to fund his book, tentatively titled “Chicago Rocked!”

In the 1990’s, James was on the airwaves at Chicago’s alternative station Q101, hosting a music radio show called “The Local Music Showcase” (later to be called “Local 101”). During that decade, he gathered together a ton of interviews, photos, clips, and stories… which he’s drawn upon to create his book.

He’s been working for the past four years on the writing, and finally decided on pursuing publishing the book himself (an earlier version of the book was slated for publication in 2007, but got interrupted mid-year). Since then, he’s put a lot of time and thought into the different expenses and vendors he’ll need to procure – things like securing copyright, getting an ISBN number, etc. As you’ll see from his project summary, this is not some whimsical, vanity-inspired notion, but rather the culmination of a heck of a lot of work.

He’s using Kickstarter to outline his proposal, and soliciting donations to reach his goal. There are a lot of different donation/pledge levels (you can donate $1 if you want)… but some of the higher tiers have some pretty fun things tied to them.

Some pledges involve getting your name listed as a “contributor,” others get you CD’s or comic books from James’ personal collection. He’s also got some RIAA-certified gold and platinum albums up for grabs, from such bands as Shinedown, Blur, Chevelle, Jimmy Eat World and A Perfect Circle. And, of course, many of the donation levels come with copies of the book.

Check out James’ blog to get a sense of his writing style and his humor (his post entitled Horton Hears a Hootie cracked me up). His voice and passion were enough to get him on the airwaves in the 90’s – and I’m making the argument that his voice and passion are worthy enough to get him into print.

On top of James’ strong knowledge of, and passion for, music… he’s just a straight up swell guy. I’ll be donating to help make his book happen, and I encourage you to do the same.

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