A love letter to "All the Way"

tschavtschav Posts: 1,596
edited April 2017 in The Porch
* If anyone can pass this along to Eddie, help a fellow fan out.

This is for Eddie, and those that love EV stories, the Cubs, or just reading a lot.

2007 - Vic Theater
A 10c member and I made a pact we’d take each other if either one of us were lucky to get a pair to the Lolla warmup show at the Vic. Despite not seeing a “buy” button load on the site, I aimlessly clicked where one might be on the website and managed to get through. We ditch work early and rush north from downtown to line up and grab a spot off 5-6 people deep on the floor. It was the first Eddie preset I got to see.

The highlight, as you’d imagine, was the debut of his love song about the Chicago Cubs. I remember the crowd beginning to shout other teams and he calmed us all by proclaiming “It was written to the tempo of drinking beer.” And we needed that drinking song - I was still hurting from the 2003 NLCS letdown years before that. But man, if you needed a reminder of how great it is to see a game at Wrigley, he gave one hell of a crash course.

2008 - Auditorium Theatre
After witnessing the preset last year, I was looking forward to more Eddie in the stripped-down solo format. Being able to hear more Chicago stories and things he’d reminisce about could entertain me for days. After “Elderly Woman” he started talking about doing another singalong to something most people never heard of.

Realizing “All the Way” may be more than a one-off performance for the Vic show, my eyes lit up and my friend gave me the “You okay?” look. Eddie goes on to tell the story about meeting Ernie Banks and how the song came about, and asked the crowd to help him record the track. When the CD became available a month later I picked up a few copies and have kept them sealed since.

2011 - Chicago Theater
Eddie rolls into town again to do solo shows and late into the set he begins to tune for “All the Way.” Unlike the first few times he’s played it, this time he gets a little more serious as he pays respect to Ron Santo (who passed recently) and his kids. I took “All the Way” for granted as a fun drinking Wrigley song back in ‘07, yet as the song continued to live on we’re losing Cubs greats that won’t get to celebrate that “someday.”

2013 - Wrigley Field
If there was ever a time to see a band, management, and city will their way to make a frontman’s dream come true, this was it. The rain… I took a friend to see Pearl Jam for the first time and while we’re being beaten down in the rain he’s beaming at their ruthless need to play while I’m bummed out at the possible reality that Eddie gets screwed. It’s Wrigley Field, host to a cursed team, of course this would happen to him. But damn when they got back on stage around midnight, they made sure to get the crowd pumped up again.

Out comes Eddie in Cubs gear and retells the story about Ernie inspiring the song. After he plays the song, he brings out Mr. Cub himself to sing along and thank us for visiting “his house.” It was heartfelt, especially when you realize Ernie stuck around late to be there for that moment. If there was ever a way to kick a crowd in the ass in preparation for a show that ended at 2am, this was the way to do it.

2015 - Metro
The Cubs are starting to finally show promise and I’m needing a Pearl Jam fix after skipping the 2014 tour (why did I pass on Moline?), and the Hot Stove Cool Music fundraiser held by Theo Epstein’s foundation announces that Eddie’s the special guest. I know very little about the organization, the event, but I wouldn’t miss seeing Eddie and the Cubs. Tickets were already sold out, but another 10c member and I decide to buy a sponsorship/VIP to get in despite how much that impulse buy cost us. We got in and immediately grabbed front row even though few others bothered doing the same since there was a catered VIP thing for a few hours. I couldn’t have gotten any closer to Eddie and probably looked like an idiot watching him play. He gets a few current players to come out and sing along to close out the show, and I'm smiling ear to ear.

On my walk home I’m absolutely sure that this was the year - the Cubs were blazing, I saw EV front row, the planets are aligning for great things. My decade old, worn out Cubs jersey was in need of being replaced, so I told myself “I’m getting an ‘All the Way’ jersey with the number 15 for 2015.” And like any true Cubs superstitious karma, the jersey arrived the day they were eliminated from the playoffs. Fuck. But hey, it’s the life of a Cubs fan, and I shouldn’t give up because I bought an already-outdated shirt, right? So I decided that I’ll update the 15 to 16 for next year, buy into a friend’s season ticket package and wear it with pride/humility.

2016 - Wrigley Field
By now my jersey’s been worn more than a few times, and at one point in time I thought about sending it to the 10 Club - but let’s be honest, Eddie didn’t need random used jerseys for Wrigley. But I'll raise it up at the show, maybe he’ll get a kick out of it. After being shut out of GA tickets, I worked as much magic as I could to get a spare to see how close I can get. After seeing the line already forming during their visit to Murphy’s Bleachers, I frantically went home and grabbed stuff to camp out with the GA faithful. 22 hours of rain, sleeping with rats, meeting a ton of cool fans, and trying to keep the peace I head in and grab a spot 2nd row center behind the fan who camped out for 4 days (I don’t remember his name, but he was deserving of all the love the band and Santo’s kids gave him that night).

So Eddie comes out later in the show and it’s a given we’ll be treated with “All the Way.” I take off my jersey and hold it up - holy shit they’re filming this and I could make it to a PJ DVD. I sing my head off. I hold the jersey up enough but avoid blocking people’s views, but in retrospect if there ever was a time… but I digress. Another amazing Pearl Jam show in my favorite stadium and do the same thing from the reserved seats for the second show.

2016 - MLB Playoffs
2016 was the year I decided to stop holding back from witnessing great things. I felt the floor shake at MSG, touched the green monster at Fenway, and watched Pearl Jam with 40,000 fans singing along behind me. During the Cubs playoff run, I practically lived in Wrigleyville. My “All the Way” jersey came along for the ride, trading stories and taking pics with random fans who were just as positive as I that this will be the year. Luckily I got to see a few playoff games, even one where Eddie, Cusack and Chelios ran by me to get their seats.

ESPN posted a photo of the jersey to Twitter/Facebook when I was heading to my first World Series game. It was bad enough that the Cubs got blown out and were now down 1-3 in the series, reading the comments questioning my loyalty and jersey decisions on ESPN’s posts made everything hurt infinitely more. But hey, it’s the internet and I got to see a World Series game in Wrigley Field. The morning after I stayed positive and reminded myself to enjoy the moment. Game 5 and 6 I went to Murphy’s Bleachers, surrounded by local news cameras and watched the series stretch to a Game 7. I remember seeing one guy that night holding funeral/memorial cards of friends that have passed away, sobbing, as his buddies made a pact to be together when they win it all. “All the Way” is much bigger than a song about liking a team, it’s about the togetherness we experience when celebrating something special, and this guy was embodying it.

Game 7 I went to the Metro to watch the final game of the series, fitting as it was the place that inspired the jersey. I don’t need to remind you how it all went down, but it was as much an emotional rollercoaster as you’d expect. And wouldn’t you know it, the song was just as prophetic as you’d imagine… hugging strangers, holding back tears, wandering around the Wrigley crowds, soaked in beer and champagne, even pausing for a second to look at the Metro’s sign before my two mile high-fiving victory lap home.

And when the day comes for that last winning run
And I'm crying and covered in beer
I look to the sky and know I was right to think
Someday we'll go all the way




This journey has been a fun one on many levels, and I'm glad I've been able to be a part of the celebration.

Even though “someday” is today, I hope we haven’t heard the last of the song Eddie.

Looking forward to Hot Stove Cool Music in Boston.
Post edited by tschav on

Comments

  • Love that you love it.
    Signed,
    A St.Louis Cardinals fan
    www.cluthelee.com
  • HesCalledDyerHesCalledDyer MarylandPosts: 14,857
    I totally saw your jersey several times in my outs-and-abouts during the World Series! I should've said hello!

    I highly enjoyed reading this! You're definitely right that the song was just as prophetic as imagined. That last out, Rizzo putting the ball in his pocket, the dog pile on the mound... I was at Wrigleyville North for Game 7, watching through the window from the sidewalk outside as I got there a little too late to get in. I met a fine old gentleman who grew up a Cubs fan on the South Side, Terry was his name, and we conversed about watching Cubs baseball for the entirety of each of our lives. He was a regular at this bar and promised to buy me a beer if somehow we managed to get in before the game was over. Sure enough, people started filing out during the rain delay and heading towards the stadium. We got in, said cheers to a couple Old Style pounders (when in Rome), and finally rooted on our beloved Cubbies with the rest of the bar patrons.
    Maybe I'm superstitious, maybe it's just happenstance, but I somehow feel there was a higher power (Ernie, Ron, & Harry perhaps), at least for a moment, that wanted to make sure I was in the mix and not outside looking in through the window for that last winning run and the final out.
    The scene in Wrigleyville North was just as that last verse describes. Crying and covered in beer. As you mentioned, strangers hugging, high-fiving, beer flying through the air, W flags. I left the bar and my friend Terry and headed towards the stadium. I walked outside, looked to the sky and knew Eddie was right to say it. To paraphrase a quote from my favorite movie, I thought "Is this heaven? No, it's Chicago."
    Someday we'll go all the way. Someday?

    image

    Someday is TODAY! Today, we've gone all the way! The Cubs are World Series Champions!!
  • SVRDhand13SVRDhand13 NYCPosts: 24,233
    Love this! And I'm a Braves fan. I appreciate that the 15 was changed to a 16!
    severed hand thirteen

    2006: Gorge 7/23 2008: Hartford 6/27 Beacon 7/1 2009: Spectrum 10/30-31
    2010: Newark 5/18 MSG 5/20-21 2011: PJ20 9/3-4 2012: Made In America 9/2
    2013: Brooklyn 10/18-19 Philly 10/21-22 Hartford 10/25 2014: ACL10/12 2015: NYC 9/23
    2016: Tampa 4/11 Philly 4/28-29 MSG 5/1-2 Fenway 8/5+7 2017: RRHoF 4/7
    2018: Fenway 9/2+9/4

    EV: 8/4-5/2008, 6/21-22/2011
  • bbiggsbbiggs Posts: 3,608
    Amazing write-up man. I still get chills as I think about last season. I was at Wrigley 1 last year, and as many great moments as there were during that show, the All the Way performance is up there for me. Something about hearing that song live by my favorite band, standing on the field at my favorite place on Earth, was special. "Crying and covered in beer" says it all. I'm a life-long Cubs fan. I went to games 1 and 6 of the NLCS and I've never high-fived or hugged more strangers in my life. Beer flying all over the place. It was great. Once they made the final out of the WS and they released the video with All the Way being played, it was icing on the cake. Behind my wedding day and my children being born, one of the greatest days of my life.
  • VedHeadVedHead Rockford,IL,USAPosts: 398
    edited April 2017
    Lifetime Cubs and PJ fan also at most of these shows including the Metro in 2015. Your words speak to me. Thanks for sharing.
    I'm trying to think of a really good signature.
  • bflynn1bflynn1 Posts: 1,305
    I was at the Wrigley 1 & 2 shows and then back in Chicago from Arkansas for World Series games 3-5. Definitely a year I'll never forget. Watching those World Series games in Chicago with my grandpa was something special. I always said if they ever made it to the Series I'd be there no matter what. I feel blessed that I was able to keep that promise to myself.
  • tschavtschav Posts: 1,596
    If there's anything this band has taught me, is perseverance pays off, even when it rains at Wrigley. Despite a two hour rain delay and sitting soaked in 40 degree weather, I watched the banner raising ceremony holding my "All the Way" jersey with pride. You can barely see me (more like only I can see me) in the thumbnail of the Cubs recap video.



    https://www.facebook.com/Cubs/videos/10154939027305659/
  • ledveddermanledvedderman Posts: 7,733
    edited April 2017
    Dear All the Way,
    As a Cardinals fan,
    Please go away.
    All the way away.


    In all seriousness though, I'm glad the song connected to you. And even though I'm a Cardinals fan, it was cool to see the Cubs last year. I think they're going to be the team to beat for the next five plus years. Now, please return the love so us St. Louis fans can hoist the Stanley Cup soon.
    Post edited by ledvedderman on
  • cp3iversoncp3iverson Posts: 5,417
    edited April 2017
    Ur a true Cubs fan so it's amazing that you got to experience that. There are 50,999 fake Cubs fans here since Eddie really went diehard for them but i guess thats not necessarily a bad thing.
  • tschavtschav Posts: 1,596

    Ur a true Cubs fan so it's amazing that you got to experience that. There are 50,999 fake Cubs fans here since Eddie really went diehard for them but i guess thats not necessarily a bad thing.

    If the band happens to play a part in becoming a fan of something else, whether another band from an opening act or a political cause or even feeling somehow connected to the Cubs championship run, I'm all for it. Plenty of bands, poster artists and non-profit causes have benefited from me because of the exposure.

    As for non-Cubs fans, sorry we can't all share "All the Way." But, I think we can all agree it's better to hear an EV original song cap off last season more than, say, "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey.
  • helplessdancerhelplessdancer Posts: 4,738
    i love that your team won it all, especially under those circumstances of having such a long drought!
    i can relate cause my team went all the way as well and it was something i will never forget.
  • HesCalledDyerHesCalledDyer MarylandPosts: 14,857
    tschav said:

    Ur a true Cubs fan so it's amazing that you got to experience that. There are 50,999 fake Cubs fans here since Eddie really went diehard for them but i guess thats not necessarily a bad thing.

    If the band happens to play a part in becoming a fan of something else, whether another band from an opening act or a political cause or even feeling somehow connected to the Cubs championship run, I'm all for it. Plenty of bands, poster artists and non-profit causes have benefited from me because of the exposure.

    As for non-Cubs fans, sorry we can't all share "All the Way." But, I think we can all agree it's better to hear an EV original song cap off last season more than, say, "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey.
    Abso-freakin-lutely!!
  • tschavtschav Posts: 1,596
    edited April 2017
    If you get a chance to see the trophy room at Wrigley, you may notice some familiar memorabilia that I helped my team put together...



  • tschavtschav Posts: 1,596
    Ready for Boston. Hope to see some of you guys at Hot Stove tomorrow night.
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