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HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY, VIA CHICAGO!


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Hi Via Chicago! :wave :birthday

 

11-8-2001 to 11-8-2021!

Back in midsummer, our member Albert Tatlock asked what VC's birthdate was, given our "Wilco fan community since 2001" tagline. And I realized that I didn't actually know! :o I had joined the admin team in March 2003, so I hadn't been part of the birthing process, though I'd been among the earliest members, drawn in by this witty, funny, quirky bunch who loved this great band.

 

My first contact with our admin, Narziss, was when he complimented my username when I joined. I had nabbed it from the song we all knew then as "On a Private Beach in Michigan". I was surprised another user hadn't already gotten it!

 

But to get back to Mr. Tatlock's question - our venerated & original administrators, our founders, were "llp" and "Narziss". Chris, llp, is gone now, but fondly remembered. He must be proud of our birthday.

Narz is still very much alive, and when I contacted him to ask for our birthdate, he took the time to really reminisce, and provide the deep details. I got hopelessly nostalgic, reading his memories. They're mine, too. :wub

 

We don't know the  exact day that VC began, but based on Jeff's (Narziss) and my own recollections, I have chosen us this birthday.  The date I've chosen is November 8, 2001. Today, we are 20! On a "Monday"!:dance

 

I was going to just paraphrase what Narz told me, but he tells our story so well I'm going to let him tell you. Listen to his story. If you were there, enjoy the memories! If you weren't, just enjoy. It's a good story.

 

Here's how Narziss tells it:

Quote

 

It’s all kind of foggy when I think of the actual start or launch date for Via Chicago. The funny thing has always been that Chris (LLP) and I really didn’t know each other very well and never really did. We would email occasionally about the technical side of the site but I never once spoke to him and he was very hands-off, not at all interested in the actual activity on the site itself. He pretty much let me handle all the front end side of things and how the forum was managed. Unfortunately, he passed away years ago and I never had to chance to formally meet him.

 

Nevertheless, I ended up being very close to his oldest, and best, friend after he and his family moved to Dallas around the same time that I did. His name was Rob and I had met him through a Black Crowes forum back in 1999 or so. I was still living in Indianapolis so it was before I moved to Dallas in January 2001. 

 

I remember a very early iteration of VC around mid-to-late 2000, probably September if I recall correctly. It was set up like a Reddit style forum at that point and was only up for a brief month or two. I believe it was on a platform at that time as well so it was likely a sub-domain because we didn’t buy the domain until later which is why it’s a .org instead of a .com.

 

After I moved to Texas, and met Rob, I brought up VC to him and that kind of facilitated Chris re-launching it permanently. That’s when I became involved and we became partners in running it. I’m thinking this was in late 2001. If I had to wager money on it, I would say October or November because I remember it being after September 11th but before the New Year. We were so excited about Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and then it fell into that label black hole mixed with 9/11 delays for uncertainty for touring. We were desperate to trade for live shows and demos which was the original intent for the site. 

 

For the first six months or so there were like 50-70 of us and it was slow. Not much going on. Wilco had long since removed their official site forum so there wasn’t much of a community for them outside of the dreaded EZ Board which was filled with characters that lead to Wilco removing their official fan forum. It wasn’t until April or May of 2002 before it started gaining steam. I remember being on a road trip with a friend out West when I called my girlfriend at the time who would fill me in on the member count. While I was on that trip we went from 50-70 all the way to 300 or something. It was so exciting. That’s around the time we all met. The ghosts of VC past. People like you and me, Redjim, Stardog, Doody, TweedysGurl, CaptainsDead, Pneyu, Penny Lane, Laura, womanatthebar, and so many others that made it a real community. Over the next year, thanks to YHF and the documentary, and even Wilco’s acknowledgment, we grew to 3000 or so. It kept building and building. 

 

My wife and I moved in the last year and I was going through some boxes. In one featuring some of my old keepsakes and files, I found the old cookbook. I was happy I still had it and it brought a smile to my face. That was such a fun time in my life and I think for everyone else too. The early days of building an online community when the internet was a place where you could finally meet people with likeminded interests and passions. Seems so long ago.

Anyway, I’m sure this is not entirely dead-on accurate but it feels pretty close. Sorry for answering your simple question with a very long walk down memory lane. :)

 

 

Nothing left to add except, 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VIA CHICAGO! And thanks for all the wonderful memories and wonderful people I've met here!

I'm still "coming home, Via Chicago".

Love you guys.

 

:birthday

 

 
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it’s been a long time. Met my husband of 16 years here. Jorge Fabregas.    Happy Birthday VC! My life would be so different had I not bumped into this place.    love to all. 

This was the first interwebs "fan forum" I ever joined (2003, maybe earlier), and that was because Wilco had become an exceedingly important fact in my life. I needed to find my tribe. At the time, I

Hey there people! I can't believe VC has been around for 20 years. I joined this message board specifically to find a recording of the 7/31/2002 Wilco show at The Orpheum Madison. So I probably joined

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Happy 20th, VC! I don't remember when I discovered it, but I believe at the time it was a part of Wilcobase.com. I can''t even remember if Boss Tweedy is my original username. It seems like I may have had an older username that I forgot. I know that happened on the R.E.M. message board Murmurs.com. This board is always incredibly civil and is still my favorite Wilco-related forum in which to participate. Thanks for sharing the account of VC's origins, Donna! And thanks for all you do to make this a great place to be! 

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Thanks for taking the time to dig, and thanks to Narziss of course for all his efforts. Some of those names brought back memories. I think Stardog was always trying to spoof people with weird opinions. That was quite funny. I remember the Happy Busman and his recipes fondly. Wonder what happened to him? And if there's one constant apart from Kidsmoke, it's good ol' AnalogMan.

Happy birthday us!

P.S. In case anyone wonders at my user name, here is the explanation 

 

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Hey I heard that this place was turning some milestone birthday today, so I figured I should chime in and annoy you all as usual. Truth is, I don’t think I was quite around here at the very beginning but I’m quite glad that this place still exists (if only as a counterpoint to that annoying social media site whose name shall not be uttered)!

 

This place basically coincides with my own Wilco fandom, so I’ve met a ton of friends on here since I first arrived — some of whom are still around and many of whom haven’t been on in years probably. But I’m grateful for you all. And I’m grateful for this place giving me an outlet for my various show reports/blatherings/joshings with Tatlock and other personas. Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read or comment or react or whatever we do now.

 

What I wouldn’t give to be able to read some of the threads and posts from way back in the day, before all of the various crashes and outages, but in whatever form this site still exists, it’s a record of these years in the band’s and music history. Happy birthday, thank you to everyone who’s made it possible and here’s to another 20 years, VC! (I’ll probably come back later to chime in again and annoy some more…just FYI.) 

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Hello! I met my husband and many, many friends here so I'll always have a soft spot for it. I also found my cookbook this year (actually, my kitchen was being demo'd and a worker found/saved it from the back of a cabinet). Back in the day, the close community here was just the best. 

 

Wait, what's that I hear? "buzz! buzz! the spelling bee is here!"  IYKYK

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Happy Birthday, VC!  Thanks for providing me a daily outlet to obsessively post what I listened to the previous day.  :) I blame (and miss) PopTodd.  I've gotten so many great insights and recommendations on this board for music I should have discovered years ago (but didn't); so thanks to everyone who expanded my horizons.    Looking forward to meeting many of you in-person.  

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Time flies when you're arguing about Wilco! I was just a boy the first time I came to Via Chicago, now.... I'm a childish man. I owe a lot of music discovery to this place and it's members, so thank you everyone. Happy 20th anniversary, VC. Here's to 20 more years!

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Hi. I joined right around the time YHF became a download. Just before it's actual release. I stumbled in primarily to find out how to actually get it. Hung out. Made some great connections with good people. Annoyed just about everyone with late night drunken banter. And a bunch of those connections remain intact to this day. This crazy VC thing was always about appreciating love of music, bands, songs, ideas, rumors, hanging out with like minds and yes very much about Wilco. A bunch of us began to drift away. It happens. But I'm really glad this place still remains. Hopefully some other old days crazies will jump in but for now: HAPPY BIRTHDAY VC!

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wow ! that's awesome Donna. Reading Jeff's take on it all, was amazing. So many memories. I remember those initials, LLP, sad to hear he passed. I stumbled on VC early on & it was such an addiction. Kept me from going crazy, being bored at my job, always hoping I wouldn't get caught by anyone at work. I've also met and still keep in touch with so many great people from those first months of VC.I can say I knew Paul before he became a celeb. Kinda unreal, 20 years. It really was/is a family, of course I miss those early, early days, but memories are great to have. Than's Donna, yer the best !

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Congratulations on 20 years, VC!  Hard for me to believe I've been hanging around here for half of of that span.  I'm so grateful for the friends I've made here and through Wilco in general.  It's given me a reason to travel to new places and a virtual space to be with good people when the world seems like it's gone insane.  And Paul's reviews always magically transport me to the front row when Wilco's far, far away :rolleyes

Thanks, everyone!

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Holy shit, have I really been here for FIFTEEN YEARS???  INCONCEIVABLE!!!!!  I'm sure I've been "QUITTING THE BOARD" at least 6 times (which pales in comparison to many of you/us).  Yet here we are.

What a pleasure it's been virtually hanging out with so many of you all, and occasionally even in real life thanks to SSF and various sidewalks, rails, and venues around the globe.   Goodness what a collection of highly messed up freaks.  No wonder I feel right at home!

:cheers

Vince

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Boy it's been a minute. I haven't been on here in probably a decade. Probably longer. 

Had some great times doing The DVD Project way back then. Mailed out thousands of DVDs to countries all over the world! Met lots of folks and always enjoyed it, too. Ended up taking film classes and starting my own music sessions series. Even had Jeff Tweedy himself on! So many great times working over the years and that really was the peak of it all! 

 

I hope all of the old VC folks are doing well these days!

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Happy birthday Via. I haven't been here in so long, I couldn't remember my password, so I made a new account. Seems like I found this place through Postcard from Hell, but I can't remember. I was working nights at the time, so I boarded with 2 or 3 other nightowls and we talked nonsense all night long. Then I kissed stardog the day I met him. My life has been downhill since then.

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After lurking around for a while, I officially joined in Nov. 2005 ---- I needed to fill in some blanks in my head regarding Tweedy's 11.5.2005 solo show in Madison.  That was a fun night. 

 

It's been a nice ride on the board, since.  

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Wow happy 20 years, VC!  I joined pretty close to the beginning, it seems - I think I was seeking a recording of one of the January 2003 Tweedy Vic shows (the first of many solo shows I would attend). My first contact with whole lot of great people happened on this site, and I still have a saved web doc floating around of quotes that made me laugh from the RTT. (I just went and found it and honestly think I might get in trouble if I posted most of them. :dance) Here's to many more years!

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Happy 20th anniversary, Via Chicago! It's been a good while since I've come by, but the friendships that I've been fortunate enough to make while being a regular on the boards continue to be a source of great joy in my life. Thank you Jeff and Ronen and Donna and everyone who I've traveled the country and world to get to spend some of the very best of times with, and thanks to the magnificent band that made it all possible.

 

-mart

aka TwistedAcres

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Happy Anniversary, VC!

 

I have made a good friend here since I joined 12(!) years ago at the recommendation of another friend who said this was a great place!

 

PS - I love Paul’s reviews. :) And I miss PopTodd too!

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