Jungle Dogs: Returning to Reopen Their Own Back Yard

Jungle Dogs:  Returning to Reopen Their Own Back Yard
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Jungle Dogs

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Jungle Dogs

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Hangar 9

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Jungle Dogs: SIU’s Party-school Image Incarnate


Who: Jungle Dogs
What: party rock
Where:
When: 2011-01-22
Jungle Dogs: Returning to Reopen Their Own Back Yard
T.J. Jones

Saturday, January 22 will mark the return of Carbondale's venerable party icons the Jungle Dogs as they grab the good times by the reins and celebrate the grand opening of the Hangar 9.

For a long time, the Jungle Dogs have belonged on a list of a few hallowed Carbondale traditions that are seemingly immortal-- skipping class when there's any snowfall, visiting the afterhours food vendors to fill your gut with something besides booze, and being in awe of that futuristic spaceship-like structure known as Faner Hall-- a building where doors seemingly disappear and reappear at will. Like the Jungle Dogs, certain things are just a given in Carbondale.

While the band-- which includes Klaus Bank, Eddie Chapa, Larry Daly, Keith Huffman, John Hunter, Matt Linsin, Jim Owens, Dan Schingel, and D. Ward-- retired their full-time party-people selves a few years ago, they have performed yearly Labor Day reunion shows at Pinch Penny for some years now.

On Saturday, January 22 the Jungle Dogs will return to Carbondale and help usher in a new era of music as they celebrate the grand opening of the Hangar 9. The music will start an hour earlier than most Hangar shows-- the Jungle Dogs will begin at 9 p.m.-- and there will even be giveaways and prizes.

In a way, the Jungle Dogs are as synonymous with Carbondale music as the Hangar 9. Back when the Jungle Dogs formed in 1987, they played their first shows at the venerable music venue.

"Hangar 9 is pretty much where we cut our teeth, and it's been awhile since we've been there," says frontman and trumpet player D. Ward. "I hated to see the old Hangar go down the way it did, but I am glad to see [the Hangar] back up and running. It's like our home base. I'm really looking forward to it."

Bassist Eddie Chapa agrees. To him, the Hangar 9 helped defined the Jungle Dogs' musical image and live shows. "We always thought of it as our backyard-- the place where we grew up, so this is a very special opportunity," Chapa says. "Me, personally, I was so thrilled that the Hangar would be coming back and being rebuilt."

The Jungle Dogs' live album, Halloween Dogleg, took two of Carbondale's biggest mythos, the town's then infamous Halloween parties and the hallowed Hangar 9, and created one of the most beloved recordings of a local band ever.

"We didn't want to do a live album for a lot of years," says Chapa. "We thought you can go into the studio and make it as good as you can and limit your mistakes. And live is live. As much as we are a great live band, we never thought we were a band that played a perfect performance-- that's not what the band is about. We're not trying to be perfect, we were about just putting on a good live show. We were asked for years to do a live album. We figured if we were going to do it, we were going to do it right. We wanted [Halloween Dogleg] to be live, but we wanted it to be as good as possible. It turned out to be one of our best-selling CDs, and we still get asked for that CD." (Halloween Dogleg is currently sold out on the Jungle Dogs' website, but a CD-R copy is available for $5.)

While the Jungle Dogs will still perform their annual Labor Day reunion show at Pinch Penny, there's a little talk of a few more Jungle Dog shows. Hopefully, Saturday's is the beginning of something great. Perhaps an annual grand opening anniversary?

"I think a lot of the guys in the band would like to play more," says Ward. "Back in the day, we were playing every weekend somewhere. I think a lot of the guys in the band wouldn't mind playing more gigs."

Throughout the years the Jungle Dogs had a lot of great memories, many of them at the Hangar 9. They've had special guests at many shows, including local legend Tawl Paul, members of the SIU Marching Band, local bluesman Martin "Big Larry" Allbritton, and even actor Woody Harrelson performed "Jailhouse Rock" one night with the Dogs at Hangar 9 when he was reportedly visiting his father at the Marion Federal Penitentiary. Chapa says that the grand opening will also feature a special guest. Any guesses? The memories that bind the Jungle Dogs are many. Cheers to a few more.

More info can be found at <http://www.JungleDogs.com>.

who: Jungle Dogs

what: party rock

where: Hangar 9

when: Saturday, January 22