By: Chris Warren.
There “aint no road just like it, anywhere I’ve found,” and there aint no song just like anywhere I’ve found. Mitch Aliotta, one third of the Chicago local legend trio Aliotta, Haynes, & Jeremiah died in Las Vegas July 27. I was notified of his passing just recently.
Their single, Lake Shore Drive, was released in 1971 and is still ubiquitous on Chicago radio, at sports stadiums, and public events. Aliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah were never a huge commercial success, but anyone who has lived in the area in the last 44 years has heard the song and probably knows the words to it. It’s the most classic of classic Chicago songs, even more so than Frank Sinatra’s Chicago, That Toddlin’ Town. It’s not possible to overstate Lake Shore Drive’s place in Chicago lore. The song will never, ever die.
Anyone who has never lived in the Chicago area has probably never heard Lake Shore Drive. It’s one of north east Illinois’ best kept secrets.
I’ve had Lake Shore Drive on my ipod for years and it’s one of my top ten most played songs. It reminds me of a time and place that always makes me smile even though I’m far away. I’ve ridden my motorcycle down Lake Shore Drive (colloquially referred to as LSD by the locals) many times, with “water on the drivin’ side” and it is an experience that never leaves me.
If you ever see a vinyl copy of an AHJ album at a garage sale, grab it because it is a rare collectible. Even more rare is a song that is loved across a generation and is so famous within a city and virtually unknown outside that city.
I’m inspired to take a few days off, gear up the motorcycle and head to Chicago for another run down LSD before it gets too cold. I haven’t been that way in a long time and it seems like a good idea. Of course, I’m bringing the iPod. I know every single word to that song.
Thanks for riding along, Mitch.