Meeting Dean Ween on 12/30/2014 at Tonic Room!
I met Dean Ween also known as Micky Melchiondo, Dean Ween being his stage name, last year on 12/30/2014 at the Tonic Room. So this is how it all went about. So I find out Dean Ween is doing a show in Chicago at Tonic Room only to find out the show was 21+. I was devastated at first but then realized that Tonic Room being a small place to play I may have the chance to meet him. Show was scheduled to start around 8pm so I showed up at 4pm and parked directly in front of the bar. I knew it was a bit early but I could not pass up meeting him. Therefore I continued to wait. Around 6:30 pm members were showing up of the cover band that Dean was going to play with that night. I tried making sure to look all around and not miss when he pulled up. I would stare down taxis, buses, cars that looked to be a rental car, and it was not until around 7pm that I happen to look at my rear view mirror and he is quickly getting out of his rental car and running. As I jump out of my car to address him or get his attention for a split second I forgot his name. He was about to run in when I yelled “MICKEY.” He turned around and said “hey!” I go up to him and he said “I’ll be back I got to go to the toilet.” I then ask him to come back out so I can talk to him. When he comes back out I’m shaking and stuttering as I tell him how much I’ve been trying to meet him. He seemed happy that I did and then I proceeded to ask about his fishing charter. I then ask to take a picture with him and I was on my way. As I got in the car I remembered that I had Chocolate and Cheese, 4th Ween album, in my radio. I quickly jump out and ask someone who was standing outside of the bar to hand my CD to him so he can sign it. The person went inside and Dean saw me through a crack of the window left by the curtain. Dean comes out and tells me I can stay and watch him for sound check. I was stoked. He then proceeds and plays about 6 songs. Those that I remember clearly were It’s Gonna Be A Long Night, Transdermal Celebration, Sweet Texas Fire, Spinal Meningitis and Nan. Nan was probably one of the best to experience in which he sang the whole song since he usually does not sing and only plays guitar although one of his best guitar solos ever is played on Spinal Meningitis. In the end he said “alright man you’ve gotta go.” He came up to me and gave me a handshake and a hug and then told me “You got your own personal concert.” Meeting Dean Ween was one of the greatest things to have happened to me since it was such a unique experience. Dean Ween is one of two essential members of Ween. The other being Aaron Freeman also known as Gene Ween. Dean Ween and Gene Ween started their band since High School releasing their first album in 1990 which mostly was done while in high school. This was the start of the lo-fi community and in essence the start of the successful band known as Ween. Ween was one of those 90’s “weird” “college radio” “underground” bands that received a very devoted and sometimes even obsessed fan based. Following the words of their God, The Boognish, they made a whole community out of the band. Sadly the band separated after 25 years for reasons relating to Gene Ween’s drug abuse. Although both have continued to make music and playing shows. Ween songs are still being played live by them but since breakup not together. A very recommended and binge-worthy band to look into.