Pumpkin Corgan Sings Bowie For Rodman

We can all be heroes... Corgan sings at Rodman party Friday. Photo by Matt Carmichael.

If anyone in Chicago knows how to throw a party, it's Chicago

Bull's badboy, Dennis Rodman. So when it was announced that he was going to

have a party last Friday to celebrate his own 36th birthday, eyebrows raised

around the city. When word got out that Poi Dog Pondering was playing, people

shrugged, shelled out the $25 and sold the place out.

Rodman and his

entourage arrived by bus at the new Drink around 11 p. m. and the party shifted

into full name-dropping, star-gazing swing. He took the stage to announce Poi

around 11:30, beer in hand, celebrating the Miami Heat's playoff victory that

would mean their series with the Nicks would continue (and he could party all

night and not have to play the next day!).

Then as Poi came on, a funny

thing happened. Rodman didn't leave the stage. Nor would he for the entire

evening. It was his party and he was gonna hang in the spotlight if he wanted

to. And if he wanted to bring up some of the other Bulls, he'd just do it. And

some dancers. And some friends. Maybe he'd give them all tambourines.

Utter

mayhem? Was there ever a doubt?

Rodman's appearance was rather understated,

by his standards. T-shirt and shorts with his hair dyed a yellowish blond.

Pretty low-key for a guy who has been known to show up to book signings in

drag.

Poi Dog Pondering, fresh off the release of their new double live

album, Liquid White Light, did what they could to perform a normal set.

But they gave in and let the wave of the evening carry them. And somehow, even

as Rodman slung singer Frank Orrall over his shoulder and swung him around the

stage a bit, they managed to deliver a powerful performance, mixing their

thicker-grooved numbers like "Platetectonic," and some of their older, more

lush songs like "Be the One."

The rumors of special guests started as soon

as the show was announced. Last year's party featured Liquid Soul with Eddie

Vedder and Blues Traveler's Popper sitting in. Both of them were rumored this

year as well.

Instead, Chicagoan Billy Corgan sat in for David Bowie's

"Heroes," and he was joined by Living Colour's Corey Glover as well as Brian

Williams from the Bulls on "Love to be In Love With You." (A number of other

Bulls stayed up stairs in the V.I.P balcony, although Jordan didn't seem to be

in attendance).

Later, Poi was also joined by Byron Stingily, one of the

pioneers in the Chicago House scene on his song, "Get Up Everybody."

Rodman

hyped up the crowd, and passed out free shots (served at the Drink in mason

jars) or sips from his gallon of Margarita jar. He brought people out of the

audience to dance and played tambourine.

Was the party a success? Well, Mr.

Rodman didn't make a scheduled book signing at Border's Saturday--you be the

judge.