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Touring Musicians to Eat for Free at Upcoming Gabba Gabba Hey

James Toland
James Toland Photo: courtesy Myspace

Over the past year the distance between chefs and bands has gotten smaller and smaller, and if James Toland has his way, it may disappear completely. The former Lockwood Chef de Cuisine is opening a new restaurant that will “likely” be in Logan Square called Gabba Gabba Hey. If you already know what that means then you’ll probably fit right in. If not, as he explains, the restaurant “isn’t for everyone” (Cheaters check here). As for the food, there are no specifics other than it will be “be simple and to-the-point like a Ramone’s song. We will be fun Fun FUN all the time!” All right! Actually, all these music references aren’t just for the atmosphere. The restaurant is actually planning to “unofficially” dish out free food to touring musicians. Though this may sound like a charitable operation, it isn’t going to be a free ride.

James Toland described the policy on his blog.

Gabba Gabba Hey will unofficially offer touring band members visiting the city, free dinner! (The booze you have to pay for.) The key word there is touring! You have to have a gig in town that week to qualify. Cutting a record with Steve Albini for 2 months will not get you a free dinner every night, Frank!

What if you are a struggling musician in the city and can’t even afford to tour?

That is entirely up to my discretion if I like your band and you are willing to let me sit in with you.

The official location has not been picked, though he still plans to open in mid October.

Hey Ho, Let’s Go [Salty Power Chords]
Free food for bands? Chicago becomes even more appealing to touring musicians [LA Times]
Former Lockwood Chef de Cuisine Opening Rock Star Spot [Foodietheapp]

Touring Musicians to Eat for Free at Upcoming Gabba Gabba Hey