I think Ugo Popolizio, who worked in the kitchen, brought out cupcakes to give to the guys in the band for Robert Plant,” recalled Ugo’s brother Frank Popolizio who, with cousin Pat Ragozzino, ran the former 32-lane Woodlawn Bowl as the biggest noise in town.

“I have a bit of a hearing problem,” Frank confided by phone recently. “You know why that is? I kept putting my ears up to the speakers to make sure they were working. That was maybe the dumbest thing I ever did.”

Maybe the smartest was lying about his age to get hired to work with the top acts of the late ’60s. From Jan. 26, 1968 (the Box Tops), to June 26, 1970 (Janis Joplin and the Full Tilt Boogie Band) — 50 years ago — the Aerodrome drew as many as 3,000 fans for such rock acts as the Jeff Beck Group, the Chicago Transit Authority, the Velvet Underground, Canned Heat, Vanilla Fudge, the Yardbirds, the Electric Prunes and the Ultimate Spinach.

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