IRISH-IN-CHICAGO-L ArchivesArchiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2008-11 > 1227875419
Subject: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Sun-Times: Our Lady of Angels Fire (article 2 of3)
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 06:30:19 -0600
A third-grade boy who survived the Our Lady of the Angels fire grew up to be
Jonathan Cain, keyboardist for the mega-selling rock band Journey, whose
song "Don't Stop Believin' " became an anthem for the winning White Sox of
2005. A co-writer of that hit, Cain is planning to attend Sunday's mass
marking the 50th anniversary of the fire. At the service, he'll perform a
new song he wrote for the occasion, called "The Day They Became Angels."
He has printed 1,000 CDs that will be given out at church to anyone who
wants one, he said. Cain plans to put the song on his Web site,
www.jonathancain.com, at no charge. Cain attended last year's dinner-dance
for the Friends of OLA and decided to write something for the anniversary.
"It's just something I had to take a swing at. I think all of us were
changed that day," said Cain, who lives in the San Francisco area. "You feel
some sort of kinship to all those people who were there that day. When
you're a young kid like that, it shocks you to your soul, and I think we all
grew up that day. It was a trial by fire, literally," he said. His class was
one of the first to escape. "I was one of the lucky ones," he said. He
thought it was a fire drill. Then he saw the flames. "I just stood there in
disbelief. I was standing there on Iowa Street."
He went to his home three blocks away, looked back and saw what appeared to
be a mushroom cloud above the school, "Like a little nuclear bomb went off."
Cain said the fire -- and a prevalent 1950s attitude of quiet stoicism --
affected him so profoundly that when he found himself in a Catholic church
on his wedding day, memories of the fire flooded back and he couldn't stop
crying. "I was kind of a mess still. We didn't have any therapy," he said.
"I finally went to a shrink and told 'em what happened." That helped, he
Cain was born Leonard Friga, but was advised to change his name for his
career. He said his father told him it worked out. "When Journey hit the big
time, people weren't bugging him for tickets."
"I'm always going to be a Chicago guy," Cain said. "I came here to Cali, but
I still got a lotta Chicago goin' on. We were thrilled about the White Sox,
having 'Don't Stop Believin,' " as their anthem, he said.