Rainbow coalition

By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  August 24, 2011

It's easy to think of the Rainbow as just another intersection of Italian-American culture and heavy metal — don't forget, Ronnie James Dio invented rock hands while imitating the gesture his grandma made to ward off the malocchio and Nikki Sixx was born Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna Jr. — but it's impossible to guess what kind of an impact constant exposure to a rock-solid, working-class Chicago ethic had upon the fanciest of men. Whatever the case, it's heartwarming to think about strung-out rockers taking comfort in a hearty bowl of minestrone.

They still do. When I visited the Rainbow not long ago, things looked just as I remembered. My friends and I sat beneath a recent photo of Rod Blagojevich, Bret Michaels, and Ron Jeremy. A couple booths over, two bottle blondes with dirigible-sized fake tits stuck their tongues in each others' mouths while tattooed dirtbags cheered them on. Weber bought our drinks, then scolded at us for not saving room for pizza.

Weber doesn't want things to change. He wouldn't consider remodeling. "We spend about a hundred thousand dollars a year just to keep it looking the same," he said. "Tradition goes on."

Eugenia Williamson can be reached at ewilliamson@phx.com.

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