Oak Park, Illinois, the boyhood hometown of Ernest Hemingway and ground zero for Frank Lloyd Wright architectural enthusiasts, resides in the first ring of Chicago's suburban sprawl. count Paul Mahalek amongst the village's favorite sons. As an attendee of Oak Park-River Forest High School, Mahalek sat on the sidelines as classmates Graf Zepplin cut "You're In My Mind" for the Orlyn label in 1968. Paul chose the comfort of crude overdubs on his family's Wollensak recorder over rehearsals and live performance. Following graduation in 1969, Paul slogged through a year at Marquette University in Milwaukee before transferring to the Chicago Academy of Art downtown. When the school shuttered in 1972, Paul went to work for Consolidated Can, reconnecting with fellow OPRF alum Wayne Silka for off-clock writing and recording sessions.