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Merlyn's Memories...

Who's making noise in and around Madison? What's new in the business of making music around town? Review shows and CDs here. Please keep all hype in Hype Exchange.

Postby mcmx » Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:07 am

Edsville reminded me of the Wayne Kramer Air Raid show, which of course also included Johnny Thunders! Thunders was heavily, um, medicated, but did manage to make it through the set. The crowd was roaring for an encore, and after a while Serge went back to the dressing room and badgered them into doing one. Apparently this was unprecidented for Johnny, as the following week there was mention in the Village Voice that a Madison Wi club owner had actually gotten him to return to the stage. Take that CBGB's.

For those who might be curious about the current whereabouts of other Merlyn's employees, here's a short list.

Bartender Bill Rock is now in Chicago, working for XM Satellite Radio, and is a successfull artist as well.

Bartender Katy Tong is married with family in northern WI.

Bartender Peter Love is in Madison,and works at Meriter.

Soundman David Kao is married with family in Hood River Oregon, and will be in Madison in July for the Four Chairs/No Waiting reunion gig.

Soundman Jack LeTorneau is still engineering in Chicago and Madison studios.

Cole Markland moved to Florida 2 years ago to care for his elderly mom.

Last heard that Serge was in the Twin Cities, but that was 10 years ago.

Last heard Delilah got her Law degree and is now a lawyer in Seattle.
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Re: Two nighter?

Postby mifflander » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:12 am

thomaswilliam wrote:
newlow wrote:What bands did two night stints at Merlyn's? There were only a few. Who remembers?

Pat Metheny played two 2-night stands
As Falls Witchita.. tour (w/Nana Vasconcelos)
80/81 tour (w/Redmond, Haden and Motian!)

story
The night John Cale left the stage inexplicably after only 20 killer min. and Serge stepped up to the mic, to explain JC had "throat problems" note:He sounded fine, it was prolly some other condition..
To avert a near-riot (people were PISSED) a gracious offer of 1/2 admission refunds quelled the angry hoards.
Can anyone remind me who opened? Appliances?

lots more Merlyns stories! I lived there.

TW


Tom did you happen to work at the record store directly below Merlyn's? Lake St. Station I think was it's name.
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Postby cattyr » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:12 pm

edsville wrote: I don't think these were previously mentioned and might jostle a few old brain cells:


Did it ever! Thanks. How could I have forgotten James Chance or Gang of Four? I was at over half of these, though curiously I've forgotten all I ever knew about the Damned/Replacements/Appliances show. I lived with the Appliances drummer, but maybe that was after we broke up, that would explain it.

What a great archive you have there.
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Re: Two nighter?

Postby thomaswilliam » Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:12 am

[/quote]

Tom did you happen to work at the record store directly below Merlyn's? Lake St. Station I think was it's name.[/quote]

That was Slatewood Records actually. Seems like a lifetime ago..thanks for your patronage.

And thanks to ya 'townies' for rekindling the fond memories of 80's Madison - from relentlessly quirky and cerebral stuff to pop music finding new things to do, the jazz explorers, nights beyond description (that Kitchen show, wow!), awe-inspiring jazz artists, punk's heyday, rock music you could actually dance to and space to do it, a special place was Meryln's. Lotsa great music that would otherwise have little chance to arrive here in the hinterlands.
Other clubs did more for the local 'scene' perhaps, but there was time when the variety of venues supported quite a variety of music.

Kinda like...now?

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.

TW
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Re: Two nighter?

Postby mifflander » Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:41 am

thomaswilliam wrote:


Tom did you happen to work at the record store directly below Merlyn's? Lake St. Station I think was it's name.[/quote]

That was Slatewood Records actually. Seems like a lifetime ago..thanks for your patronage.

[/quote]

I didn't think Lake St. Station sounded right. I believe you and a friend of your's and myself went to see Gang of Four in Milwaukee together once. You had put up a hand made sign at the check out counter offering to split gas money for a ride to the show. It was at The Palm's or The Electric Ballroom or whatever that club was called at the time.
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Merlyn's begat G.S. Vig's

Postby mcmx » Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:43 pm

edsville wrote: The end of an era....... until G.S. Vigs came along.


Any G.S. Vig's memories out there? The club definitely did continue the Merlyn's legacy for a few more years.

I'll start by citing the fabulous Cramps show in 1984. Who can forget the sight of Lux simultaneously pouring 2 bottles of Heinekin over his head during the encore. The show was psycho-heaven. There's a good board tape of that one around.
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Re: Merlyn's begat G.S. Vig's

Postby mifflander » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:46 am

mcmx wrote:
edsville wrote: The end of an era....... until G.S. Vigs came along.


Any G.S. Vig's memories out there? The club definitely did continue the Merlyn's legacy for a few more years.

I'll start by citing the fabulous Cramps show in 1984. Who can forget the sight of Lux simultaneously pouring 2 bottles of Heinekin over his head during the encore. The show was psycho-heaven. There's a good board tape of that one around.


I was at that show also. First ever gig for local band The Waterdogs as openers.

I also remember seeing Eugene Chadbourne w/ Shockabilly there. That was another great show. They did a twisted cover of Purple Haze and Eugene got out The Rake for a few songs.

Another band I remember seeing there is The Suburbs for an afternoon show. They were so popular at the time that they added an extra show at 3:00 in the afternoon. Love Is The Law had just come out I believe because they had a couple of horn players along.

Also saw Husker Du there. Don't remember any details of that one.

One really great show at Merlyn's I saw that I don't think has been mentioned yet was Roy Buchannan and Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows. One night, two shows. Roy Buchannan ran over so long during the first set that by the time the club was cleared for ticket holders to the late show it was probably close to midnight. So Roy, who was technically the headliner, played first at the late show. I don't remember exactly when Big Twist came on but they definetly ran past bar time. It wasn't the first time that I was there for a show that ran over.

I recall Serge coming on stage once while everyone is yelling for more music asking if we would all pitch in and pay the fine he'd get for not closing. Of course everyone screams Yes! He brought the band back out.

I wonder how many times Merlyn's was really fined for not closing on time. Because I sure remember it happenning more then once.
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Postby Paco » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:48 am

300 pounds of Heavenly Joy.
Big Twist was sponsored by 101FM, cover was $1.01
He was good, I love that music, still have his album.
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Appliances?

Postby msysfb » Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:14 pm

cattyr wrote:
edsville wrote: I don't think these were previously mentioned and might jostle a few old brain cells:


Did it ever! Thanks. How could I have forgotten James Chance or Gang of Four? I was at over half of these, though curiously I've forgotten all I ever knew about the Damned/Replacements/Appliances show. I lived with the Appliances drummer, but maybe that was after we broke up, that would explain it.

What a great archive you have there.


Must have been some really early Appliances drummer. Pre-SFB.
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Re: Appliances?

Postby cattyr » Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:39 am

msysfb wrote:Must have been some really early Appliances drummer. Pre-SFB.

Yes, it was the first one, Richard. The first EP they made had my friend John's old army ambulance on the cover, IIRC. TL, if you see this, am I getting that right?
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Postby hollywood » Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:05 pm

Yes Richard Nayer. Both Richard and Scott from the Appliances were in my band before them, The Boursois-Z. I always thought my next drummer would join them too! ( But Scott stayed till the end.) Note to TL, I don't want to hear "It's not going to happen" the next time someone trys to get The Appliances SFB a reunion show again. The Boursois-Z were one of the first bands to ever play Merlyns, but no one ever saw us because Serge just was using us, used us as test for his PA and never let us actually play a show!

My best memories from there are having Husker Du open for me in a later band( The Stimulies/Hollywood Autopsy) and having Serge telling Grant Hart "they will never play Madison again" because he broke the head off a Shure mike. And it was great meeting and opening for Replacements/ X, opening for The Gun Club twice( but sad watching Jeffery Lee Pierce drink his provided-by-contract 2 bottles of champagne by himself). X signed my Plaza matchbook( the only paper I had on me) at Slatewood records earlier in the day. The Gang of Four show at Merlyn's and in Milwaukee at The Palms are some of my fondest memories of shows from that time period. Cramps at GS VIgs were great too, almost got crushed to death at that show, but made $5 by picking up change off the floor when it was done( sorry Bruno, I didn't tip bartenders much in those days ) And who else remember's Poison Ivy vomitting in the alley behind the club between the set and the encore? Now thats a rock n roll trooper!

see Hollywood Autopsy soundcheck at Merlyns here: courtesy of Yeller Skeltin at(www.greatdome.net/yellerskeltin)
http://winstreamer.doit.wisc.edu/wumc/vid/y/hautopsy.WMV

see The Replacements soundcheck at Merlyns here: courtesy Yeller Skeltin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fSW854nTwE

see photos of The Suburbs by Kirk Swenson at Merlyns here: http://www.twintone.com/scrapbook/photos/suburbs/merlyns/merlyns.html

My worst memory from Merlyn's? Getting the Violent Femmes their first real club/non-house party show booking in town at Merlyns, spending lots of time putting up posters and rehearsing, to only be told that the band didn't want us to open for them while we were loading in our equipment for the show into the club.( something about that we were "louder then them" and Brian Ritchie having a stick up his arse about that our bass player knew his former girlfriend.) And how Serge would charge full cover till the end of the show and then not let you in to just hang out even when the band ended( though Cole and Steve M. were kind enough to let me see 2 songs for free at the door useally)
[url][/url]
Last edited by hollywood on Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bifftar » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:07 pm

hollywood wrote:Note to TL, I don't want to hear "It's not going to happen" the next time someone trys to get The Appliances SFB a reunion show again.


Appliances-SFB reunion show, fuckin fuck YEAH.

it's seibecker that needs the most prodding, i'm told.

:roll:

I must add - those Suburbs shows at Merlyn's were truly inspirational. lucky to see 'em.
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Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:52 am

Anyone remember Uncle Vinty? His backup band included two guys who used to be in Michael and the Messengers. Vinty put on quite a show. For one number, "Alligator Wine", he wore a paper mache alligator head.

Emergency => Emerge and see.
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Postby mcmx » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:08 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Anyone remember Uncle Vinty? His backup band included two guys who used to be in Michael and the Messengers. Vinty put on quite a show. For one number, "Alligator Wine", he wore a paper mache alligator head.

Emergency => Emerge and see.


Yeah, Vinty knew how to entertain. I believe he has passed on to the great music club in the ether of our imagination.
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Hollywood Autopsy

Postby dni » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:17 am

hollywood wrote:
My best memories from there... opening for The Gun Club twice( but sad watching Jeffery Lee Pierce drink his provided-by-contract 2 bottles of champagne by himself).


Hey Hollywood, might you be the person I bought my fender mustang guitar from?

Here is a link to a page with the flyer for the guitar and a poster for the show you did warming up Gun Club: http://d-n-i.com/music/madison/hollywood-autopsy/

It was a very fun show.
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