The trail of Madison rock history passed directly through the door to Merlyn's, the 1980s State Street nightclub. Now the venue and its denizens are a deservedly huge slab of "Smart Sounds, Alt Music, Mad Scenes," the exhibit about Madison music that's currently on display at the Wisconsin Historical Museum.
If you were around for shows at Merlyn's, chances are Cole Markland either let you in the door, threw you out the door or, most assuredly, mopped up the floor long after your ass was home sleeping it off.
Markland split for Florida to take care of his ailing mother right about when Merlyn's shut down in the mid-1980s. He's never been back. Thanks to an online fundraiser called the Cole Markland Appreciation Society, enough money has been gathered to fly him up for a special party and concert at the "Smart Sounds" exhibit on Friday, Aug. 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. Madison punk royalty - members of Tar Babies, Killdozer and Appliances-SFB - will perform as Tardozer-SFB.
There's no plan to make Markland work the door.