Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Marilyn Megenity of the Mercury Cafe


Sonny is spending all his free time tweaking the pages and making it look fab. I'm impressed with his progress.
Do yourself a favor and preorder the book and get extra goodies in the mail. Last day for me to send out the freebies in THURSDAY before I head off to Egypt. All orders will be promptly sent when I return in October for the book release. You can do this by visiting: 

The book release date has been set.
Date: Saturday, October 10 2015
Location: Mutiny Information Cafe 2 South Broadway Denver, CO 80209
Time: 6 pm
Special musical guests TBA

excerpt of Marilyn's interview. 

Marilyn Megenity

For Marilyn Megenity, the proprietor of the Mercury Cafe, cultivating Denver’s hub for live underground music in the early 1980s was an uphill struggle. She battled landlords and walked a fine line with city regulators to create a space for an organic restaurant as well as local and touring bands to play original music. As a lover of music with a reputation for taking care of bands, her honest and grassroots approach has been the foundation of her success. Although her venue underwent a couple of incarnations until 1990, she finally secured a permanent location that remains in operation today.  

Marilyn circumvented city regulations and accommodated audiences of all ages under the guise that first and foremost the venue was a restaurant. Additionally, she hosted matinee shows, including Black Flag and Dead Kennedys, to make sure budding hardcore youth were able to see their favorite bands.

Since Wax Trax existed around the corner from the original Mercury on Pearl Street, the two entities formed an alliance and consolidated punk rock in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. From 1979-84, monthly calendar dates of the club were jammed packed with events, live and otherwise, to suit those who broke from the mundane nightlife Denver had to offer. Certainly on any given night of the week, patrons were going to experience invigorating and cutting edge culture.

At her new location, she continued with the same ethos: serving local organic fare and providing live music of all genres. I formed a working relationship with Marilyn when I booked touring and local bands at her club from 1990-92. She not only provided a space, PA, doorman, but also counseled me on how to be a fair and honest promoter, for which I will always be thankful.

Forty years later, she is still running her operation on her own terms, and she offers no signs of slowing down.

How did you create a space that would both be a restaurant and a venue for live music?

Landlords kicked me out of Denver a lot. The first time we were at the space on 1308 Pearl. I had hilarious gangster landlords and just before they kicked me out I had been booking local bands, this was 1979. One of doorman suggested doing national acts. Shortly after that, the landlord kicked me out. (Laughter).

What sort of gangsters? Mafioso in pin stripe suits? But more importantly, why did they kick you out? 

The landlords were dealing drugs and making shady business deals. They kept raising the rent on me every week. One time I asked them if they wouldn’t, so I could fix a leak in the roof. The leak was near the electrical equipment, so they kicked me out.

The building sold, and there was a new landlord, so I moved back in 1981. Wax Trax was across the street by then. I knew I wanted to book touring bands, so I put that out there. There were a bunch of local new wave bands I started booking. Barry Fey was really the only other promoter in town at the time for rock and roll, and he wasn't hip to punk. A lot of bands started calling me themselves. If I didn't know who they were, I would call Wax Trax and say, "Hey, do you think I should book this band?" and they'd say, "Yeah, book them!" The bands would sometimes do an in-store thing at the record shop. That’s how we got started.

To see more order the darn book!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Shawn Slater Denver Skins


I'm currently in Las Vegas working with Sonny on the layout. Good news is text and images have been placed, Next the fine tuning. Sonny is making the magic happen. 
Do yourself a favor and preorder the book and get extra goodies in the mail next week. You can do this by visiting: 

The book release date has been set.
Date: Saturday, October 10 2015
Location: Mutiny Information Cafe 2 South Broadway Denver, CO 80209
Time: 6 pm
Special musical guests TBA

excerpt of Shawn's interview. 

What do you think what eventually happened in the Denver scene? At one point, a lot of new kids arrived calling themselves skinhead and had a different take on what you guys started out as?

I don't know where all that came from. It was gradual. It didn’t happen overnight. That second Black Flag show at the Rainbow Music Hall. That was when Gary had all those business cards made -- Support Your Local Skins, the Few the Proud the Nazis. That's when we gave one to Henry, and he jumped off the stage to come after me. That's when Jeff came up and told Henry, "You might get one shot in, but we're going to kick your fucking ass."

Did he back down?

He got back up on stage, said something about it, and that was it. When we were younger, everybody was pissed off at the world. What path were we all going? When we look back to those days we essentially woke up, partied, listened to music, skateboarded, rode bikes, and we didn't care about what was going to happen the next day.

At the time, did you feel that kids involved with hardcore had a lot of energy and did extreme stuff like ride BMX bikes, skated ramps and gravitated towards music like punk.

You gotta look at people that did that sort of thing in Denver. They were outcasts. I moved from Southern California in 1977, and my first day of school in 6th grade I was wearing Vans and someone tells me, "My grandpa wears shoes like that." Right from the get-go at that age, you had your jocks, your freaks, your hicks … I really didn't have that in California, it was like, "Hey, buddy, let's go to the beach." You grabbed your boogie board and went to the beach. At school, they were telling me, "No, no, no, you gotta wear Adidas.” As I got into 9th grade, you had to be a jock, you had to do this ..." Fuck that shit. I remember one of my teachers telling me I was the good jock gone bad. I played football, I played lacrosse, and I followed that fucking norm. One day I got invited to punk rock and realized that this is what I liked. We looked at all the magazines. All the punks skateboarded and BMXed, and that's what we gravitated towards. Look at how many people showed up to the ramps after school. Everyone went over to each other's house and hung out. It was all tight-knit.

Eventually everyone in the scene started grouping themselves. We're the peace punks, we're the skins, we're the hardcore punks, we're the junkie punks ... It was weird that everyone started getting labeled into little groups. During the whole time, I was in the scene, I don't think I ever fought anyone in the scene ... with the exception of one skinhead who was talking shit and got his mouth pounded. If you really reflect back to that time, what troubles really existed within the scene? I remember the last show at Kennedy's, but that was just one big drunken onslaught and everybody tore that place down.

to read more, order the book. 

Brush and ink drawing by Bob Rob (Medina)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Boulder's White Trash: Mexican food and Nazis in the neighborhood.


The editing is officially concluded and I fly off to Las Vegas tomorrow to had the flies and images to Sonny Kay, the book's designer. Here's more good news, you can still preorder the book and get all sorts of goodies before I leave for Egypt in 2 weeks. People that have pre-ordered are enjoying their freebies this very moment.

The book release date has been set.
Date: Saturday, October 10 2015
Location: Mutiny Information Cafe 2 S Broadway Denver, CO 80209
Time: 6 pm
Special musical guests TBA

The artwork from the book will be exhibited and avail for purchase.
If you wish to preorder the book, you will receive extra goodies. You can do this by visiting: 

White Trash

The fury of the dual guitar attack of White Trash was born in the fraternity-infested university town of Boulder. The band arose out of the ashes of Annex Red, and later incarnations helped pave the formation of the Fluid.

Louie Largesse, the band’s vocalist, cites being turned on to punk rock by drummer Garry (Garret Shavlik) while working as a dishwasher at Boulder’s legendary Mexican restaurant, José Muldoon’s. “I was a kid, 14-years-old, probably 1981. I tested out of 10th grade, but because of Colorado law I couldn't test out of 11th grade due to my age. I started working full time at the restaurant.” Other band members worked in the restaurant’s kitchen as well. Louie even proclaims White Trash played a show there.

The remainder of the interview will be published in the book.