“Oh! Sorry! I thought…from the side you looked like someone else..”
“No worries. It’s been like that all night. ‘Do I know that person? Maybe…’ The hair is different.”
“or the hair is gone.”
“Or there’s just a lot MORE of the person…”
I never thought a reunion show of a bunch of local punk bands from the 80s would sell out. But Turner Hall was packed, and everybody knew each other, or at least recognized each other, or thought they recognized each other. 14 bands, with 10 minutes between; and amazingly, they ran on time. 7 hours of music and drinking, and egos were pretty subdued, which is quite a change from days past. And quite appropriately, the incestuous character of a small music scene was well on display, with lots of guest musicians filling in on bands.
Because, you see, filling in was necessary; and that was part of the inspiration for the show. Lest We Forget. To remember the musicians that have died. And commemorate them with Not One Moment Of Silence, which no one doubted is exactly what each one of the departed would have wanted.
In between bands, scavenged ancient video of all these kids were played on the screen. Public access, home videos, a telethon. Before Die Kreuzen played, the video was of a news item from when Jerome Brish (who played as Jerome Haskell in the Haskells) was murdered. It sent a shock through the music community when it happened, and looking back it seems obvious that event shut the door on the most fertile period of Milwaukee music. And after that, the video was a quite appalling scroll of the musicians who have died.
It was perhaps a terrible synchronicity that Mark Shurilla died just a week before the show, and his band the Blackholes played regardless. Because Shurilla surely would have wanted that.
A local poet read a spiel to introduce Die Kreuzen, a spiel titled “Not One Moment Of Silence” and that gave this post its title.
Wow, they were good, for only having a few days to practice. Scary Joe was doing the mix:
…and only had one issue, when Keith Brammer turned his bass all the way up. Fecking bass players. My friend Erik was stellar on the drums, and as I suspected, with Joe on the mix the snare drum was ripping faces off. Joe made it go to eleven, and brought the fucking cowbell too.
I hung around for the last couple of bands, and glad I did; Dummy Club were awesome:
and the night was closed out with my old roommate Rick playing “My Baby Went To The Bahamas” with his band St. Bernard.
Did I see all these bands back in the day? I know I probably never saw the Tense Experts, they broke up about the time I moved to Milwaukee. The others….who can say, who can say. Those days were a blur of college, moving into crappy apartments, drinking, bands, moving out of crappy apartments, more drinking, music somewhere, always music. Century Hall, Teddy’s, Gordon Park Pub…always music.
Gosh I’m hung over. And as Pirner sings, ‘there’s a ringing in my ear that’s heaven sent’.
[EDIT] Oh hey look; video from the show:
That was pretty much my POV, but I didn’t bother trying to video. Had a drink in my hand.