The birthplace of punk rock in Kansas City is coming down. Well, maybe not the birthplace, but the site of one of the earliest clubs to feature punk and new wave music, mainly by local bands, in a big way has an imminent date with the wrecking ball. According to a story at kshb.com, the orange brick building on the southeast corner of 47th and Troost is coming down to make way for a new Ollie Gates shopping center. Lately, it housed a payday loan operation. But in 1981 it was the Music Box, … [Read more...] about A punk progenitor
Kansas City Star Books has published a winner with its new “The Kings of Cut-Rate: The Very American Story of Isaac and Michael Katz,” by Brian Burnes and Steve Katz. The authors had great material to work with, starting with the rags-to-riches story of the Katz brothers and including dozens of vivid images of their marketing mastery, many featuring the unforgettable grinning-cat logo. The book touches on Kansas City music history, mainly the 25-plus-year run of Katz Drug Co.’s annual, free … [Read more...] about Go, Katz, Go!
According to several sources, the Kansas City area’s first homegrown rock band of note was Larry Emmett and the Sliders. While African-Americans were playing and listening to rhythm and blues in local clubs at least since the early 1950s, the flowering of white rock bands did not occur until after the Elvis Presley explosion of 1956. In fact, Larry Emmett was not a white man, but a Native American who was born on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation near Mayetta, Kan. His parents moved to … [Read more...] about KC’s first homegrown rocker
Rod Peal is a rock musician-turned-entrepreneur who opened Halcyon Diversified Trading in December 2009 at 4706 Mission Road, Roeland Park, Kan. Peal buys and sells a variety of hip goods, from used vinyl records to musical instruments to furniture. On the second Friday of each month, he hosts an art opening with live music. Peal had heard that the location was once a rock club, but no one was able to confirm it for him until now. The building once housed not one but two rock clubs catering … [Read more...] about Site of early clubs rocks again
Those Chicago-based musical archaeologists at the Numero Group are offering up a chance to own a slab of Kansas City Rock History. Three years ago they released a brilliant 2-CD set titled “Titan: It's All Pop!” It is 40 tracks of locally recorded, 1970s-vintage power-pop from the Titan label, which was headed by Tom Sorrells and Mark Prellberg. Now Numero has released a four-LP version. Says Numero: “The original 40-song double disc was sequenced as a kick-ass mix tape. For the 52-song, … [Read more...] about Own a piece of KC Rock History
Here are some posters I saved from the early 1980s punk/new wave scene. My faves, the Embarrassment, are represented with a poster from the same general time frame as the photos in the post below. Some of the other key punk venues are here, too: the VFW Hall, Louis Craig Post #18, 3027 Walnut St.; Parody Hall, upstairs at 811 W. 39th St., near Southwest Trafficway; and Lawrence, Kansas' fabled Outhouse, carved out of a corn field three miles west of the city limits. (See map detail on how … [Read more...] about Punk/new wave posters