Epitaph, 11 E. 31st St., was the apotheosis of punk in Kansas City. Shabby-chic, tragically hip and infused with art-student sensibilities, the bar was a stone’s throw from VFW Post #18 but miles from that scene’s hardcore aesthetic. Black lights made the blue martinis served by bartender Rubber Robbin glow even more devilishly. No doubt, though, it was Epitaph’s blood red and evil black color scheme and its gothic iconography of crosses and crowns that drew Christian picketers to the … [Read more...] about An epitaph for Epitaph
The magnificent Art Deco Municipal Auditorium, which will host a 75th birthday party Thursday, Oct. 13, has been the site of much Kansas City Rock History. Elvis Presley played three concerts there – May 24, 1956; Nov. 15, 1971; and June 29, 1974. Other notable shows include the Jimi Hendrix Experience Nov. 1, 1968, and the Rolling Stones (with Stevie Wonder opening), June 22, 1972. I saw several great rock shows at Municipal -- Frank Zappa (12/5/81), Prince (3/19/83), Willie Nelson (2/25/79) … [Read more...] about Municipal Auditorium turns 75
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
Stan Plesser, who died Sept. 1 at age 79, arguably did more to foster the pop music scene in Kansas City than any other single person. From 1963 to 1971, his Vanguard Coffeehouse, 4305 Main St., brought the stars and semi-stars of the folk movement to midtown. His subsequent (1971-74) Cowtown Ballroom, 3101 Gillham Plaza, and Good Karma Productions not only brought rock’s brightest stars to shine on local kids like me, but they gave Kansas City such gravitational pull that artists from … [Read more...] about The passion of Stan Plesser
Among the holy grails of the Kansas City Rock History Project, in terms of photos, is the Jimi Hendrix Experience concert Nov. 1, 1968, at Municipal Auditorium. If anyone out there has photos of Jimi, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell on stage in Kansas City, please be in touch with me. And anyone who attended, please feel free to share your memories by commenting below. I have found some ads for the concert, whose opening act was Cat Mother and All-Night Newsboys, on the back of a KUDL Boss 30 … [Read more...] about Calling all shutterbugs!
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