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The Starship. It was a dump, but a nice dump. Speaking of dumps, one frozen night in February I got there early to see a band and club owner Kenny Baldwin had just opened the doors. The heat wasn't on and I happened to walk in the bathroom and there was a huge turd frozen in the toilet.

The club was open for about 2 years from 1980-1982. It was downtown on 5th street across from a big hotel - The Marc Plaza (now a Hilton hotel) and businessmen would walk into the seedy bar looking for action (apparently before it became a music club, it the place to find a working girl or midnight cowboy), but after getting ridiculed by the regulars one too many times, the suits stopped showing up.

A lot of legendary bands played there but it really showcased the local bands. Plus it had a Gorgar and Space Invaders games (to use when you were bored with the band). The Starship was fun, it had an easy relaxed attitude, versus Zak's where rules were rules (and you don't break da rules). The Starship has since become the lasting image of Milwaukee Punk and there were even "Starship Reunion" parties years later.


Starship posters:

"Kennyfest" at the Starship (1980) Poster by Guy Hoffman. Note the Cramps date on the calendar. (For those who don't know, Kenny Baldwin owned/managed the Starship.)

Starship's November, 1980 Calendar Poster by Bob Solem. Note Captain Beefheart, Lydia Lunch and the Troggs. What a month!

Captain Beefheart at the Starship (December 13, 1980) A $9.50 show! That would be like, $25 now. Poster by Guy Hoffman.

Starship's February, 1981 Calendar Poster by L. Fischer.

Starship's March, 1981 Calendar Poster by L. Fischer. Poster girl is Vicki from the Curves/Prosecutors, I think.

Snakefinger at the Starship (April 16, 1982) Illustration by Mark Beyer - the Starship address was pasted over the name of a previous venue (?) Beyer was a big favorite of mine from Raw magazine and his own published book.

D.O.A. at the Starship (April 24, 1981) With the Stellas (who later split to become Die Kreuzen and Sacred Order).

Starship's September, 1981 Calendar Poster by L. Fischer. Poster boy is singer Mikel Podolak from Sacred Order.

Black Flag with their new vocalist Henry Rollins at the Starship (June 20, 1982) An excellent show - there was a lot of action in front and on the stage. The Deliriants, Die Kreuzen and Saccharine Trust opened. This was a huge night for the newly formed Die Kreuzen. The Black Flag four bar logo was painted on the outside wall of the Starship that night. Poster with cow image (cows and beer!) by Richard Kohl (signed "D.K.").

New Year's Eve at the Starship, 1981 Poster by Bob Solem. Kenny promised to buy breakfast at the Big Boy on the corner for anyone left standing at daybreak, but I don't remember that happening...I do remember driving home at 8:00 am looking at the semi-frozen lake sloshing around, kind of like my head was doing.

Zero Boys at the Starship (January 8, 1982) With Die Kreuzen.

The Ventures at the Starship (February 13, 1982) Hendrix was wrong.

The Gun Club at the Starship (March 11, 1982) With Die Kreuzen. DK and Sacred Order lived about a block away from the Starship in the Norman, a creepy old building built by Frederick Pabst for his servants. It burned down in the early '90s.

Flipper at the Starship (March 19,1982) A wild show by Flipper with the bass player vomiting behind his amp all night (Photos of Flipper & Die Kreuzen from this show). Poster by Richard Kohl (signed "D.K.").

Head On a Post Magazine Benefit at the Starship (June 5, 1982) WIth An Attempt (pre-Tense Experts?), Die Kreuzen, Sacred Order, Prosecutors.

Pieces of Glass From the Starship Window Taken as the building was being demolished. I wish I had some photos....

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