Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Marble Bar Pix

Leslee Anderson behind the Marble Bar

Attention all Marble Bar alumni, whoever and wherever you are. A talented photog going by the nom de Internet "Jack of Hearts" has a fantastic Flickr photostream of bands (local and national) that played Baltimore's Marble Bar back in the early '80s. His profile lists his occupation as Fire Alarm Tech, but the guy's a great picture snapper. (I wonder if I met him back in the day?) Below are his profile pix showing him as both as a longhair and a hell-bent-for-leather boy.

Jack of Hearts

Jack's band pics profile The Cramps, Monuments, Judie's Fixation, Oral Fixation, Slickee Boys, Ventures, John Cale, Sex in Miami, even the infamous 1982 Johnny Thunders show at Roger and Leslee Anderson's historic rock club when an inebriated Thunders stormed off the stage after being beaned in the head by an errant beer can!

Johnny Thunders at Marble Bar (1-29-1982)

Check out more band pix at:
Jack of Hearts' "Marble" Photostream

I love his pix of the Judie's Fixation. Singer-turned-latter-day-body-builder Vaughn Keith (aka "Ben Wah") was a madman! A ton of rock singers cavort nekkid or semi-nekkid onstage (Lux, Iggy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.), but Vaughn would actually eat beer cans - this in the days before eco-consciousness about recycling aluminum products! hence the blood dripping from his chin in the photos below.

Vaughn, looking like a Maori tribesman

Vaughn recycled beer cans BEFORE it was cool

Vaughn's 2006 passing from AIDS even made the news in the New Yorker, where he was fondly remembered by music critic Alex Ross:
Quo usque tandem abutere
On World AIDS Day, I'd like to remember my high-school Latin teacher, the fierce Vaughn Keith, who was also the lead singer of the obscurely famous DC punk band Judie's Fixation. Their hard-hitting anthem "Martyr Me" can be found on the 1978 compilation 30 Seconds Over DC. It holds up.

And Judie's Fixation guitarist Brian "Lumpy" Jones (shown below) was one badass guitar player.

Jack also has a great pantheon of local club and band flyers:
Jack of Hearts' Balto/DC Club and Band Flyers

This Slickees flyer for a show at the 9:30 Club is especially cool:

Psychedelic Slickee Boys flyer

And I really like his Flickr photo set below:
"Friends and other people at the Marble Bar, Baltimore, MD Early 80s". Highlights below:

Dave Wilcox: With friends like this, who needs Q Tips?

Crazy Keith!

I forget Keith's last name (Wurst?) but he was certifiably insane in the membrane. I remember he came to a Katatonix gig in Annapolis and his frenetic pogo dancing so impressed a music critic that he got singled out in the review for resembling something along the lines of "Jerry Lewis exposed to repeated electro-shocks." I vividly recall my last Keith sighting at some Sowebo Festival in the '90s...he was in that dive bar next to the old Mencken's Cultured Pearl (now the Vietnamese restaurant Pho), railing against a woman who had the audacity to criticize his beloved Charles Bukowski. "Who are you compared to Bukowski?," he screamed. "He's a genius and you're just a female with a vagina!" [Ed. note: is there any other kind of female? Did I miss something in Biology class?] I think Keith had a drinking problem. Just a guess.

Cindy Borschardt in her Claire Grogan (Altered Images) phase

Who wasn't in love with the lovely Cindy Borschardt, aka "Bobby Sox," former chanteusse with The Beaters? Obviously, Jack of Hearts was a fan of the photogenic Ms. B. Her sister Susie was equally hot (good gene pool there!).

Hail hail, the gang's all here!

Jack of Hearts' Band Photostreams, A-Z:
Balto/DC Club and Band Flyers
Cramps Marble Bar 3-2-83
John Cale Marble Bar 1-14-83
Johnny Thunders Marble Bar 1-29-82
Judie's Fixation Marble Bar 4-30-83
Judie's Fixation Galaxy Ballroom 12-17-83
Judie's Fixation Marble Bar 12-30-83
Marble Bar People
The Monuments Marble Bar early 80s
The Monuments Parrot Club 9-25-83
The Monuments Galaxy Ballroom 5-83
Oral Fixation Marble Bar
Sex in Miami Marble Bar 12-30-83
Slickee Boys Marble Bar 2-19-83
Slickee Boys Marble Bar New Year's Eve 81-82
Slickee Boys 9:30 Club 2-9-84
Ventures Marble Bar 2-19-83

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Blogger prufrock said...

Hi, Thomas. How's Amos?

Crazy Keith is Keith Wertz. He was like Savoir Faire the cartoon character, back in the day, because he was everywhere! He hung out in Towson, and knew Bob of Bob and Val fame, he was a denizen of the Mt. Royal Tavern, and he went out to LA where he socialized with LA punks like Fear. (I remember Derf Scratch at the Marble being suprised and a bit dismayed that the bar crowd treated Keith more like an annoying maniac then a Punk hero. Apparently Keith was respected by the LA crowd.)

I noticed that you have a picture of Schuman the Human in an earlier post. You'll recall that he and Cindy Borchardt's younger sister (Susie?) were hooked up for a good long while.

You'll remember the guy with Wilcox is Robbie, who hung at the Marble habitually, like me, and worked there for a spell too, I think. I remember John Waters taking a particular interest in Robbie, as did the singer for a Flock of Seagulls - who admired Robbie's greaser hairdo, and then sort of emulated it in an extreme way later in his career.

As far as I can tell, King of Hearts has the best photo archive of the Marble that I have seen online. (Maybe Adolf's buddy "Lou Reed", who was constantly taking pictures that no one has seen, perhaps with the special film that only he could see, has better.)

As always, I am,
Dimi Petrol

1:32 PM  
Blogger Tom Warner, Almost Hip Guy said...

Lou Reed!

That's funny. Yes, he had that "special" film!

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, Thanks for linking to my Flickr page. I'm glad you enjoyed the Marble bar pics. Last year I finally got around to scanning all my 35mm pics and all the flyers (I'm such a pack rat)and posting them on flickr. I have a bunch of set lists I still need to scan. BTW-great blog!
Jim Moon (aka Jack 0f Hearts)

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's me in the photo w/K.Wertz.

Hey Jim! Thanks for the memories. I'd already found your flikr site. So glad you have all those photos. Remember the time that the Swingin' N'ers played at my mom's house?

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara! Remember it? I have pics of it, I should scan and post them. I'm sure everyone wants to see the Little Droogies on your couch, with Tommy Reed mooning me and Lumpy passed out
Jack 0f Hearts

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes!! Please post them when you have time. I'd like to talk to you sometime, but don't want to post my contact info online. Mom's still in the same place with the same #. She can give you my # and e-mail, not to mention she'd love to hear from you too.

So many good times. So many good memories!

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy in the pic with Dave Wilcox is Billy Armiger. Bill was a sweet man and a good sax player who sometimes sat in with the Monuments.
Bill and I, along with Paul Smith drew the birds that are inlayed in the necks of PRS guitars.
Unfortunately Bill died of a heroin overdose.

Tim Campbell, former Judies Fixation/ Monuments guitarist.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Tim C. said...

The guy in the picture with Dave Wilcox is Billy Armiger. A sweet guy and good sax player who sat in with the Monuments sometimes. Bill died of a heroin overdose.

Tim Campbell- former Judies Fixation/ Monuments guitarist

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow serious bringing back the memories. Well remember the Monuments and Motor Morons at the annual pig roasts in Annapolis. Was it really that long ago...

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Vaughn Keith the same Ben Wah who has a track "Gnats Ahoy" on "Train To Disaster" comp. LP?

3:07 AM  

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