Merlyn's Memories...

Who's making noise in and around Madison? What's new in the business of making music around town? Review shows and CDs here. Please keep all hype in Hype Exchange.
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Postby werewolf » Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:05 pm

say, if anyone is interested...
a site just put the '82 r.e.m. show from merlins up for download. find it at:

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Postby mcmx » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:33 pm

werewolf wrote:say, if anyone is interested...
a site just put the '82 r.e.m. show from merlins up for download. find it at:

...and here's the, the beginning of the story. During the first set of their October '81 show, Dave Reiss scrounged up a blank cassette somewhere and we went back to the sound booth where Dave Kao, Merlyn's house guy, popped it in midway. The edit in the middle of "Carnival" is because the tape had to be turned over in the middle of the song! A bit later Pete broke a string on the black Rick and had to change it on stage (!) causing a delay during which Michael improvised some vocal weirdness for a while. It was only a 45 minute tape and that is all there is of that night preserved, although they did two full sets with encores. There is a notable 'faster' version of Rockville on it. I made a copy of Dave Reiss's master, and in turn made a copy of mine for Rich Menning at Atomic Records, and it was dispersed to the world from those humble origins. Jammy transferred it to CD for me a few years ago, and I still have my cassette.

When they came back the following April 24, 1982, we were prepared, and even got the band's permission to tape the show....they signed with IRS a week later. We got the whole show, and for weeks there was nothing else on my stereo. In the early 90's it appeared on a German bootleg CD titled "Carnival Of Sorts". There is also a great board tape of the entire 1985 Stock Pavilion show. I've heard tell of a board tape of their whole '83 Headliner's show, but have not heard it.
All through those years their manager, Jefferson, had a girlfriend named Sonia who lived on Spaight just up off Willy, so they would usually hang around town a few days.

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Re: Merlyn's Memories...

Postby Hot Ptah » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:05 am

Some other great acts that played at Merlyns included bluesmen Jimmy Johnson and James Cotton (a very memorable July 3, 1980 show from Cotton), the Plasmatics, the Egg Lady from "Pink Flamingos", Dekunkt (a killer show!), Sonny Fortune.

I remember that the Art Ensemble of Chicago really packed the stage with their huge array of percussion instruments.

I interviewed Koko Taylor and Wynton Marsalis for the Daily Cardinal in the dressing room at Merlyns. It was a small room, not very nice, to be blunt about it. Wynton said some very candid things about other musicians. He was very young then. Koko Taylor was as nice as could be.

I also remember the dance nights, which were really fun. There were nights when a DJ would play only classic Motown records. Everyone could dance to them.

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Re: Merlyn's Memories...

Postby kcimpl » Wed May 02, 2012 7:43 am

I lived in Madison from 1977-1985. My favorite memories of Merlyns were the Wednesday night Soul Night and the Sunday night Funk Night. Everytime I'm back in Madison I walk by the door that led up to Merlyn's. It was a blast!

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Re: Merlyn's Memories...

Postby iwiw99 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:37 pm

The Suburbs are playing the Majestic on 9/8/2012.
Yikes. At least I won't have to be in HS bright and early the next day.

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