For a few years now, Judy Simonds, Doug LaValliere and Clancy Carroll have been working on "Taking the City By Storm: The Birth of Milwaukee's Punk Scene," a documentary film that traces the birth and development of Milwaukee's protopunk, Punk, New Wave and Alternative Music scene from 1975 to 1985.
The appropriately 100 percent DIY film – directed by LaValliere, who was a member of The Prosecutors with Kevn Kinney – is nearly ready and there will be a preview party on Saturday, July 30 at 8 p.m. at Shank Hall, 1434 N. Farwell Ave.
"We missed the deadline (for the Milwaukee Film Festival)," says Simonds, who is co-producer with Carroll, who was in Dominoes. "Needed fine tuning. We'll be entering again this fall for the 2023 festival.
"We didn't want the people who were a part of the movie to wait another year."
Simonds is a visual artist and art professor in Austin, where LaValliere has worked camera for "Austin City Limits" and other television shows.
Tickets for the 21-and-up screening are $10 and they went on sale today at Ticketweb.
Capacity at the venue is 300, so tickets are limited.
According to the filmmakers, the picture, “is a ‘slice of life’ documentary following the ups and downs of the early pioneers of the scene during those exciting amd turbulent years. A deep-rooted Midwestern blue collar work ethic influenced club owners and musicians, which lead to the prolific production of DIY 45s and LPs. To this day, these recordings remain highly sought after by record collectors around the country and the world.”
There’s ton of footage of bands like The Haskels, Oil Tasters, the Lubricants and more, as well as interviews with everyone from the late Kenny Baldwin – musicians and Starship owner – to musician James Chance to Zak’s owner Damian Zak and many others.
If you like the great “Brick Through The Window” oral history book – co-written by Carroll – you won’t want to miss the film.
Watch a trailer of the film here:
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.