Retro Baltimore: The 2016 Marble Bar Photo Shoot

Marble Bar Alums reunite for fun

“Dark. Dank. Sweaty. Fetid. Subterranean. A physical eyesore in the basement of a once posh hotel long gone to seed. In other words, the perfect rock venue.” – Michael Yockel (“What Is and What Should Never Be: A History of the Baltimore Club Scene,” City Paper, June 19, 1987)

“It was a dump, no two ways about it…In the summer it was blistering hot, in the winter it was freezing cold. It was dark, dingy, and stunk like piss.” – Adolf Kowalski (“Glory Hole” by Brennen Jensen, City Paper, December 6, 2000) 

“The only reason any scene ever happened in Baltimore was because of the Marble Bar.” – David Wilcox (singer, Pooba, Alcoholics, Problem Pets, Chelsea Graveyard)

(Sunday, October 9, 2016) – Roughly 40 old time punks and rockers showed up at the Congress Hotel on Baltimore’s W. Franklin Street, curious to see what their former favorite music venue, The Marble Bar, looked like more roughly 30 years after the doors closed for good in 1987.


The Congress Hotel on W. Franklin Street

The occasion was a photo shoot organized by Chris Kaltenbach and photographed by ace photographer Amy Davis for a Baltimore Sun “Retro Baltimore” feature (Sunday, October 30, 2016). This “special session of Congress” was called to see how the Marble and its (ir)regulars looked today compared with back then. (Attendees were asked to hold off posting pics on social media until the Sun article appeared but we live in the age of WikiLeaks and, well, there was a lot of leakage from that historic basement!)

The Sun hasn’t set on this crowd yet
The result was a historic pic filled with so many people that it looked like a high school yearbook photo (for a school I certainly wouldn’t send my – entirely theoretical – children to!). [I had originally reproduced the picture here, but The Sun told me it violated copyright and asked me to take it down. I certainly get that, but given that so many people have already posted the pic on social media, it seems rather pointless – but no worries, this dude will abide. I’m flattered that my dumb blog is even on their radar.] Go here to see the pic: Marble Bar Alums.

In his accompanying text to “The Marble Bar alums,” Chris Kaltenbach wrote:

Some 30 alumni of Baltimore’s punk scene recently gathered at the Marble, and if the old place wasn’t quite as loud as it once was, its spirit has hardly been dimmed. An elevator brought everyone downstairs, a modern convenience hitherto unimagined, and everything looked a lot cleaner and brighter than people remembered. But time has not dimmed the glory of what went down here.

Continue reading “The Marble Bar alums” (you’ll need to scroll down a bit, past the Bay Bridge driver story – there is no direct link) at

And who exactly showed up? The roll call of musicians appearing in the pic included: Tom Diventi, 60 (Da Moronics), Craig Stinchcomb, 63 (Judie’s Fixation), Anderson, Tom Warner, 59 (Thee Katatonix), Ed Neenan, 55 (The Click) and Mr. Urbanity, 60 (Thee Katatonix), Joe Goldsborough, 52 (Reptile House), Mark Shimonkevitz, 55 (Ungrateful Bitches), Billy McConnell , 65 (Strangelove), Tom Chalkley, 61 (The Reason), Mark O’Connor, 64 (Food for Worms), Woody Lissauer, 57 (Strangelove), Hoppy Hopkins, 58 (Da Moronics), Mike Milstein, 56 (Thee Katatonix), Greg Breazeale, 55 (Beavers Cleavers), Adolf Kowalski, 56 (Thee Katatonix), Steven Reech, 50 (The Dinosaurs), Skizz Cyzyk, 50 (Burried Droog), Craig Hankin, 61 (The Reason), Scott Pendleton, 63 (Fuji’s Navy), David Wilcox/Steptoe, 66 (The Alcoholics), Big Andy Small, 56 (Thee Katatonix), Steve Cavaselis, 54, (Party Dolls), Jamie Wilson, 64 (Da Moronics), John Gontrum/Johnnie Angel, 53 (Avalanche), William Sutherland/Brian Jones aka Lump(y), 60 (Judie’s Fixation), Robyn Webb/Dick Hertz, 60 (Infant Lunch), Ron Weldon, 50 (Grey March) and Anthony Piazza, 58 (Eubie Hayve).

As the Sun quoted yours truly (me) in the article:

“It was just really good to see those faces,” says Tom Warner, an original member of Thee Katatonix, “and to know so many people were still around.”

"You can read it in the Sunday papers": Baltimore Sun, October 30, 2016

“You can read it in the Sunday papers”: Baltimore Sun, October 30, 2016


Continue reading “Retro Baltimore: The 2016 Marble Bar Photo Shoot” at Accelerated Decrepitude.

Posted in 1970s, 1980s, Decades, Dreamlanders, Edith Massey, Entertainment, Marble Bar, Music, Nightspots, Punk / New Wave, Roadside Attractions | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

City Paper interviews the “Don Juan of Satanism”

Sociable Satanist: Occult investigator “Dr. Daniel Rumanos” doesn’t need a day job

By Van Smith (Baltimore City Paper, 8/8/2012)

Meeting “Dr. Daniel Rumanos” face-to-face can be somewhat of a letdown. He is, after all, someone who once claimed to cast Satanist spells so that 12-year-old girls would have sex with him and who, when setting up a meeting with a reporter, says, “I will be the one who resembles Rasputin.”

While Rumanos’ appearance may call to mind Grigori “Mad Monk” Rasputin, the oversized, hard-to-kill Russian Orthodox mystic who finally gave up the ghost in 1916, it’s due only to Rumanos’ wispy, graying beard and black clothes. As for the pedophilia claim, which he made on a Christian radio show in the mid-1990s, it was only “performance art,” Rumanos explains. Turns out, Rumanos isn’t really a Satanist but simply a gentle, thoughtful, open-minded deist.

Rumanos, who says he grew up in Baltimore Greektown neighborhood, hands over a business card for his “occult investigations” practice, which lists “demonology, exorcism, psychic research, UFOs, ghosts and hauntings, [and] spellcasting” as his areas of expertise.

Continue reading “Sociable Satanist” at Baltimore City Paper.

Bob Larson interviews the “Don Juan of Satanism.”

2016 UPDATE:
Rumanos parodies the Essex Day Festival (which BML’s Huffines has no part of…)


“You… you can’t do this, Mr. Huffines,” stammered the Reverend Edgar Walls, Pastor of Central Bible Church, whilst fidgeting with fright in his dark-blue, tailored suit. “It’s blasphemous! Positively blasphemous!”

“I can and will do it, Pastor,” replied Mr. Bruce Huffines with a strange grin. “Your church grounds adjoin the Essex Heritage Museum, of which I am Director, and we shall be using your property for our upcoming festival.”

“But that thing you want to celebrate here,” returned Rev. Walls with a decided shudder. “There is just something ungodly about it, something downright… demonic!”

Even though this meeting was being held in the comfort of the Pastor’s own office, Rev. Edgar Walls felt increasingly uncomfortable. Perhaps the presence of Huffines’s bodyguard, an huge redneck-type individual known as Bubba Johnson, with his heavy arms folded across his sleeveless shirt whilst he stood behind the seated Mr. Huffines on the other side of Walls’s desk, had something to do with that. Nevertheless, there was more, far more, that troubled the harried Reverend. He just sensed something supernaturally wicked about Huffines, and even more so about this object that the latter wished to exhibit upon church property.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Pastor Walls,” Huffines went on. “It is a meteorite, and this festival marks the one-hundredth anniversary of its arrival in our little town of Essex, Maryland.”

Continue reading In Your Wildest Dreams – “Daniel And Kat: The New Adventures Of Daemon-Star”.

Posted in 2010s, Baltimorons | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

John Waters-inspired Russian Nesting Dolls

These John Waters Inspired Russian Nesting Dolls Are Everything
Each set is based on one of the director’s most popular films

by Cody Gohl (, 9/12/2016)

Etsy seller BoBo Babushka is well-known for creating fabulous Russian nesting dolls inspired by cult TV shows and movies, but her latest offering might just be the most divine one yet.

Pink Flamingos (Etsy, Bobo Babushka)

Pink Flamingos (Etsy, Bobo Babushka)

The newest collection features dolls from some of legendary director John Water’s most beloved films.

In addition to the Pink Flamingos set, Babushka is selling dolls based off of Female Trouble:

Female Trouble (Etsy, BoBo Babushka)

Female Trouble (Etsy, BoBo Babushka)


Polyester (Etsy, BoBo Babushka)

Polyester (Etsy, BoBo Babushka)

As well as an entire set dedicated to the iconic Divine herself:

Divine nesting dolls (Etsy, BoBo Babushka)

Divine nesting dolls (Etsy, BoBo Babushka)

Check out Bobo Babushka’s full store, here.

Posted in Art, Baltimore Babylon, Baltimore Films, Divine, Dreamlanders, Edith Massey, John Waters, Kitsch, Mink Stole | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

1920s Hopkins Professor Sought 34 Gallons of Rye for Research During Prohibition

By James Stimpert (Johns Hopkins University Hub, 8/11/2016)

A rather unusual permit application resides in the Records of the Office of the President in the Johns Hopkins University Archives.


James B. Watson’s “Permit to Purchase Intoxicating Liquor, etc., for Other Than Beverage Purposes” (1920) (Johns Hopkins University Archives)

In April 1920, Professor John B. Watson, a psychologist credited as the father of behaviorism, applied for a permit to purchase 34 gallons of rye whiskey for “scientific research for educational purposes.” He wished to research the effects of alcohol on human functions, which might not seem surprising—except for the fact that Prohibition had become the law of the land just three months earlier.

It was illegal to “manufacture, sell, barter, transport, import, export, deliver, or furnish any intoxicating liquor except as authorized,” though consuming alcohol was not prohibited. Watson had to apply to the Office of the Federal Prohibition Commissioner for permission to obtain alcohol for use in his lab.

Watson apparently obtained the desired whiskey from the Pikesville Distillery. Alongside the permit is May 1920 correspondence with Watson’s colleague, Professor Edward Thorndike, who had conducted similar experiments. Watson outlined his plan and solicited Thorndike’s views, to which Thorndike responded, “I think your experiment is a very beautiful one indeed.”

In a comment to Thorndike, Watson describes having subjects throw darts from a certain distance over several hours, while he studied their performance as they consumed alcohol. He observed that, “One or two of the individuals became practically drunk, but apparently the drunker they got the better they shot!”

Continue reading at the Johns Hopkins University Hub.

Posted in 1920s, Booze, Pikesville Rye, Vices | Leave a comment