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.

This entry was posted in 1970s, 1980s, Decades, Dreamlanders, Edith Massey, Entertainment, Marble Bar, Music, Nightspots, Punk / New Wave, Roadside Attractions and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Retro Baltimore: The 2016 Marble Bar Photo Shoot

  1. The marble bar is one of those places you can never forget

  2. Caroline Utters says:

    It’s a powerful place. and you’ll never know what it’s like to see it in 100 years.

  3. Was sorry to learn too late about this great conclave, or I would have wrangle as many of The Catholics, the outfit my brother Kevin fronted and which I managed, to participate. My favorite Marble Bar memory was the night The Catholics headlined with support from The Nurses and a third band I can’t name. After the show, I and guys from the other groups repaired to the “dressing room” to split the take into three stacks. The dough, sweaty and sticky as only door money can be, kept coming up odd either way, but always $14 off. Then the power went out. In utter darkness, I lay my paws over all the hands reaching for money. “Wait,” I said. When the lights came back, we realized some sharpie had slipped us a $1 bill with the corners from four $20s glued to it. I still have that greenback as a souvenir of man’s venality. Long live the Marble Bar!

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