Ann Arkees

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Ann Arkees (often mistakenly calledAnarchies or Anarchys) was a short-lived club that existed somewhere around August of 1979. It was on Broadway just north of Diversey and may have only lasted a week, though it likely was around a bit longer than that. The spelling of the club has been a topic of dispute, but the You Weren't There movie showed a clip with an ad using the name Ann Arkees.

The rumors about the club and the death of its owner, Nino, are varied and likely (at least partially) untrue. The most accepted (and likely truthful) story is that he was murdered in his club and found with a microphone stuck up his ass. Other also say his genitals were cut off as well. The people that worked there were also labeled as "shady" and there may or may not have been an influence of organized crime and/or the rough sex trade. It was also said that it burned down under mysterious circumstances, but that's likely not accurate. Yowsa!

Details from Thurnau

Note from Thurnau: The correct spelling was "Ann Arkee's". They never used the other 2 spellings. It's true the club was on Broadway, but not near Diversey. It was a couple of doors south of Belmont on west side of Broadway. The club was unique for it's large store front windows facing the street. At that time, most punk clubs in Chicago were windowless. This may have been one reason the club didn't last, since the goings-on inside were plainly visible to the "shocked" locals walking by. Chicago was more conservative then. I'm guessing the same type of political pressure which later brought Oz down, probably played a roll in in shutting down Ann Arkee's.

I saw the Dadistics play Ann Arkee's. The Dadistics were a new wave band, loosely associated with Immune System and Poison Squirrel - two other popular new-wavish Chicago bands at that time. New Wave later became synonymous with "lame". But in 1979 new wave hadn't gone fully commercial yet, and some of those early new wave bands were not that bad. In any event, there wasn't a real local punk scene in Chicago yet, so we all made do with bands like the Dadistics. A lot of people who later acquired "serious" reps in Chicago punk/industrial/alternative circles, started in that early new wave scene. When Al Jourgensen started Ministry, it was kinda new-wavy, synth-poppish music. And before Big Black, Steve Albini was in "Special Affect", which leaned towards the synth-y, poppy, dancey end of the spectrum. BTW - I used to see Steve Albini hanging out at Club COD wearing his trademark new wave blazer and skinny tie - don't tell him I told you.  :)

The night I saw the Dadistics play Ann Arkee's in '79, lead singer Audrey Stanzler sang from on top of a circular pink riser, in a day-glo mini. Jeff Pezzati was in the audience. He wasn't in a band yet; Naked Raygun was still a few years off. He was wearing white pants with red duct tape wrapped around the legs for a barber pole affect.

Can't comment on the rumors about the death of the club owner. Those rumors didn't surface until years later. I tend to doubt they're true, but who knows. I wouldn't be surprised if the rumor was started by the alderman's office to discourage others from starting punk clubs. Oct. 2014 - "Thurnau"

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