The Warehouse

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The Warehouse was a practice/show space for local punk bands in the mid-to-late 1980s. It was originally located on Damen and Chicago Avenue.

History by Ted Domurat

The Warehouse was on Chicago Ave/Damen Ave. (The Old Burnie Brothers Bakery Building). It was our (Generation Waste) rehearsal place and we started putting on shows there to pay the rent. Basically it was just us with Big Mike Johnson (the owner/landlord). It started really happening and got a good name for itself being something different from Sean's shows at the Metro and Cubby Bear allowing the smaller local bands who were not Lost Cause get some gigs with regularity. But ultimately it began just as a means to play to our friends and make a few $$ for the rent.

The South Side guys really embraced The Warehouse and we started a helluva friendship with them. John Glynn and I met thru this and started to partner up calling ourselves ANOTHER ALTERNATIVE PRODUCTIONS. (after a zine I was doing) We put on shows wherever we could get a band and a room, like Dreamerz, the Bank (did COC there I remember), . Time passed and eventually the shows became more "professional" ie. smaller touring bands coming thru town. (John's uncle owned McGreevey's and he always was good with organization/management). At this time Number Nine sorta became our sister band thru this and they played there all the time as well. Don't know if anyone was into the early Chicago death metal scene or not, but we actually had the FIRST and next to only MASTER show there. Probably not as memorable as the GG ALLIN show but that's a thread all on its own. I think I still have the video of that nite too. Man - what a frikkin nightmare that was.

Anyway - flash forward to the big fire. The building became toast - but luckily Big Mike got all the musical equipment out of there. Rumors were it was arson for profit but then again, there was alot of shoddy wanna be business in that building renting space, so who knows who was doing what to who or why and how it sparked the blaze.

WAREHOUSE #2. We managed to get the third floor of Club Eldorado on Chicago Ave east of Central. Took a while to make something of the place. Big Mike and his boyz somehow managed to get the remnants of some old venues to build something that resembled a normal stage on the south end of the bldg. The north end was three rehearsal rooms. Troy came into the picture as he and I were friends and he was just out of Devastation. Sindrome wasn't happening at the time yet, but he had $$$$ and walked into some opportunity. I was friends with Sean Duffy at the time and he would throw me a bone of a big band every so often coming thru that he couldn't accommodate. One of the bands required a guarantee which I couldn't cover and turned to Troy which in turn led him to deal with Doug Carren (sp??). A regular guarantee of cash led Doug and Troy to strike a relationship and Troy got first dibs on some good bands like 7 Seconds, Exploited, Circle Jerks, etc....... we partnered up, him guaranteeing the bands/Doug and I providing the Warehouse. Since this would put us into competition with Sean, the Metro was out of the question for bands of this size (Sean at this time lost the Metro and started hurting for places - the Cubby Bear wasn't easy for him to secure either). We really didn't want to put the bands in a crappy neighborhood like the Warehouse was at, but didn't have much choice. It was so grass roots, and dangerous too since there were good turnouts, but zero insurance, zero security, zero organization at all.

Anyway, if I'm not mistaken - the Warehouse got shut down unexpectedly for awhile. (actually it was Club Eldorado below that was shut down) but it led to the whole building being locked down. Midwest/Troy's last show was the 7 Seconds/Circle Jerks/Life Sentence/Generation Waste. Since I couldn't use the Warehouse - the guy who ran Durty Nellies - (he was always good to us, can't remember his name but I remember he looked like Paul Schaefer) let us do the show there.

Somewhere, I have all of the flyers from the Warehouse days floating around. We had some good bands come thru there - most of all it was really it's own scene for a few years and spun some great relationships out of it. I'd be forgetting some key people but for the sake of being senti"mental" I'll try and remember some of the regulars who made up the crew supporting the place: Natalie, John Glynn, Chris Shopov, Dave Simon, Mike Schaefer, Mark Grobel, Big "E" (Mr. Big), Martin (pronounced: Marteen) Sorrondeguy and his sister, Pablo....bands who hung together there alot: Generation Waste (duh!?), DSB, Number 9, Devastation, Impulse Manslaughter, Not-Us/Natas, Johnny Vomit, Insolent Respect, No Empathy...

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