God Damn Skunk Bud!

...and other true tales from local musicians

 

CYN COLLINS gave the West Bank scene its long-deserved due when she parlayed a series of articles written for the Seward Profile (now the Bridge) into a 174-page book honoring the storied neighborhood's musicians. Through more than a dozen long-form interviews and dusty archival photos, West Bank Boogie: Forty Years of Music, Mayhem, and Memories (Triangle Park Creative) lovingly profiles the lesser-known stalwarts of a '60s boho community that inspired Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt. The jacket includes a CD compilation of songs old and new by the book's cast, including Spider John Koerner, Willie Murphy, and Lazy Bill Lucas. Collins was forced to tack on a bittersweet final chapter when the Viking Bar closed July 31, ending a nearly 20-year streak of weekly Willie Murphy shows. "It felt like the end of the West Bank music scene," she says. "It was very heartbreaking. The bar was packed with people, Willie played his heart out, and people were dancing on the tables—it was just wild. That's one of my best memories on the West Bank. Best and worst." Collins is quick to add that scenes don't die, they just move around: The 400 Bar, the Nomad, and the Triple Rock continue the West Bank music tradition, while Murphy's regular shows (now every other Friday at the Eagles Club 34, in Seward) are more popular than ever. www.westbankboogie.com —Chuck Terhark

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