Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Keith Coleman, May 6, 2013

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Early interest in punk music

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Partial Transcript: I just talked to--so I talked to Wayne Schedler just the other day.

Segment Synopsis: Keith Coleman talks about his connection to the punk scene in Lexington, Kentucky. He talks about his interest in British invasion bands like The Beatles and how that led to his interest in punk music. He says he thinks of it as a second British invasion and that it brought back the popularity of shorter songs that the heavy metal genre had supplanted.

Keywords: British Invasion (Cultural phenomenon); College campuses; Dr. Smallhead; Halle Lou; Heavy metal music; New wave; Punk bands; Punk scene; Punk shows; Rock 'n' roll; Rock music; Sex Pistols (Musical group); Song length; The Beatles (Musical group); The Clash (Musical group); University of Kentucky; Wayne Schedler

Subjects: Bands (Music); Childhood; Musical groups.; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

00:03:54 - Introduction to the punk scene in Lexington, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: And then when I first moved down here--

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks about moving from Floyd County, Kentucky to Lexington around 1978 or 1979. He talks about living near the University of Kentucky campus and how he saw people from the punk scene in his neighborhood which led him to the clubs like Halle Lou that were hosting punk shows.

Keywords: College campuses; Dead Species; Fanzines; Floyd County (Ky.); Free stages; Friends; Gerald Distat; Halle Lou; Lexington Lost; Limestone Street; Local bands; Magazines; Maxwell Street; Punk rockers; Rose Street; Self-published works; The Users (Musical group); University of Kentucky; Zines

Subjects: Bands (Music); Bars (Drinking establishments); Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Nightclubs; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

00:08:06 - Creating Lexington Lost magazine with Bill Widener

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Partial Transcript: And so we started going to see more punk bands, and I, I thought--I got the idea that I would love to be able to put out a little magazine.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks about how he initially started Lexington Lost magazine by focusing on larger acts signed to Capitol Records before changing to focus on the local Lexington punk scene. He talks about teaming up with artist Bill Widener to create the magazines. He describes several specific covers, how they printed and put together the magazine, and the mission of the magazine.

Keywords: Age; Artists; Bill Widener; British Invasion (Cultural phenomenon); Capitol Records; Coloring; Costs; Ellen Bush; Fanzines; Lexington Lost; Local bands; Magazine articles; Magazine covers; Magazine issues; Magazines; Marines; Missions; Passion; Playboy Magazine; Punk scene; Self-published works; Tabloid magazines; The Beatles (Musical group); The Synthetics (Musical group); Writing; Young people; Zines

Subjects: Bands (Music); Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

00:17:12 - Filming the punk scene

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Partial Transcript: We were seeing The Thrusters and Bradley and them. And he was going to open up LMNOP.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks about how his work on the Lexington Lost magazine led to him filming local shows at Café LMNOP and other punk venues. He talks about some of the bands he filmed and interviewed.

Keywords: Active Ingredients (Musical group); Bill Widener; Bradley Picklesimer; Café LMNOP; Cameras; Club Au Go Go; Dementia Precox (Musical group); Filming; Jefferson Davis Inn (JDI); Johnny Angels; Local bands; Magazines; Media; Punk bands; Red Interiors (Musical group); Rehearsals; The Bar Complex; The Chinese (Musical group); The Thrusters (Musical group); Videos

Subjects: Bands (Music); Bars (Drinking establishments); Gay bars; Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Nightclubs; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

00:20:13 - Punk bands booked at the clubs in Lexington

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Partial Transcript: Well, I, I've mentioned, Active Ingredients, which that was my favorite punk band in town was Active Ingredients.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks about the booking agents at Café LMNOP, Club Au Go Go, Halle Lou, ReBop, and other Lexington venues and names some of the bands they booked. He talks about the mixed crowds at the shows and how the different communities got along with one another.

Keywords: "Rednecks"; Active Ingredients (Musical group); Atmosphere; Booking; Bradley Picklesimer; College campuses; David Anderson; Dementia Precox (Musical group); Divine (Performer); Fights; Freddie Powell; Halle Lou; Jason & The Nashville Scorchers (Musical group); Malpractice (Musical group); Mixed crowds; Punk scene; ReBop; Short Street; Sound; Talent; The Chinese (Musical group); The Thrusters (Musical group); Toni Briggs; Wayne Schedler

Subjects: Bands (Music); Bars (Drinking establishments); Gay bars; Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Nightclubs; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

00:25:16 - Club Au Go Go

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Partial Transcript: And then all of a sudden, Bradley opened up Club Au Go Go on Winchester Road.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks about his connection with Bradley Picklesimer and his sister Liz and their club, Club Au Go Go.

Keywords: Bradley Picklesimer; Childhood; Club Au Go Go; Death; Free stages; Lesbians; Liz Picklesimer; Paintsville (Ky.); Parents; Punk scene; ReBop; Sexual orientation

Subjects: Bands (Music); Bars (Drinking establishments); Drag performance; Drag queens.; Drag shows.; Gay bars; Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Nightclubs; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

00:27:45 - Trouble at Café LMNOP

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Partial Transcript: But I can remember Club a Go-Go when it opened up right beside of it--because you entered from the back.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks about one of the drag queens who hung out at Café LMNOP and how straight men from the "redneck" bar next door would often flirt with him, not knowing that he was a man in drag. He talks about how Bradley Picklesimer would warn Coleman and some of his friends when this occurred to prepare them to protect the drag queens and other patrons in case of a fight at the bar. He says that one time the window of the bar was shot out.

Keywords: "Rednecks"; Atmosphere; Beer; Café LMNOP; Chris Slone; Fights; Liquor licenses; Looming threats; Revelry; Shootings; Threats; Trouble; Violence

Subjects: Bands (Music); Bars (Drinking establishments); Drag performance; Drag queens.; Drag shows.; Gay bars; Gay community; Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Nightclubs; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

00:33:30 - Lexington Lost and Dead Species

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Partial Transcript: And David--see, that's what's confusing. I thought of David as the manager of Club Au Go Go for Bradley and the guy that brought them all in.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks about some of the interviews in his magazine Lexington Lost and the spinoff, Dead Species. He focuses on an interview with David Anderson who was the manager and booking agent at Club Au Go Go and, according to Coleman's article, Café LMNOP. He talks about more of the bands who were interviewed for the magazines.

Keywords: Alice (Musical group); Bob Morgan; Booking agents; Bradley Picklesimer; Chris Slone; David Anderson; Dead Species; Dementia Precox (Musical group); Drag queens; Fanzines; Gerald Distat; Interviews; Join Hands (Musical group); Lexington Lost; Liquor licenses; Magazines; Managers; Self-published works; The Chinese (Musical group); Zines

Subjects: Bands (Music); Bars (Drinking establishments); Gay bars; Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Nightclubs; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

00:38:31 - Silent partners in Café LMNOP

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Partial Transcript: Di--di--okay, so maybe you knew--some people that are on my interview list--we've been trying for quite some time now.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks about the husband and wife who he believes were silent business partners in Café LMNOP.

Keywords: Bob Morgan; Business owners; Café LMNOP; Co-owners; Restaurant supply; Silent business partners; Sue Wiley; Wade Littrell

Subjects: Bars (Drinking establishments); Gay bars; Lexington (Ky.); Nightclubs

00:41:21 - Bradley Picklesimer

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Partial Transcript: It was--so LMNOP was very--I mean, there was kind of--was there kind of this core group of people that were--there--it seemed like there was--it seemed like it was a party there sort of all the time.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks about his relationship with Bradley Picklesimer. He talks about occasionally showing movies on weeknights at Café LMNOP. He talks about Bradley Picklesimer as a local celebrity and tells a story about seeing Bradley in drag at a concert at Rupp Arena. He talks about when Bradley moved to Los Angeles and became a party planner and decorator for celebrities like Elton John. Coleman briefly talks more about David Anderson.

Keywords: Bob Morgan; Booking agents; Boston (Mass.); Bradley Picklesimer; Café LMNOP; California; Chi Chi LaRue; Cincinnati (Ohio); Club Au Go Go; David Anderson; Decorators; Elton John; Entertainment; Famous; Friends; Houses; Local celebrities; Los Angeles (Calif.); Mixed crowds; Movies; Parties; Party planning; Personality; Popularity; Relationships; Sue Wiley; Televisions; Upstairs; Well-known people

Subjects: Bands (Music); Bars (Drinking establishments); Drag performance; Drag queens.; Drag shows.; Gay bars; Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Nightclubs; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

00:52:42 - Friendships in the punk scene--Part I

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Partial Transcript: Well, it sounds like you may have had that same--I mean you, you, you found a place for yourself here, too.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks about how his work on the Lexington Lost magazine led to his acceptance in the punk community, despite being older than most of the other participants. He talks about his relationships with various bands and band members and how his friendly personality ingratiated him to the bands.

Keywords: Bill Widener; Carter Suter; Community; Costs; Fanzines; Friendships; Interviews; Lexington Lost; Magazines; Money; Music scene; No Excuse (Musical group); Passion; Personality; Relationships; Self-published works; The Chinese (Musical group); The Synthetics (Musical group); Toni Briggs; Zines

Subjects: Bands (Music); Bars (Drinking establishments); Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Nightclubs; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

00:58:19 - Lexington punk scene after Café LMNOP closed--Part I

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Partial Transcript: And, and then after--well, then Club Au Go Go closed--or LMNOP. And then it seemed pretty dead.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks about the closing of Café LMNOP and the other venues where the punk bands began playing in Lexington. He talks about the changes occurring in the punk scene as it began to end, saying that the shows began to become more dangerous.

Keywords: African American community; Atmosphere; Bill Widener; Black community; Bradley Picklesimer; Café LMNOP; Cincinnati (Ohio); Closing; Crowds; Dancing; Dangerous; Dementia Precox (Musical group); Ellen Bush; Floors; Great Scott; Gyn Cameron; Injuries; Jefferson Davis Inn (JDI); North Broadway; Pralltown Cafe; Punk scene; Safety; Slam dancing; Third Street; Violence; Women; Young people

Subjects: Bands (Music); Bars (Drinking establishments); Gay bars; Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Nightclubs; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

01:05:05 - Friendships in the punk scene--Part II

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Partial Transcript: And then--and a few years ago, me and Gyn got in touch with each other on, on, uh, email. Facebook wasn't even there then.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks more about his relationships with bands in the local punk scene, focusing especially on his friendship with Gyn Cameron of the band Dementia Precox. He talks about himself and other people from the punk scene aging.

Keywords: Aging; Bradley Picklesimer; Contact; Death; Dementia Precox (Musical group); Friendships; Gyn Cameron; Internet; Older people; Relationships; Remasters; Reunion shows; Rodger Revlon

Subjects: Bands (Music); Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

01:08:34 - Lexington punk scene after Café LMNOP closed--Part II

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Partial Transcript: But find out what the one on--I'm thinking Third Street--was. Bradley and them opened it--

Segment Synopsis: Coleman says that Bradley Picklesimer briefly had another club in Lexington after the closing of Café LMNOP.

Keywords: Bob Morgan; Bradley Picklesimer; New wave; Punk scene; Third Street; Woodhill

Subjects: Bands (Music); Bars (Drinking establishments); Gay bars; Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Nightclubs; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.

01:09:45 - Acceptance in the punk scene and punk as a movement

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Partial Transcript: And any of it--well, you know--well that's the good thing about Lost.

Segment Synopsis: Coleman talks about his interest in the punk scene as something different from the mainstream culture. He talks about the scene as a place of self-expression where people were accepted for their differences. He talks more about the mixed crowds at the bars and shows. He talks about how, like the hippie movement of the 1960s, punk also became a movement. Coleman talks more about how his work on the Lexington Lost magazine led to his acceptance in the punk community, despite being older than most of the other participants. He talks about the current trends in music. The interview concludes abruptly.

Keywords: "Rednecks"; 1960s; Acceptance; Age; American music; Attitudes; Belonging; Bradley Picklesimer; Community; Cultural movements; Dancing; Different; Dr. Smallhead; Fanzines; Filming; Generations; Heavy metal music; LGBTQ+ community; Lexington Lost; Magazines; Mainstream culture; Mixed crowds; Music trends; Names; New wave; Punk scene; Rap music; Self-expression; Self-published works; Slam dancing; Welcome; Welcoming; Women; Young people; Zines

Subjects: Bands (Music); Bars (Drinking establishments); Drag performance; Drag queens.; Drag shows.; Gay bars; Gay community; Lexington (Ky.); Musical groups.; Nightclubs; Punk culture.; Punk rock music--Philosophy and aesthetics.; Punk rock music.; Punk rock musicians.