Music reflects history, and so do the places that play host to countless shows, crowds and scenes over time. Dead Venues Live combines today's artists with yesterday's haunts, showcasing performances by up-and-coming bands on location, where these landmark venues first started checking IDs.
Tim Kerr, veteran of the seminal Austin punk band The Big Boys, tells us about the The Ritz. Originally a movie theater, the building was vacant for many years - ideal for Austin's DIY punk movement in the 1980s. The Strange Boys chime in on the conversation, talking about present-day hardships in the music scene.
(It's fuzzy for the first five seconds, but that's just the video and it goes it away.)
A little history about The Ritz:
In 1981, Shannon Sedwick and Michael Shelton took out a lease and turned management over to Craig Underwood, who began running the venue as a punk rock club. Shows such as Black Flag, which inaugurated the punk era on May 7, 1982, The Misfits, Hüsker Dü, The Circle Jerks, The Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat and others showed that there was an audience for hardcore and opened the doors for an influx of punk rock into the Austin music scene. The violence inherent to punk rock shows eventually cost the operators their liquor license, forcing another closure in late 1982.
In fall 1983, Sedwick and Shelton relocated their successful Esther's Follies, a comedy troupe that still entertains Austin just a few blocks further east on 6th St. Esther's Follies was only one of the attractions hosted by the Ritz at that time. The managers also began re-introducing music, from Texas bands to heavy metal, and very cautiously brought back a little bit of punk rock. The most famous show played at The Ritz in the eighties was the Red Hot Chili Peppers November 23rd show there in 1986. (via Wikipedia