“Where Were You?” Babylon Dance Band – Swiss Park, Louisville KY on August 7, 1982

Today’s post is very different, for a number of reasons:

This show goes back to the local scene that I briefly photographed and participated in, before moving west. Babylon Dance Band was never nationally-known during its existence [although they *did* get some attention in The Village Voice Babylon Dance Band – Village Voice article on Antietam’s website ]; and this is that rare daytime performance, with natural lighting, instead of dealing with tricky stage lights, for a change.

These snapshots were taken when I was a fringe member of the local scene in Louisville: hanging out at the Beat Club and occasionally spinning records; working the door; and even performing there once, as a member of the Poor Girls.  Mostly, though, it was one of the places, such as the longer-tenured Tewligans Tewligans at Louisvillehardcore to see some great shows of up-and-coming local and regional groups, such as the group featured here – Babylon Dance Band.

I’d only seen them a few times before this date [in 1982], but this time, they’d be playing outdoors as part of a day-long summer “festival” – called “Swiss Park Sun Splash & New Music Festival”, in front of a crowd that was probably much more aligned to the other bands on the bill that day: The N, Jil Thorp & the Beat Boys, The Erector Set, The Modernheirs, Nervous Melvin & the Mistakes, and Trainable [see page 57 of “White Glove Test – Louisville Punk Flyers 1978-1994” for a view of that particular flyer/advert for the show here]:

White Glove Test – Drag City

White Glove Test – facebook page

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Audience and Babylon Dance Band on stage

Sonically and stylistically, Tara Key, Tim Harris, Chip Nold and Sean Mulhall [BDB], were so very different from the other groups of the scene, at that time, and were veterans, compared to most performing on this day. See a bit more on that, here: Babylon Dance Band – Louisvillehardcore.com

More shots from different points of view during the set….

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Tara Key & Chip Nold horizontal [Babylon


Michael Conen - [PROOF] Babylon Dance Band group portrait [Babyl

The first attempt at a band shot before their set began

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Tara Key & Tim Harris portrait no 2 [Bab

Tara & Tim portrait

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Audience and Babylon Dance Band on stage

Another long-shot of the audience and band on the stage riser

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Audience and Babylon Dance Band on stage


Michael Conen - [PROOF] Babylon Dance Band group portrait no 2 [

A second take of the band before showtime

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Tara Key & Tim Harris portrait [Babylon

Tim & Tara – the “consensus” take

This performance would be one of the last for the group, before parting ways, but more on their subsequent musical endeavors can be found at the following links:

Babylon Dance Band partial history at Antietam’s website

More tidbits:

Louisvillehardcore on BDB

Some recordings by the band, and many more essential Louisville bands, from the early scene:

Louisvillehardcore “Bold Beginnings” compilation

Lastly, while we didn’t know each other well, I want to thank Tara Key & Tim Harris for their very nice compliments on the images they had seen before, from this performance, and for their patience as I finally put these images “out there”, for wider viewing.

Their most recent work, under the name Antietam, is well worth checking out, and more on them can be found here, for starters:

Antietam, the band, on Wikipedia

I hope Chip Nold and Sean Mulhall like what they see, as well, and a sincere thanks to Douglas Maxson for his communications over the past few years, regarding Louisville‘s bands of the day, especially concerning Poor Girls, old and new.

As always, constructive criticism on these, and my other images/posts, are always welcome.


While many of you who arrive here, to look at these photographs may get turned off to my use of watermarks [thinking they ruin the image], let me explain why I choose to do this.

No one paid for my camera equipment but me. No one paid for the film I used to take these photographs.  On occasion, when I free-lanced for a free monthly newsletter, and they published a photo of mine, the payment for each photograph barely paid for the fuel to get my vehicle to the show [when I *did* have a vehicle], and the film I used on that night. 

Not too many of my photos were published, at the time, because the artists I chose to capture images of, were not hugely popular then.  Hence, the old dictum, “Supply and Demand”; I had the supply, but the demand [pre-Internet], was not there. You can argue the relative merits of the quality of my work, and that is precisely what a blog offers:  a venue for discussion.

Back to the watermarks: no one is subsidizing my time to scan and then clean up the images I am presenting here. Start to finish, each negative will take approximately an hour-and-a-half to reach “proof” quality – which is what you will see here.  This is my labor of love, and until there is some measurable return on my efforts, what you see is what you get.


One response to ““Where Were You?” Babylon Dance Band – Swiss Park, Louisville KY on August 7, 1982

  1. Pingback: The New Music Festival at Swiss Park in Louisville, Kentucky [August 7th, 1982] | michaelconen "where were you?"·

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