There was a bit of time to wrap up these very early examples of club shows, in Louisville, that I documented, before I packed up, and headed West, a lifetime or two, ago..

These images were some of the very first attempts at shooting in limited lighting situations, so there was a great deal of “trial and error” involved [and more error, than satisfying results, IMO].  I most often used a flash, since I had to ‘push’ the black and white film, a great deal already, and as a consequence, many of these shots were either, grainy, or quite flat looking [or both, in many cases]. It would be some time before I would start to trust in using the available lighting, for the effects that I preferred, so these early snapshots are not my most pleasing images, but they will, no doubt, bring a smile or two, to a few people still residing [and some, still making music today], in the Ohio Valley.

There are far too many stories related to this particular year of 1982, to go into here, in this post, but I do want to thank a few people who had a great deal to do with my even taking these photos in the first place:

One of the first reasons I even tried my hand at concert photography, was due to Ms. Cindy Lamb‘s efforts at MainStreet Magazine, at the time.  It was freebie newspaper, which featured a small column, called “Lamb Chops”, on music that she authored, and after meeting her at the record store I used to work for, back in the day, and discussing music and shows many times, it came about that I had a camera, and was willing to cover shows, if there was an outlet for the images, and entrance to said shows could be covered by the publication.  She did her best to work that out, and what follows are some of the images that came about, due to her efforts, on my behalf.

An article by Ms. Lamb, on the owners of Tewligan’s, from MainStreet Magazine just about this point in time documented in the following photos [June of 1982]:

Tewligan's owners profile - MainStreet [June 1982]

Tewligan's ad - MainStreet [Nov 1982]
November line-up at Tewligan’s, 1982

The second person who had a great deal to do with these images even seeing the light of day, was John Timmons [the ex-proprietor of Louisville’s Ear-X-Tacy Ear-X-Tacy Wikipedia entry],who had been a colleague [and my immediate supervisor, at the time, at the record store we both worked at, before he struck out on his own, and opened his own record shoppe a couple of years after these events]. John was extremely helpful, as it was he, who early on, offered to process a number of rolls of film that I had taken, during this period of time, since I did not have such equipment, and, well, cost was an issue, but he was most kind to assist me in these endeavors.  John must have shaken his head when he first saw these negatives, after processing…. I was told, many years later, by a different friend who also would process my black and white work, at times, that it was a wonder that any image could be made from the negatives, since there was so little emulsion left on them, to work with!  Luckily, after all of these years, with digital film scanners, and the wonders current software can allow, much more can be wrought out from those negatives, than could be, at one time!

One of the first assignments I was given for MainStreet, was to take pictures of The Modernheirs, who were popular enough at the time, to headline at my neighborhood venue, Tewligan’s, and so it was arranged that I would attempt some live shots, and even some candids of the group, on the same date, before their set, or afterward [memory fails me, but I believe they were taken before they took the stage].




Lamb Chops - MainStreet [June 1982]
MainStreet Magazine column from June 1982: “Lamb Chops”, by Cindy Lamb, and my photo op [and perpetually mis-spelled name, ha ha!]

As fate would have it, a member of The Modernheirs, Chuck Baxter, would soon be leaving the band, and taking my place as a member of The Poor Girls, who would end up playing Tewligan’s about four months after these photos were taken [The Poor Girls did not form until late September of 1982, and Chuck would replace me, after I departed Louisville in early 1983].

Modern Heirs ad - MainStreet [Nov 1982]
An ad for another appearance by the Modern Heirs, in 1982  [never could figure out what the correct spelling of the band name was, as it was different, each time it appeared in print form….]

But, before all of that happened, here are snapshots from that evening in mid-1982:




The image on the above right has the line going through it, due to damage from the negative being folded, or pinched, during one of my many moves, throughout life…




That crease in the negative appears again in the image, above-right.

Michael Conen - [PROOF] guitarist, drummer & Chuck Baxter horizo
The Modernheirs, featuring Bryan Hurst, Bob Hunter & Chuck Baxter, performing “Arm’s Length Obsession”, at Tewligan’s [Louisville, Kentucky, sometime in mid-1982]

The very next night, at Tewligan’s, an out-of-town band appeared – Get Smart [from Kansas], whom I enjoyed a great deal, and happened to take a few frames of.  Those who know my musical tastes, well, will have heard me remark that rock trios are often really good to see and listen to.  These guys were no exception. I remember purchasing a 45 rpm of theirs, at the time, since their set was so impressive.  The following images are “okay”, by my standards, but you be the judge…





Michael Conen - [PROOF] drummer eyes closed horizontal flash [Ge




If my notes are not mistaken, on July 3rd of 1982, Jil Thorp & the Beat Boys appeared at Tewligan’s, and this would be one of the last times John Timmons would be in the line-up of the group, as it so happens. [See my photos of the new line-up, as they appeared, in August of that year, at Swiss Park New Music Festival at Swiss Park, Louisville KY – August 7, 1982 ]

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Jil Thorp, drummer & John Timmons horizo



Another very popular band, at the time, the music of Jil Thorp and the band would have the audience dancing away the night, more often than not.

Jil Thorp - Libido Beat ad - MainStreet [June 1982]
An ad for Jil Thorp & the Beat Boys, and their vinyl release, from MainStreet Magazine, in June of 1982
Michael Conen - [PROOF] Jil Thorp & the Beat Boys crowd horizona



I am not absolutely sure of the exact dates for the following performers, but they were also regulars to appear at Tewligan’s, over a period of time. First up, Lush Pyle and The Carpets:



Lamb Chops on Lush Pyle & Carpets - MainStreet [June 1982]
An excerpt from “Lamb Chops”, which mentions Lush Pyle & the Carpets, also from MainStreet Magazine, in June of ’82


Michael Conen - [PROOF] bassist & guitarist singing horizontal [
One of the first times I would risk taking a shot without a flash, and what a pleasant surprise, when I viewed the result!




Michael Conen - [PROOF] drummer vertical flash [Lush Pyle & the


And, finally, Cincinnati’s own, The Erector Set, who came to town quite often, and had the audience dancing, more often than not.  There are a handful of my snapshots of their appearance, also at the Swiss Park show, later in August New Music Festival – Swiss Park, Louisville KY August 7, 1982







Michael Conen - [PROOF] vocalist vertical flash [The Erector Set

Lamb Chops - MainStreet pg 1 [Nov 1982]
Page one of “Lamb Chops”, with a mention of the Erector Set’s vinyl release in ’82
Lamb Chops - MainStreet pg 2 [Nov 1982]
Page 2 of the “Lamb Chops” article in MainStreet Magazine, from November of ’82




And, to cap it off, a few images of the crowds, from that place in time….



Michael Conen - [PROOF] band and dancing audience flash [The Ere

Michael Conen - [PROOF] dancing audience flash [Get Smart - Tewl
Not sure which performance this is from, but you may notice a couple of members of the Babylon Dance Band, in attendance

A few more links on Ear-X-Tacy:

Rolling Stone article – Best Record Stores in the USA [2010]

Ear-X-Tacy Facebook page


More reading links, concerning the legendary Tewligan’s Tavern:

Louisville Hardcore page on Tewligan’s

Tewligan’s Tavern Wikipedia entry

Hope you enjoy the pictures, and, as always, constructive criticism [corrections, for example], is 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.