Antenna Club closes
The Antenna Club, a home-away-from-home for many a Little Rock punk band and other bands from across the country, closes its doors in June after 15 years.

Excerpt from Larry Nager's "Alternative Mecca Antenna Club Closes":

The Antenna, the Midtown nightspot that pioneered modern alternative rock in Memphis, introducing such bands as R.E.M., Black Flag and Hole to local audiences, has permanently closed.

A June 7 concert by the band Tripping Daisy ended almost 15 years of shows at the club, according to manager Mark McGehee. "The Tripping Daisy show went kind of sour," said McGehee, 38. The group had a guarantee of $680, he said, "but all I could come up with was $ 400 from all my beer sales, the door, the cigarette machine . . . I made up my mind (to close) that night."

McGehee's brother Steve took over the club at 1588 Madison in 1981, the same year a young R.E.M. played there for a $50 guarantee. Another local club, the Well, had earlier tried alternative rock with such local performers as Tav Falco & Panther Burns and Alex Chilton. But the Antenna was the right place at the right time, as the early '80s saw an entire generation of post-punk bands sprouting all over the country.

And like R.E.M., most of them found their way to the Antenna, including such hardcore pioneers as Black Flag, the Minutemen and Husker Du, punk-funksters the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Grateful Dead-inspired jam bands like Widespread Panic, the recent crop of neo-punkers including Hole and Green Day and hundreds of other groups, from the Replacements to crazed singer-songwriter Mojo Nixon.

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