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July 20 , 2009

Milwaukee Rock and Roll


The history of rock music in Milwaukee began at an age when some musicians played in a segregated part of the city. At the same time, a young singer named Buddy Holly kicked off a tour that ended with a plane crash in Iowa 11 days later. The following years brought the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the rest of the British Invasion. In the late 1960s came acid rock, civil unrest, and Summerfest, a music festival that continues to this day. Milwaukee has had its moments in the spotlight: Bob Dylan left the stage after two songs in 1964, Bruce Springsteen’s 1975 concert was delayed for hours while police searched for a bomb in the theater, hundreds of Black Sabbath fans rioted after a 1980 show, and the Plasmatics’ Wendy O. Williams was beaten by police in 1981. And then there was the helicopter crash in which blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn perished.

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