Vitucci's celebrates 75 years of life this year and that news has me walking down memory lane.
Back in the day when there was Sweet Doomed Angel on Farwell, Century Hall hadn't yet burned and Beans and Barley shared an Old West-style building with a record store, Vitucci's, 1832 E. North Ave., was not a place for us kids.
As far as we could tell, cool people didn't hang out there and Angelo Vitucci was legendary for tearing band posters off the light post out front. Sorry to say that only led bands to try and wind him up by posting the flyers higher and higher up the pole. I remember watching one guy climb up on the roof of a truck to post one probably 18-20 feet up or higher.
After Vitucci passed away, Myron Vitucci took over and began booking bands in the back room. The earliest shows were organized by New Community, a consortium of hard-working local bands coordinated by Jim Warchol and a few others.
I can remember playing gigs there with my band The Blowtorch and also sitting in on drums with reggae outfit Mood Groove -- fronted by bassist and singer Dan Fernandez who now fronts Kings Go Forth. At the end of the night all the bands would get together and we'd jam on something like "Exodus" or "(What's So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding."
I also remember seeing loads of shows there by friends' bands like the Squares, The Edge, Women's Liberace, Exploded View, Umbrella Man, Depo Provera and others.
Soon, Vitucci's was the place to be, even when bands weren't playing and by the time I moved to the East Side from Walker's Point in 1990, I was at Vitucci's for at least a little while most nights of the week socializing, plugging the jukebox and playing the games there.
Not long after, a new generation took over Vitucci's and made it their own. I haven't been there much in the past 20 years, but I'll always remember it as a key part of the indie music scene in late ‘80s Milwaukee.
If you want to celebrate with Vitucci's, there's a party celebrating 75 years on Saturday, July 25, from 2 p.m. until bar time. Alas, none of the New Community bands will play. But I sure wish they'd get Jim Warchol and Beth Schaefer to work the door, like in the old days.
I was so excited to see the article on Frank Vitucci. I had just been reminiscing and he came to mind.
It was a fun job, working at the bar, even though I made nothing in tips and almost got carpal tunnel from tapping beers all night!
Now that they've been open for 75 years could they perhaps upgrade the bathrooms or at least clean them? They are horrible.
My husband and I met there during one of their block parties and we hung out together that day/night for 23 hours. We also stopped there on our wedding day to have our first dance as husband & wife. We've been married for 12 years and Vitucci's will always hold a special place in our heart.
Rum_Punch | July 16, 2009 at 2:58 p.m. (report)
Shouldn't that caption read "Low-life vibe"?
Show me the other 3 Talkbacks
8 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published Sept. 22, 2016
There was a time when removing a building was a dramatic affair: buildings imploded with a boom or were pounded by a wrecking ball. These days, thankfully, there's a growing approach that seeks to keep as much waste out of landfills and reuse and recycle as much material as possible.
Published Sept. 21, 2016
Did you know Milwaukee Public Schools has what might be the largest group of public Montessori schools in the world? Now, led by school board member Tati Joseph, there's a push to add a new South Side dual-language program to that group.
Published Sept. 20, 2016
Even in a neighborhood full of vintage architecture, there's no mistaking it. The Italianate Cream City Brick building at 1704 N. 4th St. looks old. If the area has had a long, varied history (and it has), then Baasen House is perfectly at home here.
Published Sept. 18, 2016
There's no better way to get a peek inside Milwaukee's most interesting - and often most historic - sites, many of them typically off limits to the public, than Historic Milwaukee Inc.'s annual Doors Open Milwaukee event. Here are 10 must-see sites.
Published Sept. 15, 2016
This is Brew City, so it should come as no surprise that we value Milwaukee's beer-soaked history. And Regano's Roman Coin has been a part of that tradition for five decades. In honor of it Regano's is throwing a party and we asked Teri Regano about it.
Published Sept. 13, 2016
Yesterday morning, a group of kindergarteners from Milwaukee Public Schools' Rogers Street Academy visited BMO Harris Bank to judge auditions by local sports mascots for roles in the upcoming production of Milwaukee Ballet's "The Nutcracker."
Published Sept. 12, 2016
This past weekend a Tosa resident staged a huge party at Red Dot on North Avenue in East Tosa with Public Enemy, Run-DMC, Sir-Mix-A-Lot, Rakim, EPMD and others. I was there for the first night of the two-day jam. Here are some images.
Published Sept. 8, 2016
Yesterday, respected Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra was here to talk about two new shows that feature her work. The main focus was on "Rehearsals," a video installations that opens Friday, Sept. 9. The two works in the installation make their museum debuts here.
Published Sept. 8, 2016
Could a South Milwaukee brewery be on the horizon? Yes, if a local developer gets the OK to move ahead with a new $6.6 million plan announced this morning by South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks.
Published Sept. 8, 2016
During a recent I-94 series, I went to Wrigley and spotted a few Brewers fans. But just a few. There's hardly a better place to road trip to a ballgame than the Windy City. Here are some tips for a sports-fueled jaunt to see the Brewers face the Cubs at Wrigley Field.