Slurp up these festival stories packed with vitamins, minerals and everything you need to spike your summer fun. The Summer Festivals Guide is brought to you by Punch Bowl Social. Come on in – it's time we all win at adulting.
I spent a fair amount of the late spring a couple years back writing about the history of Summerfest, which was then celebrating its 50th Big Gig.
You can read that baby here.
There is nothing like a photograph to help bring to life the festivals of the past, which is what I thought when I posted these images of Milwaukee having fun at Summerfest in the past as an accompaniment.
But what really takes one back is film and video. And thanks to Milwaukee rock and roll photographer – and musician – Bob Cavallo, we have some footage he shot of the set-up for Summerfest 1971.
Among the performers that year were pioneers B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, The Coasters, The Drifters and Muddy Waters. Also on tap were country stars Jeannie C. Riley, Sonny James, Ray Price and Roy Clark; as well as teen hitmakers like Bobby Sherman and The Jackson 5; rock acts like Mountain, John Sebastian and Blood, Sweat and Tears; and jazz artists like Woody Herman.
Cavallo's band The Messengers also performed on an eclectic bill that also included Sherman and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. It was when The Messengers split up that year that Cavallo traded his drum sticks for a camera and began working for his father, who was a photographer.
It's interesting to see the glimpses of the skyline and, especially, of the poured concrete supports for the future Hoan Bridge before any of the deck was constructed.
Also interesting to see how a couple guys used a rope and pulley system to fly the speaker cabinets for the P.A. systems onto less-than-solid-looking scaffolding and to see the tents, stages and what appear to be rows and rows of folding chairs for seating.
The festival, my friends, has come a long way.
Thanks to Bob for this great footage.
Oh and, because this was 1971, some shirtless stagehand had to moon the camera, so if nudity offends you, don't watch.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.