I know, I've talked your ear off already about Pete Flessas' book, "Kids, Soda and Punk Rock: The Story Behind Milwaukee's All-Ages Music Club Yano's," which is now available at blurb.com.
I contributed a few blurbs to the book -- as did lots of people -- but I'm not tooting my own horn here. First, Flessas and his family opened a revolutionary outlet in town for hardcore bands both local and national and now he tells the story of that in this slim but cool book.
Admittedly, I was a little skeptical about how a book published by an online vanity press would turn out, but "Kids, Soda and Punk Rock" is great. It's about 7" square so it looks like a 45, the chosen format for hardcore music, and it's loaded with pictures taken at the club of fans, bands and the venue itself.
The reminiscences from the people involved are interesting and enlightening, reminding readers that it is possible to create an all-ages scene that is fun, cool and exciting even when there's no booze and no fighting ... at least not until the adults step in with batons.
Three and a half months of glory; that's what Yano's and Milwaukee's young hardcore fans got. It should have lasted longer, but at least no one can say it outlived its usefulness -- unlike some hardcore bands!
Flessas signs copies of the book at Foundation on Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
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.