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Richard LaValliere, at left, with his band Polkafinger.
Richard LaValliere, at left, with his band Polkafinger.

Milwaukee musical legend Richard LaValliere is gone

News of the passing of punk rock-era Milwaukee musical legend Richard LaValliere on Wednesday has appeared on Facebook. LaValliere may be gone, but he is not likely to be soon forgotten.

LaValliere, who lived most recently in Brooklyn, where he performed with the band Polkafinger, was a member of seminal Milwaukee bands The Haskels and Oil Tasters.

I was lucky enough to see him perform in 1983 with the Oil Tasters and the following year with his band The Barnburners, who were lesser-known but equally energetic and fun. Alas, I was too late for the almost mythical Haskels.

We wrote about LaValliere when he came home in 2009 to perform with Polkafinger. Alas, I never did the in-depth Milwaukee Talks interview he deserved. I rue that missed opportunity.

A memorial service for LaValliere will be held Thursday, Feb. 16, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Schmidt & Bartelt, 10121 W North Ave., in Wauwatosa.


daeinara | Feb. 8, 2012 at 2:48 p.m. (report)

Richard was most recently in a 2-man Brooklyn-based band called Jones & Karloff.

He will also be greatly missed by all his former Shakespeare & Co Booksellers co-workers.

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