In this weirdest of all possible years, Phoenix New Times
writers cranked out some awesome longform pieces about the Phoenix music scene, including profiles of individuals and bands, histories of clubs, and more.
As 2020 winds to a close, take a few minutes to catch up on some in-depth stories you might have missed.
Doug Clark of Mighty Sphincter plays guitar at Mad Gardens in Phoenix in the early 1980s. A young Michael Cornelius is taking pictures in the background.
It was hard to be a punk in the late '70s in Phoenix — there weren't many places to catch a show. That changed when Tony Beram began presenting concerts at Mad Gardens in Phoenix. Tom Reardon's cover feature chronicles the rise of the Phoenix punk scene as it centered around Placebo Records, the legendary label Beram helped found. Placebo partners and members of early Phoenix punk bands like Mighty Sphincter, Jodie Foster's Army, and Sun City Girls come together in the article to paint a picture of a long-gone era of local music history.
The first Zia Records in Tempe, which opened in 1982 and hosted some of its annual "Screaming Dog" sales.
Tempe History Museum
Zia Records, the beloved local record chain, celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, so it was the perfect time to look back at the history of one of Phoenix's enduring businesses. From its humble beginnings, when founder Brad Singer stocked the first store with records from his own collection, to its present-day status as a Valley mainstay, Zia has had a colorful history, one that is recorded in Benjamin Leatherman's feature.
Eddy Detroit has lived a life few would believe.
It's hard to describe Eddy Detroit, but Robrt Pela manages in his cover feature on the longtime fixture of the Phoenix music scene. Pela takes us through the artist's beginnings in Michigan to his life today, including gigs in London, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas; his stint as a tarot reader, and the impact he's made on the local community. You have to read it to believe it.
Billie Joe Amstrong of Green Day performs at the Silver Dollar in January 1993.
One of the cool things about Phoenix music history is that every era has its highlights. If you were too young to party at Mad Gardens in the early '80s, maybe you got to be a part of the heyday of The Silver Dollar in the early '90s. Benjamin Leatherman's look back at the short life of the downtown club puts the reader right in the center of the action, overflowing bathrooms during a Green Day concert included.