This collection contains interviews detailing the history of music in Missoula, Montana, especially original rock music and the music scenes associated with Missoula’s downtown venues from the early 1960s to the early 2000s. The interviews were conducted in 2019 by students in Dr. Leif Fredrickson’s Exploring Public History course (HSTA 391 / 491) at the University of Montana. The interviewees include promoters, bartenders, fans, journalists, record store owners, zinesters, and artists from Missoula. They discuss some of Missoula’s most notable bands, such as the Mission Mountain Wood Band and Silkworm, as well as bands that were important for their contributions to, or perspectives on, the local scene. They talk about music genres including punk, new wave, rock and roll, metal, indie, country-rock, and jam bands, and they describe music venues and music events in Missoula such as the Battle of the Bands, the Aber Day Kegger, Jay’s Upstairs, the Top Hat, the Candle, the Monk’s Cave, Eddie’s Club, Urbane Renewal, the Elk’s Club, the Moose Lodge, and others. The original interviews are held as Oral History collection OH 473 at Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula.
The banner and thumbnail images used for this online collection were created by artist and interviewee Amy Scherer and used with her permission.
This collection includes 13 interviews.
Amy Scherer discusses the early punk and new wave scene in Missoula during the 1980s. She describes some of the bands including Who Killed Society, The Details, and Ein Heit, and her association with some of the band members. Scherer recalls Lya Badgley’s art and ... Read More
Andy Cohen, the guitarist for the band Silkworm, describes his early interest in music and playing in bands, which led to the formation of Silkworm in 1987 in Missoula, Montana. He discusses the extent to which Silkworm was independent from the pressures of popular indie ... Read More
Buck Morigeau discusses his early interest in heavy metal music, and the formation of the Native metal band WarCry. He recalls playing in bars and other people’s houses on the Flathead Reservation during the early 1990s. He also mentions playing at Jay’s Upstairs in Missoula, ... Read More
Charlie Beaton discusses his introduction to punk music while growing up in Helena, Montana. He describes the formation of his band, The Banned, which eventually relocated to Missoula. Beaton discusses Missoula’s punk scene in the 1990s, the difficulty of finding venues, and the struggles and ... Read More
John Chris Badgley
Chris Badgley describes growing up Missoula during the 1980s and how he was first introduced to punk rock music by his older sister Lya. He discusses the art, music and fashion store Urbane Renewal that Lya started in the early 1980s in downtown Missoula, and ... Read More
John Fleming, owner of Ear Candy music, reflects on Missoula’s music scene from the 1990s to the present. He lists the names of the various bands in which he’s played, including the Oblio Joes. Fleming describes other well-known Missoula bands and venues, including Jay’s Upstairs, ... Read More
Lya Badgley describes her early life, exposure to punk rock in London, and her short-lived but influential shop, Urbane Renewal, that operated in downtown Missoula in the early 1980s. Urbane Renewal was a small shop that promoted punk and new wave music, as well as ... Read More
Michael Purington discusses his experiences as a musician with the Lost Highway Band in the 1970s and 1980s. He describes the exhilarating, yet exhausting, nature of touring with the band, and tells a story about playing at a bar with Bruce Springsteen. Purington also talks ... Read More
Randy Pepprock from the Missoula band Who Killed Society, which was active from 1980-1982, discusses getting into punk music as a teen. He describes the 1980s punk scene in Missoula, and he talks about the various bands and musicians who were active during that time ... Read More
Rob Quist, a founding member of the Mission Mountain Wood Band, describes growing up in Cutbank, Montana, his early interest in playing music, and attending the University of Montana, where he was a member of the Jubileers glee club. He recalls how he met and ... Read More
Robin Dent, a classically trained musician from Superior, Montana, discusses how she came to work as the manager and bartender for Jay’s Upstairs during the 1990s. She describes her relationship with owners Jay and Stephenie LaFlesch, and how she convinced them to let her start ... Read More
Shawn Swagerty discusses growing up in Havre and moving to Missoula to go the University of Montana. He discusses getting into punk and new wave music, and his involvement in the band Ernst Ernst. He discusses early punk/new bands and venues in Missoula in the ... Read More
Zach Dundas discusses writing for the Hellgate High School student newspaper, The Lance, and the counterculture, alternative newspaper, the Missoula Independent. He describes his interest in the punk, new wave and underground music scene in Missoula, Montana during 1990s, and how many of his articles ... Read More