O’Cayz Corral and The City Club and R & R Station – R.I.P. – Lost Venues

Otis gave me a copy of The Cows recently. It was a band I mentioned seeing with an amusing story of Dalton and I stuffing cigarette butts in our ears because the show was so loud due to our seats being right in front of the speakers. We saw them at a club that was on a corner on State Street. I believe it was a place called The City Club.

I went on a search for info on The City Club and couldn’t find anything. I recall that at one point it changed to a bookstore. I know the spot, but, maybe I had the name wrong. I don’t think so, but I started doubting myself.

So then I tried to look up some info on the R & R Station. I KNOW that name for sure. I saw Buddy Guy there and Paul Black and The Flip Kings. I have the ticket stubs. All I could find were forum questions on where did it used to be and who played there. Sad.

Then on to O’Cayz Corral.

I had been to O’Cayz with Dalton to see Couch Flambeau twice. It was small and awesome and I did find a couple of pictures of that club.


Knowing what I know about how loud it was in O’Cayz, I have no idea how anyone in the comedy club next door could hear anything. It was small and narrow and the band played up front, basically in the window, which was brilliant. Dalton and I would stand on the bench that was along the wall with the door and had our heads above the crowd and my tape recorder going.

I also found this.


This is not one of the shows we saw, but would have been AWESOME. I love posters like this one. I’m glad Dalton and I rescued some from light poles in Madison back in the day.

Unfortunately, this happened.



The club is fondly remembered. What a shame. They did not rebuild and O’Cayz became another lost venue. I know there have been many others in Madison and surrounding areas that have closed or burned (Club De Wash) but these three I was at for shows.

So, if anyone out there has any photos or show posters of The City Club, or R & R Station, or for that matter of O’Cayz, that they would like to share, please contact me by commenting, or you can e-mail me at theauralretentive@gmail.com.

R.I.P. Venues. You are missed.

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  1. The Comic Strip wasn’t a comedy club – it was just a dive bar. I believe R&R Station was the Stone Hearth and then became the Paramount. It was on the south side of the railroad tracks on N. Park Street. There are now UW dorms at that site.

    Did you go to the Smart Sounds exhibit at the Historical Museum? I wrote a bit about it at my blog:


    It was lame in many ways but was a nice trip down memory lane.

    I was going to say that I have a copy of that Killdozer show for which you have that handbill but in fact it’s 6 October 1989. However, you’re still welcome to a copy.

    1. Skip. Love the blog! Awesome stuff. I did go check out the Killdozer you have up. It’s great. Thank you so much! At one time I had a recording of Killdozer at The City Club, but alas over time it has disappeared. I repeatedly shouted out for them to play “Cinnamon Girl” but he growled eventually and stated that they didn’t play that one anymore because it made them TIRED!! LOL I am complete now again with some live Killdozer.

  2. I think that City Club may have once been Dragonwood Pub and other things at different times. Might be wrong though. I’m really interested in hearing any shows recorded at O’Cayz by the way. I basically lived their Thur-Fri-Sat nights for about 4-5 years from 1985-89 (until I got a new job with a horrible schedule that kept me from clubbing – so I completely missed the grunge scene, ha!).

    I only have one show from O’Cayz. It’s Shockabilly from 1984 I think. Mediocre sound quality. But cool document. I remember seeing guys taping there and always hoped I’d someday meet someone with a cache of cassettes. Anyway, regardless, thanks for the blog post. It was a great read.

    1. Joel, I only taped 2 shows there. I have a Couch Flambeau from 1989 with Cattleprod opening (sound was mediocre at best from the crowd) and then a Couch Flambeau from 1990 that is not horrible. That show I had a better idea. There was a bench along the wall where the door was opposite the bar with some coathooks. My friend Dalton and I stood on that bench the whole show with my recorder dangling from a coathook. Back in the day I had a very obnoxious looking microphone and recorder that basically was in a sling pouch. I spent most of the first half of the show thinking someone would notice and take it or eject me. These days 90% of a crowd tapes with a cell phone. Tapes are so out of style. Lol. Ah well. Thanks for commenting. I bet you saw a ton of great stuff at O’Cayz. Jealous. Let me know if your interested in either Couch Flambeau show.


    2. Joel – I have the following show from O’Cayz that you’re welcome to:

      fIREHOSE – 05/14/90
      The Frogs – 04/28/00
      Jesus Lizard – 10/06/89, 04/12/91, 10/18/91
      Killdozer – 10/06/89
      Laughing Hyenas – 09/28/90
      Queens of the Stone Age – 02/06/99
      Slint – 08/20/89
      Snakefinger – 04/09/87
      Supergrass – 09/14/95

      If you want any of these, leave a comment at my blog or email me. (bish_tim_archer (at) yahoo dot com)

      1. upthedownstair.net in the house! Love your blog. Great stuff. Is the Killdozer and White Stripes shows on upthedownstair.net? If not I’ll e-mail you. I’d love to get copies of those. It kinda blows my mind that The White Stripes played O’Cayz. So cool.

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