This could be one for the “If You Grew Up in Madison You Remember…” files but one of Madison’s most beloved local acts has released a new downloadable concert performance from 1991. The show was taped from the soundboard at a Memorial Union Terrace gig that summer.
The eventual power-pop band was formed by Dave Benton, Bob Olsen and Doug (aka Duke) Erikson as a semi-acoustic trio. They later added drummer Butch Vig. Olsen departed and the definitive lineup included keyboardist Jeff Walker and bassist Joel Tappero. In those days—the late seventies—recordings, and especially LPs, were rare. Spooner produced two LPs, Every Corner Dance and Wildest Dreams. Vig and Erikson left with Phil Davis to form Fire Town in the eighties and then Spooner reformed to produce one last album, Fugitive Dance. Vig and Erikson would depart once again to form the hugely successful Garbage on the heels of massive production credits earned by Vig including Nirvana’s legendary Nevermind album.
Spooner was at the top of the heap, in my humble opinion. Erikson was a great front man with strong, emotive vocals. The rhythm section was unmatched, I can clearly see Vig smacking his snare with the stick raised above his head. They had a groove and, in those days, if you could get the crowd dancing you were a hit. Spooner accomplished this with original material, a feat matched by few other bands with any regularity. Of all the bands that came out of Madison, Spooner seemed the obvious choice to make it.
The recording from the Memorial Union Terrace features Fugitive Dance selections primarily, with Spooner standards like “Will You Remember Me?”, “This Town’s on Fire” and “Borderline” rounding out the set. The sound is great with all instruments audible and little to no crowd noise.
You can download the recording here.
More Spooner memories can be ignited by visiting the Facebook page.