Do You Remember When Black Flag Brought Punk to Don Neal’s in Kalamazoo?
June 18, 1982 may have been the hardest rocking night in the history of the legendary Don Neal's in downtown Kalamazoo. That was the night Black Flag played the venue.
The show was headlined by Black Flag and backed up by Saccharine Trust and local group Violent Apathy.
The show may have been lost to fuzzy memories if not for a recent upload to YouTube of Violet Apothy's set.
There were two shows that night, an all-ages show and a later 21-and-over set.
Black Flag Performances in Kalamazoo
The '82 Don Neal's show was the first in Black Flag's history and occurred 6 years after their founding in southern California. The group with return 3 more times in the mid '80s according to Setlist.fm. The group played
- West Ballroom at the WMU Student Center in October 1984
- East Hall Gym at WMU in July of 1985
- Club Soda in June of 1986
Memories of Don Neal's
Don Neal's, once a staple of downtown was at 521 East Michigan Avenue near the point where Michigan and Kalamazoo Avenue come together, now site of a kidney care center.
There are fond memories of Don Neal's on the Vanished Kalamazoo Facebook group including Don't son Doug posting a photo of the entrance sign to the restaurant. As many remember the steakhouse upstairs and prom night dinners, the downstairs bar holds a special place in the heart of many:
I've tipped a few in the "Coal Bin" located in the basement of Don Neal's
I'm remembering a topless waitress in the Coal Bin... first in Kalamazoo.
In the early 80's downstairs was "The Kalamazoo Riding Club". It was private and you had to have a card/key to get in. You had to be recommended by a member and the dues were a measly $10 to get a card. Was a quiet place to visit and drink.
National touring musicians may have been rare at Don Neal's as the Black Flag show is the only listing for the venue on Setlist.fm.