A Piece of Music History
If you ever find yourself at Madison’s Essen Haus for German beer consumed from a glass boot, you’d do well to wander to the empty lot next door. There you can pay homage to a piece of music history. There’s nothing but a sign left, but 504 East Wilson Street was once the site of O’Cayz Corral–a bar and music venue that’s been called the CBGB of the Midwest. Nirvana and Soundgarden played there. So did Smashing Pumpkins. And the White Stripes, before they were big. O’Cayz came to an end when the club burned down on January 1, 2001, but its love affair with music lives on at the High Noon Saloon on East Washington Avenue, where the former owner of O’Cayz now lines up great shows like The National, Andrew Bird, and Camera Obscura–all of whom have taken the stage at High Noon.
I have so many wonderful beer-boot drinking memories from the Essen Haus.
“In heaven there is no beer (jolly chubby polka) That’s why we drink it here”