Back in the Day

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Punk Rock Comes to the UP

In Michigan's Upper Peninsula in 1985 there were large numbers of kids, college students, and other music fans with time on their hands and a desparate need for entertainment.

The Regulars formed that Spring when John Burke and Jeremy Porter met over a common love for the music of The Who. Fritz Vankosky's bass playing experience was limited to playing ukulele along to Cheap Trick at Budokan and Tim Demarte's vocal expertise hadn't been honed beyond his own shower, but they were quickly recruited to fill in the gaps and the lineup was complete. They practiced constantly learning punk and alternative covers of the day, 60s rock obscurities and even a few originals.

Many flannel-clad, hunting-cap-wearing swampers laughed and beat them up, but there were just as many who actually dug it. Occasionally sandwiching a Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden cover between songs by The Clash, The Replacements, Dead Kennedys, Velvet Underground, or Ramones, the swampers were appeased and The Regulars' friends and fans were in UP-Punk-Rock Heaven!

After high school The Regulars as a band pretty much ceased to exist. John and Fritz moved, then Jeremy and finally Tim. Meanwhile, the UP would never be the same. Many bands were inspired by The Regulars including The Muldoons, The FC's, Asylum, The Pisswillies, Whyte Minority, Buddy & The Handshakes... the list goes on. Today it isn't uncommon to walk into the Village Pub on 3rd Street and hear a local band belting out one of the staples of The Regulars' set. Of course these bands may have never even heard of The Regulars, but 20 years ago, a little punk band from Marquette made a big noise - and people listened.