It's been one year since the High Noon Saloon opened its doors to Madison and the world. The club has faired well despite respectable competition in a relatively small market. Owned by Cathy Dethmers, the High Noon essentially replaces her old club, O'Cayz Corral, which burned down in early 2001. The latter had an international reputation as a stopping point for bands on their way up and a home for all things punk rock. Indeed acts that include Living Colour, Nirvana, Johnny Thunders, and White Zombie. Dethmers hopes to follow in that tradition at the High Noon Saloon, and to celebrate that goal, a one-year anniversary show has been booked for May 5th. Bands to perform include Awesome Car Funmaker, Transformer Lootbag, Colony of Watts, and Brickshithouse.
Maximum Ink recently spoke to Cathy Dethmers about her club and its first year of existence.
Max Ink: Can you give us a one-year, “state of the High Noon” report?
Cathy Dethmers: There have been some obstacles with construction and parking, but for the most part I'm really happy. The club's had great bands and we've seen a lot of new faces.
MI: What have been the most rewarding and challenging things in opening and running the High Noon?
CD: Having the club open seven nights a week is a lot of work. Booking that many bands takes a lot of time. And rewards well, it's really the same thing. I love booking bands and I've gotten to meet a lot of new people who follow different styles of music. It's rewarding that his has become a community space.
MI: You've managed to stay on top of things in a limited market like Madison. With two other clubs in town that are similar in size The Annex and Luther's Blues how do you do it?
CD: We all do our own thing. There are slightly different focuses for each club. We cooperate as much as is possible. I think there's room for all three clubs. But we have a wide scope of musical genres in here; jazz, country, rap, DJ's, hip hop, and rock. It's not just punk bands, though we do a lot for the punk community.
MI: Does the legend of O'Cayz Corral help the High Noon Saloon?
CD: I think it helps, but we've expanded with the High Noon. People that wouldn't have set foot in O'Cayz are coming to the High Noon.
MI: Besides the Brass Ring billiards club in your refurbished building [the old Buy & Sell Shop on East Washington Avenue], what are the plans for the rest of the space?
CD: There will be a coffee house, a wine bar, some office space, and a Pilates studio.
MI: What is the future outlook for the club?
CD: We're opening the patio area at the anniversary party. That'll be a new addition. I think we'll try to add more daytime and happy hour music events. We offer two-for-one drinks at happy hour.
MI: Two-for-one? I'll remember that.
CD: I'm sure you will.
MI: Can you give us any more details about the May 5th anniversary show?
CD: All the bands are local, and they've all played the High Noon before. I chose them to have an old school/new school feel. Awesome Car Funmaker and Colony of Watts are newer groups. Transformer Lootbag and Brickshithouse have been around for a while and will attract the old school crowd. I kept it all rock'n'roll this time around.
MI: Anything else?
CD: We'll have free beer starting at 7:30pm until it runs out.
MI: That sounds good! How much beer?
CD: Oh, we'll see probably a couple of barrels. But come early.