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Last Crack is back! on cover of Maximum Ink for Rokker's Birthday, November 2002 - photo by Rökker

Last Crack

by Rökker
November 2002

It started just like any other local hard-rock band. A couple of guys from an unheard-of band hooked up with some other guys in another unheard-of band through a billboard at a local music store. They had a practice space, a PA, a following (well, plenty of friends), two guitar wiz’s, a dynamite rhythm section… what they needed was a singer. So back to the billboard they went, in search of a vocalist that could compliment their intricate rhythms, blend with their mysterious melodies and cut in through the intense guitar solos of a metal band.

And there it was, a poster for an available singer. It was Buddo, of the Snotrockets. They ripped all of the tags from the poster and went home to call him. It was the summer of 1987.

Buddo showed up to the storage facility in McFarland that was the band’s rehearsal space. “I’m Paul” proclaims guitarist Paul Schluter. “ahh… Pablo” replied Buddo. “I’m Todd,” says bassist Todd Winger. “Toddereno,” remarked Buddo. “Phil ,” mutters original drummer Phil Buerstatte. “Philo,” again replied Buddo. Somehow, guitarist Don Bakken remained “Don,” but together they would become Last Crack.


Last Crack's first band photo since breaking up in 1991

Last Crack - Sinister Funkhouse Reunion

by Rökker
November 2009

It started as a dream… to make it to the top. The formula is easy. Start a band, write some songs, get a singer, record a demo, get signed by a major label, put out an album, tour the world. Success.

And that’s exactly the way it started. Last Crack’s rise out of the local music scene in Madison is the thing of legend. Almost every band starts with the same credo in mind, but not many break through. For Last Crack, it was a given.

Many bands make their start from a garage or basement, but for Last Crack it would be a storage facility in Madison on Stoughton Road just off the beltline, and answering a classified ad from the Good n Loud billboard for a singer named Buddo in 1987.


Buddo of Last Crack on stage at the Headway Festival in Amsterdam, The Netherlands - photo by Rökker

Last Crack: On the Road in Amsterdam

by Rökker
June 2005

I awoke that morning of April the third to stories of snoring, dragons, taxi rides, red lights, girls behind glass doors, Finlanders, The Grand Rokk, Kalli and Jon, the Blue Lagoon, lava, sheep’s head, shark, Black Death and many more than I can list. That sleep allowed us to process that insanity called “48 Hours in Iceland.”

The group is hungry and everyone wants to eat down by the canals and walk around a bit. The Damrak, Amsterdam’s main street, is busy with people of all nationalities buzzing every which way. Cars, taxicabs, trains, bikes, horses, and motorcycles are all out to get me, it seems, as I weave my way through the web once again… only this time, the spiders are asleep.

We end up at a Turkish restaurant in the Red Light District called Grillroom Donny. It’s a small place with a great waiter and everyone gets kabobs and shaorma. The food sets our mood with combinations of spice and relish.

I can’t miss an opportunity for a quick space cake for desert, so it’s back to the Bulldog to check the Internet before heading back to the hotel.

We take the train back to the Hotel Etap and stop at the Heineken machine on the way in to call Freek Kroesbergen, the promoter of the Headway festival ( He was relieved to hear from us, as bands have gotten lost in Amsterdam before (too many space cakes I guess). He told us to stay put and sent a bus and driver to pick us up.

As we pull up to the site of the festival, Club P60 (, we can see the bustle of people around the entrance and feel the buzz as music pours out the backstage door to the venue.


Chicago's The Last Vegas

The Last Vegas

by Chris Fox
April 2009

When you mix glam rock, gritty sound, and a few guys that look like they belong on Hollywood Boulevard you get THE LAST VEGAS. This Chicago based rock group will give you a “brutal appreciation of rock music… that’s gritty, sleazy, and dangerous,” according to vocalist Chad Cherry. Coming off their recent tour with their long time heroes and fellow glam rockers, Mötley Crüe, the band finds themselves headlining in a more intimate atmosphere.

Growing up on arena rockers like Aerosmith and The Doors, this quintet found themselves living a dream when they went on a stadium tour with the Crüe. After the dream tour THE LAST VEGAS are happy to play for smaller crowds in a more intimate atmosphere


Chad Cherry - photo by Trey Campbell

The Last Vegas

by Tina Hall
August 2010

Michigan native Chad Cherry and his band The Last Vegas were awarded the iTunes “Rock Song of the Year” in 2009 for the song “I’m Bad off of the album “Whatever Gets You Off”.

The Last Vegas were then hand picked by Motley Crue as a part of Guitar Center’s “On-Stage” Program, and later signed and are managed by the Crue.

The band came together when some of the group were living in the small town of Normal, Illinois playing house parties and decided to take the act to Chicago where they met and where joined by Chad and his childhood friend Danny Smash.
Before being signed to Eleven Seven Music, they had independently sold well over 10,000 records, toured in over 17 countries and were designated the official music of Kyle Busch Motor Sports.

Maximum Ink: At what age did you first know you wanted to become a singer? What did you want to do before then?
Chad Cherry: I have always been guided and driven by music. At a very early age I crossed over to the dark side via rock-n-roll and sold my soul. I would say around the age of 14 or 15 I dove into writing and singing songs as more of something I took serious then just for the sake of me not being bored in a small town with nothing to do and nowhere to go. There was only one path that I have been on my whole life. I’ve always wanted to be a part of rock-n-roll chaos.


AtwoodFest 2014 - photo by Dan Schneiderman

Late Summer Festival Preview 2014

by Dave Leucinger
July 2014

Even if you didn’t get Lollapalooza tickets and are feeling left out, the next month is dense with great festivals that feature roots, blues, and more:


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Les Ballets Africain's Director Hamidou Bangoura - photo by Matthew Mueller

Les Ballets Africains

an interview with Hamidou Bangoura
by Sarah H. Grant
March 2007

Sarah went to the show to interview Hamidou and he tells her, “I don’t speak English”. Luckily, Sarah speaks fluent French, so she still got the interview, now that’s journalism!


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