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Letter To The People - March 2011

Publisher's Commentary by Rökker
Darth Walker, Mini-Vader, Lizzie & Allison Rocker

15 YEARS OF MAXIMUM INK: As I think back to the beginning of 1996, I remember the Pack losing to Dallas in the NFC Championship, I remember the final months of Max Ink’s predecessor, Night Sites & Sounds, and the establishment of Maximum Ink that spring.

It wasn’t easy. My friend and co-owner of Maximum Ink, Michael “Black-n-Tan” and I were not the biggest players in the bid to take over NS&S. Madison Newspapers, Woodward Communications, and even a group of local yokels were ahead in the game. It pained me to see a big corporation take over a local music magazine, so we hung in there.

When the dogs were done fighting over the scraps and it was obvious that Night Sites could not continue under that flag, Maximum Ink was born out of passion to keep a local, music magazine on the streets to help promote Wisconsin’s music scenes to its fans.

We honor Black n Tan’s brother, Max Ward (see Voice Box story inside), by including his name in the name of the company and magazine. Max Ward passed away on the day after Maximum Ink’s first issue (March 7, 1996) after a long battle with AIDS.

Here’s to 15 years of Maximum Ink, and from a message in an ad from Randy’s Recording from our first issue… “Live long and prosper.”

DOROTHY WARD: As it’s a happy time for Maximum Ink, it’s also sad as we always remember Max Ward. It is also sad because in February, Dorothy Ward, Michael Black n Tan and Max’s mother, passed away. We honor her memory and dedicate this issue to Dorothy.


MADTOWN BASH: The Bastard Den, that local internet radio show at www.bastardden.com is putting on another of their events to promote Madison bands. Stop down to the Frequency in Madison on Friday, March 25th where they’ll be broadcasting live featuring Madison bands Beefus, Transient, Helliphant, and Milwaukeeans The Black Saints and comedians Ryan Casey, Rick Yoose, and Sean Moore. Doors open at 7pm and it is an 18+ show. The show is sponsored by Maximum Ink, Megatone Studios, and Hard-Rock-Reviews.com.

BOMBLASTICA 2001: This year’s Max Ink birthday party will take place on Friday, April 22 at the Annex in Madison. As usual, it will be FREE ADMISSION and FREE BEER and MUNCHIES while supplies last. Beer will be provided by my favorite brewer, The Ale Asylum.

Bands will include spoofs of Black Sabbath done by Mother Hive Syndicate with Erik of Baghdad Scuba Review on bass, AC/DC by recent Max Ink cover artists Subatomic, NEIL YOUNG by Madisonian’s Pinch, as well as a set by Lyden Moon, the extraordinary guitarist whom I first met after he won the Steve Vai guitar player contest at the Barrymore.

We will also feature two comedians, Steve Purcell and Stephanie Sherlund. Come celebrate 15 years of Maximum Ink.

ADVENTURES WITH NIKOLIA AND ELIZABETH: First, Allison went down to the protests with her friend Leelee and got coverage on The Ed Show. So the next day I had Lizzy make a sign on a big piece of cardboard, “Stop Darth Walker.” I put on my Darth Rökker uniform and became “Darth Walker.” With Lizzy holding the signj, I proceeded to Force-choke protesting Wisconsin citizens and pose for pictures, a lot of pictures. Then Saturday came around and the whole family went up to the rally and Nikko dressed as mini-Vader and I as Darth Walker.

Sure enough, a picture of all of us ends up as high as #3 in the best protest signs on the Huffington Post’s website, and on Examiner.com and Buzzfeed.com. Next a friend chimed in that he saw Darth Walker on the O’Reilly Factor and another who saw DW on Fox News in Milwaukee. Then came Fox Financial and finally the CBS Nightly News. I’m sure there are more I don’t know about. It’s been a lot of fun with the family and very educational. I asked Nikko if he had a good time and he said, “I got to dress up in costumes and hang out with my dad, yeah, that’s fun.”

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