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Baltimore bands in the ’90s: more Joe Kohl photo mysteries

MdHS needs your help identifying bands, people, dates, and places from the Baltimore music scene of the late 1980s and ’90s in the photos below. Please help if you can.

 Joseph Kohl, date unknown. PP284.

Reference photo #1: SOLVED, mostly. All Mighty Senators. L to R: Ben Watson (cutoff), Mitchell Valient (percussionist/dancer), Nick Berger, Andriana Pateris, and Warren Boes (cutoff). Joseph Kohl. Date and location unresolved. The debate continues: was this taken at Hour Haus or Hammerjack’s? Responses have been equally divided. PP284, MdHS.

 

I’ve been preparing to process the Joseph Kohl photograph collection for a while now. Because the collection is so modern—our third most modern by my count—it has never been a high priority since it arrived here in 2003. The challenges of processing it have ranged from procuring funding to finding the time to dive in. Processing photograph collections is only one aspect of my job. Granted it is one the most fun and rewarding. Another consideration was finding help. It’s a big collection consisting of well over a thousand prints and many more negatives and various pieces of ephemera, and due to the graphic nature of some of the shots, I couldn’t just throw this project at the next intern who happened along. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to forge ahead past the challenges as if things will just fall into place. And as luck would have it, that’s what appears to be happening.

PP284.

Reference photo #2: SOLVED, mostly. Ben Watson of the All Mighty Senators with dancer Nick Berger. Nick says this was taken at Hammerjack’s in September 1990. PP284, MdHS.

Recently help arrived from longtime City Paper photographers Josh Sisk and Joe Giordano, who have been crucial in helping spread the word about the wonders of Kohl’s collection. Together we’re in the early stages of planning an offsite exhibit of some of Kohl’s work that might not hang easily here at the Historical Society. (Again, some of them are “dirty” pictures.) I’m counting on Joe and Josh to get the word out, which will hopefully to lead to a mature, qualified volunteer or intern to help with processing.

Reference photo: Mark Harp by Joseph Kohl. Date unknown. PP284, MdHS.

Reference photo #3: OK, we know who this is. It’s the late great Mark Harp (Mark Linthicum)! at the Action Theater Rehearsal Studio, c.1996-99. Joseph Kohl. Date unknown. PP284, MdHS.

I am also counting on your help, dear gentle and aged reader. Based on the responses I’ve gotten on Facebook when I post samples of Kohl’s work, this should be no problem. So after you ponder a while, please tell me who this smokin’ guitarist is. And remember, if and when possible with all the photos, please include names, places, and a guess at the date.

Reference photo #4: Unidentified smoking guitarist. Date unknown. Joseph Kohl. PP284, MdHS

Reference photo #4: Unidentified smoking guitarist. Date unknown. Joseph Kohl. PP284, MdHS

It turns out this next shot was not a band at all, but rather a group of actors known as Impossible Industrial Action. They later became Action Theater and Joe Kohl was their company photographer from about 1994 on, according to Thomas Cole (pictured below).

Reference photo #5: No clues at all left on the many photos of this group.

Reference photo #5: Clockwise: Thomas Cole, Tony Tsendeas, Donna “Vida” Sherman, and Robin Hogle (center). Joseph Kohl. PP284, MdHS.

The guitarist below looks familiar. But that could be because solo face makes everyone look related.

Reference photo #6: No clues at all left on this one. But extra points for the Buttsteak T-shirt. Joseph Kohl. PP284, MdHS.

Reference photo #6: SOLVED! Brian Daniloski (left) and Hank Roschen (right) of Stranger Than Fiction. Brian gets extra points for the Buttsteak T-shirt. Joseph Kohl. PP284, MdHS.

This band, it turns out, is not from Baltimore at all. It’s L.A.-by-way-of-New-Jersey’s Dramarama.  The photo appears to have been taken at a festival. Did Dramarama ever play Artscape?

Reference photo #7: SOLVED! Jon Easdale and Mark Englert of Dramarama. Venue and date unknown. Joseph Kohl. PP284, MdHS.

Reference photo #7: SOLVED! Jon Easdale and Mark Englert of Dramarama. Venue and date unknown. Joseph Kohl. PP284, MdHS.

Can you name this band? It sort of looks like Max’s on Broadway in the background.

singer guitarist

Reference photo #8: Another unidentified singer and guitarists. Joseph Kohl. PP284, MdHS.

Kohl’s work came to MdHS in various boxes, bags, and plastic tubs. The first step in processing it is to get it into appropriate-size protective boxes and an acid-free environment. The next step will be to identify as much of the work as possible and create a finding aid. Along the way, we will look at digitizing some of the work. If you personally knew Joe Kohl or recognize more than a couple faces above, I would like to speak with you and invite you to come view the collection. Please email any information you have about the above reference photos here: imagingservices@mdhs.org

Be sure to include names, places, dates if you know them. Thanks in advance for your help. (Joe Tropea)

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