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April 26, 2010

This Hammerjack's promo video from the '90s is hilarious

There's a lot of crap on YouTube, but every once in a while, you strike gold.

Today, my cup ranneth over with awesomeness, courtesy of this hilarious Hammerjack's promo video. Everybody grab your Aqua-net -- we're about to step back in time, to an era of big hair, raised glasses and lowered inhibitions ...

I love love love the narration. It's classic. Also classic are the girl's teeth at :28, the mustaches throughout, and the butt-less chaps at 2:54.

"At 10 p.m., it's time to party -- to walk in the door and have Hammerjack's smack you right in the face. All of the sudden, you're in, well, you're in Hammerjack's pal."

Yes you are.

"If you were to make something that, by itself, represented all that rock 'n' roll means in America, it's Hammerjack's. It's so perfect they ought to move the whole thing into a museum, building, band, bouncers, dancers, bartenders, beer and all, and label it 'rock 'n' roll, near the end of the 20th century.'"

I couldn't have said it better myself, narrator. Too bad the club moved to downtown Baltimore a few years later, and was eventually turned into Bourbon Street. All good things ...

Anybody recognize any of the folks in the video? Where are they now?

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:50 AM | | Comments (29)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Wow to the wow times wow. It's just like Studio 54 but with meth teeth

Hilarious. The owner looks like he's straight from central casting. Are you sure it's the 90s? I would have guessed 1986, but maybe the 80s stayed late in Baltimore. Hell, there's one guy who looks straight out of the Village People. Love the generic 80s rock


As a wee one I lied my way into Hammerjacks to see the Ramones for one of their last shows. That place was epic. Also check out the ol' Jack's in Serial Mom shortly before it was eminently domained -

Ha! Child's Play! 'good old boys playin good old rock n roll.'

Was that a promo or a news segment? looked more like a local-interest piece to me. maybe from 'Evening Magazine' or one of those shows.

Yep! sure enough, looks like the original poster is evemag13.

Also featuring Bob Turk and the Egg Lady. Awesome!


I frequented the place a lot in the late 80's and early 90's. As cheezy as it was, Hammers was the best bar in the city. You had bikers, preppies, glam rock wannabes, throw in a little punks and there it was. And you almost always assured of girls dancing on bars, bouncers kicking the crap out of someone, plenty of drugs and AC/DC's "Have a Drink On Me" played at least once a night.

The place had about 7 or more bars and they called them courtyards. So when the DJ would announce "Security to courtyard 2" it meant there was fight or disturbance at a certain bar. Good concerts there as well.

This is probably a dumb question but didn't Hammerjacks used to be in the building that is now Nobles? I think I've heard that before but it doesn't appear to be true from what the bar in the video looks like.

Oh I am firing up the Camero as we speak and heading over!! A little 98 Rock blaring from the Kenwood. C-YA!

Nice comment, Sparky. I can almost smell the Drakar. Fist pump!

@Jenn -- Hammerjack's started on South Charles Street (I think it was the Nobles space but I'm not sure). Then it moved near where M&T Bank Stadium is now. When they built the stadium, they paid the owner a bunch of money and knocked it down. Then Hammerjack's reopened on Guilford Ave. but it was never the same.

Drakar yes, fist pump no.

Loved Hammerjacks Thursday College Nights in early 90s. Saw a few bands there too including Living Colour. Good times, don't think anything could ever duplicate it. This piece does seem to be in the 90s though at they refer to approaching the millennium.

It may have been 1995 for the rest of the world, but in Baltimore, it was 1985.

If you drive around the area where the club used to be (in its second incarnation anyway), you'll still see a bunch of folks dressed the same way with the same hairstyles. Ah, the timewarp that is Pigtown.

very "heavy metal parking lot". judas priest number one!

wow, this is great! the video looks like a combo between a PSA, Instructional Drivers Ed video and the beginning segment from Shatner's Rescue 911 that turns terribly bad.


i love how the bartender is getting ready behind the bar, and just strips down right in front of the biggie.

craig is also of great interest. notice the sticker above his mirror that says "craig", as if to either serve as a reminder to what his name is, or as a motivational catalyst: "I AM CRAIG...and i will RUUUULE the NIGHT!!"

i also love the poster he has behind him:

of course craig loves him some Clint Eastwood playing "a cop on the edge"....since you know..he lives his life ON THE EDGE! EXTREME!

nice find sam. i would go to this place right now.

Hey Chop - I heard Child's Play is doing a reunion show at the 9:30 Club. Wanna go? :)

@Jenn -- Hammerjack's started on South Charles Street (I think it was the Nobles space but I'm not sure). Then it moved near where M&T Bank Stadium is now. When they built the stadium, they paid the owner a bunch of money and knocked it down. Then Hammerjack's reopened on Guilford Ave. but it was never the same.

The original Hammerjacks was located at the Nobles space, but it was only the front half of the current setup. Also, it was 3 levels back then, not 2 like it is today.

Ahhhh.....the sweet smell of Drakar Noir. I just had a flashback to Glen Burnie High's homecoming 1989.

@Chop & Dave -

I'd be all about a Child's Play reunion show...just have to lie to the wife and tell her I'm taking her to see some weepy emo band.

"I'm not/part of/the RAT RACE"

Great post!!!

"Out all night
Time to get started
Saving all week for her bedroom party
Dollar for her drink
Dollar for the honey
Burnin' a hole
Gonna spend my girl money
Girl money."

@Evan I have been frantically trying to find some actor from Serial Mom- I've been recieving SAG checks for him for a few years- sometimes like $500 a month to my P.O. Box- he needs to contact SAG- they owe him a few thousand.

What do these people do during the day? Good question. Craig is a construction worker. Heather works in a medical labratory. Lizzie is a bartender.

What they all have day jobs? You mean they don't rock n roll all nite and party every day?

And Johnny goes to work on the docks...

Wow. Child's Play, Kix, Kiss and Bon Jovi references all in the same thread. I nearly soiled my acid washed jeans

Great video, I was one of thousands, probably tens of thousands who loved Hammerjacks, you didn't just hear music there, you felt it as soon as you walked in the door. Awesome place to totally cut loose.....

Sam, a little bit of gruntwork would have dated the video. Hammerjacks opened in 1977. In the video, the owner says that the club has been open for 12 years. a little bit of quick math and boom...1989. I'm basing the date the club opened on a 2000 Baltimore Sun article. .

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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