« Name That Bar, vol. 20 | Main | Weekly Natty Boh Tower Contests at Singer's »

April 28, 2010

Was the Hammerjack's video from the '80s or '90s?

awesome '80s hair metal bandWhen I posted the awesome Hammerjack's video earlier this week, I noted that it was from the '90s.

I said it was from the '90s and not the '80s because in the video, the narrator notes how it's near the end of the 20th century.

The hair styles might look like they were straight outta the '80s, that doesn't mean it was actually the '80s. It could have been 1994 -- or even later.

Heck, it's 2010, and some corners of Baltimore are still stuck in the '80s.

Anyway, Dave Adams, who used to work security at Hammerjack's, thinks it's from the '80s ...

Adams looked at the video and saw Tom Perry, who was a manager at Hammerjack's. According to Adams, Perry retired from the police force about two years ago after 20 years on duty. Perry didn't work at Hammerjack's in the mid-'90s.

Hammerjack's owner Lou Principio, who is also in the video, had too much hair for it to be the '90s, Adams said. Hee hee.

Anybody know for sure when this video was shot? Also, you get bonus points for naming the band in the photo. Not sure if this group played Hammerjack's or not, but I love the hair.

UPDATE: OK, so, according to a Baltimore Sun article, the original Hammerjack's opened on South Charles Street in 1977. So if this was shot 12 years after it opened, as the narrator said (and Owl Meat noted), that means it was filmed in 1989. (Which means it was still 1983 in Baltimore.) Bam!

What the video could never foresee was the grunge movement, which would lay waste to hair metal bands everywhere in about three or four years. Bye bye, big hair. Hello, flannel!

(Handout photo)

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:07 AM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I think the narrator says that they are in their twelfth year, so find out when the first version of Hammerjacks opened and add eleven. Why? Because Hammerjacks goes to eleven, that's why!

That is definitely late 80s.

Nice Spinal Tap reference, Owl.

And nice Stryper pic, Sessa. Christian "metal"? That's what you came up with? Christian metal?

Thank God you finally got it right. I have suffered for days with people thinking that was me. I told them it wasn't me in the video, but they didn't believe me. My brother, the 1980s, did a lot of things our Father, Time, was not pleased about.

Your story is in the nick of time. I had an appointment set with my lawyer at 2pm to sue the Baltimore Sun and Sam Sessa for defamation of character. Thank you for belatedly getting your facts straight. Oh, and if you actually liked my brother, the 80s, then you're going to love my kid-sister, the 20's.

Somebody from Child's Play, the band playing on the video, would know - sometime in the late 80's/early 90's their original singer Larry Hinshaw left the band and Brian Jack took over, which is who's singing here.

Yoo hoo 90s ... When did you stop calling yourself the Gay 90s? Feel free to contact my lawyer here.

Just because I broke up with you in 2000 doesn't mean you have to be so bitter. Besides, you still had a big 80s porn 'stache when I last saw you.

Taste the rainbow!

Mid-Late 80s is probably right. Tightrope, the poster in Craig's room came out in 1984 and this is from a story that you contributed to from 2006 - "Hammerjacks remained vital to Baltimore's music scene in the 1980s and 1990s. It featured two clubs -a two-story bar
with DJs and a concert hall that had opened in 1985 - where 3,000 fans could rock the night away." ( As much as I like Clint, I don't think Tightrope was a good enough movie to have the poster up 6 or 7 years later.

I don't remember Evening Magazine airing in the 1990's.

You should be able to confirm the date with a call to WJZ. I'm sure they have an intern who would love to spend her lunch hour fact checking for you.

Ta da

WJZ-TV initiates layoffs, end of 'Evening Magazine'
December 01, 1990|By Eric Siegel

An article yesterday in The Sun on layoffs at WJZ-TV said Steve Aveson of "Evening Magazine" was included in layoffs that took effect last week. In fact, Mr. Aveson was not included in the first round of layoffs and will remain with the station at least until Dec. 28.

Somebody better buy me a drink ...

Bringing down the house at Hammerjacks Demolition: For fans of the famed pop music venue, they tore down paradise and put up a parking lot.
By Stephanie Shapiro BTC | Stephanie Shapiro BTC,SUN STAFF | May 13, 1997
The harder they rock, the harder they fall. And since 1977, no place has rocked harder than Hammerjacks, the legendary fortress on South Howard Street, nestled in an industrial no man's land where the Light Rail, an interstate overpass, Russell Street, Camden Yards and the rising Ravens stadium converge.At precisely 9 a.m., the club fell just as hard yesterday, when a wrecking ball disguised as a huge football scored through a makeshift goal post provided by the Well Hung sign company.Rubble rained, dust billowed and the two-story brick facade buckled.

So if it opned in 1977 and the narrator says, "now 12 years old" that make it 1989.

People, people -- I updated the post a few hours ago with the date. Note the addendum to the post, with the word "update" in all caps.

I always click on the [more] button on Recent Comments so I don't see the original post unless I scroll up

Gotta love Stryper (opens wiki page) Or not :-D

OMG -- hmmm ... I wonder if it's better to put the UPDATE in the comments section instead of the post proper. Or both? Conundrum!

Stryper was/is awesome! Dualing lead guitars and Michael Sweet's amazing voice. I always thought it was funny how the lyrics in their "hits" were about God but could be interpreted by the masses as being about a girl.

Bye bye, big hair. Hello, flannel!

And hello flannel again. It's everywhere... again!

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "o" in the field below:
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.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected