At the Library and Archives: Cleveland Punk Legend Peter Laughner Collection of Recordings and Articles

Wednesday, July 24: 2 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
The Peter Laughner collection at the L&A helps tell the story of Cleveland's underground 70s scene.

The latest addition to the Library and Archives' Northeast Ohio Popular Music Archives is the new Collection on Peter Laughner, Cleveland punk legend. In his short lifetime, Laughner co-founded both Rocket from the Tombs – a band described by writer Lester Bangs as "an amphetamine-driven blend of Velvets-Stooges" – and Pere Ubu, and was a contributing writer to rock magazines like Creem and an all-around gadfly of the Midwest and New York rock scenes. Journalist Richie Unterberger wrote of Laughner, "As a singer, songwriter, and performer in numerous Cleveland bands, he was probably the single biggest catalyst in the birth of Cleveland's alternative rock scene in the mid-'70s. 

The Peter Laughner collection at the Library and Archives includes rare vinyl, ¼-inch and audiocassette recordings of Laughner solo and with his bands, as well as performances from his wife, poet Charlotte Pressler. Those keen on learning more about the 1970s Cleveland underground music scene will want to read Pressler's first-hand account in the issue of CLE Magazine, also included in the collection; while those interested in Laughner’s pre-punk career will want to take a look at the poster for his first band, a blues group called Mr. Charlie. The collection also includes the March 1976 issue of Creem magazine, in which Laughner reviews Lou Reed’s album, Coney Island Baby. Following Laughner's death in 1977 at the age of 24, Bangs wrote an essay entitled simply "Peter Laughner is Dead," characterizing Laugher's review of Coney Island Baby as "probably the best thing he ever had published" and noting that his friend "was a great writer as well as being a gifted musician."

For more information on the Peter Laughner collection at the Library and Archives, click here.



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