If there was one joint that embodied the clash between the death of hair metal and the rise of alt-rock in the early 1990s, it was the Button South. Located right off the Hallandale Beach Blvd exit, next to a motel and within spitting distance of multiple strip joints - the Button was a slick, 1000-capacity club with a beautiful stage, cheap long island ice teas and a schitzo booking policy.
By early evening, it was a performance space that held shows by oddball acts like Mr. Bungle, Scatterbrain, the Dead Milkmen and Ween - along with virtually every band that has ever been played on MTV's headbangers ball. Legends like Motorhead, 1-hit-wonders like Ugly Kid Joe, ex- arena rocker solo acts (Ace Frehley, Sebastian Bach) and last gasp reunion tours for has-beens like Quiet Riot and RATT all played the Button. Local bands like The Goods, Marilyn Manson and Skintite played Wednesday night gigs, which allowed the Button to pretend they were an active participant in the local music scene - as opposed to one who only grudgingly tolerated the presence of bands who didn't wear spandex.
Bands who played early gigs at the Button were treated to a set of house rules which were decidedly different for "original bands" and the late night hair metal cover bands who attracted the club's bread and butter: off-duty strippers and their wanna-be Mr. Right-Nows. Leaving an early punk or thrash show at the Button never ceased to be amusing, as there would always be a Kip Winger clone near the door, primping his hair like a dandy right out of an Oscar Wilde play, cursing every time some lunk in a Slayer shirt bumped into him.
This dichotomy will be played out this weekend at Bash Of Boca hosts the 2nd "Button South Class Reunion." Friday night is "original band" night with headlining sets by legendary Miami band The Goods and funk rockers Skintite (featuring Reddings singer Mark Lockett). Bridging the gap between "original" and butt rock is singer Matt Kramer. Kramer's old outfit Saigon Kick choked out "Love Is On The Way," the last power ballad hit of the hair rock era - which doomed their career in the face of grunge - despite having made their bones doing hard nosed sets that culminated in a Sex Pistols/Cream medley.
Saturday night, is dedicated to hairspray. Gypsy Queen and Canaveral will be rocking heir follicles along with the "Button South All-Stars" aka "Rulette"(sic).
Here's a clip of The Goods in their heyday onOG local tabloid show "Inside Story."
Here's a clip of Gypsy Queen covering Led Zeppelin on Fort Lauderdale beach:
The Button South Class reunion takes place Friday, April 15th and Saturday, April 16th at Bash Of Boca, 5970 SW 18th st, Boca Raton. Doors are at 5pm and the party lasts until 5am each night. for more information call: 561 447-7171.