Take Me Back to Tulsa
May 9, 2012 12:39 PM   Subscribe

A remarkably diverse group of legendary musicians have graced the stage of Tulsa's Cain's Ballroom over the years: Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, the Sex Pistols (one of seven stops on their one and only 1978 U.S. tour…the hole in the drywall left by Sid Vicious’ fist is still backstage), the Ramones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Blondie, The Talking Heads, U2, Ani DiFranco, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dogg, Morrissey, Beck, Wilco, to name a few. A documentary featuring Costello and several other artists who’ve played there is in the works, with proceeds supporting music education in Oklahoma and the upcoming Cain’s Ballroom Museum. Cain’s was recently named one of the top 10 live music venues in the U.S. From 1935 to 1942, Cain’s was home to Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, who popularized western swing music with weekly dances and a national radio show.
posted by Kelly Tulsa (12 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I remember seeing George Clinton & P-Funk there when I was younger. Blew my 9 year old mind...
posted by fishmasta at 1:02 PM on May 9, 2012

If Sid Vicious punched a hole in the drywall, it must be flimsy stuff indeed.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 1:07 PM on May 9, 2012

God I loved that place in high school.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:05 PM on May 9, 2012

Also - first post after joining six years ago? Congratulations.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:06 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Cain's even has A/C now! Seriously, though, Cain's and the Brady Theater have provided an anchor around which to develop a pretty neat almost urban area. Quite a change for Tulsa.
posted by wierdo at 2:26 PM on May 9, 2012

You forgot to mention the spring loaded dance floor! That was such a point of pride for the girl giving our 6th grade class a tour of down town Tulsa.
posted by midmarch snowman at 2:30 PM on May 9, 2012

I've always heard good things about Cain's from friends in Tulsa. Glad to see it getting some love. (Also much love for the Bob Wills shoutout.)
posted by immlass at 2:52 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Speaking of Bob Wills and Tulsa, it'd be a crime to not include this number. You named your post after it, after all!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:36 PM on May 9, 2012

I've only been once since the expansion/remodel but Cain's is definitely one of my all-time favorite venues. I feel like I half lived there in high school.

My favorite memory is from a Social Distortion/Supersuckers/Southern Culture on the Skids show in early '97 when a (seemingly very hammered) Mike Ness filled time between songs by pointing at the various portraits of old C&W/Swing artists that hung around the dance floor and shouting (paraphrasing here, it was a long time ago)
"You all think you know punk rock? You don't know shit about punk rock. If you don't know these motherfuckers hanging on the wall here, don't even fucking talk to me about punk rock. These guys are punk fucking rock".
To be fair, he kinda had a point.
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:46 PM on May 9, 2012

I was hoping this was the same Caine from Caine's Acrade, and it was all made of cardboard.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:02 PM on May 9, 2012

A write up on the Sex Pistols in Tulsa from a very fine independent paper here.
posted by midmarch snowman at 7:18 PM on May 9, 2012

Last April I flew from Dallas to Tulsa to see Ratatat perform at Cain's. Easily the best concert I've ever been to, and Cain's was a much better venue than I had envisioned when planning the trip.

I had no idea that Cain's had such an extensive and interesting history, and look forward to this documentary. Thank you for the post, Kelly Tulsa.
posted by I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984 at 5:30 AM on May 10, 2012

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