Punkin' Donuts

tardigrade

Well-known member
Donator
CCS Hall of Fame '20
35,829
26,177
135

Whole article is a good read, with great videos therein. Will post the opening part. Kind of disappointing that they didn't point out in the article that Dahmer and Gacy used to drink at the L&L across the street and scope out potential victims.

In 1987, Ben Hollis and John Davies pitched Chicago PBS station WTTW on a program that would capture the city's obscure corners, unusual characters, and fringe phenomena. To show the station what they had in mind, they'd shot a "guerilla demo" at a spot Hollis already knew: the Dunkin' Donuts on the corner of Belmont and Clark in Lakeview. He'd often driven past it late at night and seen groups of young people hanging out in the parking lot, and he figured it'd be worth investigating. What were they doing there? Why that spot, not somewhere else? And what was the appeal?
Around midnight on a Saturday in August, Davies and Hollis brought their gear to the Dunkin' Donuts. They'd decided to call their show Wild Chicago, and Hollis dressed like an intrepid wilderness explorer: he wore a pith helmet and a short-sleeved khaki shirt, with binoculars around his neck. While Davies ran the camera, Hollis pointed a dinky microphone at just about any bystander who would talk. "I'm Ben Hollis with Wild Chicago, a make-believe TV show," he explained to a middle-aged Black cop inside the doughnut shop. "Just trying to figure out if you've got any good ideas about what brings these kids together out here. Why do they come here?"
"For a good time," the cop responded.
Hollis and Davies's footage from that night includes a couple teenagers freestyle skateboarding, crowds of enthusiastic kids dressed all in black and smiling for the camera, and a Dunkin' employee who said some of the teens were "straight-up sugar fiends." The two of them brought the tape to WTTW senior vice president Pat Denny, who was in charge of production for the station's regular programs. "He said, 'Yeah, there's magic here,'" Hollis says. "'Let's make a real pilot.'"
Wild Chicago debuted in January 1989, its weekly episodes each half an hour long. Once it was no longer make-believe, Hollis wanted to do a proper shoot at the Dunkin' Donuts that had gotten the show off the ground. "Something that alive, organic, and chaotic is rare—it did stand out," he says. In August 1990, when he arrived with a station cameraman, Hollis immediately saw that the crowd in the parking lot had ballooned in size since his previous visit. "It was on the cusp of dangerous," he says. "It was an excited crowd, and everybody was jumping around. It was so chaotic. Everybody wanted to stick their face in the camera and say something."
Both times Hollis visited the Dunkin' Donuts on camera, he called it "Punk Rock Park." "I maybe saw a guy with a Mohawk or something and just figured, 'Oh, it must be punk rock-y,'" he says. But the young people who hung out there had another name for it: Punkin' Donuts.
 

Jamais Vu

Qui n’avance pas, recule
Staff member
Donator
7,305
8,209
70
It's like I could almost taste the Marlboro Reds and the ultra sugary coffee that just got topped off with a few shots of Popov vodka while I am waiting for the doorman over at Medusa's that never asks how old I am.

Thanks OP...that was a fun flashback. I never understood why the people that ran the Dunkin Donuts put up with it. Dozens of teenagers doing just about everything but buying donuts literally every night.

It was that parking lot where I first learned the term "gutter punk".
 

Burque

Huevos Rancheros
11,226
6,202
75

Whole article is a good read, with great videos therein. Will post the opening part. Kind of disappointing that they didn't point out in the article that Dahmer and Gacy used to drink at the L&L across the street and scope out potential victims.

In 1987, Ben Hollis and John Davies pitched Chicago PBS station WTTW on a program that would capture the city's obscure corners, unusual characters, and fringe phenomena. To show the station what they had in mind, they'd shot a "guerilla demo" at a spot Hollis already knew: the Dunkin' Donuts on the corner of Belmont and Clark in Lakeview. He'd often driven past it late at night and seen groups of young people hanging out in the parking lot, and he figured it'd be worth investigating. What were they doing there? Why that spot, not somewhere else? And what was the appeal?
Around midnight on a Saturday in August, Davies and Hollis brought their gear to the Dunkin' Donuts. They'd decided to call their show Wild Chicago, and Hollis dressed like an intrepid wilderness explorer: he wore a pith helmet and a short-sleeved khaki shirt, with binoculars around his neck. While Davies ran the camera, Hollis pointed a dinky microphone at just about any bystander who would talk. "I'm Ben Hollis with Wild Chicago, a make-believe TV show," he explained to a middle-aged Black cop inside the doughnut shop. "Just trying to figure out if you've got any good ideas about what brings these kids together out here. Why do they come here?"
"For a good time," the cop responded.
Hollis and Davies's footage from that night includes a couple teenagers freestyle skateboarding, crowds of enthusiastic kids dressed all in black and smiling for the camera, and a Dunkin' employee who said some of the teens were "straight-up sugar fiends." The two of them brought the tape to WTTW senior vice president Pat Denny, who was in charge of production for the station's regular programs. "He said, 'Yeah, there's magic here,'" Hollis says. "'Let's make a real pilot.'"
Wild Chicago debuted in January 1989, its weekly episodes each half an hour long. Once it was no longer make-believe, Hollis wanted to do a proper shoot at the Dunkin' Donuts that had gotten the show off the ground. "Something that alive, organic, and chaotic is rare—it did stand out," he says. In August 1990, when he arrived with a station cameraman, Hollis immediately saw that the crowd in the parking lot had ballooned in size since his previous visit. "It was on the cusp of dangerous," he says. "It was an excited crowd, and everybody was jumping around. It was so chaotic. Everybody wanted to stick their face in the camera and say something."
Both times Hollis visited the Dunkin' Donuts on camera, he called it "Punk Rock Park." "I maybe saw a guy with a Mohawk or something and just figured, 'Oh, it must be punk rock-y,'" he says. But the young people who hung out there had another name for it: Punkin' Donuts.

That was a good read I enjoyed it. I was a little young for that time period, but came along and messed around in that scene in the early - late 90's.
 

tardigrade

Well-known member
Donator
CCS Hall of Fame '20
35,829
26,177
135
It's like I could almost taste the Marlboro Reds and the ultra sugary coffee that just got topped off with a few shots of Popov vodka while I am waiting for the doorman over at Medusa's that never asks how old I am.

Thanks OP...that was a fun flashback. I never understood why the people that ran the Dunkin Donuts put up with it. Dozens of teenagers doing just about everything but buying donuts literally every night.

It was that parking lot where I first learned the term "gutter punk".
I wagered you and HHM might have some tales from that era before Lakeview became, well... Lakeview
 

Jamais Vu

Qui n’avance pas, recule
Staff member
Donator
7,305
8,209
70
I wagered you and HHM might have some tales from that era before Lakeview became, well... Lakeview
Wax Trax Records was my reason for heading up that way in my HS days because Sam Goody or Coconuts or whatever crap was in Ford City Mall just did not have all the weird stuff I was starting to really get into. Between Medusa's, Metro and The Vic...I was usually in that part of town for shows, but still not old enough for bars/clubs. I never really just hang out in that lot for hours on end, but it was for sure the universally accepted meeting point.
 

Burque

Huevos Rancheros
11,226
6,202
75
Wax Trax Records was my reason for heading up that way in my HS days because Sam Goody or Coconuts or whatever crap was in Ford City Mall just did not have all the weird stuff I was starting to really get into. Between Medusa's, Metro and The Vic...I was usually in that part of town for shows, but still not old enough for bars/clubs. I never really just hang out in that lot for hours on end, but it was for sure the universally accepted meeting point.
I was far more a Rivet Head than a punk. Give me KMFDM and Ministry over The Clash, Green Day, and Rancid back then 100%.
 

Jamais Vu

Qui n’avance pas, recule
Staff member
Donator
7,305
8,209
70
moar stories pls
I saw Red Hot Chili Peppers & the Beastie Boys play together at the Vic!

Otherwise, nothing Earth shattering.

I hooked up with someone at Medusa's one time and I got statutory raped in the bathroom of that diner that was next door to the Vic (Muskees???). She wanted to get a drink afterwards and looked genuinely freaked out when I told her I was only 17.
 

Jamais Vu

Qui n’avance pas, recule
Staff member
Donator
7,305
8,209
70
I was far more a Rivet Head than a punk. Give me KMFDM and Ministry over The Clash, Green Day, and Rancid back then 100%.
That whole Wax Trax scene was so dope in the 90s. Ministry, RevCo, Thrill Kill Kult, Pigface, etc.

Never got into KMFDM though. They just never clicked with me.
 

tardigrade

Well-known member
Donator
CCS Hall of Fame '20
35,829
26,177
135
I saw Red Hot Chili Peppers & the Beastie Boys play together at the Vic!

Otherwise, nothing Earth shattering.

I hooked up with someone at Medusa's one time and I got statutory raped in the bathroom of that diner that was next door to the Vic (Muskees???). She wanted to get a drink afterwards and looked genuinely freaked out when I told her I was only 17.
love it!
 

tardigrade

Well-known member
Donator
CCS Hall of Fame '20
35,829
26,177
135
I have a funny KMFDM story but pretty sure I already told it so pls moar stories all around
 

airtime143

Well-known member
10,380
9,093
75
I had some good times up that way.
Saw a ton of shows (including pantera) at the venue kind of upstairs from the vic.. the Avalon?

One of the coolest experiences was going to see Scatterbrain and Ugly Kid Joe.
Drive down that way, only to find out it was a 21 and older show, and me and the girl I was with could not get in.
Just so the night wasnt a complete waste, We wandered over to the side entrance on sheffield where the bus was parked.
Smoked a couple cigs with the dudes from ugly kid joe (didnt know them at the time, they had yet to hit with "everything about you")
The singer for scatterbrain came out, signed a flyer for me, and said "see you in the show"
Told him I was not 21 and couldnt get in- He says "come on, go up with us".
We got to watch the whole show from side stage, and have a few beers with them all afterwards.
 




Top