In the long list of notable entertainers to come out of the Milwaukee area—Gene Wilder, Bob Uecker, Mrs. Garret from The Facts Of Life—piano prodigy Liberace can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Born in West Allis on May 16, 1919, Liberace entertained millions with his musical gifts and his flamboyant personality. Before there was Elton John in a Donald Duck getup, there was Liberace wearing enough fur to annoy PETA for approximately 8,000 years.
Similarly, in the long list of notable bands to come out of the Milwaukee area—Violent Femmes, Die Kreuzen, that time The Promise Ring was on Conan—punk innovators The Haskels can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Founded in the late ’70s, the band laid the groundwork for the city’s punk and rock scene while undergoing several lineup changes (original member Jill Kossoris would go on to found The Shivvers). Before there was Burnhearts’ Punk House Kegger, there was The Haskels blowing the roof off of Zak’s.
What do the two have in common? A song. Yes, The Haskels recorded a song called “Liberace Is Coming,” and it’s wonderful. A “lost” recording from the band’s heyday, it didn’t see the light of day until 2001 when it was included on the comp History In 3 Chords: Milwaukee Alternative Bands 1973–1982. “Run, better run / Liberace is coming.” Indeed. Enjoy.