When Koslowski was planning the Liquor Bike reunion, he asked Holden to dig through his archives and put up some of the old photos at the Ottobar. Sifting through the boxes brought back thoughts of Memory Lane's roadhouse vibe, unpretentious hard rock and lost friends.
"There's some craziness, and there are some dead people," Holden said. "Some people didn't make it, but they're documented."
Some that did make it have helped shepherd the scene as it later grew. Michael Bowen moved to Baltimore in 1994 with his band Butt Steak. They broke up shortly after, and Bowen helped found the Ottobar on Davis Street in 1997. He still helps run the club, which moved to bigger digs on Howard Street several years ago.
The Ottobar was one of the city's few legitimate, long-standing music clubs and is still a hub for local music. It has been both a platform for nationally touring bands and an outlet for local bands to test their material.
"If we did anything special, we kept interesting people coming to Baltimore," Bowen said. "Some of the bands that are playing now were affected by seeing some of the more interesting acts coming through."
For every Ottobar, there are a dozen DIY clubs and warehouses that sprang up and dissolved in a matter of months or years. That's one of the reasons why Matt Selander created deadvenues.com. Selander, who works for the Baltimore music label and distributor Morphius Records, is currently gathering information on all of Baltimore's clubs from the '80s and '90s and hopes to list them on the site in the coming months.
"We're getting all this hype - and it's deserved," he said. "But there's very little mention of the people who laid the groundwork for the last 20 years."
online Read more about the top Baltimore bands of the ' 90s and listen to some of their songs at baltimoresun.com/bands