Dave Benton may just be one of the most knowledgeable local music archivists.
If you’ve just arrived in Madison, maybe as a student or new Epic Systems employee, you’ve probably heard stories about the city’s grunge music past. Local residents are familiar with the Smart Studios
saga. Producer Butch Vig starts a small recording studio with Steve Marker at the corner of East Washington and Baldwin Streets (The building is still there). He records demo tapes for an unknown band named Nirvana
that eventually become part of the iconic album Nevermind
Smart Studios becomes the epicenter for 90's alternative bands to record albums. Butch eventually starts Garbage
with siren vocalist Shirley Manson, Duke Erikson and Steve Marker and the rest is history. Well not so fast. One of the first links in this story is a band called Spooner and guitarist Dave Benton who helps keep their record release output active.