The Punk Vault

Selections from The Punk Vault [Lost Cause (IL)]

Lost Cause (IL) – LP (1987? Pravda Records)

Because I’m not at home when I write this, I can’t double check the year of this release so I’m going by memory.

Chicago’s Lost Cause formed sometime in the mid 1980s by Joe Kelly and a couple other local punks. They seemed to have friends in all the right places and were opening for a lot of big touring punk bands at Last Rites produced shows (Shawn Duffy was Last Rights and booked all the big punk shows back then). Because they were playing so many shows, they got their name around the scene pretty quickly. I saw them open for the Descendents at Medusa’s once at that was my first exposure to them, and they put on a good show.

This album was released on Pravda Records, which was the label that was born out of the record store that was next to the Metro for years. After this record came out, Lost Cause did what so many other bands in that era did, they went metal. Well in this case, they went rap-metal.

Joe Kelly would later find himself touring with Ministry as part of their band playing guitar and singing the Pailhead songs on the Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste tour. After that I’m not sure what he did musically. I do know he still lives in Chicago and saw him working security for Jam Productions last summer at the Sex Pistols show. All the records are long out of print, but this is the only one that really deserves a reissue.

As always, if you have information, or are a member of the band, please get in touch.


  • I believe Joe Kelly was in the Beer Nuts with Earl from the Effigies and Mike and Herb from Rights of the Accused in the late ’90’s. I don’t know if they are still around. There was a CD out.

  • I think Beer Nuts is still around at least part time. I recall them playing a couple shows last year. I’ve never actually heard their music though, I just heard about them through some friends.

  • Beer Nuts used to be around Austin back in the mid 80’s too. In Austin TX. Part Hickoids & Tales of Terror.Glad to see they are still kickin around. Saw them back then @ Woodshock.

  • I can fill in a few holes in the above history of the band.

    I am the older sister of one of the original members and they practiced in the basement of our Mother’s condo in Lincoln Park, Chicago.

    Joe Kelly formed the band between 1985 and 1986.

    Joe Kelly was very good at self-promotion and happened to work at Metro. That is why Lost Cause got to open for some amazing bands, Joe made sure it happened.

    The band fought constantly and eventually all the original members left Joe Kelly to form their own band M.O.S.H.

    The song “Chicks Go Wild (for Joe Kelly)” was purely a Joe Kelly project written after the original members left. That song was HORRIBLE, unfortunately I remember it too well. Metro also had a dance club in its basement called Smartbar and Joe Kelly made sure that Chicks Go Wild was always the last record spun when the club closed.


Subscribe to The Punk Vault

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 35 other subscribers