Shank Hall owner Peter Jest discusses new memoir

MILWAUKEE – Peter Jest, longtime Milwaukee concert promoter and operator of Shank Hall, will discuss his new book, We Had Fun and Nobody Died, at a special evening Newsmaker set for Wednesday, July 31. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6 p.m. at the Newsroom Pub, 137 E. Wells Street in Milwaukee. 

Jest will be joined by co-author Amy T. Waldman in a moderated discussion followed by questions from the audience about his memoir, released last month by WHS Press, which is operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society. 

During a career that began when he was a teenager, Jest brought national acts to the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee campus and went on to book thousands of concerts across Wisconsin and the Midwest over the course of four decades. Jest continues to run Shank Hall, located on Milwaukee’s lower east side.

We Had Fun and Nobody Died looks past the profit-driven aspect of the music industry and celebrates a fiercely independent promoter whose love for music forged lasting friendships with artists from all genres — including John Prine, Arlo Guthrie, the Violent Femmes among many others. From world-famous acts to up-and-coming local bands, the book is filled with photos, concert posters, tickets, and other memorabilia that bring Jest’s career to life.

A blurb from Kevn Kinney, lead singer and guitarist of Drivin N Cryin: “We Had Fun and Nobody Died is a fantastic journey of a Midwest boy, his love of music, and his excitement to be part of it all.” 

Boswell Book Company will be on site to sell books. Credit, debit, and mobile pay accepted. No cash or checks.  

This event is part of the press club’s Newsmaker series, underwritten by presenting sponsor Spectrum News 1 and supporting sponsor We Energies. partners with the press club as part of its ongoing event series in Milwaukee, sponsored by UW-Milwaukee, Wisconsin Academy of Global Education and Training, ELEVEN25 at Pabst, Medical College of Wisconsin, Commercial Association of REALTORS and Spectrum.

This is a free event. Advanced registration is suggested, but not required and can be done online at
Please contact Joette Richards at the Milwaukee Press Club at with any questions or call 262-894-2224.

Special thanks to the Safe House/Newsroom Pub, home of the Milwaukee Press Club, for hosting the Newsmaker Series. Think of the Newsroom Pub for your next private party! MPC members can book a room at no charge. The Newsroom Pub has FREE wireless internet service compliments of the Safe House. 

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