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Jon Cook papers

Identifier: 2014_071-UA

Collection includes correspondence, artwork, zines, flyers, and other materials created and compiled by Cook. This collection is part of the Louisville Underground Music Archive (LUMA) project.


  • circa 1980s-2000s


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for some materials has been transferred to the University of Louisville; please consult a reference archivist for more information.


3.075 linear feet (4 manuscript boxes, two large flats, one small flat; one long playing record box; one cassette tape box; one oversized folder)

Biographical / Historical

Jon Cook was born in Louisville, Kentucky on December 25, 1972. An fixture in the Louisville music scene, he played in many groups, including Cerebellum, Crain, DIE, Experimental Pollen, The Hideous Suction Men, Lead Pennies, Orange Telephone, Parlour, Rodan (formerly King Kid International), Spider Crutches, Substance, and Weapons. Though best remembered for his prolific musical output from the late-1980s through the 90s, Cook continued to feature, if less frequently, in different musical projects into the 2010s. In addition to being a performer and recording artist, Cook founded the record label Automatic Wreckords in 1991. Automatic remained active for several years into the mid-90s and was responsible for releasing a steady stream of music from Cook’s groups like Cerebellum, Crain, and Experimental Pollen, as well as music from his friends' groups, like Hula Hoop and King G & The J Crew.

On top of contributing to the music scene as a musician and a label head, Cook is remembered for owning and living in the “Rocket House,” a Victorian-style home located at 1221 S. Fourth St. in Old Louisville. This Louisville landmark became a crash pad, hangout spot, and practice space for many musicians and artists in the late 1980s through the mid-90s. Cook and the Rocket House both feature in the 1994 Suki Hawley-directed cult film Half-Cocked, in which Cook plays a member of the fictional band Truckstop.

Cook was also instrumental in bringing national attention to the Louisville music scene by booking out-of-town hardcore, punk, and rock groups, and by maintaining friendships and correspondence with nationally prominent rock musicians like Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi, and Jason Lowenstein of Sebadoh. On top of his many other artistic ventures, Cook was also the creator of the local zine The White Diet.

Cook died in Louisville, Kentucky on February 9, 2013.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Initial donation received 2013-09-30 from Rhonda Alonso. Donation contained correspondence, artwork, zines, flyers, and other materials.

Acc. 2017-072 gift from Cesar Padilla. Gift contained 1 CD, 1 t-shirt press, 10 cassette tapes, zines, flyers. These materials are described in this finding aid.



Jon Cook Papers
In Progress
Kevin Bailey
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752