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"Even the guy with the Misfits patch sewn on the sleeve of his hoodie seemed to be digging the Room, which could be the hippest thing shaking in the Springs," declared Denver's Westword in a 2009 club review headlined, "The Rocket Room is an oasis of cool in Colorado Springs."

Sadly, last year's oasis is this year's mirage. Rocket Room proprietors Dave and Shalonda Cantrell are heading for grainier pastures back in Tulsa, Okla., while their club has returned to the state of ghostly abandonment from whence it came.

Never the luckiest of locations, the building just off the corner of Wahsatch Avenue and Cimarron Street lay fallow for a year before the Cantrells moved in. But seemingly against all odds, the club established itself as a beloved hangout for a bevy of local musicians, loyal fans, and other folks who just like to go out for a drink (or several) without running into a "Dance with Bret Michaels" bikini after-party.

In this issue's cover story, we chronicle the Rocket Room's sometimes-troubled 3½-year trajectory, and look at what the future holds for both the Cantrells and the scene they're leaving behind. So go ahead and click here, dig out that Misfits or Hasil Adkins or Wanda Jackson record, and play it once more, for old time's sake.

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