Venue notes: Gorilla Room, Seattle
Long-departed punk/new wave club. It was located at 610 2nd Ave, near James
St. Douglas Mays, late of Seattle punk pioneers
members practiced, and sometimes lived, in the Gorilla Room basement),
notes that the area is situated
"between the business district and Pioneer Square." He adds that the
got closed down in about 1982 (money ran out and scene mania)."
Clark Humphrey, in his excellent book
LOSER (Feral House, Portland OR, 1995), arguably the definitive
document on the Seattle music scene, writes:
Note that this was not
the same venue as Gorilla Gardens, which came
along a bit later and in a different location.
Tony Chu, son of an affluent Taiwanese family,
created a band space in the back room of his Chinese restaurant on Second
Avenue near Pioneer Square, north of the Smith Tower. Chu's first booker took
a haphazard approach, with original bands some night, biker-blues and cover
bands other nights. Then Roger Husbands booked the place for a couple of
shows with the Enemy and X-15.... The full houses led Chu to make it a
full-time new wave outlet by March 15, 1980. Husbands christened it the
Gorilla Room (after the Chinese monkey-face Christmas tree lights
decorating the room).
Like almost all the places where punk, post-punk
and grunge bands would play, it was small (liquor laws and a lack of investment
capital discouraged big showcase clubs). It was a homey, raunchy, delicious
place, in various degrees of being trashed. It was adorned with plastic
plants and mismatched office-furniture chairs. The back music room began as
an all-ages space,with 21-and-overs allowed to drink in the front room.
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