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 X-15 (whose 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 club "eventually 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:

     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.

Note that this was not the same venue as Gorilla Gardens, which came along a bit later and in a different location.

[Do you have more information about this venue? Please email me.]

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