Northwest Rock & Roll

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Learn HTML In a Weekend (3rd Edition)
$17.49 at
(30% off)

"I completed this book in a weekend just like the title says, and found it to have a very personal yet concise style of writing that put me at ease with the subject." -- Reader Review

Learn HTML on the Mac In a Weekend
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(30% off)

"All you really need to use this book is a text editor (like SimpleText), a browser (Explorer 4 or later or Navigator 4 and up) and a CD Rom drive." -- Reader Review

Rites of Passage : A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle
$16.95 at

"Superb Work. This is one of the few books I read in a single evening. Everyone who lived in Seattle during the 60s should find this book of interest; in fact it is so well-written that anyone who enjoys good journalism will enjoy it." -- Reader Review

Skid Road : An Informal Portrait of Seattle
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Absolutely the best book ever written on Seattle and its history. A fascinating read, with lots of great historical photos. If you read only one book on Seattle, make it this one. -- My Opinion

Wailers at the Castle (CD) 
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Listen to Dirty Robber!
"This is a pretty important album by a pretty important band, without these guys the Kingsmen would never have covered Louie Louie, the Sonics would never have formed, and in fact there might not be any Northwest music scene at all..." -- Customer Review

Wet and Wired: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Pacific Northwest
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"It's a wonderful stroll down memory lane...Seems very close to the truth, at least on the topics I'm in a position to judge." -- Reader Review

Encyclopedia of Northwest Music
$15.36 at
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"A valuable reference and resource tool for those wanting to learn more about Rock music history of the PNW, particularly if your interests are Seattle or Portland." -- Reader Review

Here Are the Sonics! (CD) 
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Listen to Psycho!
"The Sonics' debut album...a low down, trashy, classic garage rock record." -- Customer Review

The Sonics BOOM (CD) 
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Listen to The Witch!
"...another thunderous collection of garage rock fury....Unpretentious and raw, Boom is another garage rock gem." -- Customer Review

Stomp! Northwest Killers 1960-64 (CD) 
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Listen to the Frantics'Werewolf!
Groups include: The Frantics, The Adventurers, The Artesians, The Imperials, and Little Bill.

The History of Northwest Rock, Vol. 1 (CD) 
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Listen to Dave Lewis'David's Mood, Part 2!
Groups include: The Kingsmen, Don & The Goodtimes, The Counts, The Raymarks, The Beachcombers, The Bards, The Galaxies, The Sonics, Tom Thumb and the Casuals, and others.

The History of Northwest Rock, Vol. 2 (CD) 
$15.99 at

Groups include: Dave Lewis, The Frantics, Little Bill & The Bluenotes, The Checkers, The Exotics, The Adventurers, Johnny & The Velvetones, The Imperials, The Counts, The Beachcombers, The Kingsmen, and others.

History of Northwest Rock, Vol. 3 (CD) 
$15.99 at

Listen to Merryjuana!
Groups include: Crome Syrcus, Magic Fern, The Springfield Rifle, The Bards, The Bumps, Brave New World, The P.J. Phactor Jug Band, Bluebird, The Live Five, and others.

Northwest Battle of the Bands, Vol. 1 (CD) 
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(5% off)
Listen to Don & The Goodtimes' Money!
(25 tracks on this CD!)
Groups include: Don & The Goodtimes, The Sonics, The Counts, Mr. Lucky, Trolley, The Moguls, George Washington, The Live Five, The Dynamics, The New Yorkers, The Bards, The Dimensions, and others.

Louie Louie: The Very Best of the Kingsmen (CD) 
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(5% off)
Listen to Louie Louie!
(26 tracks included on this CD!)
Tracks include: Louie Louie, Money, Jolly Green Giant, Little Latin Lupe Lu, Annie Fannie, Killer Joe, Mustang Sally, Twist and Shout, Gimme Some Lovin', Tall Cool One, Long Tall Texan, Night Train, and others.

Just Like Us!: Paul Revere & The Raiders (CD) 
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Listen to Steppin' Out!
This is the Raiders' first album, released in 1965 -- a real classic! Cuts included are: Steppin' Out, I'll Be Doggone, Out of Sight, Baby Please Don't Go, I Know, Night Train, Just Like Me, Catch The Wind, Satisfaction (I Can't Get No), I'm Crying, New Orleans, Action, Ride Your Pony, Just Like Me, BFDRF Blues

The Wailers:
Livewire!!! (CD) 

$14.23 at
(5% off)

Listen to Mercy Mercy!
Collection of the best from 1965-1967 by the Northwest's most wild and influential combo.

City or US Zip:

Seattle Pop History:
Rock to Zero Dock

The KJR Super Car
The KJR Super Car, with Pat O'Day and Lan Roberts (thanks to Norm Gregory)

  • The Aqua Follies: A rather strange event that was part of Seafair for many years, featuring Busby Berkeley-ish synchronized swimming and diving, water ballet, comedy diving, and other water-born hi-jinks. It was held at a specially constructed venue, the Aqua Theater on the southeast shore of Green Lake (half of the structure is still standing, if only used as a vantage point these days for watching rowers row). For more details, see Jean Gooden's article in the Seattle Times, Follies were a BIG Seattle Deal. See here for apic.
  • Battle of the Bands: A short-lived, but peculiarly Northwest phenomenon from the mid-60's, to be credited to Pat O'Day (or possibly Lan Roberts) of KJR fame, I believe. The idea was to have two bands at an all-city dance, say the Kingsmen and the Sonics (see below), for instance, each with their own stage, and have them battle it out, alternating songs, rather than sets. The loudest band won. Also tended to break out into an all-out melee. An all-city rumble. (The different high schools tended to hate each other's guts.) So, didn't last long, unfortunately. City authorities banned the all-city dances (which were the only ones that could afford to both erect two stages and hire two feature bands).
  • The BFDs: The BFDs were a pair of rock clubs founded by Blaise Lewark back in the late 60's that played host to most of the local psychedelic rock/acid rock bands of the time, including groups such as The Daily Flash, The Magic Fern, Chrome Syrcus, Western Natural Gas, and others. The original BFD was located downtown, on the same block as an old church that later gained dubious reknown as The Monastary (no longer standing). When a second BFD was opened in West Seattle, it was christened as BFD #2, while the original was redubbed as BFD #1. Whether BFD actually stood for what the initials would seem to imply, your guess is as educated as mine.
  • The Black and Tan: An after-hours club that was located on 12th Avenue, just south of Jackson. I knew it as an R&B club back in the '60s, but earlier it was a jazz club back in the hey-day of the Jackson Street jazz scene. Ray Charles played there. Before being called the Black and Tan, it was called the Alhambra.
  • The Blue Mouse: The Blue Mouse Theatre, originally just across the street from the Music Box Theatre in downtown Seattle. There still is a Blue Mouse Theatre in Tacoma. For pics and more details, see the Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society (PSTOS) Blue Mouse Theatre page.
  • Bobo: A famous Seattle gorilla, long dead now. Much loved, and a real ham. He was actually raised by a real human family here in Seattle just as though he was their own child. When he finally got too big to handle, he moved to the Woodland Park Zoo. I believe his mother (his "human" mother) stayed in his cage for the first week or so to help him get accustomed to his new digs. At one point, the zoo introduced a female gorilla, Fifi, into his cage, hoping for happy nuptials, I presume. Anyway, Bobo threw a total fit and never did take to that strange creature -- much too hairy, one can only assume. Bobo spent almost all of his time posing and hamming it up for the kids on the other side of the glass, while almost entirely ignoring Fifi. Children who saw him are mostly now in their forties or older now. For years Bobo was displayed (stuffed) at MOHAI (The Museum of History and Industry), but was then put in storage (after his belly had been rubbed bare by generations of doting kids). Lately, however, he's been put back on display, with the bald spot on his tummy repaired. Welcome back, Bobo!!!
  • The Boys from Tacoma: The Fabulous Wailers, who all went to Stadium High in Tacoma.
  • Bozo the Clown: Jerry Sando, who played Bozo the Clown, Myrtle Mopup, and other characters on Stan Boreson's KING's Klubhouse. He was also active in local theatre, having acted in roles since he was 8, was the point person for the Seattle Repertory, and assistant director at Seattle's Cirque Theatre. He died at age 71 on September 12, 2005. For more information, see Jerry Sando, 71, actor, played Bozo the Clown on TV in the Seattle P-I.
  • Brakeman Bill: Host of a kid's show in the 50's and early 60's, along with his hand puppet, Crazy Donkey. The show you watched if you got tired of Stan Boreson, J.P. Patches, or Captain Puget.
  • The Bubbleator: One of the wackier attractions of, and left-overs from, the Seattle Worlds Fair. An elevator in the form of a large clear plastic bubble, it was located in the Food Circus and for many years afterwards ferried visitors from the main floor to the mezzanine above. They got rid of it some years back, a bonehead move that rivals selling off the Kalakala to be used as a salmon cannery. I've heard from a couple of readers that the Bubbleator is currently located in someone's front yard in Redondo, where it is being used as a greenhouse. For a picture of the Bubbleator in its World's Fair heyday, see Heidi Hansen'sSeattle World's Fair Page.
  • Captain Puget: Don McCune, another kid's show host from the 50's and early 60's. Went more in for sea shanties and outdoor film clips, rather than wacky cartoons and other various insanities that were regular fare on the other kid's shows. Ivar Haglund, of Ivar's Clams fame, besides being a sponsor, used to come on the show and sing the song "Acres of Clams" and other ditties. Don McCune was later well-known for his Exploration Northwest TV series, as well as for his five-episode mini-series on the Klondike Gold Rush. You can see a picture of Captain Puget at the Seattle Times' TV's Magical Early Days. For lots more on Don McCune, see The Don McCune Library: Preserving Our Northwest Heritage, thanks to the great efforts of his widow, Linda McCune -- you'll find a bio, pictures, and other info, plus recordings and videos you can purchase. Linda McCune actually started out as a 12-year old fan of Captain Puget, and then grew up and married the guy!
  • The Castle: The Spanish Castle Ballroom, along with Parker's, one of the two most significant NW rock venues from the early to mid 60's. Immortalized in the Jimi Hendrix tune, Spanish Castle Magic. It was located near the corner of Des Moines Way and Highway 99, but is no longer there (there's a gas station there now).
  • The Coliseum: Built in 1915, The Coliseum Theatre was one of Seattle's longest surviving movie theatres and probably the gem of the bunch, located at Fifth and Pike. Back in the 60s, I saw Dr. Strangelove there, from the top balcony. It was great! It was converted to a Banana Republic store in the mid-90's, but the terra cotta exterior was restored, and the sloped theatre floor, the proscenium, and the entire balcony were preserved -- if an "angel" should ever appear (calling Paul Allen), it could be restored to its original glory as a theatre. For pics and more details, see the Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society (PSTOS) Coliseum Theatre page.
  • Crazy Donkey: Brakeman Bill's hand puppet sidekick, from the Brakeman Bill kids TV show back in the 50's.
  • The Daily Flash: The Northwest's first psychedelic acid rock band. See this Daily Flash site for a good rundown.
  • The Dipper: The Big Dipper, a big roller coaster that was at Playland, the Northend amusement park that was torn down in 1960. For here for a pic. The only surviving big roller coaster in the area is at the Puyallup Fair Grounds.
  • Eagles: Eagles Auditorium (also called the Eagles Hippodrome). During the acid rock era, was the main rock venue, Seattle's Filmore. The place where the first light show in Seattle was put on (by the Union Light Company, I believe). Home of the Airport Strobe, which was a strobe light that could be seen from 10,000 feet. Now, that was a strobe light! (A few friends and I had our own light show, the Aurora Lights, back then--we used to rent the Airport Strobe for our shows if it was available. At one show, in Bellingham, the Jefferson Airplane demanded we turn the thing off--they couldn't play with it on, it was that strong.) The pinacle event at Eagles was when The Grateful Dead and Fat Jack had their own personal "battle of the bands," although just alternating sets, not songs. The Dead had come out and played a rather dispirited opening set. (I had originally thought this was because they probably figured the Seattle crowd, being just a bunch of hicks, wouldn't know the difference, which was not an uncommon attitude for bands touring through Seattle. Actually, I've been told that the Dead, after playing all afternoon for free on a flatbed truck at Golden Gardens, arrived at Eagles that night to find, despite it being specified in their contract, that no organ was provided. Pigpen was pissed, in other words. Anyway, the missing organ undoubtedly contributed to the Dead's first set not being their absolute best. An organ was finally rustled up, however, in time for their second set.) After the Dead's somewhat flat first set, Fat Jack, second on the bill, then came out and blew the roof off the place. It was like they strapped the audience to a rocket and shot them into outer space. They were that good. Undoubtedly the best set they had ever performed. They made the Dead sound like they were the hick local band. When the Dead came back on stage for their second set (yes, feature bands back then played two sets), they were noticeably nervous. You could see the doubt in their eyes, read the question, "Who are those guys?", in their minds, perhaps forgetting, or not knowing, that the Northwest has a very rich rock-n-roll history. Anyway, the Dead, responding to the challenge, played their hearts out, threw out an absolutely amazing set, but still at best only managed to come up even with Fat Jack, if that. The Eagles Building, sort of nub up against the Convention Center, has managed to escape the wrecking ball, living on as home to A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) and a bevy of upscale apartments.
  • The Eiger: The Eigerwand, a coffee house on the Ave back in the 60's, was originally founded by Eric Bjornstad and Jim Walcott as a hangout for mountain climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts. The climbers and hikers were soon outnumbered by artists, poets, minstrels, folk singers, beats, fringies, and the like, who were more in pursuit of adventure of the indoor ilk. In 1965, the Eiger moved one block south, directly across the street from the P House, into the location previously occupied by the Quequeeg coffee house, which moved across the University Bridge to become the Llanngaelhyn. The Fringie Wall, a low-slung wall in front of the Adams Forner Funeral Parlor, which was a popular hang-out for local fringies, thus the name, was located directly north of the Eiger.
  • The Exit: The Last Exit on Brooklyn, was a historic coffee house dating back to the late 60's, although it came along a bit later (but lasted much longer) than the other U District coffee houses. Not to be confused with its namesake, The Last Exit to Brooklyn, a notorious 60's novel by Hugh Selby Jr. It was located for years on Brooklyn (of course) in the District, just south of 40th and for years was the main hangout for the Seattle area's chess players. The U, however, which owned the building, finally squeezed the Exit out, after which the Exit relocated to a much smaller location on the upper Ave -- I've been told, however, that the Exit is now definitively no more, having closed its doors at the end of 1999. Too bad (really).
  • First Avenue: First Avenue is, of course, still around, but has been heavily gentrified with upscale hotels and condos. The old "First Avenue" was an entirely different sort of place, one of the most wild-and-wooly streets anywhere, featuring peep show parlours, girlie magazine stands, pawn shops, surplus stores, derelict bars, and flop houses from one end of the ave to the other. Not the kind of street you took your girlfriend, sister, or mother to, in other words. Jack London, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg all flopped there at one time or another. A few remnants of the old "First Avenue" still survive, for awhile anyway.
  • Frat Rock: The raunchy garage band sound pioneered by the Sonics and the Kingsmen, with "Louie, Louie" as the mainstay and required slur-along at countless frat house drunken orgies over the years.
  • Fresh Air: A venue up on Capitol Hill back in the mid-to-late '70s that tended to feature blues and folk acts. I saw Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee there. It was located on the west side of Broadway, a half block from Seattle Central Community College to the north and the Comet Tavern to the east. It later became a game emporium. It is now a place called Neighbors.
  • Fringie: A term predating "hippie" hereabouts that referred to the denizens who populated and hung out on the Ave in the District in the 60's. I don't believe that the term originally referred to long hair. I've heard two theories. The first was that it was a backhand slight intended to brand its targets as a fringe element; the second, which I personally favor and which I first heard back in the 60s, was that the term was an allusion to the British TV show, Beyond the Fringe, which had been quite popular here. The term may, in fact, have initially originated as a label for fans of Beyond the Fringe, but then later became generally applied to anyone who was perceived as being a non-conformist. The term remained pretty much a local phenomenon, I believe, and was later largely superceded by a term, "hippy," which was imported from San Francisco. Having sat on the Fringie Wall numerous times and hung out at the Queequeg, Eiger, P House, Edge, and Llahngaelhyn coffee houses, I'll always be partial to the the term "fringie."
  • The Fringie Wall: A low-slung wall, located in front of the Adams Forkner Funeral Parlor on the Ave, directly north of the Eigerwand coffee house, which became a favorite sitting and hang-out spot for the local fringies (thus the name). The cops used to come by routinely checking IDs, looking for underage teens who were breaking the curfew. The funeral parlor ended up embedding iron spikes in the top of the wall to keep anybody from sitting on it. That was the end of the Fringie Wall (after that it was just another wall). (In his excellent book, Rites of Passage, Walt Crowley actually gets this wrong, referring to the Fringie Wall as the "Hippy Wall," obviously confusing it with Hippy Hill, although to be fair, it may have been called the Hippy Wall by some--the original name and the name I always heard used was the Fringie Wall, however.)
    Find Billy Holiday Posters at
  • Gertrude: J.P. Patches' clown sidekick (girlfriend?) on his TV show from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Played by Bob Newman.
  • The Granada: The Granada Theatre in West Seattle. During the 1960's and 70's, a Wurlitzer was installed (originally from the New Liberty Theatre in Portland) and the Granada Organ Loft Club hosted the showing of silent films at the theatre, with organ accompaniment. The club was disbanded in 1974 and the parts of the organ were dispersed. For a picture of and other details about the Granada, see the Puget Sound Pipeline Online's Granada (Egyptian) Theatre page.
  • The Happening: A music venue kitty-corner from the entrance to the Market back in the late '60s and early '70s. Kitty-corner from the Market on First. I saw Junior Wells there. A reader mentioned they saw Buffalo Springfield there. It is now The Showbox (which I suspect may have been its original name, dating back to 1939).
  • Happy Jack: Sheriff Tex's sidekick, played by Jack Riley. Sheriff Tex was a children's show on King TV back in the '50s. Jack Riley was also known as the founder and long-time owner of the Aqua Barn. He died recently, at age 77, of a heart attack.
  • The Helix: This was the main hippy rag around here back in the late 60's. Both Walt Crowley and Paul Dorpat were heavily involved with it. Many a local fringie made enough spare coins hawking the Helix to help keep the rent paid (of course, rent was cheap, cheap back then).
  • The Hip: The Palace Hippodrome, a vaudeville theater that was at Second and Spring back in the 20s and 30s. For a pic of the Hip's stage, see the PSTOS's Palace Hippodrome page (just click the pic to see the blow-up).
  • Hippy Hill: An open grassy area, slightly inclined, at the 15th Avenue N. and N. 42nd St. entrance to the U Dub campus. It was a primary hang-out area back in the late 60's and early 70's particularly favored by the hippies (and fringies) of those times, as the name itself implies. Was noted for the haze of smoke that always hung over it--you could get high just walking by. It would seem, however, that Hippy Hill's days are numbered, at least in its present conformation: a new Law School is planned for the campus which will straddle at least part of Hippy Hill. As far as I know nobody really calls this piece of real estate (hardly a "hill") Hippy Hill anymore--but although the "hippies" have long gone on to other pastures (but hardly "greener" pastures), I'm sure there are plenty who still fondly remember those lazy, o so hazy, days of summer. There is also a Hippy Hill in San Fransisco, dating back to the Haight-Ashbury days -- Seattle's Hippy Hill very likely gained its name from there. Click for a very interesting account, by an ex-UW campus policeman, of a certain incident involving plain-clothes Seattle Police vigilantes and protesters on Hippy Hill (this sort of incident wasn't "news" to the regular denizens of the Ave, by the way).
  • The House of Entertainment: A music club downtown back in the 60's that primarily featured black R&B groups. I went there a few times with some black friends of mine -- super cool place.
  • The Id: The Id Bookstore, a used bookstore that was located just off the Ave in the early 70s. Later, it became the Magus Bookstore.
  • The Jackson Street Scene: From the 20's through the 50's, was Seattle main jazz scene, with at one time some 34 clubs (and after-hours clubs) on or near Jackson between 1st and 14th Avenues. Ernestine Anderson, Ray Charles, and Quincy Jones all cut their first musical teeth there. Ernestine Anderson's father actually decided to move to Seattle (in 1944) because he'd heard Seattle was a quiet town without any night-life (he obviously hadn't heard of the Jackson Street scene) and wanted to discourage the 12-year old Ernestine's desire for a singing career (she eventually made the cover of Time magazine, in 1958). Quincy Jones' parents settled in Seattle in 1947. Ray Charles arrived in 1948 on a Trailways bus from Tampa, Florida, when he was 17 years old. Another notable Seattle jazz figure who got his start in the Jackson Street scene was Floyd Standifer. Later, two other notable future Seattle jazz figures were to pick up and carry forward the dying embers of the scene -- Larry Coryell and Kenny Gorelick (a.k.a. Kenny G).


    Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle by Paul De Barros and Eduardo Calderon (Photographer) / Paperback / Published 1993. Price: $16.06 (30% discount) at This is a truly fascinating book!

  • The Kingsmen: One of the key groups that make up the Northwest Sound, best known for their frat-rock classic, Louie Louie.
  • KJR: KJR is still around, of course, with KJR-FM now an "oldies" station. In the real old days (back in the late 50's to late 60's, however, KJR was the quintessential Northwest rock station. Among teens, everyonelistened to KJR. KJR was notable for not only playing national bands, but local groups (such as the Wailers and the Sonics, for instance) as well, in many ways being the prime moving force behind the establishment of the Northwest Sound. For some old KJR pics and other interesting stuff, see Lan Roberts' Home Page.Also, don't miss Norm Gregory's page, which has lots of good stuff.
  • The Kokusai: For many years, the main Japanese movie theater in Seattle, located down in the International District. They would occassionally show an Akira Kurosawa film or other quality Japanese cinematic work (I waw RedbeardYojimbo, and Sanjuro there), but they also showed much more hokey fare (the type that undoubtedly drove Kurosawa out of Japan), although some of it was pretty fun. The Kokusai Theater collapsed in February of 1997.
  • KOL: The alternate (although not necessarily "alternative") rock station. What you listened to if you got sick and tired of KJR. Lan Roberts, Robert O. Smith, Buzz Barr, and Burl Barer were some of the DJs there. The frequency is still operating, as KMPS, but the call letters aren't.
  • KRAB: KRAB Radio, the original listener-supported, non-commercial FM radio station around here, which featured a polyglot program list of unrivalled diversity, everything from Bantu drum beats to Armenian polkas (just kidding, but you get the idea). The disappearance of KRAB is a subject still likely to wrankle--its position on the radio band, considered too valuable a commercial commodity for such a non-commercial station, was sold off with the plan in mind that KRAB would resurface on a less expensive part of the dial. Never happened though, with much acrimony focused on those behind the sale. I believe, however, that the Jack Straw Foundation (which sold KRAB) has made an arrangement to share half-time with one of the local high school stations, but I don't think it can be heard too much further beyond a ten or twenty block radius. KRAB was originally founded by Lorenzo Milam in 1962, after he'd volunteered at the original community radio station, KPFA-FM in Berkeley, for a year and a half starting in 1958 -- Milam, deeply influenced by the "community radio" vision of Lew Hill, went on, like a Johnny Appleseed for freeform radio, to found several other noncommercial (listener-supported) stations in other cities -- KBOO-FM (Portland, Oregon), KTAO-FM (Los Gatos, California), KCHU-FM (Dallas, Texas), and KDNA-FM (St. Louis, Missouri). KBOO-FM in Portland, for one, is still very much a going concern. All in all, Milam had a hand in starting about 40 community radio stations around the country. The slew of National Public Radio stations that now exist have a surface resemblance to freeform/community radio, to the degree that they are listener-supported (although also government-funded), but are also really quite different. They certainly don't come close to matching the amazing depth and breadth of KRAB's program and play list. For Milam's less than complimentary comments on NPR and CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting), see Radio Pioneer Milam on CPB, NPR. For more info, see The History of Public Television. For another interesting slant, seeThe Care & Feeding of Community Radio. For an interesting counter-perspective, see The Flaw in Community Radio: Captive Agent of the Left.
  • KTW: The first AM station in Seattle to go all-talk, way back in the early 70's. Didn't last long, but it was memorable while it lasted. Among those who got their start at KTW were Wayne CodyGreg Palmer, andJohn Dayl.
  • KYAC: KYAC-AM. Right up there with KRAB on Seattle's list of much-missed dead radio stations. Starting in 1964, KYAC was Seattle's "black" radio station, playing Jazz, R&B, Soul, and Funk tunes. It went silent in 1981.
  • The Llahngaelhyn: The Llahngaelhyn Coffeehouse, which for a couple years in the middle-60's featured live jazz and folk music. They held a two-day reunion last year which as a real blast. To find out more, visitThe Llahngaelhyn Coffeehouse home page.
  • Lake Hills: An area on the Eastside, although in the old days referred to the Lake Hills Roller Rink that doubled as a teen dance hall. Saw the Lovin' Spoonful there in 1966, along with a rather dispirited crowd that would have much preferred the Sonics. I liked them, though.
  • Lil Green Thing With a Picture of a Duck on It: A legendary radio promo perpetrated by Lan Roberts when he was at KJR back in 1964. It started out as a joke, with Roberts telling his listeners that anyone sending him a letter would get a "Lil green thing with a picture of a duck on it" in return. In the next two days he got 3000 letters requesting the thing. Without a single "lil green thing" on hand, Roberts had to scramble, buying a block of green cloth, cutting it into little squares, and then stamping it with a picture of a duck (with "Lil Green Thing" also stamped on it) to fulfill his promise to his listeners. To see a picture of an actual "Lil Green Thing With a Picture of a Duck on It," see Lan Roberts' web site. Dave Lewis (with Joe Johansen) later recorded an instrumental, the title of which, "Little Green Thing," was very likely inspired by Lan Roberts' promo. Shortly after pressing the song, Dave Lewis appeared on Lan Roberts' radio show with "Little Green Thing" in hand and it was played on the air for the very first time, and later went on to become a NW hit. Roberts, of course, when "Little Green Thing" was played on the air for the first time, gave Lewis a Lil Green Thing With a Picture of a Duck on It. The instrumental, itself, went on to become a Northwest rock standard played by just about any NW group featuring a Hammond organ (which was just about all of them).
  • Louie Louie: The quintessential Northwest rock 'n roll song. Originally an R & B tune written and recorded by Richard Berry, a southern California doo-wopper, it was first recorded in the Northwest by Rockin' Robin Roberts and the Wailers. It was the Kingsmen, however, that made it a national hit. For more about Louie Louie, check out the Louie Report.
  • Lux Sit: Short for Lux Sit & Dance. During the acid rock era, Lux Sit was the principal light show company, doing many shows at Eagle's and other venues, before the light show business was largely automated (via Retinal Circus at Eagle's for instance). I helped run a light show, the Aurora Lights, back in those days and we used to rent what was called "the airport strobe" from Lux Sit for our own shows. The airport strobe was made from a real airport strobe light that could be seen from 35,000 feet. It was one mother of a strobe light. When the Jefferson Airplane played at Carver Gym up in Bellingham, we had the airport strobe there, but the Airplane demanded we turn it off because they couldn't play their instruments while it was on -- I don't think they had any airport strobes (just regular strobes) down in S.F., so they just weren't used to its mind-blowing intensity, I suppose. The NW bands, of course, were all pretty much conditioned to it. Its affect on the unprepared was highly comical, however -- it completely discombobulated them. See also Retina Circus.
  • The Monastery: The Monastery recently met the wrecking ball, so it is no more, which is too bad because, if not for its somewhat disreputable past, it might have survived as a historic landmark. The Monastery, an old wooden church building, located on Boren and Olive (I think), had been a gay disco joint for quite a few years, and had generally been considered a public nuisance by many. I guy who tended bar at the Gaslight back when Peggy was trying to run out its old clientele (before converting it to the Cantebury), got arrested at the Monastery for pandering boys and got sent up the river (the Columbia River to Walla Walla) for a good ol' stretch. Recently, the place had been a day care center. For an article on the demolition of the Monastery, see The Seattle Times' Landmark comes tumbling down.
  • The Music Box: The Music Box Theatre, one of the classic old theatre's that used to be in downtown Seattle. It bit the dust in 1987.
  • Nightmare Theater: A movie slot on KIRO-TV on Friday nights that featured horror films. It was hosted by a guy called the Count who was made up to look like Dracula, emerging out of a creaking coffin at the start of the intro.
  • No-Mo: Short for No-Mo-Shun, Stan Boreson's pet basset hound, a fixture (literally) on King's Klubhouse. "No-Mo-Shun" is a take-off on the Miss Slo-Mo-Shun, a famous hydroplane hereabouts.
  • The Northwest Sound: Refers to the music emanating from the Northwest (Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland) in the late 50's and early 60's, featuring groups such as the Fabulous Wailers (first with Rockin Robin Roberts, then later with Gail Harris, as their lead singer), Jimmy Hanna and the Dynamics (with Larry Coryell on the guitar), The Viceroys, The Kingsmen (of "Louie, Louie" fame), Don and the Good Times, The Frantics, The Ventures, The Dave Lewis Trio, Little Bill and the Bluenotes, and The Sonics. Another notable group, history-wise, was Cold, Bold, and Together, an R&B band that was an all-black group except for a white kid playing the sax (Kenny Gorelick, a.k.a Kenny G). One of the founding members of the Frantics was Jim Manolides, a fellow Lincoln alum, who later founded an art gallery in Pioneer Square. Other less known, but by no means entirely forgotten bands: Tiny Tony and the Statics, Little Dickie and the Throbs, Mr. Clean and the Cleansers, the El-Caminos, The Counts, The Regents, The Imperials, The Rhythmics, The Sensations, The Bootmen, The Marksmen, The Marshans, The Caravans, The Galaxies, The Noblemen, The Bards, The Artesians, The Raymarks, Mr. Lucky and the Gamblers, and Merrilee and Her Men (before she changed the name of the group to Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts). Anyway, thanks to Pat O'Day, while the rest of the country was listening to total pap such as Frankie Avalon, Fabian, and Bobby Rydell, kids in the Northwest were listening to the original hard-rocking "garage band" sound. Apparently the Northwest Sound was also a hit in England, where some guys named John, Paul, and George picked up on many of its riffs (with Ringo mostly just grooving along for the ride). For an excellent audio retrospective of the Northwest Sound, check out RadioEMP's Northwest Rock show and listen to full cuts of the Silhouettes, the Frantics, the Wailers, Dave Lewis, the Ventures, the Dynamics, the Viceroys, the Sonics, the Raiders, and more.
  • The Orpheum: Built in 1927, the Orpheum Theatre, located at Westlake and Stewart, was one of Seattle's most notable theatres. It was torn down in 1967 and replaced by the Westin Hotel. For pics and more details, see the Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society (PSTOS) Orpheum Theatre page.
  • The P House: The Pamir House, one of the coffee houses on the Ave back in the 60s, noted for the defaced sign on its side wall reading "Post no balls." Others were the Queequeg, the Eigerwand ("the Eiger"), the Llahngaelhyn, and the Edge.
  • The Palomar: A vaudeville house, The Palomar Theatre, originally called the Pantages Theatre, that was located at Third and University. It was renamed the Palomar when it was taken over by the Danz Brothers. It was later called the Mayfair and the Rex, before it was finally torn down in 1965 and replaced by the Post Office parking garage. For a pic, see the Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society (PSTOS) Pantages (Palomar) Theatre page. The Pantages (later Palomar) Theatre actually played a largely unknown role in Seattle's later musical history. In 1911, Nora and Ross Hendrix, vaudeville performers and the grandparents of Jimi Hendrix, settled in Seattle after being stranded by a traveling show that went belly up.
  • The Pantages: The Pantages Theatre, Seattle's original vaudeville house and the hub of probably the largest (and some claim the first) vaudeville circuit in the country in the early decades of the 20th century. There were actually two Pantages Theatres, with the first closing in 1911 when the second Pantages Theatre opened (later to be renamed The Palomar). For a pic, see the Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society (PSTOS)Pantages Theatre page. For a story about Alexander Pantages, see Murray's People: Alexander Pantages.
  • Parker's: Parker's is still around, but billed now as a "sports bar and casino." In its heyday back in the early to mid-60's it was the premier venue for vintage Northwest rock-n-roll, featuring bands the like of the Wailers, the Sonics, the Viceroys, the Dynamics, and many others. Parker's went out of fashion about the same time as Acid Rock took flight. Instead of the Wailers at Parker's, the hot thing was suddenly the Daily Flash at the B.F.D. or Eagles. (Interestingly enough, though, the Dynamics and the Daily Flash had the same drummer, Ron Woods.) In the early 70's they even tried changing the name of the place, to The Aquarius, to try to appeal to the acid rock crowd.
  • Patches' Pals: Viewers of the old J.P. Patches kid's show from the 50's through 70's. Scratch a Northwesterner, in other words, and you're liable to find a Patches' Pal. The J.P. Patches character was a clown that lived in a shack at the City Dump (only in Seattle). See Interbay above. Check out the J.P. Patches web page from Attic Studios for some pictures of J.P. You can also see an animated GIF of J.P. getting it in the face with a pie at The offbeat (a.k.a. weird) Tour of Seattle. Actually, I managed to see the very, very first J. P. Patches show (pretending I was sick, playing hookie from school). I believe that the Patches' Pals designation didn't come along until a couple years later, by which time I was already a budding teen (Patches' Pals being largely pre-teens).
  • The Penthouse: Charlie Puzzo's Penthouse, a jazz club down by Pioneer Square back in the 50s and 60s. I was too young to get in back then, but it was the place to go then if you wanted to hear the headliners. A buddy of mine used to get dressed up in a suit and get in, though. John Coltrane's "Live in Seattle" album was recorded there. Other jazz clubs from that time were Pete's Poopdeck, the Blue Banjo, and the Vault. The Vault later become a rock club. For a memory of the Penthouse, see Memoirs of a Working Musician by Lon Price.
  • Pete's Poopdeck: A club that was located down by the waterfront, where you could sit on appleboxes, drink beer, and listen to great jazz.
  • The Piano Drop: A one-day affair held on April 28, 1968, which featured music by Country Joe and the Fish and other bands, and a piano dropped from a helicopter. See this link for a description of the event and a pic of the piano, post-drop, from the site.
  • Playland: An amusement park in the Northend that was torn down in 1960. Was located at the south end of Bitter Lake, just off Aurora, and had a large roller coaster, the Dipper.
  • The Portage: Referred to a channel that connected the waters of Lake Washington's Union Bay to Lake Union's Portage Bay before the creation of the Ship Canal's Mountlake Cut (in 1916). Finished in 1886, it was really more of a big ditch, used to float logs between the two lakes from east to west. I'm not sure if the name, "The Portage," originates from Portage Bay, or the other way around. If the other way around, then it is logical to assume that the stretch of land referred to had previously been used as a "portage" between the two lakes, prior to the ditch being dug.
  • Puss and Books: A book store on the Ave back in the 60s. Notable for the several fat lazy cats that populated the place. I've been told the owner was a Mrs. Kutz.
    Find Van Gogh, Degas, and Cezanne Art Prints
  • The Raiders: Paul Revere and the Raiders, not a Seattle band (from Portland), but definitely part of the overall Northwest musical heritage and one of the exponents of the Northwest Sound, as well. See The Cause and Effects of Early Raiders on Northwest Musicians and Friends by Sam Carlson for more info.
  • The Retina Circus: Was the light show at Eagles back in the late-'60s and early '70s. It was more of an automated show than was the case with many of the earlier light show companies, and thus a little more predictable, less quirky. Or maybe I just saw the darn thing way too many times... See also Lux Sit.
  • The Ridgemont: The Ridgemont Theater, which was located up on Phinney Ridge on Greenwood. During my formative years, it was Seattle's "art house" and the only place you could see a Bergman, Fellini, Kurosawa, Goddard, Antonioni or other "new wave" film. The seats were cramped, you had to look between heads to see the screen (I always came out of there with a neck ache), but my fondest movie memories are still of that place (except perhaps for the D & R and Aberdeen Theaters down in Aberdeen when I was a kid). Jim Selvidge, who managed the Ridgemont, booked two different double-bills a week, so you could see four foreign flicks a week, if you wanted. Definitely part of what made Seattle really "cool." More recently, the Ridgemont was used as a rehearsal space for the also now defunct Bathhouse Theatre. There was at one point a proposal afoot to revive the Ridgemont as a performing arts theater, but nothing came of it. That the theater had no parking probably torpedoed any real chances of a revival. The Ridgemont was torn down in October of 2001. Click the link to see pictures of the Ridgemont.
  • The Rivoli: For many years, Seattle's main or only burlesque theater, located at First and Madison, until it was torn down in the 70's (to be replaced by the Federal Building). Originally named The State Theatre. I never saw it in its burlesque hey-day, but did catch it once in its last days when some guy friends and I took another buddy there, as kind of a "stag party" outing, before he got hitched. It was pretty seedy.
  • RKCNDY: Pronounced "rock candy." A music club that was located at 1812 Yale Ave., but closed in 1999. the building has since been demolished.
  • The Seattle Sound: A term coined to denote the participants in the Seattle "Grunge" music scene in the late 1980's and after, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Green River, Alice in Chains, Mudhoney, The Melvins, Mother Love Bone, Hole, The Screaming Trees, and other such groups. There is even a group called The Seattle Sound. Not to be confused with the Northwest Sound. There is a line of antecedence, however, that connects the Seattle Sound bands with the Northwest Sound bands, primarily through The Sonics, whose hard-driving garage music sound is often considered to be a precursor to both Punk and Grunge music. Many of the Grunge musicians, of course, undoubtedly had parents with LPs by The Sonics, The Wailers, The Kingsmen, The Viceroys, Paul Revere & The Raiders, and other Northwest Sound groups in their record collections.
  • Shelly's Leg: Seattle's first gay disco dance club, which was located at the foot of Madison, just up from the Viaduct from 1973 to 1978, when it was padlocked by the IRS for back taxes. Shelly's Leg was certainly one of the first, and possibly the very first, openly gay music/dance clubs to be opened in Seattle. It became so popular, however, that it started attracting almost as many straights as gays--they eventually had to post a sign to remind people that the place was a gay club. The name originated from one of the original owners, Shelly Bauman, having gained the money to invest in the club from a judgment she had received for having lost her leg due to a misfired cannon at a Bastille Day celebration in Pioneer Square. For more details, see Erik Lacitis' story in the Seattle Times, Beloved Seattle: Readers share stories of places we should remember.
  • Sheriff Tex: The very first kid's TV show in Seattle, hosted by Texas Jim Lewis on KING-TV, starting in 1953 and ending in 1957. Texas Jim Lewis actually had a long show business career prior to playing Sheriff Tex, having been a popular performer of Western Swing music in the 1930's and 40's. Bob Wills once wanted to join his band, Duke Ellington sat in and listened when he and his band (The Lonestar Cowboys) auditioned for a booking agency in New York, and Spike Jones was inspired by Texas Jim's "Hootenany" musical contraption (composed of two washboards, and various bells, horns, and other noisemakers), with Texas Jim even giving Spike Jones his first horn, and he performed frequently on the Fred Allen radio show. While touring around the country in 1950, Texas Jim ended up in Seattle where he got a job playing music on KIRO radio. A TV program, Rainier Ranch, followed on KING-TV, followed shortly by Sheriff Tex's Safety Junction. On the show, Sheriff Tex introduced cartoons and western movies, did rope tricks, sang songs, performed Bosco and Wonder Bread commercials, and admonished kids to think "Safety First!," all live. Texas Jim died in Seattle at the age of 90. For much more info, see Dennis Flannigans "Sheriff Tex"/Texas Jim Lewis page. See also Finding a home among the migrants, mavericks, and mutants of the Pacific Northwest by Tom Robbins for an interesting Sherrif Tex anecdote (although he got it wrong about Sheriff Tex once having been a real sheriff). See also the listing above for Happy Jack, Sheriff Tex's sidekick.
  • The Sky Ride: A gondolla ride left over from the World's Fair that traversed the Seattle Center grounds, passing right over the open grass area north of the Fountain. They got rid of it, to make room for the Bagley Wright Theater, I believe, which is now located where the western terminus of the Sky Ride once was. Actually, the Sky Ride still exists--you can now ride it at the Puyallup fair grounds.
  • Sky River: The Sky River Rock Festival, the Northwest version of Woodstock, and supposedly the first outdoor rock festival anywhere. There were actually a number of Sky Rivers, with the original Sky River held up by the Skykomish River (thus "Sky River") near Sultan (north of Duvall) on Labor Day weekend in '68 (a full year before Woodstock). The full name for the event was The Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair. The second, down by Tenino, was in '69. A third Sky River was held down by Washougal in '70, although it lacked the headliner acts of the first two. I've also heard there was a fourth held over on the Peninsula somewhere in '71, but if so, it was pretty much a fizzle. Anyway, the first three Sky Rivers, at least, were all-weekend, bring plenty of acid, take your clothes off, get down and boogie affairs. A similar 3-day affair, the Seattle Pop Festival, staged by Boyd Grafmyre and featuring many name bands (The Doors, The Youngbloods, Chicago, to name just a few), was held at Woodinville in 1969. Those were the days. (The authorities have been cracking down ever since.) 
    original Sky River poster
    The original Sky River poster!!!!
    Groups1 - Groups2 - Groups3
    (thanks to Travis Smith)
    Click the image on the right to see the original Sky River poster. Click the "Groups" links to see detailed images of the listings of groups and performers on the poster. You can also see Walt Crowley's Sky River poster at, which was actually an insert from the Helix, but not the original poster, as well as other pics from and a description of the '68 Sky River. See the Sky River II poster (also from the Helix, I believe), as well as other pics from and a description of the '69 Sky River. Click here for some great Sky River pics by Earl Crabb, aka The Great Humbead, primarily from the '69 Sky River at Tenino, that I found on the Web (don't miss the pics of the "hot dog vendor"). For a page on the Washougal Sky River, see SKY RIVER ROCK FESTIVAL AND LIGHTER THAN AIR FAIR III. For an article that was published on Sky River in Rolling Stone, see Sky River Rock Groove (10/12/68).
  • The Sonics: The quintessential mid-60's Northwest rock band. Considered by some to have been a major Grunge precursor. Victor in many a Battle of the Bands. Not to be confused with the basketball team. Be sure to check out the ULTIMATE SONICS web page at Musicscene for some background on how the Sonics got started, as well as for WAV and AIFF excerpts from several of their hits, including The WitchPsycho, and Strychnine.
  • Sunny Jim: A now gone local brand of peanut butter, most notable for the face of a beaming blonde boy plastered on its label. "Sunny Jim" was actually a real person, the son of the owner of the company, I believe. Back in the '60's I actually knew someone who said that he knew Sunny Jim, and claimed that he'd become a hippy, which if true, is a delightful irony. I've also been told, however, that he died in a sledding accident as a child (apparently an apochryphal tale). The old Sunny Jim factory is still around, south from the Rainier Brewery (now Tully Brewery) on Airport Way South, although a lot of it burned down a couple years ago (click here for the full story).

    Someone who was a childhood friend of his e-mailed me that Sunny Jim was a friend of his -- his name was Howard Robinson (also called "Howie") and he attended Roosevelt High School in 1966-68. He worked at Leo's Fountain Cafe (owned by Leo Cruise, father of the person who e-mailed me) at 45th and University Way for a couple of years back in those days. Apparently he did become involved in the Ave scene, acting as MC for Juggernaut, a local rock band, while being announced as "Sunny Jim." He also worked as a child actor, touring the country in the musical, Music Man, which was likely what led to his getting the "Sunny Jim" modeling job.

  • The Target: The Target Ballroom, a main rock music venue back in the '60s, located in Burien. Was one of the main stops on the local rock circuit, along with the Castle, Parker's, Lake Hills Roller Rink, etc. Over at the Regents' site, they've got two different supposed pictures of the Target Ballroom. Do you know which one is the right one?
  • The Trianon: The Trianon Ballroom, located at Third and Wall in the Regrade. It was Seattle's main swing-era jazz venue back in the 40s, with all of the big names playing there (Goodman, Dorsey, Ellington, and others). It made it well into the late 80's (or thereabouts), when it was remodeled into offices. For more info and some pics, see the Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society's (PSTOS) Trianon Ballroom page.
  • Tusko: An elephant at the Woodland Park Zoo that died in 1933. At seven and a half tons, Tusko was touted as the largest elephant in the world.
  • The Vault: A music and dance club located on Second Avenue downtown started by Ron Peirce, a local sax/reed player, sometime in the mid-60's. It was located in a basement that had originally been a bank -- the vault doors and room were still extant, thus the name of the club. Musicians, I've been told, used the vault room as a break room. Later, I believe, the Vault became a disco. These days I believe that a fitness club is located there.

Click for an interior shotof the Vault (pics thanks toDenny Maloy ).

  • The Wailers: Also known as the Fabulous Wailers. Arguably the band that defined the Northwest Sound, originally with Rockin' Robin Roberts, and then later Gail Harris, as their lead singer. Read all about them atthe Fabulous Wailers site -- click "Audio clips" in the sidebar to listen to clips of the Wailers.


  • The Wall: The low wall in front of Baskins-Robbins on Broadway which was a principal meeting place and hang-out spot for teens, goths, and others with nothing better to do. To discourage sitters, apparently, a wrought-iron fence was erected along its top, and so the place became somewhat disused. (Seems I've seen kids sitting along its base though, although that might run afoul of Seattle's orginance against sitting on the sidewalk...) There was also a second wall, also referred to as "The Wall" out on the Ave, in front of the Post Office, I believe (not to be confused with the Fringie Wall, which was back in the 60's). There, they placed a strip of metal teeth along its top to discourage sitting. Do you sense a common theme here, that wall sitting may be a seditious act... (Now I know what they mean when they say someone is "off the wall.")
  • Washington Hall: Location of the first documented jazz performance in Seattle and later one of the main venues of the Jackson Street jazz scene. It's still around -- as On the Boards.
  • The Windward Four: Captain Puget's fictional schooner.
  • Woodinville Rock Festival: The Seattle Pops Festival, held in Woodinville July 25, 1969.
  • The World's Fair: The 1962 Seattle World's Fair, also called the Century 21 Exposition. After the fair, the exposition grounds were converted into today's Seattle Center. The Space Needle, the Monorail, the Fun Forest, and the Science Center all date back to the World's Fair.
  • Wunda Wunda: A clown character played by Ruth Prins on one of the local kids TV shows back in the 50's. My sister and all her girl friends just loved the show, had to see every episode. I absolutely loathed it--even listening to the opening theme song would make me want to retch. However, for those of you who feel a greater degree of nostalgia for that little ditty than I do, here are the verses of the Wunda Wunda theme song, sent in by a reader (for those who feel as I do, get ready to retch!):

    Wunda Wunda is my name.
    Boys and girls I'm glad you came.
    We'll have fun as I explain
    How we play our Wunda games.

    Let me take you by the hand
    And we'll go to Wonderland.
    There we'll play with every friend
    The Wunda games of "Let's Pretend."

    You can see a picture of Wunda Wunda (Ruth Prins) at TV's magical early days, from the Seattle Times'