A lot of legendary moments went down at Satyricon, Portland's greatest and most mythologized punk club.
It's where Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love supposedly first met, and had a wrestling match on the floor. It's where Foo Fighters made their formal live debut. It's where Portland icons from the Wipers to Dead Moon to Poison Idea to the Dandy Warhols built their legacies.
But for many other bands passing through town between 1984 and 2010, when it closed for good, the venue was just another beer-stained shit-hole in a bad part of town, where unknown artists come to pay their dues to the road.
That certainly seems to be how Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney remembers it.
Carney was the first guest on The Road Taken, a new podcast hosted by Chris Thomson and Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend dedicated to the act of touring and published by sports and culture web site The Ringer. In the debut episode posted yesterday, Carney remembers playing Satyricon in the Ohio-based band's lean days, and does not seem to have been enamored of its grimy charm.
"It smelled like puke," he recalls.
Carney goes on to describe their "worst show ever," which involved opening for a speed metal band 10 years their senior, playing for a single drunk couple, and watching a drug deal gone wrong. (He also erroneously claims Cream and Led Zeppelin played Satyricon, which, lol.)
You can list to the full podcast below, with the Satyricon discussion beginning at the 39 minute mark:
Carney didn't just pull that show randomly from the ether of his memory, either. In a 2005 PopMatters article, his bandmate Dan Auerbach also mentioned that Satyricon gig as being among the worst they ever played:
“We played a horrible show at the Satyricon in Portland [Oregon]. There was nobody there. It was carpet and there was cake ground into it from the punk rock wrestling the night before. There were people selling crack out front… So, we played with this band… and for some reason, they were from Portland, but they forgot their fucking snare, and Pat let them use his. They proceeded to pound a hole through it. And they just said, ‘Oops, sorry, dude.'”
The Black Keys return to Portland to play Moda Center on Nov. 22. Something tells me the experience will be much more to their liking.