One Day in March 1984: Local Punk Promoters Beg the Owner of a Just-Opened Northwest Portland Bar to Let a Few Bands Play Inside

As told by Ed Jones, the original booker at Satyricon, the legendary Portland club where Kurt met Courtney and where Foo Fighters played their first show:

"Portland was in a recession in the early '80s, and musicians had a hard time. There were Top 40 clubs, and there were a few jazz clubs and a few blues clubs, but there were no real clubs for our kind of underground punk music. 

"I met a guy who owned a coffeehouse called the 9th St. Exit, and the guy told me if I could get enough tickets sold, he'd let me use the adjoining venue for free. We realized we could rent halls, get a bunch of bands and do one-off shows. I always had ambitions of grandeur, of doing bigger productions and not just playing in somebody's basement, and that was the only real way.

"My friend Scott Olson and I formed a production company called New Total Productions, and we were renting the Northwest Service Center on 18th and Everett. We had a show booked one night in March of '84. That evening, the security for the building says, 'We need a $250 deposit,' which we didn't have. 

"George [Touhouliotis] had opened the Satyricon within the last month. He had been doing poetry readings there. There was a little dinky stage, and there was a bunch of cocktail tables in the back room where the band area was. It wasn't really set up for music, but we needed a last-minute spot to do it, and George says, 'Sure, bring them on down here.' 

"The scene was small, y'know. You'd be rolling through town on the TriMet bus and go, 'There's a guy with a leather jacket. I know that guy!' We had about 100 people, and it came off well. George was really excited. He had everything in place, in that his brother owned the building, so there were no problems with noise complaints, and he was into artistic, radical music. He never went in the back and listened to it, but he thought it was cool. George had been a student at Portland State in the '70s, and he'd been around for the war protests and things like that, so he was a leftist in the old tradition. He liked radical politics, and he was into it without having much of a connection to the musical part, just the ideas behind it.

"We didn't make much money, the bands played for free, but it was such a success that, within a week or two, there was a second show, a third show, then it became pretty much every night of the week. 

From the archives:

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