photo from Todd Sackman’s flickr page
It was a bad news weekend here in Seattle. Sunday afternoon brought news from Reverb, Line Out and Three Imaginary Girls that the iconic Crocodile Cafe had gone dark. Born in the 90’s during the heyday of the Northwest grunge movement, the Crocodile earned it’s reputation by booking up and coming local bands as well as being a regular stop for national and international acts.
Rumors have been flying around town about the financial health of the club after Pete Greenberg, who was booking bands for the club quit. There was an article in the Seattle Weekly this fall questioning the solvency of the club and how long it would stay afloat after the divorce of owner Stephanie Dorgan from Peter Buck. Apparently Buck’s deep pockets were what was keeping the place in business these many years.
I’ve only lived in Seattle a little over 3 years, but I’ve been to the place more times than I can count. Just in this last year I’ve seen so many good gigs there that I’m left wondering who will pick up the slack now that the Croc is gone? The last show that I saw there was Richard Hawley just a week ago. I couldn’t have asked for a better final memory, Hawley’s amazing sound dialed up to perfection by
legendary Crocodile sound guy Jim Anderson. It wasn’t Jim doing the sound this night as Mike points out in the comments. He would know since he’s the one that did the sound for Mr. Hawley.
I’ve only known you a little while, but it was love at first sight. Even with you’re little imperfections, mainly that infamous pole right in front of the stage, you were a great place to see a band and hang out. I hope that someone sees fit to keep you going, if not thanks for the memories.
Here are a couple songs, the Robyn Hitchcock is the only song I know of that mentions the Croc, though I’m guessing there are probably more songs about the place. The Hawley song was recorded by NWTapers at the Hawley show at there last Monday, it’s a beauty, and the last song I heard there.