Tonight in Seattle:  

Your favorite Crocodile memories

I'm so incredibly bummed about what appears to have moved beyond rumor to truth in the past few hours -- our beloved Crocodile Cafe has closed its doors for good, as of last night.

I have had countless good memories at the venue, and I'm betting most of our readers have as well. I thought this would be as good a place as any to share. I'm sure I'm going to think of zillions more over the coming days, but off the top of my head, some spectacular nights spent at the Crocodile included seeing...

Please share your favorite moments from the Croc in the comments below. Think of it as imaginary therapy!

 

OMG, and Figurines too!! And Franz Ferdinand, right before they broke it super huge. And of course, all those amazing TIG-karaoke nights...

I am seriously bummed out about this, like my best pal has moved away.

Playing a sold out show opening for Pinback, and skateboarding on top of my amp down the sidewalk after the set. Seeing Juno/Murder City Devils and Modest Mouse play on thanksgiving night 98? Watching Neutral Milk Hotel play. Playing on stage on 9/11 in a band with the name the Terror Sheets. Trying to cheer up the few who made it out .Playing with the best soundman in the city.Watching Band Of Horses play to 50 people. Meeting and playing with Bill Callahan. and on and on and on.So long Croc. you will be missed.

Joe Syverson

Throw Me The Statue/Final Spins

There are too many memories to count in that joint, but some ones are:

OK Go, 2003. I was digging their debut album and was excited to see them play, but I hadn't been to too many shows at that point and I remember driving home after OK Go played and skipping the headlining band because I thought they had a stupid name. Now, that band is one of my very, very favorites (Fountains of Wayne). Also, I have many, many friends who went to that show but I didn't know them at the time.

The Divorce, Visqueen, the Girls and the All Girl Summer Fun Band, somewhere in 2003 - where I had picked up a copy of the first issue of ROCKRGRL to include my reviews in it (AGSFB was on the cover) and where I met Dana and Liz.

The Libertines, also in 2003. I think this might be the only show Pete Doherty played in Seattle (like there's any chance he'll get another visa).

Saeta and the Dresden Dolls, 2004.

Rachael Yamagata, 2004. I interviewed her the very next day.

Jon Brion opening for Harvey Danger, 2005.

This year my favorite shows there were Nellie McKay, Imperial Teen and You Am I.

I've only been to the Croc once, but it was an amazing show. Aqueduct and What Made Milwaukee Famous.

Ah this is all so sudden! I was hoping to go there again...

"The Divorce, Visqueen, the Girls and the All Girl Summer Fun Band" - wow, that was a TIG-presents show too. A really, really good one.

And der, I must be grief-striken because I forgot to include MY IMAGINARY WEDDING, which was at the Croc and featured Math & Physics Club, Pleasurecraft, the Jeunes (my fella's band at the time, and I joined them onstage to sing "Jackson" with him), and Tennis Pro. It was seriously one of the best nights of my life.

Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

way too many, really. but standouts? grant-lee phillips and robyn hitchock, mano a mano (or at least song on song, witty genius banter to witty genius banter). mind-blowing you am i show in '98. revisiting said show earlier this year, by having steve turner open for 'em on his birthday and being around every awesome guy musician friend of mine, drunk and geeking out on each other and the music. imperial teen multiple times, making me (and everyone else in the venue) glad to be alive. superdrag. nada surf. a whole bunch of cure cover nights. putting together death cab's first sold-out shows at the croc (was that '98 or '99 - scary how the time slips away...) the "last ever" posies show. the croc anniversary show with the original line-up of sky cries mary (roderick, jon and ken). robyn. grant. glenn tilbrook taking everyone with him out of the venue and down the street for an impromptu acoustic set - on crutches.

oh, crocodile. how did i love you? let me count the ways (or at least honor your memory by posting this...)

and i forgot to mention seeing the minus 5 with bill on drums for the first time. meeting mark pickerel in the back bar. marc olsen opening for mark eitzel.

I WILL FOREVER MISS THE CROC!

goshdarnit. TOTALLY forgot lift to experience!

Seeing the lead singer of Cars Can Be Blue wandering around before they played, not knowing that she was the singer and thinking she was a really cute, quiet indie rock girl. Then, suddenly she's on stage cursing like a sailor. I was in love. Brilliant!

Also, Tullycraft's "Yeah Oh Yeah" and For Better or For Awesome's "Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side" at the Magnetic Fields Valentine Day show. (Now, if I could ever get that For Better or For Awesome song ...)

driving down during a frosty fall night from bellingham for the revolutionary hydra's cd release show for'the antiphony', which i designed...great show, had my name mentioned from the stage and sean nelson was there reading at the bar. yeah, indie pop...we won the battle for the sound.

There are so many shows I saw at the croc over the years, this is a real sad day :(

Here are ones that come off the top of my head:

Juned - sometime in '94. They opened up with an instrumental that really, really was cool.

The Church sometime around '02 - amazing show. The Church sounded really freaking great that night.

The Purrs and Hypatia Lake - sometime in '06. Very loud, very cool.

I'm so sad that the Croc is closed. It was my favorite club and I hope someone comes in and finds a way to save the Croc if that is at all possible.

Some of my favorite memories:

• Stellastarr* with openers The Killers (2004) — Yes it was cool to see The Killers play such a small club, but what was better was seeing Stallastarr*. They blew me away and I am still in wonderment about why they aren’t as big as The Killers are now because I think they are a much better band. Oh, and for the record there were only about 100 people there when Brandon Flowers and company were on stage and The Killers weren’t that good that night.

• Jem and with opener Aqueduct (2005): This show was packed. Jem looked like a dwarf on stage but she sounded great. This was right when Aqueduct was beginning to take off.

• Threeimaginarygirls Christmas karaoke (2006): One of many countless tig-sponsored shows at the Croc. What made this night so much fun was seeing the local music community celebrating the season by kicking back with a few drinks and singing a few fantastic karoke tunes. Oh, and Santa John Roderick was cool too.

• Beastie Boys (2007): Hands down the best club show I’ve ever seen. I was lucky enough to score some tickets and the set was phenomenal. I was up front and center rocking out the entire night. I remember “Sabotage” just tore the place down.

• Zaireeka party (2007) — It was just cool to hear Zaireeka in its entirety. Also it was great to experience the album with a large group of people, like the social experience it was intended to be. Oh, and the personalized messages between songs by Wayne that were played on DVD were cool too.

By the way, for my money the Croc had the best, and most underrated, French fries in Belltown.

Jeebus, I can't believe I forgot this one..... THE NIGHT I SAW REM PLAY AT THE EFFING CROCODILE back in 2001. I was one of the few people who really did just show up to see the Minus Five and didn't realize the surprise headliner was REM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd get to see REM play in an intimate club setting. It was truly incredible!

NO. I refuse to believe!

holy crap. how did i forget THAT?!?!?!

aww dana that is the cutest picture ever!

That sucks if they really are closing for good!

One of my favorite shows was when The Pale Pacific recorded a live cd. Hopefully that CD will come out soon and we can relive the night!

Funny that most of my dearest memories are from the Crocodile!
- The TIG 69 Love Songs show
- Our ShamROCK the Vote show (with the Mangles, The Electric Kisses and the Catch)
- King of Hawaii and Tullycraft
- THE STROKES! (a night that will live in infamy!!!)
- Cars Can Be Blue (oh the skivvies dance)
- The Stranger Genius Awards
- The Death Cab Surprise show
- The POSTAL SERVICE!!!
... and a lot more... holy cow this is soooo crazy!!!

we have a lot of the same favorite: Carissa's Wierd, Beirut, Tapes 'n' Tapes, Spoon, the Unicorns, the Postal Service, New Pornographers, Broken Social Scene, the Decemberists, Iron & Wine, Death Cab for Cutie; I'd probably put that Valentines Day show at the top of my list, too if only for seeing all the bands in suits, Nate from the Decemberists in a dress, and Ben Gibbard hopping up on stage to help C.W. cover "Complicated".

I'm so sad.
The Crocodile was home.

This year my favorite show at the Croc was Qui and Lozen back in September.

There are SO MANY memorable shows I've seen there. Some off the top of my head...

In June of 03 the Divorce, Visqueen, the Girls and the All Girl Summer Fun Band. Miss Flotard bought me beer.

March or April of 2001 the Husker Du cover night for Jason Hughes b-day. The Ruby Doe and Vendetta Red were some of the bands that night.

Summer of 2001 The White Stripes. I saw Eddie Vedder there and I did my best to completely ignore him so he wouldn't think I was lame.

The final Carissa's Wierd show in November of 2003.

Mission of Burma and 50 Foot Wave in Sept 2006

So many good shows...

The Ruby Doe at the Crocodile back in March...
aaron2
I was hoping to see them there this Friday...

So many good shows

I am so in shock over this.. My most recent great CROCODILE memory is playing with the Lucksmiths this past September. I was the best mood in years that night! Such a high... The Luckies and MAPC got ridiculously silly after the show and James ended up with an entire beer spilled on him as we attempted a group picture.. we laughed for 20 minutes! *sigh*

Where is Jim going?? No one else can make my violin sound so pretty and present among loud guitars, drum fills and bass thumps..

The Soft Boys show was big... one of the last things I expected to see in my lifetime, suddenly manifest, with Kimberly Rew playing guitar, looking like the happiest man ever to walk the earth. And my playing keyboards at the 69 Love Songs show with the magnificent Sean Nelson. The Croc was a true institution in the best sense of the word.

the croc is a huge fixture in the seattle music scene...you can't just shotgun shutdown places like that...crazy! sheesh!

i will never forget seeing two gallants there late summer this year. sadly, i will never be able to say i sat down and had a meal at the crocodile.

SIXTEEN AND ONE-HALF YEARS.

so many amazing shows---

i can't choose one--- or twenty---or fifty.

for me, they were all special.

Ladies, you know I loved every Tullycraft show ever there.
Tullycraft setlist

Voxtrot, when no one came.

Trackstar with Mates of State.

The 69 Love Songs Cover night of course! Seeing Paul Pearson onstage with Sean Nelson was pretty amazing.

The TIG 2005 Christmas Karaoke Party. I'm pretty sure that was the last show I saw at the Croc before I moved.

The Lemonheads. I finally got to meet Evan Dando!
IMG_2010.JPG

The night Steve Thornton was trying to start a fire with an empty Polaroid cartridge and scaring our table.

Wow. It really is the Decline And Fall Of Northwestern Civilization around there lately.

I'm a Texan who lived in Seattle for 20 years. I think I spent my 21st birthday at The Crocodile, though I did have a very convincing fake I.D. that allowed me to see some legendary performances before that (sorry Croc, I was in it for the music and not the booze). I hung out with Kurt Cobain there a week before he died. I saw a great show The White Stripes played moments before they hit it to arena rock status. I saw Wild Billy Childish with Thee Headcoats there. I wrote my first music article for a 'zine there, probably ten years ago. It was that annual music fest they did with great bands like Mudhoney, Gas Huffer, Girl Trouble, and the rest of the classic and dedicated Seattle mainstays. A particularly fun night was when Charles Peterson had a book release party for his coffee table photo book "Touch Me, I'm Sick". All the, as I referred to them at the moment, "old timers" showed up. Kelly O, assistant art director at The Stranger at the time, and I were working as "coat check girls". We decided that our boss, Joe Newton from Gas Huffer, was the only one who hadn't aged a bit. He said it was from "clean living". Hey! We weren't just saying that to get a raise either.
Shoot! I think I fell in love with a boy there one night in 1999. I remember stopping short in the little passage way between the show room in the front and the back bar and my jaw kind of dropped, and I froze in place. That's the only time that's ever happened to me. I don't believe in love-at-first-sight just like I don't believe in ghosts or the Zodiac, but it happened For Real! To Me! At The Crocodile!

Some of the best bartenders in Seattle worked at Crocodile too, like Theodore and Eddie (whom I'm still friends with). I actually bought Eddie a box of Cracker Jacks at the convenience store around the corner the first time I met him and my friend and I both wrote on the box: "To Eddie, the best bartender in The World!". Regardless of how the rest of the alcohol consuming public feels, I have never met a better bartender since.

Most importantly, my career as a photographer was based very much on the shows I shot and the people I met there. I remember a very special night when my friend, Neko Case, played and had asked me to take photos of the show. The Crocodile had developed a rather strict photo policy at that point, and somehow I had not been cleared for permission to take photos though I had a good repetoire with everyone who worked there. The bouncer, in this instance, was new and was trying to kick me out when Neko shouted over the microphone, "Where's Victoria?!?!? Does anyone know where Victoria is?!". She stopped the show, dropped her guitar, walked off stage to come and find me and when she did, read that poor bouncer the Riot Act. That's a true friend for you.

The last show I saw at The Crocodile was Calla, on my birthday. Not too long after that, I came back to Austin (my hometown) where people love and support the local live music scene above any other city in the U.S. I always thought Seattle was second in position for that honor, but between the closing of The Crocodile and the gentrification of lower Capitol Hill quite recently, I'm beginning to wonder what's next for the Seattle independent music scene? It needs a venue with history, dirt on the walls, some old guarde and some new guarde values and experience to give emerging bands a chance to become a recognizable talent. I do have to say that nearly every band I've seen as an opening band for a major act beginning 10 years ago at The Crocodile has gone on to do something reputable and eventually make a mark for themselves in the grand scheme of the music world. What venue will fill it's shoes now?

You saw the "last ever" Sky Cries Mary show? I saw the "first ever" one.
Dang, Babs, we are old (but looking mighty fine for our age). Are we gonna run the Rock & Roll Retirement Home together? Damn it! I'm only 32. I'm still too young for all this "remember when" nostalgia!

My faves were:

Los Lobos
Slow Music with Bill Rieflin, Robert Fripp, Peter Buck, & Hector Zazou
The Knitters with Jesse Sykes and Throw Rag
Young Fresh Fellows (Scott McCaughey 50th birthday party)

I've spent the last few hours trying to remember all the shows I've been to at the Croc over the 6 years that I've lived in Seattle, and I haven't even begun to get close to finishing the list. The Pillows, Porcupine Tree, They Might Be Giants, I could just go on and on and on. A week and a half ago, I dragged myself out of bed despite a fever to see my friend Eric premiere his new band (Palmer, AK) and I'm so glad I did so I could see the place one last time.

So I'm literally halfway around the world right now in South Africa and thought I'd check in to see what's going on in Seattle TIG world. And OH MY GAWD, WTF has happened?!?!?! This is truly a travesty, bumming me out...

I will spend the next few days and weeks trying to process, but for now, I will abide by the intent of this post and list some memories:

-Old 97's -- probably in 1998 or 1999? I'll never forget Rhett's whirling hair and that energy...

-Franz Ferdinand -- it's true, I'm pretty over the band now, but again, the energy they commanded at that show was incredible.

-The first KEXP/John in the Morning Show...super fun to be admidst so much good music love.

From my guy:
-Old 97's as well.

-The first time we ever saw Crystal Skulls, sharing the bill with Slender Means.

I'll raise a toast tonight to the demise of this long-standing staple...

Exene Cervenka, Seattle Poetry Festival 1999! We had concerns about pitching a punk-rock poetry event that was part of a larger festival, but sold out both nights of the show.

Exene wouldn't take the stage unless we provided her with Odwalla--something she did NOT include in her tech rider. We joked about unpasturized apple juice because people were getting e coli from it at that time, but Odwalla was procured and the show went on.

I ran my one and only 48-hour tab there...

Oh, and:

Hazel's good-bye concert in 1995

Okkerville River, post-bumbershoot, 2005

Nick Garrison New Year's Eve, 2006

Wonderfully stunning marks in time:

*Finally seeing painfully ignored bands from across the pond - Trashcan Sinatras, The Divine Comedy, You Am I, Richard Hawley but sadly to crowds seen at most local band shows. Boooo, y'all.
*Strolling in just before showtime to learn that Porcupine Tree actually sold-out, therefore stuck at the back of the cafe (lesson learned)
*Every single Robyn Hitchcock appearance especially the one seen standing elbow-to-elbow with David Byrne
*Patti Smith's 'Horses' Anniversary
*Robert Fripp: facing forward, six feet in front of my face, to yet another tiny Croc crowd
*Seeing Peter Buck play with almost every act I paid to see...truly bizarre...

Perhaps most importantly:

Never, EVER leaving the Croc with the slightest complaint about the sound: On stage, or on the floor. Somebody PLEASE get Jim Anderson a job!!

The REM "secret" show Dana mentioned previously is certainly the best of the best for me, but also the countless Robyn Hitchcock, Minus 5 and Posies shows, including their first "last" show.

But I may miss the Home Fries from Heck most of all.

First of all I want to thank Jim for all the nights I worked at the Croc when he needed time off, even the DJ nights that I didn't really want to be at. I haven't made it down to visit in too long and now its gone. I have too many good memories, some clear and some forever hazed over. I played some fun shows, did sound for some great bands and had a great time.

Stereolab in 1996 was incredible powerful, Rip Mary, Rip Crocodile

Oh, Crocodile! So many fine shows seen and played there!

RIP.

First show I ever saw at the Croc was Damien Jurado opening for Jack Logan back in 98' ... I was in love with the place ever since.

Dancing in the back by the black lights to Franz Ferdinand.

Okkerville River (twice).

The Dears.

Viva Voce.

The Saturday Knights.

And many, many, many more.

Lets rally and get that club back up in running!!!

Favorite shows seen at the Croc:
- Epoxies / Cripples show, some time around 2002 / 2003 the pinnacle of the Dirtnap dynasty

- Seeing the Dresden Dolls for the first time, 2004

Favorite shows played at the Croc:
- Glenn Or Glennda?, Tales From The Birdbath and The Bad Dates with Burning Hearts Burlesque, Halloween 2003

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And the all time favorite was last Christmas's TIG Karaoke, with me and the lovely (now fiancee) Ms. Melissa singing Fairytale Of New York, featuring my ill-advised beard on flugle horn.

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Thanks for the memories Croc! Hope somebody buys the space that will keep it a venue.

I've been going to shows at the Croc since it opened, if only I could actually remember what all of those shows were (a year-by-year list of every show would be helpful; who's going to document stuff like this?). A few from the years:

- My husband stuffing quarters up his nose on stage at The Stranger Gong Show this past April. And he didn't get gonged!

- Robert Forster and Grant McLennan running through a magical set of Go-Betweens oldies (and newies) in 1999; It was Robert Forster's birthday so someone baked him a cake and presented it to him onstage, which he subsequently shared with the audience.

- Edwyn Collins in 1995, it was my 3rd or 4th date with my future husband who is an Edwyn fanatic. He wore his homemade Orange Juice shirt, and we stood front and center and he jumped up and down like a maniace through the whole set. I thought he was a little weird. Getting to hear Edwyn play "Felicity" is one of my most treasured Croc memories.

There was also a few Wedding Present gigs (they played twice in one month while they were recording in Seattle in '94 - or was it '93? - and then again in '97), and also Cinerama (again, because I've never kept a gig diary I need someone to figure out the dates for me).

I'll miss The Crocodile 'cos it's one of the few rock clubs that actually feels comfortable to me. Now I'll never go out again!

Too many memories. My heart is saddened.

A few gems that come to mind are Nirvana in ’92, Robyn EVERY TIME, REM, Death Cab, Ghost Stories, Zombies, and of course, the former house band the Minus 5 (I never missed a show). I also met my dear friend Babs in the back bar.

Warmest thoughts to the most awesome staff - who are single handedly responsible for my now semi-infamous nickname taking on a life of it’s own. Kevin and Co., after hearing that I, in a black chiffon party dress, kicked the crap out of an assaultive male customer the previous evening, cheered “Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!” as I walked through the door. Oh, the love.

Eek! This is bad news. The Croc was a good place to see future up-and-coming bands as openers. It was a great place to see awesome bands where you were only one of five people in the room.

I think the best show was the secret Temple of the Dog reunion show that luckily got played off as a rumor.

Good times at the Croc in the late 90s - Built to Spill, 764-HERO, and especially the late Elliott Smith. Now I'm kicking myself for not seeing Headphones this last Saturday.

Not only have many of my favorite shows (seen and played!) happened at the Croc, but pretty much my entire love life has played out in that place. Where else will I be able to go to be surrounded by a sea of exes (all of whom share my same musical tastes)?!

A great show memory: Years ago I saw Tegan & Sarah open for Rufus Wainwright. Rufus was all hopped up on pain killers for a "sprained ankle" or something, and about half way through the show he stopped, pointed a guy standing right behind me in the crowd and said "hey! didn't I sleep with you last time I was here?!" The poor dude was clearly straight (standing with his girlfriend) and very definitely traumatized. He looked stunned and shook his head "no". Rufus responded with "Oh yeah, you're definitely the guy" and then proceeded with the rest of his set. Classic!

Wolf Parade the day after they opened for Arcade Fire at the Paramount in September 2005; prior to Apologies to the Queen Mary being released.

I remember running out of the bar at the Paramount to see them, being blown away and immediately attempting to round up people to see them again the next night at the Croc. Maybe 50 people showed up at the Croc that night and we easily walked to the front of the stage where we dodged chimes as they were smacked into oblivion and onto the floor of the club.

That show we always be one of my favorites, to think that I'll never have the oppurtunity to have that experience again breaks my heart. I hate Mondays even more now.

I'd played the Crocodile like 50 or so times (i dont keep track of these things) by the time I met my (now) wife there (a common sentiment around here; croc cafe, the unluckly matchmaker) and since then I've played at least as many times. I think. How (un)comfortable the stage: the hot lights, that fucking beam right in front, and the always AMAZING SOUND thanks to JIM, Seattle's BEST and most helpfull live sound engineer. The next club he works at is a luck fucking club, I hope he gets to do EXACTLY what he wants, he deserves it. Oh well...
Eli will get a better booking job, and the bartenders will tend better bars... and I sure didn't exactly enjoy hanging out there, eating or drinking booze there, but I've got a ton of great memories, shows played and seen there. I NEVER spent a bad night at the Crocodile, and coming from a semi-perfectionist semi-grumpy musician like me that is saying ALOT. And I met my wife there! Let's drink to the Crocodile.

I'm a relative youngster, but still heartbroken by this.

My first show at the Croc was Tegan and Sara in March '05 - the place was packed, so my friends and I ended up stuck about 10 feet behind one of the poles. In front of us were a couple of overweight lesbians, one of whom was in fishnets, who were trying to booty dance to the un-booty-danceable twins' music. Unable to see half the stage and confused by the scene in front of us, my friends and I spent most of the show communicating with each other with shrugs. By the end of the night, a heterosexual male fantasy had been forever ruined for me, but I'd fallen completely in love with Tegan, Sara, and the Croc.

The great thing about that place was that it was a venue small enough for me to have seen several of my friends' bands there, but big enough for really fun acts like Tegan and Sara, Phoenix, Aqueduct, and the Pipettes to attract decent crowds. I just wish I was about ten years older so I could've caught more of the truly great shows; just last month, I was standing near the soundboard looking around between acts, and I noticed the set list from R.E.M.'s secret show posted back there. I'm pretty sure I swooned.

where my life and what was me would end and start over again..

Pete Yorn. And sitting and waiting at 2am, getting ready to film a scene from "Slaves to the Underground" when i was still in high school. Croc was the epitome of cool. Sigh.

The first time I went to the Crocodile was to see Seldom in 2000 or 2001. I couldn't believe how good the SOUND was, and how people my age were getting to play on a stage were Nirvana and Sunny Day Real Estate once played. It seemed so hugely significant yet so clearly tangible that I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Since then, I went on to play at the Croc a dozen times with various bands, and saw many many more great shows (Carissa's Wierd, Elbow, the Pillows, Damien Jurado), and each time I was amazed by how nice everyone was, and how genuinely happy people were to be present in a venue with so much musical and cultural history. I'll miss the Crocodile, even the hours I spent driving down 2nd and 3rd looking for parking, because it was all worth it.

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