Skoochies, City Beat and The Monastery

monasterywa-exteriro-darrelleroy.jpgSeattle, WA – A little flashback here. I’m wondering how many people remember the early and mid 80’s clubs in Seattle that was Skoochies, City Beat and The Monastery. I’m also interested how many of those people ended up being in the arts as a profession.

I was talking to a theater director a couple days ago. He’s one of those people I feel a connection to and don’t quite know why. He’s very well read with a Master’s Degree in Theater and a Bachelor’s from Cornish. He was in the early Seattle Grunge scene playing in concerts with Alice in Chains before they got signed. And off the cuff I mentioned “Do you ever remember a club called The Monastery” – his eyes lit up and he said “SKOOCHIES!”.

These clubs are a difficult thing to describe if you weren’t there. They weren’t just clubs, they were entire sub-cultures. Every once in a while I overhear someone put down local Goths and I kind of smile (and usually remain silent.) I was what you might call a “Goth” in the early 80’s (we called it “Bat Cavers”) – did the all black outfits, ratted out the hair, wore makeup, danced all night til 4 am and carried all the intellectual faux we could muster. As an adult I don’t regret any of it, in fact it was a very formative time and I shudder to think that I would have ever missed it.

Our favorite bands were The Cure, OMD (Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark). Bauhaus, The Art of Noise, Spandau Ballet, Prince, The Eurhytmics, etc….







Maybe it’s a Seattle thing, maybe it’s an art thing, maybe it’s a Washington thing, maybe it’s just because I was raised outside Seattle. There’s a bond up here like I have never felt anywhere else. I’ve lived in Miami, Los Angeles, spent 20 years in Southern California and I can tell you – THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING LIKE THE ARTS AND EXPRESSION IN SEATTLE AND SKAGIT COUNTY. It is so rich you can taste it.

These clubs were a place for expression, for those of us that felt pigeon-holed everywhere else. Especially at The Monastery, it was a place to take things right to the edge. I recognized back then that this was a thing “for a time”, few things last forever. It is unfortunate I had many friends from that time that didn’t recognize this and they didn’t get out in time, and they are no longer with us. At the time many adults viewed us as having the “hubris of youth”. Now having a 20 year retrospect I don’t see it that way. It was a place for us to carve our identity, and some of us needed a little edgier carving than most desire.

Skoochies, City Beat and The Monastery all closed down. I know specifically The Monastery was a thorn in Seattle’s side for many years and finally got closed down after many attempts. But for us that were underage and wanted to experience life on the edge, it was a great place.

The innocence of the under 21 crowd in those clubs was evident, and there was a dark side to the older crowd that infiltrated some of those clubs, especially The Monastery. I don’t think those clubs would ever get off the ground in this day and age. For those that didn’t have a strong sense of self I’m sure there are countless horror stories and emotional scars.

I cannot tell you how many times in producing music or in the studio I pull from the sensations created in those clubs. Especially for dance tracks and avante garde scores, it takes me only a moment to remember The Monastery experience. For that I am very thankful because it is so unique. And I don’t regret any of. I’m also thankful I got out of the scene before it devoured me. For those that didn’t, I remember you and my heart goes out to you.



charles-mudede.jpg Cultural conservatives rely upon the singular example of the Monastery to bolster the argument that all-ages clubs necessarily result in perversion and debauchery. George Freeman ran the Monastery under the constitutionally protected cloak of the separation of church and state. The Monastery wasn’t a club but a religious sanctuary, free from the financial and legal restraints of the city government. It was an after-hours, all-night anomaly, defined and clothed in religious speak; one could only gain entrance to the place by becoming a member of Freeman’s church, paying tithes. There was a “baptismal” pool, and Freeman gave nightly sermons.

Although it raised the ire of parents who were alarmed at the pan-sexual nature of the clientele and the drug use within, the city finally clamped down on the club due to the panic over bathhouses and the spread of AIDS. Those same conservatives, however, ignore the fact that the Monastery was but one of a few clubs that were open and intended for all-ages shows. The one I remember best was a place in Pioneer Square called the Metropolis, because I frequented a reggae night they had there.

The larger problem, though, isn’t the obvious fact that idle youth who have nowhere to go resort to drugs and crime, but rather that American pop culture and the larger politic is almost wholly dependent on rampant youth for its life and vigor. Rock, punk, new wave, and hiphop are entirely youth entities. Without that deviant input, what we’ll end up is staid and fossilized–hence the Experience Music Project’s wholly fossilized youth culture.

To the current Goths and champions of counter-culture – I am too old to be part of your experience now, but I remember it well. Don’t let us old farts tell you how to dress or express yourself, and remember who you are through the experience so you can make it out in good form. I can tell you there is no reward for an early death (and no drama worth retelling) but there are great rewards for coming out the other side strong and bold. Be safe, realize it’s for a time and get out if you see things starting to crumble around you. If it gets REAL bad, please email me.

What made me get out? The innocent playfulness of the scene changed drastically when I turned 21. It was not playtime anymore. Every couple weeks you’d hear about someone you were acquainted with that had died, the late night intellectualism slowly revealed itself as drug induced repetitive blabbering, and most of all was seeing those who were older not accomplishing much. When I stripped away my rebelliousness from my visual presentation and focused it on ideas and art, I found life to be much more full for me.

Part of your Rite of Passage is when you realize you have been given gifts and they should not be focused inward, but outward in service. And of course, only an old fart would say something like that……

So give a shout out if you remember The Monastery, Skoochies or City Beat – and I’d be very interested to know what profession you are in now. You can post anonymously on this thread.

Update 12/08 – I’m also catching up with a lot of you on Facebook, so please add me as a friend there.*

Update 09/09 – There is an active Skoochies group on Facebook, and a reunion has been scheduled for Sept or Oct 2009 – so join that on Facebook. Lots of pics uploaded, you may spot yourself in one!

Update 10/09 – October 3, 2009 was the “Skoochies Resurrection” reunion. 740 people attended in Seattle, Wa. I believe it was held at the actual original Skoochies building.

Update 07/10 – Here is the graphic from the 2010 Reunion Red Party for The Monastery (1977-1985). There is also an MP3 download of the music from that evening available. Should I make it available here?

UPDATE 09/19 – Conrad Askland’s fourth full length musical “Pray the Gay Away”® takes place in 1982 and includes an LGBTQ+ support group called “Youth Pride”. Some of the Youth Pride member costumes are being based around the look of people that went to Skoochies, Monastery and City Beat. Info about the show available here on this blog at or at the official PTGA website: Pray the Gay Away

144 thoughts on “Skoochies, City Beat and The Monastery

  1. I went to skoochies every weekend. i was also a ‘bat caver’.

    i currently live in los angeles and i am an artist. i did get out alive.

    i ended up living in the monastery as a “loft” for a year in 1995. talk about a strange experience.


  2. I remember those clubs well. I ended up in the arts, first as an illustrator and now as a computer program creating tools that artist use. The Monastery had a reputation larger than life.

  3. I grew up in Snohomish County and Skoochies and the Monastery were both havens for me. I ended up the arts as well – graphic design and music.

    Nice post, btw.

  4. wasn’t that place owned by some gay black guy?? When I was growing up I heard that was a bad place..

  5. I remember The Monastery and City Beat. I was a bit too young for The Monastery but I did love the trip from Bremerton to Seattle to go to City Beat. I was only 16 and you always had to know someone to get in, which I did. My favorite memory? Roxy stripping down to his pantyhose during “Knock on Wood”. And how about all that MDA….

  6. I was one of those Kirkland Preppie girls who went to Skoochies alot. Never went to the monastery. (Being a Kirkland preppie girl and all… the monastery seemed to be a bit of a scary place. In retrospect, it’s a choice I regret. I wish I had experienced it.) I don’t recall “City Beat”, but we also went to “Encore” in Renton and there was also a club on the other side of the Seattle center that I recall being in an old church that had several stories (aka more than one dance floor)… maybe that was “Club Omni”. Anyhow, lots of memories. Does anyone also recall the dances at the Exhibition hall that were alternately sponsored by K-Plus FM and C-89? Those were pretty fun, too.

    Oh, and no… I’m not in the arts. I was a full time nanny from 1988-2002, became a stay at home mom for 5 years and just recently went back to work part time at the YMCA in their drop off childcare area.

  7. I went to Encore and Omni too. Omni was a little later, didn’t it have a circular walkway, like in a grain silo or something like that on multiple floors? I think Encore was a little more into hip hop, think that was the first place I heard Sir Mix-a-lot.

    I went to one of the Exhibition hall dances, think I had relocated to California by that time and was visiting. It wasn’t quite the same. The Monastery era was coming to a close….

    Fun times!

  8. Monastery… wow.. found it when I was about 16, would drive from Olympia to pay $6 to hang out all night. we would sneek in fifths of Jack and drink up stairs in the little rooms that had curtians you could close. Watch movies in the airplane seats and use the coed bathrooms. I remember “nice people dress nice” written on one of the mirrors down stairs. The dance floor and light show was so dead or alive…. the place was a dream or nightmare how ever you look at it. We are the children of the universe, you could read that before the sprinkler in the parking lot came on. One friend of mine was doing coke on the take we were sitting at, the bouncer came over and said HEY, please do that in the locker…. wow. . . how crazy… after it closed down, i went back and found a door unlocked, I just hung out inside all night with a couple of friends. It was crazy to walk around the place all deserted and dead.. I wish I had some video of it in action….

  9. Ric – groupie, deacon, doorman, better half of Ric and Bob …
    A growing experience few were lucky to have.
    Myself and ‘Speedy Ron’ nabbed the cornerstone immediately prior to demolition.
    ABSOLUTELY no regrets!

    P.S. MFA/Color Theory

  10. Yes,
    I used to work at Skoochie’s back in the early 80’s and was friends with some of the DJ’s. I also found myself at City Beat and Club Broadway. After playing in bands around the Grunge scene during the 90’s, I have been DJ’ing for about 10 years and I still play 80’s music when there is a need for it. It brings back memories as you can imagine. I just happened to be passing by when they tore down the Monastery and somewhere, I have a photo of that! Long live the dance, M.

  11. I remember Sckoochies – what a great place. What an influence. K-JET was my first taste of ‘New Wave’, with Skoochies and KYYX firming things up. I wish I hadn’t started drinking the ‘Old English’ 40’s every night – the drunken stupor lead to the fights. I was always drunk, dancing and then on the fringes of the fights.

    We stayed away from the Monestary for the most part – although I really loved the bat cave thing, not being a ‘bat caver’ as Stacey correctly calls it in my opinion, I was more interested in the preppie girls. : )

    I love the arts, and music, but am not involved professionally. Live in Chicago with my family – preppie wife and 5 kids.

    Someone needs to hold a reunion. How about you?

    Great post.

  12. Skoochies was SO much fun! And yes, I remember the forty ouncers too, that was always a fun score for the start of the evening. I was a preppie from Bellevue, and sometimes tried to be Bat Cave, which kind of looked like William Shatner trying to be a bat caver. But it was fun.

    The DJ’s at these places were the coolest. The mysterious Wizards of Oz. Great to hear from you guys! A reunion would be too funny.

  13. Milo and I organized a Monastery “White Party” in memory of the club after it got closed down by the PANDAS. It would be really fun to do that again. Everyone dresses in white. Imagine the freaks coming out of the woodwork? When I’m DJ’ing sometimes I’ll throw on “So Many Men” “Rocket to Your Heart” or “Native Love” by Divine, just to see if anyone remembers. Those were the days my friends.. Cheers, Mackenzie.

  14. Yes, I remember Skoochies well! I used to go to the one in Portland and it was my home away from home! I was a “bat caver” as well…used to love dancing in front of the mirrors and smoking my clove cigarettes. Ah, the memories! Those were fun times!

  15. Oh how I miss those fun days! I didnt know if anybody really remembered those great places. I thought I was the only one who remembered and missed them. It was a place to be yourself and relax and have fun. I was a goth, bat-caver. I was pretty much the only one who looked like that in Bothell. How fun that was to freak out the neighborhood! I made so many great friends and really wish I knew where they all were. Skoochies, City Beat, and dont forget Club Broadway! Those were the days! I would love a reunion! I so remember Roxy doing Knock On Wood too and dont forget the fun antics of Boy Mike! I wonder what ever happened to him!
    I got older, got married and am a stay at home mom. But I still love my 80’s music, nothing better than that!

  16. Hey Sue. Yeah Roxy was a trip. I forgot about Boy Mike! He was very obnoxious, but always made a mark.

    Club Broadway rings a bell. But nothing like Skoochies, City Beat and Monastery.

    If there was a reunion none of us would recognize each other.

    I’ve gone a couple times to see a Northwest 80’s cover band called the Retros and it’s fun to see all us old fogies try to be 80’s again. Well….actually it’s a bit sad.

  17. Oh lord, I don’t know what possessed me to google The Monastery today – but what a trip down memory lane. I was one of those kids who got kicked out of the house in high school. I lived with a bunch of other kids in a really shitty apartment on Capitol Hill, but still managed to get through high school and graduate. They were the best of times and the worst, of course. I too had friends who died. However, it was a truly transformative time in my life. My friends and I LIVED for the monastery. We went to Skoochies too, but not as much. I remember doing acid or MDA and sitting in the airplane seats watching Romancing the Stone and Clockwork Orange. Yikes! Anybody remember Bambi or Jason Wells? Wonder what’s become of them. Anyway, thanks for the forum to reminisce. Oh yes, I moved to San Francisco where I earned a BA in English Lit., got married, had two kids, got divorced and am now studying textile design. Music and the arts remain a big part of my life.

  18. I am still great friends with Jason Wells. He is married with a son. Him and his wife own a business and are doing really well. They live out in the Mountlake Terrace area.
    I do wonder what ever happened to Bambi too! I forgot all about him. The stories that went around about him!
    Do you remember Jeff Morgan and Billy Burke? They hung out with Jason? They make movies now and are now actors and doing pretty good I guess.

  19. I remember getting the best part of my DJ education at the Monastery! I was friends with Dana Andrews and used to hang out in the booth all the time. Few people know that originally the place was called Sanctuary and it was owned by George Freeman. We have yet to have a sound system in any club that matched that one. Sigh…good times. Oh and I am still spinning, after 32 years.

  20. Ah, good times. I remember going to Skoochies for the first time in my parachute pants looking for a roller skating rink. Instead I found someone dancing on a speaker to Madonna’s Everybody. The rest was history, clove cigarettes, 40oz, dancing on the center front stage when Janet Jackson came on at Club Broadway.

    I also remember the dj at Skoochies breaking the song “19” 12″ because people were singing “we don’t need the water, let the mf, burn…etc.” He was pissed and was saying, “This isn’t Encore!” He was a great dj, asian guy with a limp, great mixes…

  21. Like Miriam, I don’t know why I googled City Beat, but I credit that time of my life with shaping who I am. I doubt I would recognize anyone now, and am sure they wouldn’t recognize me. I’ve gone from Big black hair, white face and black eyes, cheeks and lips to Long brown hair, chubby and a working housewife. But you know, I have an incredible relationship with my son, because I understand that it takes all kind of experiences to make you who you are. City Beat brings up the strongest feeling in me remembering, Roxie, Chad, Becca, Rick Card, Tina, Romeo and so many others!! Dancing all night, peaking to Din Da Da and Ball of Confusion. And the goofiness of standing around at the end of every night, holding hands to “That’s What Friends are For” Oh Lord.
    If anyone recognizes me, I would love to hear about it. I lived with Paris and Libby.

  22. OMG, you lived with Paris? I thought he was so awesome – do you know what he’s up to now? I got to know him just before I relocated down to Los Angeles around 1987. At the time he seemed to me the ultimate artist.

    I agree that remembering the “characters” at those places bring up strong memories. We were all characters then. Good times.

  23. I moved to Los Angeles with him in about 87. We were roommates until about 97, then I moved back to Washington, got married etc. He’s doing Wardrobe or “Stylist” for some shows like Top Design and such. I really haven’t been in touch, but his sister says he’s doing great!

    He was awesome, crazy and yes, he was the ultimate artist. But our art just took us in different directions.

  24. GREAT article!! I picked up an old friend for a night out in Seattle this weekend. When I asked her where I could pick her up, she replied, “across the street from some German looking building”. When I arrived I looked at her in disbelief: “That’s the Monastery!” She knew it. Call it a brain fart. We were BIG into Skoochies, dabbled a little into the Monastery but really, really loved Skoochies. Bartles & James Peach Coolers, cloves, DJ Donovan…those were the best of times. We still have our collection of Skoochies tickets and artifacts. And the music. If anyone has Malcolm McLaren “Madame Butterfly”, Flying Pickets “Only You” or Fiction Factory “Feels Like Heaven”… old discs are wearing thin and I can’t find these songs anywhere. Shout out to Pat Linke, Tod Hart, Dave Adelot. GREAT TIMES!!!

  25. Wow! I remember Big Mike, Roxy, Skye, Gypsy. How about Edwin and Marcus, the drag queens? I also remember Jeff Morgan and saw him in Scrubs recently. How about Stian, Todd & Dirk. Billy, who thought he was Prince. MDA Dave, who turned out to be heroin Dave. Peter Griggs. Romeo. I don’t think most of these people had last names! I was only 14-15 years old at the time and now I have a son that age (he doesn’t know about The Monastery). I remember Jason Wells taking a big group of people out for dinner at Denny’s and then after we’d eaten, he said he had no money. I snuck out with Caren Morgan. Askland and Morgan – I would love to see photos of you two b/c am sure our paths crossed. I pulled myself out of the scene and moved to NY, started modeling, and traveled the world until 22. Now, I have a Master’s Degree in Midwifery and live in HK with my two kids, cat, two dogs and my amazing Art Director husband.

  26. Aimee, you’re in HK as in Hong Kong? If so, I’m in Macau right across the water from you. Check out the front page “home” of the blog.

    Did I really sneak out of Denny’s with you? I feel so ashamed…

  27. Hi Askland. No, I snuck out of Denny’s with Caren Morgan – we had no money. I looked at your photos and am trying to remember Conrad, Conrad and it’s not sinking in. But then, lucidity didn’t take precedent at that time of my life and neither did last names. So, you are in Cirque! That’s great! We’re thinking about taking a trip to Macau to take the kids to The Venetian. If so, we have to reminisce. How long will you be there?

  28. Mmmm….don’t know them, but I bet all my Seattle theater friends do. Will check it out.

    Back in the Monastery days I looked like this:

    I’ll be in Macau til at least the end of 2010, probably a lot longer. Official grand opening is August 29, 2008 but we start running preview shows end of July 2008. I can probably get your family tickets for the preview shows – don’t know about any age limits or if there are any. Probably not.

    Will be fun! You can use my Contact link to send an email.

  29. This is too funny reading these posts. I used to be the bouncer at the front door at Skoochies from 84-86. Used to hang around a girl named Cory Helm from Ballard and I drove a white lowrider with a louvered hood. I loved the music at these clubs. I remember one night after Skoochies closed that Cory and her friends wanted to check out the Monastery at like 3-4am. We got there and they were freaked out to go in. I said we’re here…..we’re going in. What a fun night like many nights at Skoochies until the sun came up !

  30. Are you and Morgan talking about the Paris who lived near Broadway and had long curlyish dark brownish hair? One whom you might call and say, “Can I get an album from you”?

  31. Paris looked like the leading man from a pirate swashbuckling movie – yes, long locks. I still remember him teaching me to play “Cardinal Puff”.

  32. hey just wanted to jump in and echo these feelings about Skoochies (Seattle) and City Beat, and Club Broadway, too. I was a semi-bat caver high school through college and still now, at 42, at-heart. My memories are of State Farm and Love and Pride and Go!(Skoochies) and Oh l’amour and I’m so Beautiful and Cities in Dust (City Beat). These were all wonderful and semi-wholesome (not counting the MDA) places to “grow up” and I wouldn’t have had it any other way! I probably wouldn’t have fit in anywhere else, and this is still the music that I’m most fond of (the whole reason I found this site was that I was creating City Beat, Skoochies and Vogue playlists!) For you Seattleites who are no longer here, you’ll be glad to know that the 90s Musicwerks is still around in the form of Mercury (moved from Monorail to Cap Hill), but sad to know that the Vogue as we knew it is all but gone. They moved from 1st in Belltown up to the Hill, on 11th East, but that was short-lived. They’ve tried resurrecting it on 12th, but not regularly as far as I know. City Beat was the Timberline (gay 2-step club) but now is owned by Cornish. Whoever knows what’s happening at the old Skoochies.

    thanks to all the djs who made our coming-of-age years so sweet and memorable.

  33. ok wait – just thought of a couple more great ones for that Skoochies mix: A to Z (ABC) and Kiss Me (Stephen Duffy). My name is Eden, and I want you, to kiss … my … snatchhhhhhhhhh!

  34. I worked the door at City Beat in 1986, and remember all those names. Paris was gorgeous, as the name would suggest. I was in Idaho when the Monastary was open or I would have been there too.. Skootchies was for wanna-be’s. God, I miss the MDA. And the FUN. The best time of my life, without a doubt. I moved on to help George Freeman open up Club Vortex, then dj’d at Neighbors and DJ’s Nightlife. Remember morning madness? I’m going to name some names; Boy Mike (obnoxious, but who could forget) Roxy, Matthew, Bobby, Annette, David Ginsberg, Sean Poole, Neal Baumeister, Jono, Alias, Karen, Sammy Baade, Scotty MacRoberts, Pony, Sky, ( I lived with Pony during that period) German Ron (with the bluest eyes you’ve ever seen) Lee Hartell, Dana Andrews, Peter Sanford, I still have some of Peter and Dana’s record collections) Kelly Pierce, Alan Mulkey, Rory Sherman, Bobby Hennis, Della, Kandice (Candy then) Peter Griggs, Donna, Karen, Charlie Hill, Jerry Johnson. If I had a time machine I’d go back to 1983 and do it all over again.

  35. WOW. i have been on a monestary trip lately. not a lot of time right now to post; i will have to revisit this.

    i went to the moneatary, city beat, looked into club broadway, and avoided skootchies like the plague. i was a batcave girl. way to young to be in those clubs. when club broadway got raided i got a fake ID from some check cashing place (you could do that then) sayin i was 18 so i could go to club that night.

    names: boy mike, navarre, dyke tracy, dave keller, matthew foster, peter griggs, roxy, skye, romeo, tex, shadow, spider,

    theres more but i GTG now.

    OH, by the way, i am an Actor.

  36. I used to hang out at the Skoochies in Portland 85 till closing. What great times, Tones on Tail, Ministry, Book of Love, English Beat, ABC, Adam Ant, Depeche Mode, Yaz, The Cure. I’ve managed to find downloads of almost everything from back then, so the music lives on, miss the people though, Mike B., Gosta, I think Shane was DJing back then. God I slept on the couch in the back office on more than one ocassion. Great post, long live the 80s. Oh, I’m not in the arts, military, but have four daughters now (with the wife I met at Skoochies!!) that are very artistic.

  37. Skoochies! I dont know why I thought of googling that today but i am glad i did. I LIVED for weekends at skoochies. I have not heard the term “bat caver” for years! I was a “colorful” bat caver, loved the whole asthetic but needed some bright neons as well! I remember getting mono and my mom telling me i may be out for a month and the PANIC that went through me just thinking that I would not be able to go to dancing for 4 weeks.

    I now teach Spanish at Pierce College in Puyallup and paint and create assemblage art that can be seen at Two Vaults Gallery in Tacoma. You can see my work at come to think of it my love of color started durin those skoochie years and can still be seen in my artwork. I would love to attend some sort of reunion but i dont think anyone would know who i am. Thanks for the article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. I started going to TNT in Mercer Island until I found Skootchies in the early 80’s while attending UPS in Tacoma, bringing up classmates. We also hung out at The Monastery. We went to the punk shows at various venues, Grey Door, etc… near the King Dome. Transferred schools to Santa Clara University, graduating with a Mechanical Engineering Degree & an Air Force commission. During the whole time, I died my hair every color under the son, which was challenging considering I was an ROTC cadet. I was a mod/preppie/punk.

  39. Wow, thanks for this forum and I’m asking myself, what possessed me to google “Skoochies”. But I did!

    I’ll never forget when they were working on closing down The Monastery. I was a huge “bat caver” from Puyallup/Tacoma. My parents asking me over and over if I had been there, of course I said “no”. Then one night I just happened to be in the living room when King 5 was doing some undercover segment on the sins of TM, and who was there dancing on camera? me!!!
    There are certain songs that will always remind me of these clubs:

    Tonight’s the Night= One Thing Leads to Another, by the FIXX
    Skoochies= Should I Should I Love You Forever, by Cee Farrow
    The Monastery= Let the Music Play, by Shannon
    City Beat= Roxy!! We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off, by Jermaine Stewart
    Club Broadway= Square Dance Rap
    Omni= Living on Video

    I’m 40, with a Master’s degree, survived the 80’s and no longer wear black 🙂 go figure.

  40. Great songs! Remember when everyone would go crazy to “White Line”? I also like hearing Art of Noise at Skoochies. Man, I was so cool back then.

    But I still like black. 🙂

  41. Hey gang – for the record – Aimee on this thread came to see my Cirque Du Soleil show – and then we visited her in Hong Kong. Was very fun. I wonder if any of the rest of us will cross paths?

  42. If you want to read about The Monastery and Skoochie’s experience in Spokane you should read “Police Files: The Spokane Experience” by M. Kienholz. There are lots of other good stories in the book, available from Auntie’s Book Store, from Sacred Heart (Hospital) Gift Shop or from the Museum of Arts and Culture, all in Spokane.

  43. For those of you want to explore the conversation (Skoochies specific) more. I recently created a group, “Children of Skoochies, a Fan Club” on Facebook. People have already posted over sixty videos of all the great stuff we used to dance to. There also some lovely 80’s pics. Come and wax nostalgic with us!

  44. Holy smack! Have no clue what possessed me to google skoochies but so glad I did…I too, was one of the preppie/mod/wannaa-be “bat cavers”. I was a Bellevue girl and was at Skoochies EVERY weekend and Wednesday in the summer (remember Encore?)…remember drinking Mickies Big mouth in the parking lot at the bank and I think I won $25.00 in the lip sync contest to YAZ “Midnight” – such good times. Love your Blog!!! Did the monastery a few times but my Madonna outfits didn’t really fit in 🙂 … I so wanted to be an actress but it just didn’t work out, I have a Masters in Aeronautical Science, 3 kids and live in Suburban Houston, Texas. Oh, how the webs of fate entangle us. My memories are so good and like all “late-thirties”, I now understand that youth is wasted on the youth. Love what you said about Rites of passage and the gifts we are given. Skoochies truly was our own “studio 54” – Happy holidays to all of you.

  45. This was fun to run across after chatting with an old punk about some of the skate rinks around Puget Sound. I love seeing the old pics of the Monastery. I remember MDA Dan, Mike Quam, Josh Helm and Locklan, Bob Kimmel, Lee, Eric and Chris the twins, Randy Ivy, TJ, Gypsy, Vince and Colin, Nick Pierce, John Price, Nick Valentine, Michele, Mercy, Pam, the very built bouncer Mike at Skoochies, Dave the dj and the Monastery, MDA/Heroin/Shady Dave, Grant and the URU posse, Bambi and Roxy, I remember watching Layne (Staley) dance with Roxy one night and thinking.. hmm.. is he gay or what, I was 17 or so at the time up at Club Broadway. I of course remember Mackenzie very well who posted above <3. I remember many nights spent on three different floors of The Monastery, George’s sermons at midnight, walking into rooms that look out on the dance floor and finding people having sex, dancing in front of the mirrors on the platform shown in the pic above of the Monastery. The coffee was always so good and sometimes the sugar was spiked with MDA(if you were lucky). Remember Revenge of the Nerds in the theater downstairs? And of course A Clockwork Orange. I remember Adam Ant videos, and some guy from Bremerton that use to dress up like Adam Ant. Someone shared a memory above about taking a group from Skoochies over to The Monastery, it sounds like my experience. I believe Pam and I went over there with a couple of AWOL guys from Ft. Lewis. I was a little nervous about the sprinklers, probably due to some LSD, but once inside I new I was “home”. I also share the City Beat memory of Roxy stripping. I recall William and Douglas up on capitol hill, Angie, and a bunch of other really cool chicks that lived just up the hill but I don’t remember a lot of their names. The Monastery was such an awesome haven for us street kids. It was the one place you could go and be warm all night long as they didn’t close til 9am. Definitely some of the best years of my life. I forget the name of the club out in Tacoma, but I remember Billy out there and when Divine played that club. Lots of good punk out in Tacoma area too. I did not become an artist per say but it took me a long while to extract myself from the scene. I’m a mom, a doula, I go to Burning Man to try to capture some of that free love feeling again:)
    The space needle has crabs… that was a trippy night, and that guy that like to be secured to fences was bizarre. We use to drive out from Everett with Dave, Shannon, Michele, and Pam. Eventually I just stayed in Seattle on Capitol Hill. Much love to the dancers:)

  46. What a trip to find this site. Just reading through a few of the posts, I realize I knew you Aimee. Or at least I recall a petite girl with short red hair who got a contract with Ford and moved to NYC in 85 or thereabouts.

  47. I grew up on Vashon Island, but my girlfriends and I would catch the ferry to Seattle and hang at Skoochies (circa 1985/86). I was only 14 years old the first time and I felt like such a hillbilly…everyone was so hip and edgy. I was a watered-down new wave wannabe and this place gave me inspiration! I couldn’t count how many times I looked around the dance floor taking mental note of outfit and hairdo ideas. Black clothing and asymetric hair? Check. Gaudy, extra long necklaces? Check. So cheesy, but part of growing up I suppose. I also recall chain smoking like a fiend in there. I wasn’t into booze at that age yet, but was happy as hell I could destroy my lungs while out of the watchful eye of the rents.

    I felt as if caught in a time warp when I read what Terri had to say (post from December 2007. She mentioned the C-89 and KPLUS dances at the Exhibition hall…I had completely forgotten about those and I LOVED them.

    And no, I’m not in the arts. I was an English major in college…does that count? 😉

  48. Hey, everyone Brian Folino here. Estatic I found this! Just to let everyone know, there are quite a few of us holding down the fort at Noc Noc on 80’s night Tues. and the Vogue is now re-opened under Neighbors, accross from the gas station on Broadway, Sat. nights. Many of the 40 something hold overs( now that the 20 year olds dig Wave)have a responsibility to show them how classy and romantic the music and the scene actually were. I beleive that my experiences at Scoochies, (164 total nights, I kept my stubs)help transform me into the Gentelman that I try to be. The kids now, lack the manners and respect that many of us were raised with in the 60s and 70s. Mabe I’m old fashioned,but I think we can influence the next generation of Wavers and Bat Cavers. If we participate just a little, and lead by example we could ensure the vitality, inteligence, and artistic future for a new generation. I hope to contact many of you in the near future. Come out and play with us. “You deserve it,How bout you,How bout you?” Brian Folino

  49. Brian Felino – I remember you when you went out with Caren Morgan! Small world these days! What are you up to?

  50. I was a portland skoochie “speaker dancer”. I went to Seattle too…only once or twice. We were outsiders…if you know what I mean Hey…what was DJ Mikes last name…he went on to DJ at One Main Place and Harringtons in Portland? Im putting on an 80’s Portland New Wave scene reunion and would love to have him spin…Every Day is Halloween you know.. The Plaza Catch 101 and the Main Connection, The Spectrum…man those were the days

  51. I was one of the last people to “live” at the church so called “the monestary.” We moved in late december of 1996. anyone who wants to talk about that magical time, please email me:…..Or tell a tale here. It is so wonderful to hear actual stories from its heyday. Back when i lived there everyone had a “fish” story–it got better each time told. Now seeing these stories i can believe it!!!


  52. HA !!!I remember Skootchies.I was a young Marine stationed at Bangor Submarine Base so I wasn’t a real Seattlite.I was more a Tonites the nite,Club Broadway,and Club Spectrum type of dude.But I remember one night at Skootchies two little chicks almost knocked a sprite out of my hand and acted like it was my fault and why am I on the same planet as them.A few minutes later the DJ introduced them,seems like they were doing publicity for a movie that would debut in about two weeks.The chicks…Wendy and Lisa…the movie…Purple Rain.

  53. Skoochies was my first night club that I went too. What a hoot. I went to all of these clubs. Thanks for the great posts.

  54. the monastery.
    whowa. dont know how much was true or dreamed but i remember the surrounding rooms upstairs overlooking the dance floor with curtains. opening curtains only to see a bj in progress or the basement with the lockers all around . was there a toilet in the middle? i dont remember. lots of street kids. and baby dykes in polo shirts. and tons of MDA. amazing sound system. double story dance floor with mirrors and lights galore. some guy from cleveland or something who ran it against all odds with the city. monastery was not for the 16 year old weak of heart. skoochies was a little more straight forward relatively. the lower roller rink floor with i think the interior of a boeing airplane windows along the back wall. probably from boeing surplus. maybe a black box or two down there to dance on. no one down there except a couple people puking in the corner. congested on the upstairs dance floor. trying to remember the floor plan.

  55. i remember KNHC C89 FM used to broadcast live from skoochies on like saturday night.that was like a hip hop night.everybody was really into boppin back then(or poppin as some call itthey uaed to have the dope sound system!!bumpin that “pack jam” by the jonzun crew!!skoochies was the shit!!i also did a lot of rollerskating up in that joint too.i’m pretty sure skoochies was a united states postal office before it was converted into a nightclub.skoochies eventually changed their name to the oz & then later dv8…

  56. oh and i worked at club broadway, maybe 83-85 w/ dj mike joyce, pam robinson, jackie russell, debbie goudge….trip to think about those days.

  57. OMG! I loved the Monastery! When that closed I went to City Beat. Lived in both Seattle and Bremerton in the 80’s. I don’t remember Skoochies though? I got out alive but those were the days! Also went to “morning Madness” all the time, lol! Was friends with Ronny, Sammy, Jill, Holly, Wayne, Scotty, Scotty McRoberts, Scott Lewis, and many many other people! I miss those days and those people! Hello to anyone out there that I knew!

  58. Hey all,
    I have a question. If I remember right, the Monastery had 94 speakers but does anyone remember how many lights there were?

  59. I was googling skoochies trying to remember if ministry had an opening act waaaay back when I saw them there. I’ve also been to Monastery, City Beat, Encore, and Omni. Omni the most cuz I lived in Kent.

  60. The glorious days of working at “Scootchies”…Blast from the past! I was on air at C-89fm in the am and worked at Scootchies as fill in most weekends when I didn’t have other scheduled events. What a dysfunctional guy he was. The man would always come up to the dj booth and tell me to play a song for a friend “Next”. I remember telling him if he did not remove himself I would walk out. Those were the days. Remember his cool car? I remember when it was taken away.

  61. Update: There’s an active Skoochies group on Facebook and a reunion has been scheduled, in Sept or Oct 2009. Check it out on facebook!

  62. The “Skoochie’s Resurrection” is scheduled for Saturday, October 3rd in the original Skoochie’s building (131 Taylor Avenue N., Seattle). Come join in the fun!

  63. I remember going there and actually pan-handling to get up the money to get in. Those were some crazy days back then, but it was all in fun. I ended up becoming a desktop publisher and now I’m changing professions – to a web developer.

  64. I can’t believe that in less then a week I’ll be dancing my ass off to the music that transformed my life. I’ve lost contact with so many people from that Skoochies City Beat era, but this beats the shit out of a high school reunion where I was dubed a “freak” I knew I could always be myself when I went clubbing! I’m excited for Robert, Deanna, Michelle, Joey to be where we all got to know each other!!!

  65. There are also groups devoted to City Beat and The Monastery, folks. Check them out on Facebook!

  66. holy shit! i was googling skoochies because i am going to the event tonight. it started out with 80’s clothes. lol. what a bunch of great stories. i remember lisette and don, jason and dawn (is that the same dawn as the one writing above?). i also remember pan handling for a way in and long ass bus rides from lake shitty to the clubs. i started clubbing at 13 in 83. i definetely remmber the monastary scared the hell out of me at 14. oh my. i used to be music director of c89 back in 85 86 too so i remember those shows.
    i am still in the music industry and actually still own a club and travel around going to clubs. i dont think that makes me an artists, except perhaps an entrepeneur. but i definetely remember dancing the night away to that incredible music on wierd drugs with good freinds. see you tonight all. great post.

  67. oh… and i will be in macau and hk for business in early next year. will you still be there?

  68. Hi Bruce,
    Yes, plan on being in Macau early 2010 still. If anyone is coming to Hong Kong or Macau let me know. I’ll show you the good spots.

    Paris Libby is also in Hong Kong – but I haven’t hooked up with him yet (We’re not very close, just Monastery acquaintances from way back).

  69. wow i was supprised to find this on the net when i typed in my name
    but its pretty cool that other people had the same experince that i
    did and its even more cool that i got to be a disc jockey there
    after my best friend sean poole died of a i d s i have not dj ed
    since then i think he would want me to keep playing music!!!

    so who is still out there???

    write back

  70. What fun I just had reading all these posts! I went to the Monastery only a handful of times before it was closed down, but practically lived at City Beat. I remember my friend Tamera and I would go “swoopin'” for outfits every weekend…everyone called her Barbie. My boyfriend Ben was the prettiest thing I had ever seen. We weren’t bat-cavers, but instead had a wardrobe of rhinestones and pink pumps. Remember the long and pointy Fluvogs that you had to stuff with toilet paper to keep them from curling up too much? The cable show Dance America came to film one night and we had just dropped acid. The lights were up and there was barely anyone there yet. They kept wanting to interview us and we kept refusing until we were too high to say no. I could barely answer a question!I Still watch that deteriorating VHS every once in awhile (thanks Boy Mike). I loved living in Seattle in the 80’s and 90’s. What an amazing time in an amazing place. I made it out, but barely, and am living in Alaska teaching kids with behavior disorders. Hmmm, wonder where I honed that skill?

  71. October 3, 2009 was the official “Skoochies Resurrection” reunion! 740 people attended. I wasn’t able to attend because I’m working in China, but here’s the playlist the DJ’s used for the event.







    ABC – A TO Z




  72. Hello I helped Alan Butterworth Install the sound system for Mrs Chin at Schoochies I have been ivolved with almost all of Great Clubs of Seattle I had a Nick Name Phase Linear Darrel those pictures at the top are from my computer Which I put up on Disco Music .com 2006 I own the orignal photos. My amplifers Phase Linears are shown in the 2 photos at the top in DJ both and the Amp Rack on wooden slats this was the first night in late 1982 at the Monastery it was called Sanctuary at the time. It soon was called the HEART BEAT OF HELL and PIED PIPPER !!! My friends living John Kmetz, Neil Patrick, Michael Kerasotes Scot McRoberts, DJRXMX Rick Ashmun, George Freeman, Shane Sims, My friends on the other side Dana Andrews, Scot Uber, Peter Sanford, The picture at the very the two people in the doorway barly visible is me and my lover on our tenth Aniversary Darrel Fisher & Leroy Salazar The picture was taken by none other than the Seattle Gay News when we worked there 1990-1993.

    Phase Linear Darrel Fisher

  73. Reading all these post is such a trip. Especially Christy’s. I had forgotten all about the guy who wanted us kids to hook him to fences, what a freak. That made me laugh. Also, Courtney’s reference to the Fluvogs. I had quite a few pairs of those. Remember how everyone smoked clove cigarettes? I used to live at Skoochies! I would always sit in my car and drink a whole bottle of champagne, wine, 40 ounce, etc. (whatever I could get my hands on being I was underage) before going into the club. I got a minor in possession drinking in the parking lot of the bank across the street once. I only went to the Monestary a few times. I had heard allot of stories and I guess I was sort of afraid to go. When I finally got up the nerve, I realized it wasn’t quite what I thought it would be, it was fine. But like I said, I mostly went to Skoochies. So maybe there was all kinds of shit going down at Monestary that I never saw. I remember taking my 1st hit of acid at Skoochies. One day I showed up and it was closed. I couldn’t believe it, that was that. All the kids moved up to Broadway and started hanging on the street for awhile. Then of course there was City Beat. Loved it there, open till 4, unlike Skoochies that closed at 2. City Beat was just swarming with MDA, god we were so obvious! I remember the drug dealer would walk in and everybody would surround him with cash in hand. No wonder that place didn’t last either. Club Broadway was somewhere in there as well but there was also a club out by the airport on Hwy 99 that was popular for a very short time. Cant remember name of it. I was so excited when I finally hit 21 and was able to go to the Vogue. That was like the pinnacle of all the clubs, to graduate to that one. I tried getting in there with fake ID before I turned 21, but no such luck. I can’t say I came out on the other end with a great career. I really got sucked into that whole world and wish I could go back and do some things different. I was the typical girl who started dating guys in bands and stripping and the drugs went from mild to harder all the way up the line. I know I’m not the only one, there are tons of people from that scene like me. Thank god I’m still alive to talk about it. Had a few close calls to death but those days are over. Now I’m just a stay at home mom who lives in the southern US. Miss my Seattle though, desperately! To close this out, I just wanted to say that I do remember one person who went to Skoochies/The Vogue (was in that whole scene) and is doing really well now. His name was Billy Burke and he is in the movies now. He plays Bella’s dad in the Twilight movies. I also saw him in a movie with Anthony (Hannibal Lecter) Hopkins and Ryan Gossling. Don’t remember name of movie but he had a huge part! Also in a movie w/John Travolta. That’s just one, that doesn’t even include all the rock stars we all know and love! chow my fellow Bat Cavers! 🙂

  74. I was looking for a song from the 80’s that I haven’t heard in a while and ended up here. Such a trip to heat all these stories. I spent every night I could at City Beat, most of it in front of the mirror or on top of the speakers. Since I didn’t fit in anywhere else, CB was like a home to me. The first place I met other gay people and never wanted to leave. I remember once getting into a “dance fight” with Roxy when Knock on Wood came on, because everyone was supposed to make room for Roxy-it was his song-and I wouldn’t get out of his way…

  75. I was in my teens & early 20s in the era being discussed here, and had awesome-huge hair,but unlike all the lucky folks who posted here, I was a conservative Christian kid who was far too scared of the scenes at these clubs. Instead, I and my kind commuted monthly out to the Redmond VFW Hall for the “Dance of Joy.” (Bwaahahaha, I know, it’s hilarious.) I must admit we had GREAT times, especially dancing to the brit-techno-wave music that was church-youth-group-approved, as well as a handful of US groups that I still have some respect for. Whenever we spoke of the Monastery, City Beat or Skoochies, it would be in a very serious and concerned (judgmental?) tone. The debauchery, the drugs, etc…. yet somehow we knew in our hearts that it was at places like that that the “real” people were blazing out the trails we attempted to walk on (and lamely copy), especially regarding fashion and music.

    Despite the parallel universe I was living in during the 80s club scene, I do have distinct first-hand memories of the Monastery: on Sunday mornings, I would take the bus to church for Sunday School. On the way, the bus would stop at the light right next to that infamous institution, that den of iniquity and intrigue. With my Bible opened on my lap, I would try not to look out the window, lest I be tempted by naughty thoughts as the sweaty kids trickled out the Monastery’s door into the early morning light. To no avail… the thumping of the bass would travel through the floor of the building, through the dirt, sidewalks and asphalt, up the rubber tires of the bus and all the way through by nether regions and chest, causing my head to start bumping involuntarily, and inevitably, as the light turned green and the bus rolled on, I’d steal a longing glance at those people I simultaneously pitied and envied.

    I’m a hair stylist and actor, so I guess that qualifies as my having gone on to pursue work in creative fields. Back in the “day,” I worked at HairMasters on Broadway, and after the Monastery closed it seemed that the raging spot was Tugs Belltown, which I was also wildly curious about but too scared to check out.

    Anyone know this couple named Tony & Tina? They were clients of mine, who would tell me in glowing terms about CB…

  76. Ah the Monastery! I still have friends I tell “oh yea – Marie and I have been friends since we were teens – we used to go to church together” giggle! Gods! we’d hang out at Chris’s until you could hear the bass rumbling and then head the few blocks to the club. I lived for the dance floor – you could feel the beat pulse through your body like your own heart. Hanging out quiet as mice in the sanctuary when “undesireables” came calling!
    Rocky Horror at the Neptune and Theatre Sports on Tuesdays. Trying on new names to see what fit, was known as Nicky and Gin at different times, finally settled on my own name since it’s strange enough. (Loki) Miss the crowd , they gave me a family (messed up and disfunctional but loyal as hell) when I really needed someone to give a damb, but saw too many folk going nowhere but down, went to too many funerals. Hung out at Butterfield Junction after the Monastery then they closed it too. Joined the military industrial complex and rarely looked back. Good days all told. Would be nice to reconnect.

  77. dj neal patrick says lets have a monestary reunion again i would
    love to spin those 80,s tones again any one that can help please
    reply and we can talk about it peace


  78. little rich girl from bellvue. saturday night fever took me to the best times of my life.the monistary was the club of clubers .the first time i saw a man naked was on that dance floor.i wont ever forget the night my mom came home to tell me she went there wow was i in trouble. she would have really freaked if she knew about the 26 yr old football player that showed me the night life i still live for .as scary as it all was at15 i will never regret one minute of it. hi tommy s jona w timmy d brian l hope your all still living everyday like it was your last

  79. Wow, what a blast! I remember some of your names!…
    I was a teen-age bat-caver in Seattle in the mid-80’s too and fondly remember KYYX and KJET and all the wonderful 80’s new wave music! I also remember hanging-out across the street from Skoochies and going to The Monastery by night and on The Ave at the post office by day until we all moved up to Broadway and Club Broadway (I had a fake ID too). I also remember that club in Tacoma or Renton (?) that Divine ‘performed’ at, I think it was called (The) Rage (?)… I was there that night too…he lip sync’d (badly), wore a black Siouxsie/Robert Smith wig and wore a black thong! That was one scary sight; it’s indelibly etched on my brain!

    … Wow, I too miss the times, the music and the friends… also, the smell of clove cigarettes, the taste of peach wine coolers, the feel of Dep hair gel and everything about my beloved Fluvogs!
    I still have my leather motor cycle jacket, my Zorro cape and my black lace shawl (it’s a table cloth now)! And I have never lost the habit of wearing all black!

    Oh, I made it out of the 80’s alive and well. I am a married old fart and both the hubby and I are artists living in Europe. We are able to feed ourselves from the sale and commissions from our art, so I guess we’re ok.

    Love to you all! Thanks for the memories and good luck!

  80. I remember the Monastery well. That neon light in the steeple called me in for many a weekends till the sun came up. I danced my ass off. As i got older i became involved with dance in Portland and Chicago. I went to a school of the arts and have been in Motion graphics and computer art for many years now. That palce was many things, but it was truly a moment in my life.

  81. I loved the Monastery spent all my teen years there. What happened to George Freeman?

  82. Hello all skoochies city beat and monastery friends from the past its mike Wright AKA Bambi from back in the day.

  83. Hi, does anyone recall and place in Renton, Kent and Federal way we all did X and danced all night?

  84. Hey all monastery friend I still remember with so much affection time spent at church, George was a wonderful friend I remember spending seafair hydro races on a boat with him and bobby bru….he helped me through a rough time….spent a lot of time spare changing in front of baskin robbins on broadway during the day hitting olde english 800 40 ozers and visiting sammy across the street to start the daily tweek….after the monastery days bottomed out on malt liquor and meth moved to L.A and cleaned up. rob kirkland ,tye jordey greg jarvis,mellisaso many great friends….work as a hairdresser and improv comedian now

  85. Pingback: DASSdance Returns to 1982′s NYC Loft Scene | The SunBreak
  86. Going on 30 years afterward I am still heavily influenced by the music I heard at Skoochies. I have been a performer, bandleader, composer my entire adult life. Big band and Sinatraesque stuff is what I was steeped in. Candlebox vocalist Kevin Martin was charitable enough to take me under his wing and show what “cool” was. During this time he had a flattop and looked a lot like a young Elvis. How taught me how to peg my jeans, the right bands to listen to, and general demeanor. i’d still be a virgin had he not pointed out some of my more annoying traits.

    Good Times… I have an ongoing project I’ve been doing for fun where I write, record, and post at least one original song/week. I wrote one about my Skoochies experience. It’s right here

    Cheers and long live DJ Dovan


  87. Hello!

    I’m Rob, I went to the UW from the fall of 1985 through 1987. I pretty quickly fell into a crowd that hit all these clubs and lived for City Beat for a while. I too recall Roxy, Paris, Mercy and many others. My friend Jim P DJ’d at the Monastery. I think it closed right before I moved to Seattle, never did get to go there. Probably a good thing! Skoochies was fun also, but only went a handful of times. Still have a working mix tape from a DJ at City Beat! I too am lucky to have gotten out alive, but treasure these days, they were very formative for me. I left Seattle for Providence RI and studied interior architecture at RISD for a year, but ended up going into accounting. It drove me, literally, nuts and now I’m in Savannah GA with my sister, trying to rebuild my life. No complaints though, it’s been a great ride and it’s not over yet.

    And, a shout-out to ‘The Brians’! go to my blog and send me an email if you happen to see this, I’d love to catch up with you two! It’s if it doesn’t show…

  88. Hey all you old Batcaver’s out there! Great to find this site. I was one of the two Brian’s that hung out at The Monastery, Skoochie’s and eventually City Beat. Brian and I were from Montana and lived up on Belmont on the hill in a scary old apartment building where we would host the after hours ( Midnight Madness ) parties. I remember so many people I can’t even begin to name them all: Rob B, Morgan, Helen, Lee and Andrea, Bambi, Ru, Chad, Roxy, of course….Edwin and Marcus, Robert, Deanna, Joey, Susan, Debbie, Boy Mike who always narked on people…I could on and on. The MDA/Heroin, LSD – Triple dipped New World Acid! I’m the tall Brian and am living back in Montana being a mountain man and writing a lot of historical novels after working in countless gay bars spinning and bartending all over the NW and SW. Still have my John Fluevogs, my leather jacket with the fringes and had The March Violets written on the back of it. The other Brian is still in Seattle after living all over the US. I see you above me, Robert! Love you too! I know we have lost many friends from those days and therefore I would like to dedicate this posting to all of those we have lost and whom we loved so very much. Slice Me Nice – BRMc

    PS – Hello to Susan Sortor and yes, I clearly remember the guy who liked to be tied to chain link fences. One time at Skoochies, after taking some MDA we went out in the alley and he was there. One of us secured him to the fence and I think it was Edwin or Marcus who rubbed Mentholatum on his dick. Ah, the lovely memories! Again, love to all – BRMc in Montanaland

  89. The OFFICIAL “Streewise” facebook group is NOW open to the public .. the link is: (click “join” to join) We have updates, pictures of the kids, stills and more. Many of the ppl from the doc are posting. This group is for the fans AND anyone from this documentary or those who were associated with them. We come together and learn how these street kids have come along in life, we make new friends, share stories. We have learned so much in just 2 month’s time, and are having so much fun please come join us 🙂

  90. Monastery – I was underage and there were GAY people there! It was exciting and terrifying at the same time. Kissed my first boy there, in one of the upstairs curtained rooms. We’d drive by and see if the pink neon light in the steeple was on to see if it was open. In the early days on weeknights there was hardly anyone there, mostly people just sitting in the little theater watching movies – stoned, high and/or drunk. Clove cigarette smell. Remember the white parties? And the lasers? And the best, most cutting edge music anywhere.

    Skoochie’s – When we couldn’t go to Monastery for some reason. Was more cleancut, more Bellevue-esque, New Wavey than Monastery. Lots of bobs and Howard Jones types.

    City Beat – We went there after the Monastery closed. Yes, Roxy and Knock on Wood, and everyone had to clear the floor. I ended up making out with him in the car one night as day dawned. Can’t recall how that happened. Wonder whatever happened to him. Lots of MDA. A big song then was “Spirit in the Sky.” And Blow Monkeys’ stuff. And “Electric Dreams.”

    I’m a lawyer now. Glad to have been young at just that particular moment in the 80s. Great times, great memories.

  91. Monastery – Never went. But heard all about it from my Bat Caver / Goth friends.

    Skoochie’s – Caught the tail end of it. Many of my friends went. I went more when it later became something else and re-opened (DV8?)

    City Beat – Never went but heard all about it.

    Encore – I went to that several times.

    In the early 90’s my favorite clubs were:

    Belltown – Old Wave Night on Sundays was the best.

    Down Under – House music was just starting to get popular here.

    Romper Room – my favorite hole-in-the-wall bar with great music from DJ Andy Yang.

    I moved to L.A. in 1993 and have done Acting, writing, producing, and directing in the Entertainment Industry. Also some DJ-ing and karaoke hosting.

    I wrote a book about clubbing and high school in the 1980’s Seattle New Wave Skoochie’s era called “Throwing It” – you can find it here:


  92. I remember Chad and Courtney (and, if it’s the same Courtney, her brother Kelly as well). They would not remember me. But I thank them heartily for their contributions to these posts.

    The Monestary was never anything but TONS O’ FUN for me: KILLER dance floor and music, awesome early 80’s films (first place I saw Blade Runner and Buckaroo Banzai), and endless free coffee with endless coffeemate… My dreamworld. Wish I was there now.

    Sending out some love to all those folk. You are all superb.

  93. Once a Goth, always a Goth. At 44 & happily remarried with 2 kids & a professional job, I still enjoy dressing up and going to the only Goth club where I currently live. I frequented Omni but was too young for the other clubs. My best friend whom some of you know has since passed on. RIP Jessie……

  94. Clubs I went to from 1985-1992
    Skoochies and OZ, Omni Dance Club, City Beat, Encore, Club Broadway and The Underground before I turned 21. Then it was The Vogue and Celebrities till a nasty drug habit took over my life until recently. It’s funny that my mother goes to Casey Treats church now and he used to stand outside the clubs telling us all we were going to hell. In my case he was almost right. I only knew a few names listed above. My old friend still DJ’s for Roxy, or did, at the Vogue under Neighbors. Bambi sexually assaulted my first girlfriend. Boy Mike was a douchebag. The rest of the people were pretty cool and just as lost and looking for a place to fit in as we all were. Many of my past friends became serious drug addicts, thanks speedy Ron, Skinhead Jim, Mark and Eaz’e for all your drugs, not! The 7 Eleven on broadway was the place to score, or the one on the ave in the U-District. At least theres no more underaged dance clubs. People were way too young to be around those drugs. I would’ve probably never done drugs if I hadn’t been subjected to them so frequently, but at the same time I still miss those carefree days. I have no bad feelings towards anyone, but I will say that if you haven’t found God yet, that it’s never too late. Godbless.

  95. So for some reason I woke up this morning with a sudden craze for the music I listened to while clubbing in high-school back in the 80’s. I don’t mean Aha or Echo and the Bunny Men but more like Bauhaus and New Order. For grins I plunked in “80’s Monastery Seattle” in Google and this site pops up. Instantly I was flooded with memories. Starting my sophomore year every weekend there was a group of us that would head to Seattle from Gig Harbor and getting there by 11pm.
    What I remembered.
    • Sprinklers on the roof outside to keep people from hanging out in the parking lot.
    • My friend getting jumped in the parking lot and getting a knot the size of a baseball on his head.
    • Scoring MDA (now called ecstasy) as soon as you got there.
    • The smell. There was a funk.
    • The dance floor with the hanging pyramid.
    • Dancing like a maniac for hours.
    • First exposure to the gay culture and all aspects of it.
    • Giant stack speakers.
    • Bizarre quasi-religious space quotes written in various places on mirrors.
    • Airplane seats in the lower floor and watching Repo Man.
    • Dude handing out coffee for those who were too high.
    • George’s sermons about 3am.
    • Coed bathrooms, if they could really be called bathrooms.
    • Always being curious what was really going on in the upper floors above the dance floor.
    • What happened at the Monastery, stayed at the Monastery.
    • Walking out the door at 6am and going blind from the sun.
    • The drive home still high listening to Pink Floyd trying to figure out how to avoid the parents.

    Personally for me, coming from a pretty conservative community at the time, it allowed me to see a form of art and culture I would not normally have been exposed to. Yes there were times it was scary and you could tell who the creepers were but then you had the young kids just out having fun and trying to find their way in life.

  96. Went to the Monastery, Scootchies, and one other club once with my brother. Scared the living daylight out of me. I was just a hick from eastern Washington. But he was there for several years and hit many of the clubs. But unfortunately he passed away about 20 years ago. Would love to know if anyone has any stories of him. His name was Shell and he lived on Capital Hill in an apartment that was adjacent to the Fred Meyer. He hosted a lot of after parties. If you remember him and would care to share any stories. I would appreciate it!

  97. Hello! Sorry for intruding, but I was wondering if any of you remembered a “Big Mouth Andrea”? Also known as spaghetti woman? Italian, and pronounced “Awn-Dray-Uh”? Bat Caver, and spent time at city beats and such. Thanks for your time!

  98. We use to drive from Enumclaw to go to club Broadway city beats scootchies the monastery…good times…I became a chef in Seattle then later moved to Cali…does anyone remember a guy named boy Mike…anybody know what happened to him

  99. Hi Lance,
    I remember Boy Mike, mainly from City Beat, but have no idea what happened later. I moved to So Cali too right before the Monastery closed so I lost touch with all but a few people from the “bat caver” days.

  100. Late to the party – Some of you would remember me as “Gypsy” …. great times. I just moved back to town after 25 yrs. As article asks, I am a multi media artist. New Seattle Band Fearporn (see us on face book) so??? new reunion please!

  101. I don’t remember Scoogi’s that well I remember the monastery in 1985 it was raded 3 or 4 times before it got closed down as far as I can remember…. Steve djscooter

  102. City Beat! 1985!
    Just looking up old eighties music today and found this. Those were great times. Goths before Goths, maybe at the start? I wore normal uncool cloths, and never felt part of the inner circles that would hug all the time. I was an outsider to the outsiders who were the insiders there!

    I always remember the gals holding stuff like wooden kitchen tools. Strange belongings of the kitchen out around town at 3AM, it all took on a very artsy and counter culture vibe. I would drive there from BCC with a friend and I was a little older at 23-24, still it was fun. First place for me to take MDMA and once I actually received a ticket outside of City Beat by the police for holding a beer and pissing on the parking lot.

    I was really into photography at the time and always thought that the club make-up and cloths style would photograph well. Still it was slightly too dark ( didn’t feel like standing out with a flash), so only mental photos taken, but what fun they would be now!

    Great memories of Roxy dancing when “his song came on” as well as all the music which I will never forget. I remember walking in the door and the vibe of folks siting it the front. The weird smell of the bathrooms. The giant speakers. Priceless. It was edgy and slightly dangerous, which was what made it special. The music and dancing memories of our youth are special important memories and a right of passage for future challenges to come……….if you made it passed.

  103. I was a Kirkland girl who went to Skoochies a bit–I suppose it was in 83/84. I liked to dance and meet people. I met a cute Filipino guy there named Jun who was a dancer with the Emerald City Breakers and we ended up “dating.” I didn’t do the underage club scene too long though–made myself a fake ID and got kinda wild for the rest of the 80s. That ended in early 1990 when I became a military wife and mother and got serious about responsibility. Now the kids are mostly on their own and I am having fun reminiscing about the 80s, getting back into music (Prince’s death had quite an impact on me) and trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life….

  104. Skoochies @ 14 OMG…. 40oz better known as Torpedoes. cloves, and the black rain coats…Just loved the Goth and Punk rock scene.. so made my way into the Gorilla Gardens around 15-16-17 and saw some of the best local rock.. Then late 80’s Seattle got very boring Even the Melvins left….especially for a 19 yr old who felt older so went into the Canadian Market to the Best club ever… Luv a fair…. A place to chill to Skinny Puppy. Ultravox In 1988 it felt like 1983 again Fluevogs…..Oh hell I was a lot skinnier then and I can order pints…..Graceland was fun too….. Met the love of my life and ended up moving to Vancouver… I became an artist with wood…. I still have 80’s flashbacks…. Just saw the Cure last yr as well as echo…..And Finally seeing the Damned this spring….Does anyone remember going through the skoochies roof, I did that and ended up out in the parking lot… it was a portal…..Great times

  105. I was also a DJ at Club Broadway. Mike Joyce was my mentor and it was good times Mike and I was the first to put live mixing on the radio at Magic 1510 KKNW Mountlake Terrace With a show called “The Ultimate Music Mix” and played recorded mixes from guest DJ’s like Nasty Nes and Peggy Sherril. Back then I was Kickin Kev, I now go by DJ Spindoctor, and I’m still in the mix!!!

  106. I would load my car up with friends every Friday night and drive from Burlington in Skagit County to Skoochies. We would dance until the early hours. We would usually end up at the Doghouse for food and coffee before making the return drive home. We would all usually bomb back down Saturday night to do it all over again. The Cure would be our soundtrack for the ride. That feeling of driving across the I-5 bridge coming into downtown and hearing the Cure still brings me back to that feeling of being 18 and free.

  107. I remember the turntables suspended by wires all the way down from the ceiling. While Blue Monday by New Order was playing, bringing down the house…the turntables would sway back & forth…really cool! I was mesmerized!

  108. Jono Valentine, worked security & played way too much at almost all of those clubs. Clean & Sober 30+ years now.
    No Regrets !

  109. The Monastery, oh i remember oh so well. I was like 21_25 going there. Got upstairs to drink beer cause I was hot. Oh so many many weekend nights were spent there till 6:00 in the morning and many times we would go to the Doghouse for breakfast. Lots of memories. One was the first time I heard Billie Jean by Michael jackson and ran up to the dj and asked who it was exclaiming this is going to be huge! And I loved it for I could just get out and dance for hours on end.

  110. TNT, Back to Back, City Beat, Monastary,
    Neighbors, Schoochies, Club Broadway.
    After reading the posts, the past. Those where the days. Still remember George F.. Dana A. Randy S.
    Alan B., John E.

  111. I’ve been reading all the posts here back to 2007. I take it most of you are from the Sequim area? Because I’m from Seattle and went to The Oz off of Aurora (was other names too) I remember their 15,000 watt system. Perfect for the day. I’m 50 and hung out mostly in the U district at that under age club don’t remember the name and the 449 club on 3rd and 85th and that club on Queen Anne 1 block North of Dick’s. We also hung out at club broadway, Dick’s on Holman Road and The Cove at Golden Gardens beach was great for kegs. Love all those memories

  112. My coming out party was at the Monastary in a way. I had went once before and felt kind of weird because i could hear whispers from people saying…”oh he not gay”.

    The second time i went my best friend Richard Yawson turned me on to some MDA and that was all it took for me to come out. I danced the night away and experienced my first morning madness at some guys home that Randy T had invited me to. I came out of my closet faster than i knew what was happening after a couple of months and I thank the Monastary and every one that i came in contact with who showed nothing but love for me and i thank them all for helping me be comfortable with myself being gay. The day it shut down i remember i was at work with the radio on when the news about the Monastary would be shutting down broke out. I was stunned but not surprised due to the problems at the club and the court battles. Never found another club like it. Starting going to the Brass Connection and Neighbors and those clubs were alright i suppose, but they never did or could touch the Monastary. Not sure if people remember me but i was the little black guy that loved to dance my ass off there. Me and George would occasionally tear it up on the dance floor and would have fun with each other and show off. He was an awesome dancer. Oh well thanks for bringing the memories back. Come to think of it, the actually never left!

  113. I was a Monastery kid from 1980-1982. I heard of Skoochies, but only went once. I went to Bothell High, and a librarian told me about rap sessions at the U.W. I met a guy who told me about the Monastery, and I went. I remember first harrowing the bass in the sidewalk. I walked up and paid and walked into heaven. This was B.M. (before Madonna). They were playing, Tantra, Hills of Kathmandu, The Break, Hit n Run Lover, etc. Real disco. I was in love. Never heard a sound system like it, nor since. I quickly became friends with George Freeman, and never paid again. I spent every day there after work. I didn’t do drugs, then a year later I was turned on to MDA. Wow, I was hooked. It was great till 1982 when I was offered acid and had a very bad trip. I left Seattle the next day drove to San Diego and had a nervous breakdown. So much else happened there that was good, and I wouldn’t have missed it. I’m a musician, and I write and produce club music kids are dancing to in clubs today. I’m successful, and very happy. The music at the Monastery still has a huge influence in my music. I only remember Dana the DO, were still friends. He has the original or did last we talked phase linear amps from the Monastery. We called it the Sanctuary Monastery interchangeably. Good and bad memories. I also dayed the owner of Tonights the Night disco.

  114. Holy crap!! On a whim i googled skoochies and city beat. Monastary had just closed. But yes, yes, Brian and Brian, Robert, Kaila, Susan and i lived together on Cap hill, as well as Larry. I remember Lee and Andrea, Larry from Alaska, Helen, and so many others we were just kids all high on MDA. I originally came to go to the Art Institue but ended up just dancing, and wandering Seattle all hours. I miss the music, i miss my orange fluvogs and my doc martins with bows, bubble skirts, jingle belts, awwwee memories, i remember Tai, Pauline, Deanna, Carl, Bat cave Ray!!! Yes i remember Roxy, blind guy on acid, and then there was andrea, amy!!! Joey! So many of us kids!

  115. Wow I so loved to dance in the Monastary It had that ultra Modern sound system Yaz and love and all good things I was a child then I would like to say hello and thank you to the wonderful people who made me feel so comfortable to be myself, It has stuck with me all of my life XO

  116. I just came across this when I was searching for 1980’s monastery in Seattle. I graduated in 1982 (high school) I went to the Monastery for a dare in June (1982) on a Saturday night and “BAM” I was addicted. Incredible music, fun atmosphere and WILD people made it the “In Place to Be” on a Friday and Saturday night that dragged into Morning Madness on capital hill on Sunday. I am 55 now and those times back in 1982 until I turned 21 in 1985 will never be erased from my mind. That is the best time of my life. What a blast I had back then . I was hanging out with my best friend Mark P. and Kelly Boyd. I miss the Monastery very much !

  117. Wow… I’m writing some stories about living on the streets in Seattle in 85-86. I used the name Morgan, I’m from Portland and I hung out on Broadway with Boy Mike, Sky, Matthew, Vic, Monroe, Doug (so handsome) and Fuchsia. Of course Roxy and “That’sWhat Friends are For” at City Beat. I’m looking for a woman named Biergit who volunteered at the Orion Center and also Kassie from somewhere who let met crash at her apartment. She loved the Smiths so much and her family was so sweet. I was Gothy and Queer at the time. I remember the Winchells on Broadway and the cheap metal ashtrays that you could flatten out until they spelled “Hell’s Nut House” I knew Skinhead Pete from Corvallis, Shmoo, and a guy named John? who gave me my first skateboard because he worked at Fallout. I first moved in with a girl named Annette in a studio apartment next to the Paramount, I went to the Orion Center on Terry and spent a ton of my nights at City Beat. Also I worked for a minute at Trattoria Pagliacci on Broadway while the Orion Center put me up at the YWCA, I finally moved back to Portland and started working at Roxy Heart’s, eventually I ended up owning my own restaurant in Portland. Go figure.

  118. Boy those were the days. I was a street kid.I loved at the church off and on for about three years.I was known as little you from back then. Speedy Ronnie , miss you. I ended up living with Dana at the end of his life on Madison Street. I will remember you forever Dana. If you remember me I would love to hear from you. Blessings to all

  119. Conrad, this is super weird because I googled KYYX and Skoochies, Seattle today and the first thing that popped up was your blog and I know you from when I worked at the Lincoln Theatre here in MV. I am trying to figure out if I ever met you way back then. I was from Issaquah. Not a Batcaver, I wore vintage mostly. Loved Pray The Gay Away, beautiful work!

  120. Hi Tobie,
    I’m so glad you liked Pray the Away® the musical! That was an important project to me and I’m excited about where the show is going.

    I went to Skoochies, City Beat and Monastery around the years 1982-1986. I was also usually vintage but every once in a while would rat my hair out because it was just fun to do. Incidentally, for the PTGA show we used photos from Skoochies as a guide to some of the costuming since PTGA took place in 1982. The cast had a lot of fun with that.

  121. I could never enjoy Skoochies, after all of the fantastic Monastery weekends. It just wasn’t interesting enough or the music wasn’t quite right…and, of course, Skoochies didn’t have the movies or the edginess.
    After The Monastery closed I (and some friends) would sit across the street from Skoochies and draw on the sidewalk with chalk. I also use to sell rubber bands to people (don’t ask me why- I don’t recall)…Sometimes we’d go to City Beat or hang out along U-District Ave…later it was Gorilla Gardens, etc.
    What made me search, and find this site, was I was looking through some old photos earlier today and found a couple that show police descending on Skootchies- cop cars and kids running everywhere. I must have been across the street with my camera when they shut it all down.
    I did plenty of drugs back then…made it through…went to college and am now a conservation biologist…so not the arts I’m afraid.

  122. We loved going to these clubs and listening to The Cure, and Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb, Souxie, Yazz, Soft Cell, “you spin me right round baby, right round, like a record baybe, …” and “going on up to the spirit in the sky”, LOL! And also The Vogue on 1st ave., and up in B.C., what was it, The Love Affair. maybe? I don’t remember. Bunch of weirdos up there, eh?

  123. I love this blog. As I get older, and people pass on, sadly some in our chosen family beginning from the days of these bygone clubs, suddenly searching the internet for more photos, articles and the like. My ears always perk up when someone says “Goth” but when I hear or see “Bat Caver” you have my complete attention. Thanks for a good read.

  124. OMG! I was a serious ‘Bat Caver’ & was a regular at the Vogue & Monastery in the early 80’s I was the SUPER pale girl w/short white spiked hair & Anyone remember ‘Jet Boy’ or Michelle Cary-Criminale’’? I got to tie Jet up for his 1st flogging at the Monastery . I now have a small biz making natural soap & body care products in the SF Bay Area. Cheers!

  125. I was a Skoochies Pirate! I basically lived to make enough to live there Wednesday thru Sunday… It gave me a safe shelter away from Dominary and dysfunctional Catholic parents. It was my first taste of freedom and independence and self awareness. I met my wife there and we had three beautiful children. After it’s closure I could never return to my parents world and went on to a 20 year career in the Marines, hardly a social outcast, or loser.

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