Matchbook Monday #04

RKCNDY, Seattle, WA.
Matchbook from the legendary rock club RKCNDY in Seattle
Late summer in 1993, my plans had been laid to leave Seattle. I’d just been offered a position in San Diego to run the art department of a small sportswear company. I needed a change, and this was going to be a big one. I was meeting up with friends at the legendary RKCNDY for a bittersweet farewell.

Any reluctance to leave my hometown was overshadowed by the lingering memories of the two weeks I’d spent in California that July. My pal Scott and I had hauled his Hobie Cat 14 all the way down to San Diego, dipping it into the waves of the Pacific along the way. I’d had the interview scheduled, though at the time my mind was more on sailing and biking the long stretches of postcard-perfect beachfront. Scott, a recent U.W. grad, was also itching for change and became the catalyst for my move when he announced he was headed to the Bay Area to look for work. I was offered the job two weeks after I returned to Seattle.

That late summer night at the RKCNDY was like a perfect storm. I knew I was leaving town but not many of my friends did. We’d gathered at the club to see Panic, a band I was a part of in its former incarnation and that my closest high-school pal, George Hernandez, played bass for. No one knew, but I thought of the night as a sort of unofficial going-away party. We drank, laughed and caroused into the wee hours. We said our goodbyes in many ways, some more lasting than others. Many of those friends I have not seen since, some I still visit when in the City. Somewhere in my film archives I have the photos I shot that night. They could likely be described as “forgettable” by everyone but me.

The RKCNDY was a legendary rock club that played host to more great bands than I can remember. One show I was fortunate enough to see was Soundgarden performing unannounced before their tour for Badmotorfinger. They were listed on the bill as The Nude Dragons, an anagram they often used for pop-up shows. Later on RKCNDY went to an all-ages format but didn’t relent on booking high-caliber local and national acts. They closed their doors in 1999 and left an important mark on the Seattle music scene.

Have a memory from the RKCNDY or the Seattle scene? Drop me a comment, find me on Twitter, connect on Instagram, or say hi on Facebook.


  1. by Chad on March 31, 2014  3:56 pm Reply

    Those were great times, it is great the memories you can see by just closing your eyes and looking at the pictures you have in your head. Leaving was a great choice and seems to have gotten you to a great place. Glad I have known you all these years.

  2. by MG on March 31, 2014  9:37 pm Reply

    Fun night...thanks for the memories <3

  3. by Jeff Braimes on April 2, 2014  7:02 pm Reply

    Great memories, Gary. Most any memory of that period is "great" as so few are really accessible. That was a very special time and place on Earth. Our tribe was making history and of course we didn't know it. No one making history ever does…

    There were a lot of killer venues in that period, but this one inparticular was like our clubhouse. We didn't pay for beer, we had access to the place when it wasn't "open" and we could get booked on a weekend. So many memorable shows-- again, as well as any memory of the period holds up.

    If I had to pick one it might be Urge Overkill right after "Saturation" came out. That was 93, so it would have been around the time you write about here. They were peaking and I was super fuckin' in-love and generally very free.

    Long Live Rock and Roll. Long Live RKCNDY…

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