688 Club

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Club 688 in 1985
688 Club
688 Club.jpg
688 Club in 1984
Location688 Spring Street
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
OwnerSteve May
Tony Evans
John Wicker
Sheila Browning
Mike Hendry
Genre(s)New wave, alternative rock, post-punk, industrial, gothic
OpenedMay 1980
ClosedNovember 1986

The 688 Club was a popular alternative music venue in Atlanta, Georgia,[1] located at 688 Spring Street, near the intersection of Spring and 3rd Streets. The 688 Club opened in May 1980[2] and closed in November 1986.[3] The club was operated by Steve May.[4] The club was co-owned by Tony Evans,[5] John Wicker,[6] and in its final years by Mike Hendry.[7] Cathy Hendrix served as the club's music director.[8] During its brief lifetime, the 688 played host to hundreds of punk rock, new wave and alternative rock bands, many of whom would later become well known.[9]

During the early 1980s, the 688 Club was the primary place for up-and-coming bands from Atlanta and Athens, Georgia, to get noticed. Among the groups that regularly played there were R.E.M. and Pylon. The club spun off an independent record label, 688 Records,[10] which survived for a time even after 688 Club had closed.[11] Dash Rip Rock's self-titled debut LP was the first album released by 688 Records.[8]

After 688 Club[edit]

The club re-opened as the "686 Club" on December 31, 1986, but was renamed "The Rollick" the next day.[12][13] By 1990, the space was occupied by a club called "Weekends".[14] The club was operated by an Atlanta attorney as an industrial/goth club known as Tyranny from 1995 - 2000. The space was later occupied by Outa Control Inc.[15] Sometime thereafter, the original building was extensively remodeled, and as of July 2012 houses a Concentra urgent care medical facility.

List of performers[edit]

688 Club logo

A partial list of notable bands and artists that appeared at the 688 Club between 1980 and 1986:[14]


  1. ^ "The city's small-club circuit has the amps turned up again, with live-music venues offering a supercharged, stompin' scene". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1993-02-28. p. N1. She refers to the long-defunct 688 Club, the popular early-'80s new-wave venue that was a keystone in Atlanta's alternative music scene.
  2. ^ Hudspeth, Ron (1986-05-27). "Tuesday is Blues Day when it's after a holiday". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. B3. The 688 Club celebrates it sixth birthday this week and may be losing its reputation as the place for tourists to spot punks in the flesh.
  3. ^ "Georgia Power performed last act at 688 Club". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-11-14. Financial problems have forced the closing of the 688 Club, a 6-year-old fixture of Atlanta's pop-music scene.
  4. ^ "Night Beat". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1991-10-04. p. E4. Steve May, who guided the historic 688 Club during its short life (1980-86)[...]
  5. ^ "Night Beat". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1991-07-05. p. C4. No real plan yet for a deserved benefit/memorial show here for the late Tony Evans, the genial Brit best known as a co-owner of the old 688 Club.
  6. ^ "Little Five Points residents protesting recent skinhead violence". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-07-10. p. A22. The brutal beating of 688 Club part-owner John Wicker in the parking lot of the Spring Street club on December 16, 1985. Four skinheads have been charged.
  7. ^ Clark, Jeff (October 2008). "Numbers With Wings; Twenty-Two Years After It Closed, People Still Call 688 Atlanta's Greatest Rock Club". Stomp and Stammer. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Dash Rip Rock with Big Baby". The Mercy Lounge. 2007-01-10.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ a b "Being gifted songwriter not enough for Rodney Crowell". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-10-03. p. P2. Rodney Crowell is performing Friday at the 688 Club, a venue associated more with punk and new wave music than with country-rock, because he's learned it isn't enough to be a gifted songwriter.
  10. ^ "Dash Songs". The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.). 1986-12-12. The record was released by Atlanta's 688 Records, an offshoot from the 688 Club, one of the city's favorite new music nightspots.
  11. ^ "Variety of albums by local groups and labels has been released recently". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-11-30. p. J2. Atlanta's 688 Club is apparently history, but the record label it spawned lives on independently.
  12. ^ Hudspeth, Ron (1987-01-02). "New Year's Eve isn't what it used to be". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. C2. The closed 688 Club, which reopened New Year's Eve as the 686 Club, has been renamed The Rollick by its new owners.
  13. ^ a b "Fan now a member of his favorite band". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1987-05-01. p. P10. [Robert] Warren, a journalism student at Georgia State University in the summer of '84, will be playing bass with the Fleshtones at The Rollick, which was the 688 Club when he first saw the band.
  14. ^ a b DeVault, Russ (1990-04-27). "Crawford takes unsentimental journey home". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. D4. The tribute to the 688 Club, which from 1980 until '86 occupied the Spring Street space now filled by Weekends, will feature Athens bands[...]
  15. ^ "Atlanta Bars & Lounges - Area Code 404". Restaurant Guide Atlanta. Archived from the original on 2008-02-03. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
  16. ^ "A return to site of `first big break' for 10,000 Maniacs". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-03-29. p. L30. 10000 Maniacs: With the Windbreakers, at the 688 Club, 688 Spring St. Saturday, March 29. Club opens at 9 pm Music begins about 11 pm $5.
  17. ^ a b "Concert Calendar". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-06-20. p. P6. Atlanta's Swimming Pool Q's play tonight and Saturday at the 688 Club, 688 Spring St., with The Accelerators opening tonight and The Coolies Saturday.
  18. ^ "Bangles Trying to Shake Off `Cute' Persona". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1989-07-19. p. D3. Ms. Hoffs, who will perform Thursday at Six Flags Over Georgia with guitarist-vocalist Vicki Peterson, said "That's why we like to tour a lot, and while these summer shows are outdoors and larger, we still love to play in clubs - we used to play the 688 Club there."
  19. ^ "The music business still somewhat foreboding for the BoDeans". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-06-13. p. P6. The BoDeans: With opening act Cowboy & Spin Girl, at the 688 Club, 688 Spring St.
  20. ^ "Drivin' 'n' Cryin' 'n' rockin'". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-08-23. p. L22.
  21. ^ DeVault, Russ (1988-03-12). "Sergeant takes command; Echo & the Bunnymen's quiet guitarist speaks out". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. L29. They were relegated to punk-oriented halls such as Atlanta's long-gone 688 Club and were lucky to get their music played occasionally on non-commercial radio.
  22. ^ Smith, Lee (2001-07-18). "Show 'n' Tell: Kathy Valentine of the Go-Go's". Creative Loafing.
  23. ^ "Golden Palominos: Interchangeable players who can take a range of music and run". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-03-29. p. L31.
  24. ^ "Raunch Hands and Husker Du will rock this weekend". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-02-04. p. P8.
  25. ^ Kelly, James (2001-12-12). "Two decades and still burning: Jason and the Scorchers stare down the barrel of 20". Creative Loafing.
  26. ^ "Jesus and Mary Chain linked to bad image". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-03-07. p. P13.
  27. ^ "Joe Bidewell finds former Velvet Undergrounder John Cale performing nearby". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-11-07. p. P10. Joe Bidewell, who brings one of his three musical faces to Atlanta's Margaritaville tonight, finds it "incredible" that John Cale is performing a few blocks away at the 688 Club.
  28. ^ "Expect Hot Cooking at Blues, Barbecue Bust". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1988-08-05. p. C4. Fans of the defunct 688 Club may remember Johnny Clegg and Savuka [...] The 688 Club was where the multiracial South African band made its Atlanta debut.
  29. ^ "Richman's unique style attracts, alienates fans". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-10-02. p. B2. Jonathan Richman, who will perform at the 688 Club tonight, isn't the kind of performer who is either loved or hated.
  30. ^ "Love Tractor pulling for album release, accompanying tour". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-10-10. p. C12. Love Tractor, which likes to claim it's the last of the first Athens bands, warmed up for its Saturday night performance at the 688 Club by painting a house.
  31. ^ a b c Kelly, James (2007-10-17). "RuPaul: Starrbooty's revenge; Queen of drag returns to roots and meets Atlanta at the crossroads". Creative Loafing.
  32. ^ "The Flea had to flee from his LA pad, but he was hittin' the road anyway". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-09-03. p. B2. Flea, bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, had no trouble at all leaving home for the brief road trip that brings the funkily rocking Los Angeles quartet to the 688 Club tonight.
  33. ^ "Emmylou Harris pushing ahead, watching charts". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-06-26. p. P1. Emmylou Harris who, astonishingly, is scheduled to open for The Replacements June 28 at the 688 Club[...]
  34. ^ "Walk the West, Smithereens team up". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-08-08. p. P2. Walk the West, a Nashville band, and the Smithereens, a New Jersey band that sounds British, play tonight at the 688 Club, 688 Spring St.
  35. ^ "Hot Spots". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1986-10-10. p. P1. Timbuk 3, a husband, wife and jam box trio sing "The Future's So Bright I've Gotta Wear Shades" late tonight at the 688 Club, 688 Spring St.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°46′24″N 84°23′19″W / 33.7734°N 84.388551°W / 33.7734; -84.388551