Satyricon (nightclub)

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The Satyricon as pictured in 2007.

Satyricon was a nightclub in the Old Town neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, United States, best known as a venue for local and touring alternative rock bands and referred to as the oldest rock club on the West Coast.[1]


Satyricon, located at 125 N.W. Sixth Avenue (formerly "Marlowe's Tavern, a dark, narrow barroom on a seedy stretch") opened in 1983 and operated until May 2003, with mostly indie and punk rock bands performing.[2] The club was named by its founder George Touhouliotis after Federico Fellini's film of that name, and included a restaurant called Fellini.[1]

The Satyricon was known for being the one venue in Portland "where everyone who was or would be anyone in Northwest rock played over the course of two decades,"[1] earning the nightclub a national reputation. The club became a popular hangout for rock fans and musicians, and was a regular venue for local punk bands the Wipers and Poison Idea.[3] It was also frequented by Courtney Love, who met friend/bandmate Kat Bjelland there in 1983.[4] The club is also notable for being the place where Love first crossed paths with her future husband, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain; according to Love, she met Cobain there in 1988 at a Dharma Bums concert,[5] although other accounts state that the two met in January 1989 or 1990 when Nirvana was playing at the club,[6] and that they playfully wrestled in front of a jukebox that night.

Other notable events at the club included Chuck Paugh's first rave party there in 1985, as well as Dave Grohl playing his first show with his post-Nirvana outfit Foo Fighters after Cobain's suicide. Pearl Jam also played the club on September 28, 1991.[7] Other events, besides notable concerts, include a number of incidents involving notable people (including Courtney Love passing out) and a police riot in 1990.[8]

The club closed in 2003 and was slated to be taken over by the owners of another (former) club in town, Moody's.[2] It reopened as an all-ages club in August 2006 under the management of the owners of the Loveland, an all-ages venue in Portland.[9] It closed in October 2010.[2][10] Demolition began in July 2011.[11] Much of the building was down by October 2011. A crane was visible and new construction started November 2011.

The news headlines arising from Satyricon include:[8]

  • Satyricon License Threatened By Drug Bust
  • "Riot" At Satyricon
  • Audience Dances Naked At Satyricon
  • Courtney Love Passes Out At Satyricon
  • Midnight Madness
  • Satyricon's Dirty Dozen
  • Police Sue Six Men Over Scuffle
  • Whose Riot Was That, Anyway?

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Willamette Week Music Staff (June 11, 2003). "Music & Nightlife: Hiss and Vinegar—Satyricon Morphs Into Moody's". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  2. ^ a b c Marty Hughley (October 18, 2010). "Portland nightclub Satyricon says farewell with series of reunion shows". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  3. ^ Ammann, Ana (20 October 2010). "Satyricon says farewell for the last time". Oregon Music News. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Jarman, Casey; Mannheimer, Michael; Horton, Jay (27 October 2010). "I Think I Was There: An oral history of the Satyricon". The Willamette Week. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Courtney Love". On The Record. 2010-05-10. Fuse. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  6. ^ Green, Joey. How they met: fateful encounters of famous lovebirds, rivals, partners in crime. Black Dog Publishing. pp. 69–70. 
  7. ^ "Pearl Jam venues"
  8. ^ a b Zach Dundas (May 14, 2003). "Notorious—Nearly 20 years of raucous rock and roll made Satyricon famous...and infamous". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  9. ^ "Legendary Portland rock club Satyricon to reopen; Loveland to fade away". Willamette Week. 9 August 2006. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Casey Jarman (3 August 2010). "Satyricon to Close (Forever) in October". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  11. ^ Molly Hottle (July 27, 2011). "Demolition begins on building that once housed Satyricon nightclub" The Oregonian. Retrieved 2011-11-27.

Coordinates: 45°31′27″N 122°40′36″W / 45.524209°N 122.676773°W / 45.524209; -122.676773