The Moon: The Blue Moon Tavern. The quintessential University District tavern,
                famous for being the incubator for many a Seattle writer. There was a proposal to tear it
                down a couple years ago, replacing it with a stack of condos or an office tower (can't
                remember which), but there was such an uproar that the developers first offered to let the
                Moon remain in the first floor (which would have been a complete incongruity, if there
                ever was one), then abandoned the idea altogether. Now accorded unofficial landmark
                status. One of the last vestiges, in other words, of what Seattle used to be.
Footnotes to the decade: 1930-1940

Friday, November 19, 1999

               A lair for the artsy: The Blue Moon Tavern in the U
               District opened its doors on April 15, 1934. It became a
               beloved hangout of poets, the Beat Generation and 60's
               activists and gave new meaning to the phrase "lit major." In
               the late 1980's, however, the Blue Moon was marked for
               demolition and saved from the wrecker's ball at the
               eleventh hour by a civic crusade with broad support (one
               holdout: The Seattle Times). The tavern gained official
               landmark status in 1990.

Hieronymus says one of his personal favorites is the Blue Moon Tavern in Seattle, a literary dive where the
Beatnik spirit lives on. Novelist Tom Robbins described the place as "a frenzy of distorted joy spinning just
         outside the reach of bourgeois horrors." It got two stars in the guide.,2092,261049,00.html

According to our friends at the famous Blue Moon Tavern in Seattle, Hale's
                                     Celebration Porter improves your dream life, a ringing endorsement that
                                     has always made us smile. Hale's Celebration Porter was brewed to
                                     celebrate our 100th brew. Today, thousands of brews later, we're still
                                     celebrating. After all, good Porter is the stuff dreams are made of!'s_Celebration_Porter

Jim David sold his share to his brother
                   Jack in 1959. In turn, Jack sold the Blue
                   Moon to Stanford Poll and Dr. Paul
                   Chilton in 1966. They enlarged the tavern
                   to make room for the hordes of hippies and
                   New Leftists who began to supersede the
                   Moon's traditional clientele of beatniks
                   and Old Leftists. The Blue Moon became
                   famous (or infamous) as a clubhouse for
                   Seattle's emerging counterculture. Former
                   Communist Stan Iverson (1927-1985)
                   reigned as its unofficial maitre 'd.

The tavern was rescued from certain
                   eclipse in 1982 by "Three Fools, Inc.,"
                   comprising partners Gustav Hellthaler,
                   Robert Morrison, and John Caldbick. Two
                   years later, in 1984, the Blue Moon was
                   refurbished for its 50th anniversary and
                   won a new generation of customers.

                                                                          See Walt Crowley's Forever Blue Moon, The Story of Seattle's Most (In)Famous Tavern
                                                   Blue Moon Tavern, (Seattle: Blue Moon Tavern, 1992).
& online at HistoryLink,
Blue Moon Tavern, An Unofficial Cultural Landmark

"Some nights the wolves are silent and the moon howls."

--- Bathroom graffiti in the Blue Moon Tavern, (Auntie Dave
believes he wrote it one dark eve; another version became
"Some nights the moon howls & the dogs lay low" )

Blue Moon Tavern

                       Hours: Opens at noon, closes late
                       Beer Selection: 12 taps, Northwest craft beers.
                       Source of information: Info from the Beer Travelers Page


 Uten eget mikrobryggeri men likevel verd et besøk for
 de mer eventyrlystne er legendariske Blue Moon
 Tavern (712 NE 45th Street), hvor Jimi Hendrix engang
 var stamgjest. Fortsatt er det ingen som hever
 øyenbrynet over en slåsskamp eller noen knuste ølglass.
 Eksosryper passer baren, og et høyst blandet publikum
 gir et spennende speilbilde av byen på godt og vondt.
 Den spesielle Seattle-humoren fornekter seg heller ikke
 her. Det er en humor som har fått en av av byens
 strippe-klubber til å avertere med "50 beautiful women
 & three ugly ones", mens et lokalt popband presterte en
 sangtittel som "She won't get under me till I get over




       Sunday, April 13, 1997
           4:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm CDT - 2:00 pm MDT - 1:00 pm PDT


    Well, for all intents and purposes Seattle stiffed at the Sunday AG remembrance. I wasn't at either the Anne
    Waldman remembrance on Friday in Auburn nor at the Ted Joans reading in the U District on Saturday
[at Recollection Used Books],
but the Blue Moon was pretty much a ghost town on Sunday. Just goes to show that no matter how much you can try and do
    with the wonders of email and the net/web with only a few days notice it doesn't guarantee ANYthing. I tried.

    I arrived at noon to start setting up and got a lot of very friendly, courteous help from the regular soundmen who
    take care of bands at the place, who were very helpful considering they hadn't heard anything about what was
    going to be happening until I got there, not to mention didn't know me from Adam. We moved one of the pool tables
    out of the way and had a small PA all set up as well as a perfect little makeshift stage with a microphone, stool,
    music easel, and movable lamp from which to read from. A photographer and journalist from the Seattle Times
    showed up, waiting for a story and stayed for a good couple of hours. And even though we were all ready to go at
    1 PM there was no sign of a crowd of AG admirers at all. Only three patrons were overtly there for the
    remembrance (not counting my two friends who showed up) and no one was interested in actually reading anything
    in front of the place, so I waited until about 2 PM to see if anyone else was going to show up and there was no
    noticeable difference. Tom Robbins didn't show up. Nor did Anne Waldman. So at 2 I took to the microphone and
    introduced myself and what the occasion was and read Anne Waldman's deathbedside poem. Even though I'm a
    writer I don't really consider myself much of a reader and felt that Allen himself could do a lot better justice with
    his own material than little old me, and luckily my friend Russell had brought with him the first disc of the Holy
    Soul Jelly Roll CD boxed set with him, so I decided just to have the barkeep put it on the CD player and start off
    with track 5 which is, of course, Howl.

    The regulars were pretty confused as to what was going on, specifically as to what was being recited over the
    sound system. A few of the regulars, upon learning that it was a poem called "Howl" actually started to howl for
    about a minute or two.

    Actual overheard comments from the regulars:

    "Is this Winston Churchill?"

    "It's War of the Worlds"

    "Is this the tape of a radio show?"

    About halfway through Howl the crowd seemed to finally coalesce with it and I dare think that everybody seemed
    to be enjoying it enough that I just decided to let Allen continue, so I let the rest of the CD play, so we all listened
    to Footnote to Howl then America, Sunflower Sutra, Green Valentines Blues, and Death to Van Gogh's Ear before
    I decided not to push my luck and let the barkeep reclaim the sound system as everyone started playing pool again
    and the eight Rolling Stones CDs that the barkeep brought with him were returned to the CD carousel and put on
    "shuffle" for the rest of the afternoon/evening. Russell and Bryan and I helped the soundmen break down the stage
    and put the PA away, then we just decided to play a few rounds of cutthroat over pints before heading out. I think
    all told I spent about 8 hours at the tavern. I was SO glad to finally get outside when we left. I never spend THAT
    long at a tavern even on a GOOD night. :)

    I think the best thing about the day was as I was leaving I was introduced by one of the soundmen to one of the
    owners of the place who extended the generosity of the place to me and any future ideas I may have for readings.

    A few days ago I had a couple of personal emails from two AG fans from the Seattle area who were both under 21
    therefore couldn't make it to the Blue Moon, and in retrospect I wish I had organized something at, say, a Buddhist
    temple where they could have joined in rather than deciding that the Kerouac connection with the Blue Moon was
    enough of a reason to have that place as the spot for the remembrance. Ah well. 20/20 hindsight, eh?

Professor Joseph Butterworth

                 Roethke (RET-key; rymes with Teddy).
                                                                           Patron of the Blue Moon Tavern, where he
                                 & his students sucked suds & wrote poetry in Seattle.

                     Butterworth's case was worse. In a specialized area like Old English, there is no work outside
                     academia, and Butterworth seemed unsuited for other kinds of labor. After he was fired, he could
                     not find any academic position even though he wrote letters to all 2,000 members of the Modern
                     Language Association. He eventually went on public assistance. Described as a "broken man" who
haunted Seattle's Blue Moon Tavern in the '50s, he died in 1970.

Kizer is the second--James Wright came first in 1972--to win the Pulitzer.  Hugo, who died in 1982, won major awards and
became an influential teacher in his own right in the creative writing program he directed at the University of Montana.
David Wagoner, who studied with Roethke earlier at Penn State and joined him on the UW faculty, is among the most
prolific and prize-laden of American poets, a chancellor of the prestigious Academy of American Poets.

All were part of what Kizer, in a 1956 article in The New Republic magazine, declared to be a new school of poets
emerging in the Northwest.  Roethke was there for inspiration, painters Mark Tobey and Morris Graves influenced mood and
color, and art was created in an atmosphere of respect, criticism and support, she wrote.  Part of the milieu was the Blue
Moon tavern in 45th Street, "a grubby oasis just outside the university's one-mile-limit Sahara," Kizer wrote, where "poets,
pedants, painters and other assorted wildlife make overtures to each other."

It is, we suppose, a heartening story, but it is a sad one too. Rader was
    an earnest liberal in the 30's --- supporting such causes as Unionism,
    anti-fascism, and the anti-Franco forces in Spain. He also detested
    communism for its apparent need to infiltrate and destroy the
    institutions of democracy. He was a good man faced with a slippery
    bunch of people who saw him as the enemy, who told tales to prove that
    he was indeed, a card-carrying "fellow-traveller." (Fellow traveller ---
    along with "5th Amendment Communist" --- were phrases used to snag
    people who had not joined the party, but seemed to agree with the
    principles that the party espoused).

    While I lived in Seattle, I was introduced to one of the professors who
    did not fight back. He had been a respected teacher of English
    literature, but was sacked by the University because someone claimed
    that he was communist. He spent his last years drunk to insensibility in
    the local university hangout, the Blue Moon Tavern --- a ragged,
    shabby, friendless old drunk.

Anita's Book of Days -- Sunday, July 5, 1998
...Gonzalez one night at the Blue Moon Tavern, and Victor...
...though they were all part of the Seattle dance scene. Hal, whom we know...

McDermott, Terry. “A Collision of Sexual Eras at Blue Moon”, The Seattle Times, p B1 (April 4, 1996).
            Abs: The subject at the Blue Moon Tavern last night was sex, 30 years after it was let loose, and the
            headliners were Dan Savage, the sex-advice columnist, and Tom Robbins, the novelist. The Barnumesque
            pairing of the man who made “Hey Faggot” a term of endearment and the man who brought Jesus back from
            the dead only to lose the body in the catacombs was guaranteed to bleed the Blue Moon keg pumps dry.
            Haines, Thomas W. “Author Autograph Tiff Ends In Settlement” (Reports on the resolution of the court case
            brought by Nicholas Palmer after T. R. signed the book “Fuck Yes”, see Streiffield, 1994), The Seattle
            Times, p B3 (May 2, 1996).

Bods vs. Beers: The grand old Rainbow Tavern is now a no-booze
         "showgirls" establishment. It's nice that some guys are finding drug-free
         entertainment, but from a hetero-male standpoint it's disadvantageous
         that we're getting more places to look at women, but fewer places to
         meet them. (Most of the picketers outside it, claiming it demeans
         women, were men, mainly regulars from the nearby Blue Moon.
         Imagine Blue Moon people calling someplace else sleazy!)

Richard Hugo Letter to Kizer from Seattle:

Dear Condor: Much thanks for that telephonic support
from North Carolina when I suddenly went ape
in the Iowa tulips. Lord, but I'm ashamed.
I was afraid, it seemed, according to the doctor
of impending success, winning some poetry prizes
or getting a wet kiss. The more popular I got,
the softer the soft cry in my head: Don't believe them.
You were never good. Then I broke and proved it.
Ten successive days I alienated women
I liked best. I told a coed why her poems were bad
(they weren't) and didn't understand a word I said.
Really warped. The phrase "I'll be all right"
came out too many unsolicited times. I'm o.k. now.
I'm back at the primal source of poems: wind, sea
and rain, the market and the salmon. Speaking
of the market, they're having a vital election here.
Save the market? Tear it down? The forces of evil
maintain they're trying to save it too, obscuring,
of course, the issue. The forces of righteousness,
me and my friends, are praying for a storm, one
of those grim dark rolling southwest downpours
that will leave the electorate sane. I'm the last poet
to teach the Roethke chair under Heilman.
He's retiring after 23 years. Most of the old gang
is gone. Sol Katz is aging. Who isn't? It's close now
to the end of summer and would you believe it
I've ignored the Blue Moon. I did go to White Center,
you know, my home town, and the people there,
many are the same, but also aging, balking, remarkably
polite and calm. A man whose name escapes me
said he thinks he had known me, the boy who went alone
to Longfellow Creek and who laughed and cried
for no reason. The city is huge, maybe three quarters
of a million and lots of crime. They are indicting
the former chief of police. Sorry to be so rambling.
I eat lunch with J. Hillis Miller, brilliant and nice
as they come, in the faculty club, overlooking the lake,
much of it now filled in. And I tour old haunts,
been twice to Kapowsin. One trout. One perch. One poem.
Take care, oh wisest of condors. Love. Dick. Thanks again.

BlueMoonTavern Online
...front windows of Seattle's Blue MoonTavern. Since...
Description: Since its founding in 1934, the Moon has become a beacon for generations of free-thinkers, radicals,...

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Ross Lavrov

Stan Iverson, a suspected fixture:

A Stan Iverson bit.... I found this email in some internet forum a few years back, with reference to Stan & the Blue Moon Tavern back in 1960)

Stan was also a suspected flag burner.  When he wasn't drinking the Moon dry, he was often found aboard the Ora Ellwell,
where many a Mooner visited or partied over the years, or rather luguberiously working over those fine doughballs at Morningtown Pizza.

   From the Daily Bleed, October 19, 1996 -- US (More or Less):

    I was a little worried when I got to the Blue Moon
   Tavern in Seattle [today] . . .

                          Sorry, We're

                     Not only was my luggage lost & I was trusting United Airlines to
                        get it to the bar (& me) that evening, but the crowd didn't look like
                        your usual Stale Urine fan club: mostly older, single men in their
                        late 30s or early 40s. I was guessing that hard-rockin' '70s bands
                        would be more their style, not experimental performance art
                        industrial nerds.