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Gorilla Gardens proved crucial to Seattle’s alchemy of punk and metal into grunge, as the venue offered two separate shows on two distinct stages each night. Oftentimes, one area showcased punk, while the other featured heavy metal. Those twains ended up meeting quite a bit smack in the middle.
So popular was Gorilla Gardens among the competing (but soon to be unified) hard rock scenes, that when fire marshals attempted to close the club for being too crowded before a show in 1984, a quick-thinking employee grabbed a chainsaw and blasted through a wall to create some on-the-fly room extension. It worked.
That level intensity of Gorilla Gardens flared up more than once, but never more memorably than on November 26, 1985, when police and firefighters attempted to shut down a show by L.A. hardcore loons, the Circle Jerks. While a wild blizzard raged outside, punks and headbangers joined forces against the authorities. It turned ugly—but also kind of awesome—when club patrons came upon a delivery truck nearby that was open and loaded with bricks. Yow!
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