Sitting in the gray Seattle mist I've been thinking of the 1960's and '70's and how much has changed. Our old hangout around First and Pike and the Pike Place Market is all cleaned up for the tourists. In the '60's they were even thinking of tearing the Market down but someone came to their senses. The market lower levels were hardly used and in disrepair, below Place Pigalle was a huge pottery studio and home to the Mexican potter and family, the Market Theater was only open for "special" events. Starbucks Coffee opened their first store in '71 and we used to sell the Helix (underground) Newspaper on street corners in the area.
These were the hippie days and we did hippie things like music fests in the parks, closed the freeway with an anti-Vietnam march and listened to music, music, music. I had just come up from the San Francisco area where I had done lite shows in the Santa Cruz mountains. The Retina Circus was the lite show for the Eagles Auditorium where all the big touring groups came and I helped them out from time to time ... at least got in free to see my favorite groups. Nice video of their story at the bottom here.
My first job was with Pat O'Day, the KJR disk jockey, that did weekend dances at various Roller Rinks. Turns out 'ol Pat wasn't brave enough to try all the colored lights at the Lynnwood Roller Rink so only allowed a strobe-lite. Next I tried the Show Box that was then called The Happening and that became a weekly Fri/Sat show. The Happening is almost First and Pike so we were back in our old stomping grounds.
The Seattle Police eventually put an end to lite shows by bringing up a 1914 Blue Law that said so much "candle power" of illumination had to be on the dance floor. About 5 of us sat in a detectives office while he told us the real reason was they wanted to stop the hippie invasion from California.
Show Box - 1426 First Ave
Built in the 1930's
The Happening back in the day
The Show Box now
The Barn in Scotts Valley - Santa Cruz
Our show was similar in that it was layer upon layer of shapes and colors