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Things You Didn’t Know About The Feedback Lounge

April 22, 2014

Feedback Lounge

Here’s some gossip-worthy fun facts you may (or probably may not) know about the Feedback Lounge and those of us who are owned by it…

• The original Feedback Lounge logo was designed by famous artist, Art Chantry. Subsequent renditions of the bar’s branding were designed by the not-nearly-as-famous Jeff Gilbert, co-owner. One of Art’s early renditions is shown above, while another still adorns our Twitter profile pic: https://twitter.com/feedbacklounge

• The bar’s original sound system was the same one used for years by the iconic Crocodile rock club downtown. (They sold it to us at a pretty good price when they got their new fancy pants PA and digital mixing board with lots of shiny buttons.)

• Construction and remodel of the Feedback Lounge was done by Jason Levenson, Jeff Angell and Ben Anderson. Jeff and Ben now tour internationally with their very famous band, Walking Papers. (Jeff and Ben also perform with their other band, The Missionary Position. They released The Missionary Position: Live at the Feedback Lounge DVD last year. You can’t see us in the background attempting to photo bomb the show as we were edited out. Again.)

• Of all the rock stars who came to visit us, we’ve only had to cut off one: Alan White from Yes. He drank a LOT that night back in May 2009 during a star-studded gathering honoring Gene Stout from the Seattle P.I. Alan didn’t do anything rowdy, like throw our TV off the balcony. But when you can’t even recite lyrics to “Roundabout,” your band’s biggest hit, it’s time to call a cab.

Conversely, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons came in, drank a single Corona, leaving two swallows in the bottle. A customer asked if he could have it so as to build a shrine around it at home. Hard to deny a hard core rock fan.

• Co-owner Matt Johnson has won contests and awards from Grey Goose, Woodford, Crop Organic Spirits, Cutty Sark, and King 5 amongst others. For his job as a mixologist with Young’s Market he has created hundreds of custom cocktail menus for bars and restaurants of all sizes, most recently the Azteca chain, Cactus restaurants, Salty’s on Alki, and 1923 (the new bar at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas), and done over 1000 hours of staff spirits and mixology training. And he wears colorful ties while doing it.

• The legendary Johnny Ramone painting hanging in the bar for the last five years was done by Pearl Jam road manager, Kevin Shuss.

• Our Feedback Lounge hoodies and t-shirts are printed by Jim Sorenson, who screen printed the tour shirts for Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney and just about every other band in Seattle back in the day. Most fluids that come out of him are ink.

• Co-owner Jeff Gilbert, who works with Live Nation Concerts, Live Nation Comedy and STG, created all the gigantic posters, banners and billboards for the Paul McCartney show at Safeco Field last year. “It was a pain in the arse,” says Jeff. (Gilbert is also the guy behind all those wildly colorful, building shrouding outdoor banners for Cirque du Soleil in Portland.

Duff McKagen (Guns ‘N Roses/Walking Papers) played an acoustic show here several years ago. Looked plugged in to us.

• Numerous commercial rock videos and concerts have been filmed here, including the aforementioned Missionary Position, along with Van Epps, Travis Brächt, V & The Noise, Daughters of the Dead Sea, Nick Vigarino & Back Porch Stomp, and The Wired! Band. Our Tuesday night Blues To Do Live shows are taped for Public Access TV and streamed live on the internet.

• We were asked to host a KNDD-presented acoustic concert with Social Distortion a few years ago, but got rock blocked by an unnamed super jealous club downtown that wanted the show for themselves. (P.S. Their martinis still are overpriced and sucky.)

• Prior to being elected state governor, Jay Inslee held a pre-election fundraiser here. Before addressing the crowd he talked to us about the bar and liked our collection of rare rock memorabilia. His fav? The Who. (And The Stones.)

• Prior to becoming a bar owner, Matt Johnson ran Obsidian Press, a small publishing house specializing in rare and limited edition works from national horror genre authors. You wouldn’t know it, but Matt’s an accomplished (i.e., darn good) writer himself.

• Actress Judith O’Dea, best known for her roles as the immortal “Barbara” in the horror classic Night of the Living Dead (1968), was a guest at the Feedback Lounge a few years ago and signed some Halloween posters for us. They still hang in our office.

Speaking of horror…

• Co-owner Jeff Gilbert has been writing a daily horror/sci-fi movie blog called Drinkin’ ‘n Drive-in for the last six years – three of which was for MSNEntertainment.com. You can find at least 1,300 posts here: http://mansplat.wordpress.com/

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