The Crocodile opened as a music venue in 1991 with a show by the Posies and Love Battery. Now after nearly 30 years (with a closure and renovation tucked in there), as The Seattle Times reported yesterday, it’s leaving its green crocodile-scaled building. It’s going the way of Re-Bar, which announced in May that it’ll move to South Seattle next year. Just like that two grunge havens, where so many memories and so much Seattle history has been made—Nirvana! Mudhoney! Pearl Jam!—will leave their first physical forms behind.
I’m not without a sentimental streak but these places aren’t singular buildings like the Showbox or the Paramount. They’re architectural shrugs. And the new digs that the Crocodile will move into, just a few blocks away, in the old El Gaucho building, look to be an improvement.
Buildings might jog a few memories, but they are not themselves memories, and clinging to a few black-walled rooms where you’ve seen great shows accomplishes little. A struggling venue persisting however it can at the moment is commendable. Bands will still play. The new spaces will still smell like spilled Rainier. All I hope is that the new Crocodile’s stage will remain uncommonly high, so that us short folks can still see who’s on it.