The Bird (Seattle’s first punk rock club) Closing Night Party Ruckus, June 1, 1978
(Note: the Bird–in addition to hosting punk shows–also doubled as the practice space for a band called the Enemy, managed by Roger Husbands.)
The Bird’s closing featured a not-atypical confrontation with the Seattle police. The landlord ordered Husbands to vacate effective June 1, 1978. The closing-night party exemplified the strained and confrontational relationship between the police and the punk rock community.
A small group, including members of the Enemy, exited the Bird and migrated to the roof after midnight. Enemy drummer Peter Barnes describes the aftershow party as “lame” until some people started throwing things off the roof. “Somehow it ended up that the cops were called,” Barnes recalls. “And they showed up, and they sent the vice squad after us…I mean, the really heavy-duty cops….They slammed badges in peoples’ faces and they called us faggots and they threw people on the ground. We had a rather diminutive woman lead singer, Suzanne [Grant], and they twisted her arm behind her back and broke it.” Damon Titus, the Enemy’s guitar player, complained about Grant’s treatment to the police and was rewarded by having his face smashed into the pavement.
Unfortunately for the police department, a partygoer happened to record the entire roof melee on tape. The band sued the police and won a court-ordered monetary settlement. An excerpt of the confrontation later found its way onto an Enemy single called “Trendy Violence.”