Southern Culture on the Skids plays tonight at Growler’s American Grill. Click here to read the full text of the story below and get show details.
Drummer Dave Hartman remembers the old King’s Inn as a sort of mythological place. He was too young to get in when it was in its heyday, but he and his buddies would gather in the alley behind it, drinking beer — he wasn’t sure how they got the beer, because they weren’t old enough — and dreaming of being inside.
“We would spend the whole night down there,” Hartman said. “The bands would start at 9 and they would go till 2. And we would sit out back there and drink beer and party. And no one ever came out the back door.
“We thought it was the most glamorous place inside. We’d never seen it, and we could only imagine all the people partying in there and all the musicians. And we just dreamed of a day where we would finally be old enough to get in there.”
It was never to be, though. Hartman, 50, said that the joint shut its doors for good in 1980, on the day that he turned 18.
“Our image of what it must have been like in there and the reality of what it must have been like in there was really far apart,” he said. “We imagined it was like New York City in there or something, like Max’s Kansas City.”
But he and his friends were able to get into at least one bar before they came of age. The place was Shaky Jake’s, now the Backstreet Cafe on Salem Avenue, and it was the place where a young Hartman first realized the perks of playing in a band. Full story | Podcast