SEATTLE's BOXING CLUB (1011 E Pike Street) was the unusual site for a rock 'n' roll rumble of a gig on the broiling hot evening of Friday July 8, 1988. A cramped, shabby, old-school tough-guy gym, the Club hosted three local bands who each cut loose with howling sets before a sweaty, packed-in, all-ages crowd. I know – because I was there.
The event was billed as a "Psycho Delic Disco Orgy" – probably because the phrase "grunge rock" was barely a concept at that early point in time. And, as this handbill noted: the gig was also a record release party held to celebrate new releases by three first generation grunge bands – each of whom (Blood Circus, Swallow, and Mudhoney) were fresh signees to the now-legendary Sub Pop label.
Blood Circus' "Two Way Street" / "Six Foot Under" [SP13] and Swallow's "Trapped" / "Guts" [SP14] singles had both been released mere days prior in June – while Mudhoney's classic "Touch Me I'm Sick" / "Sweet Young Thing (Ain't Sweet No More)" [SP18] didn't actually drop until August.
Interestingly, during this time period it was Blood Circus who were the better-established band – indeed, both Mudhoney and Nirvana performed their first shows at Seattle's fabled Vogue club opening for them. Months later, in November, Nirvana's debut 45 – "Love Buzz" / "Big Cheese" [SP23] – was issued. The rest is, well, history...