I First Read The Stranger 30 Years Ago in a Popcorn Stand



The infamous "Pike or Pine" Almost Live skit deserves a link Charles:


When The Stranger started it was in completion with The Urban Spelunker - I knew one of the guys trying to keep it going - but The Stranger was just too good.


In '91 I had seen the Stranger around but it didn't make much of an impression on me, until we were sitting in the smoking section of the U-Dist IHOP reading the personal ads aloud try to make sense of them. The one that sticks to my mind, someone a couple I believe it was were seeking a human housepet. A food and board for sexual access arrangement.


Ah, so many memories:

Inga Muscio writing a snarky review of a play I directed called "A Couple Of White Chicks Sitting Around Talking" and complaining that it only had a cast of two.

Annex Theatre winning a Seattle Pretty Inclusive Theatre (SPIT) Award

A long-running battle I had with theatre critic Brendan Kiley over his policy of spelling all versions of "theatre" as "theater", including the official names of producing companies, because (as he claimed) the stoned, minimum wage copy readers they hired were too confused by the alternate spellings

The hilarious - and extremely blasphemous - Dina Martina as The Virgin Mary cover

Taking a tour of the old Capitol Hill offices and being literally afraid for staff upon seeing Mudede's teetering "bookcase of death"

SLOG Happies

Still wondering what that image of a weird, toilet seat shaped thing was Dan Savage posted in an edition of Savage Love

Being interviewed on a ladder by Christopher Frizzelle while I was painting the outside of Annex Theatre just down the block

Brendan Kiley getting pied-in-the-face at that same Annex Theatre during an edition of "Spin The Bottle"

Former Arts & Music Editor Sean Nelson playing the piano at my birthday party

Seriously, I could go on - 30 years is a long time to collect memories.

Happy 30th birthday, The Stranger. You're staggering into middle age, but still fighting like a drunken sailor on shore leave to maintain that same irreverent, "fuck you" attitude you've had from the beginning. Keep it up, kids - you have big shoes to fill, but seriously, spray them with a generous dose of Odor X before you slip them on.


Well, you're Annex Theatre tattoo avatar you used to use makes more sense more.


A decade or so ago at Lifelong thrift (when it was a smaller space on Union) I spotted an old issue of the Stranger they were selling. It was the issue with Dan Savage in Drag on the cover, I'm not sure what year that was. But the store saw it as a collector's item so the price was bumped up ($5? I don't remember). I still sometimes wonder who bought that issue and if they still have it.


Passing through Seattle, I first read the Stranger at RKCNDY in May 1992. I moved here 3 months later.


I always liked “Last Days”.
The Stranger sure has gone down hill since then.