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Wally Danger

The name of the "tavern" was just Tugs, without the puncuation. One of the owner's also owned a Tugboat business.

I want to track down the surviving employees: Shawn Farnsworth, Rick Peck, Ramon Wells, and Thomas. And David Hecker, the Tug owner. The only one I don't know how to contact is Thomas, don't remember his last name, think he's in New York. Saw him at the Eagle in 2002.

Slugbug

I wondered! I saw it somewhere as T.U.G.S. and wondered what could it mean? The Urban Gay Scene? I remember all those guys - Shawn, Rick Peck, Ramon and Thomas! Wow - if you tracked them all down it would be cool! The Facebook group got quite a few photos and members quickly - Ruby Montana! This could be a cool project! Last time I saw Rick Peck was at an art show on top of a skyscraper in Belltown. He was dressed all Moroccan (I think he'd been there before.)

Slugbug

The Facebook site is really taking off! It has 20 members and 30 pictures since yesterday!!!

Rick Peck

Mean Ricky Peck, MrBlisster, once His Celestial Highness of all Belltown, now el Rico de Tampa y la Casa Que Pasa is alive and well in Florida, just back from Portugal, and unpacking suitcases and memories (old and new)...

Happy New Year o EVERYONE! Let us make 2009 a renaissance of life, love, joy, and a little nastiness of one sort or another...

Slugbug

I can not believe this!!! Rick Peck!!

MrBlisster

I wonder who Slubug is...

MrBlisster (Mean Ricky)

As I posted to the group:

I was asked by Patrick to work at Tugs... He said that since I was there every day anyway, I might as well get paid. The truth is--I used to almost pass out, in the late afternoons, from over-consumption of "red beers" (for those who do not know, that's beer & tomato juice) in-a-ball-jar. Musta been 1977 or 78? Gee, ya'd think I could remember. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

I was hired about the same time as Ramon Wells, and we both were barbacks at first. We DID have fun. I recall how we used to button our Levi 501's together at the fly and wander the club like some conjoined aberration...

Where was I?
OH!
Yeah: At that time, Thomas Ames was manager, and behind the bar was a little cutie named Rob whose last name escapes me (did we even HAVE last names back then?)--he left Tugs to move to San Francisco and become a chef... Also behind the Bar was Luke--who left to return to Boston and assuage the broken heart and chase his ex boyfriend (a ballet dancer named Dominique), and the fabulous John (Rula Lenska) Gatzmier. At the door was Boaz.

Thomas was amazing. Among the other 1001 things, he made sure the then-TINY dance floor had great patterned spot-lights of different colors, and that the bar-backs did their jobs. If he discovered the water pitcher behind the main bar was empty--he would toss it at you--and it was NOT plastic, in those days. Every ashtray in the place had to be emptied every 10 or 15 minutes, and each table wiped clean at the same time...

As time goes by, I can try to fill in some blanks which seem to generate even more blanks for me:

Doorman named Scotty -- I put my cigarette out on his cheek, when he wouldn't stop pulling my hair (I warned him!).

Various lesbians for dyke-night, including Theresa, a dry-humored Spanish girl, born on the 4th of July, who also worked at the old Watertown at 1st and Bell, and Megan--who was so jealous of my tips and shifts that she got me placed on temporary leave for allegedly molesting a cop at the door on Halloween. I guess he musta liked it, 'cause I woulda figured that would get a guy arrested. Patrick HAD to have been in some kinda chemical-Nirvana to believe THAT story. Megan made it to manager, and later went on to become a dirt-bike racer...

Cute Irish-American named Sean was a bar-back for awhile, and Greg with the beautiful eyes and mustache (who suffered from depression, and died of an OD).

Then there was was Masataka (from Osaka), a very talented artist/photographer who lived in my loft at first. I was never a really "technical" DJ, but I did show him how to use two turntables and a mixing board, and Masa moved on to spin at various clubs and events.

Another DJ was Stuart (Madame Benelux) Benguelt, who spun on Monday Reggae with Norman Batley.

After Thomas returned back East to pursue his love of the technical side of theater, Shawn Farnsworth, who DJ'd and bartended, became manager. then Larry Leffler came up from LA to replace Sean (who replaced Larry as a resident of that California whore of a city).

DJs named Bjorn (Again) Christiansen, and Tony.

Ted and his little blond thing came to town with his travelling Video Show, and was our first "Vidiot" or "VJ" before moving on to Vogue (on 1st near Virginia).

For a LONG time there was that speedy blond guy who opened the bar daily, and was a cleaning queen--always scrubbing something...

GAWD--this is exhausting me! Lemme sleep, and with luck, I will return with more...

Slugbug

This is all coming back! I am Slugbug and you wouldn't have known me but I would be dancing my ass off on the little stage in the back!
Wandering back and forth all night between Tugs and the Frontier Room, with the best jukebox!

Do you remember Terri & Caeraege who worked at the Amusement Center and made a couple of porn movies? Lots of dirty dancers at
lesbian night. Reggae night was great!

TUGS is where I first saw a music video, I think! (Boy George)

Rick

As reported in the Seattle Times Sunday Magazine, October 18, 1992, by Linda Keene:

A hidden stairwell features scuffed wooden steps and cracked walls painted white. Bodacious red lip prints were planted there one night by the late Divine - the 300-pound transvestite who starred in John Waters' cult classics "Polyester" and "Hairspray."

Keep climbing and a door appears. It is open. Walk in. Wow.

There are Persian rugs. Fig plants. Naugahyde chairs. Bowling pins. Round rocks in neat piles. Incense. A man in a towel. It's Rick. He lives here, among silk ties on a postcard rack. Plastic dolls in bins. Velvet pillows. A piano. A living room is wallpapered with National Enquirers that Rick pulled from an alley Dumpster in 1981. ("Natalie's Untold 4 Hours of Terror" is but one of hundreds of defining moments.) There is a stiff curtain of computer circuit boards that Rick retrieved from a Belltown electronics company before it closed and re-emerged as an adult bookstore. There is broken glass pottery he salvaged from a Belltown building before it was torn down.

Wreckage and redemption. The Belltown story, as told in Rick's loft - although he doesn't necessarily see it that way. Rick, who does not want his full name revealed because he's already had one brick thrown through his window, isn't saving this stuff to immortalize Belltown. He just likes junk.

"I'm an incurable Dumpster diver," he says.

Like an apparition in white, Rick glides to a tall window, looking past hanging crystals to the view of First Avenue below and Elliott Bay beyond that. With nightfall, he says, the scene transforms into a cruising strip where drugs and alcohol are openly sold and used, especially after the nightclubs let out.

"They're screaming, arguing, fighting, honking their horns until two and three in the morning," says Rick, who lives within shouting distance of the Casa U-Betcha restaurant and has this to say about the clientele there: "I call them Casa Yah Dude and Casa Uh-ha Babe. These kids have been raised with absolutely no concern for other people."

Then there are the loudmouths from other clubs, "dragging their knuckles up and down the streets," he says with a frown, adding: "I know I'm going to come off sounding like a bitchy old lady, but I don't care. I don't stand under people's windows and scream."

All this from a man whose threshold for such things is quite high. For 10 years, he worked as a bartender at one of Belltown's most decadent clubs, Tugs. He doesn't want to live in a sanitized community. But he does want to live in relative safety and Belltown sometimes lurches over that line. Being panhandled is one thing. Being assaulted is another.

And being shot at, well, that's way over the line.

Sharon

My Great Uncle (my grandmother's brother)is David Hecker, the owner who opened Tugs Belltown. Unfortunately, I am sad to say that he passed away this week 3.10.09 and I wanted to reach out to all those that loved and knew him. He was lucky enough to be able to pass in his sleep, his passing came as a great shock to the family and was unexspected to say the least. He and I both shared the love of life and the opportunity to experience and work a bar life-all the people, all the friends, all the family, all the late nights, all the possibilities, and so many memories. I'd love to learn more about my uncle any memories anyone would like to share about good times at Tugs. Thanks to all those who loved him with us!

Slugbug

If you check back here, be sure to see the Tugs/Belltown Facebook page and I'll put your message there or this link.

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