One Night in Seattle with Videograss and the new Intern

It was 2:30 when the VG crew and I left the Spitfire on 4th Ave. in Seattle. Some were heading back to the bus to attempt sleep, others following the crowd to another late night location. Who the fuck knows. I had met a few girls, and had hoped to lock in a comfortable sleeping spot for the night, but as usual, had no success.

Two casualties of the VG RV. Evan Williams not pictured.

My failure could have been partially blamed on the bottle of Evan Williams I had brought into the bar. I had assumed the premiere was at a theater, and felt the bottle of whiskey would have been a wise addition to my camera bag. After buying a $5 Coors, I was glad to have brought it, and filled my empty beer glass under the table. Seattle is fucking expensive, but I managed to get sloshed on the juice for $9.99.

After leaving the bar, warmer than when I had entered, and alone, I decided to head towards “Hotel O,” and pass out. Mikey Leblanc and I were scheduled to take the Amtrak back to Portland at 7:30 am, and he had rented a hotel room within walking distance of the King Street station. He had passed the address along to me, and I got directions to the place from a bearded guy outside the bar. He said it was “a hike,” but I doubted I would sleep much anyway and was happy to waste some time.

The crew on the bus consisted of all these heads, and then the Yobeat intern of one week. Pretty normal.

Walking through an unfamiliar city at night is a different feeling. Once you leave the night strip and the crowds fan out, the city is surprisingly quiet. Almost a tense quietness, much different than the quiet you find on a camping trip. Some of the tension was also attributable to the fact that I had forgotten the bearded man’s directions only a few blocks into my walk. He had said something about a bad neighborhood, but I couldn’t remember which street to avoid. I was also carrying two expensive cameras around my neck, and looked like an Asian at Disney Land, begging to get robbed.

The walk ended being a goddamn excursion. I had neglected to put socks on before heading to the bar, and was regretting it now. My heel was raw and starting to bleed, and I had smoked the last of my cigarettes.

Trust me, this picture looked way better that night.

Thirty-five minutes after leaving the bar, I finally made it to within a block of the hotel. I decided to call Mikey and have him let me in. Finally I’d get to pass out…

Call 1 — No answer.

Call 2 — No answer.

Call 3 — No answer.

Fuck. Ok. Maybe he’s just taking a shit. I’ll call him again in 10 minutes….

Call 4 — No answer.

Call 5 — No answer.


At this point it’s 3:30 in the morning. Having no choice but to backtrack, I pass some of the same people I had seen on the way to the hotel, including a towering, white-lipped crack head. This guy had to have been 6’8’’ or 6’10’’, and honestly, he scared the shit out of me. He could have easily dunked me on a regulation 10ft hoop.  On my way to the hotel he had asked me for money, and I did what I usually do with crack heads, lie. He kept walking with me for another half block, but was surprisingly the most honest homeless person I’d ever met — telling me exactly what he planned on doing with whatever money he scrounged during the night: buy and smoke as much crack as he could possibly get his hands on, then get a McFlurry from McDonald’s. Breakfast of champions.  This time, he gave me a head nod, indicating that he had already hit me up for money, and let me pass by, heckle free.

Dirks retrieving the Muff. Well done.

After another 20 minutes of walking, I was getting close. There were more people on the street, which meant I was almost to the S.E. night strip. I caught bits and pieces of conversations as I wove my way through crowds of trashed men and women.

“…she wanted my dick dude, I could tell….”

“…camel toes are awesome…”

“…… what a fucking bitch! I’m never going there again……”

“….I thought she was a girl until……..”


At this point I was feeling pretty confident about my Seattle navigation skills. I was also set on the idea that the bar had been on 3rd St. This was completely wrong. I wandered for a good 15 minutes down 3rd street, assuming that I would run into the bar eventually. It never happened.

Being the only kid on the bus not cool enough to have an iPhone, I decided it would be a good idea to call Brooke, my boss of one week, and have her look up the address. A few rings later, I was greeted with an irritated, “Are you drunk dialing me??!”  I couldn’t remember the name of the bar, (Spitfire) further pissing her off, but she called me back a few minutes later with the name and address. I have only been in Portland for a little over a week, but within that short time, I had somehow managed to get invited to Seattle by Leblanc, and also burn bridges with my new boss.  I was on a roll.

Austin Smith getting some fresh air

I arrived back at the bar around 4:00AM. The VG bus was parked in the back alley, so I circled around and prayed the doors weren’t already locked. As I got closer, I saw Joe Carlino sleeping on the ground next to the bus, and another unidentified VG crew member sleeping in the cargo compartment. It didn’t look good for me.

Luckily, the door was still open, and I boarded the bus. People were passed in all possible spaces. Dirks and Marben were semi spooning on the pullout couch, three other pros cuddling in the back bed, and Grendys was still awake, talking about the attempted crack-fueled mugging he had just barely avoided minutes earlier. Too bad he hadn’t met the same McFlurry-loving crack head I had. I found an open space on the ground and passed the fuck out.

After an hour and a half of sleep, I woke up to a semi-asleep Dirks swinging for my phone. I had accidentally put it next to his head, and the alarm I had set earlier was blaring directly into his ear. Sorry about that one.

Still can’t believe Leblanc made it on the train, or me, for that matter.

I flagged a cab, and rode to the station. Leblanc was nowhere to be seen. I boarded the train, figuring he had slept though his alarm too, and entered a near coma state. Sleep total was now at a whopping 3.5 hours. After waking up, I headed to the bar car for some much needed hydration and found Mikey sitting there, wearing sunglasses, and looking hung-over as shit.  We made it to Portland 40 minutes later.

And here’s Grendys way better video, because you know, he spent months doing this.

8 replies
  1. hater skater
    hater skater says:

    “He had said something a bad neighborhood”: looks like you forgot a word can thank me later for making you feel bad about you first article in this internship (and english is not even my native language)

  2. piles
    piles says:

    “The walk ended being a goddamn excursion…My heel was raw and starting to bleed, and I had smoked the last of my cigarettes.” a very normal bar outing in seattle kids, the mere desire to get back to the port land of bars with reasonable working hours is enough to leave some sleepless. The whole account was jumbled probably from being penned within range of said hangover.

  3. Fonzie
    Fonzie says:

    Welcome to Seattle YoBeat intern! The crack bums in that part of town are sketchy man, watch out. That was a fun night and it was cool to meet some pros. You must’ve missed the part where this chick got bodyslammed in front of spitfire by some dude and retaliated by hitting him with some sidewalk billboard. It was wild.

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