Remembering one of Seattle's greats on the eve of Record Store Day

Fallout Records 1984 - 2003

April 15, 2016

I was walking through the University Street fair a couple years ago shooting footage of buskers when I passed by this guy wearing a Fallout Records t-shirt. I could hardly believe my eyes. It was so torn, tattered and stained it was obviously an original.

ME: "I haven't seen a Fallout shirt in years! Did you get that at the shop back in the day?"

GUY: "I had one from the shop, but I found this a few months ago wadded up on the street in the gutter."

Suiting, since the wares Fallout was peddling were handpicked from what was then considered the gutter of society, Punk Rock and skateboarding. 

1506 East Olive Way was once home to one of the most unique record stores in Seattle, Fallout Records. Championing limited pressings of mostly Punk and Hardcore releases of the time, it was always a scramble to beat your buddies to digging. I remember one day when my friend got to the ‘G' section before me to find the only, and possibly last, Gorilla Buscuits Start Today LP on purple vinyl. I had to settle for a black copy that I picked up during a show at The Party Hall a few weeks later. 

They also had racks of t-shirts from all your favorite bands. For teenagers into Hardcore it was like striking gold every time you walk in. For me it was the hub of the Seattle scene where I’d stock up on records, shirts, ‘zines and flyers for shows. You could catch your favorite bands kicking it when they came through town, like Agent Orange or Husker Du. Local bands like Gas Huffer would play in-store. Check out their photo gallery that still lives online. 

I’d long since moved in the direction of Electronic music and Classical guitar years before they closed their doors, and wasn’t even aware of it at the time. But that shop played an essential role in the musical discovery and growth of me and my closest friends. 

Today I passed by to see what’s become of the space. It was on that strip of some of your favorite watering holes at the base of Capitol Hill. I was thinking how classic it would be if Revolver Bar was there. But they’re next store. It’s now Montana complete with a beautiful deck out front. You know the place. 

It would be fantastic if the owners of Fallout came back around each year for Record Store Day and filled the deck with record bins to pick through, or at least curate the space for digging. 

Here are some memorable records I still have in my collection from Fallout:

Toy Dolls Bare Faced Cheek 1987

Possibly the first Punk record I bought new. Admittedly not their best work, and I would agree. But nostalgic nonetheless. I’m sure these cheeky Brits offended many a kids parents with that cover. 


Brotherhood Words Run... As Thick As Blood 1990

One of Seattle’s great purveyors of Hardcore at the time. Ron from Brotherhood even got us out of a jam leaving The Party Hall (21st & Madison) one night after a show, but that’s a story for another day. 

FUN FACT: Nate Mendel, Bassist for Brotherhood went on to play with Sunny Day Real Estate and then a band you may have heard of called Foo Fighters, who he's still with. But after leaving Brotherhood, Nate was in a band called Christ on a Crutch who put out one of my favorite releases of all time.


Christ on a Crutch ‘Kill William Bennett’ 7” 1990

One of the most coveted records, and few survivors from my original collection. Any time I'm asked to put on an example of what I listened to in the late '80s/early '90's I pull out Christ on a Crutch. 


Meanseason Bleed to Me 7” 1993

It was a sad day when I flipped passed this in the 7” bins. Meanseason was the name of our band in high school. We were making plans to hit the road with Gruntruck, preparing to drop out of school. I'd never heard of this band and it was concerning, especially since the record doesn't suck. It's not great, but it doesn't suck. Nirvana had just gone through the debacle of settling with another band named 'Nirvana'. And I anticipated we'd have to go through something similar after these Meanseason impostors. Ha! Oh the vain mindset and plotting of adolescent narcissism. We never did hit the road with Gruntruck, but that’s another story for another day. 

So go out and support your favorite local record store tomorrow, they may not be around forever.