The Pied Pipers
In Memory of
Canterbury Tales at the BFD - 1966
The Canterbury Tales were the BFD house band in 1966. The famous 18 & over nightclub was located in an old Church on Stewart and Denny Way. People waited in block long lines to get in the over crowded nightspot. The main sanctuary was the dance floor. The stage replaced the church pulpit, and the drums sat on plywood nailed over the original baptismal tank. Musical sets were accompanied with lights shows, strobe lights, and go-go dancers of the period. During breaks, the basement hosted folk singers in a coffee house atmosphere. Kids told there parents that BFD stood for British Folk Dance.
Dean Heathcote, Seattle, WA, March 2005.
It was a great place in the summer of 1966. I was 17 and had the classic "fake ID". An off-duty Seattle cop checked everyone's ID very closely before he let you through the door on Saturday night. The place was a classic small old church and was always completely packed full of warm moist undulating bodies. If you met someone and wanted to talk you had to go down stairs into the cold dark concrete basement where they sold soda pop and potato chips and had tables and chairs. I think it had a balcony upstairs. The music was good and loud, great for dancing, and made it a great place to frequent. Brings back some fond memories of Seattle.
Patrick, October 2008
Not too many people would be hip to this story. As a Jr. at Sammamish High School in 1963 I was playing Fender Bass in the Nomads (Bellevue) and working after school at Ford's Music in Eastgate. I worked there for several years. We had guitar lessons available in our studios. One of our instructors was Blaise Lewark. As I recall, Blaise was not only a great guitar and steel guitar teacher but he was also too cool for words and unbelievably nice, with history as the steel guitar player for Jack Roberts and the Evergreen Drifters. This cat was a great player.
One day we were visiting between his lessons and he told me of his vision of opening a nightclub in Seattle within an abandoned church building and asked me what I thought of the name of the club-BFD. Sounded good to me. So, true to form (he is a get-er-done kind of guy). Blaise took possession of the building and bought a whole bunch of flat black paint. Several weeks later the teen rock club was open for business. Live local rock acts upstairs and live folk music in the coffee house inspired basement.
The smartest thing Blaise did was to have the joint open on Sunday nights. If you lived in Seattle during the mid-60's the BFD was the only rock club open on Sundays. What a stroke of genius. Every musician in town hung out at the BFD on Sunday nights. Most sat in with the Band and we all jammed our Sunday nights away.
Tom Dietz, February 2009