Northwest Dance & Music Venues
The Dunes - Photo by and courtesy of Laddy Kite
The Dunes
Westport, Washington

Some of the bands that performed at this place during those great years of NW music were:

The Beachcombers
Buffalo Springfield
The Byrds
The Dimensions
Don & The Goodtimes
The Guess Who
King Biscuit Entertainers
Mama's Boys
Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels
Peanut Butter Conspiracy
The Pied Pipers
Pleasure Seekers
The Sonics
Springfield Rifle
Merrilee & The Turnabouts
The Ventures

The Dunes - Photo by and courtesy of Laddy Kite
Another of the action spots for summertime teen dances was Pat O'Days Dunes located at Westport, Washington, the town that billed itself in the 60s as The Salmon Capitol of the World.  The area was filled during the summer months with thousands of tourists and The Dunes also pulled teens from the nearby towns of Aberdeen and Hoquiam.  The Dunes held about 1,000 and was built right on the sand dunes at the ocean.  Try that today!!  It opened in the summer of 1967 and featured many of the big name Northwest bands like The Wailers, Viceroys, Merrilee & The Turnabouts, The Sonics and others.  National touring acts that played The Dunes included The Guess Who, The Byrds, Pleasure Seekers, and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.  O'Day and his partners operated the venue thru 1968.  It was then operated in 1969 and 1970 by Seattle-Mercer Dances which was Stan Foreman, Bill Leopold, and Mac Keith.  After the 1970 season The Dunes and property were sold to a local religious group who remodeled the building into a church which still stands on the site today.

Stan Foreman, October 2002

The Dunes - June 1969 - Courtesy of James Nichols

I'm pretty sure that before The Dunes in Westport, WA opened, the building was a bar named "The Riptide".  There were some really hot bands that played at The Riptide also and this was before 1967 when The Dunes was there.  I remember seeing The Ventures play there.

It is possible that Pat O'Day purchased The Riptide and then renamed it The Dunes.  At any rate, it always had awesome music and was literally right on the beach nestled in the sand dunes and beach grass.  I have great memories of listening to bands play there as well.

In 1967 you had to be 19 to get into bars in WA so I was too young.  But the bouncers were very nice to us kids who couldn't resist this great music and they use to let us stand at the door and listen if they weren't too crowded.  Maybe that's how Pat O'Day got the idea of making it a place for teens as well.

Lee Ann Hightower, January 2011

Pat O'Day & Associates (Terry Basset and Tom Hulet) bought the property and started The Dunes Dance was later sold to a local church.  After Pat and company started Concerts West Bill Leopold, Mac Keith and I ran dances at the Dunes until Pat sold the property to a local church in 1970.

Stan Foreman, July 2011

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Last Update:  14 June 2016
Credits: Stan Foreman, Laddy Kite, Clyde Heaton, John Delia, John Gordon, Lee Ann Hightower, Tom Sawyer, James Nichols, Marty Corey