Friday, January 19, 2007

Krazy Kat fans remember dancing, bands and 3.2

NIGHTCLUB MEMORIES: On Dec. 17, reader Chuck asked about the old Krazy Kat (sometimes spelled Kat, other times Katt) nightclub, and readers had a great time remembering "when."

From Gazette archives: Art Walk Jr opened the 3.2, 18 and over, nightclub at 3905 N. Nevada Ave. during the summer of 1962 in what had been VFW Post No. 101 before the post moved downtown. Fellows (but not ladies) who went clubbing at the “Kat” had a cover charge: 75 cents. In September 1971 the club was heavily damaged by a fire called “suspicious.” Two weeks later, a second fire — also labeled suspicious because of paper towels soaked in a flammable liquid and an empty can of flammables — erupted at 3:40 a.m. and finished it off, burning the Krazy Kat to the ground.

Bonnie Staton, a native, blogged that the Krazy Kat brought “a flood of memories. It was the first nightclub I ever went to. (Had to sneak in the ladies bathroom door from the front entrance, which led back to the ‘real’ bar area, since I was only 17). I remember when ‘Freddie, Henchi & the Soulsetters’ played there. We would dance our faces off. Back then, we called the military men ‘doggies.’ Then-owners Jim and Nancy Crumb were some of the nicest folks I ever met. When we really partied, they would not let us drive, but opened up their room in the back used for out-of-town performers so we could sleep it off safely. A time or two they loaned us money for our rent. I wish I would have taken a great picture of the place so I could show my daughter where I ‘hung out.’”

"Just call me Linda,” who won our drawing for two tickets to Tinseltown, e-mailed: “The Krazy Kat was my ‘club of choice’ in my teen years. At that time, we were allowed to drink 3.2 beer at the age of 18, so it was a great place to be. There were all sorts of bands that came to play. The dance floor was usually packed on the weekends and even some weeknights, depending on how good the band was. A swimming pool was built where the parking lot for Sheldon’s diner is now that was open in the afternoons during the summer months. There was a guard dog named Jack that they would let loose in the building at night. One night someone broke into the club, robbed the place and killed Jack. It was a very sad time for all the Krazy Kat regulars. (NOTE: This should make you feel better. Bill Crumb, son of Jim and Nancy, e-mailed with good news. Jack, the dog, wasn't killed by the robbers and instead lived a long and happy life.)It was a club where all types of people went to dance and have a good time — high schoolers who were of age, military and every so often even a few early-20s professionals would show up. There was a huge group of ‘regulars’ that would try other clubs (Kelker Junction was one, the Honey Bucket, the Lady Bug) but we all came back to the Krazy Kat.”

Janet Kiemel says her son and his friends, avid skateboard fans in the mid ’70s, were looking for an abandoned swimming pool where they could hone their skills.
“Skateboarding was catching on, and there were parks in other towns but not Colorado Springs. “Someone told them that a pool had been filled in at the old Krazy Kat club. After days of hard work, they emptied it of the fill and had a great skateboard park until someone chased them out of there!”

Gary Wood “grew up here in Colorado Springs, and for the longest time the happening place in town to go was Guiseppe’s Celler on South Cascade. Then The Krazy Kat Night Club opened. It was really a big thing! The parking lot was full most of the time, and the building itself was like the nightclubs you see in old movies. There was a full bar in one room with lots of seating and a 3/4 bar on the north side of the building with two or three pool tables. In the middle was one of the best dance room areas I ever saw with hardwood flooring and a stage where the house band The DelReys played the hottest music in town and even ‘surf’ music like Dick Dale and the Deltones. Before they built the swimming pool and were going to start a members only pool club, they got quite a surprise. When they started excavation, they dug up an old-time coffin. They searched county records and found no record so it must really have been ancient. Anyway, imagine my surprise when Halloween came and we had some extra decorations. Everyone who went to the ‘Kat’ during those days was treated with courtesy and respect. If anyone didn’t have the very best time of their life it was their fault.”

Mary Kirby’s son Rob “used to play with a group called The Avengers and played many times at the Krazy Kat. The lounge was known for its nickel beer and its Friday Afternoon Club.”

A blogger remembers spending every Friday and Saturday night at the Krazy Kat “drinking and dancing, more drinking than dancing. We used to shoot pool a lot, waiting for midnight or one o’clock to arrive so we could drive downtown to race (usually from intersection to intersection when the light turned green). The Krazy Kat was a huge part of my teenage years. That, and we had to get into Guiseppe’s (on South Cascade Avenue) at least once every weekend!”

E-mailers remembered bands at the "Kat" including The Intrigues, The Trolls, The Seeds, The Chandells and The Blue Things among others.

5 Comments:

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7:11 AM, November 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember a bouncer there...I think they had bouncers, maybe he was a bartender...but his name is Tim Woods?

2:23 PM, December 05, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget The Spectrums and Larry Roberts and the Rhodesmen:-)

9:40 AM, November 22, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the summer of 1970, I was 15 and nowhere near able to pass for 18, even with a fake ID. However, I lived close by and for 50 cents they would let us swim there in the afternoons. It was a great place to flirt with girls, smoke cigarettes and show how macho 15 year old boys could be. The most macho (and stupid) thing we did was diving off the roof of the building into the pool. Because the roof was fairly old, you could see the roof take a dip right where we sprung off before taking a dive. The real trick was to veer toward the deep end so you didn’t hit bottom. No helmets. No knee pads. No safety seats. Just great memories.

9:15 AM, August 25, 2016  
Blogger Jon Rogers said...

In the spring of '69, I was a freshman at NJC in Sterling. A friend who graduated from Daugherty that I jammed with on occasion knew the DelRays, and we drove down one weekend to see the band at the Kat. Don't recall much of that, but it was a happening joint!

4:09 PM, August 28, 2016  

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