DOA frontman Joe Keithley remembers the scene inside the Buddha during the punk heyday of 1978.

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DOA frontman Joe Keithley remembers the scene inside the Buddha during the
punk heyday of 1978.

When you walked into the Buddha, was pretty interesting. ‘Cause the first guy
you saw was Igor, this Croatian guy who was middle-aged and huge. And
literally, he was a doorman, ‘cause he was as big as the door. You could not run
by him if you didn’t have ID.

He would say to people, it didn’t matter how old you were, you could be like 50.
He would go, ‘Do you got ID?’

Once Igor’d let you in, it was really long and narrow, you know, maybe 20 feet
wide, and it’s like 150 feet long, and the bar was on your right, and you looked
straight up to the stage was at the back and kind of to the left, right.

It was really gaudy beyond belief. I mean, it hadn’t had an update since, I don’t
know, 1952 or somethin’ like that.

Murphy Farrell is a drummer who performed at the Buddha with a Vancouver
punk band called the Schmorgs. Murphy describes the scene inside the club
during their shows.

It’s just packed with people. It’s smokyy, it stinks of beer, and there’s just bodies
flying all over the place, and the band is playing full-tilt, as loud as it can go. And
everybody’s having fun.

Joe Keithley recalls the Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret owners re-painting the nightclub
interior after a fire in the 1980s.

And when the Buddha burned down and they repainted it, it was real
classic ‘cause they said, well, it’s a tragedy, the Buddha’s burned down.
Everybody’s played there from Jimmy Hendrix to DOA. And they got back on
its feet, but still, nobody wanted to show up anymore. You know, once beyond
about ’83, ’84, people didn’t, they stopped going to the Buddha. You know. It was

Once the local punk scene left the Buddha after 1982 as more venues opened
for bands to perform downtown, the club fell again into disrepair and eventually

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