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Introducing the Cafe Racer Artist Tickets!

About six months ago, on May 30, 2012, the Seattle artistic community was dealt a massive blow.

A lone gunman, Ian Stawicki, walked into the University District artist haven Cafe Racer and opened fire, killing two prominent members of the Seattle music scene, Drew Kariakedes and Joseph Albanese (known to most by their stage names Shmootzi the Clod and Meshuguna Joe) as well as Donald Largen and Kimberly Layfield. An employee of the Cafe, Leonard Meuse, was also shot but, miraculously, survived. The shooter then shot and killed Gloria Leonidas, a mother of two, in the Downtown/First Hill neighborhood about 30 minutes later, while stealing her SUV. He then drove the stolen vehicle to West Seattle where he killed himself in front of Seattle Police officers. It was a day of terror and tragedy that many of us in Seattle will never forget.

Drew and Joe were good friends of mine as our bands had played together often over the last 15 years. In fact, the last show that their band, God’s Favorite Beefcake had played, had been with my band The Bad Things, the Saturday before the shootings. The loss of these incredible musical talents cast a dark shadow over our tight-knit musical community and six months later, their absence is still felt every day.

The shooting struck a chord with Brown Paper Tickets as well. I had first heard of Brown Paper Tickets from Drew and Joe’s previous project, the Circus Contraption and everyone here felt a strong kinship with the folks in the Circus, who had used Brown Paper Tickets when the company was just starting out. Many others in the company had known Drew and Joe, had spent time at the Racer or seen God’s Favorite Beefcake, so this tragedy was something we all felt deeply passionate about.
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Cafe Racer Ticket Program Hopes to Double Fundraising Efforts

 On May 30th, tragedy struck the Seattle artistic community. A lone gunman walked into Café Racer, a North Seattle hub of artists and musicians and opened fire, killing four people and injuring one. He then proceeded downtown where he killed another woman while stealing her car. He escaped to West Seattle where he eventually killed himself when tracked down by law enforcement.

The shooting affected many of us here at Brown Paper Tickets, with some of the victims being good friends and fellow artists. It also struck a serious blow to the artistic community who considered the Café Racer to be a safe haven that encouraged diversity and creativity. In the weeks that followed, the Seattle arts community rallied and fundraisers were held almost nightly to help raise money for the lone survivor and the families of those killed. We decided that it was important for us to also take part in the fundraising efforts and so we began to put into action the “Cafe Racer Ticket” program as a way to continue supporting those in need long after the newsworthiness of this tragic event wore off. It has been announced that Café Racer will re-open today and so we felt that this would be a good time to announce that in eight weeks Brown Paper Tickets will unveil the Cafe Racer Ticket program.
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