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Smash your head on the punk rock at Spokane Boxing Gym’s to be resurrected Club Pompeii

UPDATED: Thu., July 8, 2021

A poster for Club Pompeii in downtown Spokane believed to be from 1993.  (Empty Records)
A poster for Club Pompeii in downtown Spokane believed to be from 1993. (Empty Records)

From pugilism to punk rock. There’s a fine line between the sweet science and the terse, fast and streamlined sounds of punk rock.

Rick Welliver understands. The owner of Spokane Boxing Gym is resurrecting Club Pompeii, which existed in the same brick structure a generation ago.

“This town needs a shot in the arm, and I’m going to give it to them,” Welliver said. “It’s time.”

Welliver, 48, isn’t talking boxing. The Hillyard native will continue to operate his gym by day, but, on some nights, the ropes will drop, and the ring will be converted into a stage for old school and emerging punk bands.

“I’m going to put this together so there will be a 360-degree view of bands,” Welliver said. “I’ll be helping fill a void.”

November is when the South Hill resident expects to bring Club Pompeii back to life. “I don’t know what bands we’ll bring in yet,” Welliver said. “I just want to bring music back in here so it bounces off the walls.”

Recording artists such as sludge rockers the Melvins and funk-metalists Sweaty Nipples performed at Club Pompeii during the early 1990s. “I never saw anything there,” Welliver said. “I wish I did. I was too busy being an athlete boxing, playing football and wrestling.

“When I went to shows back then, I would go to Outback Jack’s and Mother’s Pub. I want to bring that spirit back to town. I just can’t wait for live music to come back here. I was in Missoula last weekend watching Brandi Carlile, who crushed it.

“You’ll get the best of both worlds here in this gym. There will be boxing for those who will benefit since it gives discipline to the wild, strength to the weak and confidence to the shy. And then there will be live music, which will give everybody a boost.”

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