Swayze’s, the long-running all-ages venue in Marietta, Georgia, held its last show on Sunday, July 29th. Those of us long past our years of being shut out of cool club shows (or hoping a shoddy fake ID would fool the doorman) because alcohol was being served take it for granted that we can go see whatever, wherever, but I can assure you, there are lots of teenagers (and former teenagers) in Atlanta (especially Cobb County) that are grateful to Lee Satterfield of the Atlanta band Treephort for opening a place where they’re allowed and welcomed, and keeping it going for 16 years – almost unheard of for a venue that makes no income from booze. At various point in its existence, Swayze’s also housed a comics store and a record store in its space in a rather shabby Barrett Parkway strip mall.
But Satterfield (now a Stomp and Stammer contributing writer) has undergone some major health setbacks over the past three years. The details aren’t important right now – and he’s seen significant improvement this year – but with all he’s been going through, the time available to focus on the venue dwindled, and shows became infrequent.
“This whole situation sucks. I wish I hadn’t gotten sick and then this wouldn’t be happening, the club wouldn’t be closing, but I’ve kept it going this long at least,” Satterfield (pictured here with his wife Kayleen) offers. “It’s okay though, it just wasn’t meant to be. I would rather see the club shuttered up than fall into the hands of someone that doesn’t understand its intention: DIY punk, free speech, anti-censorship, pro-art, pro-creativity – basically anything goes to a point. Over 4,500 shows in 16 years…a platform for just about everyone – now, that’s a feat! Thanks a lot for all the support. I’m grateful, I’m humbled, I’m sad. BUT I’m not done yet. I just need a break.”