Alas, I only have two, almost forgettable memories of the now legendary X-Ray Cafe.
In high school my friend Don and I tried to get into a show at Key Largo (31 NW 1st – now The Ohm, Whiskey Bar). We got carded, however. Dejected, we wandered in a southerly direction, towards the part of town more hospitable to suburban kids like us. On our way we stumbled upon the X-Ray. No need for fake ID, the X-Ray was an all ages club. We spent a couple hours enjoying some really crappy music (sorry, I don’t recall what band(s) played).
At a later date I returned to see my friend Ryan’s early 90s Portland band, Hog Wild (or was it Hawg Wylde?) perform.
But now us geezers can refresh our feeble memories, and whippersnappers and transplants can have their minds blown: The Life and Death of the X-Ray Cafe, the second volume of the Oregon History Comics series, is available (thanks to The Dill Pickle Club, writer Sarah Mirk, and artist John Isaacson).
The X-Ray was run by Benjamin Arthur Ellis and Tres Shannon (now of Voodoo Doughnuts fame). For the Portland history buffs I also recommend the movie Ellis made about the trials and tribulations of the X-Ray Cafe: X-Ray Visions (available at the library, and on Vimeo!).
More 30-something Portlander’s Flashbacks: