Hairy Mairy's is a club within Des Moines that is the only place that new up and coming acts in the whole rock and punk scene can be found. It was previously called The Safari Nite Club and people who have played there include Slipknot, Amen and At the Drive in.
For a detailed story of events that occurred to this club go here: DaVo
Here Slipknot played several shows and became well known within Des Moines. It is here which Battle of the Bands show took place. "The battle of bands was important because it really brought the full scope of the Des Moines scene into focus. Not only did it establish Slipknot as the band to see but it showcased the talent of Des Moines and help a lot of musicians to realise that they were not alone. Many contacts & friendships were started there."
Anders "Shawn didn't share ownership of Safari - he owned the whole thing. He ran it for about a year, remodelled some of it (such as a bigger a stage and whatnot), and then the band became way too busy, so he sold it to a young guy named Jake. He ran it for about a year or so, then sold it to the guys who owned the ORIGINAL Hairy Mary's (different location), as well as GT's (small import bar), and Big Tomato Pizza. That's about it. It's your typical smelly, dirty, underground club that holds about 500 people sack-to-back. "
DaVo "Shawn owned the club from Feb 1st, 1997 until Nov 15th, 1997 and Slipknot practised on and off there, even while Jake owned the place."
Been There Done That: "The location that Hairy Mary's occupies these days was originally a blues club named "Baggs". It was located a few blocks down from Drake University in Des Moines in an area called "Dog Town", named after the university mascot, a bulldog. Baggs was notorious for underage drinking and eventually closed shop. A Nigerian guy named Tony bought the place and it was a reggaee/African music club for awhile. When Tony got tired of low sales and seedy characters he started to experiment with rock and alternative music. After the fire at the Runway night-club where a lot of metal bands used to play, we had to find somewhere else to go. The old Hairy Mary's was not very kind to metal at the time. They refused to book a lot of the bands (including Stone Sour) so nobody had a place to play. We got Stone Sour to play the Safari and people thought we were nuts. We were basically going against every grain in town, making our own scene. After awhile, people started to drift in from the other scenes around town and the Safari club got pretty popular. when Tony was ready to sell the bar Shawn stepped in and bought the bar. That lasted for about a year until he had to put his full attention into Slipknot. He sublet the place to a guy named Jake for awhile until Hairy Mary's bought the place. It has since lost every bit of charm it had all those years ago"
Info thnx to Cannibal Rights:
"Young "show junkie" Drake students from cities all over the country have tried to accept the lack of concerts in Des Moines.
The reason for this deprivation of concerts stems from a Des Moines city ordinance that prohibits all-age shows to last past 9 p.m. However, new ownership at the Safari night-club has decided to revamp its format in the interest of those who love music, 21 or not.
"I'm lucky that when I first got to Des Moines I was 21; it's a hard city to live in otherwise. Those were some of the best years of my life," said Shawn Crahan, new owner of Safari night-club.
"I've seen a lot of kids get turned down, but they love the music as much as anyone; music is a form of release in life," he said. "I'm going to take all the steps I can to make sure they're a part of things, legally."
Crahan plans to negotiate the possibility of having all age-shows run in conjunction with 21 and over. Safari would check identification at the door and distribute bracelets signifying the person's age.
"Our long-term goal is to make the Safari open seven nights a week with music every night. We'd mainly have all-age shows from 6-9 p.m. and open the bar afterwards, but I'd like to have them run later with bracelets for those who are 21 to buy drinks.
"I'm trying to take the necessary steps with the city, but it's going to take a while to get things working that way," Crahan said.
Besides making all-age shows a priority, Crahan also plans changes in the types of bands booked and Safari's atmosphere.
"We're definitely open to all venues of music and plan to get some larger acts in here. Plus, we really want to give the whole bar a facelift.
"I'm really into art, so we'll have some paintings and a huge mural for the back wall. I want to bring in food like deli sandwiches and get some oriental rugs and vintage furniture to make it more of a social gathering place," Crahan said.
Patrick Stura (J2), member of the band Dr. Castrato, helps book bands at Safari. He would like to see the new format draw more of a Drake crowd to the club and make a big impact on the emerging Des Moines music scene.
"I think the Safari wants to win back the Drake audience through an all-age format. It could become a big competitor with the Library, West End and Peggy's, the difference being that they're a place for music and you don't necessarily need an ID to go there.
"The Des Moines music is blossoming. Last year at this time it was pretty much dead, but local bands have grown and Safari's a big part of that. Now they book better bands and the goals of the new owner are more realistic," Stura said.
Julie Schnebly (AS3) used to go to Safari every Tuesday and Sunday night. Schnebly says the new format will be a welcome change to the kind of "dull" atmosphere Safari has taken on in the past year.
"As freshmen, we would go to Safari every Tuesday for ladies night and the DJ and Sunday for the all-age shows. They used to have big bands like Dada and we'd play pool, jump up on the stage or just hang out. Sometimes we were almost the only ones there, but it was fun to see all the high school freaks every once in a while.
"It seems like they don't care or don't try as hard now to get Drake students there. If they're planning to change the atmosphere a little, advertise and a bigger variety of band, I think they have the potential to make a big comeback," Schnebly said.
Both Crahan and Stura agree that through more advertising and a larger variety of bands both big and small, Safari will help Des Moines make its mark on the Midwest music scene within the next year or so.
"I'm basically going to be there to do the things Safari needs to do, but can't," Stura said. "There'll be a lot more fliers and advertising; people will be aware of the cool changes that are going on."
Crahan has nothing but optimism for the future.
"I have no doubt that the local scene is hot right now. There are a lot of talented bands out there and we'll be there to give them the exposure they need," he said. "Within the next two years, Des Moines will be on the map."