3415 S. Peoria
1990 - 1994
606 S. Elgin
1994 - 1997
216 N. Elgin
all our supporters,
We as a group and as individuals wish to express our sincere sadness and
disappointment for the closing of Ikon Downtown.
Like many of you, our hopes and aspirations for the club came to
an abrupt halt this past June 2004.
the original Ikon closed its doors in 1997, the “Ikon Spirit” lived
on at Cain’s Ballroom with Retro Night, as well as many other dance
and concert events. Many
people even referred to the historic venue as Ikain's during the period
idea or thought of bringing Ikon back to its own space never quite went
away. Potential rooms and
warehouses were considered, and the club almost returned in 2000,
however the elements required for
this endeavor were not quite in place.
few years later, and a few more rooms explored, all things seemed to
come together in March of 2004, with the signing of a new lease for a
new location back in downtown Tulsa.
This would mark the official third location for the club.
of the key ingredients to the success of Ikon has always been the
stability of its core staff. While
other clubs changed personnel frequently, Ikon kept the same basic staff
throughout its 7 ˝ year run and through the Ikain’s era as well.
Ikon were ever to return once again, the core staff had to be involved.
Some said yes right away, and others had to be convinced it was
really happening this time. There
were one or two, due to logistics, who were not able to participate.
Two others, who are no longer with us, Nancy Souders, who
customers and staff fondly called “Mom,” and Thomas Jimison, were
there in spirit. We honored
them with a plaque at the front door.
remodeling and painting underway, most of the original staff, plus new
additions, bookings, a publicity and promotion campaign, the classic
Ikon/Cain’s Retro Night returning, and much more,
Downtown version 3.0 was set for its grand opening Saturday May 1st.
knew the public would be excited; there had always been public
excitement over rumors of the club returning through the years. Anytime
word got out a room had been under consideration, there were those who
drove around trying to find it.
in its original run from 1990-1997, was a nationally recognized music
venue, both for concerts and for dance nights.
list of artists who performed is staggering with some returning several
times: Thrill Kill Kult,
Pavement, Dick Dale, Mudhoney, KMFDM, Filter, Medeski Martin&Wood,
The Dead Milkmen, Rev. Horton Heat, Clutch, Goo Goo Dolls, Agent Orange,
Jim Rose Circus Sideshow, Cake, Gravity Kills, and hundreds of others.
d.j. dance element of the club was also an important factor.
All three of Ikon’s original d.j.’s, 1) Michael Sanchez 2)
Michael Eng (aka D.J. Snap) and 3) Mike Lee all represented three
distinct eras for the club. Each
had their followings, and each made an impact.
lived up to its name for many people.
Where else could you go in Tulsa, Oklahoma and see punks, Goths,
ravers, hippies, and many other groups under one roof?
More than a few couples met at Ikon and are now married.
A couple of people have even named pets Noki (Ikon backwards).
The club's historical importance for the music and club scene in
Tulsa is second only to Cain’s Ballroom.
The club had mentions in Spin Magazine, Details Magazine, and
Alternative Press, all national and international magazines.
original Ikon nightclub officially opened its doors on December 14,1990
at 3415 S. Peoria in Tulsa’s Brookside area and operated there until
the Spring of 1994. Then in
late Spring/early Summer, the club relocated to 606 S. Elgin in downtown
Tulsa and became Ikon Downtown through the Spring of 1997.
A few months later, all Ikon activity was moved to Cain’s,
ushering in the “Ikain’s” era from 1997-1999.
the pressure was on, not only to just be decent, but with such a rich
history, we had to be great. We
were going to be under the scrutiny of the club’s real reputation and
the reputation that has grown, as one Tulsa business owner put it, “to
mythical proportions.” The
other area of concern was the important personal memories of our
original regulars, and there were hundreds and hundreds of them.
knew we were dealing with those who used to go to the club, those who
had heard all about it, and those who just knew a new club was opening.
We wanted to celebrate our history, but also look to the future.
In accomplishing that, the new venue would need a d.j., one who
understood where we have been and guide our dance crowd to where we
wanted to go. That task fell
to Jamison White, who became only the fourth resident d.j. in the
club’s history. For our
retro night, long time Tulsa d.j., Sean Kibble returned to that
position. He was the person
responsible for the over-whelming success of our Retro Nights at
how does a venue like Ikon have an appropriate grand re-opening?
A three ring circus? Close.
How about flying in The Jim Rose Circus Sideshow?
We could have had a band or a dance night, but that would have
been business as usual. How
about business as unusual? Jim
Rose and his cast of characters first graced the Ikon stage back in
1993. Ikon’s promotion
meets the P.T. Barnum of the alternative and his promotion.
Throw in belly dancers, and we might just have something.
all promotion in place, radio commercials and interviews, posters and
fliers, articles and print ads, internet chatter and posts, and the
cover of Tulsa World’s Spot Magazine, at 9pm May 1st,
2004, Ikon Downtown 216 N. Elgin officially opened its doors.
long line of well wishers, former regulars, the just curious, family,
friends, some not so well wishers, and everyone else greeted us.
everyone who came through the door that night received an Ikon button.
For those of us from the original club, it seemed as if time had
stood still. We did expect
to see some of those faces from the “old days,” but nothing prepared
us for this kind of turn out. After
the night was over, the attendance would climb to over 1,000 people.
around 10:15, The Desert Wind Belly Dancers entertained the crowd, then
Jim Rose and company hit the stage and naturally put on an unforgettable
performance. For a better
visual, check out our grand opening picture section.
After that, D.J. Jamison gave the crowd a taste of Ikon past and
the evening, we heard nothing but compliments, thank yous, and thumbs up
from those in attendance. But
did we live up to the hype, our past reputation, and most importantly,
memories? The census seemed
to be a resounding yes. The
feedback would indicate that not only did we live up to that, (and that
would have certainly been enough), but we even surpassed everyone's
the former regulars, walking through our doors and seeing the same door
staff, the same bar staff, and the same floor personnel, said they were
it had been seven years since Ikon shut its doors, so to have that many
original staff back was pure timing.
Had it happened a few years earlier, maybe we would not have been
the first night, the staff was already a well-oiled machine; we expected
a few glitches, but it did not feel like seven years had passed.
we were off and running, Retro Nights were doing very well with 250-350
in attendance and continuing to grow.
Our first concert on May 14th was Aqueduct, U.S.E., and The Red
Stripes. Over 400 attended
and appeared to be quite happy. On
May 26, The Burden Brothers played the club, and the turnout was almost
500. Did we have some slow
nights? Sure we did.
But with a full schedule of local and national acts booked for
June and the rest of the Summer, with the promise of after hours dancing
becoming legal again, the future looked damn bright.
June 7th, Sister Machine Gun who had played Ikon many times, returned to
play along with Christ Analogue and Manufactura.
The bands were great, the Monday night turn out was so-so.
0n Friday, June 11, the local band, Maindrayn played a special,
free outdoor acoustic set right outside the doors.
People brought lawn chairs, food, and drinks.
It was a blast.
elements of any epic story contain ups and downs, heroes and villains,
love and hate, life and death, triumphs and tragedies.
Ikon's history is no different; we have certainly had our share,
past and present.
have claimed responsibility for our successes and our losses. One can
easily recognize the importance of Ikon by the way people have loved it,
and in the way some people have hated it.
If the venue were simply mediocre or insignificant, no one would
care either way. There have
been attempts to copy it, and those have failed. Some have even claimed
ownership to the name, have even stolen artwork, and claimed it to be
theirs. For the record, you
too can have your own version of the name.
Just contact the Secretary of State.
Here are just a few suggestions:
Ikon Hall, Ikon Place, Ikon Burgers, Ikon Fried Chicken, Ikon
Wannabe, Ikon But You Can’t, Ikon Hills Mall.
Just for the sake of creativity though, use your own artwork.
is serious business.
short-lived return of Ikon Downtown was not due to members of the staff
in any shape, form, or fashion. The
staff, both original and new, accomplished what they set out to do.
What they said they were going to do in March is exactly what
they did in May.
a perfect world Ikon would still be open today and continuing to
accomplish all the plans and goals related to such a historic and
respected music venue.
successful individual, group, or organization that chooses to “step
up” to any degree will always encounter opposition.
Ikon’s colorful history is no exception.
For every wonderful event that has taken place inside its walls
from its original opening in 1990 to its closing in 1997 to it’s stay
at Cain’s 1997-1999, and its brief re-emergence in 2004, there have
always existed the “Not so well wishers.” Remember city
councilperson vikki cleveland’s anti-afterhours campaign? Or neighbors
on Brookside blaming the club for all
the trash that existed in the area or for incidents that happened on
evenings the club was not open?
Albert Einstein said it best: “Great spirits encounter violent
opposition from mediocre minds.”
are proud of Ikon’s history and importance both locally and nationally
and that can never be taken away.
is no music related venue, event, or group of individuals that can truly
call themselves Ikon without the participation and endorsement of the
majority of the names listed below.
us, there was a desire to set the record straight.
We owed it to all who truly cared about what Ikon has meant.
With the amount of calls, inquires, and e-mails, we realized like
never before just how much people cared and still do.
This is our reply. Thanks
for your interest. Without
you, Ikon would have never been just that, an icon.
our hearts forever:
* IKON logo 1990 -
1994 created by Zack Matthews, IKON logo 1994 - 1997 created by Dave
Fallis, IKON logo 2004 created by Todd Cooke/ Davit Souders.