Sadly as of November 16, 1997 Boston's famous night club The Rathskeller has closed it's doors forever.

I've decided to do a tribute page of sorts, so if you have any comments, stories or anything else to say about The Rat, please fill out the space below and I'll add it to the page. thanks!

Comments, Stories, or Anything else to say about the Rat:


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If you haven't been thrown out of The Rat, you haven't experienced the Boston music scene.
The Rat was the Best Bar in Boston, if not the USA. I remember seeing some great shows their: Napalm Death, The Business, Drop Kick Murphys, New Bomb Turks, Showcase Showdown and many others. I even met my current girlfriend of 2 1/2 years at the rat. I was there the night it closed. Boston has never been the same. RIP.
Ty Velde
"I remember my old band 7th Rail was supposed to open up for Madball, and Vision Of Disorder, at the late great Rat. I believe it was in the fall of 96, right after those flash flood rains where practically all of Kenmore Sq. was underwater. The T station was closed, half the streets were either blocked off or extensions of the Charles River. Needless to say The Rat was completely flooded, kegs were floating around, speakers were submerged, I think even a few rats were seen swimming for their lives. Man, the place was a mess. The show was evidently cancelled and The Rat gave all the bands a case of beer. You've gotta love that place. Plus the last show I saw there was the Wrecking Crew reunion show, what a way to go out."
-Paul from Awakenings Zine Paul/Awakenings Zine
I grew up in Boston but I moved out to Cali when I was 20, so I only went to the Rat a couple times. The Angry Samoans did an all-ages show once and I snuck in to see the Dickies once. Years later I went there to drink a few times when I was visiting, I'd always imagined it would be full of college kids like every other bar around Kenmore, but amazingly it was pretty cool (aside from the usual Boston "what the fuck you looking at" vibe from the guys by the bar. It reminded me of the old days at Fathers II, sunday afternoons with the place full of teenagers and "goddamn fucking mr. butch" eating 10 cent hot dogs and drinking $3.50 pitchers of PBR. The last time I was in Boston I ran into Butch over near my mom's house in Allston, he told me that since the Rat closed he couldn't get any spare change in Kenmore anymore. That's got to be the saddest thing, the king's been moved out of Kenmore Square. Here's a little snapshot of the eighties: eating crusts at Pizza Pad, buying the mashed potatos at Charlie's, slice cheese and Ikari Warriors at Nemo's, drinking Bud talls under the bridge with Butch and Judas ("don't stab nobody!"), Saturdays at the Paradise, Sundays at the Channel, Dicky Barrett getting fucked up by NY skins at that Agnostic Front show at the Y, Springa's "hardcore is dead" speech at the first of many last-ever Jerry's Kids shows (and the bouncer getting stomped at the end of the show), two ambulances parked in front of Store 24 every weekend night--just waiting, and of course talking shit about all the posers hanging out in Harvard Square.

Yeah Boston was violent as hell, but fun too. Too damn cold for me though.

the first show i saw at the rat was gang green, i walked downstairs in line while a bunch of people in front of me payed the bouncer announcing "5 dollars, 5 dollars!" as i reached the door myself he continued yelling to others behind me "5 dollars,5 dollars" looked at me and said "3 for skinheads"
I just found this page, but reading all of the other posts was cool, so I figured I'd throw in my Rat story. I don't remember exactly when I first went, I think it was some Queers show. It was the coolest thing that I had ever seen. I know it sounds cheesy, but it changed my life. I mean, after that, I was there every weekend. If it wasn't for the Rat, I wouldnt have found out about the punk scene in Boston. I'd probably be listening to Pearl Jam or something right now. Anyway, it was a very cool place and I too miss that smell, something I have never smelled anywhere else, and that stuff on the floor, and that whole cat litter thing at the Anti Heros show, and it was still there at the Varukers/Sheer Terror shows a week or so later. Even though I didnt know very many people there, all of the faces were familiar and I felt like I knew everyone. And where else could a sixteen year old kid get into a show for free and then drink at the bar afterwards. But, its! gone and I think the scene has fallen apart because of that. I know that there are people out there that are doing alot of work trying to get this scene back where it was two years ago. But there are also alot of kids who are either doing nothing, or destroying the scene by vandalizing and drinking at the DIY shows. Everyone can reminice(sp?) but you have no right to bitch or complain if you aren't doing anything to help. Everyone can help, book a DIY show or even just attend a DIY show and support the scene. This is not meant to be an attack on anyone or anything, all I'm saying is that Boston had a great scene and it can again if we all work together.
what can i say?the rat was boston punk,and now a sad state of affairs exists without it.please come back rathskellar old pal.and of course poor captain nemos next door couldn't go on without it so it burned itself down.the rat was my home away from home.every weekend there was a show,i grew up there.i got to see great bands like oxymoron,braindance,the wretched ones,one way system,the varukers,the business,and many more.i even got to play a few shows could you not love the mysterious thick black grime covering the floor,or the stench of piss n' eer in the air,or the many red eyed rodents glaring at you from all sides.once i kicked my sneaker off while dancing and i had to walk around and find it in that shit,but it was fucking great.i guess i am lucky to have gotten a chance to spend a few years going to the rat,something which many will be deprived of.long live the rat motherfuckers!
dan shea
first of all, I shuld say I never actually visited the RAT. This reallyu sucks, but it's a bit late to recify the sitution. However, I wpould like to say that the middle east sucks my ass. I saw my first show there (the Suicide Machines) and it was damn good. Since then, I've had to go to Worcester or St. John's Gym in Clinton to see any good punk. This is bullshit! If the middle east won't let kids in, then fuck 'em. We shpuld start our own club devoted to punk and always all ages. The Boston hard-core scxene is too damn good not to have some better clubs. That's it.
Your friendly neighborhood mexican
I'll always remember the sticky floors!,and the time clove smokes were the rave-THOSE FUCKERS STINK!!! And another thing the RAT will always be better then the middle east that place SUCKS!!!
The Rock The Rock
The first show i ever saw at the Rat was Kicked in the head with Big D. The whole things smelled of weed and old, old beers. ever since then i've been in love with the place, untill they closed it down. i saw like 8 shows there. I loved it!
First off i have to say enough with the fighting this this thing was put up in tribute to the rat now lets pay a tribute to it.One thing left to say is LONG LIVE THE RAT IT WILL BE MISSED.KEEP THE UNITY IN PUNK THANK YOU!!!
John Jarowski
i had alot of fun at the rat. and wil miss it greatly but you all say this and that about "diy" and everyone acting like your better you lame fucks if you went to the rat acting like that we would have pounded you spit at you or just told you to get lost. but the point is everyone is different no one is better i work 10 hours a day 5 days a week and still have respect for anyone elses lifestyle. and as far as shows go hds fucked everyone over. thier is supposed to be drinking,straightedge,pillpoppers,tuffguys,midgits graphiti,drugs, and the point is whatever someone else does does not effect you and if nit does than youra real fake. if a hundred clubs close in boston for all of your facist comments on this page the i would continue to laugh at you because thats the real shit having fun bands that sing about all the same like beer sex violence drugs comic book characters(secret wars!) piss and shit! barf its all good keep it up causing turmoil and pissing people off fr eedom of expression all that shit i guess!!!
cockroach from the puking toms
I'm going to miss all the great times I fell on the floor full of that icky plasma. ya know the stuff that no one really knew what the hell it was like it consisted of 3 materials - beer, spit, sweat. yeh well i'll miss everytime i went to a show and came home full of that brownish crap all over my clothes. and then there was that smell, the smell of beer and body odor. I never thought i'd miss that smell but I do. and then there were the times when everyone would chill outside before the shows opened. everyone just chillin and talking and making friends. that was when the boston scene was full of familiar faces and everyone knew eachother. the rat was my second home on weekends. it will be greatly missed.
i saw the queers there when WIMPY sat in on vocals and they did they,re good really old songs email me about my cheap patches!! RAT R.I.P. !! RIPPED (A)ND TORN PATCHES
john nauyokas
I remember seeing the bosstones (before they sold out) at the rat. It was so kick ass! It was my first ska show and it was great. I'm going to miss the colorfull, grafeitized walls and the fun atmosphere.
Hi, im joeline, a punkette soon to be gracing the boston collage scene. I've heard many stories about The Rat and its been mentioned in a favorite song of mine 'i met her at The Rat' -THE QUEERS im looking for info on the punk scene in Boston and really need it soon since im moving there in september. Plese send info to
Seeing the Police on their first visit to the U.S. at the Rat was a highlight of my existence, and the only time I've ever been there...
kevin the boston hater
The RAT was the best fuckin place ever, Im from N.y. and traveled to see shows at the Rat cuz it was so fuckin great. I saw my frist show there and fell in love with the atmosphere it was the most punk rock place ever RIP THE RAT WILL ALWAYS BE REMBERED OI OI !!!!!!!!
Why is everyone still bitching about DIY or not DIY? Man, you sound like a bunch of idiots. Am I a "sell-out" because I go to work to earn money? Should I quit my job and live in the streets and beg for spare change? THAT's being a sellout, because then you're REALLY depending on other people. If my job makes me do something that really opposes my principles, then I can quit and get another job. Forgive me for not wanting to be a bum when I'm older. I guess I'm just uncool.
Bert Victim
for the people saying we ruined our scene...well, it wasn't our fault the rat was the owners decision...and the middle east closed because ONE person did a stupid thing...not everyone who was at the show. and i know during shows at churches and halls some kids really do fuck up a good time and do really dumb things..but its not the majority of the scene...its only a few kids, so to say that everyone in the scene caused us to lose shows is wrong.
I'm pissed off after the rat closed the boston punk scene has gone downhill. There is now nowhare to go to see shows other than worscter. Now that the middle east is not all ages there is no where to go. FUCK club owners where are the kids supposed to go to see shows.
All we have is fucking churches which dosnt work.
So please dont close all the clubs to us kids this is where the scene starts.
ok...i'm just getting into this punk thing. and i've only been to one show. but it seems to me like a lot of you guys really fucked up a nice place. the first, and to date only, show i've been to was at a high school. with a shitty sound system, and a small stage. but people came from a whole shitload of places to see a couple of local bands. it's one a once in while thing that we have something cool in manchester (NH), and people know not to fuck it up. maybe you should learn a little something from the punks here. you dumb bastards! pretty soon boston will end up like manchester. we used to have a cool place to go to, but now we don't have anything. you fuckin morons who think it's cool to fuck everyone else's stuff up had better knock it off, cause you're wreckin it for everyone else who's smart. you stupid shits!!! if you fuck shit up, this is what happens. so, i suggest you knock it off. or it'll be too late.
Ive never been to the rat but im sure it will be missed. All I have to say is " How come u guys have to use this page to bitch at each other?" Unity means comprimise and acceptence regardless of DIY-ness or what ever. Not just getting along because everyones the same. It takes effort! Try it!
-no offense cause DIY ness is cool
alright...this is Nino and Joel of HDS, we just got back from the Stray Bullets, Unseen show at the church of Boston. thanx to all the fucken assholes who were drinking at the show, tomorrow's Los Crudos show will probably be the last show at the church. so....... where the fuck are we gonna have shows now? any ideas?
people who care
All you fuckers make me sick! You Bitch and moan about this and that and still can't find time to do anything about it. But this is a Rat tribute page and I would like to say thanx to the Rat I now have a "ball and chain". For all you assholes who don't catch my drift I met my wife there on Sept. 7, 1997. So I guess I owe the memory of the Rat a lot.
Chink Boy Punk
I'm sorry, I was looking for comments about the Rat(RIP), not a bunch of people bitching about how much or how little DIY philosophy is needed in a scene. I,m sorry, all I care about is seeing good shows and having a good time. That's exactly what you got at the Rat(RIP).
Sean the Skin
To all those fucking losers whop keep fucking whining about the "end of an era". GET A FUCKING CLUE!! whats up with that "era" bullshit, thats like fucking saying that Punks dead, as long as there are punks kickin around and shows are happening, nothin is dead, it may pieter out at times, but it wont die, so quit whining and get off your asses, the scene is what you make it!! as for the rat, it sucks that it closed down, cause that was my firts punk show, and so what if you have to go to the fucking Middle East, just enjoy the punk show and make fun of the fucking trendies and have a good time
I've only been going to the Rat for a few years now, but I really am going to miss it. Where else can I find toilets on stage, "Paxton Bitches", kegs between the dumpsters, Ass kickin' bouncers, Rat Brew, Black Lable, Schlitz, store 24 sodas, punks, skins, graffiti, breaking bottles on Stan's head, Mike McCarthy's wang (admit it, you saw it!), Dropkicks, Ducky Boys, Unseen, Thugs, Bruisers, Business, Bullocks, Showcase, :30 Seconds, and the coolest bunch of kids I have ever had the pleasure to know? That's right...Nowere.
I remeber the last boston punk olympics at the rat. They left one of the taps on downstairs and me and friends were filling soda bottles full of beer. It was great fun drinking beer in the rat during a great show. The rat will never be forgotton.
Todd Strempel
look what youve done. fighting and being dicks at shows have made us suffer and has destroyed our scene. we need to recreate our scene. dont be a dick and smash up the first and second church or the ebar. its all we have left now.
>>come to think of it i didnt know they had internet connections in sqats...<< Well, dickhead, internet access isn't very hard to come buy. Librarys and colleges have free internet access labs and god forbid you know someone with a computer. >>or is it that you just dress like your poor for punk points? << Kinda like Tripp from the Unseen, who I might add has a VERY large trust fund (his dad is VP of Gillette), Lower Class Crucifiction my ass. Make fun of DIY all you want but you club kids as just like little babies getting fed by your parents. And to the Paxton Boys, fuk off (damn I wish I could swear but the LIBRARY I use the computer at has XXXXing stupid software), you conservatives assholes (wow, I can say that though) should just go away and join the army or something. Its really sad that you're so insecure of yourself that harmless gay people threaten you. Straight but not stupid, like............oh, never mind. Follow your leader you racist assholes.

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