Found Objects

I was going through some old drawers the other day and found an old matchbook that  brought back a lot of memories. rockcity

You see, in a past life I was a young Jarhead exiled to the far reaches of Northern Okinawa and living on a small base called Camp Hansen. Just outside the gate was the little town of Kin or Kinville as we called it. There were three things you could do in Kinville: Get some great yakisoba, Get drunk and ROCK OUT. Kinville had a number of bars and among them some “rock houses”. These bars had enormous sound systems and a big screen TV so you could punish your eardrums, drown your liver and watch Mad Max 100 times without ever once hearing the soundtrack. You would either stumble in carrying your own albums under your arm  (yes kids…albums!) or choose from the vast collection at the bar.  The Rock Houses  competed for customers by promising the loudest, earth-shattering audio in the town. You were not disappointed in these places. They were mind-numbingly, teeth looseningly loud. My favorite was the Club Look. They were nice folks , the stereo was awesome and they played old surf movies as opposed to Mad Max!

So, having these memories flood back, I went up to my closet and dug out my old photo album:

Looking through the album was strange I remembered so many faces but so few names. But…let’s stick to the subject: Kinville and it’s bars! Here we go:

The Streets of Kinville: Roving packs of Marines and the stench of sewage mixed with the enticing odor of Yakisoba!

The Streets of Kinville: Roving packs of Marines and the stench of sewage mixed with the enticing odor of Yakisoba!

It's like Vegas, only not.

It’s like Vegas, only not.

This was my place. The Club Look. Brace your eardrums, Bridget.

This was my place. The Club Look. Brace your eardrums, Bridget.

A bar: Don't piss of the guy in the middle.

A bar:
Don’t piss of the guy in the middle.

I almost forgot, one of the bars was in an actual cave. I hate to think how many Japanese soldiers hugged grenades on this spot many years before.

The Cave!

The Cave!

Give me a Scotch and Seven, Batman

Give me a Scotch and Seven, Batman

And here’s what the matchbook advertised

One name I remember: Larry DeStephano. What a character!



Rich Powell

I'm an artist/illustrator residing in a small, North Carolina town. I worked for a few years as a conceptual artist and art director in the computer game industry but set off on my own to freelance. I currently do humorous illustration and cartoons for publications such as MAD Magazine and Highlights for Children.

You may also like...

14 Responses

  1. doris eichelberger says:

    Ah, me.  There’s so much about you we need to know.  Perhaps you should start your memoires?  Or at least keep a journal.  Seriously, thank you.  IKE


  2. Speaking of the caves my dad earned the bronze star and the purple heart on Okinawa, WWII, U.S. Army. His descriptions of the caves and the fleas they held used to scare me to death.

  3. Albert says:

    Dang, I loved Club Look! Was it Mike and Chiko that ran that place? I was with 9th Engrs 82-83 Camp Hansen.

  4. Worthington says:

    Yep, I was there (Camp Hansen) back in 1995. Drinky drinky girls. I remember some of my friends coming back on base one time and said, “It’s a good thing you didn’t go with us to Kinville last night, we had a demonic encounter.” They were really freaked out, till this day, I still wonder what happened. No joke. Other there that, got a rock band together and had a great time. My liver hates me, still.

  5. Leon Chisler says:

    Hi Great stories of old Kinville.
    I didnt get to make it out there until the 80’s. But it was still going strong then

    I really REALLY want the black CANNON CLUB t shirt one guy is wearing in one of your pics. CANNON Club was on BC Street
    out of Kadena Gate 2. Koza area. First live music club i ever went to in my life!

    I am actually on BC Street at this very moment.

    My memory of Sgt Pepper’s was of it being on BC Street…not in Kinville.
    I could be wrong though.

  6. Matt Allison says:

    Is the guy on the far right sitting down in the picture of the guys in the bar Gary Sheets, I think I knew him!
    Matt Allison
    Engineer Recon Team 82-83

  7. Todd VanOrman says:

    Dude I just found this while searching out taco rice with cheese. I was there in 86-87 and I was wondering if the shot with the bar keep was at Chikos Bar???

  8. terry g Meador says:

    Sorry for such a late comment, but I was at Camp Hansen around 1980 with 1/7. I seem to remember that our favorite bar was Rock City. Though I do remember Sgt. Pepper’s bar very nearby. Every night we would stumble into Nancy’s Yakisoba, the last kitchen before crossing the street into camp Hansen. As you walked out the front gate on the left side there was a stereo shop that many of us bought the latest Pioneer, Marantz, or Yamaha stereo, which they would ship to you home. I had a GREAT time in Kinville. Not such a great time in the CTA, or NTA.

  9. Rob says:

    I was there 86 and again in 87. Stationed at Schwab. Brings back some great memories of Henoko(Hooterville), and Kinville. I remember Club Look, and Club Gigi. We would bang our heads at Look, and drink Purple Haze, and Flaming Rainbows. Then go to Gigi to hear some of the New Wave stuff. So many great and crazy memories from Oki.

  10. I was just in Camp Hansen and always wondered what the withered painting of Club Look was. KinVille is pretty much dead now, but many of the signs for the clubs from the 80’s are still there. I was there when the last group of filipina bar girls left in 2010, and when Kin almost did completely die during COVID.
    I am in mainland now, but I go back to Okinawa often. I can take pictures of the places mentioned as they look now and send them if you want.
    I love the Rock, but somehow I have a feeling that it was more fun back in the day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: