Bar Room Brawls...

So has anyone every been witness or involved in a classic movie bar room brawl?

My buddy told me that his parents had seen 1 or 2 in the local pub over a 15 year period (Scotch Creek Pub, in BC Canada).

So does anyone have any stories, etc?



Nope not mike.

But my buddies name (whose parents witnessed said brawls) is Jackson Robinson. We’re also quite good friends with Jordan Groslin. Those two are legends at “Chauch Creek”.


About 10 years ago the lead singer of our band went on a trip to Wisconsin, got in a bar fight, and ended up remaining there for nearly a year as a guest of Governor Tommy Thompson. He was convicted, or pled, to serious assault charges, all due to a stupid fight in a bar.

We were just getting our sound down, too.

After you have seen a few, and have seen people picking up teeth and wads of hair off the barroom floor, you really don’t want to think about it anymore.

In the early days of Punk Rock in Vancouver, there used to be quite a problem with violence between the punks and the skinheads. I was at a show in a crappy bar on the downtown eastside when some skinheads came in and started attacking people… this, sure enough, triggered a brawl. As things were beginning to get out of hand I remember standing for a moment thinking “Cool! A real barroom brawl”… then a skinhead picked up a billiard ball, spun and pegged it at me, missing my head by less than a foot. Time to go.

I totally agree with ccwaterback. I’ve seen them from the other side of the bar. On the outside, you can just leave. On the inside of the bar, you’ve gotta call the cops and wait. Not a lot of fun. Some drunk idiots will even hit a friend of theirs just to get a punch in. I’ve restrained guys who were fighting or getting belligerent, but in a full-on brawl, I’d not be that silly. Being pub staff, I’d be “The Man”, and the protagonists on both sides would see me as a target. So y’ just sit there, maybe grab yourself a beer, and watch until the police arrive.

Brawls are NOT cool. The only story approaching coolness was something I didn’t witness myself, but was told to me by a Scottish mate of mine. He used to frequent a very, very rough Glasgow pub. It was a working class place and full of young blokes trying to prove themselves and get a reputation. There were these two older men, probably in their fifties. They were the undisputed “hard men” of the neighbourhood. Lots of jail time, scars, tattoos, etc. They had nothing to prove, and all they wanted to do was drink, and drink hard. So every Friday night when the inevitable pub brawl started with the younger men, some guys would leave, and others would get involved. Not these two blokes though. Rolling their eyes and clicking their tongues in a slightly irritated manner, they’d stand up from their chairs, pick up their table with their pints of “heavy” still balancing on it, and crab-shuffle sideways with it, straight through the middle of the brawl, and into the vestibule of the gents’ room, where they’d lovingly set the table down on the floor, go back and get their chairs, and could continue their heavy drinking in peace until the brawl finished. Then they’d bring the table back out. I’ve always kinda liked that.

I saw one in an enlisted mens club at the 32nd street Naval base in San Diego. A group of about 15 guys on boot camp liberty had just enough beer and built up energy from 12 weeks of basic to start mouthing off to a group of sailors just back from a 6 month cruise. Insults were tossed, a beer was thrown in someones face and a couple of table flipped over then the fight was on. The seasoned sailors took care of the new recruits rather quickly then the shore patrol showed up and hauled away all that were involved. The manager bought the 20 or so patrons left a beer for the trouble.

I had a guy (at a bar) who was sitting next to me and got shot in the chest at point blank range with a .45 cal.

Saw one at the now-defunct Third Street Pub in Atlanta back in about '89.

Two groups of guys in their 20s were playing pool (for money), and one group was consistently losing. They started to grumble that they weren’t going to pay. A few scuffles broke out and got settled down, and then poof! everyone was fighting. Stools were thrown, pool cues were swung, people were flung over tables.

I sat and watched it, somewhat fascinated that it really did look exactly like the ones I’d seen in the movies. It didn’t last long; the owner and a couple of bouncers went wading in and tossing people out, and the whole thing lasted maybe a minute. I decided it was time to go (since I was drinking underage) and cleared out.

I love a low life, back street honkey-tonk better than a hog loves slop. Every time I walk into one that’s new to me, the line from the movie “Patton” runs through my mind: “God help me, I love it so”. When my first driver’s license arrived a few days after my 16th birthday, I paid my sister a dollar (I couldn’t type) to alter the birth year on it so that it would say I was 21. So yeah, I’ve seen a bunch of bar fights.

At age 17, I learned a lesson. Several hours after midnight, a guy and his wife got into a fight. After she scratched him up a bit, he busted a beer bottle on her head and then started beating her for real. Considering myself a gentleman, I stepped in and tried to stop the thing. Suddenly reunited, they both turned on me and started beating on me, so I ran!

Since then every time something starts, my first consideration is to locate myself near an exit, then try to stand on a chair or something to get a better view. When in doubt, run!

The town I come from in Germany has three US Army barracks, and every summer there is a huge festival with big tents and lots of beer. Every year a brawl breaks out between the more boisterous soldiers in the biggest beer tent. The interesting thing is watching the MPs handle the brawl. Basically, they get everyone not involved in the brawl (mostly out-of-towners who aren’t aware of this yearly tradition) out of the tent, and then they untie the ropes holding up the tent, and then give a good whack to anything that still moves under the tarp. Then they lift the tarp back up and carry out the now more compliant combatants.

I think I will be back to film this next year, because it looks like something from an old silent movie sometimes.

I worked one winter as a mining engineer in a far Northern town in Manitoba. There were three hotel / bars and two cops, and the cops covered an area of many hundreds of square miles. The bars all had scanners and the rules vis-a-vis closing times, drinking staff, underage service and service to intoxicated persons were all pretty much cheerfully ignored.

I was there for a couple of months without having gone to the most downtown bar, as I had heard it was the rough joint. However, I agreed to meet a colleague there to play some pool. I walked into the room, 8pm on a wednesday, and the first thing my eyes locked onto in the gloom and smoke was a chair flying through the air. This was evidently a minor misunderstanding as no one paid much attention and even the two litigants didn’t really follow it up.

Much later in the evening, I was leaning over the table to line up my shot, taking time to aim as I was somewhat spliflicated by this point, and I felt a dull impact across my back. Another fellow leaned over, apologized blurrily, and casually punched his tablemate in the face. Apparently he had wound up to clobber this guy with a pool cue, hit me across the back on his backswing, and broken the cue. Thus rendered weaponless he reverted to the time-honored knuckle sandwich. Bartender came over and said, “Would you two knock it off for Chrissakes”, fairly goodnatured about it, and the two of them resumed playing as though nothing had happened.