I am listening to THE goth anthem, "Bela Lugosi's Dead", right now and am remembering my days as a black clad little poseur standing on South Street. It's so funny to see the little punters and punkettes that still flock to that area, even though there's a (gasps of HORROR!) GAP kids and other chain stores all over the street. They would have been burned down in my day, LOL. The anarchy of the movement is just lost on these kids. Suburban angst ain't what it used to be and the fact that these kids are using a movement's dress sense without the political and social reasoning behind it, is a bit pathetic. Still, it brings me back, seeing them with the mohawks and creepers and bondage pants. It's a shame that they didn't get a chance to go to Revival. That was a place where we could explore all of our differences, enact social change and do it all to a backbeat. The latest bands played downstairs, as well as moi, on Bad Boy Sundays, the drag extravaganza that gave me my formative proving ground that has been the basis for what I do today. Upstairs, in this desanctified former Seamen's Church, was the dance floor, with the famous backwards clock, rapidly spinning time into the past. Every sort of music could be heard here, and all the latest forms of music got a play. The core regular crowd consisted of such a diverse mix of people: punks, goths, mods, rockers, queers, preppies, trendies, new hippies, skinheads (yes them, too), proto-hip-hoppers, you name it. We all got along in this haven of diversity, each open to new ideas and experiences, in a hunger for acceptance and knowledge. The underground stars and a few not so underground stars came there, too. They knew that they could be in a club that appreciated them for what they did creatively, not who they were, famously. I've danced with Prince, Siousxie and the Banshees, Joey Arias, Mink Stole, Dead or Alive and Jade Starling to their music. It was a hedonistic place as well, the back rooms upstairs were always seeping with pot smoke, the bathrooms downstairs were used for the more, how shall I say, powdered libations, the upstairs bathrooms were the meeting place, where you checked your make-up and picked up guys. Or girls. Or whatever. I never felt unsafe. I never felt out of place. It was home for many of us, a living studio of performance art as life and the other way 'round. These kids will never know what it was like to ascend the steps and walk through the greek revival (natch) columns and enter the BEST GODDAM CLUB EVER! It's now a Coyote Ugly. That's just ugly.
I am a life long resident of this little island on the east coast of New Jersey and I am the walking representation of Atlantic City. Which doesn't say much for the city. I'm a professional party guest.