Sunday, April 15, 2012

Nightclubs?





Okay, how did I miss out on all this? Was it purely the demise of big band music? Did rock music kill having this much fun. Rock music certainly doesn't lend itself to sedate viewing, fancy clothes, even dancing.

I know there are a few places like this still around but when I was a kid I babysat for a family who came home at five in the morning because a night out was at a nightclub for them.

Almost every movie about a certain sort of person in the thirties and forties had a scene in a club like this one. Have you ever been in a nightclub? I went to the Latin Casino on a date at 16, but that was it for me. Too bad.

My story "A Game of Hide and Seek" is up on Yellow Mama. Thank you Cindy Rosmus.

15 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Have I been to a nightclub where everyone was in gowns and tails? No. Not even the more pretentious opera-houses nor DAR Hall concerts quite have fitted that bill in my experience. I have been to music clubs, such as the time Donna and I saw Koko Taylor and Albert King and their bands, and King recognized David Bowie sitting at another table (but didn't recognize Peter Frampton sitting with him, which I imagine might've led to a few jokes later)...and comedy clubs...but the only clubs with a large dancefloor (as opposed to a small dancefloor and/or a set of tables for the audience) have been DC's the Black Cat and the new 9:30 Club, which was put together in imitation of the Black Cat (the original 9:30 was a tight little dancefloor area, with access to [another] bar off from the performance area). One could easily make a night of them, but most were ready to roll it up by 2-3am, most nights.

Boy, did Frank Rizzo hate the nightclubs, though particularly the black-patronage nightclubs, of your youth in Philly.

Todd Mason said...

Rock music certainly does lend itself to dancing, but less often to waltzing. But, then, most of the rock shows I attended were punk-rock shows, though I usually was at the periphery of mosh pits...but such funk bands as the Bus Boys were hard not to dance to.

Congrats on the story! (SWEET FREEDOM went over 100K pv overnight, as it turns out.)

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid we went twice to the famous (mobbed-up, as they say) Ben Maksik's Town & Country nightclub on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. Once was for a friend's bar mitzvah when the featured performer was Adam Wade (anyone remember him?). {They were known for getting people like Judy Garland, Bobby Darin and Harry Belafonte.]

The next year I somehow convinced my mother to take us there to see Joey Dee & the Starlighters, whose "Peppermint Twist" was the hit of the day.

Otherwise no, not a nightclub kind of guy.

Jeff M. (from the geezer bus)

George said...

The night clubs around here seem to be crime scenes for shootings. I did see the then obscure group CREAM in a Milwaukee nightclub in the late 1960s.

Anonymous said...

Adam Wade.

Jeff M.

Todd Mason said...

Threw me a bit at first glance, Jeff, since I was passing acquaintance with this Adam Wade...

Randy Johnson said...

Once in my life, a club in Knoxville, that had a Doors cover band playing that night. But not the type you're talking.

Cap'n Bob said...

I went to one in Taiwan in 1968. Also one or two here in the states. None of them resembled the styles of the thirties or forties, however.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I feel like we missed all the fun.

Richard R. said...

I always wished the night clubs from the B&W Fred Astaire films were still around, or the clubs in Holiday Inn, that kind of thing. Big Bands, dance floor, cocktails at small tables, or bigger ones around the walls, suits, tuxes, gowns... Oh well. Born too late, I guess. Not that most everyday Joes could afford that level of clubs, any more than the Starlight Room or such.

I've been to plenty of disco clubs, and rock clubs, in Hollywood and smaller venues, but that's not what you're asking about.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I want the romance of the big band playing, with Doris Day or Jo Stafford singing. Not my era but still...

Paul D Brazill said...

I'm with you, Patti.

From my 'Gumshoe Blues':

'
When I think back, my most vivid and powerful memories of childhood are in black and white. The monochrome of the Saturday morning Odeon Kidz-Klub, and the Hollywood films on afternoon television when I was throwing a sickie from school, all seemed so much more vibrant than anything that real life could come up with.

And, as you would expect of someone who grew up living more fully in his imagination than in the day-to-day, adulthood proved to be a series of disappointments and non-events.

Nightclubs, for example, were, in my mind, bustling with tough guys in pinstriped suits, wise-cracking cigarettes girls and sultry Femme Fatales belting out torch songs on a Chiaroscuro lit stage.

So, when I eventually stumbled into the grim reality – sticky carpets, overflowing toilets, beer bellied men staggering around a dance floor with leathery, bottle blondes –well my heart sank like the Titanic. '

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, so true, Paul. Born in the wrong era, I think.

Richard S. Wheeler said...

The Stork's Cub Room was the place to be--if you could get there. That's where Walter Winchell broadcast his gossip and celebrity radio shows, beginning each one with something like this: Good evening, Mr, and Mrs. North America, and all the ships at sea...

The Cub Room, I believe, was relatively quiet, and the place for good conversation, while the larger rooms had entertainment. The place was genuinely glamorous, and people counted an evening at the Stork as one of the most memorable events of their lives. Several films had Stork Club scenes or plots built around the club.

My sister-in-law, Shermane Billingsley, has a lovey website devoted to the Stork, which people might enjoy.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, I have seen that site and it is fantastic.
Would love to have been part of that world, even a fly on the wall.
It feels like I've been there through the movies at least.
And my daughter is even more drawn to it than me.