Monday, November 22, 2010
I feel like I left my Goth Post unfinished, so here is part 2 of Where Have All the Good Goths Gone. Please understand that I am not trying to offend anyone, only trace a path of the Goth progression, so forgive me the tread marks I make on the current Goth society…
I remember on one of my very first trips to Seattle, my good friend Cat telling me that the goth culture was alive and well in Seattle. It was all but dead in LA in the 90s, replaced by the sad "new punk " movement (read: not punk at all). Anyway, we were driving through the Fremont suburb when I saw a tall guy wearing all black including a long velvet mourning coat! I almost crashed my poor car in shock.
"Told ya," Cat smiled.
Within two years I had moved to Seattle permanently. At that time
there was a street in the neighborhood of Capitol Hill we called
"Black Alley." On this street were two Goth bars and a private Goth
dance club called the Mercury. The Merc (as we called it) did not at
that time have it's liquor license. So we would have to run 4 doors
down to JUJU (past Richard, JUJU's hunky viking bouncer) and down a
couple drinks, then run back to the Merc to dance. At that time, the
music and DJ's at the Mercury were stellar…reminiscent of my favorite
club in LA, Booth.
JUJU closed 4 years ago and became a series of yuppie/hipster art
galleries. The Mercury is still there, but it is no longer private; it
serves alcohol and also caters to what I call the velvet vamp or neo
goth. You know what I am talking about… The music sucks too. So I
rarely go there, and never on a Saturday night.
There is however one place I love, it's called Chapel. It's a
converted funeral home, and the music is great/loud/fast and moody.
(It's not a dance club, but rather a bar/meeting place.) Not to
mention the TO DIE FOR drinks. They make a black martini that is the
same color as my soul—love it.
Recently I took a "quiz" on facebook called "how Goth are you?." I came
out Goth Royalty!! Part of me was like, well duh, yet I was shocked. I
am who I am, I don't try to fit in. I actually try not to stand out.
One of my favorite writer friends Heather Brewer calls me the Supreme
Elder Goth, to which I am both pleased and embarrassed . ( I
know, I'm complex. What can I say?) Here's the secret…or at least
mine…a real goth doesn't think about it; they just are themselves. I
do own other colors besides black. Truthfully, I get dreamy eyed over
turquoise blue and true purple. So maybe I really do fail.
Honestly, I believe the way of the Goth has faded here in Seattle.
Gone are all the brooding black wearing folks. They have been replaced
with a sea of brown, top hats and goggles. Truly, Steampunk happens
when Goths decide to wear brown. It's okay, though… More black for me…
Desire lurks beyond good and evil
So dance on the graves where the hammer falls
***** special thanks to Dusty Grave for the photo*************
Thursday, November 18, 2010
As a kid, I wasn't as snarky as I am now, but I was known even then
for speaking my mind. I wasn't really raised by my mother and father, but by my sister Nancy (she is 8 years older). She pretty much took me everywhere with her. I especially loved going with her to get her hair cut in Beverly Hills, California.
Teddy, her hairdresser, was something... He often wore VERY SHORT gold or silver lamé shorts, platform shoes and a silk shirt tied up (remember this was the 70's). He had the most amazing shag haircut. Teddy was a character and I really loved him, as a kid he prepared me for the glam world. (He loved to show off his junk. I do not believe he ever wore underwear…again, no wonder I am like I am.) I'm sad to
say he is no longer with us...but I do digress.
A loooong time ago on the corner of Wilshire Blvd and Rexford Dr in
Beverly Hills (now prime boutique real estate) was a Ralphs grocery
store. If I behaved, my sister would take me to get a coke there (as
kids we were not allowed to drink soda). This particular day, as we
stood in line (I was about 12), I recognized the person standing in
front of us. Buying a case of beer and several bottles of alcohol was
none other than Alice Cooper.( my hero at the time, and only Rock Star crush) Now contrary to popular belief I am painfully shy, so i whispered in my sisters ear who it was. She pushed
me forward to say hi…and I was mortified.
Alice on the other hand noticed right away, knelt down and said hi. I
don't remember him reeking of drank so I am thinking it might be one
of the few sober times he had in the 70's. I looked up into his eyes
and said, " I'm going to work for you one day." He smiled and said, "
I bet you will," then he looked at my sister and made a comment about
how I certainly knew my own mind. There was an adult joke between them
that was lost on twelve-year-old me. The rest of the day I was pretty
quiet and introspective and didn't even tell my mom and dad about our
Years later my brother got me a job as an electrician on a huge stage
show... Whose, you ask? You bet, Alice Cooper! I was hired on for the
whole tour, and made sure that Alice knew the story. His reply: "I'm
not surprised, Synde. You certainly know your own mind." Dooode the
same exact thing, he had said the same thing...
Alice was my first real music boss, and to this day the best one I
have ever had! He never lost his temper and took us on trips, and
treated us like people. Some days I yearn for that kind of
treatment...Nah, it'll never happen...
***and I laughed to myself, at the Men and the Ladies-
who never conceived of us Billion Dollar Babies*************
Friday, November 5, 2010
When I mentioned I was going to write about the pathetic state of the
Goth movement on Twitter i got a bunch of hate tweets. Ironically,
that is exactly why I wanted to blog. Goths don't even know what they
are about anymore. EVERY Goth kid should Google "Visigoth" and see
what that means. There are no Vampires. That's not Goth; that's Anne
Rice, and please do not confuse the two. That is all I will say about
Goths... I have instead decided to blog about one of the godfathers of
This morning on a business call, one of my friends mentioned that one
of my favorite "Goth" clubs was experiencing a resurgence. It's become
an all ages club, which is really sad, I don't want to get my dance on
with a bunch of 18 year olds! I know that sounds harsh, but come on
now...it's not right.
So, there is this block in San Francisco at the corner of 11th and
Harrison that in my youth was Goth central. Back in the day, (yeah I
said it...sad I know) there was a bar on the corner called the
Paradise Lounge. They featured new young talent. One of my friends,
Peggy was a part time DJ there, we'd go there to get our drink on..and
then once she was done..we'd heckle the new talent.
Most nights it was this crazy gawky guy named Chris Issak, I wonder
what happened to him?...heh...
After we were suitably sedated we would turn the corner and wander
down to the DNA lounge. DNA was a warehouse style club, very Bauhaus
ala The Hunger in those days. There was a second floor grid that I
used to love to hang out on. Anyway, I digress...for a few years it
was the place to be. I spent many a weekend in SF sleeping on the
floor of my friend's rehearsal hall, so i could go out and dance all night.
A few years passed, and I returned to the scene of the crime. The
Paradise was gone, but DNA was still there...only this time it's not
just a Goth Club, it's a dance club (cries and rocks). However, the really
embarrassing part of this story is that I have dragged the Cure (whom I was working with at the time)there with me -- yep the entire band (DIES). The GM of the club handled it
really well and set us up in the VIP room and said we had shown up on
Deathrock night...we all laughed like little kids on too much Halloween sugar.
The VIP room, you see, had a closed-circuit TV so we could watch the
kids out on the dance floor. I think that night we counted at least 20
Robert Smith wannabes...5 were girls. We didn't stay long, the music
was bad, and we were bored. However, we did one thing that will
forever live on in my mind. We all removed all of our make up (yes
even Robert) and combed our hair down...looked really really normal
and then went out on the dance floor to dance to "Boys don't Cry."
Those kids had no clue they were dancing with their idols...only the
Dj knew. I wonder if he told them after we left?
So, you see, now this place is cool again. I wonder if my name is
still scrawled across the VIP room next to Robert's. On one hand, I
kinda hope they have painted...and on the other hand, sorta not...
sometimes i'm dreaming
expressionless the trance
sometimes i'm dreaming
so many different names
****photo of Dusty Grave as Struwwelpeter a Gothic version of an old German story book character****