It was thirty years ago today…

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So it was thirty years ago tonight that the legendary Pterodactyl Club in Charlotte opened. Damn.

That was also the night that I felt I really started making friends in Charlotte after a long and lonely first winter there. I ran into an acquaintance I’d known in Myrtle Beach at the opening and she introduced me to a whole new crowd that quickly became my crowd.

I miss that old run-down steakhouse on Freedom Drive. I saw some great bands there (everything from the Flaming Lips to They Might Be Giants to Iggy Pop, among others) plus the DJ nights were a very welcome alternative to the never-ending cycle of annoying disco and drag at the queer bar a few blocks down the street. As someone who even then really didn’t love gay clubs–and especially hated the shitty music one was forced to endure in them–this was a pretty important spot for me. it was also a passably good place to pick up boys of a sort who were also not as annoying as the ones at the queer bar.

Side note: The grand opening flyer I scanned so a friend could put it on his blog a few years ago must be the only remaining copy in the universe, based on how often I’ve seen it floating around the web.

The Pterodactyl is now a grassy field in a rapidly gentrifying area. At least there’s not an artisanal grits and okra bar there yet…

Otherstream at 20: 2014

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Only two more years to cover before Wednesday’s big anniversary.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

 

Otherstream at 20: 2013

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Despite an incredibly depressing start, 2013 turned out to be a really good year for me. I relocated to the house where I grew up, traveled a lot, and started having the slightest hint a social life again (which is about all I’ve ever really been able to stand anyway). And then there were the antidepressants–both the pills (which helped a LOT) and the cat with whom I had a brief relationship (which helped more than I might have thought as well). Music was a big help too.

The web stuff was maybe not some of my best ever, but that’s OK. Feeling like a human being again was nice.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Otherstream at 20: 2000

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Anniversary soon. Today? Y2K, when I apparently hated everything, especially San Francisco. OK, I still don’t care much for san Francisco.

Favorites and milestones from the textual diarrhea that was 2000:

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Whole lotta Canada onstage

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Sloan at Cat’s Cradle Backroom. This makes up for not getting to see them last year in Toronto. This was actually better (and much cheaper) because it was a small club. Great show with many fewer annoying 19-year-olds than at most shows in Chapel Hill. And my minor crush on Chris Murphy continues stronger than ever now that we’ve been just fifteen or twenty feet from each other. Sigh…

Farewell…and good riddance?

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The biggest, oldest queer bar in Greensboro is closing.

Literally. As I type.

It’s been here, under various names and owners, for nearly thirty-five years. I haven’t set foot in the damned place in over twenty. But I’m here tonight for the farewell as a favor to a friend. Hated the place in 1984. Hate it even more now. Enough said. I won’t miss it. Big “one size fits all” queer dance clubs like this are from another time, and I’m really okay with being on the back end of that scene.

Non-surprises:

  • Crappy music.
  • Annoying drag show.
  • The realization that no one I still know (or would ever hope to meet) can be found in a big queer dance club in Greensboro NC.

Worst Saturday night ever. Or at least since 1984 or so…

Saturday Night Special

My friend Jeff’s birthday is on Tuesday so last night I offered to buy him a birthday beer somewhere. Against my better judgment, I allowed him to talk me into going to Greensboro’s giant queer dance club. It’s a big warehouse of a place and I hadn’t been there in probably twenty years. Not surprisingly, it’s pretty close to being my personal version of hell.

When we got there, I was surprised to see that even though it used to open right onto the street, it had now sprouted a huge parking lot in front. They’d also added a big front porch with rocking chairs and it felt a little like a Cracker Barrel…clientele and all. The whole industrial area had been transformed into something surprisingly suburban-looking.

Inside, it was as annoying as ever, and it wasn’t very long till I was ready to escape. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find Jeff anywhere. After spending more time that I wanted looking for him, I decided to just leave.

For the life of me I can’t remember how I ended up on Patterson Street near the Coliseum. About halfway between Holden and High Point Roads, I saw what I thought was Jeff’s car, which surprised me because Jeff doesn’t drive. I was curious and decided to try to see what was going on.

As I closed in on the car, I noticed another car next to it and the two of them seemed to be driving kind of erratically and aggressively. All of a sudden, shots were fired out of the car that I thought belonged to Jeff. The other car returned fire.

I noticed a police officer had someone stopped on the other side of the street. I wondered why he didn’t go chasing after the two cars that were shooting at each other but he never did.

I backed off, hoping to avoid the fireworks. The two cars sped on toward the Coliseum and I figured I was safe at that point. And then one of them made a sudden U-turn and I realized I was just about to be in the line of fire.

Then I woke up.