Category Archives: Clubs

Abbey in West Hollywood Reality TV

abbey weho west hollywood

David Cooley‘s The Abbey and its staff  are going to be the focus of a reality TV show.

According to TMZ, the uber-famous gay bar – a two-time winner of Logo’s “Best Gay Bar In The World” award – will be getting its own reality show. Apparently, an unnamed production company is developing the show and an unnamed network is “lined up,” but shooting dates have not yet been scheduled.

The famous restaurant turned nightclub after hours has reportedly already started interviewing hopeful cast members. Auditions for new employees will also take place before the shooting begins according to TMZ.

The project may be like  “Vanderpump Rules… with way more flare [sic],” so get ready for all the —probably contrived— catty drama you can handle.

Heklina Heklina talks Tranny and Trannyshack

trannyshack-san-francisco

TRANNY has been in the news a lot lately.

Are people over reacting? Why can’t we “own it”  like  “fag”?

Heklina Heklina — the organizer of San Francisco’s “Trannyshack” party — publicly announced that she would drop the word “tranny” from her party and re-brand it with a new name by 2015.

ON FACEBOOK, she  said: a public Facebook post, Heklina said, “Whether I like it or not the very name of my legendary nightclub has become political.”

“First, a little history about the name Trannyshack, and the club itself. When I started the club (waaaaaay back in 1996) the word “tranny” did not have the charged weight to it that it has today. Simply put, it was not (arguably) considered a slur word, and not even thought of on the same level as the words “dyke” or “faggot” (two words which, maybe ironically, have somehow become less charged and have been “reclaimed” to a certain degree-for instance, leading the Pride Parade in San Francisco every year are the Dykes On Bikes. I can’t imagine in this day, a contingent called Trannies On Bikes). There are people who might argue this, but I’m sorry it just was not a word thought of as a slur on the same level as today. It was just not. I considered the name transgressive, and cutting edge…

Every walk of life came to, and performed at, Trannyshack. Gay men, lesbians, drag kings, drag kings, M to F’s, F to M’s, Faux Queens, and yes, even straight people. It won every award for Best Drag show in SF every year, and is generally thought to have redefined drag on the West Coast. It didn’t matter (and still does not) what gender you were, or what you had between your legs, if you were a great performer you were welcome on the Trannyshack stage. It grew to mean a great deal to a great many people…

However. Increasingly, and in the past year especially, it’s become clear to me the meaning the word tranny has taken on. I’ve tried to avoid the issue because I’ve spent almost 20 years branding and promoting my club. But more and more, I am asked on the street, in interviews, and online about my thoughts on the word, and the name of my club. I’ve given the answer “Oh, my club is different, it means so much to so many people, it’s this it’s that, etc.”, but it’s been nagging at me.

I started to talk to people close to me about the need for a rebrand. What really was the clincher for me was a post I saw on Facebook by a performer at my club . I wasn’t tagged in the post, but came across it anyway. He said how excited he was to be performing at my club but, out of embarrassment, he couldn’t type the name of it, and something along the lines of “you all know where it is”. Ouch, OK. Time for a rebrand.

I am in the business of (hopefully) entertaining people. It’s never been my intention to hurt people. I am not another Shirley Q. Liquor, wanting to offend just for sake of it. Also, on a purely business level, I don’t want to be viewed as archaic, out of step with the times, like an ostrich with my head in the sand.

As I see it, there’s two ways we can deal with this. We can see this as progress and a step forward, or we can engage in fighting and divisiveness. Whichever one you choose I am going for progress, and away from hurt and anger.”

Until the 2015 roll out, Heklina has decided to use “T-Shack” as a temporary name while she researches a better one. She then refused to engage the matter further via Facebook, but invited people to talk with her about the old and new names face-to-face.

The History of New York Nightlife

Surveying the evolving nature of nightlife in New York City, THE FUN: The Social Practice of Nightlife in NYC
is a first-of-its-kind publication, documenting the new forms of
nightlife practitioners to emerge since the turn of the millennium.
Through profiles of over 30 artists, including the royalty of Manhattan
nightlife like Susanne Bartsch and Ladyfag; hybrid forms like Xtapussy
and FCKNLZ; the continuation of minimal wave and goth communities
through Pendu Disco; and the vibrant queer scenes of JUDY, Frankie
Sharp, and My Chiffon is Wet, THE FUN documents the rich
contemporary cultural activity keeping NYC as weird and innovative as
decades past. 
Accompanying these profiles are essays by a range of
voices in the nightlife, including artists Rob Roth and Genesis
P-Orridge, curators and critics Claire Bishop and Jake Yuzna, as well as
journalist Michael Musto providing both historical context and
contemporary understanding of nightlife as a vital artistic practice
that has been marginalized by the arts sector for hundreds of years. 
THE FUN traces the history of nightlife as it has evolved,
from the explosion of large and small discos throughout the 1970s like
Studio 54, which paved the way for 80s megaclubs; the candy-colored club
kid movement of Michael Alig and the Limelight in the early 90s; the
parallel expansion of the boundary shattering merger of drag,
performance, and music in downtown venues such as the Pyramid Club and
Mother; the rise of Brooklyn as a new focal point in the 2000s with the
emergence of Luxx, Secret Project Robot, Silent Barn and other hybrid
arts/music/nightlife venues; and on into the many vibrant forms found
today.
 (Paperback, 8.5 x 10.33 inches, 336 pages, ISBN:
978-1-57687-659-6, $39.95)
Richie Rich and Traver Rains, aka  Heatherette got to enjoy the club scene as well as celebrity and notoriety. Pop culture loved Heatherette, but so did society princesses. Everyone
from Paris Hilton and Lydia Hearst to the Backstreet Boys, Foxy Brown
and Gwen Stefani
was drawn to their taste for sparkly streetwear glam.
“The clothes were attention getting and fun,” Heatherette’s longtime
friend and muse Amanda Lepore remembers. “They had a distinct look,
which at that time — everyone wanted it. David LaChapelle was using it. All the
celebrities wanted it. It was in demand.”   (from Paper Mag). 
Since their last show Rains moved to LA to pursue photography
while Rich is set to launching two fashion lines this spring: Rich
& Warr, a mens line, and a womens, Chantilly Rich, with Chantilly
Lace designer, Chantelle Warr. Although busy, Rich still has his eye on
the club scene. “It’s been fun watching the new generation of kids. When
I moved to New York I was ‘the new’ to the old nightlife generation,”
Richie says. “Now it’s fun to see all the new kids coming on the block
and dressing up. I feel like the style is coming back. Who knows, maybe
Heatherette will too.”           

Boys Scouts Could Soon End Gay Ban

 WOW!  Finally!  The Boy Scouts are finally caving to pressure, to change their ways!

As early as next week, the Boy Scouts of America may announce it will
allow gay Scouts and troop leaders, a spokesman for the group has told
USA TODAY.

The Boys Scouts  have been losing funding left and right over the last year. 

If this policy shift is approved by the national board meeting next
week, it will be a sharp reversal of the Scouts’ decades’ old national
policy banning homosexuals.

“The policy change under discussion
would allow the religious, civic or educational organizations that
oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue,”
BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in a statement to USA TODAY.

The announcement comes after a campaign to change the policy that lasted
more than a year and garnered more than 1.2 million online signatures
at Chang.org, according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against
Defamation (GLAAD), an advocacy group.
“The Girl Scouts, 4H Clubs and the U.S. military are fully inclusive,
and that’s what we need from the Boy Scouts of America,”  GLAAD said.
“Until then there will be young people out there who are harmed by
this.”

Chicago’s JoJo Baby and Sal-E topic of new Art Book….Getting Into Face

Legendary club kid, doll maker, makeup artist, costumer, and penis-sculpture enthusiast JoJo Baby costars with his clubbing companion, Sal-E, in Bernard Colbert’s lush new  12″ x 12″ coffee-table book Getting into Face: 52 Mondays Featuring Jojo Baby and Sal-e
(Schiffer).

Bernard’s lifelong passion is to capture high energy, emotionally charged portraits of interesting people.

For 17 years, Bernard has been perfecting his craft, working in the field of commercial and advertising photography.

‘In the vibrant community where I live and work, I find what I have
always been searching for- a sublime energy. Nightlife activity blends
with the arts and diversity of self expression abounds. Here, I can
freely pursue my dream: to document and celebrate that spark within,
which defines the unique nature of our human experience.’

GETTING INTO FACE is a visual feast in the tradition of 1990s club kids. See
performance artists JoJo Baby and Sal-E use their bodies as canvases to
become inspired and whimsical conceptual characters, executed with
expert skill using original, theatrical makeup and costumes. In more
than 100 portraits, photographer Bernard Colbert rigorously captures
these two performance artists in genius moments as psychedelic Hindi
gods, comic book villains, fantastical creatures, astronauts, and much,
much more.

 Colbert’s stunning portraits document these delightful
transformations over a five-year period and are the same body of work
featured in the Clive Barker documentary titled JoJo Baby. Through
Colbert’s collaboration with JoJo and Sal, viewers can experience a
front row seat to an ongoing show which has been entertaining club goers
in Chicago for two decades. This is a portfolio for the visually
adventuress and fans of true creative vision.

Every Monday night, JoJo Baby with friend Sal-E have gone to work as
hosts of Chicago’s largest and longest running house-music dance party,
the Boom Boom Room, which is currently on hiatus from its usual location
at Green Dolphin St., 2220 N. Ashland Ave., while the building
undergoes renovation. It took the duo hours to prepare, and Colbert was
there every week to capture the endlessly entertaining process. He said
he usually only had 10 to 15 minutes to photograph them before they went
on stage.

“Sometimes they would show up and I would look at what they were
wearing and try and quickly comprehend what they were up to, because
sometimes it’s high concept and it’s not obvious right away,” Colbert
said. “It’s interesting right away, but it’s like, ‘What the heck is
going on?’ So I scramble and try and make it happen.”

Colbert, who took courses in commercial photography at Columbia from
1989–1991, said he loves portrait photography and has been drawn to
performers such as models, musicians and athletes—people who are both
interesting and like being photographed.

The combination of unplanned imagination and spontaneity kept Colbert
continually inspired. He said the most successful images captured an
indescribable magic that would often occur.

“It was something that would elevate it from an interesting time to
really high art, and it’s something that fascinates me,” Colbert said.
“It feels elusive, but when you find that you can do it time and time
again, it’s really fun to keep trying to do it.”


Getting into Face: 52 Mondays Featuring Jojo Baby and Sal-e

Adam Lambert Arrested in Finland – Drank a Little too much!

WHOOPSIE! 

Authorities were called when the
“American Idol” star  and his HOTTIE Big Brother reality star boyfriend Sauli Koskinen
got into a fight outside a Helsinki gay bar. The two were released on
Thursday afternoon. And they laughed about it on Twitter…..

 Lambert has blamed getting arrested  on a
combination of travel, alcohol and confusion. They boys were fighting in the bar.

Detective Superintendent Petri Juvonen
called a “not very serious incident”.

Now Adam – who allegedly hit people who tried to intervene – has
taken to twitter to give his account of the fight and reveal the
pair have already made up and are “laughing about it”.

He wrote: “Vodka=blackout. Us�blackout=irrational
confusion. jail+guilt+press= lessonlearned. Sauli+Adam+hangover
burgers= laughing bout it. :)”

Sauli also addressed the incident on his blog, writing in
Finnish, “publicity is not easy. But celebrities are only human
people.”

Police said the two men were released after a few hours and that
no further action would be taken.

Police Officer Who Led Raid on Stonewall Inn Dies at 91

Seymour Pine is practically responsible for the gay rights movement!

He led the 1969 raid on the gay bar – the Stonewall Inn –  which sparked the modern gay rights movement. He died this month at 91.

Pine was a  deputy police inspector at the time and later apologized for the raid, according to his obituary in the New York Times.

The Times said:

“Although the ostensible reason for the raid was to crack down on prostitution and other organized-crime activities, it was common at the time for the police to raid gay bars and arrest cross-dressers and harass customers.

The club, on Christopher Street near Seventh Avenue South, was owned by members of the Mafia. Inspector Pine later said he conducted the raid on orders from superiors.”

The raid on Stonewall was the beginning of nights of rioting, with crowds in the thousands.

“The Stonewall uprising is the signal event in American gay and lesbian civil rights history because it transformed a small movement that existed prior to that night into a mass movement,” David Carter, author of  Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution (2004), said to the Times.

“There’s been a stereotype that Seymour Pine was a homophobe,”  Carter told the Times. “He had some of the typical hang-ups and preconceived ideas of the time, but I think he was strictly following orders, not personal prejudice against gay people.”
Seymour Pine is survived by his sons Daniel and Charles; a brother, Arnold; a sister, Connie Katz; and seven grandchildren. His wife of 45 years, the former Judith Handler, died in 1987.

John Mayer – Kissing Men and Hanging out in Gay Bars

 

 

Gay bars and clubs are no longer our little secret – Straight women (and some straight men)  are invading them left and right.
And singer  JOHN  MAYER is the latest, adding his name to our fan list.

So what is John’s deal really?  Perez Hilton said the notorious womanizer and he  kissed last year at a New Years Eve Party.

Last month Mayer was hanging out at  Toucans, in Palm Springs – “John Mayer was dancing with all the guys,” the Toucan’s regular squealed. “It was around 1AM when his limo pulled up and parked by the restaurant next to the club. He stumbled in — you could tell he was already feeling good…”

 

 

Once inside the club, the “Who Says” singer, 32, reportedly got frisky with a few scantily-clad male go-go dancers.

 

“Some good-looking guy bought him a Corona beer and he immediately started dancing like a wild man when the Black Eyed Peas single ‘I Gotta Feeling’ started playing — it was crazy.”

 

Another witness claims he spotted a young Twinkie male patron approach John and kiss the rocker smack on the lips — and Johnny Boy didn’t appear to put up much of a fight.

 

“That’s when the entire place erupted and cheered,” the eyewitness added. “He partied and danced until the bartender called last call. He was smiling and hugging about a dozen guys on his way out.”


John dismissed rumors he FLED  the gay club after the guy   planted a kiss on his lips – insisting he “had a blast” and found the crowd “respectful”.  In fact, he enjoys  gay bars!  He  said, ““If you are a man in life and you haven’t gone to a gay bar, you haven’t really danced. Because you’re talking about a bar full of men without that dumb, alpha-male, ego, pushing, shouldering… you can actually have a great time without worrying in this sort of alpha-dog defensive position of like, who’s over here, who’s gonna try and come up, and who’s gonna talk shit, and who’s gonna do this and do that. You can actually just go and have a great time. We did have such a great time, to hear that somebody had written a story that I was getting kisses planted on me, it just sort of reduces it to that real stereotypical…you know that’s why I wrote, after that I was like nobody’s more aggressive than drunk white chicks. They’re terrible.”

West Hollywood’s Abbey, Named “Best Gay Bar in the World”

West Hollywood hotspot The Abbey Food & Bar was named “Best Gay Bar in the World” by MTV’s LOGO – the winner of a world wide online voting contest for the first-annual TripOut Gay Travel Awards!

The Abbey won with 41% of the total vote, over nominees from around the world including, Rio, London, Amsterdam, Chicago and Montreal.

 

According to Abbey President and Founder David Cooley, “We are thrilled to receive this recognition and are so grateful to both our loyal local community and our worldwide visitors.” Cooley added, “It’s especially gratifying to know that we have been part of dramatic societal shift – maintaining our LGBT roots and yet making all our patrons feel like the Abbey is their ‘home away from home.’”

 

David Cooley is the master at the art of work and play. Over the past 15+ years, his creation, The Abbey Food and Bar, has grown from a small, West Hollywood coffeehouse to one of the most popular hotspots in the country. Locals, tourists and celebrities alike all flock to The Abbey for its famous Martinis as well as its stunning, open-air ambiance and truly relaxed elegance. AOL CityGuide and Zagat Survey also rank The Abbey as THE hot spot in L.A.

YouTube Clip: “EAT, DRINK and BE ABBEY!”

The Abbey Food & Bar, located at: 692 N. Robertson Blvd. in West Hollywood, is part of the SBE Collection of Restaurants & Nightlife. For information or reservations, call: 310.289.8410.

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