Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows…
When I was seventeen I went to L’Amour. (Better known as “Lamorz“.) Yes, I was underage but remember back in the day it didn’t matter. Plus the guy I was with had a lot of juice at the front door.
The late George Brossard introduced me to the club scene. After getting a taste of L’Amour I turned into a “club kid.”
L’Amour was a club with live rock bands performing but in between sets a D.J. spun vinyl for the crowd; I recall ‘Stray Cat Strut’ or the Doors, ‘LA Woman’. Two outstanding jams.
L’Amour was billed as “The Rock Capital of Brooklyn.”
What many people fail to realize is that the club started out playing disco music. Gloria Gaynor was the first performer singing her smash hit, “I Will Survive.” Bands like Crystal Ship, Sticky Fingers, Metallica and Twisted Sister all rocked the house at L’Amour.
Like most clubs around the city, L’Amour was dark inside. Most patrons seemed to be wearing black and the one thing I can’t forget is the waitresses with their black trays scooting around taking drink orders. I may add they were awfully attractive too.
Coming off a tough break-up with my first girlfriend Maureen was difficult. I was having a hard time keeping a conversation with someone of the opposite sex. That all changed for me after I started going to clubs in the city.
It was a warm, Friday night in June, somewhere around eight o’clock. After playing basketball down at East fifth street I was walking up Prospect Avenue past McBears. George was hanging out outside with a few other guys.
George was a great guy. He had long black hair and an Adam’s apple that was extra pointy. George was a little over six feet tall and was skinny; he couldn’t have been more than 150 pounds soaking wet. His nickname was ‘Chicken George’. For some reason, George took a liking to me; he always had a positive comment for me. Whenever I’d see him around the neighborhood we’d always talk sports.
“Hey Red, how was the run down East fifth?”
“It was good.” I answered as I kept dribbling my basketball.
“You wanna go out tonight?” he asked me.
“Go out where”?
“Don’t worry, just meet me back here later tonight at ten.” George didn’t wait for my response. He hopped in his car and drove off.
I stood there and watched him having no idea where George planned on taking me. I had heard guys talk about going out on the weekends from spending time in the schoolyard eavesdropping.
Arriving home I turned on the TV in my bedroom and watched a baseball game. Sitting on my bed I kept glancing up at the clock on the wall. Time was going so slow. My mother was on the phone in the kitchen chatting with a friend. A little after nine I got up and started looking through my dresser drawer for some clothes. I had no idea what to wear.
Grabbing a pair of wrinkled blue jeans, a sky blue Mark Elliot polo shirt; I was ready to go. I slipped on my white, high top Chuck Taylor’s but before heading out, I grabbed a toothbrush and cleaned the sneakers off. I splashed some Brut cologne on my neck and felt like a million dollars.
As mom chatted away on the phone in the kitchen I looked around for her purse. Spotting it on the couch I made my way over towards it. Sitting on a chair in the kitchen Mom had her back to me as she smoked a Salem cigarette. While she was engaged in her conversation, I kept an eye on her and slid my hand in her purse to grab any bills I could feel. As I pulled a few out, I looked at them, noticed a couple of tens and stuffed them in my pockets.
“See ya later,” I shouted to her as I walked out of the apartment.
She didn’t even hear me; she kept on talking on the phone.
Downstairs I waited on the corner of Windsor and ninth for the light to turn green. Muggsy was walking by with his radio in his arm listening to a song by the Who.
“What’s up Muggsy?”
Like usual, all Muggsy did was nod his head.
“I’m goin’ out,” I said to him as I crossed the avenue.
Without missing a beat he looked back and shouted, “BOOGIE TILL YA PUKE!”
Muggsy was a cool dude who was into rock-and-roll. Whenever you saw him on the avenue he was always playing rock tunes. You’d never hear any disco coming from his box.
As I walked down Prospect Avenue towards McBears I started to get butterflies in my stomach. I made my way past the schoolyard on Howard Place and noticed a few kids in the schoolyard shooting around. Down one block at Fuller Place there were some people hanging out on the corner.
“Yo, look at Red, he is all dressed up,” someone said. I put my head down and walked faster. Another kid said, “Yeah, all dressed up and nowhere to go.”
“Fuck you!” I fired back.
Approaching McBears I could see a couple of people hanging out outside. I spotted George sitting in his car waiting on the corner of tenth avenue.
“C’mon Red, hop in.”
I looked around, opened the front door of his car and got in.
“I picked up something for us,” George said as he showed me a six-pack of Budwesier.
It was Friday night, the weather was great, I was feeling great, it was going to be a great night.