Tuesday, March 17, 2009

1984 October My First Trip To Dallas

Cedar Springs Rd as it appeared in 1984 and then 2008 is pictured above. As you can see A LOT has changed. Nearly the entire block is now S4. Click on pic to enlarge for best view.
My friend and ex by this time, Charles, had been making trips to Dallas and going out to 4001 and getting mixed tapes from the DJ. The first one he brought back was from DJ James Griffith (RIP). He was really good and could mix flawlessly. We worshiped his DJ skill and for years he was the DJ I listened to and what I used as a guide while learning mixing techniques. On that tape (i plan on posting it here soon) was an awesome mix of Madonna's I'm Burning Up and Berlin's Sex I'm A.... James teased the part of "Sex, I'm a.." that says, "I'm A Slut" right after Madonna says, "I'm Burning Up" so it sounds like Madonna saying, "I'm Burning Up, I'm A Slut." I thought it was brilliant then and still do today. James Griffith was spinning at 4001 on my first trip to Dallas. When Charles asked me to go to Dallas to 4001 I didn't think I would be able to get in. As seen in my pic from the post prior to this I looked a bit older than 16. We drove in Charles' sugar daddy's brand new white Park Avenue to Dallas. It seemed like forever, down US 287 to Hwy 114 and then I35 to Oak Lawn Ave. Speed limit was 55 mph back then. We drove by Oak Lawn Records and Charles pointed out the building to me. I was dying to get in that store. It was probably around 12:45 am when we made the turn onto Cedar Springs. This was the street Charles explained to me as the main street for all things GAY. Boy was it ever! Drag queens, boys half naked, boys naked, leather men, cowboys and everything else imaginable was there. Surrounding the car and whistling at us as they marched down the street. This was unbelievable! Then Charles said, "Oh Girl!" This is halloween weekend girl!" "It's not always like this!" Then cackled in his very loud unforgettable, nelly laugh. I was kind of let down that the streets were not always filled with screaming Village People look alikes and drag queens. LOL. We finally park and walk to 4001 Cedar Springs where the club was located. It was about 1:30. There was a line to get into the club. Charles told me to go first so if I couldn't get in we would leave. With facial hair and mullet, I got right in, no questions asked. I had on a polo with skin tight acid washed 501 levis and tennis shoes.  Once inside I could not get over the intensity of the sound. The bass seemed to go right through me. The dance floor was encased in clear plexiglass and clear columns. One wall had a Dallas skyline made with colored lights that looked realistic. Every few songs a white screen would come down from the ceiling as the latest music videos were mixed in seamlessly. I thought, "This is how dance music was intended to be heard." It was sooo loud but in a good way. You could actually hear the person next to you without them yelling in your ear. Ray Cooper, co owner of Oak Lawn Records, who I would meet a few months later on my first trip to the store, taught me that about sound quality in a room. If you have to yell at the person next to you on the dance floor the sound is not so good. Ray said, "You should be able to talk in a normal tone and the person should hear you just fine." I have only experienced a few clubs that have passed this test, that should tell you how many clubs actually have good quality sound. Not very many. At 4am the club closed and then Charles said we were going to the gay park, Reverschon Park. It was just down the road only a few minutes away. When we got to the park cars were lined up just to drive through the park, circle around the back part of the park and then back through again. If you could find a parking space you would grab it sit on the hood or stand outside the car and meet people as they drove by. We did this on many occasions and I met many people out there.   Back then this is where most gay kids under 21 went to meet each other.

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