24 Feb #MUSICMONDAY: LAST NIGHT A CLUB SAVED MY LIFE (A LOVE LETTER TO GIORGIO’S)
This past June, I was in a definite gloom sort of mood. Didn’t feel like traveling. Work, was well, you know, work. Kinda drifting.
I’ve always turned to music whenever I needed an emotional detour. Growing up music was so important in our lives. Our parents’ restaurant had a jukebox and each week the jukebox guy (some Mafia connection there-I always felt!) would empty out the 45’s and give the tunes that had fallen out of favor to my sister and I.
Motown, Country, R&B, Polka—you name it, we had it at our disposal.
And when I turned about 13. Everything just about changed. 5 letters.
D I S C O
Down went the Farrah Fawcett posters in my room. Replaced by an oversized replica of Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff.
Suddenly, this somewhat awkward but inwardly musical Greek kid had a type of music that was his and his alone. Soon, I was sporting silk horse shirts with a Greek cross and tight pants..showcasing my new chest hairs and mustache. Feeling so very Travolta.
I could not get enough. Dance lessons. Winning dance competitions with my sister (to Dan Hartman’s Instant Replay). Solid Gold. Dance Fever. Thank God it’s Friday. I was obsessed with Casey Kasem’s Countdown…hoping and praying that the latest disco nugget would hit the top of the charts.
Around that time, I realized I was very different from the kids from school. Disco and its beat…its lifeline to me made everything feel that much more ok.
In my head, being gay was pretty tough—but disco and its power to move people made it alright .
Until the day the music died for disco and for me. Summer of 79, Chicago White Sox had their Burn Disco promotion at the ballpark that turned into a riot. And suddenly the next day, it was ok to bash Disco—and those who loved it…gays, blacks and others.
I solemnly put all my gear away, and tried to get into Asia, Journey and Frampton. Not so much. I hoped for a day where I could feel the music again.
Cut to about 35 years later. June 2013—deep in my funk. I was led into this newly opened club, called Giorgio’s (after Mr. Moroder, of course).
I walked in and the strains of Jackie Moore’s This Time Baby filled the small space. I literally died and went to heaven.
My gloom immediately lifted. It was seriously a religious experience.
I turned to my husband and said, I don’t think I am ever going to leave.
And I truly haven’t.
Almost a year later, I am there every Saturday night…that 13 year old boy surrounded by the most loving new and old friends. Dancing, smiling, sharing. Being a part of a community, that I never thought would ever re-emerge.
Bryan Rabin and DJ Adam12 have become my lifeline to something so deep. It’s really is so hard to explain. But as I type, all I can do is tear up and smile.
To my fellow Giorgio’s family: Jody, Jason, Valerie, Nikki, Ana, Crystal, Eric, Kathy, Tod, Carlota, Omar, Adriane, Ami, Omar #2, Todd, Teddy, and the list goes on…I love you.
And I will see you next week.