Site Designed by Brandon Hunsinger
With three friends, I bought Austin's largest dance club, and for two years I managed it. I named it CLUB 404, designing a bold logo for ads and T-shirts. Our building housed a large two-story dance floor with a balcony all the way around. Our DJ booth thrust out over a stage.
There was an outdoor patio bar, a dark basement bar, and 4 more bars. The bar business is about selling drinks, but to me the 404 was a theatre, and I produced. I booked acts -- The Village People packed the place, I staged fashion shows, drag contests, dick dancers and porn stars, comedians, singer Martha Wash, charity and holiday events. We were the only "after hours" bar in town, so 2:00 a.m. when bars closed, people lined up to get into the 404.
We couldn't sell alcohol after hours, but party people did their drugs and danced till daylight every Friday and Saturday. They came from college bars, 6th Street bars, leather and country bars – straight, gay, whatever -- everyone danced together at the 404 – and I was there every night, watching the vibe, meeting, greeting, taking care of business. I arrived in the afternoon to handle office matters, and stayed to close the place after everyone left.
That was the strangest time of my life. I actually loved the energy of the 404, but it captured me totally -- because it was something I'd never done, a challenge on alien turf. I was the only Austin bar owner who wasn't alcoholic. I didn't even drink. The Bar Owners Association presented me with a trophy: "Rookie-of-the-Year Award."
I didn't even go to the movies for two years. When THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE awarded us "Austin's Best Dance Club," I knew it was time to sell. So we did. We doubled our investment, in addition to distributions each and every month. It was a strange, thrilling, profitable interlude.
Just when I thought that was the ultimate exploration – an accidental meeting propelled me beyond gravity.
CLICK HERE: My Son Brian, the LAPD Cop