Chapter 24 - Nothing Lasts (Winter 2009) - PSPS: My Life As A Rave Outlaw

in #rave2 years ago

This is the full 24th chapter of my book Paper Squares and Purple Stars: My Life as a Rave Outlaw. I have decided to share the whole book here for free. The book is already available for purchase at, and the mobile game is coming soon,

If you missed chapters 1 2 345678910111213141516171819202122 or 23 go back and read those in order first.

Chapter 24 - Nothing Lasts (Winter 2009)

Two days before the show at Club 42, we stopped by to check on the sound equipment, and the owner took us aside to tell us that he accidentally double booked our night. This was the kind of behavior that I was warned about, but things had gone so smoothly up to this point that I didn’t see it coming. He said that instead of having both rooms, we would only have one. This didn't seem like a huge deal to him, but for me, that would have meant canceling half of my lineup, and that was unacceptable. The year before, I switched venues at the last minute when I was faced with a similar situation at Galaxy, and I was ready to do it again unless I could figure out a solution. I searched the building looking for another small room that I could use, or perhaps find a way to divide the space I had. I noticed that there was a locked door in the corner of the room, and I knew it had to lead somewhere.

“What’s in there?” I asked.

“Oh, that's just the carpet room. That's storage, it's ugly, you don't want to use that room,” he said.

“These are ravers, they don't give a fuck about things looking pretty like those bottle service yuppies that you gave my room to...Open the door,” I barked, losing my patience.

“Whatever you say,” he muttered, as he grabbed a keyring out of his pocket and walked towards the door.

He opened the door to reveal a warehouse storage room that was filled with rolled up carpets and broken furniture.

“It's perfect, we just need to throw all that shit way in the back and put a curtain in front of it. We can put a folding table for the DJ gear right in front of the curtain. We’ll bring in our own sound and lights, and this will be our second room of sound,” I said.

“Are you serious? It would be an embarrassment to have people looking in this room,” he protested.

“Well, you are gonna have to make some compromises. You promised me two rooms, and if you can't provide that I'll find someone who can. These kids don't give a damn what this room looks like anyway, they will probably like it more than the rest of this tacky ass club,” I snapped back.

“Ok, you've made your point. You need to clean it up though, I'm not hiring someone to do that,” he said.

I agreed and told him that I was going to get to work immediately and wouldn't be leaving until I was done. Dominic, who witnessed the whole argument, volunteered to help me out, but it still took us several hours to finish. Unfortunately, on the night of the show, all that hard work seemed like a wasted effort because the crowds that I was hoping for never came. We sat at the ticket booth all night watching a few people casually stroll through each hour, but nowhere near the number of people that we needed. It turned out that people just didn't like that club, and my name on the flyer didn’t make a difference. After the show, I had to listen to the owner complain about how we didn't need two rooms because there weren't that many people. He didn't seem to understand that I was insistent on the second room because I didn’t want to cancel any DJs. Even though I was reluctant, I gave the place one more chance because I really wanted to make it work, mainly because the rent was cheap and the security was relatively lax, at least compared to other clubs in the area.

I had a second show there a few weeks later which seemed like it was going to be much bigger, but on the night of the show, we were hit with the season’s first snow storm. I didn't mind the snow, I never canceled a show before, and I wasn't about to now. However, the club had different plans, they decided to close the venue while I was there setting up for the show. The owner said he wasn't anticipating a crowd because of the weather, so in his eyes, it wouldn't be worth his time to keep the club open. Dominic tried calling a few other club owners that he knew in the city to see if they were open, but no one was answering their phones. With no other options, I called Charles to see what was going on at Galaxy. He told me that whatever show was going on there that night was canceled by the promoter, so I asked if I could move my party there and fill the spot.

Charles was happy to have a last-minute replacement, so I made an announcement online about the venue change and posted a notice on the door before taking off for Baltimore.

When we made it back to Galaxy, there were already a few people there, and Charles had already helped the opening DJs get set up. The club wasn't packed that night, it was actually pretty empty, but everyone was happy to be there, and I felt like I accomplished the impossible again. Most people stayed home, and that was probably the smartest move, but at least we were open for the ravers who felt like they didn't have a home, and the ones who didn’t want to spend the night alone. There was an intimate family vibe in the building that night, but things took a nasty turn when it was time to close up and send everyone home. I was having an ongoing problem with security treating me, my crew and my customers like garbage, which pissed me off because we were the whole reason that they had a job in the first place. That night, Jerry was waiting for me by the bar because I was his ride home. While I was taking care of things with Charles, the head of security, a meat-head named Chaz, told Jerry he couldn't be inside the building after it was closed. Jerry explained that he was an employee and that he was waiting for me to give him a ride home, but the asshole told him to wait outside in the blizzard anyway. When Jerry refused, the guy tried to manhandle him, and a scuffle broke out. I rushed over and got in the guy’s face, which was kind of difficult because he seemed 2 feet taller than me. His size didn't stop me, I was pissed, this was the last straw. I was sick of being treated like a customer by these meatheads when I was really their boss.

“You stupid fucking goon! We pay your fucking salary! You! Have! No! Fucking! Job! Without! Us! Do you fucking understand?! You are fucking fired, go the fuck home,” I said, pushing him repeatedly but barely moving him an inch.

“You can't tell me what to do, you little bitch,” he said, pushing me back one time sending me flying across the floor.

Now, Caylee was going after him, getting in his face and throwing punches.

“The fuck I can! Charles! Charles! Get out here!” I called.

Charles came rushing out of his office to see what was going on, “What the hell?!” he shouted, pulling Caylee away from Chaz.

“This fucking PIG here thinks it's ok to assault me and my crew! Tell him he's fucking fired, or you will never see another Good Vibes show in this place again!” I ordered.

“John, calm down...Chaz go home, I’ll call you tomorrow,” Charles said.

“You better call this motherfucker to tell him he is fired, or you will never see my ass again, and you will never see another dime come into this club. I am sick and tired of being treated like this when I am the only reason you are in business!” I screamed.

At this point, Charles grabbed me and carried me towards his office, and other security guards were peacefully walking Chaz out the door. When we got back into the office, Charles tried to lecture me for giving him orders in front of his staff, but I wasn't backing down this time, I was done being his errand boy. I told him straight up that I had just as much power if not more than he did in this relationship. It may have been a bit cocky and arrogant, but it was time for me to display some confidence after being treated like a subordinate for so long. It was more than just a personal issue too. It was becoming impossible for me to restore the club’s reputation because of the rude staff and the shortsighted management style that Charles was adopting. It wasn't the same magical place that it was before, the whole vibe had become very dark, and the reputation was changing too. I was concerned that the drama at the club was reflecting poorly on me, and it probably was, but at the time I felt like I had no other choice. I didn’t know anyone else who would be willing to invest money into my shows like he did, and I didn’t know of any other suitable venues either. I felt trapped by circumstance, but I knew that if I held out just a little bit longer, a new path would open up for me.