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IOCThe Daily Tar HeelMonday, August 24, 1981
Wtmke ecluMwity murks New York bam?
By MARK MURRELL
NEW YORK Are all night clubs basically the
Though some lurk downstairs or in back alleys
and others are massed behind nondescript store
fronts and some are flashy and demand you atten
tion while others only seek to prove that it can be
chic to dance in a dump, .
on the surface they are
not that different.
New York City's
by glitterati and houn
ded by the paprazzi
as the columnists say
is not exactly what
a freshman would ex
pect to find in Chapel
Hill, but after hanging
out in New York clubs
during the wee hours all summer, I can assure you
that physically, the nation's hottest spots aren't all
that different from our own favorite haunts.
Take any Chapel Hill club, move it to New York
City, double the prices, throw in a couple of famous
names, and have a couple with shaved heads dressed
in plastic garbage bags and army boots to dance,
and a new hot spot would be born. Soon stars and
gawkers would flock to pay an outrageous cover
charge for a night of oppressive heat, smoke, drink
and noise. '
Really, the only thing missing from night clubs
in Chapel Hill is New York's fake exclusivity and a
People magazine clientele. And, of course, big name
bands and huge video screens.
While the buildings don't differ that much, the
people that inhabit them do. In New York, every
body desperately tries to be Somebody. Somebody
else. Everyone wants to be FA M O U S.
Eager crowds line up outside and bouncers (who
are on an incredible power trip) select a chosen few
to enter the sacred nightclub. The front entrance is
usually barricaded like Fort Knox. Many times you
can't get in unless you are Somebody or at least
look like Somebody and are willing to pay up to $15
cover charge and look
very bored and non
chalant while doing it.
But if the bouncers
- you're an Instant
Somebody. (At least in
the eyes of the people
left standing outside.)
It's a system built en
tirely on snob appeal.
"In the future, every
one will be famous for
15 minutes," Andy
Warhol once said. How right he was. In New York,
it's a nightly game.
Case in point: me.
One hot July night, I decided it was get into The
Underground or be damned. My curiosity was kill
That club is currently the in-place; it's located
on Union Square beneath the offices of Interview
It can be a scuzzy area of town at night. And
what better place for a club with snob appeal?
Dumps, my friends, can be oh so chic.
The outside of The Underground is painted flat
black doors, windows, everything. There is no
sign, only an address number. You have to know
where the club is. It is a very pseudo-subtle place,
frequented by people who wouldn't bend over to
pick up a $5 bill, but who probably clip coupons in
I planned my strategy to get in, carefully. I dressed
normally except a green burlap shirt of the rough
sack cloth variety which I accompanied with a jute
tie. "No normal person would dress like this in the
middle of July," I told myself. "They'll have to let
It was 90 degrees at 1 1 p.m. when I crawled into
a garbage can of a subway car and made my way
down to 14th Street. At 14th station there is always
a crowd of people dressed to the hilt and scrambling
up out of the subway to hail a cab to The Under
ground. It gives you a semblance of being Somebody
if you arrive in a cab.
I got out in front of the club and walked up to the
bouncer trying to exude that "Ho hum, here I am
again oh God, these parties get so boring, but
everybody expects to see me" attitude. It worked.
What a sham.
As scores of others looked on, I was handed an
admission card by a pale, wan woman dressed in a
paper miniskirt accented by her taxicab yellow hair
that looked like it had been cut with a lawn mower. I
was among the Beautiful People. Oh, the excitement.
Oh, the anticipation. I thought walking into The
Underground would be like Dorothy crossing into
Oz when everything switches to Technicolor.
I walked in and for all I knew I could have been
in good ol Durham, N.C. Amid the cigarette smoke
and typical din, there were neon and strobe lights to
burn out the retinas of your eyes, music booming
from 12-foot speakers, and furniture that almost di
gests you if you sit in it. Standard night club fare.
But a quick look around at the people and the prices
assured me I was either in New York or on Mars.
Maybe even Pluto.
Drinks were $4, beer was $2.50 and if cocaine
were flour there was probably enough in the place to
start a bakery. Plus about every Big record producer
in New York was there. '
People there were dressed in everything: cotton,
polyester, aluminum, cardboard, plastic, paper,
even glass, wood and wire.
The Underground is a club which bills itself as
"This year's place." But people who bop a round in
leopard-skin jumpers with glass shoes, sunglasses and
black lipstick m limou
sizes are bound to be
fickle. So The Under
ground will probably not
be "Next year's place."
Neither was it "Last
year's place." That
was the aptly named
MUDD CLUB, which
is nothing more than
an abandoned ware
house in lower Man
hattan that has some
how become glitzy.
When a band plays at the MUDD CLUB there is
no curtain over the stage; the management just
raises a metal garage door and there they are. Some
times if you get there early, films are shown in an
upper room, which is actually an old storage loft
that is reached by climbing a rickety spiral staircase.
There are replicas of Greek statues in the basement
with graffiti all over them. It's the type of place
that makes you homesick for Troll's Bar. They both
smell alike, but Troll's is so much more honest.
CBGB's of rock music fame, is also a fun place
to go provided you can get there and back alone.
It's on the Bowery, which is a little bit rowdier than
Rosemary Street. I was propositioned three times,
had my life threatened twice and crossed the path
of the mad slasher before I finally got there, only
to find that it's a lot like Cat's Cradle. Good, loud
music, lots of Budweiser, wild dancing and the '
city's best graffiti in the restrooms.
New York's Peppermint Lounge, which is fa
mous for inventing the Twist, is like walking into a
time warp. There are pictures of the Fab Four at
the Peppermint in 1964 all over the place and lots
of Motown and early 1960s music. It's not unusual
to see women going around in threes dressed like
the Shirelles or people
you would swear once
sang with Martha and
the Vandellas. V
Club 57 is totally op
posite; it's a punk hang
out down near St.
Mark's Place, where
bottles are thrown at
the band if the music
is too slow, where skin
heads leap off the stage
head-first into dancers
and where boys slam
dance like a gang fight set to three chords of music
while their girlfriends hangout on the stairs sport-?
ing razorblades which they occasionally use on each
other like rabid cats.
But nothing in New York City could ever take
the place of dart games at the Cave or drinking un
der the stars at He's Not Here or watching peo
ple shag at Crazy Zack's for that matter. There are
just some night clubs that can't cross over from one
city to another, and that's the most fascinating part
There's a universal law that governs clubs and
the same types of people frequent them no 'matter"
where you are. It's just that New York brings out
different things in the same types of people than
Chapel Hill does.
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Lessons Rentals Financing
Amps PA's Effects
Eastgate 968-441 1
From page 1
For a man who wants to fit in with the
fashions of the times, Varley recommends
flannel pants of various colors, a Navy
blazer in dacron or wool and a crew neck
sweater or a Shetland sweater in almost
any color. He suggested the dirty buck
shoes in plain toe and saddle shoes.
"We don't have a button-down in this
store. We used to have racks, but now it's
gone more classic, a classier look, more
stylish," said Lisa Thomlinson, the manager
of The Towne Shop on Henderson Street.
"Our silk pants and silk jackets are
selling very well, more than the basic
wool skirt and patchwork sweater,"
Thomlinson said. "All of my friends are
trying not to be preppy; everybody's try
ing to look different."
The flyer announces that "The Raleigh
Jaycees Proudly Present The 5th Annual
North Carolina Beach Music Convention
Saturday August 29, 1981, at the N.C.
ine amen in l ime
From Casual to
The Style You
Made to Fit You
Dressmaking and Alterations
133V2 E. Franklin St.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
State Fairgrounds Racetrack." The Chair
men of the Board will be there, as well as
Clifford Curry, The Clovers, Billy Scott
and The Prophets, North Tower, Cotton
wood, Bill Pinkney and The Drifters. Also,
the flyer promises a shag contest and wet
T-shirts an event that sounds decidedly
Beach Music has its roots in the rhythm
and blues of the 1950s, which was the
first black music derived from gospel to
become widely popular among a white
audience. Only the most hybrid white
music fans appreciated it when it first
came out but these early rhythm and
blues somehow took hold in the colleges
of the South most widely in North and
South Carolina and Virginia and
'became what is now known as Beach
Music. Much of the early Beach, "Fat
Boy," "Under The Boardwalk," and
"Charlie Brown," still retain much of
their soulfulness. But Beach Music is de
signed for a white audience, watered
down to a polite and acceptable form so
it won't outrage. This is found in the ear
liest of tunes,' but , it's so calculated, so
commercial in the modern Beach hits like
"Myrtle Beach Days" and "I Love Beach
Music" that the songs have lost all their
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The cjre.i's ct fcr fine
1 Discover frrrcnt scps,
; scsnted shimpocs, lovely
East Franklin Street (above Four Corners)
Robinhood Road (across from Pizza Hut)
NOW OPEN...Hiilsborouqh street (across from ncsu Bell Tower)
funk and soul. But at least you can shag
College fraternities can trace their ori
gins back to 1776 when Phi Beta Kappa
was organized at William and Mary as a
social and literary fraternity; it didn't be
come the non-secret honor society it is ;
today until many years later. Such early
fraternities had both social and intellec
tual purposes and glorified such ideals as
brotherhood as well as stressing the schol-
arly pursuit of knowledge and leadership.
In the early fraternities ritualistic mysti-'
cism and secrecy were combined with the
social and academic aspects. College ad
ministrators looked with suspicion on the
fraternities secrecy and pranks which
were considered a diversion from the
proper collegiate goals. Most institutions
tried to ban them and so most college fra
ternities led an underground existence
until after the Civil War.
But with the industrial revolution and
the expansion in higher education that it
brought about, fraternities became more
open and won recognition from college
administrators because they modified the
traditional liberal arts education to meet
the demands for status not necessarily
intellectual. When the fraternities gained
credibility in the post-Civil War years,
they were joined by women's fraternities,
now known as sororities. '
The first fraternity at UNC was organ-
. . a Parker ball pen
built to last!
Ordinary ballpoints are
expendable but not the
Parker Jotter ball pen. It's
Tough, corrosion-resistant "
stainless steel is used in
the most critical areas.
Large Parker refill '
promises long writing.
THERE'S K0r.S AT YCUR
ized in 1842, but they were quickly-banned
until administrators relented in 1851
and Delta Kappa Epsilon became the first
national fraternity at Carolina. Today,
there are 28 fraternities and 15 sororities
on campus involving about 2,500 students.
In mid-August, outside the Union, the
sign-up tables are set up for Greek Rush.
About 50 or 60 women have signed up to
day at the sorority table. About 1,000
women will go through Rush and those
that get in will have many benefits accord
ing to the two nice, but slightly borecl
women tending the Rush table. I
. "Sorority members have a higher Q.P.A..
than is the average for the campus. And
in a school so large it gives a smaller group
with which to identify. Since sororities are
so old they offer a bit of stability for fresh-i
men and even sophomores and juniors'
who aren't settled in," said one of the
women in a tone of voice that suggested
this bit was all well-rehearsed PR that left
The term "Preppy" originally was
used to refer to those students who at
t tended preparatory schools, members of
the economic elite who lived in the right
places, wore the right clothes, knew the
right people, ate in the right places, and
held the right jobs.
But something happened, and what had
been a minority of people in the 1960s
and early 1970s seemed to have rapidly
multiplied. But what has happened is that
it's fashionable to look and act like a
preppy (or at least what you think a prep
py would look like) even if you went to a'
place like Reidsville High. It's fashionable
in vogue, to look preppy and the reasons
for this are hard to discern. It's partially a
sign of the political times and partially
just something to do. And like all fads it
will die off. But right now, Prepmania,
the cult of the gator, is the rage.
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THERE'S f:0BE AT YOUR