me, robbie little (foxy), and jeff van camp
pam and me
blue and i
below is a written piece by jacob arnold recently published in resident advisor and reposted here. jacob was even kind enough to quote me a couple of times.
it seems well researched and quotes many of the key players involved in the creation and sustenance of a 10 year dance hall that seemed to become iconoclastic in chicago culture of the 80's and 90's. it was opened on a shoestring budget in a dusty lakewiew neighborhood in 1983, quickly rose to the "gotta do" list, welcomed the underage population and gave them a peek into adulthood and modern culture, and provided a space for very different subcultures to mix, mingle, share, and gain respect for one another. and the music was legendary. i have posted a vid in case you would like to listen while you read... :O
music crossover was a big part of the scene, but so were fashion, ideals, artisitic expression, and sexual preference. in those days, all these cultural idiosyncracies had remained isolated for the most part. but the sheffield shake shack let loose our mortal coils and many young chicagoans became one culture, one club, one people. it changed my world forever.
i got to speak with jacob arnold for about an hour on a saturday morning in july 2013. it is the 30th anniversary of medusa's opening in october 2013. 30 years is quite a stretch of time. it was a pleasure to look back to those days with a fresh eye. i remember scraping old paint off the ceiling beams and helping paint the bazooka pink that the club remained for several years. i remember the guy named marshall who was staying in the basement via the landlord and set the building on fire with his space heater. it was a friday night and we had to close the place. i sat on the stoop with my friend sue anderson and watched some snow flakes fly. marshall's cat (and only friend) didn't make it from the blaze. it was certainly an emotional night.
there are so many golden memories from those years i had at medusa's. in the space of 4 years, my life evolved what seemed decades. one big key to the club's success that did not get mentioned in jacob's article was the influence of billy miller. he coordinated most of the performance art pieces and many art shows that happened throughout the club on many floors. billy was insane and wonderful and a free-thinker. he reveled in the absurd and his joy infected the way we operated on a weekly basis. he remains to this day a handler and marketer of artists and their work. i can't even type his name without smiling.
i hope you enjoy jacob's work here. the 1980's were definitely a time of renaissance for us. the culture shifted and technology infused itself into our work and our play lives. our world became at once larger and more connected at the same time.