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Malcolm Vaughan profile part 2 [AI Text]

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Now. Last week, we were talking about some of the, um, venues that you had been involved with. Uh, that was a week ago. And, um, almost, Uh, just within a couple of days of that interview, we have gone into traffic light red. Can you tell me what that means? Uh, it means a lot of hard work, to be quite honest. Um, especially for the people in the hospitality industry. For us, it means, um, single server. Um, everybody has to be seated. There's no dancing, um, [00:00:30] and basically at it. As long as you're using the covet passes and, uh, double scanning checking ID and, um, and and the and the, um, vaccine passes so that they match because it would be anybody easy for anybody to carry somebody else's. So you make sure those two match up and, uh, people just have to wait. Gather at the door until you can get to them and then single service by each bar person. So you practically got two barmen just making cocktails and two people just working the floor serving drinks. It's gonna make it a lot [00:01:00] harder. It's such a roller coaster, isn't it? Up and down, up and down, up and down. Um, I think we're gonna be for around for a while. And I think this, uh, code red is gonna be here for at least minimum three months. And that's just guess, work. Um, but the government has said, um, don't expect this to be a short spell, So I think they're looking at 2 to 3 months easy. Last week we were ending just and we were just about to start talking about kind of individuals. [00:01:30] And, um, I came away from the interview thinking, Oh, I must have asked. I should have asked this. I should have asked that So I might just go back on again. And And that was to talk about, say, the number of patrons in in the venues that we talked about I. I don't think I ever got quite a clear idea of, you know, Was this 100 person or what have you? So what about the Royal oak? Can you tell me Oh, the Royal oak was like I said in the last interview is synonymous. I mean, the the the bistro bar would have taken up easy, easy. 100 and 5200 people and bar much similar, [00:02:00] I would say around a 70 75 bracket. Um, Toledo bar upstairs was much more gracious. Um, you you, um Yeah, probably get about, um, 180 people upstairs as well. It's quite a big venue. Big big venue. And was it often that packed? Well, in the old days, it was, Yeah, it was a lot of people used to used to go out drinking earlier. You used to get that after five work crowd, which you don't seem to get these days. Um um, like the bamboo bar when I was managing that probably [00:02:30] had a max of 60 70 people, but certainly took a lot more than that. And it got actually jam packed. I mean, you'd open the bar at 4. 30 the bar would be packed by five. you have fan fantastic venues, but, um yeah, change to today change from today. What about, um, places like pound and Caspers pound? You could get up to 800 people through there. It was phenomenal. Because of the the size of the place and a small bar next door that would be not 800 people all at once. But you [00:03:00] get 800 through during the night at a capacity. You could get five or 600 they're easy. Um, it would be pretty cramped and very hot, but, um, yeah, it was a big too, um, Casper would probably be, I'd say around the 100 120 mark. Yeah, with the three different levels they had there. And the dome dome was much smaller because you had two domes, one down the south and one down the north end. Plus that you had the garden bar outside. That would be a comfortable 100. 100 packs, um, of people. Yeah. And what would be a [00:03:30] good night in terms of trade wise? Well, Fridays and Saturday stock standard have always been the best nights. Um, that's the people coming out after work for drinks Friday night. Stay out Friday night. Some people stay home Saturday. Others go home Friday night, come out Saturday. But Friday Saturday nights are the two main nights. Um, that that, uh, people seem to populate all the bars and has it changed over time Or it's always been that way. Um, no, it's always been that way? Sort of. Um, it's changed a way. But now, with with, uh, covid, of course you can't predict any further. Now, what's gonna be the busiest night? I mean, you can [00:04:00] have a a Wednesday night which can be absolutely fantastically really busy. And then a very, very quiet Friday night. I think people are getting a little bit more cautious because of covid about going out. Um, so it is in terms of struggle. Hospitality is indeed feeling, um, the kick from, um, non attendance of people not going out. And I never asked you last week about, um Do do you have any, like, patron stories? You know, favourite memories. Oh, yeah. There's lots of stories. I mean, over the years, there's been, um, yeah, heaps of stories [00:04:30] that you can remember, some of them funny, and some of them are not so funny. Um, I think the best ones that you get when you get they do get the younger ones coming in the days. And, um, they bring their mums and dads and, you know, this is where I drink, and it's like, um, it's a security blanket for the parents, too. I suppose, knowing you know, they know that their their, um, child has been taken care of and can look after themselves that they've got a, um you know, they've got a safe place to drink. Um, nothing really jumps out there. I mean, there's heaps of stories we've always joked about writing a book, [00:05:00] you know, And, um and we've always said, you know, some people will be applauding it. Some people will be running for cover. Um, but it's just one of those fun things. That's one of the things we've been planning to do when we virtually hit the road is write a book and tell about our times. Um um, in the various venues and the funny stories, there's there's been a few, um, I think Well, before I met Scottie, um, and and, um met two guys and was juggling them same time in the same nightclub. Um, so that that was quite a bit of a, um, a task, but it all ended out nicely [00:05:30] in the end. Yeah, yeah, but yeah, lots of fun stories, but save that for the book. Yeah, absolutely. So maybe moving on to to some of the people that you've you've known and and and know now. And, um, I was just thinking, uh, what about Georgina? Bio? Um, you briefly touched on Georgina. Um, in the last interview, tell me, um, like how you met. And, um, we actually met when we were both working for the Royal Oak Hotel. And Georgina George George in those days was the night porter there. And I was working in the Yates coffee [00:06:00] shop, and we became firm and good friends and a group of us that were all working at the old Roy Hotel. All ended up flatting together, uh, at number 20 Buller Street. So we've been, um, Gena is probably my longest and dearest friend. Um, and, uh, very exciting to have that friendship. You know, uh, we have around for dinner every Monday night, and, um, we often talk about and have a laugh about some of the old times and some of the adventures that we had together as as, um, Young on scene queens. [00:06:30] I suppose you'd call it in those days? Um, yeah. My longest friend would be Georgina. A fantastic person. She's done very well. Um, we've been working on a, um M series that's been made about here at the present time. Um, and I have got that that first script prepared now. So it's gonna be a bit of a, um uh, a series with flash points through Georgina's life. Sort of starting off with the, uh, the street scene on the strip clubs and cars. And the next series will probably be about her, um, transgression [00:07:00] to, um into and living over there and then becoming a council becoming the mayor. And I think the next series after that will focus on her term in Parliament. So it's got It's very exciting at the moment. Very exciting. She's led, uh, an incredibly rich life. What's it been like for you to actually just kind of witness her growth over over these years? Oh, outstanding. Totally outstanding. We always knew. I remember one day when, uh when she was working at the club, Um, a club exotic. And we we Stagg at home at some un un un [00:07:30] guard the hour of the morning and she said way back then, you know, um my God. Lordy, lordy, lordy, I. I remember the good lady Lady lady. She said that there's got to be a better life than this. So to see where where she's come from and where she's got to has been, Um, absolutely fantastic. She had a relatively good upbringing with, um a a very good, um, schooling. And I think her road to success is is, um when she got into CARTERTON. And she just opened that can of worms and, [00:08:00] um, and laid it all on the line. I've been a hooker. I've been a prostitute. I've done drugs. I've done this. And I think that's what endeared her to the people of carterton was that, um she left no stone unturned. Nobody could drag anything out on her. She was out there front, and that's what they loved. At last, we've got somebody that's, um, honest and got integrity that that fearlessness of that honesty really isn't totally 100%. Um, you know, to do that, you know, and spill your bes blood it all on the table like that. Um, I remember, um, when she won the mayoral, [00:08:30] um, one of the old boys down at the a R a said, Oh, that Georgina. She's a damn good bloke. You know, um and I've said to her, What do you do? Put yourself in the spotlight. Uh, we we've been, um She gets a little bit frustrated walking down the street and everybody recognises and stops her and talks to her. And you go out for a restaurant or something where they and people stop her in the restaurant, you know? And she goes, Oh, flu. Why did they always pick on me? And I go, [00:09:00] Well, you put yourself in that position, you're famous, and you're a trail blazer. So of course, people are gonna be interested. People want to stop and talk to you because they love you. And that's simple. Is it? So, you know, putting up with those sort of things have been fun. Can you describe the the flat that you both had? Oh, yeah. It was, um really, really tiny flat. It was, um Well, it was one big, massive house up in Buller Street, Number 20 Bullet Street. It had, uh, at one stage was a massive old vintage home, but had been carved up into four or five flats, and, uh, the [00:09:30] one we had was upstairs. It was a little old staircase that went up to the, uh, front door. There's only one entrance to it. The front door Because the house had been divided up. Um, the front walked in the door. On the left was the lounge, which eventually will become, um, um, a shared bedroom with Georgina and I, um, single beds. You know, um, and, uh then down the hallway was a very, very small kitchen. Very skinny hallway, small kitchen down the bathroom and shower next door to that. And [00:10:00] three tiny three tiny bedrooms. Um, very tiny bedrooms. Um, off of that hallway. So and And it's seen a few of us people come and go over the years. Different ones involved in the scene. Um, yeah, but it was a stunning little flat. It was great. And it was in the seventies. Yeah, late seventies late seventies, definitely. So. Late seventies. This was a time when, um, homosexual activity was still illegal and there was still discrimination. Well, I mean, it still works, but there was discrimination [00:10:30] then, as well. Um, did you see yourselves as outcasts or how How did you see? Not really. Because I, I sort of left home at, um at an early age moved into town and sort of and met people of my own, you know, other gay people. And it was still very close in those days. But when we were young, we were bulletproof, you know? So we sort of would hang around the places like the Royal Oak, the Dorian Society, Um, Carmen's coffee, coffee lounge. Um, we we formed all that bond with the young Gasset around [00:11:00] our own age group. Um, never, really. I suppose on the street, you saw it with the police in the old days with the with the working girls out on the street, they gave them a pretty much of a hard time. Um, but we never suffered any, um, anything from it ourselves. Never ran into any trouble. It was relatively, um yeah. Trouble free. You mentioned club exotic or a club? Exotic. Exotic? Yeah. Can you tell me, um, about that venue That was a small venue as well? It was, um, right next to Brian. The, um I don't [00:11:30] know if it was called in the day, but it was, uh it was another, um, strip club. And, um, Georgia was working up there a little bit. Tiny venue went up the stairs, hung a right, walked in very small venue. Very small stage dressing rooms out the back. Um, on our flatmate was, um was also the male stripper and the male host of the show. Um, Georgina and the girls there was sexy. Lexie. There was Mama Bev. There was Rian. Georgina, um, Yvette Kennedy. Um, there was quite a few of them in those [00:12:00] days. You know, uh uh, uh, circling in that circle of the club exotic and that was owned by, um, Manuel Papadopoulos, who also owned the pawn shop down below on the corner, Um, which eventually became peaches and cream. So was it just a strip club, or was the six work as well sex work as well? Yeah. Yeah, it was performing for the for the boys and the girls. Um, there was there was another one. Used to be a truck driver, Um, and throwing 44 gallon drums around, [00:12:30] um, and then trans, um, transitioned transgendered. And it turned out to be one of the most stunning queens out. And all the other queens are quite envious of her. Um, she used to strip up there, um, her photos up on the wall of Fame upstairs in the bar. Yeah. Um, so there was a good conglomeration of of queens going through there as well. I was funny enough talking with Georgie about this on on Monday at dinner on Monday night, and she was saying that, um, quite often Brian grow because Brian Brian was basically all heterosexual females, [00:13:00] Um, and working girls as well. So it was a strip club, plus working girls. Um, and, uh, he'd get on well with the Queens, and now and again, she was going on now and again. We used to go and work for Brian because, like, if he was running out of girls and they had a busy night on and get they'd get a few of us, you know, decent transgender queens over there that looked that could lipstick and looked femine enough to get away with it, you know? Um, yeah. So that whole street was a was a, um, a working class of, um Well, a neighbourhood of like minded people, different [00:13:30] venues. But all got on well, all looked after each other. So it was Papadopoulos that he owned the club exotic. Yeah. Yeah, he owned the club exotic as well. Um, there was one particular occasion there where, um, Raylene had had, um She had taken a few drugs too many. And, uh, they were doing a a show called Artur Rama, which was the finale of the show. And, um, Raylene had to sort of, like, get down like a catwalk on on her hands and knees and walk towards the the stage. Well, she'd [00:14:00] had a few drugs and her bowels let go, and she just was diarrhoea flying completely back over over all the other. And Manuel Papadopoulos threw his ear and all the girls are screaming and fled out the back. And now he's coming out. You girls get out there and you get her up and you clean her up and you clean all that shit up. You know, um, Georgia, just it's this story coming from Georgie is so much funnier. But she said it was just It was just sitting there, and all of a sudden [00:14:30] her her as just piled out all this, And, um, all the girls fled. Absolutely fled. Um, it's one. We've laughed over many a times. Oh, I got to tell me that story about and she had diarrhoea. Um, yeah, but so they they they were fun times there. There were really good fun times there. Where else has, uh, Georgina worked? She worked well, She went to the club because, of course, since she went to Auckland, she was working for the bloomers review. [00:15:00] And, um, would occasionally come down to Wellington with the bloomers review to do shows at Alfie's in Wellington when it first opened up. Um, and she did that for a few years. Then she transgressed across to Australia. Who was Dana de Paul, Um, now deceased as well. Um, they came back. And then, um, when they came back to Wellington, they moved to the to, um that's when Georgina first fell in love with carterton. Um and, uh, I remember her doing an interview and she was going for the mayoralty. [00:15:30] She spent a bit of time on council, and then she'd, um, was going for the and, uh, TV three had Genevieve Westcott and interviewed her walking down the street and and and saying to her, You know, so what, you know brings a girl like you to a place like this. You know she's going well, it's the people. She's sitting it small and it's it's It's very warm and welcoming. Um, so she had a passion for it. Um, So I think, uh, after she did the then left that [00:16:00] then went into parliament. And then she gave up her house in, um in CARTERTON and moved to Kalla for a short time. Um and then, of course, got out of parliament. And then when life started going downhill with the kidney transplant. So it's been a fast, hard paced life for her. Um, but she's no silly kitten. She's, um very astute. Very astute. On the opposite side of the vine street from, um club, um, we have [00:16:30] the green coffee lounge just a bit further down. Yeah, that was why, um, Chrissy we took Can you tell me about Chris? Chris, he was fantastic. Um, I I going back to when I remember Chris briefly from when she was managing the Sunset strip. Um, but had more to do with her when she when Carmen eventually left town. And, um, Chris basically took over and became the new queen of Wellington. She had the utmost respect. As we've talked in a previous interview. Um, she's [00:17:00] loaned the venue out for various youth groups. Um, she had, um a no tolerance for trouble or anything of that kind. She'd have different gang members all drinking in there at the same time. Drag queens, gay boys. You name it, Um and you know, she wouldn't stand no shit. You know, if cause any trouble, you're out of here. Um, fantastic person. Uh, I think over the years, we did a couple of fundraisers for her when she got raided by the police for selling illicit alcohol without a licence. Um, I think it [00:17:30] was her 50th birthday. We went to, um, which was a grand affair at the top of the majestic centre. Um, and every every who's who in town was there, it was an outstanding right up on the on the top floor. And you overlooked all of Wellington and right up to Newtown and over to the hospital. It was absolutely fantastic. And Chris, he certainly earned her place in society. Um, she had a heart of gold. Yeah. Can you describe her personality? She had happy. A happy disposition. She was fun. She was, um she had [00:18:00] met a lifetime partner, Andrew, or who later became Doc. Everybody is called, um, um Andrew Dock for short. Um, and of course, Andrew had had a Well, Andrew had a few Children, but, um, while they were going out, he he he accumulated another one. well, Chrissie ended up taking the child on and raising the child as her own. Uh, I remember at one stage I was working in the Dominion Tavern, the little cafe bar there, and Chrissie rings [00:18:30] me up and she goes, Is that Yes. So is me. Darling. What was she like? She said, Is Andrew down there? And I went Yes, he's here, darling. She said, Oh, Has he got NLA with him? I went, Yeah. She said, Oh, good. She said, I'll see you soon. Oh, don't tell him I'm wrong. I'm on my way. And I thought, I know I never thought nothing of it. And when she came down and, um, she gave Andrew the slap What have I told you about taking the baby to the pub? You know, you're supposed to be out taking him for a walk or not taking him to the pub. So there's been some fun times then, but she was very serious. Um, exactly how she wanted this child brought up, Um, Amazing. [00:19:00] Absolutely. Incredibly amazing person. Fantastic personality. And but, as I said, took no shit if anybody caused her. I've seen her wigs off queens in her coffee lounge and give them a good you know, you don't do that sort of shit in here. Blah bla out the door. They go. She was, um, a fantastic person, great personality, but did not tolerate any crap. Can you describe the God? From what? I remember you. Yeah, Yeah, it was a little wee door, and it had a little window in it. Um, all glass windows around the front of [00:19:30] that, um, curtains and blacked out if I remember rightly. Yeah, um, walked in. There's a couple of little booths on the right hand side down the hallway. On the right hand side was a very tiny where they used to make, um, taste of sandwiches. And, of course, your, um, liquid in a teapot. Um, coffee or tea? Which was usually alcohol, rum or something like that. Um, it was the disguise. Carmen started that off. And Chris, he kept it going. Um, [00:20:00] I had jukebox in there all those retro sixties and seventies songs. Great music on it. In fact, um, and out the back was the bathrooms, the toilet. And then you went out through a side door, which took you out into the alleyway. And then you went through another door to the right and up the stairs. And that's where Chrissy's apartment was, which was fabulous. Laid out very, very well. A fantastic little venue spent many a time up there with, um, Chrisy [00:20:30] and and a few members of the of the crew. You'd have quite often have little dinner parties Or or little, um uh, D parties. Or you just go up there for a few drinks to get away from the bustle downstairs. It was very entertaining. And what about on the walls of the what was on the walls? Um God, I. I remember. I remember Carmen was lots of Egyptian stuff. I think it was just lots of pictures, actually, if I remember right, Chrissy had, um [00:21:00] um was always taking snaps out of the magazines and things and creating collages, and I think they were originally up on the walls. The walls were quite plain, Really From the odd. Some of those odd photos, like the girl with the Pearl earring duplicate copy of prints, things like that. Um, but of Chrissy's collages, of course, which are now all in te Papa. Um, yeah, apart from the jukebox, I can't remember the walls very well at all. But, um, yeah, the jukebox. They playing the old songs, George McCray, All that sort of stuff. Fantastic. Yeah. So [00:21:30] what was it about? Toasty sandwiches? Because I know both Carmen and Chrissy um, advertised, you know, being the best toasty sandwiches in town. They were. They were, um I think it was the fact that they used three or four slices of bread. So if you wanted ham, sweet corn and tomato, you get, you know, a slice of, you know, bottom slice with tomato on it, then another slice of bread, then all the sweet corn on it, then another slice of bread, and then all the ham and then another slice of bread. So once they put them into the old toasted sandwich press and press them down, they were [00:22:00] They were, like, really good hot club sandwiches. They were fantastic. Um, I don't know whether I don't know why they were the best, but they were. They were the best toasted sandwiches in town. You find that in reference? I think on many things, people like, Oh, I always remember the tastes of sandwiches. You know, they were just the best ones in town. Just next door to the evergreen. Um, was the purple onion? Yeah. Can you tell me, um Did did you ever visit the No, Not very much. No. I didn't go to the purple onion at all. I remember the onion distinctly. Um, but [00:22:30] that was, uh that was, um um, run by, um, and Anita. Um, and they had two boys who went on to dance for Michael Jackson. Um, is is still alive and living here in Wellington. He's living with his son, Moon dog Mark, who was a, um, regular DJ around town. Used to play at Doctor John's, uh, big gay night club that used to be in Courtney Place. Well, came back from overseas and moved in with his son, and they're living together over [00:23:00] with, um, Moon dog and his, um, Another huge name in Wellington is Carmen Rupe. Carmen was fantastic. Um, the very first, um, Carmen's international Coffee lounge Down in, uh, Vivian Street. We all used to go down there. Sometimes we would have been drag sometimes, but, um, when the door in society closed, we always end up down there. If we'd been down there and and and drag or something, then, uh, Carmen would give you the nod if there was a gentleman [00:23:30] looking for some company that night. Um, so she was She was She looked after the young queens. Very, very, Very well. Lots of Egyptian, um, paraphernalia around the walls is to remember at the end of that she had Lola working there. Um, he used to do the dishes, and she'd have, um, her, uh, big long evening gown, gloves on with all the jewellery on the outside of the gloves. And she'd be in the kitchen doing the dishes, you know, And she'd go off to, um, collect the milk every morning at 2. 30 in the morning [00:24:00] when the milk treatment station used to be down in Tory Street. There's Nicole when we first met, Um uh, dull. There's Nicole. Um, Lorina who funny enough and moved over to carton and ended up in, um, as a constituent of Georgina's and Carterton, um, fun place, uh, and developed a relationship over the years with Carmen. Um, Carmen would, um, at one stage, she's tried to set up another little community cafe, [00:24:30] um, in Marjorie Bank Street on the corner of Bank Street. And there was a chap I was seeing at the time, Stephen Goldfinch. And, um, she he got, uh, Carmen got us to go and run this little cafe for her. And the thing behind it was all the gay boys were going down to cars and picking up the trade, which was sort of knocking the working girls. So she thought if she opened up this little cafe, I can move all the gay people over there and just leave the international coffee lounge. Um, for the working girls, [00:25:00] But, um, it didn't last very long. About six months or something. It was just out of the way back. Water place. Where was that place on the corner of Bank Street? Yeah, it was triangles. Um, that is when we were running it. I think it only lasted about five or six months. It was very short term, just didn't make any money and did the basic same things to coffee sandwiches. And there was no alcohol went through it. Um, it just didn't really catch on. So was it on the corner of, um, Marie Banks and with or, uh, [00:25:30] Banks is the one that goes up. What's the one on the first one on the left? That one there. And it was It's There's a little Italian bar there now, um, it was on that corner there. Um, great little place it was. Can you describe what the decor was like in in the international coffee language? Um, Carmen's international, like I said was Carmen had this, um, big. It's really cross quite a cross section. Really. Um, because she had all this Egyptian artwork and and and screens [00:26:00] dividing places off with, um, Egyptian, um, artwork all over it. Lots of, um, heads of Carmen and things like that, you know, statues around the place and round tables everywhere. And quite a few tables, actually. Um, but massive big red Chinese lanterns. You know, the ones the the round ones with all the gold Tess hanging off and lots of those through the place. It was an exciting place. Toilets were a bit, you know, down the back and a bit. [00:26:30] You know, there's one toilet. I think so, in a heavily popular use in demand and and usual thing had your holes punched in the walls and things like that. But, um, the girls ran the shop for Carmen. She was upstairs, and I remember her distinctly coming downstairs and, you know, she'll be over at two late hours in the morning. She'd come down in her orange fluffy slippers and rattle the keys and a hometown. Darling, a girl wants to lock up, you know, Um, so, yeah, a good, fun place to be, uh, developed a good relationship with Carmen over the years. And we did, um, [00:27:00] through the chrisy took a memorial trust. We did, um, Carmen's 70th birthday celebrations, um, down at the boat shed. And, um, we did it close to Carmen's birthday, but we actually didn't tell her it was going to be a birthday party and a celebrity roast. And, uh, all the girls that used to work from her for for her at Carmen's International Coffee Lounge and the balcony. Um, all came down from Auckland. Um, it brought people out of the cobwebs. It [00:27:30] was a fantastic night. Um, and the police officers that raided Carmen's and arrested her, uh, we invited them for up from Christchurch. Um, and they paid the entry ticket to the event and paid their own airfares and accommodation as well. That was the night they presented Carmen, who was like, Carmen. Do you recognise these voices? And then they sort of spoke from around the corner, and she was going, Oh, my God. I recognise those voices, you know? And, um, of course, they would appear anybody came [00:28:00] up on stage, so it was fantastic. All are all girls. And some of the fun times they had with her, they all got their chance to speak. The police had arrested her. There was a fabulous buffet put on on the boat shed next door, The rowing club next door, rather to the boat shed. Um, a great night. Um, Carmen was having her sitting on stage in a in A in a one of those big Thrones, you know, and sort of like, half time. He sort of said, Do you want to get down and mix with the girls or whatever, but could you see us just sweating out there and she was, like, bored? [00:28:30] Um, but she had a great night. It was fantastic. Um, and it was very, very sad to see her go eventually. So you developed it. You know, we got the painting at the top of the stairs here, which, um, it was signed by Carmen, um, and donated to us through the fantastic, uh, Jackie Grant. One of the reporters from the Dominion Post gave it to her, and she donated it to the bar. So that's, um, part of the fit of the wall of fame. It's fantastic. You briefly touched on, uh, sex work at S International. Yeah, Coffee lounge. I've heard stories, [00:29:00] um, in terms of the the tea cups being certain ways to get, you know, certain kind of handles to the right cup, standing up the right way. But I didn't really don't know a lot about it. It was, um I don't know how true it actually was, but it's it's It's just one of these things that have gone down. I know whether it's folklore. It's true. Um, I never really noticed it myself. Carmen would let you know if there was a gentleman that was interested in in you or any particular girl. And maybe that's how she did it. I don't know, but that's the, um that's the rumour, Um, [00:29:30] and part of our history. So we just keep we just keep to that. So how would she tell you? She just gone? Darling, I think the gentleman over there would like to have a chat with you. Why don't you pop off one over and have a cup of coffee with them? She was just really nice. She was for on the business line. And George and I were quite often doing drag in those days. Um, sometimes we didn't have a really good night out on working on the street. And, um, we would go, you know, Mr Zandi, our landlord, Greek landlord, He'd come around every Saturday morning to collect the rent. And, you know, we've one [00:30:00] year when the terrace tunnel was being built. Um, remember, wheeling out, dressed in hot pants and, uh, hot pants and hold neck tops and fishnet stockings and big, clunky shoes. Georgina and I wheeling our, um, washing machine down the street to the to the, uh, able traders the second hand shop to sell it off to get some money so we could afford to pay the rent. Those were the sort of days it was. It was really tough. You know, Um, this is after we got out of working at the hotel. Um, we thought, Oh, we can make plenty of money. You know, um, but it didn't [00:30:30] quite work out like that. Um, sometimes you had a good night. Sometimes she didn't, but it was a fun, fun time. And it must be pretty tough in Wellington's weather, particularly in the winter time. Yeah, I suppose so. You really think about that. And in those days, there was always a, you know, a need to stand under. You know, Marion Street, the famous, you know, um, do the block basically Marion Street, Vivian Street, Cuba street, Back down in. And the girls just used to work the block, but, um, of course, all that went when [00:31:00] they turned Vivian Street into State Highway One, it became one way. So it didn't work anymore. Um, so the girls sort of graduated to different places by then. prostitute Law reform was happening as well. Um, much, much later, of course. Um, but in the old days, it was the, uh, work in the street and outside. Carmen was great. How did Carmen get on with the Salvation Army who were actually neighbours? I don't really know that, to be quite honest, how she got on with her neighbours, but it just seems pretty ironic that wherever she is, like like, her place is, um, right next door to the [00:31:30] Salvation Army Citadel. And then Brian moves out of here and goes to the White House and sets up another strip club and the old Salvation Army boarding as well. Um, I don't know what their salvation are doing, but every every place they touch seems to turn into the of iniquity. You know, um, I I should imagine she must have got on with. I mean, what could they do? Carmen was out out front there, you know, she could walk down the street with their tits out. And maybe you could, um, do a thing about it, because legally, she was still classed as a man. And it's not illegal for a [00:32:00] man to walk around the city with his top off. What about, uh, the balcony? Carmen's balcony balcony went up there a few times. Um, gypsy, uh, gypsy and Elena and they had two Children as well. Gypsy was this, uh, 6 ft plus bouncer. And we used to go up there because, uh, sometimes they would finish work. Georgie and Real would finish work at the club exotic, so they'd shoot down to the balcony so we'd go down there and just watch the show. They do some shows there, Um, and Gypsy was like, um a younger a younger. [00:32:30] And I've seen her just pick up two guys stairs steeper than what we've got over here. Um, and then much, much higher. And just grab two men by the scruff of their fucking shirts and them down the stairs. You know, she was, um, very big and intimidating not to be stuffed around with, um, the decor in there was quite good. It was a big round sort of circular stage. Um, with a long catwalk and chairs down either side. Um, if I remember big red drapes and curtains at the back and the dressing rooms behind that, it was a great [00:33:00] venue, I think when Carmen eventually had to get out of that balcony, she reopened another one down the lower end of Cuba Street upstairs, Uh, which is now a Japanese restaurant. Yeah. So the balcony moved, and I think that move was when spats nightclub was there. Spatz was on the side, and Carmen's was on the corner of Victoria Street and balcony. [00:33:30] You went up the stairs there from Victoria Street side to the top level, and spats nightclub was underneath that. And so when it moved to the lower Cuba street, was that also called the dog that was called the balcony as well. That was called the balcony as well. And that, um I don't know how long that went for It went for a few years. Um but then I think it might have been one of the last venues she actually had before she went overseas. I know she had a sort of tinkering gift shop on top of Cuba Street, and also another one down in Plymouth steps there by the old toad [00:34:00] hall that used to be around. She had a little shop in there as well, so she said a few places. She had a place in, um, which was a bit of a brothel from what I understand. Over in ham A and and so she moved around. She certainly knew how to make a dollar. Um, by this stage, she'd, um, appeared in parliament for, um, you know, what do they call it? Um oh, they called it before the the committee committee. Yeah. So, um, she was certainly famous, that's [00:34:30] for sure. So, can you recall what was being sold in the Plymouth Street? Plymouth. I think it was just, um, trinkets and and and, um paraphernalia. You know, just little lamps and things like that. And, um, lots of Egyptian stuff that she'd had and, you know, she just tinkered. And little trinket stuff. Really? You wouldn't know the address? No, it was up. The plumbers steps on the left hand side. Somewhere in one of those little wee shops. Toad Hall, The cafe, if I remember rightly used [00:35:00] to be up plumber steps and just to the left. Then there was a little shops going up there. So it was somewhere up there that she had a little trinket shop. I can find out more about that from Georgie when I speak to her next. And when the balcony was in Lower Cuba Street, you were saying it was a Japanese restaurant. There is a Japanese restaurant near now. Yeah, Um, So if you the bottom of Cuba Street coming up on the left hand side, you've got that, um, ski place does all the jackets and stuff, so probably three or four doors along there. I know there's the big [00:35:30] doors, which go to the apartment block upstairs. Um, but somewhere in there, there's a little Japanese restaurant upstairs that used to be the balcony. So if you want to down there and have a look, you'll be able to pick where it was. Absolutely. So it seems to me that I mean, it was obviously that Carmen had a whole variety of businesses in Wellington. Was it easy to get, like, kind of leases and businesses established at the well, she never seemed to have a problem, and and, um, certainly she was, um, nose [00:36:00] drinking part of her. I mean, she was in the paper all the time, You know, um, famous for walking down Cuban mall with her breasts out and that big flower wacked in here waving to everybody. Um, and she quite often appeared in the paper. So there was, um I don't think she ever had any trouble getting ob. Well, obviously didn't. She managed to get a, you know, a brothel going over, and and, um, she had three or four properties. She had the balcony. Um, I think people she had credibility people believed in her. You mentioned earlier the Sunset Strip. Where was that? [00:36:30] That was around the corner here in Vivian Street. Um, and the sunset then I think, moved from Gas Street over till where the cave used to be. Alas, I think a S was in there. Then it became the cave. I think the Sunset Strip was in there before a S. Um, I wonder if it Sam Fran, what is Sam Fran now on Cuba on Cuba? Yeah, Yeah, its two bath house. It it [00:37:00] sounds like a lot of these venues didn't particularly have a long life span. They were coming and going. I remember the sunset briefly when it was over here in in, um, street, the cave went for a few years. Um, Karen Bates. Tim, her parents bought the cave and they were running that. And they were, um, great publics. Um, it was, of course, just up the road from the Wakefield Hotel. It used to be in Cuba Street as well. Um, I don't know. Life spans. Really? As I say, I'm I'm bloody [00:37:30] dreadful with dates, um, years. But I just remember going to these venues and having a fantastic time. Um, yeah, I suppose the cave lasted. I probably started off as Alibaba. Alibaba's probably did four or five years, and then the cave took over. Um, that probably would have done the same. I'm not sure of the length of times, to be quite honest. Another, um, high profile person here in Wellington was, um Donna Demilo. Donna de. I only got to meet Donna. Um, [00:38:00] when Dana returned from Melbourne, she'd been living in Melbourne. Um, and I met her with Chrissy. I think the first time I actually met Dana was at Chrissy's 50th birthday at the Majestic Centre. Um, because I always used to refer to New Zealand's Jerry Hall because she was like that 665 statuesque, you know, long blonde hair, stunning. Donna was fantastic. spent many a time with Donna as well out of her house? Um, yeah, [00:38:30] yeah, I never I I never met her in the earlier years and seventies. The eighties would have been, um, into the, um, late nineties. Two thousands when I met Dana. One of the areas we haven't talked about is, um, the whole, um HIV A I DS, uh, period in the beginning, Kind of early mid eighties. How did that affect the Wellington communities? [00:39:00] Oh, it was It was dreadful. Um, actually dreadful with all those marches and things like, um, Logan started getting the homosexual law reform board together again. The HIV thing, um, was was very, very difficult with you was side glancing if you got it, if you got it. You know, everybody's running off to get their tests and things like that. Um, it's good to see things from times from those times have changed. And, um, even like with, um, after Chrissy died and, um, we started [00:39:30] up, we actually started up, um, the Afterlife Memorial Trust. And then we changed it to the Memorial trust when Chrissie passed away. Um, we've done 22 23 funerals out of that. Um so these days, it's not so bad. Uh, with the, um, HIV epidemic, they got all the new drugs. You know, um, they're living a lot longer. So we've sort of diversified away from the trust a wee bit with, um, doing funerals to just supporting more community events and, [00:40:00] um, sending young people on who to come to terms with their sexuality. But yeah, to devastate the HIV aids thing was, um, devastating The amount of people that we did lose, um, sometimes four or five funerals a week. Um, it was really horrible. Um, yeah, devastating. Devastating. Um, And when we look back and think God, with the grace of God go, we most of us survive. Well, a lot of us survived that, um um, getting through that, um, tough [00:40:30] time. But we lost a lot of friends to HIV aids. A lot of friends about people like, um Daniel Fielding and Peter Cuthbert. Did you have much to do with him? Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Daniel was a was a good friend. Come up to pound all the time. He used to come to as a call, and Daniel always, uh, Daniel was, um an instigator. I met Peter at the Dorian Society. I think it was when I first met Daniel. Um uh, of course. Then Peter died, and Daniel [00:41:00] kept the house going out, and and, um, yeah, Daniel was out there. Vocal, um, always organising things. Devotion was right into the devotion parties, of course, had the day parties going on in the Caspers days, which was, um, upstairs in the, uh, Edward Street cafe. Um, it used to be EC downstairs and escape nightclub upstairs, and we used to do a lot of the gigs up there. Um, Daniel was a go getter, um, again on the wall of fame. [00:41:30] And it's amazing that wall of fame up there, the amount of people that come through and recognise people I've had people ask me about that photo of Daniel and say, um, do you know much about that and go Oh, well, we're actually related. And II I knew he was gay, and I knew he died from HIV A I, but no, I never really got to know about him. So you get people asking you what we know about him, that sort of thing. Um yeah, a fabulous character. Great sense of humour, Um, a go getter for organising gigs. Fantastic person. And And Daniel worked in quite a few venues around [00:42:00] Wellington as well. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He worked for Joe down at, um, at the sauna down in Garrett Street for a while. Um, he worked across the road at the blue note for a while over there, um, he worked for, um Oh, he had his own venue, which was, um, sanctuary, which is is a a safe site. A safe six on site venue for men only. Um, and Dixon Street. Um, upstairs [00:42:30] in Dixon Street, there was a, uh, sign Blue Cinema blue, Um, uh, porn theatre on one floor and sanctuary on the other. And, um, Daniel sold, um, low alcohol, beer, coffee, tea, that sort of thing. Um, but it was basically just a cruise place for, you know, porn room, cruise maze. Um, a pool table, if I remember rightly. Um, yeah, that was it was basically a meeting. A meeting place for the gay men. Take them out of the cottages. Yeah, [00:43:00] it's really interesting nowadays because I think Wellington's last sauna closed. Was it last year or the year before last year. I think it was. And it closed for a little while, then reopened again and then closed down. Um, and it's quite funny, because we quite often get a phone call here. Where's the gate? Sauna in town. Oh, I'm sorry. There isn't one at the present time. Is anybody opening one up? Look, I really don't know. Um, 11 particular gentleman who calls us from. Is there a gay sauna there yet? No. There's no gay sauna here yet. Who's gonna open one? We don't know if anybody's gonna open one. [00:43:30] Um, maybe it close. So and I think it's dearly missed. Yeah. Do you think it's a thing of the past? Yeah. Um, had one that wouldn't go to it myself, but, um, I think there's a need for it. Um, there's no real venues in where males, um can go to meet other males, you know, on a sexual, like, safe sex environment. Um, I think the younger [00:44:00] ones wouldn't probably be into it, but it's probably more old school that would like it. Um, most of our inquiries are usually for a much older group of people. Um, so I think There's probably a need for one. But, um, is it really practical these days? There's just a There's just a couple of other names that I want to, um, put out there. Did you know, um, Seaward McGregor? No, no, no. What about, um either Jeff Whittington or Philip Cottrell? All of these names Philip [00:44:30] Cottrell. Philip Core. I knew very well Philip used to drink in this bar. Um, lovely man and, um, absolutely devastating. What? What happened to him? Um, and we went to his, um, unveiling of his, uh, seat up in, uh, street there. Uh, he was a lovely, lovely man. Um, who was the previous one you asked about? Philip. Jeff Whiton. No, no. Um, I think Jeff Ding died in the Bojangles days. I think he had been to Bojangles. Um, but I can't [00:45:00] remember him very well at all. And another case of, um, homophobia. Um, it's still out there. I should imagine well and truly still out there. And I should also put on the tape that, um, the three names I mentioned Jeff, Philip and sea um all three were killed in in various over over a period of time period. Yeah, it's sad. Um, sea, in fact, was, um, had met. He was working at the ST George, [00:45:30] uh, had met somebody, I think, at the Saint George. But, um, this this this young guy, I think he was about 17. Um, had also been known for kind of, um, possibly picking people up at the royal oak. Um, and this is in the late 80 early eighties, early eighties. Um, and, uh, yeah, um, I can't recall that one at all. No, no. Unbelievable. We've had a fantastic, uh, talk and sorry to end on such a It's [00:46:00] we know it's there. We We've had such a fantastic talk both this week and last week. I'm wondering when we've done these talks. Um, what do you come away thinking? Because we we we're going through a whole lot of memories. Um, how how do you feel about kind of like like this? It doesn't really worry me, I think. And I think what you guys are doing is an absolutely fantastic job, because sooner or later, we're gonna get a bit of dimension and won't be able to remember these things. So it's important to capture these things. Um while you still can. Um, [00:46:30] I like I like the wall of fame. It's, you know, by putting that wall of fame up there, you're remembering people, and and it it helps you remind you of things that have happened to people from the past. Um, we as I said before, we get a lot of people coming through making inquiries about certain pictures on the wall. Um, so no, it doesn't worry me at all. I think it's fantastic that, um, people take the time like yourselves to record this because this is our history. And in 100 years time, people can look back on this and see what we were going through at this stage, What we've been through and how [00:47:00] far we've got to now where they are now, um, I think it's gonna be outstanding. OK, Well, final thing in 100 years time, what would you want to say to somebody listening in 100 years? Oh, enjoy yourself. Be yourself. If you're gonna slide out of this world, grab the straws and the champagne and take it as a good ride to the grave. Um, just be yourself. Just be yourself. Be who you are. Um, you'll always come up and goes those who goes against against the grain, but, um, shut them down.

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AI Text:September 2023
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