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MONTHLY
COLUMN
 
Bangkok,
01 April 2015
William R.  Morledge


April's Nightlife News
Traces of 'The Tiger'
Bangkok's Bars - 20 Years Ago  
A Smile in the Land of Smiles.
Ask Us:   The "Kickboxer" A Go-Go Bar
Graffiti  -BKK's Midnite Vandals - #109

         Having recently made another rather extended 'Pattaya Run', we thought it would be timely to re-survey Soi Bua Khao (last survey 2006).   We would, or so we imagined, do the bar survey during the day, and the photography at night (while correcting any of the day's survey mistakes and omissions).   But we made one fatal miscalculation - we underestimated -by far- the amount Soi Bua Khao had grown over the last few years.   We realized we would have to be content with the re-survey of Soi Bua Khao's 'centerpiece' : Soi LK Metro.

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

   And even then, we did not anticipate how much Soi LK Metro had grown.   Nine years ago, they had a total of 21 Night Entertainment Venues, compared to today's 34 Nitespots (and we are not even counting some of the guest-houses cum bar beers).   To put this in perspective, Soi Cowboy currently has 32 Nitespots, Nana Plaza has 34 (including those Venues facing Soi Nana).   So Soi LK Metro has come into it's own as a Night Entertainment Area - within the already existing Soi Bua Khao Night Entertainment Area.


      But the big surprise at Soi LK Metro was the number of Nitespots that were A Go-Go bars.   While Bangkok's A Go-Go bar scene has been busily committing suicide (oh, yes they have.... - runaway dancer salaries in combination with rents only the top ten-to-fifteen percent of the bars can now afford), Soi LK Metro has been slowly, steadily increasing the number of A Go-Go bars.   And these are not low-budget bars - the owners/ lessees have put a lot into making these venues into an enjoyable playground for the Pattaya nightcrawler.


      Needless to say, we were most favorably impressed with the changes at LK Metro.   Below we have shown a few of the LK Metro Nitespots- the next time you are making your 'Pattaya Run' and want something other than the smothering effect of Walking Street, take a hike up to LK Metro (see map above).   You won't be disappointed.

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

Door Art Of The Month
Award





             The Malibu Club has our vote (and only we vote) for the Door Art of the Month Award.   No explanation necessary - the pics tell the tale....

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  

  SOI  LK  METRO   - Pattaya  


            



April's smile was a long time ago, hopefully she is still smiling.....




 TOP
         The new Vincent Calvino novel by Christopher G Moore has just been released.   It may be ordered on line.




? Old
BANGKOK NIGHT SCENE
PHOTOS
?


Any old PHOTOS of
Bangkok's Nightlife ?

Please CLICK HERE and send to us for publication.   

Many Thanks,
William R Morledge




            
 Historical Minutiae Dept.



The 'Kickboxer' A Go-Go Scene
TRACKED DOWN AT LAST...

        Jean Claude Van Damme was in Bangkok for the filming of Kickboxer in the 1988 - 1989 timeframe.   This pic taken outside the original King's Castle (daytime).
  Unattributed reader submission. - excerpt conforms to Copyright Fair Use terms.  

Hello,

      One of my childhood movies (Jean Claude Van Damme's Kickboxer) had a go go bar scene in it.   I have been trying since forever to track that place down.   Do you know which place it was?   Thank you kindly for your help!

Thanks,
DW


Greetings, DW,

      We asked around, and the consensus was that it was one of the King's Group bars on Patpong (that was our gut-feeling, but we wanted to hear what other long-time residents would say independently, without us putting ideas in their heads up front).   That started us on a quest of old pics in our archives, endless re-watches of the scene in Kickboxer, and a re-survey of Patpong.   We finally struck paydirt.

      We noted four telltale clues from the movie - the "fan" shaped design on the rear wall behind the dancers, the large cylindrical columns covered with vertical strips of mirror, and atop the columns the star-shaped neon.   Lastly, the scene was filmed in a 'large' bar, not a single-shophouse wide bar.   From our archives, we found an old photo of..... wait for it..... King's Corner.   That photo (immediately below) shows exactly those four 'give-away' tell-tale features.   Not happy with just that, we re-surveyed the Patpongs, and today, although there have been several changes in many of the bars, there is only one bar on the Patpongs with the large cylindrical column - again - King's Corner.

      We did one further check - what was the King's Corner called back in 1988 - 1989?   We found an old map (Patpong Sisters - Cleo Odzer) made at that time which confirms that the bar in question was already called "King's Corner".   We have, therefore, one inescapable conclusion - the scene was filmed in the King's Corner A Go-Go bar.

      A further interesting aside - and a distinct possibility - that scene could have been filmed at two separate bars.   Our astute mentor on all things cinematic - 'Hanuman' (formerly of the Bangkok Post) - noticed that at the later part of that scene, they sit down on a row of white chairs with a slightly different backdrop - typical only of the original King's Castle.   This, we also recalled from past visits.   But the main parts of the Kickboxer A Go-Go scene were definitely filmed at the King's Corner.   We have included here two out-takes of the film which correspond to the above photo.

Best,
Boge

  King's Corner circa 1989.  Unattributed reader submission. - excerpt conforms to Copyright Fair Use terms.  


  Out-take (1) from film Kickboxer showing the distinctive 'fan' background.  

Out-take (2) from film Kickboxer showing oversize cylindrical columns with vertical mirrored strips topped off by 'star-shaped' neon (see left column).  Entire movie can be viewed on You Tube ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPd7vyrRQ1Y ) - fast forward to minute 24:39 to view the A Go-Go scene.




? ASK US (ALMOST) ANYTHING !
Email bangkokeyes@gmail.com and "ASK US" - -   Click Here
         We can answer virtually any (reasonable) question on the Expat Night Entertainment Scene in Bangkok - be it Historical or very recent.   Send us an e-mail and we will do our best to answer you soonest.

'Boge' Hartman
Historical Research
* Zootramp Publications



Let the April 2015 Follies begin...
BANKOK EYES' Expat Night Scene.
   PATPONG  1
            A for-the-archives pic of Patpong I Road taken last Saturday night out in front of the King's Group A Go-Go bars.   We haven't seen the bars on Patpong this quiet for many months.
  PATPONG  I  

   PATPONG  2
            A for-the-archives photo of the Cosmo's Club.   Cosmo's seems to be bullet-proof when it comes to staying alive during the downturns and low seasons.   And we can tell you from experience, they don't have a complicated system for success - it's called 'taking care of the customers'.   - Lo and behold - the customers want to come back; many customers having been "regulars" for a decade or more.
  PATPONG  2  

            The Barcelona Lounge was locked down tighter than Alcatraz last weekend.   Yet another bar up on The Ramp runs headlong into the abyss - pickings are getting pretty slim up there these days, and the hot season is just getting under way.   The future doesn't look bright ahead....
  PATPONG  2  

   SOI  COWBOY
            Yet another for-the-archives pic of Soi Cowboy.
  SOI  COWBOY  

   NANA  PLAZA
             Up until last September, they couldn't sort out whether they would call themselves Voodoo or Hoodoo or Underground - finally settling on (of course) Underground.   But, unfortunately, it now looks like the Underground has met it's 'Waterloo'.   (Sorry, we just couldn't resist saying that....)      Hope they finagle a good tax write-off....   The real estate is now available; prospective bar "owners" please note.   However, if what we hear about the rents at Nana from Stickman is true, and I'm sure it is, I wouldn't want to have to hold my breath until we see a new occupant in these digs...   
  NANA  PLAZA    

   SOI  NANA
             The single-shophouse Naughty Girls is one of Soi Nana's long established bars.   It is easily overlooked (but shouldn't be) by nightcrawlers plying back and forth along the Soi, to and from the larger Nitespots.   Let he who is naughty be naughty still - a fun place.    Rock on.
  SOI   NANA   

            Chequers pub is another 'old man' of Soi Nana - having been around for donkey's years.   A 'mini-pub' by today's standards, still a favorite of many of the long-term residents and new arrivals alike.
  SOI   NANA   

   SOI  KATOEY
             A for-the-archives shot of the upstairs Bearbie Bar - Karaoke.   When we passed by last Saturday night we couldn't tell if they were open or closed - some lights were on, but the door was closed... ?
SOI  KATOEY  - (SILOM  SOI  4)

   SOI  22
             The Penguin Relaxation Room has supplanted the S22 Massage & Spa in the Honey Plaza.   Goes to show, a short-time place doesn't have to look like one....   Welcome them to the bright city lights.   
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

              Taffy's Fawlty Towers, unbeknownst to us, has disappeared.   So has the entire soi it used to be on.   How could we have not notice that?
- File photo         
SOI  22 - (Sukhumvit)

   SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS
               After having threatened (with new signage) to open for a little over two months, the Fine Massage & Spa has finally rolled out the red carpet.   Welcome them to the neon jungle.


SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS - SOI  33

               Last month we noted the Shimai was undergoing a complete overhaul, predicting their imminent reopening.   And open they did, but they are now no longer a "Snack" and are going by the name Gate (Bangkok) Barbecue.   No longer a "Night Entertainment Venue", we will discontinue regular reporting on this restaurant.
SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS - SOI  33

               We spoke with the people at Lips, and they say they will be reopening any day now.   They will, for the time being, open under the "Lips" neon, but sans hostesses.   The name is slated to be changed soon afterward.
- File photo         
SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS - SOI  33

   SOI  AMBASSADOR  
                The Hot Stone Spa has some new neon nailed up - they are now emphasizing more strongly Thai traditional massage over various 'spa' services.   Most relaxing....'everybody wants to get stoned'....
SOI  AMBASSADOR   - SOI  11

                A for-the-archives pic of the WXYZ Bar neon - located in the A-Loft.   Open mostly on weekends.   One of three Night Entertainment Venues in that building.   May they continue to rock.
SOI  AMBASSADOR   - SOI  11


                The Rosabieng Restaurant is easy to overlook as a Nitespot (as did we).   It actually functions more as an al fresco music lounge (live music).   They have a small, but very active central 'Bar' which keeps the refreshments flowing - 'till late....    If you enjoy sitting outdoors in a natural environment under balmy Bangkok stars, you might want to give it a try.
SOI  AMBASSADOR   - SOI  11

   QUEEN'S  PARK  PLAZA
               We caught Steve of the Cockwell Inn sneaking around the corner, 'freelancing' at the Nice & Easy.    Can't say we blame him, however.   Let the good times roll....
  QUEEN'S  PARK  PLAZA -   SOI 22

   SOI  EDEN  
            A quick on-the-run 'archive' shot of the Crazy Hot Bar.   May they persevere.
SOI  EDEN -  Soi  7/1 Sukhumvit

   SOI  TWILIGHT 
            We've never seen it this quiet in the Twilight Zone....   And this was 9:00 p.m. on a Saturday night....
SOI  TWILIGHT



 TOP   

A PAGE FROM Bangkok's NIGHTSCENE HISTORY....

 20 YEARS AGO  :

April

With thanks to Cool Text - cooltext.com

Bangkok Eyes goes back in time to see
Who was new - And who was through
in the Expat Night Entertainment world.
How many of these old 'oases'
do you remember ?

Patpong I

    *  The upstairs Kangaroo Club started calling itself the New Kangaroo Club.

    *  The Cicciolina opened above the Sawasdee Bar (- Sawasdee is now the Thigh Bar).   Cicciolina took over the reins from the Erotic Bar Classic Ago Go.   That upstairs area now home to a rip-off bar of no particular name.

    *  The upstairs Pantera Rosa opened in what was the Black Star Bar (on Soi Bookstore).


Patpong 2

    *  The Bua Luang Karaoke opened newly on the 4th floor of the stairwell opposite Foodland supermarket.   There is no Nitespot at that location today.

    *  The Imagine Bar, opened newly above the Memphis Queen.   No bar now occupies that real estate.

    *  The Sawasdee Club, did a name switch to Club Sawasdee.   It would eventually become Cosmo's Club which is still there today.

    *  The James & Vinai Club opened newly up on The Ramp.   No venue currently occupies that space.

    *  The Spanish Eyes, also up on The Ramp, reopened after a brief closure.   Spanish Eyes is still at that location.

    *  The Counter Patpong, yet again up on The Ramp closed.   No venue currently exists at that location.



Soi Cowboy

    *   No changes that month / year.



Nana Plaza

    *  The Bubble Gum closed.   (We remember it well....)   It was eventually absorbed by the Lollipop Mermadium.   Now home to Suckers.



Soi Katoey (Silom Soi 4)

   *  No changes that month / year.


Buckskin Joe Village (~ April 1988 - 9 June 2006)
(Also known - originally- as Tobacco Road or Soi Rot Fai, and later as Machim [Thai] and Soi Zero)

   *  No changes that month / year.








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VICARIOUS ART CRIMES   # 109


MIDNITE H OUR's



GRAFFITI IN THE NEWS

Graffing Greek Discontent
THROWING UP FINANCIAL WOES

      Greece has been in the news recently, and again, regarding their chronic financial woes.   Less seen in the news (but surfacing more and more on the editorial pages) is the graffiti reflecting much of the population's discontent - and the perceived causes of that discontent.

This excerpt from open Internet sources in conformance with Copyright Fair Use clauses.  

      Stop us if we're wrong (we are not financial experts), but Greece wanted to be in the European Union in order to right their sinking economic ship, but instead they blame the EU for their seemingly incurable financial doldrums.   They see the common currency, the Euro as the devil, and blame the European Union (and especially Germany's Merkel) for forcing it on them.   They also want the IMF to get out, and they blame Capitalism in general for their financial predicament (their perpetual borderline bankruptcy couldn't possibly be because of their own mismanagement) - but yet they want to be 'bailed out' by Capitalist countries.....   

This excerpt from open Internet sources in conformance with Copyright Fair Use clauses.  

      Be that as it may, Graffiti has been thrown up on city walls throughout Greece with political commentary and criticism as the prime objectives - not just for the purpose of perpetuating one's tag and/ or displaying one's personal spraycan talents.   It remains to be seen how effective this form of protest will be in the long run.

- Copyright Getty Images ? - This excerpted photo covered by Copyright Fair Use clauses.  

This excerpt from open Internet sources in conformance with Copyright Fair Use clauses.  

This excerpt from open Internet sources in conformance with Copyright Fair Use clauses.  






Graffiti #785
Star Fiche
7 ft high x 21 ft




Graffiti #786
Sticky-lips
6 ft high x 9 ft




Graffiti #787
Junehem
7 ft high x 20 ft



Graffiti #788
More-Is-Less
7 ft high x 11 ft




Graffiti #789
Nicemare
7 ft high x 9 ft




Graffiti #790
Oh My Head....
5 ft high x 4 ft




Graffiti #791
Shelf-portrait
9 ft high x 18 ft




Graffiti, Graffiti , and more Graffiti - Bangkok's original graffiti Site !


   The MIDNITE HOUR Graffiti Page is prepared by Staff Contributor "Boge" Hartman .

(Boge's photo, above, is not a graffiti per-se, although there are those who have insinuated....   
- Ed
)


   --- Datzit Fernow
William R. Morledge


Click
for
LEGAL

  TOP
"The Archives" - All Our Back Issues Here


- 2015 -
01 JAN -    A Go-Go Bar Ratings
01 FEB -    Are Cops Gouging Nitelifers?
01 MAR -   Bad Company
01 APR -    LK Metro - Pattaya

- 2014 -
01 JAN -   Bangkok's Got The Blues
01 FEB -   Soi 26 - Stayin' Alive
01 MAR -    Nightscene rues Mob
01 APR -    My Friend owns a Bar...
01 MAY -    Soi's 3, 5 and 7
01 JUN -    Curfew's Costly Cut
01 JUL -    Soi 13 Makes It's Move
01 AUG -    Pattaya Does The Twist
01 SEP -    Soi's 18 & 20 - Quieter is Better
01 OCT -    Soi's 10 & 14 - Lesser known Sois
01 NOV -    A Good Old Boy...
01 DEC -    Lang Suan & Sarasin

- 2013 -
01 JAN -    Not Fade Away - The Survivors
01 FEB -    Rare Old Photos
01 MAR -   Copa Reprise
01 APR -    Arise, Soi 22
01 MAY -    Where to Next ?
01 JUN -    Bangkok Noir
01 JUL -    MAPS - The Major Update
01 AUG -    Lamai Lamai Lamai
01 SEP -    Tim 'Wanchai' Young
01 OCT -    Soi Wall Street
01 NOV -    Little Thonglor - Soi 11
01 DEC -    Mississippi Queen

- 2012 -
01 JAN -    Mama-San
01 FEB -    Our 10th Anniversary Issue !
01 MAR -    How Gay Nana ?
01 APR -    Sukhumvit' Soi 23 - The Big Picture
01 MAY -    Khao San Road - Unique Bazaar
01 JUN -    Ekamai - It Used To Be Too Far
01 JUL -    Nightlife Pioneers
01 AUG -    The New Puritans
01 SEP -    Nana - On It's Own
01 OCT -    FAIL - War on Nitespot Drugs
01 NOV -    Patpong Unbroken
01 DEC -    Drugs & the Nightscene in History

- 2011 -
01 JAN -    Patpong's 'Glory Days'
01 FEB -    Nightlife In A Digital Age
01 MAR -    Co-Co Walk Plaza
01 APR -    Soi 33 Marches On
01 MAY -    Nightlife Permissiveness
01 JUN -    Ghosts of Nitelife Past
01 JUL -    STATE - The Cinema, Soi & Area
01 AUG -    Soi Darling
01 SEP -    Sri Nakarin South
01 OCT -    Soi 8 Reprise
01 NOV -    Floodless in Bangkok
01 DEC -    Soi Udomsuk

- 2010 -
01 JAN -    Street Bars II - The Triple-Dip
01 FEB -    Our Kind Of Art - II    - Chris Coles
01 MAR -    The Dead Artist Bars - Soi 33
01 APR -    "Soi Ginza" - Thaniya Road
01 MAY -    Night Scene Blues (Red Shirts 1)
01 JUN -    Nitespots Recover Slowly (Reds 2)
01 JUL -    World Cup Special
01 AUG -    Those Old Photos
01 SEP -    The German Invasion
01 OCT -    Racism & Prejudice
01 NOV -    Soi 11 Revisited
01 DEC -    Soi 22 Updater


- 2009 -
01 JAN -    The Santika Fire
01 FEB -    Salt & Pepper
01 MAR -    Nana Plaza - Update & Maps
01 APR -    Soi Nana Update
01 MAY -    The Nightscene & The Riots
01 JUN -    "19" Re-Focus
01 JUL -    Rain Dogs - The Underground
01 AUG -    Soi Thonglor - A bridge-too-far
01 SEP -    Ban Chang - Our Little Secret
01 OCT -    The "Ginza Effect'
01 NOV -    Royal City Avenue (RCA)
01 DEC -    Sutthisan & The Inthamara's

- 2008 -
01 JAN -    2007 - Looking Back
01 FEB -    Owning A Bar
01 MAR -    Expat's Bangkok
01 APR -    Nude Dancing
01 MAY -    After Midnite
01 JUN -    Night Scene In Flux
01 JUL -    Our Kind Of Art
01 AUG -    Trendy Plaza Reprise
01 SEP -    The Elephants Are ....Back
01 OCT -    Grand Prix Intro
01 NOV -    Grand Prix - Rick's Story
01 DEC -    "Old Bangkok Hand"

- 2007-
01 JAN -    Bombs Blast Bangkok
01 FEB -    Bangkok's Nightscene Websites
01 MAR -    Prasitipol Dance Bar To Fall
01 APR -    Soi 5 Neon Review
01 MAY -    A Go-Go Bangkok
01 JUN -    Arise ! Soi 11
01 JUL -    Anatomy Of A Bar Area
01 AUG -    Soi 26 - Too Far ?
01 SEP -    Chuwit Guilty
01 OCT -    Daytime Nana Plaza
01 NOV -    Cowboy - All Of It
01 DEC -    Another Nitespot Area Falls

- 2006 -
01 JAN -    Pattaya Ascending
01 FEB -    A Go-Go Then & Now
01 MAR -    ' Madrid '
01 APR -    White Heat
01 MAY -    Politics & Nightlife
01 JUN -    Fagin's Bratpack
01 JUL -    King Bhumipol's 60th Anniversary
01 AUG -    Soi 10 - The Final Shaft
01 SEP -    Pattaya's Soi Bua Khow
01 OCT -    Rachada's Other Face
01 NOV -    Soi 22s Other Bars
01 DEC -    Soi Eden Goes A Go-Go

- 2005 -
01 JAN -    Asoke Plaza Crushed
01 FEB -    The 'Nana Scene'
01 MAR -    Asoke Plaza Smashed Again
01 APR -    Sukhumvit 1 Plaza 'Arrives'
01 MAY -    Welcome 'Soi Eden'
01 JUN -    Bangkok's Bareback Riders
01 JUL -    Soi 22 - A Macro View
01 AUG -    Nana's Slide
01 SEP -    Cowboy Street Scene
01 OCT -    The Pattaya Run
01 NOV -    Soi 19 In Focus
01 DEC -    Bad Girls

- 2004 -
01 JAN -    Bangkok's Darkest Year
01 FEB -    Where Is Trink ?
01 MAR -    Soi 33 Just Won't Stop
01 APR -    Cracks In The Crackdown
01 MAY -    In The Zone
01 JUN -    "Night-Scene Jumbos
01 JUL -    Easy Square 'On The Map'
01 AUG -    Soi 1 Entertainment Plaza
01 SEP -    Khlong Toey Revisited
01 OCT -    Koh Samui's Night Scene
01 NOV -    Soi 1 Opens
01 DEC -    The Bangkok Pub Scene

- 2003 -
01 JAN -    Cowboy Crackdown
01 FEB -    Sukhumvit Square Smashed
01 MAR -    Soi 10 Survivors
01 APR -    War & The Night Scene
01 MAY -    Entertainment Blues
01 JUN -    '13 Night Market' Reborn
01 JUL -    Clinton Plaza Falls
01 AUG -    Soi 24 Nightscene Review
01 SEP -    Does Soi Nana Measure Up?
01 OCT -    Patpong - Legend & Myth
01 NOV -    Easy Square 'Launched'
01 DEC -    Soi Cowboy Urine-Swoop

- 2002 -
(OUR 2002 TEST COLUMNS :)
01 FEB -    January: Big Changes In Bar Scene
09 JUN -    Sukhumvit Square 'Explosion'

(OUR REGULAR COLUMNS BEGIN :)
20 JUN -    Soi 22's Queen's Park Plaza
01 JUL -    Clinton Plaza - Already Dead?
01 AUG -    Bar Beers Now "Major Players"
16 AUG -    July: Bar Beers Gaining Ground
01 SEP -    A Go-Gos A-building
17 SEP -    Virtual Bars
01 OCT -    A History In The Making
01 NOV -    Pool Bars Come Of Age
01 DEC -    November's Night Follies
15 DEC -    Genesis: Sukhumvit's Night Scene
- 2001 -
20 NOV ( The Seminal Emails )




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