Jul 15, 2015

"Open Up the Closet Door": The Theme Song of 300 Nights in a Leather Bar

In West Hollywood, gay bars always had a theme song that you would hear over and over, at least once an hour, every time you visited.

From 1985 to 1993, I went to Mugi, the Asian bar in Hollywood, almost every Saturday night, sometimes Wednesday or Friday, too.  That means that I heard "One Night in Bangkok" at least 300 times.

From 1990 to 1995, I went to the Faultline, the leather bar on Melrose, near Los Angeles City College.  There were some Asian guys there, too, of course.

I was there almost every Sunday afternoon, sometimes Friday or Saturday, too.  So I heard their theme song over 300 times.

I never heard it anywhere else. I didn't know the title or the group, and I didn't bother asking.

It seemed to be a Gay Pride anthem:

Open up the closet door, watch out, here I come.

Although some of the lyrics seemed to involve a bar pickup:

You, I don't even know your name, baby.
You, something something, baby.

With a chorus:
Round, round, round, round, something something baby, round round round round.

Years later, I heard the song again, at the gym of all places, and it brought me back to those many nights and Sunday afternoons surrounded by shirtless and leather-clad men.  When I got home, I did an internet search.

It's "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)", by the British band Dead or Alive, released in December 1984, peaked at #4 on the dance charts in January 1985.

Boy, did I get the lyrics wrong!  The "gay pride anthem":

Open up your lovin' arms, watch out here I come.

The bar pickup:

If I, I get to know your name, baby
Then I could trace your private number, baby

No specific gay content, although the lead singer of the bad was the fabulously feminine Peter Burns (bottom left), an androgyne in the mold of Boy George, who married a woman and then a man, but divorced him and declared in homophobic contempt that "gay marriage doesn't work.  It's better to marry a woman."

Other members were Mike Percy, Steve Coy, and Tim Lever.

I'm still trying to figure out why an androgynous dance number was the theme song in a leather bar with no androgyny and no dancing.

See also: One Night in Bangkok