It was September 18 1979, we’d been sitting at the bar drinking our pay cheques, beer after beer, whiskey after whiskey. For the past week we’d been learning that something was coming down something that was going to change the world around us. What they didn’t care about was how much their decisions would change things.
It was a local culture, it was local hang out, no one in the place cared that it mainly catered to young people, merchant seamen and gays. No one there cared about the regular drag shows all they cared about was having a place to hear live music and drink. The only ones to care were the authorities and the owners, it made no difference that the place was packed to the rafters night after night, all that mattered was their own ideas of what was appropriate and what wasn’t.
As those in charge got crazier and got more defensive of their own ideas closure was announced, we were given a weeks notice. The final day would be September 19 1979, they offered free beer, free entertainment barely compensation for what they were doing to justify their dislike for our culture.
Were they warned? Should they have been warned? Did they really need to be warned? They called the police! They broke it up at 10pm! What the hell did they expect when they pushed 4000 pissed off revellers onto the street?
Bridges burned, squad cars swarmed the street, news teams spread through the crowds. By the time the hostile situation was created it was too late. Violence was filling the night. Missiles were thrown, injuries received, cars were burning, they had no chance of containing the hostilities they created.
At the Star Hotel
At the Star Hotel
They better listen ’cause we’re ringin’ a bell
Ain’t no deals, we got nothing to sell
Just a taste of things to come at the Star Hotel