The World’s Worst Strip Club DJ part 1


A 5-part essay by Jerry DeCicca 
1 |  2 | 3 | 4 | 5 

  When my band, The Black Swans, needed money to complete our third album and I could feel the transmission beginning to fall out of my 1994 Taurus, I took a gig DJ-ing at a strip club near the airport in Columbus, Ohio.

The Centerfold Club sits on the corner of Johnstown and Stelzer Road, a few miles away from Port Columbus International Airport. A yellow sign, its name in white script across a top hat, a cane, and a bubbling bottle of champagne at the edge of a gravel parking lot. Across the street, a BP gas station and an unnamed used tire store advertise their prices at a similar height. The far edge of the airport’s runway is separated by a metal fence. There’s little else around.

The front door is a thick slab of wood. As I step into a tiny well-lit lobby, two men wearing black pants and un-tucked tuxedo shirts greet me with grunts. One is black, the other is white. They look like warriors at a Paleolithic prom, their voices characters in video games. Red and white signs on the lobby’s wall list the house rules: no one can enter with a firearm, anyone under the age of 30 pays a ten dollar cover charge, a two drink minimum for everyone. In adverts in one of our town’s weekly papers, the bar sells itself as “The upscale over 30’s club.” The number indicates the age of the clientele base, not that of the employees. I tell the door guys I’m here to see a friend, and they wave me in without asking for money, ID, or patting me down.

I knew John from 10 years of playing in bands. I play folk music, death-march slow, dark and odd. John sings rock-n-roll, having fronted the groups Barbed Wire Dolls, Alabama Thunderpussy, and Devil’s Choice. Knowing his straight job was DJ-ing at the strip club, I told him if a few shifts ever opened, I was his man.

“It’s a soul-sucking job,” John said, quick and cold.

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About isomorphismes

Argonaut: someone engaged in a dangerous but potentially rewarding adventure.
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