I’m not religious, but I do thank god camera phones, as they were called before anyone ever thought to say “smartphone,” didn’t exist when I started going out downtown. It was sometime in the early ‘90s; pinning down a precise date is tough because my Facebook won’t scroll back that far.
When my friends and I weren’t hanging out at P.B. Bar and Grill, Moondoggies (which is about to become Backyard Kitchen & Tap; see Fare Enough), Moose McGillycuddy’s (now Typhoon Saloon), Fibber McGee’s (which became RT’s Longboard Grill and then Cabo Cantina), Billy Bones (which became Margarita Rocks and then Bar West) or our other beach-area faves, we’d often party at what was then the nightlife beacon of the Galsamp, Olé Madrid (which became Voyeur, which is about to become Cake; see Join the Club).
Moby was the techno king of the day, and today’s Electro house (an EDM term that didn’t exist yet, much like the term “EDM” itself ) mega-star Hardwell was about five years old.
As for me, I was Dancing Boy. I had two awkward signature moves and a few less elegant ones that made those two look smooth by comparison, but that didn’t stop me from tearing up the dance floor in my standard uniform: baggy jeans, Doc Martens and a vest... without a t-shirt underneath.
There’s a pic you won’t (and wouldn’t want to) find on Insta. I only wish that were the most embarrassing thing I’ve done on the San Diego nightlife scene.
In 1999, against all odds, I found my wife at a gay bar, Rich’s in Hillcrest (now celebrating its 23rd year). And now, after all these years, it’s time for me to come out of the closet... well, out of the liquor cabinet, anyway.
This may not be the best way to reveal such news about my private life (especially to my mother), but I have to get it off my chest.
I got a DUI.
It was nearly four years ago, on the night of the ShamROCK St. Patrick’s Day block party in the Gaslamp. I was driving up 11th Avenue to jump on the 5 North and head home when a cop lit me up and told me to get out of the car. As I stood on the side of the road with one foot off the ground and my eyes closed, counting backwards by sevens from 96 to 43, a dozen cars honked to help celebrate my achievement, and at least two people shouted Asshole! or the like.
One guy driving by yelled, “Take a cab next time, Perloff!”
I checked into jail looking like a preppy skinhead - my scalp showing as a result of the St. Baldrick’s shave-a-thon for kids’ cancer charities five days earlier (thanks for making me look almost like a badass during my time on the inside, Jamie Lynn Sigler) - and wearing my current standard nightlife uniform: jeans and a t-shirt... no vest.
No on-the-scene photographers ever took shots of me in my dancing days, but SDPD sure has me in their collection of nightlife photos.
I regret putting others in danger by driving under the influence, which I must admit having done over a span of decades. It may have been my expired registration sticker that got me pulled over, but it was my blood alcohol-content that got me handcuffed.
When I got home from jail about 16 hours later (check-out was backed up due to all the St. Patrick’s Day DUI checkpoints), I found my registration sticker in the mail. It had arrived that morning.
Please enjoy this Nightclub & Bar issue of PacificSD, dear Reader. The San Diego scene is exploding, so get out there and have a blast... and then call Uber. When you do, one thing you won’t have to worry about is finding me behind the wheel. Like Car2Go, Uber doesn’t accept drivers who’ve had a DUI within the past five years.
Oh, and definitely get a smog check when the DMV sends you a notice, lest you end up with a picture (it’s called a mugshot - sorry, Mom!) that’s worth a thousand words, not to mention $10,000 in fines and legal fees.
David Perloff, Editor-in-Chief