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Volume 16/Issue 14

by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain

Upstairs Fire
25th Anniversary Memorial

Thank you notes and calls have been arriving at the homes and offices of organizers, Dexter Brecht and Toni Pizanie. For most, the word "closure" seemed to be the true blessing of this 25th Anniversary Memorial of the Upstairs Lounge fire at the corner of Chartres and Iberville in New Orleans' French Quarter. Pizanie was quoted as saying, "this is the most rewarding project that I have taken part in planning."

Rev. Brecht spoke of the years of memorial services he has held at the Vieux Carre MCC to remember those who perished in the 1973 fire. "This is the first time the community has come together to offer so much support for this memorial," he recalls.

When called at his home in Los Angeles earlier this year, Rev. Troy Perry was shocked that twenty-five years had passed since the tragedy which brought him rushing to New Orleans. "This terrible fire galvanized the Gay community across the country," Perry told us. The MCC spread the story of the New Orleans tragedy to New York and California and all points between. "Gays and Gay friendly people everywhere were donating blood and sending money to help the victims," Perry recounted.

"It was the Stonewall of New Orleans and it made the Gays of New Orleans know that the next time their community was threatened, they had to organize their strength," Perry continued. Perry painted a vivid picture of the attitude New Orleans showed towards the victims, survivors and their families. The heros who overcame the intolerance and hatred of Gays were the fire department personnel at the site, the Charity Hospital emergency staff, the Rev. Wm. Richardson of St. George's Episcopal Church, the pastor, board and Bishop of the Methodist Church for allowing the use of St. Mark's Methodist Church and several excellent reporters and columnists who covered the story for the Times-Picayune, Vieux Carre Courier and other local papers.

Rev. Brecht's service was an inspiration and included leaders from the New Orleans' religious community such as The Rev. Carole Cotton Winn, District Superintendent of the United Methodist Church, Senior Rabbi Edward Paul Cohn of Temple Sinai, and The Rev. Kay Thomas, Pastor of Grace Fellowship in Christ Jesus.

The Honorable Troy Carter, District C Councilperson, spoke and read the list of thirty-two names who perished in the fire. Thirty-two individuals from our diverse community came forward as the victims' names were read. The representatives filled the front of the room as a striking image of how many died. Our Vieux Carre Councilman also led the jazz funeral procession from the Royal Sonesta to the site of the fire where flowers were placed.

Toni Pizanie read a statement from The Honorable William Jefferson who also sent an arrangement of flowers. Congressman Jefferson was in Washington, D C.

The event was so well attended that additional chairs had to be brought in for late comers. It was estimated that over 150 people were in attendance and more joined the procession.

The organizers expressed their appreciation for the support of time and money which was generously given. An offering was taken for a memorial plaque which will be placed in the sidewalk at Chartres and Iberville.

Corporate sponsors of the event were Ambush Mag 2000, Ariodante, Councilman Troy Carter, Crescent City Guest House, FM Books, Impact, Perfect Presentations, Phylway Construction, Royal Sonesta Hotel, Royal Tobacconist, and Vieux Carre Metropolitan Community Church. Patrons were Dexter Brecht, Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain, Charles Garrison, Paul Killgore, Donald St. Pierre, Robert Turner, Toni J. P. Pizanie, and Robert Udick. Sponsors were Gulf Area Gender Alliance, Crystal Little, and the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Issues. Donations to the plaque fund can be made through the VCMCC at 1128 St. Roch, NOLA 70117 or call 504.945.5390. Please indicate "fire memorial" on checks.

Miller Celebrates 2nd Year
As Official Beer of

In a show of continued support for the GLBT Community, Miller Brewing will continue as the Official Southern Decadence Beer of southerndecadence.com for the second year. The deal was signed July 2nd.

Miller will cosponsor all future ads appearing in the Official Southern Decadence Bar Rag, AMBUSH Mag 2000 and will be the exclusive beer banner rep @ www.southerndecadence.com.

Robin Malta Named Southern Decadence Grand Marshal XXVIRobin

Hoards of Southern Decadence revelers filled the Parade, 801 Bourbon, for the 26th Southern Decadence Grand Marshal's [SDGM] Coronation. Outgoing SDGM XXV Hurricane Love named Robin Malta SDGM XXVI.

Robin is a hairdresser at Bourbon Cuts, Ltd. and appeared last Decadence in Petronius' production of The Boys in The Band. "Deliriously Decadent Divas: a Salute to Sitcom Reruns," is Robin's chosen theme.

The 1st SDGM Fredrick Wright was there and other has beens [grand marshals, that is] spotted included Fish, Mumbo and Ms. Fly. Conspicuously absent was the Susan Lucci of Southern Decadence, Smurf.

The coronation show featured Oz Show Director Lisa Beaumann as emcee, with a bevy of real beauties entertaining throughout the festivities. Stars included Bourbon Pub/Parade's Essence Holiday and Teal Ashton; Mother Bob's Eva Las Vegas, Lady T, Bianca Page and Danae Daniels, Footloose's Rikki Redd, Wild Side's Ineeda Roch and Mumbo; Lucky Cheng's Paloma; Melika [even her water broke on stage]; Gloria Towers and Blaise.

Hurricane Love, now a has been, has been "downgraded to a non/tropical depression," according to Golden Lantern bartender Timmy.

Watch for upcoming info in future issues, and check out the latest @ www.southerndecadence.com.

Budweiser Is Exclusive Beer Sponsor
of GAA For 3rd Year

The 12th Annual Gay Appreciation Awards [GAA] will see Budweiser as exclusive beer sponsor. This is the 3rd year of Budweiser sponsorship, demonstrating Budweiser's continued support of the GLBT community.

The awards gala will be on National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11th, 8pm, Body & Soul, 2300 Chartres, New Orleans.

Nomination ballots appear in the AMBUSH Mag 2000 Aug. 7th edition.

Public voting will occur during PrideFest '98, Sept. 26th & 27th, Armstrong Park, New Orleans.

GAA Board of Directors include President Sonny Cleveland, Vice President Toni Pizanie, Lisa Beaumann, Teryl-Lynn Foxx, Mickey Gil, Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain and Rhyn Pate.

Budweiser is exclusive beer sponsor on GAA's website @ www.ambushmag.com. In addition, Budweiser will cosponsor all future GAA ads appearing in AMBUSH Mag 2000.

Local Bars Bring On The Festivities

It has been an action packed few weeks bringing revelers out and about. Lucille and her "Trash Gang," led by emcee Mess Thompson brought new meaning to "trash," putting on an extravaganza that only the Golden Lantern, Official Home of Southern Decadence, could master. These girls came prepared with lawn chairs, yard fans and some of the most fabu "trash fashions" anyone could possibly see in one lifetime. Of course, the reason some of these girls were so pretty is because they had participated in Lantern Fridays earlier. You get your second drink free if you wear your Lantern Trash T-shirt during Happy Hour. Anyway, the girls demonstrated their talents getting them "out of the trailer ya know!"

Oz's Neon Party VI was one hell of a blowout celebrating this popular club's anniversary. Only the first 500 revelers got "glow sticks," with many displayed on very provocative areas of the bod. The festive neon decor got dance revelers in party mode enjoying loads of free champagne and hors d'oeuvres. Congrats guys, ya'll outdid yourselves once again.

Corner Pocket diehards had this popular financial district establishment packed as the weekend dancers on the bar top displayed their wares. Ms. Fly has a quite a few new ones in her stable of hard male flesh. However, the old ones are not to be overlooked. They remain as popular as the newest meat on Ms. Fly, oops, on the bar top, that is.

Prom Night was just a hit at popu- lar Westbank bar Lance's Pub. Many of the revelers celebrated the theme in formal attire, complete with corsages and boutonnieres. A photographer was on hand, taking pics of the happy couple, and owner Lance donated the $50 proceeds to The Living Room. No prom is complete without its own king and queen, and this night was for King Stan and Queen Crystal Lee.

Footloose is going high tech on us from Intellabeams to the brand new wall mounted TVs with some of the hottest videos in town. Undies Mondays are picking up as revelers arrive in their underwear drinking at Happy Hour prices 9pm-2am. If you don't know what to do, let bartender Chris show you the way. And with all the great weekend entertainment here, you don't want to miss The Redd Revue on Thursdays featuring hot male dancers under the direction of show mistress Rikki Redd.

Double Play hostess Miss Do has been quite busy enter- taining friends from St. Louis to Rampart Street. Yes, you not only get to experience the "magic" of Do behind the bar at the Double Play, you may see her just about anywhere. She spreads the wealth with her entourage of friends as she goes on her weekly, and sometimes even daily, bar runs.

The Bourbon Pub/Parade had another hit on its hands as angelic go-go boys tantalized fans at "Heaven: A Night of Celestial Proportions." DJ Darren Thomas pumped up Parade fans with his version of heavenly sounds while DJs Chuck Boudreaux and Wayne Mancuso kept the Pub hopping just as heavenly.

MRB gears up for Miss Dixie's 30th Anniversary Celebration of her 58th Birthday. Petronius joins MRB presenting the birthday blowout including buffet and cake on July 9th, 8pm. Miss Dixie is definitely a New Orleans legend receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at last year's Gay Appreciation Awards.

The Westbank's newest bar Cheers, "where old and new friends meet," is preparing for their grand opening gala on July 11th. Featuring the incredible talents of Sherreece, this blowout promises to be one to remember with fabu door prizes including accommodations for 2 at some very hot resorts. This is one of the friendliest clubs we have ever been to. It has that "down the bayou" friendly natural atmosphere. Give it a try...you will not be disappointed!

A trip to Metairie brought us out to Angles. We were treated to the talents of Ricki Comeaux, and can this hot, young woman sing! It is amazing how much talent is out there for all to enjoy. This is one act you won't want to miss.

Rubyfruit Jungle features Ricki Comeaux every Sunday 6-9pm, effective July 12th. Now is your chance to see this dynamic talent. Ricki's act is followed by GAA DJ of the Year Mary Pappas spinnin' all your favorites. "Dare to be tempted" with Rubyfruit's weekly lineup of action packed festivities.

Mother Bob is back and well after a short hospital stay. The Rampart Street legend's rescheduled 78th birthday bash is set for Fri., July 10th. The BBQ is at 7:30pm followed by Mother Bob's Birthday show at 10pm. And let's not forget Mother Bob's newest addition every Thursday, Karaoke with rising star, Ineeda Roch, at 8:30pm.

New Orleans newest pub, The Other Way, 700 Burgundy, has opened under the direction of Marlene Lee and Helena Montablano. The women have really cleaned and spruced up the place, displaying some very hot female nudes with male nudes to follow. The Other Way is catering to the entire GLBT community, bringing the newest party pub to Burgundy St. Slidell's only GLBT bar, Billy's, will celebrate its 4th Anniver- sary Weekend. Located at 2600 Hwy. 189 West, the club will host its Silver Dollar Night on July 17th. The premiere performance of "Northshore's Nasty Girls" will headline the July 18th festivities, while patrons will be treated to free well and draft at the Anniversary Cocktail Party on July 19th.

Con Artist Alert

Several new, and even an old pair of cons are on the loose in the Baton Rouge/New Orleans areas. Beware of those individuals promising you great profits, and it will hardly cost you anything.

Some cons are even giving away their latest service or product, in hopes of luring you in, so they can scam money out of you later, for those very services or products. One pair of cons have resurfaced after disappearing some 6-8 months ago. They allegedly left town scamming thousands of dollars out of investors and partners. In addition, they also allegedly owe venders, associates and many of their employees.


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