#TBT: From the Weird to the Scary — Gay Bar Ads, 1969

By Christopher Harrity

Originally published on Advocate.com May 15 2014 4:00 AM ET

Granted, the times were scary. Gay bars in Los Angeles still went through periodic shakedowns by the police. There were secret codes, like a song change or the lights flashing, to let you know to find a female partner to dance with. Female impersonation was still illegal in some areas, although performing in drag was not. Compared to now, 1969 was still the dark ages of gay.

 

 

A drunken grabby-handed clown. Sure, I'm up for that, but only if they serve brunch.

Wait. Is this a bar for leather queens into show tunes? If so, I'm there!

A great place to run into that cute guy from accounting, your high school vice-principal, or maybe even your dad.

Sometimes a snake is just a snake. But this isn't one of them.

Fun! Fun! Fun! And a rest-room.

If you didn't see him at The Closet, try here.

Yes, meat, we got it. OK.

Old-timers still talk about this place — must have been fun. Great artwork by the prolific illustrator Sean.

I go for the naked sailors and the 10-cent hot dogs.

Foreshadowing Devo and the Talking Heads.

Another great illustration by Sean for the classic L.A. bar.


Occupy David.

See you there with the other savages. Wear your barbecue grill as a vest. It's so hot right now.