It’s great timing for our issue on gay nightlife because I’ve just become a professional part of it. In the last Audiophile I mentioned that I was booked to DJ a party at Central Station. Would you believe that my set went over so well I was offered a Saturday night residency? Well, it s true so starting March 7, the date this issue hits the street, I’ll be at the club serving a heaping helping of House beats. Come out and party with me if you can.

I’ll do my best to provide you the same energy and excitement I have received over the years from my favorite DJs and nightclubs. And, looking back, there are definitely a few periods of my club-going life that stand out from the pack.

The earliest of these watershed eras is going to Power Company in Winston-Salem while I was still in high school. My best friend, Anthony, and I would make the 20-minute drive from Lexington on the weekends to hang out in the parking lot during operating hours. Sometimes the doorman would be in just the right mood and let us in when alcohol sales were over. We loved those nights on the dancefloor free from the strictures of our small-town existence. This is without a doubt what cemented the enduring love affair we both have with dance music.

Lisa Lisa And Cult Jam where dancefloor faves in the mid-80s.

Five great songs of the era
Can You Feel The Beat Lisa Lisa And Cult Jam With Full Force
How To Be A Zillionaire ABC
I Like You Phyllis Nelson
Point Of No Return Exposé
Say It, Say It E.G. Daily

I went to college in Greensboro and immediately leaped out of the closet. Clubbing was a weekly ritual for the gay crowd I ran with. However, we were far too grand for any of the three gay spots in the city. No, we had to trek to Durham every Thursday night for College Night at Power Company. Back then, the place was like Mecca for 18-24-year-olds. You’d rub elbows and more if it was a good night with students from Carolina, State, Duke and points all across the map. On occasion guys from as far away as UNC-Wilmington would make the trip to see what the hype was about. Most nights, it was justified.

Five great songs of the era
Express Yourself Madonna
Left To My Own Devices Pet Shop Boys
Theme from S Express S Express
This Time I Know It’s For Real Donna Summer
What s On Your Mind (Pure Energy) Information Society

After settling in Charlotte, I was fortunate to experience the third great renaissance of Scorpio in the mid-90s. The place was a melting pot of all ages, income levels and scenes. From young crossdressed hookers to AARP-qualified bank execs, everybody could be found in the place on a Saturday night.

The more adventurous guys started dancing with their shirts off to show off their tats and nipple piercings, which were just starting to enter the gay mainstream. Nightclubbing in this era felt like an act of gay activism as we celebrated ourselves, our bodies and our sexuality. I wish we could bring that feeling back.

Five great songs of the era
Fired Up Funky Green Dogs
Magic Carpet Ride Mighty Dub Katz
Professional Widow Tori Amos
Sugar Is Sweeter C.J. Bolland
The Bomb Bucketheads


David Stout

David Stout is the associate editor of QNotes. He can be reached at