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Update: Laguna's Boom Boom Room Rescue Efforts

Boom1_2

In June I posted about efforts that were underway to save the centerpiece of Laguna Beach's gay nightlife, the historic Boom Boom Room and Coast Inn. Since then, signature gatherers have stationed themselves outside the town's gay businesses and have managed to collect over 3,000 signatures from supporters of their cause.

The Boom Boom Room will close in September when its lease runs out unless a petition drive, led by Laguna resident Fred Karger, can save it.

Support has been strong, despite certain pockets of homophobia, including an incident in which a man driving a speeding car heaved a cup of coffee at coordinator Jeff Delancey. The effort now has its own blog, and its own set of Lane Twins.

Save the Boom [blog]

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Efforts Underway to Save Laguna's Boom Boom Room [tr]
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Comments

  1. When I visited last summer it wasn't overly impressive; just a nice gay bar, a cool place to sit and have a drink away from the scary heterosexual teenage girls of Laguna Beach. That's sad if it does close since it is a gay landmark of sorts. It's even part of the chorus of a 6ths song:

    "Highway 405 will take you
    from the Boom Boom Room
    to Interstate 5, which goes right to
    the San Diego Zoo..."

    Posted by: GBM | Jul 28, 2006 9:35:17 AM


  2. It sounds like a good cause. I would like to know, though, the name of the devastatingly handsome young fellow standing in the first picture! Yikes! Can you say "Hot?"

    Posted by: JT | Jul 28, 2006 9:39:49 AM


  3. I love Stephin Merrit and Claudia Gonson.

    Posted by: tylercurtain | Jul 28, 2006 10:18:00 AM


  4. Good luck to them, but how pathetic to see a box for Coors in the picture. Might as well be sitting on a sign that says, "I'd trade my dignity and civil rights for a cold beer anytime." Or "Pete Coors supports ripping gays out of the Constitution. Why stop there? Let's change the Constitution so we can have Bush for President forever!"

    And speaking of the Lane Twins, their one time assthrob will be interviewed on "Access Hollywood" today talking about his boy band boyfriend.

    Posted by: Leland | Jul 28, 2006 10:55:19 AM


  5. Hey, Andy: The comments button isn't working on the Kansas B & B story. I wanted to suggest a pay-pal account to send queer money to the Knights.

    Posted by: JT | Jul 28, 2006 10:55:48 AM


  6. Leland! What the hell's going on? Your e-mail seems to dislike mine? Didn't Coors make some sort of amends like Miller did? And it doesn't matter anyway, since Coors is now owned by Molson, a Canadian company...Canada, where we can marry.

    Posted by: JT | Jul 28, 2006 11:08:08 AM


  7. Priorities?

    At least I can now clearly see what important "issues" fire up the young, hot, masculine guys. You can't get more than a handful to show up to demonstrate for the repeal of DADT, for marriage equality, against GLBT discrimination or in support/memorial of a victim of anti-gay violence; but let someone threaten to close a gay bar and the GQ brigade shows up with petitions.

    I just can't believe, with all that's going on in the world today, this is the thing that fires these guys up.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jul 28, 2006 11:40:52 AM


  8. Zeke,

    Whilst I completely understand your indignation, the tone of suprise I sense in your post surprises me to some degree.

    Take a look around you in this room: Andy (no skank in the looks department himself) has to liberally lard this room with beefcake and almost-nudity to drive hits and retain visitors for longer periods of time. Imagine if the site were illustrated with Wall Street Journal-type pointillistic portraits of Gertrude Stein, Walt Whitman and, urp, Lance Bass. Would you visit as often? Would you stay as long?

    The fact is, and it's no knock on Andy, that we live in a looks-obsessed culture. We're all complicit. The fact that Andy puts some solid cultural information and news beneath the gloss of pectoral sugar is to be applauded because it leverages this inanity into something that may just spur a few people to think beyond gay bar closures and get active on matters of greater substance.

    DB

    Posted by: Becks07 | Jul 28, 2006 12:01:27 PM


  9. I think Zeke was talking about the priorities of the Boom Boom Room activists pictured above--young, hip homos who apparently can show support when they want to, but a tribe that you rarely see at most other causes that ask for their attention, support, or helping hands.

    Posted by: GBM | Jul 28, 2006 12:53:51 PM


  10. I just read the most recent post on their website to see if they have other social issues for which they'd be willing to die in a ditch. They seem like a bunch of well-intentioned folks who have far too much time on their hands and probably would march in protest if there were a ballot initiative to prohibit drinking red wine with fish. It was painful to read the appalling use of the language the Bush administration would like to nationalize ("all be it," they wrote in the first sentence!). But I soldiered on, and I think I now agree with Zeke.

    Posted by: JT | Jul 28, 2006 2:27:05 PM


  11. GBM, that was exactly what I was talking about. Thanks.

    JT, I didn't go to their website before I posted my comment. Thanks for giving them the benefit of the doubt that I, unfortunately, didn't. I'm glad to hear that I didn't completely stick my foot in my mouth, as I sometimes do with my knee jerk comments. At the same time I'm sorry that you didn't find that these guys' mission statement didn't go a little deeper than saving their watering hole.

    Perhaps once they've saved the Boom Boom Room they will consider redirecting their time, money, resources, enthusiasm and hot little selves to other causes that affect more than their entertainment options.

    We old geezers (39) could use the help!

    Posted by: Zeke | Jul 28, 2006 4:34:04 PM


  12. Zeke: I don't even think it's to save "their" watering hole. I think the issue is that they feel strongly that being gay is about "place." I get the distinct impression that they really do think they're doing something noble, but it seems to be more about saving an icon rather than doing anything about what the icon stands for.

    I won't get on the "I'm so old" bandwagon...the last time I did that I got (what to the young 'uns call it?) flamed. I will say, though, that it doesn't seem that Laguna Beach is a hotbed of radicalism of any sort, so this may be as controversial as it gets there. Sorry, folks from that part of the world. I'm from Michigan, we think our lakes are oceans.

    Posted by: JT | Jul 28, 2006 4:48:32 PM


  13. JT, I think you are giving these guys a little more credit than they deserve. I'm 21 and from Laguna and find that most of the homosexual guys my age in this area lack complete depth and cause. I rolled my eyes when I heard about this and think there are far bigger fish to fry. I mean, "all be it," for Christ's sake! I agree with Zeke. Call me a jaded young'un, if you wish.

    Posted by: Alex | Jul 28, 2006 6:25:16 PM


  14. I hope they tear down the BOOM BOOM Room and replace with yuppy condos. We don't need no stinkin' places for old farts to oogle us hot and hung studs. We need good dance clubs. But I love you all!

    Posted by: Krishnan | Jul 28, 2006 9:46:04 PM


  15. I've had occasion to spend more than a fair amount of time in Laguna in the past nine months, and I have to admit the Boom Boom Room is not the worst place I've been. And I live in New York, so it doesn't get more jaded than this!

    I hope they can save it for the sake of its icon status. But there is no question the gay "community" -- whatever that is -- spends relatively little time frying the fish of the day. Even for gay rights, HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, whatever the cause, it's like pulling teeth to get the boys involved in a serious way. It's sad but true. But maybe if and when the Boom Boom Room is saved, some of these guys ought to think about setting up a card table to discuss the Middle East (have you seen the gas prices in So Cal lately???) and the criminal Bush administration, and start a political dialogue. We can only dream.

    [Rant] And I have to deal with the comment above about Coors. The Coors company made huge efforts to make amends and appeal to the gay community (AIDS research contributions, advertising, hiring Mary Fucking Cheney) and tried to deal with their other travesties as a company (disctiminatory labor practices, etc.).

    The bottom line for me as a gay man with some degree of taste is that Coors is one of the worst beers on the planet, so I don't understand why anyone would actually drink one. But be that as it may, whatever bullshit efforts the company made to deal with their image, the bulk of the profits accrue to the Coors family, who represent the most disgusting, reactionary, anti-gay, racist elements in our society, and they put their money where their hate is. Therefore, there is no fucking way any self-respecting gay person or politically aware person should ever touch that swill. And by the way, Molson did NOT buy Coors. It was a merger, essentially of equals, and a Coors exec held onto the CEO position and the family still retains a massive amount of stock.
    [/End rant]

    Posted by: So Left I'm Right | Jul 28, 2006 11:42:04 PM


  16. JT, I guess I'm being a bit judgmental on these guys. There seems to be something about approaching 40 that turns a man into his father with the grumbling and the wagging of the finger at the "whipper stappers", constantly murmuring under his breath about how kids today don't understand what's really important. When did I become that man? It's creepin me out!

    The truth is, I'm glad these guys are fighting for SOMETHING. Hopefully they'll be successful in this endeavor and it will inspire them to continue with community and national activism on a higher level.

    For all I know this is but one of various causes for which they advocate. I hope it is and I hope they maintain their enthusiasm for standing up for what is important to them. The world and the gay community can always use more social justice advocates.

    Alex, I'm glad to hear that you at 21 are concerned about the "bigger fish to fry". Take your energy and enthusiasm, find a cause and fight for it. It is your generation and the next that will bring in the next great wave of gay rights and visibility.

    Rock on!

    Posted by: Zeke | Jul 29, 2006 12:50:03 AM


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