Iconic nightclub closes • A pitch for baseball • Dark side of nostalgia • Wollywood • Ottawa Circus School • Canada’s packrat • How long will you live? • Brooke & Brittany Henderson
Zaphod Beeblebrox had a particular alchemy that kept it going for two and a half decades. The ByWard Market nightclub, founded by iconic impresario Eugene Haslam in 1992, was beloved by no single subculture: the goths, punks, ravers, rockers, and mods all embraced it and bumped up against one another on the sticky dance floor. It was a place to discover new music, via both the DJ booth and the live stage.
On the last hurrah weekend before it closed, regulars sidled up to one another in the booths to share their “I saw so and so before they were famous” stories while downing Zaphod’s signature cocktail: the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, a saccharine mixture of Peach Schnapps and Blue Curaçao.
This Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy-inspired way station between Toronto and Montreal welcomed everyone from Alanis Morissette to The Zolas over the years. Many spent their campus years developing their musical tastes at Zaphod’s. The live shows would wrap up by 11 p.m. to make room for the dance floor devotees, who would jump and fist-pump to the shout-along choruses of Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out”(or whatever was the indie-rock banger du jour).
This golden formula of concert venue and nightclub sustained the bar through busts and booms, but alas, it was to be no longer. As culprits, new ownership cited economic woes and a digital culture that sees people finding music and mates online. This, during the same year that the mayor gave funds toward a city music strategy, just may mean a whole rethink on how we get out, gather, and rock on.