Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Rise and Fall of Orbit Room

Another rare, special edition post to let you know I care...

I miss Nunzio. I miss his amazing taste and sense of fun and style he had with bars and restaurants. The first place of his I visited was Bazooka Cafe, in 1985, where Angelina's, on Broadway and Addison, is now. It was a cool, kitchy place to have a tuna sandwich, when my friends and I had some extra cash. And Orbit Room, well, it was Mecca for the hip crowd, back then. I took special care to be sure I looked cool in the right way for that place, usually clad in liberal amounts of 1960's thrift finds. If someone said during the course of the night, Let's go to Orbit Room! I would say no if I wasn't dressed properly. On one of the few nights the dance floor wasn't packed, I remember Nunzio dancing to Brass Monkey by himself. He enjoyed his creations as much as everyone else did. Orbit Room's DJ's spun tunes very few dance clubs had the nerve to spin at the time.
It was hard for me to have a conversation with Nunzio; his quick mind racing from one topic to the next before I knew he had changed it. I often ran into him in the 'deposits' line at the bank, his motorcycle jacket on his 6"3" frame towering over us all. He always had a kind word for me, and a big laugh. How can anyone be this cheery this time of day? I would think to myself. Nunzio has since passed on, but the nights I spent with him and in his environs, I'll never forget.

Scot visited me this summer and brought with him a huge collection of photographs from the 80's for me to scan. He had the foresight to photograph the demolition of Orbit Room, in gloomy black and white, with Beth. Scot was always buying ashtrays for that place, for the customers constantly smashed them. Back then, huge tacky 1960's ashtrays were a dime a dozen in any thrift store. Scot invited me to Orbit Room's last party, some time during 1988, but I didn't go. The next day he told me how everyone ripped the place a part to take home a tangible memory of one of the coolest clubs in Chicago:
The Rise and Fall of Orbit Room

And as a extra special bonus, here's a Medusa's booklet. That's right! Booklet!
Medusas's 3rd Anniversary 1986
(Featuring Rex as the cover model. And click on any image to see it larger.)

Link: Beastie Boys

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