In the late 80's, I was attending the University of Chicago, trying for the second time to complete my undergraduate degree. I was studying Physics and East Asian Studies. I started hanging out on the North Side of Chicago at the Cabaret Metro and Smart Bar where I discovered an amazing community. As someone exploring online communities at the time, I found myself learning more about what I wanted to learn - communities, culture, compassion, punk rock - than I was learning in school so I dropped out to become a regular DJ at Limelight and a occasional DJ at Smart Bar under the late, great, Mark Stephens. I wrote about this period of my life in a bit more detail in a previous blog post.
I was in Chicago recently and was able to record a conversation with Metro owner Joe Shanahan, former DJ from the period Jeff Pazen and Aldona who worked the bar at Metro and Smart Bar back in the day. We talked about music, nightclubs, Chicago and the 1980s.