I’m sure you’re aware of the media blitz that has surrounded my book “Retired Teenagers: the story of a Glasgow club night“. There’s been interviews with the Glasgow Times, Greater Govanhill, and even a print ad in December’s issue of The Skinny (page 44, obvs).
Glasgow World interviewed me about my meetings with “Arctic Monkeys, MGMT and even Frank McAvennie“, and also picked through the photo archives publishing two sets of photo albums “16 pictures of Glasgow’s forgotten clubs of the 2000s” and “Remembering clubbing in the Glasgow in the 2000s“. These photo albums were, Glasgow World tells me, wildly popular clickbait phenomenons. So I’ve set out below even more of those nostalgic Glasgow clubbing photographs you can’t get enough of, but that didn’t meet Glasgow World’s frankly mysterious criteria. Enjoy!
Where to start? Through a series of events too preposterous to quickly describe here, I attended Morrissey’s 50th birthday party in Manchester. The NME was going full Heat magazine at the time, but I gave my exclusive photos of the big man with his cake and gold disc to the Pin Ups fanzine (I made 100 copies every month). For the incredible details of my conversation with Moz, you’ll have to get the book.
Editors were our Guest DJs at our first ever night in Glasgow’s mythical Woodside Social Club. Bassist Russel had been using his iPod to DJ, and contacted me the next day to say he thought it had been nicked. It felt unlikely, as he had been totally smashed. The only thing any other star guest ever had stolen from them was their dignity.
Edith Bowman, and Tom Editor (as the NME might call him) below. A few months before, the Pin Ups Fanzine had contained “Edith Bowman’s Top Picks for 2005”, identifying buzz bands like Simply Red and Jamiroquai as her ones to watch.
Yes, the Woodside Social Club was weird and atmospheric. Yes, there was also no cloakroom, there was a mad bar queue, it was roasting hot because there was no air conditioning, the place smelled vaguely (some would say more than vaguely) of urine, and you couldn’t get back in if you want to go out for a smoke after 12.
(Is this chap waving his underpants? The club wasn’t called The Woody for nothing, you know.)
Guest DJ Rick Witter put on Disco Down, then joined the dancefloor. On the night we awarded a special Witter-themed Goody Bag (maracas, shades, flares, wig, signed Shed 7 Best Of) for the person with the funniest tiebreak question answer. The question was “Feel like you’ve been to every single disco all around?”. Sadly there is no record of the winning answer.
Glasgow buzz band Pop Up, below, played our third birthday. Listen to the still terrific Chinese Burn here.
In comparison to The Woody, The Beat Club was a proper club in the middle of Sauchiehall Street, with 2 levels, air conditioning, lights, and a smoking balcony.
Guest DJs The National were edgy that they were posing on Sauchiehall Street at 3am with some sort of problematic flag. It was of course just the Pin Ups Banner, artisan hand spray-painted by yours truly.
The first Ladies Night was at The Beat Club. We did 5 in total. I said that if I ever again tried to put together a line up as horrendously complicated as Ladies Night 3, folk had permission to immediately shoot me. There’s a wee bit of video here. Tracyanne Campbell, Carey Lander, Victoria Bergsman, Emmy Kate & Marie Kenickie, Manda Rin Bis and Tabitha Queens of Noize (to name a few) all got involved.
There were many one-off Pin Ups parties. Only Stavka was visionary enough to give us almost a thousand pounds of budget to spend. Here, contestants at “Pin Ups Merry Cliffmas” limber up for “Sit On Santas Knee” and “The Mince Pie Eating Competition”.
Pin Ups kicked off over 4 wonderful years at The Flying Duck with a Glam Night. Back in the autumn of 2008, Patrick Wolf was red-hot. Not only had Pitchfork just given his 3rd album The Magic Position an 8.3, but he got onto the decks at Pin Ups wearing his very best mankini, while clutching a cuddly toy.
James Twilight Sad and Aidan Arab Strap DJ’d several times. After years of wearing Aidan Moffat masks and begging requests for Aidan to DJ, we finally got our man.
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs played for us at our night Heavylight Darkbright (HLDB) at The Captain’s Rest on Great Western Road, before he was writing big hit songs and picking up awards from DJ Magazine and attending the Oscars etc.
Nevada Base became a sort of house band. They played several parties. They looked and sounded wonderful. Have a listen.
Pin Up Frights became an annual tradition.
Wild Beasts had played live for us at the Woody in 2006 – their first ever Scottish gig. They came back in 2012 to Guest DJ. Lovely guys.
The Hogmanay Balls became an annual tradition too.
*Spoiler* The final party was a Very Good One Indeed. All this action for just £8 on the door. Mind boggling. How did we do it? Thanks, in no small part, to huge goodwill from all the live acts.
Just like Moz many years before, it was now my turn for a gold disc. Hopefully I wouldn’t also go all right-wing and anti-immigrant. The chaps presented me with “Born to Run” during the final half hour of Pin Up Nights: Game Over.
I continued to make fanzines and badges long past the point anyone else asked for, or expected them.
In the end, we had welcomed the best new bands in Scotland through our doors. We had got to meet some heroes. We had occasionally created disco mayhem on a scale never before seen on (our patch of) planet Earth. If you want to read more, snap up your copy of Retired Teenagers now. (And if you’ve already read it, thank you very much, and please leave a review – it really helps with the evil Amazon algorithms.)