What’s the difference between regular drama and lesbian drama? What is the lesbian uniform? Which dodgy dance moves are guaranteed to woo the ladies? I found out the answer to these (and many other) questions when finding out about a little gem of a lesbian bar called ‘Ace of Clubs’, which ran for about a decade and was DJ Jo Bunny’s stomping ground soon after she moved to London in the late 80s!Transcript
Jo Bunny 00:00
I said that I’d seen someone familiar someone sort of reasonably well known that come to my club. And the first thing I thought was, how do I know you? Have I slept with you? And I said to my friend, don’t you think that sometimes she went nuts earlier?
K Anderson 00:25
Hello, I am K Anderson and you are listening to lost spaces, a podcast that mourns the death of queer night life. Every episode I talk to a different person about a venue from their past, the memories they created there and the people that they used to know. DJ Joe bunny plays regularly on the London queer scene and co runs her own night, called lavender nights with DJ Gareth Hackney. We caught up to talk about ace of clubs, a long forgotten lesbian bar, which ran from the mid 80s until the mid 90s. In London.
Jo Bunny 01:29
I call it the queer scene in the gay scene. So I was out on the gay and lesbian scene from 1980 1989. And then I disappeared off to America in 2004 came back to England in 2006. Yet the queer scene I decided that I didn’t want to do the clubs in Soho. I wanted to be somewhere Why didn’t have to wear the latest fashions. It was an image, you know. And it was all about it seemed to be very false. Although I had a really good time, the Soho scene seems to me now seems very false. It’s all about your image, it can seem very sort of, Oh, Hello, darling Mama, you know, it is very, doesn’t seem right. Whereas I will be on the queer scene now. People will greet you with big hug. They’re genuinely interested in what you’re talking about. You can sit in the middle of the corner of the pub and be bar and be miserable. And they will just leave you alone, it doesn’t or they will talk to you or they put their arm around you and is a genuine sort of family that I’ve built out. Also, the quiz scene is allowed me to start doing my DJing and everything. I started that, or whatever, in 2006, and I haven’t stopped. So I’m still DJing at the age of 50.
K Anderson 03:00
So are there any other distinctions that you have between the gay and lesbian scene and the queer scene?
Jo Bunny 03:06
Ah, I think it was. There’s more cruising there was more pressure to be with people. And I think it was also an image when I first came out. The you had to have a certain image when I thought you had to have a certain age. So as somebody who is coming out as a lesbian, in 1989, you had to have the leather jacket. You had to have the dms you took the stonewashed jeans, you had a pinky ring. Yeah, to have one ear pierced and you had to wear a labrys I left wrist is is it looks like a cross being Jewish. I wasn’t very comfortable with where we are. But it’s some sort of sapphic sign. And my friends are listening to this podcast now. And they go, you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. But it was some sort of Suffolk thing. So if you’re wearing a labrys it people know it meant that you’re a lesbian. So last lap press one air eloping queueing. Oh, wow. So insert was the secret sign. And you don’t get those these days? Yeah.
K Anderson 04:21
Were there any additional messages if you had on a particular hand or a particular ear? Yes. Oh, tell me more.
Jo Bunny 04:30
I think it was the left hand. I think it was left. So someone would see you with a pinky. Left hand they would see a earring or you had to Odoo rings, but there always seem to be one leader lecture.
K Anderson 04:46
Jo Bunny 04:47
Yeah. Hi. Oh, just one earring or dangly earring with a library or some sort of fake sign. And then you’d have the labrys
K Anderson 04:57
necklace, but it wasn’t like it As submissive, I don’t know what’s, what’s the opposite of I want to say aggressive. No, no, there wasn’t Leah wasn’t like a passive,
Jo Bunny 05:10
passive submissive was just like a little boobs. It was. It was like a uniform. That’s what it was like it was like uniform. And of course you have shorter hair as well. There were hardly any women who were what they called lipstick lesbians. The lipstick lesbians stood out. Yeah, they really did. And I see these women all over the place till they’re all around. And some of them still look like they are 30 years ago. And they were the lipstick lesbians. But there was a lot of uniform. There was a lot of leather jackets. And I just went for it. I did the full on dmws read the appropriate books. So there was a list of books that you would have to read it was the colour purple, the well of loneliness. Anything by the publisher was it for rago and then the you to go and shop in silver moon. And then there was sister right in Hackney. silvermoon, Charing Cross and SR y was in Hackney and that was more of a rebellious and key type place
K Anderson 06:17
and what kind of shops were they bookshop? Oh, okay.
Jo Bunny 06:20
Yeah, bookshop. So you had to you had to read certain books.
K Anderson 06:26
Before you were before you were allowed to because it was like a passage. Was there a membership card? music as well. Oh, I want to talk about so who was on that list? Oh, Katie Lange. Okay. Brilliant. Oh, number trading with Melissa Etheridge.
Jo Bunny 06:43
Yes, yes with rich Joan armatrading. Had and it was officially true. You know, according to the lesbians that she had slept with Valerie Singleton the woman from Blue Peter.
K Anderson 06:58
Jo Bunny 07:00
It was official. And every every lesbian was heartbroken when Valerie Singleton said no, actually I’ve never slept with a woman. So you the music you would listen to was Katie Lange, Joan armatrading, blesser Etheridge and various American folky punky people there was someone called Frank who did a song about Martina Navratilova. Anything that Martina Navratilova did was was gospel. So there was a was a sort of a set playlist, a set number of books that you had to read. And look and you had to go through it. When I came out. I blew out the cupboard. Because Yeah, just flew out. Because
K Anderson 07:46
what you haven’t mentioned now is the leather trousers. Yes. I’ve seen evidence.
Jo Bunny 07:56
The leather trousers. I didn’t wear for a couple years. Probably. But I didn’t realise in some scenes, leather wearing leather trousers, obviously means you’re into BDSM and everything and I wasn’t, then you get in there now. But I wasn’t then back then. Yeah, so the leather trousers just became part of the image. And it was this very sort of bush sort of image. And the funny thing is, I don’t consider myself books. Yeah.
K Anderson 08:33
Yeah. And because that’s the thing like so when you first come out on a scene there is there’s a kind of comfort in like, oh, okay, this is what the this is what I need to do. This is how I should be conforming in order for these people to accept me. And but that only works for like, up to a point, doesn’t it?
Jo Bunny 08:52
Yes. It only works up to a point. And then he realised what the lady had on where to eat. And I’m following I’m doing a sheep thing. Yeah. And this it was part of me. Yeah, but it wasn’t it wasn’t me. And then I started going out with people that didn’t do the uniform. Yeah. So I kind of just drifted away from it a little
K Anderson 09:15
bit. Yeah. And but and this is whilst we’re still serving the distinction between the queer scene and the gay and lesbian scene. This is why you’re still on the game lesbian scene. Yeah. Yeah. That was my little shiny moment over there. So in terms of that, taking off the war pain, yeah. Prescription wallpaper. Yeah, definitely. Um, were there any difficulties with with doing that? Did you lose any friends or
Jo Bunny 09:43
no, not by that time, because that was out on the scene. I knew a lot of people. And gradually my friends stopped doing the warpaint uniform thing as well. Yeah. I think it was a sort of 80s mid 80s To our mid 80s. So about 90, I kind of came in on that on the back of the the Butch dykes and the rebel dikes and all those sort of the women that and sort of four or five years older than me.
K Anderson 10:14
Yeah. And so do you think then that you and your friends moved away from that because you were older and becoming more confident? Or was it more of a The scene was changing?
Jo Bunny 10:25
The scene changed? Yeah, definitely. The scene changed and the old school dikes were starting to disappear. And what you found was that there were more. There were younger people coming out on the seat. Well, to me, they said no, they were young at that point. But there was more individuality. There was more and more of the lips, lipstick lesbians were coming out. There wasn’t that Butch femme divide from sort of 1950s anymore. And when you go out into the women see now it’s very much its individual. Yeah. You don’t look at a person go all their books or their family. Or just they’ve just turned up.
K Anderson 11:05
Yeah, because that the fetishisation of femme doesn’t happen so much anymore, does it? Obviously, I have a different perspective. It
Jo Bunny 11:13
does. It does happen. There are there are nights specifically for femmes, there’s where there’s a night that I deal with the whatever world you’re putting that’s called female masculinity Appreciation Society. And that’s for people that appreciate female masculinity. Yeah, so that could be Butch. It could be trans. It could be you know, it could be anything of the non binary sort of, I don’t know if female masculinity basically. Yeah, so that’s kind of harping back to the old days. And that really works that really, you know, and I think that’s partly it as well, people want I think people like memory stuff a lot, because I like reminiscing about my old club days when I was coming out and everything.
K Anderson 11:54
And so could you talk a bit more about Butch dykes? And what that means?
Jo Bunny 11:59
Well, I’ve been told that I was butcher said, and I’ve, I totally disagree with that. But as I said, I was boyish. There was a level there was a sort of differential. So you had the old Butch dykes, the old school would wear the suits and the ties and everything like that. So that’s what you would have for the Butch storix. So so they were called. And then you may be had people like me that workbook new kind of boys. We had the short hair, we had the dmws that we think some people would have thought I was Butch other people just looked at me. You know? Yeah, just though it was. And then what was the question again?
K Anderson 12:39
I guess. So I was asking about Butch dyke as a scene.
Jo Bunny 12:42
There was definitely a clear Butch dyke thing going on. But it wasn’t it wasn’t a particular scene. Most lesbians look like that. But then. But then you had you had a clear distinction where you had the lipstick lesbians as well. And then we had the ones few in the middle that didn’t really fit into either sort of thing. But a lot of it was the, if you went to club nights, it wasn’t so much. It was kind of waning off when I started going out to like, Ace of Clubs and places like that. So that was a good segue. It was it was it was kind of the Butch femme thing was starting to disappear then, but it was very much there. Very, very prominent. And as I said, I did the uniform. I did all that.
K Anderson 13:32
So you you’ve very, very professionally taken us to ACL clubs. Sorry, that should have been my job. Tell me about that place by that question. I mean, like, Where was it? What did it look like? What kind of size was there?
Jo Bunny 13:47
It was Piccadilly. And it was in the Burlington arcade. And it was very small. Club actually wasn’t big at all. And you would go downstairs and it was very much of that. When I came out sort of 89 time, you still had the tail end of the clubs, the old school, gay clubs, and queer clubs. We had to go downstairs or knock on doors, you think and it was all that very old, sort of hidden gay scene. And I think I think this is my opinion, that ace of clubs was kind of at the end of that era of hidden gay clubs and everything because then you’d had your idea had happen. But then all the other started popping up sort of early 90s. And now when you’re good, so how you walk past hubs and everything and they’ve got a huge rainbow flag outside. You couldn’t have had that with the ace of clubs. You just couldn’t have had it during the week. So it was weekly. It was on a Saturday. So every Saturday I was there. And during the week it was a Gentlemen’s Club
K Anderson 14:56
by gentlemen’s club do we mean a strip club or
Jo Bunny 14:59
Oh Don’t if it was strip club, but it was very much the old gentleman would hang out there as far as I know, yes, or the strip club, smoking, cigar smoking cigars sort of thing. So it was all sort of Red Velvet or loafer and the main part by the by the floor, so it wasn’t particularly big. It was much smaller. If anybody’s gone to the RVT voxel tavern, it was smaller than voxels. Okay, yeah, much smaller than that the dance floor was really small, very cosy. So you’d have booths round one side of the dance floor. So you’d walk in the DJ would be immediately on your left. I’m no good with left and right. So the DJ would be immediately on the left, and then you’d have the dance floor in front of you, and the bar up the far end. But down the side, you would have these kind of Crescent booths, yeah, type areas where people or the friends would gather. And you would have people that would claim knows of quite a while I had the booth that was just on the left hand side of the DJ. That was my button. And so so if one one night a week, what
K Anderson 16:11
night of the week was that? Stay? Oh, wow. That’s interesting, man. Yeah, the gentlemen’s club. I would
Jo Bunny 16:18
it wasn’t on Saturday. No, that was handed over to the lesbians on Saturday night. And did any like confused gentlemen show up? No. They had very good security. Okay. So it’s a very small door. It was kind of as I said, it was on Piccadilly. It was off pigtail in the Burlington arcade. But it’s very hidden. He had to fire you had to know where it was. It was a bit of a Harry Potter moment, you know. So you’d go into the arcade literally, it was really at the beginning. You didn’t have to walk miles, and it would be there. And it would be on the right hand side. And it was a little door. And there’d be
K Anderson 16:51
a person there like scoping you out. Like, do you have a Pinkie ring?
Jo Bunny 16:55
Are you a gold star lesbian? They would, there would be security. And no, I remember a very sort of well built woman, you didn’t mess with her. And I don’t know if she ran the club. Or she was this door person. She was very strict, very strict. And I remember I clearly remember this woman at the door, deciding, you know, with you were suitable to come in and making sure that you knew it was a lesbian night and everything. And then you’d go down the stairs. So it’s like we’re talking like nearly 30 years ago. But this is this is the main bit that I know and you’d get onto the dance floor dancer would get very hot and sweaty. And of course, you could smoke them to your clothes would stink. But they would stink.
K Anderson 17:41
And so do you remember the first time you went there?
Jo Bunny 17:44
Yeah, I do. remember the first time I went there, it was like the first time. So my first women only night was fallen angel there on the back of angel station. Okay, which isn’t there. And I remember and I think I had the same reaction walking in there. I did it the Fallen Angel, which was, oh my god. With all these women come from, I mean, paradise.
I’ll have you Yeah.
Jo Bunny 18:20
And that was it. It’s just walking in and hearing the music and realising that they’re really winning. Yeah. And loving it. But by that time I was out out I’d come out. I was confident. You know, I would tell anybody who wanted to hear. Yeah. You were no more coming out with stories. I knew there was something different about me for years, years and years and years. And I got really upset because I grew up in Portsmouth. I didn’t know any gay people. Yeah. And I ended up getting engaged to a very nice solicitor. It was lovely. But I didn’t love him. Yeah, I loved him. But as a friend, I wasn’t in love with him. And I knew that there was something going on. didn’t feel right at all. And he ended up getting married and having four kids and definitely wasn’t for me. And I moved to London. So I got a job at the BBC. And I met some wonderful people at the BBC. And Surprise, surprise, there were gay people at the BBC. No. And I met this wonderful guy called William and if he’s listening to this, I hope he is because I’d love to get in touch with him again. And he was he was from Inverness, and he had a very squeaky voice and Scottish really strong Scottish squeaky voice and he was lovely. And I suddenly realised I was with William one night and I went You know what? Because he come out to me as gay and I went I think and that was it, and so came out to William. And then I came out to myself and came out to others.
K Anderson 20:09
And so how old were you at this time?
Jo Bunny 20:10
Um, I was when I officially came out. I was 19 1920. So yeah, I was 20. And yeah, use 30 years ago. Yeah. So that’s why all that energy bounced out the closet. Yeah.
K Anderson 20:25
So you came out with gusto.
Jo Bunny 20:28
So I came out, and then I started going to. And a lot of these places I’m going to mention they’ve all closed. And so I started going to gaze to word which thank God is still going. Yeah. And they had a lesbian discussion group, which is still going, Oh, wow. Yeah, it’s still going. And I keep on thinking that going back. I ended up going to this discussion group, and was on a Wednesday night, and you sit around and you would discuss relationships, polyamory, breaking up, family coming out. Real tragic subjects sometimes. And I came out and started going to the bookshop, and slept with quite a few people in the bookshop
K Anderson 21:20
in the bookshop or from the
Jo Bunny 21:26
bookshop, because I’d been disrespectful to the books. I don’t think it’s the word people would appreciate. So yeah, I slept with quite a few people. And quite a few of them were really good friends of mine. Now, like very good friends. We used to go to the bookshop on a Wednesday, and then after we’d had our hours discussion, we would go off for a drink at a Barney you. It was like, you know, whatever their near his bar was, when I first started going there, Lesbian and Gay centre was still open. So we would go to the OP bar or something, which was the women’s bar in the lesbian and gay centre. And then we started going to different sorts of places. So that was it. But you would basically that was my pickup. That was my first pickup race. And then one day, one day we were discussing, the topic was relationships or something like that. And I looked around the room. Yeah, closer to his mother. But I’d slept with that every other person. I can’t sit here and discuss relationships. Now that I’ve had a relationship with most of the people here, so I stopped going relationship or relations. I had relationships with three of them. Okay. Yeah.
K Anderson 22:44
And so are you saying you were a heartbreaker?
Jo Bunny 22:48
No, I got my heart broken. Oh, hi. I only buy one half the rest of them for my heart. Sorry, and they will be listening. That’s 30 years of resentment.
K Anderson 23:01
Okay, so if you want to say anything horrible.
Jo Bunny 23:07
So yeah, that’s why I started stopped going to the bookshop. But through that I found out about the ace of clubs, and I found out you know, through about other sort of lesbian nights and bars and everything, and there were a lot back then. Yeah, a lot of choice. Yeah.
K Anderson 23:20
But and so, we’ve talked about you like just kind of leaping out of the closet, rather than being like, Oh, hey, here I am. Why do you think there was that? That’s the wrong word. But
Jo Bunny 23:34
I think it was, it was me, I’d finally realised who I was. I’ve always been kind of a party person. Sort of, very, yeah, wanting to party wanting to have fun. That’s always been my sort of personality. Apparently, I was very happy baby, according to my mother, but that’s kind of I’ve always wanted to have fun. My date. My dad was a DJ when I was growing up. So he was like the old 1970s, early 80s DJ, you know, he had the platforms and the bling. And, you know, he would play the records go, and this is for the ladies. And so I bought out with a lot of partying and a lot of fun. And I think that was my personality. I came out and that was it. I was just so happy. That wasn’t this nagging. Oh my god, I’m a bit weird. Why am I looking at that woman and feeling differently to how we’re shipping feeling? Yeah, this isn’t the right feeling. And I came out and that was it. I was like, Yay, now I’m going to party. Even now. I did I just hit the scene. I just went for it.
K Anderson 24:35
Is there part of that? That was London. The impact of London? Like and yeah nimah T and the excitement of the city. I don’t know anonymous. I was. Hey, stick with you. You You knew that was I wasn’t that bad. So, by anonymity, I mean like, you’re not going to run into your parents whilst you’re holding hands with a woman walking down the road. I
Jo Bunny 25:11
think so I think it was I just don’t I don’t I just moved to London. I’d only been in London for less than a year. Yeah. So that was that was it. So I think it was the moving to London, it was a whole new scene, and boom, I’m lesbian. chuckle that in a fun time.
K Anderson 25:32
These are the ingredients you need.
Jo Bunny 25:35
And also ABS said, I was working at the BBC at the time as well. And that was a big, big. That was a massive gay scene to the point that I was one of their, this is how much I came out. I was one of the founding members of the BBC, Lesbian and Gay group. And they were about 90 members. So I just went for it. I just got involved in everything. And I was open, and I will never I will never hide it. I said, Take it or leave it.
K Anderson 26:08
That’s brilliant to hear. So you’d been out in the scene for about a year by the time we first went to ace of clubs. Yeah,
Jo Bunny 26:15
I think so maybe maybe a little bit less. But yeah, my time. My memory is not particularly good. So I’m giving you sort of rough date
K Anderson 26:25
songs. And that’s approximate. But so why did that club in particular stick out in your mind?
Jo Bunny 26:33
That was the club to go to? That was the one that was going every Saturday and I’d heard lots of people talk about it. So I went and they said Saturday night it’s women only. And they’re on their way.
K Anderson 26:47
But after all these years, and out of all the clubs that you’d gone to in that time, why is it the one that sticks out?
Jo Bunny 26:53
That was mainly the the main club To tell you the truth. Okay. Yeah, yeah, that was that there were lots of bars and lots of bar nights and everything. But that was sort of their club. Okay? Otherwise you’d go to like heaven or, you know, some of the gay guys places and everything. But that was kind of think that was the club night. There were probably other clubs, but I became narrowminded. Just when they were don’t sniped. You know, there were dance nights, the lesbian and gay centre, but that was it. That was kind of the place to go.
K Anderson 27:25
And so were men allowed? No, strictly no man. No, man. Amazing.
Jo Bunny 27:33
Yeah. I don’t even think there were any trans women naturally. No, no, no, no, no, no, it was it was women and gay women. I don’t even thinking that we’re any bisexuals. We’re talking to old school lesbian.
K Anderson 27:51
We talked briefly about the security guard. Is there any one else from that time that sticks out in your mind?
Jo Bunny 28:00
There were certain people there that were it was very interesting, actually, that there was a woman that used to sit near where I was sitting. And I used to look at her and she was quite Butch. She’s Butch woman. And I will I thought she was Butch anyway. And I used to look at her thinking you are really miserable. And she knows this. This will be no surprise, but she is. And she used to look at me apparently, and say she thought I was a bit of a sort of cocky sort of, you know, upstart? Yeah, full of myself. And we met in 2006. We started talking. And we started at one point, we started talking about the ace of clubs. And I showed you a picture of me from the ace of clubs. And she looked at their way. Oh, my God. That was you. And then she told me who she was. So this woman that I’d been sort of, sort of squaring my nose up. years ago, I suddenly met and we’re good friends. Oh, wow. Yeah. We went out for dinner last night together. So yeah, I mean, there were various characters. There were regulars. It was a regular place. There were people that you saw down there every single Saturday, and we would all meet you down there. You know, and we would start off going, we would meet in the Vesper lounge, or first hour or something, and then you would head on down to Piccadilly. So you’d meet at first out which was at Tottenham Court Road, or fespa lounge, which was a bar opposite. First out, thanks to crossbow. It’s all disappeared. Yeah. Yeah. You just had the regulars. It was a Saturday night. Let’s meet Let’s meet for a drink and then go off to the ice. And so did you have a regular crew that you met up? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, we did. Yeah. The women from the bookshop.
K Anderson 29:53
Oh the women used to had Yeah,
Jo Bunny 30:00
So yeah, no, everybody just hung out and just went to the same because we all say similar age and everything. So we’d get we’d end up going and then I moved into a lesbian house share in Camberwell. It was amazing. Apparently, it had been a lesbian house share for about 20 years before I moved in. Oh, wow. So from the sort of early 70s, or something, and there were five of us. And at the weekend, there would be 10 of us. And so not only was that my usual bunch of friends that I, you know, we’d built really good relationships and everything good friendships, there would be the women that I lived with in Camberwell. So we would all go out sort of on mass and everything. And it was a Yeah, it was a weekend weekend adventure. It was a regular regular sort of thing. And so
K Anderson 30:51
how do you navigate the minefield? of all of those physical and emotional connections that had existed at some point? I’m basically saying, how does a long day make trying to make? Basically, right when everyone has slept with everyone, yeah. How do you like keep your emotions from going? all over the place? People getting pissed off. It’s called lesbian drama. Okay, yeah. This is specifically Okay. Tell me
Jo Bunny 31:32
about fixing. So I don’t know if you’ve heard a lesbian. Lesbian drama is you’ve got drama. Yeah. So we’ve got couples arguing. And then you’ve got lesbian drama. Okay, so that’s the next stage up. lesbians drama starts, you get your hard hat. So Ron,
K Anderson 31:56
you say, I’m sorry. You’re right. And you back away? No, no, no.
Jo Bunny 32:02
I didn’t really get into a lot of arguments. To tell you the truth. I would stay clear with them. I wasn’t a lesbian drama person. There were a couple of people that didn’t like me, but I think that’s because I slept with a girlfriend. So you know, they might be there. Maybe they had a good reason to be pissed off with me. But I didn’t really I didn’t really get involved with that. But there would be there was something there would be a fight at the ace of clubs every week, a physical fight physical fight. Every week, there would be something going on. You slept with my girlfriend? Yeah, and there would there would be there would be some good fights. He would just sit back and watch or ignore them and dance.
K Anderson 32:50
But then so for you with these people that you’re talking about that had beef with you. Were you quite good at just shrugging that off for
Jo Bunny 32:59
Yeah, just gonna bounce off somewhere else.
K Anderson 33:02
Okay, because it’s such a small space. Yeah, that if you’ve got all this drama going on, that could be quite stressful.
Jo Bunny 33:10
No, not really. No, no, just. Yeah, that was basically it. Oh, there’s a fight going on. I mean, you’d move out of the way if the fight came and come came towards you. You’ve kind of moved to one side a little bit. But you wouldn’t know you just go over there fighting. If it got really bad, the security person would come down. I don’t remember a lot of that. It would just they would just be some shouting and some punching and some pushing and some glasses and you know, little
K Anderson 33:38
little dramatic story. Yeah. But it
Jo Bunny 33:40
was very Yeah, lesbian drama is full on. Funny thing is where I’ve been DJing. For what since 2006. I was doing a club night one night. And there were two women in an argument. And there were two women that used to argue at the ice. I said what makes wonder if they’re in the same argument they had 30 years? Yeah, it was face smoky, or drama, a lot of dancing. I had some mean dance move said, Oh, my knees were younger. I had some vague corny dance moves as well. I’d say, well, who does?
K Anderson 34:20
When do you know when the ace of clubs closed?
Jo Bunny 34:24
I think it was the mid 90s because I stopped going because I met someone that didn’t really go. And lesbians are very good at moulding together, becoming one person and weaving in with each other after two weeks. Now, I didn’t do that. I waited four weeks. So if I was with somebody who wasn’t, didn’t want to go to the club, yeah, I stopped going and I met someone A few years later when I said and they were just coming out and I said, Well, I’m gonna take you somewhere, and it closed our account and I was gutted. And so you just say like, I didn’t even know it close. Oh, wow. I was devastated to digitise my home. So how did you find out then that’s turned up and someone said, No, it’s closed.
K Anderson 35:20
And there was a whole bunch of gentlemen in there with
Jo Bunny 35:23
that was I just turned on. They said, No, it’s not here anymore. Oh, gosh. And I kind of did the rounds and
K Anderson 35:29
Jo Bunny 35:30
didn’t even think of investigating or savings is there? I just assumed it would be there. Yes. Yeah. So yeah, some getting emotional.
K Anderson 35:39
Just never had an opportunity to.
Jo Bunny 35:40
Yeah, so I was there for a few years, every Saturday. And I think it was going for about 10 years. Yeah, started sort of mid 80s. It’s about mid 90s. Yeah. So it was definitely 10 years, it may have been a little bit more, but yeah, faithful on lots of drama.
K Anderson 35:59
And lesbian drama, as well as drama or just has been
Jo Bunny 36:02
just that’s been drama for long lesbians. And lots of dikes thinking that we’ll call them bad dance moves. That was me.
K Anderson 36:15
My next question was going to be what’s the dance move? Can you explain you know, what do you think that club had that no other clubs in San has had. But maybe it’s just doji dance moves.
Jo Bunny 36:34
It was I think I can’t compare it to, because I run a club night now. Which is the same year same exact same music exactly the same was for me, I think, a coming out place. I was young. I wanted to do everything that the London women’s scene had to offer. And it was just special. I’d literally just come out. I was a young, young, lesbian, new on the London scene. And I just wanted to get out there and don’t network.
K Anderson 37:12
Network, inverted commas
Jo Bunny 37:17
when I go play subject go networking is. So yeah, there’s a lot of networking. But I think that’s the difference between then there was I was a different Not that I was a younger, sort of I wanted to get out. So it was a kind of a different person. And I really I not actually too keen on the women only see now. Not not a big fan.
K Anderson 37:43
Why is that?
Jo Bunny 37:44
I don’t know. I think partly, it’s because I believe that society is made up of lots of different people, whatever their gender identification is. So I’m not too keen on separate places. Now, it was all a thing that all started from when I went to America. I lived over there for a couple of years. And I became involved in a very much a more queer scene. And there was a night over there. It was a night called date night. But it was for lesbians, but it was also for trans guys who felt that they still wanted to hang out with the lesbians stuff. So I got that introduction to I was swinging social with trans people were or hadn’t been, I came across this, what started what seemed to me to be more of a mixed scene where I was meeting people that identified as trans. And my mate came across to visit me and I said, when I go back to London, I want to find something like that. I want to find something like that night, I don’t want to do so how anymore. And she said on a way to take you. And she taught me to buy whatever. And in go be very pleased to know that I’ve mentioned. And that was it. It kind of just it was what I wanted, I’d grown up. And I wanted a different scene where there were so many different people, and I didn’t care how those people identified. And obviously, there was respect. And that was the one, you know, love and respect. And that was it. So I don’t, I don’t do the women’s side. There’s a place for the women, there’s a need for the women’s scene, I go out there. And I do do it. And I do the women’s scene. And it’s nice, it’s really nice, but there are women that would only do the women’s scene and they won’t come to any of my nights or whatever because it’s gonna be mixed and stuff like that.
K Anderson 39:50
So like and that’s that’s like now
Jo Bunny 39:53
Yeah, it still happens. Oh, wow. Yeah, still happens. still happens where people go, oh, they’re gonna be men now. Oh, they’re gonna be there. And I go work. Yeah. Because that’s the sort of night I wanted to create. I wanted to create a night didn’t matter. Yeah, didn’t matter, of course. I mean, I’ve even got straight friends coming. But they said to me, you know, oh, can we go but of course they do. Are we allowed? Yes, you are. That was it. I so we
K Anderson 40:27
don’t want to in our faces.
Jo Bunny 40:28
Yeah. So I didn’t, I’ve moved away from the women’s seem but but then I’d come out, I’d literally come out. I was 20 years old. I just moved to London the year before. That was it. And it was music and having grown up with a daddy was a DJ, I was totally into my music. And I still you know, there was liquid gold dance yourself dizzy. That was my favourite song. And I had a dance routine to that with my mate Alex.
K Anderson 41:03
So talk to me about this dance.
Jo Bunny 41:05
We used to do this weird, you know, when Abba do that thing where they do back to back? Oh, yeah, back to back, and Waterloo. Well, one of the songs, we sing back to back and looked at me and my friend Alex, somehow, actually, I think the words knit back to back. And when those words came into the song, we turn around, and it’s very sad. And I used to do so there was liquid gold, ask yourself this in every time I hear we all play it and I play it. Sometimes I think of the ice. And there was the other one where I would get down. So it’d be dancing with a woman. And I get down on the floor in front of her kneel down in front of her. So and then swing back up. So I dropped to my knees in front of you. And you know, you’re some women that are what I’m trying to impress, dropped to my knees in front of you and then lever myself up by my legs. I can’t do that anymore to try and do it about a year ago. And my best mate was there and she thought was hysterical. I got stuck on the floor. lever myself. shimmy. Yeah, I just broke my arm, I think as well. Just recovering from a broken arm. So no, I didn’t have the. But that’s what I used to do. I would dance in front of you dropped to my knees, and then just lift myself out or by my legs locked by my arm. And then just carry on down. And I thought that was cool. With this cool. Yeah, well, it worked. Yeah. So there were various dance moves and stuff.
K Anderson 42:51
But so yeah, so that kind of brings us back full circle. Anyway, so we started talking about the difference between the queer scene and the game lesbian scene. And although at the time that was that was kind of what you needed. Well, basically, you just wanted to shag lots of women by the sounds of things. Yeah. That’s definitely different.
Jo Bunny 43:10
Yeah. The seen them was more political as well. It was more. It was section 28. Yeah, when I first moved to London, the first thing I did was one of the first things I did was when after I came out was gone the section 28 March. So it was more political. And there was more separatism. It’s a very, very, very different scene. A lot of the scene today, you know, people talk about gender non binary, and, you know, identification. And there wasn’t anything like that. There wasn’t that were gay men, lesbians, trans. And that was it. And they didn’t mix. Normally. Occasionally, the gay men and lesbians would get together but they didn’t really feel comfortable together. So it was a completely completely different saying Yeah, pletely and more political as well. Very uniformed. It was it was the way you dressed, very political, and more separatism. Fabulous. I was I was young All I want to do his party. That was and now I’m older and I still want to party.
K Anderson 44:35
But you just got to take care of your knees. Okay. I have Did you ever go to the ace of clubs. If you did, I would love to hear from you. Please tell me your stories and share any photos that you might have through social media. You can find me on most platforms Facebook and Twitter and Instagram with the My name is K Anderson music. And if you want to hear more from DJ Joe bunny you can follow her facebook.com slash DJ dash Joe bash bunny. And lavender night can be firstname.lastname@example.org slash lavender night’s LD and most spaces is not only a podcast, but a concept record as well. And I’ve been writing songs about queer venues and the people who used to live their lives and we’ll be releasing songs over the next year. You can hear the first single, well groomed boys on all streaming platforms. If you enjoyed listening to this episode, I would really appreciate if you subscribe to our spaces, leave a review on the iTunes Store or just tell people who you think might be interested about it. I’m K Anderson and you have been listening to lost spaces.