I’ve been doing this podcast for almost two years, and we’ve never been to the city where I grew up…. Adelaide. But, that’s all about to change!
I got to sit down with the comedian Lori Bell to talk all about her experiences on Adelaide’s queer scene (all two venues!)…
We talk all about first times, blow jobs on the dance floor, and I find out what the difference is between regular bingo and gay bingo….
Lori Bell 0:00
I don’t think anyone thought I was full hetero. I wore a lot of flannel and corduroy pants like it was. Yeah.
K Anderson 0:08
Hello, I am K Anderson and you are listening to lost spaces, the podcast that mourns the death of queer nightlife. Every episode I talk to you a different person about a venue from their past, the memories are created there, and the people that they used to know. So this week is kind of a big deal. This is Episode 100. Yes, 100 episodes of me asking a name questions of strangers. And to mark the occasion that we are visiting a city that has a very special place in my heart, and that city is Adelaide, their place where I grew up, first discovered my sexuality first went out first snubbed boys and then first went home, feeling dejected and alone. But this isn’t about me. This is about my guest, comedian Lori Bell, who actually truth be told had a pretty similar experience to me. But with a perm. We talk all about first times, blow jobs on the dance floor and I finally find out what the difference is between regular bingo and gay Bingo.
K Anderson 1:44
So let’s let’s go all the way back. Okay. What’s it like growing up in Adelaide?
Lori Bell 1:52
I think it’s great. Obviously I don’t hate it because I’m still here. And like yeah, I turn around for my job so I could sort of I’m trending I could live anywhere and I choose to live in Adelaide so I kind of dig it.
K Anderson 2:05
But but but but but like back then yeah, what was it like growing up and being like, Oh, I might not be
Lori Bell 2:14
interesting. Yeah. So I grew up I don’t know if you remember this suburb. I grew up in a suburb called semaphore. Do you remember that before? Yes, yeah, yeah,
K Anderson 2:24
yeah. So by the beach yes by the beach, but
Lori Bell 2:27
it was also when I was young It was like lesbian Mecca. It was it was Oh really? Yeah yeah. Origin Yeah, there was like, when I was when I was like, 16/17 suggests kind of figuring out that maybe I wasn’t maybe not 100% straight. There was a bar in in semaphore called Dingo ugly, which was a play on Coyote Ugly old lesbians and it was just like, it was just like a women’s only pub essentially. And it was just yeah, lesbians owned the town in semaphore. And then bikers took it over and then it got gentrified. So they
K Anderson 3:07
Lori Bell 3:09
yeah God do you know what I probably wouldn’t even be 100% I mean listen to my voice I sound straight right like
K Anderson 3:20
said wait I did not know about Dingo are great you did I did they also borrow like other bits of the concept like did they do bar dancing?
Lori Bell 3:29
they didn’t dance on the bars but they did like spray water into the crowd and shit like it was yeah and there was just lots of pool tables because it was lesbians we fucking love pool
Unknown Speaker 3:41
Lori Bell 3:43
so that was kind of where I was growing up and and I went to a school called Lefevre High School and you know how like every high school is got their name you know like you know the the Sienna sluts or or whatever as well we were the LeFevre lesbians and I was like Ah, yes.
K Anderson 3:59
So other schools would call you that
Lori Bell 4:01
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, it was a co-ed we were just little favours you know
K Anderson 4:08
for you all the lezzas Yeah. Oh, okay. So you had quite a lot of exposure
Lori Bell 4:15
Yeah, but even then I was doing Do you know what for me It felt like it was almost too much exposure that I was like, I don’t know man. Maybe I’d feel it I don’t know I wasn’t I wasn’t too sure. And then I went through a phase like there was so many points I will look back and go should have known should have known or should have known. Like when my boyfriend in high school we were both captains of our rugby teams. Should a fucking known… No,
K Anderson 4:39
no, no, no.
Lori Bell 4:42
I watched a lot of Xena and Gabrielle and I loved their friendship. Okay,
K Anderson 4:46
that was a sign right? You should have known that.
Lori Bell 4:49
I was really into Hanson until I found out that the lead singer was a boy
K Anderson 5:02
How did you find out?
Lori Bell 5:03
Oh, boy cuz I thought Taylor was just like it was, you know, she’s
K Anderson 5:08
always its agenda.
Lori Bell 5:10
And then all my friends were like the lead singer is so hot and I was like, yeah, the lead singer is hot and they’re like, Yeah, he’s beautiful. And I was like, ah, the vibe went away. It’s gone. They’re done. Ever think it just just keep playing rugby, you’ll be fun. Oh, yeah, I didn’t figure stuff out. So I was, I was planning to go to, to uni to study to be a PE teacher. So I was going to figure it out. I have no doubt that I would have figured it out. Better than that. But instead, I studied at TAFE. And, yeah, and studied theatre and Christ. I figured that out very quickly after that. Oh, so
K Anderson 5:53
on either path. Yeah, both. Both many clues
Lori Bell 5:57
led to me having a wife currently. Yeah.
K Anderson 6:03
You were soaking in
Lori Bell 6:10
some beautiful use of language. My friends that
K Anderson 6:18
was what I’m trying to get at is that you were like you had exposure. That’s not the right word, either. lesbians were exposing themselves, to you… You knew you knew that it was a thing. And it kind of doesn’t seem like it was treated like a massive like, end of the world big deal. But what was it like with your parents and your like family coming out.
Lori Bell 6:48
So my parents always knew I was different. And they always made it really clear. From as soon as I sort of got to the age that dating was like a thing I didn’t date until I was much older, obviously, because I was gay and didn’t know. But they always made it clear that they didn’t care. And they were very careful with their language. They were like, We don’t care. What you do out like, we don’t care what you do. We just want to know when you’re in love. Right? And that’s all they’d say. We don’t care. We don’t care what you do. I don’t care what you’re doing when you going out whenever we just want to know when you’re in love.
K Anderson 7:27
There was some caveats to that. Surely, no, I think we don’t care what you do.
Lori Bell 7:32
Yeah, because honestly, I bought when I was a pretty good girl to be honest. It’s really easy not just sleep with men when you’re secretly lesbian. Yeah, so I sort of I told the first time I told him that I was in love. It was a it was a it was a beautiful boy named Elliot and, and I thought that was love. And then the second time I told them, it was my first partner, which was Chloe. And and my. I walked in. I was like, Hey, guys, you know how you’ve been always saying that? I should tell you. When I’m in love. Well, I’m in love. And my dad went Oh, is it is it the girl with the short hair? I said yes, it is. And then he kind of looked he shot a look to my mom that was kind of like ooh, she’s doing better than her brother Do you don’t and and then my mom just kind of went Oh, okay. And then just went well, at least you’re not gonna get pregnant and laughed in my face. So that’s that’s how we did that.
K Anderson 8:39
My um, my mom, I must have been like 10 or something. I was the youngest in my family, but it was obvious in in my situation as well. And so like from when I was like, 10 my mom would go around and every now and then would be like, you know, kids. If you like dick, you like did you like Fanny? You like Fanny. So you know, like, Did you just gonna figure it out? just be like, Ah, what? Huh? I think your parents probably were better at this subtlety or like just whoever you love
Lori Bell 9:17
Yeah, yeah, my mom’s a lot less subtle now it’s like one of our favourite jokes is just sort of like introduce introduce me and then introduce wife and and then if there’s any weirdness Yeah, she just kind of makes really crass jokes from like wow oh, she’s like we’ve someone sort of goes Oh, is your daughter gay? She’ll she’ll go ahead. Do you know honestly don’t know but a wife definitely is. Do you know what I mean? Like that.
K Anderson 9:46
Oh, that’s not crap.
Lori Bell 9:49
Well, couple shanties, that woman gets loose. Yeah.
K Anderson 9:53
Shandy so no trauma them to me
Lori Bell 9:58
today. No, sir. Sorry, sorry, pretty like I went to a I went to an art school, I studied theatre. I’ve had this voice since I was 10. We were all kind of aware. I think, ya know, my mom, like my one thing mom came up to me like maybe maybe like two weeks after I came out to her, and just went, I’m just I’m, I understand, I just, I just want you to know, I’m worried. And I was waiting for, you know, some traumatic moment. And she was like, I’m just I’m worried that other people won’t treat you as well as you should be treated. And I was like, oh, okay, that’s, that’s really nice. Yeah, and dad’s just always been my dad just thought I was the best. So yeah, not too much. That’s pretty cool. And then I went to art school, and it was just all queer and wonderful.
K Anderson 10:52
Yeah, so then, when did you first start going out on the scene? Ah, I
Lori Bell 11:00
so if, if anyone knows Adelaide, which we don’t know you do. And there was this.
K Anderson 11:08
So when I say Scene, I mean, one of two bars
Lori Bell 11:12
them would know that was the one bar and then there was the one nightclub okay. Yeah. So I started going out on the scene. Probably a little bit before I came out. So at about sort of 18/19 years old, I didn’t go out to nightclubs or bars until I was legal.
K Anderson 11:32
so then the first place that you went to was the Eddie.
Lori Bell 11:37
Yeah, well, so what would what I think the first thing I ever did was I went to a feast event which was which is it is our queer festival here in Adelaide. And I went to a feast event and I think maybe a pride March and just went fucking Hey these people are the best but I don’t know if I’m ready yet and then kind of went along as a friend to a gay bar as a not ready to be gay person
K Anderson 12:06
as a friend
Lori Bell 12:07
yeah you know what I mean like with my with my like really gay friend. I had a really really gay friend Chris and he was fantastic. And he was like you’re coming to Mars and and yeah, so we went to went to Mars bar which is our gay which was a gay nightclubs. So
K Anderson 12:25
you went as Chris’s friend? Yeah. Did what was it? Like you hadn’t come out to Chris or was it? Ah, I think in your mind you were like, if anyone asks me I’m full hetero. No, I
Lori Bell 12:36
didn’t think anyone thought I was full hetero. I don’t think anyone thought I was full hetero I wore a lot of flannelette and corduroy a pair like it was yeah but yeah, I would like I went I went probably I would have been 18 I must have been must be my first year of art school went to Mars bar and yeah very very quick progression from there to be like yeah, this is great. This is probably where my head’s at.
K Anderson 13:03
between some woman’s legs?
Lori Bell 13:04
absolutely face first.
K Anderson 13:08
What was that like then going going down the stairs into Mars bar for the first time?
Lori Bell 13:13
Oh god it’s so tacky like Do you remember like you would go down these like they were these steel stairs? And then there was this old angry bitch behind the door Do you remember the door lady that you had to pay to get in and she was just there she was just this like old lady that just was never in a good mood never in a good mood might not have even been old she might have just like had a really hard life and just been 30 years old. I didn’t know right like I was always a little bit high a little bit drunk when I went there but like it was just yeah and it was like it was tacky and and all the floors were sticky and and oh god and then you went you had to go downstairs to go into the dance pit area and then there was that little kind of like drift off area off to the side and and then you’d have to go back up steps to go out to the like the smoking area which was where all like the drag queens and lesbians were was back was a great time But before that, so you go to Yeah, you’re like, Is it all coming back to you now? And then How’s this? I don’t did any did any other gay bar do this? Where when the drag show started, everyone would just go and sit on the floor.
K Anderson 14:23
I remember Okay, so the things I remember about mas ba that like those stairs that you would go down to come in Yeah, there was that mannequin that was covered in?
Lori Bell 14:35
Yeah, it was like it was like a disco ball but a man’s torso? It was It must have been the tits in the 80s and we were just like, yeah you know that’s in someone’s garage right now and they love it and sick.
K Anderson 14:53
memorabilia. Yeah, yeah, I do remember the drag shows the drag shows with Rochelle Fifi Yes. And yes, whenever it was time for the drugs or everyone got kicked off the dance floor and I would be so upset because I’d be like, getting my life to her whatever the song was that was playing before that.
Lori Bell 15:11
Yeah, absolutely. And all the lesbians would just go outside.
K Anderson 15:15
So I remember it being quite male heavy. When you went there the first time were you like, eyeing anyone up?
Lori Bell 15:23
There were lesbians there so when I was 18/19 instead of going there a lot I really started going there a lot when I was like 2021 The L Word had just started. So The L Word had just started and every doc was wearing like a white business shirt with like a thin black tie and a fucked up Shane haircut. Do you remember
K Anderson 15:50
with a black waistcoat?
Lori Bell 15:51
Yeah 100% Yes. The Adelaide was always a bit warmer. But yeah, so there was just like there were all these little shine one of these just kind of tearing around so it was really easy to kind of pick them I was so bad though I never I never picked up at a nightclub on purpose. It always just kind of happened to me I never actively sort of like was able to hit on someone
K Anderson 16:14
and is that because you’re not confident enough to hit on someone or you just like you’re so hot that everyone’s hitting on you before you’ve even had a chance to get your bearings? No
Lori Bell 16:22
Christ No. Looking back on it now I’m like, oh, that person might have been hitting on me. But I just thought they were being really friendly and we were having lots of fun No, I was a shocker. I had I had no stuff out because I had like I had long red hair. I didn’t have a Shane haircut. I didn’t wear a tie. Yeah, I just didn’t look or feel like but you had flat along I did have flat alone I did have flat a lawn but that wasn’t in at the time that wasn’t kind of what everyone was wearing. I was just kind of this I felt daggy and I felt like because I wasn’t comfortable not have I wasn’t comfortable having short hair that I wasn’t gay enough. I think you know what I mean to sort of go out and be like that that version of of people that hate on people do you know what I mean? Like Yeah, I would just kind of longingly look at someone from afar.
K Anderson 17:18
So I’m gonna talk about both of our experiences and then equate that to absolutely every single queer person in the world experiences right now. Apologies, but like when you first come out you’re like I need to really embody this yes I need to really figure this out and you like beat yourself up because like I’m not doing this gay enough dammit.
Lori Bell 17:41
Yeah, I just I went yeah I 100% I was not gay enough. I didn’t I didn’t have it in me to sort of have to hit on anyone or anything. Do you know the first person I probably hit on to the point that I got a positive result go load is my current wife so my current My only way the only life I will ever, yeah
K Anderson 18:09
well and you were just like that was so traumatic. I’m not going through it again. Can we get married
Lori Bell 18:13
Oh it’s so good. I was coming off a really high bars of like I’d done a really good morning gigs. My name was really getting out there I was I was really confident in my lesbianism and my myself as a person, and I had this really good gig and there was this hot bird there and I made a move and it worked and I was was she was going to be my first proper one night stoned. And I didn’t I didn’t know until later but she was planning the same thing I was going to be her one nightstand. And yeah, and now we’ve been married for for quite a long time and together for 12 years so lesbians All right,
K Anderson 18:52
yuck. That’s disgusting. Can we just talk about performing then? Do you get that then when you’re when you’ve just performed and you’ve had a set and you’re like, I am the funniest person in the world? Do you go to that like I can just float with anyone everyone in this room loves me? Or do you get like, oh God, they can figure out that I’m really not that this super competent person if they talk to me, I’m just gonna hide
Lori Bell 19:19
it’s 100% the second one and so I onstage when normally when I’m in a comedy room, I’m the host I’m the emcee. So I’m working with the crowd, not sort of doing stand up and I’m very flirty on stage with men and women and very open about being queer and and so after the show quite often get like straight women and stuff come up and and I just go to I got a water I’m rubbish. Like, but a little bit a bit a bit a bit and my wife just throws me deeper. If she sees that it’s happening. You know, she was lying about having a wife ever crack and get off.
K Anderson 20:00
But are the straight women coming up to you because they’re like, Oh, I’m gonna go on this lesbian holiday.
Lori Bell 20:06
I don’t know. So I got through my 20s art school. So my early 20s late teens, I went being an art school and sort of the few years after that, I slept with a lot of straight women because it was kind of I was a safe version again, because I didn’t look insanely gay. That right, do you know what I mean? So it was just kind of been like that gateway. Yeah, I was, they sort of dip their toe in and be like, not for me. Which just meant that I kept getting my heart broken over and over again by these straight women, but really just wanted to be with like an actual queer woman.
K Anderson 20:43
For them and you’re just terrible at sex.
Lori Bell 20:46
What if? What if? What if I am? Like the lesbians in Adelaide could be up to 25% now, but I just bang the gay out? I’m just like, No, we can’t. We’re about payments. Now. That was horrific. Yeah. Thank you for bringing that up. I will cry in the shower later.
K Anderson 21:08
Can you take a selfie was made sure it did happen.
Lori Bell 21:15
Man, I God, I just like I was a very very different person. back then. I was so skittish. I think
K Anderson 21:23
skittish. Do you mean like too nervous to?
Lori Bell 21:27
Yeah, I was like you like, you know, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t know. I couldn’t look people in the eye properly. I couldn’t like, you know, if someone was having a really engaging conversation and wanting to flirt, I was really unsure of how to go about it. Just just skittish
K Anderson 21:43
Yeah, I think like the whole thing about flirting. I just wish that culturally we were more like, those. I can’t think of what culture is. But you know, some cultures are just like, hey, by the way, I fancy you do you want to go to bed? Like I just wish that that was our our approach. Because all they’re like, Huh, I’m supposed to decode what they’re saying and figure it out. Oh my god. Another thing that I’m bad at with flirting is I tease people a lot. So people like I will be a bit mean to them. But like in a fight, you know, like in a fun hilarious way, obviously. But then like some people are just like, oh, he’s a dick. And then yeah,
Lori Bell 22:25
man, one of my best friends. One of my best friends for ages. She like you could tell the second she was interested into someone because she would turn into a dick and like her flirting with just being like, you know, you just a little bit of funny banter. And you’d be like, well, you Oh, you. She’d be like, No, your faces thought, do you not even like, hey, whoa, whoa, you cross the line? No gonna respond. And then the couple times that they did respond with like, What is her damage? Like, why? Someone needs to hug her. She’s responded to that.
K Anderson 23:02
So if we can just circle back so we talked before about other people flirting with you, and you kind of figuring out how to flow and then like a singer on the first try? Like how did others flirt with you?
Lori Bell 23:18
I didn’t pick up on it. I think quite often the few times that I would normally figure I would figure out that I’d been flirted with when I was passing them or having sex with them. Like I’d be like, Oh, I guess that’s where that was leading. Okay, that’s cool. Yeah, because Oh, boy. Yeah, yeah, there’s so many things went off. Because it was just for me, it’s just old jokes and hanging out with people there which was lots of fun. And, and then yeah, figuring out that it was floating and I was being flirted with way too late in the process, and my self esteem. My self esteem me as a person was quite high. But my self esteem me as a sexual person. And like someone that person some of the people would want to be with was quite low, if that makes sense.
K Anderson 24:06
And why do you think that is?
Lori Bell 24:08
I don’t know. I don’t know late to the game. I’m not gonna lie. I have ginger that had braces and glasses. And there was a good solid point in high school where I had a perm for way too long, so might have been off to a bad start my friend. I know. I know. I know. It was such a weird time in my life. I was in intense pain. I want I wanted to give my hair it’s quite thin ginger hair and it’s normally meant to be sort of big and bold, isn’t it ginger hair. And I wanted to sort of give it a bit more body and I went to this crap hairdresser who was like, I’ll just layer it and it didn’t work. And I looked like an odd pirate and I was like, Well, how do I get a body from here? And then my, like stoner friend was like, fucking permit and I was like, yeah, so I pound it. They’re like, Looks like this. fucked up. Ronald McDonald with braces and glasses just go on. Well, this is my lot in life. This is what I live with now. So
K Anderson 25:11
imagine how different your life could have turned out if you just leaned into the pirate.
Lori Bell 25:21
I get it could of worked. You know what I mean? I’ve let myself down. Boys, we’re gonna let myself down. Good Elaine Dean wouldn’t have had a pen wouldn’t have had a pan would have had a fucked ponytail but wouldn’t have had a pen.
K Anderson 25:36
There’s women Dingo ugly would have just been like Laurie come
Lori Bell 25:42
for all thing. It is a seaside suburb.
K Anderson 25:48
So so we haven’t even gone to the Edinburgh Castle. So let’s go there. Now. Why did why was it that you wanted to talk about that place rather than Mars? But God, so
Lori Bell 26:01
it was a pub, and I’m more of a pub person than nightclub person. While I did go to bed, you’d always finish at Mars. But you’d always start at the head. Am I correct? Yeah, well, yeah, yeah. So it was about it was about a 500 metre walk between the two. And the end rocastle had to close at 10pm. And when it closed at 10pm, everyone would just loosely walk over straight into Mars bar and get ready for the first drag show. sit on the floor. Go down, go down the stairs, embrace the big dazzled body Corso thing. Deal with the silly door lady. Get their vodka cruiser and go sit down. Yeah, but the ED castle. I just it just had so much character and it was the first gay bar in Adelaide. That was the first what is the first like it was the first hotel ever in Adelaide. It was the very first hotel and then it became a gay hotel. And it was the longest running it was. It was just it was magnificent. Like on top of it. It was just cookies bucks. So like the bait the biggest night for lesbians. The biggest night for lesbians there one big night was Wednesday night whoppers. And I don’t know if your Do you remember Wednesday night wolf. It was some whoppers like Wednesday night was was when they got male strippers in.
K Anderson 27:25
Oh, okay. So that’s not the lesbian nightmare. It
Lori Bell 27:29
shouldn’t be. But it weirdly became the biggest lesbian night like you would always get a Wednesday night whoppers. And we would all just sit at the back, I think because we knew all the gay men would just be like in the bar, and we could all hang out in the beer garden. I don’t know. But then we’d all secretly get a bit curious and we go in there, and we’d sort of watch and it would be hilarious because if there was a straight stripper, he would feel so confronted by just a roomful of gay men just like hollering that he would always grab a lesbian to do the dance on and just assuming that they were he would get a good response and it would just you just watch this lesbians be like, like just screaming and losing your mind is like get you dig away from my phone. I do not consent. Yeah, it was so that was that was one of the joys in Wednesday’s
K Anderson 28:17
and the thing like so stripping as an art form. It’s just women are better at it. Like I just I know that’s a blanket statement but like male strippers are just like
Lori Bell 28:33
women women, I think women play a lot more with sensuality and so they’re a lot more sort of sensual when they’re doing it. Men just kind of find find stuff do you know what I mean?
K Anderson 28:46
which normally I’m not against
Lori Bell 28:49
stick my cock in your face and it’s raw Yeah, yeah. Yeah, whereas women are sort of be like I’m gonna do a bit of a tease fellows like I’m gonna get my face I’m gonna your face and just trust my cock into it like yeah, which when you do it to a lesbian is hilarious
K Anderson 29:05
like the other thing is that when you’re male that has to have an erection to show that you’re turned on like that’s a lot of pressure and so like putting on a cock ring in order to stay hard and then just having this angry veiny purple thing that’s cut off from your blood supply
Lori Bell 29:26
like they didn’t have had penises they had to have they had to have soft i think i think they had to have soft Wow Yeah, because you’re not allowed to what’s the point? Well, cuz like I so I know this for a fact. What’s the pie? I did with puppetry, the painters, which is a which is an Australian Australian show to the world, and toured with puppetry. The penis is the opening act for a while and you are not allowed to have in Australia. I guess. You’re not allowed to have an erect penis in front of people as a part of it.
K Anderson 30:01
Until legal What if you’re semi erect
Lori Bell 30:03
I don’t know and I don’t know at what point it becomes not okay.
K Anderson 30:08
Interesting Yeah. Something we could test Yeah,
Lori Bell 30:11
I do remember there was one night doing puppetry of the penis where the air conditioning was really on really high. And the stage manager
K Anderson 30:21
they had no
Lori Bell 30:23
fucking show and listen to the air conditioning off me All right, come down. Yeah, I know a lot about flaccid penis now it’s great.
K Anderson 30:33
But so Okay, so this how male stripper thing it’s just given this new dimension to it. So were they like flapping a flaccid penis? Like just in
Lori Bell 30:45
lesbians faces? Yeah. Yeah. And and, and it was and it was every version of bad stripper that you could have met because like, they weren’t buying the most expensive strip is right. They weren’t. They weren’t getting some.
K Anderson 31:00
I mean, Adelaide is famous. Isn’t it?
Lori Bell 31:06
So like there was there was a guy that did a gladiator routine. There was a there wasn’t like it was like the post office guy that would like spin a box. Like there was all of the classic sort of like, every cliche stripper thing. We were we were able to bear witness to as lesbians. And then I think and then I think one night they did try to have a female on and we were like, No, no, we’re not okay with that.
K Anderson 31:35
Like, for feminist reasons.
Unknown Speaker 31:37
Yeah, I think sorry. I
K Anderson 31:38
think the female was horrible.
Lori Bell 31:40
Oh, no. I mean, she was clearly straight, so we’d be less interested. But also Yeah, it was just like, I think we were sort of more like, No, no, no, this isn’t about this isn’t about that. It’s about one of us being picked up by a weird Gladiator having a cog in their face and feeling all this is the joy we get out of it. Not staring at
K Anderson 32:03
like how else are we going to get a good seat in the beer? God?
Lori Bell 32:05
Yeah, exactly. But I like the Ed was so good. Because like we have so are the big like picnic in the park, didn’t you? Surely you did picnic in the park?
K Anderson 32:16
Gay Christmas overturns. Yeah.
Lori Bell 32:18
And so we do picnic in the park. And that would finish sort of at about five but you know, Mars bar wouldn’t open until eight at the earliest. So everyone. That was the biggest Night of the biggest day of the year for the camera castle, was if you got in there, if you got in at the edge of like, this is the best. And I remember I got in there one year. And this was sitting down managed to get a table was sitting down with some friends. And then this bird walked up and she just had like sticks and shouldn’t graze all the way down her arm and she was all messed up. I’m like, Dude, what happened? And she was like, Oh, man. We were having some pre drinks at my friend’s house. And we were just driving like we’re driving to get here to the end. And I saw a breath though, which is like a police officer pull you over to test you. You know how much you’ve had to drink. She’s seen the breath though. She’s panicked. And she has dove out of the car. just dove just actively go out of the car. And we’re like, oh shit, what are the driver do? She’s like, I was the driver. Like, did you have people in the car? And she’s like, yeah, we’re just sorry, she’s just run into the bushes. She’s jumped out of the car like graze the face like run into the bushes and then just legged it to the end. Meanwhile, her mates in the car apparently as it’s just gently rolled into a breathalyser station I promise none of us are driving the cars oh so good.
K Anderson 33:54
Do you know the resolution Do you know what no
Lori Bell 33:56
we just went you need to go find your friends and you need to get yourself looked at and you need to not drive stop it just kind of centre and away we’d stuff to do Oh man, did you know the Ad Council was where I learned a very important lesson and it was like I don’t know what I was thinking I was super into scotch and coke because I was a lesbian. And I was super into scotch and coke but I didn’t realise that coke had caffeine in it. And so I would just get drunk and couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t go to sleep. lessons you learn
K Anderson 34:35
I thought there was gonna be more to that story.
Lori Bell 34:37
Got it? No, no just me sort of waking up at like 1am 3am 4am just going that’s it. I’m awake now. Do you know what I did? Just remember. I did just remember they used to have so there was there was the pool table at the ED castle. And there was the chalkboard and this so this you wouldn’t have done this because this was lesbian domain was the pool table and it was bucking competitive was hardcore competitive I am like you you would put your $2 down and if you won you played on and you would play on until you lost and then you would like that was it and if you got like a few three people would rock up with their very own like like pull keys and stuff they weren’t dicking around
K Anderson 35:22
oh my god I love those like rare cases that they come in like it just looks yeah just locally yeah
Lori Bell 35:27
Ember treating those women was such a joy in my life so very competitive did
K Anderson 35:35
so was there a status assigned to the person that was best at pole
Lori Bell 35:41
look at it current as the game was going yeah, you were like, Fuck, that person’s doing really well but like every time I was on a really good run, I would sort of get bored because I couldn’t go to the bar. So eventually we just end up losing. We could go get yourself another scotch and Cogan fuck manana.
K Anderson 35:56
So then you’re not as competitive as me clearly. Because I would have just been like, hold in your urine. Don’t you don’t need a drag? Just keep going.
Lori Bell 36:05
Oh, really? Are you that competitive? Yeah, no, I’d get a fever. Yes,
K Anderson 36:08
Lori Bell 36:12
But you wind up sucking so that’s
K Anderson 36:13
good. Yeah, I mean, like, you know, I get a spirit badge. Other thing about that is having to play against people you don’t know. Yeah, I just find that really,
Lori Bell 36:22
although it’s satellite so you kind of know them.
K Anderson 36:26
But you know, when you’re like with your friend, and you’re like, hey, should we play pool and then you all you want to do is play as your friend. But suddenly you’re like, swept up into this kind of like, oh, okay, I’ll play you. And then
Lori Bell 36:36
that was that was. That was never an option. It was never an option. You couldn’t play with your friends. There was this one and there was this one guy. There was this girl I had the biggest crush on and I better I better at pool. And then she became my friend on Facebook or not on Facebook on my space. She kept my friend on my space and it just meant the world.
K Anderson 37:01
Third point to this story.
Lori Bell 37:03
No, it was just such a good memory of winning a game of pool and making a MySpace friend of a woman that I had a crush on feel great.
K Anderson 37:10
As this going back to what we were talking about before in terms of flirting with your flirting tactic like cream Hara Paul and then she’ll love cream or
Lori Bell 37:19
Paul and then she’ll cream I guess. I don’t know. It was Yeah, rubbish. I’m so lucky. I have my wife.
K Anderson 37:28
Good Practice. So because the venue switched from being a queer venue to a straight venue, which I assume was because it was like there was a change in landlord. Oh, no,
Lori Bell 37:41
it wasn’t. It wasn’t a change in landlord. It was the year the owners, the people that actually ran the bar. I think, like and I don’t know, but I
K Anderson 37:53
would just so sick of male strippers. No, I
Lori Bell 37:56
think they got like I said, I think they got I think they developed some addiction stuff is what I’ve heard. I don’t know what the true story is. But it just really it happened really suddenly, like they just didn’t have money. And they were like, no, that’s it, we’re closed. And it’s a little gay bar anymore. And we’re like, what, what? Yeah, and it just kind of it really smashed to the same really smash the same because it was Adelaide and we had you know what other states and stuff were starting to, like, you know, we were just sort of allowed to just be out at normal bars, which was great to feel comfortable being out at a normal bar. But there’s something really magical about being able to have a gay bar, like your own space that feels safe and yeah, and so sort of losing that. So suddenly and without sort of knowing so no one could do anything to protect it or or save it. It was it was just done. You know what I mean? Like it was just and that was it. And then this these straight people got it. And it was like, Damn that. Yeah, we just kind of we lost this being important thing in our history. So suddenly, and there’s such a,
K Anderson 39:01
what was the community response?
Lori Bell 39:03
sadness? Really, like lots of sadness? Yeah, especially like, and it wasn’t, it wasn’t even, you know, because it wasn’t like, it wasn’t 100% always just the same place. It was just also just a gay bar, like just a place that you know, like, older queer people could just be really comfortable and grab a beer and get a meal and you know, and it wasn’t about getting laid in the toilet or whatever it was. It was
K Anderson 39:29
that was just a bonus. Yeah,
Lori Bell 39:33
it was Yeah, it was just you know, cheeky, Rusty, whatever it was, it was just a centralised it Yeah, it was a it was a home. It was a home and we sort of lost our home for shitty reason.
K Anderson 39:44
And so what happened then when it got taken over by the by the street by the streets, you said something before about like it’s not you didn’t call it a straight bar. You call it an everyone bar?
Lori Bell 39:54
I like Yeah, yeah. It’s kind of how it ended up like I think they wanted It became just like a gig bar because we had a really good performance space obviously because gay bar and had a really had a really eye stage and stuff and those floppy disks. Oh, so I think they essentially made it like yeah so like Sunday’s were definitely gay day. So Sundays you had gay Bingo. So that’s what I was hosting. Then you had the drag show afterwards, which was like it was run by Vani. Remember Vani Oh, funny would run the drag. She’s still she’s still doing gigs and she’s still kicking around. She’s an absolute absolute quiet. So yeah, it was still sort of, like you still couldn’t get us out. You still couldn’t, you couldn’t get rid of us.
K Anderson 40:46
But what was different?
Lori Bell 40:47
There was straight people there. There was straight people behind the bar, and they were all wonderful and they were lovely. But it just wasn’t it just wasn’t the same. They’re just not the same as having a space where you got your gay guy you’ve got your silly lesbian behind the bar that makes great cocktails, but you don’t I mean, like you just you’ve got all these things that just kind of that make it make it
K Anderson 41:14
acquainted with you and women who work in queer venues being grumpy or surly I do
Lori Bell 41:21
you know, I worked in hospitality for a long time and I think it’s probably more to do with my style of hospitality then like it’s probably quite cheaper women there I was just I was just always in a shit mood when I was working hospitality. But that is because I got an arts degree. So
K Anderson 41:40
okay, like you’re a buffer? Is that what you mean? No,
Lori Bell 41:43
no, I got an arts degree. So I had to work hospitality because that’s that’s just what we do.
K Anderson 41:47
always see. I see. That’s why you’re returning. And so can you answer me this question? What’s the difference between regular bingo and gay bingo?
Lori Bell 41:57
Wow. Okay, so I know this because during COVID, I had to diversify. And I picked up a job calling bingo at the actual casino for Nana’s. So
K Anderson 42:09
it sounded like you were saying that the casino was called finanace.
Lori Bell 42:16
So for Nana’s for grandmas. So I was calling so calling bingo for them. They’re super competitive, they spend a lot of money and the prize is money. So it’s gambling. Gay Bingo. The way that we do it in Adelaide, is you essentially just get a couple of tickets to start off with all of the bingo calls are quite filthy. And the prizes are things like a vibrator or a bag of spinach or is it just depends it depends on what acquainted frises brings in essentially so yeah, but always the final prize is a choice between like tickets to go see a show or a huge, exciting vibrator.
K Anderson 43:01
So So stakes are lower. And laughs are higher. And people are more inebriated. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I love going to like proper Bingo. Do you just watching people, I just just the people watching over, like, you know how some people have those? Like, they’ve just done away with cards, and they just have this thing that’s like a giant calculator. Yeah,
Lori Bell 43:25
yeah, the pit machine.
K Anderson 43:27
That is just incredible. Yeah, I was just
Lori Bell 43:31
like, so I literally was calling bingo today at the casino. And there is like there’s people that are playing like seven games at the exact same time and they’re just like, yeah, and I’m calling really fast. Yeah, but I can’t like and I have only been doing it for a few months. And I had complaints from a few of the grandmas they were a bit You’re going too slow. No, not too slow. I got one complaint was that my voice was too high pitched because I’m not a dude. Essentially. I couldn’t drop my balls. So I was like fuck, I have never I have never had that. as something said to me. I was I took it as a compliment. Happy toys.
K Anderson 44:14
I’m finally high femme.
Lori Bell 44:17
Lipstick next time. And then the other one was that I was too entertaining. It’s just Bingo. You’re being too entertaining. Stop it. Okay, hi. So I was just trying to have some fun it’s tough for me but I think she’s got a weak pelvic floor if I may go into a bingo
K Anderson 44:40
was there she was like, you shouldn’t be talking between the numbers or
Lori Bell 44:45
no, I should Yeah, I was being too entertaining. Do you know what it was? Is that I was I took some stuff from go Bingo. I didn’t do any the finger calls obviously because you know
K Anderson 44:53
there’s you just gave out vibrators. Yeah.
Lori Bell 44:57
That’s what I was just getting them to say like game on before we started bingo, which like was jaunty and fun, but it was also a way for me to know that they were all listening and focused and ready to start again. Without being like, Is everyone ready? I would just go Alright, Jamie’s ready to play game on the count of 3123 and today we don’t need to count we just need to play bingo that’s fine. Yeah. Oh yeah, that’s Yeah, and this is some numbers this some numbers because I do I still I still host gay Bingo. I love it. And it’s in Adelaide. It funds the queer youth drop in centre. So it’s Yeah, it gives young queer people a safe space. So well all the old queers just play bingo and when barbarians and so like this some things like whenever it’s so like, you know, you go to Little Ducks 22 right that’s what you say. Right in normal bingo Two little ducks 22 and then in gay bingo we say two little dikes 22 physicist is like that. It is so hard not to fuck that. Accidentally saved x. And then the other one that I always really struggle with because it just kind of rolls off the tongue is five and 656 everybody shake you’re like I don’t think the nanos god they give themselves black guys.
K Anderson 46:26
Yeah, hit man a bear. Yeah. So a really important question I have about the Add castle is did you ever get off with anyone there? At the end?
Lori Bell 46:42
Ah, pretty heavy. makeout session. Didn’t have sex had sex at Mars, though. A couple of times.
K Anderson 46:50
Lori Bell 46:51
Were in the toilet? Don’t tell me you did not
K Anderson 46:55
No, No, I didn’t. I don’t think I’ve ever had sex. I had
Lori Bell 46:58
to get the security guards had to the security guards had to come in and be like, Girls, come on. Like it’s closing time.
K Anderson 47:07
Like, is it just like, how do you even get to that point? Is it just that there’s really heavy padding and everyone’s kind of disgusted about around you like in the bar? So you have to find some way discreet?
Lori Bell 47:19
No, no, no, no, just you know, you girls, you go to the toilet together. And yeah, like as a huge lineup. We’ll just go in and pee together. Oh, we’ve just paid together. Yeah, maybe we’re just cheeky just to kiss while we’re in here. And then he’s just, you know, just gets a bit carried away. Surely I’m not the only one. Surely I’m not the only one. Well, I definitely know there’s one other person because it wasn’t just me.
K Anderson 47:43
Yeah, I mean, nothing, nothing like the smell of urine and impatient people in a queue behind
Lori Bell 47:49
and just drag queens coming in and just yelling shit out. Yeah. It’s your time. It’s your time, you know?
K Anderson 47:57
Yeah. See, this is one of the areas where I didn’t really fully embrace things. Like I definitely made out loud on the dance floor. But never had sex in a club. Yeah,
Lori Bell 48:09
well, you know, gay friend, Chris, that I was talking about earlier. A gay friend Chris. He gave him on a dance floor and Mars. How do you do that? How do you do that? He did it. While queens was very sticky floor after that
K Anderson 48:22
was was he really short?
Lori Bell 48:25
No, he wasn’t short and I’m sorry for the person was that tall? I think they were just really focused on getting the task down and no one really cared. Wow. I remember there was one night there was one night it was like all the Queens would come into the ladies toilet and I was like, Fuck you. We’ve got like, such long lines do not like come on.
K Anderson 48:44
Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense. Yeah, but you know,
Lori Bell 48:47
safe spaces. I’m not gonna judge like I’m, I’ve learned, but like, so I was like, Well, fuck this. I’m going into the dude’s toilet and I have never ever regretted a decision more. How come because they were fine with me being in there but I was not fine. Well, because I just saw things I didn’t want to see. The way the boys toilets worked. Were very different to where the girls toilets work. We were just paying in there for the most part.
K Anderson 49:13
What? Oh, cuz they were having sex? I think so.
Lori Bell 49:17
K Anderson 49:19
Oh, yeah. Yeah, I really missed out. He did. What
Lori Bell 49:24
are you doing?
K Anderson 49:28
In closing, is there any words of wisdom that you would give to Laurie with a perm?
Lori Bell 49:42
Yes, yes, it would be get get rid of the perm. As soon as you can. You, you want not as unattractive as everyone as you think you are. And just off get your head. Get your ass I reckon would be the other one
K Anderson 50:04
was I didn’t get a sense of your head within your ass. I just over
Lori Bell 50:08
thought everything, I think overthinking everything. And I think that gave me a lot of extra anxiety that I didn’t need to have. I think now that I care less and have relaxed more, my life is much more Fuller, and enjoyable.
K Anderson 50:22
Well, that’s good advice. I hope that she listens.
Lori Bell 50:26
Yeah, me too. Especially about the perm. It was so bad.
K Anderson 50:31
thing that gets me is that it wasn’t the
Lori Bell 50:34
No, no, it wasn’t. It was the very, very late 90s it was the very late 90s perms were not in they were not a thing. Especially not with weird layering as well on top of her, like just like imagine like fact Ronald McDonald like, but a young lesbian that doesn’t know she’s gay. Yeah. That’s where we’re at with braces, and glasses.
K Anderson 50:58
Do you have any memories of Adelaide queer scene be that Mars bar or Edinburgh Castle or somewhere that we didn’t discuss today? Or do you have memories from your own cuisine that you want to share? Well, if you do, please get in touch. I want to create the biggest online record of people’s memories and stories. Go to LA spaces podcast.com and find this section share a lost space and tell me all about what you’ve got up to. You can also reach out to me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. My handle is lostspacespod. And whilst you’re at it, find out more about Lori her website Lori Bell comedy calm and follow her on Facebook. Her profile is Lori Bell comedy simple, right? law spaces is not only a podcast, but a concept record as well. I have been writing songs about queer venues and the people who used to live their lives there. And we’ll be releasing songs over the coming year. You can hear the first single well groomed boys which is also playing underneath my talking right now on all streaming platforms. If you like this episode, I would really appreciate if you subscribe, left a review on your podcast platform of choice or just told people who you think might be interested in giving it a little listen to. I am K Anderson and you’ve been listening to lost spaces.