Combat Zone Amnesia

In the 60s urban social scientists suggested to Boston officials that the city create an adult entertainment area between the bus station on Boylston Street and Chinatown to contain the wickedness of mankind. The experiment green-lighted prostitution, drag queens, piano bars, go-go bars, rent boys, and pornography along Washington Street and the adjacent blocks. The Boston Record-American newspaper labeled haven of sin the ‘Combat Zone’ and men across New England gravitated to Boston’s Decriminalized Zone of Sexuality to cut loose with friends and complete strangers.

The Combat Zone featured top-notch strippers at go-go bars such as the ‘Teddy Bare Lounge’, the ‘Two O’Clock Club’, ‘Club 66’ and the ‘Naked I’. LaGrange Street was the hot spot for street hookers running out of ‘Good Time Charlie’s’. Most of the pimps frequented the Sugar Shack. I saw James Brown performed on that stage and my friend Andy K swears that he went to the Sugar Shack with Bill O’Reilly, the future right-wing propagandist for Fox News. I

During the early 70s I drove taxi to pay for college and every night I stopped in the Combat Zone to catch the strippers and whores heading home after closing. It was a good fare and sometimes we shared a joint on the route to their apartments. I never thought them bad, but the the Catholic Church attacked the Combat Zone as proof that Satan was trawling for damned souls.

I wish that I could say they were wrong, but the Combat Zone was too much fun for most men and bad things occurred on those wind-blown streets. Pimps beat up girls, girls ripped off johns, hustlers robbed gays, drugs killed the weak and in 1976 a Harvard football player was murdered on LaGrange Street. That well-publicized homicide doomed the Combat Zone, although its true killer was the higher rents for downtown properties.

Sin was cheap.

Now sex is expensive.

Few people remember the Combat Zone, but I recall the organ/bass/drum trios providing music for the strippers. I learned about sex from the stroke books in the XXX parlors. I had good luck with the dancers after midnight. I was their ride home and I got them there fast.

It was the best a man could do for dirty angels escaping Satan.

One Comment

  1. ghfduias
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    That is crazy, it sucks that they took the street down

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