Tag Archives: combat zone

WALK LIKE A WOMAN by Peter Nolan Smith

Billy Wilder’s SOME LIKE IT HOT was a funny movie about two musicians hiding from the Mob in an all-women band and I didn’t think much about men dressing as women, until my next-door neighbor asked in his basement, “Who you think is prettier? Jack Lemmon or Tony Curtis?” “Neither.” The year was 1964 and […]

Life Is Illusion in the Combat Zone

Back in 1969 Jerry Brendt took this photo of two brothers messing around with white girls. This was not Selma, but Boston’s Combat Zone where people could be people. The Caddy is a convertible and the girls love the horseplay. Everything seems perfect. Everything depends on your point of view or disposition. “it’s just a […]

SHADOWS OF THE COMBAT ZONE by Peter Nolan Smith

In the late 60s lower Washington Street was anointed Boston’s Combat Zone for sex and sin. Working-class drinking dives became go-go bars named the Naked I and Two O’Clock Lounge. Gay clubs like Jacques and The Other End flourished freely in the alleys. Porno theaters openly screened XXX-rated to enthralled men and the cops ceased […]

Closing The Go Go Bars

I liked old go-go bars. My first was the 2 O’Clock Lounge in Boston’s Combat Zone. 1971. Drums, bass organ, sax, stripper. Paradise. I hate gentlemen clubs. They have no class, but class went dead in the beginning of the 21st Century, except for those who never gave up the dead.

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 […]