Noel Charles died recently. I do not recall having ever seen him. But he was the owner of Alexandra’s Disco right there on the opposite bend in the road to the official residence of the Archbishop of the Anglican Church.
I got to be thinking again about Alexandra’s when I came across the tune “Get Lucky’ via Alex. Like a time machine, I whirled back in times to the dancing hours spent in that darkened, light place with too cool danseur Beverley, Dawn, Linda and Wendy. I Will Survive, We Are Family, To Be Real, Donna Summer, Sister Sledge, Ain’t No Stopping Us and Ring My Bell with everyone doing the Rock for months. And then the rent-a-tile croonings of Teddy Pendergrass. Ah, for “Come on and Go With Me”. Except you would not want to be stuck in that song with the man with the flashing disco lights embedded in his T-Shirt, trying to impress his sweaty self into your chest. You are NOT going to electrocute me tonight. Battle for the sexes.
Described by one, as “one of the most sophisticated discotheques in the world”, Alexandra’s was the place for the hip, for us too and then for men lounging like lizards on velveteened chairs on the outskirts of the dance floor playing backgammon, smug as lions in the Serengeti. There was an upstairs and also side cubicles. Truth is, there was sense of the seedy about the place. What else, in the heady period of cocaine’s kaleidoscopic light?
We saw and even met celebrities. Richard Pryor, on to whose boat we were invited for a week-long cruising across the Caribbean. By the bodyguard.
But mostly it was a place for joyous dancing, all night long. We did get lucky, us dancing sisters, with life long memories of each other at our most carefree, interested in young men but not too much so in those moments on the circular floor, disco balls overhead, blinking UV lights capturing us in illuminating fragments, exuberant, more in thrall with our freedom, our sense of possibilities and Good Times.
We laughed a lot. And how we smoked!
Here is the time machine: