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Thread: "The Garage"

  1. #1
    Forum's veteran Brad the Impala's Avatar
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    "The Garage"

    I met up with a couple of old-time expats at the weekend. It was good pooling our fading memories of life in Bangkok in the 70's(and to a lesser extent Pattaya).

    However one reference puzzled me at the time and still does after thinking about it more. It was to a a gay bar in Thaniya Road that was known as "The Garage". No one was sure if that was it's actual name or just the name used to refer to it, but I allegedly met one of the old friends in it in the very early seventies.

    I have absolutely no recall of it and there was so much more to discuss that we rapidly moved on to other topics. So I have no more information than that. I haven't seen any reference to it in our historical threads, so wondered if the mentioning of it here might jog some other old timers memories??


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    Re: "The Garage"

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad the Impala View Post
    I met up with a couple of old-time expats at the weekend. It was good pooling our fading memories of life in Bangkok in the 70's(and to a lesser extent Pattaya).

    However one reference puzzled me at the time and still does after thinking about it more. It was to a a gay bar in Thaniya Road that was known as "The Garage". No one was sure if that was it's actual name or just the name used to refer to it, but I allegedly met one of the old friends in it in the very early seventies.

    I have absolutely no recall of it and there was so much more to discuss that we rapidly moved on to other topics. So I have no more information than that. I haven't seen any reference to it in our historical threads, so wondered if the mentioning of it here might jog some other old timers memories??
    I wasn't even aware that there had ever been a boy bar on Soi Thaniya. As you noted, there has never been a mention of such a venue by anoyone on these and I haven't come across a venue that corresponds to "The Garage", whether by name of description, in any of the more historical material that I have looked at when looking into the earlier bars and Soi Twilight either. I wonder if "The Garage" somehow corresponds to Bluesjytoday's elusive bar with fishnets. For now that's one more bar that has been mentioned but about which nothing is actually known, along with the fishnet bar, which may have existed in the early 1970s and Tiffany's up on the ramp in Patpong, which is recorded as being there in 1980 but about which no one has ever shared any details. I assume that your friend meant Soi Thaiya proper, rather than Soi Thaniya 2, which has, obviously, had boy bars on it for decades?

    Speaking of Thaniya 2, in your post on the That First Time thread, you mentioned that "My first time sex in Thailand must have been about 1970, I was a very young man. I was staying at the Suriwong Hotel in Patpong, Bangkok having been advised that that was the place to stay for “that sort of thing”. My question is whether the Twilight Bar was still on Thaniya 2 at that point. As noted in the History of Soi Twilight thread and elsewhere, the Twilight Bar's originally opened on Thaniya 2 in 1966 before moving to Soi Pratuchai "in the early 1970s". Pinning-down the date for its move, and thus the beginning of Soi Twilight, is proving tough. If it was no longer there when you stayed at the Suriwong Hotel, then we are much closer to establishing the year of its move.

    Hopefully, at some point you will get-around to setting down your memories of the early scene in Bangkok in one consolidated thread, along with all the anecdotes y the bother veterans after a few pints. Doubtless, it will be a fascinating read.
    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and then beat you with experience.

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    Re: "The Garage"

    Quote Originally Posted by JayToff View Post
    Hopefully, at some point you will get-around to setting down your memories of the early scene in Bangkok in one consolidated thread, along with all the anecdotes y the bother veterans after a few pints. Doubtless, it will be a fascinating read.
    I second that motion. If Brad's first visit was around 1970, I'm pretty sure that predates anyone else on the board by a good many years. My first question would be: what prompted the visit at a time when Thailand was not on most tourists' radar and when 'gap year' was a newish term?

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  7. #4
    Forum's veteran Brad the Impala's Avatar
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    Re: "The Garage"

    Quote Originally Posted by JayToff View Post
    I wonder if "The Garage" somehow corresponds to Bluesjytoday's elusive bar with fishnets. For now that's one more bar that has been mentioned but about which nothing is actually known, along with the fishnet bar, which may have existed in the early 1970s and Tiffany's up on the ramp in Patpong, which is recorded as being there in 1980 but about which no one has ever shared any details. I assume that your friend meant Soi Thaiya proper, rather than Soi Thaniya 2, which has, obviously, had boy bars on it for decades?
    Thanks for your continuing interest in this topic and our history! Pretty sure that my friend meant the main Thaniya(Thanon?) It might as you say have been linked with the fishnets described elsewhere, however logic suggests that fishnets would have fitted in better in a bar like Sea Hag with a nautical theme. Sadly this may all remain a mystery........unless any one else is forthcoming...........

    Quote Originally Posted by JayToff View Post
    Speaking of Thaniya 2, in your post on the That First Time thread, you mentioned that "My first time sex in Thailand must have been about 1970, I was a very young man. I was staying at the Suriwong Hotel in Patpong, Bangkok having been advised that that was the place to stay for “that sort of thing”. My question is whether the Twilight Bar was still on Thaniya 2 at that point. As noted in the History of Soi Twilight thread and elsewhere, the Twilight Bar's originally opened on Thaniya 2 in 1966 before moving to Soi Pratuchai "in the early 1970s". Pinning-down the date for its move, and thus the beginning of Soi Twilight, is proving tough. If it was no longer there when you stayed at the Suriwong Hotel, then we are much closer to establishing the year of its move.
    I can confirm that Twilight had not yet moved at this point to the soi that came to bear it's name, and I must have been in Bangkok a couple of years before it moved. So I am thinking 72 or 73.

    Quote Originally Posted by JayToff View Post
    Hopefully, at some point you will get-around to setting down your memories of the early scene in Bangkok in one consolidated thread, along with all the anecdotes y the bother veterans after a few pints. Doubtless, it will be a fascinating read.
    Thank you for thinking this might be interesting. It is interesting to remember sometimes, but as for setting it all down, that would have to wait until I have more time on my hands, as one finger typing is a slow process! Of course by then I may have forgotten more anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by snotface View Post
    I second that motion. If Brad's first visit was around 1970, I'm pretty sure that predates anyone else on the board by a good many years. My first question would be: what prompted the visit at a time when Thailand was not on most tourists' radar and when 'gap year' was a newish term?
    Thanks Snotface. I thought that there had been a couple of other posters around at that time, but I may be mistaken.

    My first trip to Thailand was prompted by a third hand rumour that the men there were beautiful and available, and it all sounded very exotic. An English friend(with whom I was in love but he was straight) and I had both gathered enough money to go on a significant holiday together. The previous year we had spent a month in Albufiera in the Algarve.

    For our next trip he was thinking of Mexico and I was thinking of Thailand(I may not have revealed the full extent of my motivation). We tossed a coin and I won. We spent almost three months in a rented wooden bungalow by the sea in Pattaya. He got a girlfriend and I hung out with the motorbike boys. As soon as we returned to the UK I was making plans to return to Thailand, while, although he had enjoyed the holiday, I don't think he ever went back, while I have hardly been away! I was due to go back in April last year, but for obvious reasons haven't made it, meaning it's now the longest period away since I first visited.

    Still, at least I am blessed that I have my very own piece of Thailand living with me.

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    Re: "The Garage"

    I had never beforehand heard of The Garage. I just found on the internet a 262 page scholarly survey of gay sex in Thailand titled "A Night Out With The Boys" about bar-based male sec work in Bangkok. As usual it is hard to get into but the writer also mentions The Garage.

    He arrived in Bangkok in 1979 where he spent the better part of the next 15 years. He concentrates his discourse on the bars near Suriwong and Saphan Kwai. Where he discusses bars prior to 1979 he depends on information from friends.

    Near the start, he mentions that he was with friends in Rome Club on Soi 4 when some left to see the sex show at "The John". I never heard of this bar either and don't recall seeing mention of it. He adds that The John was the first of the commercial sex venues to feature male-male sex shows and "became an overnight success." Anyone else heard of this bar?

    He also mentions a large bar north of Lumphini Park. This must have been the infamous Stockholm Bar in an old Thai house where I had my first experience of Bangkok's bars.

    There is reference also to "Big Boy" which seems to have been a later bar. Another is Mandrake. I don't recall either, He also interviews 55 bar boys about their experiences. The age range was 18 - 33 with the majority aged 18 - 22. He adds that boys working in the Saphan Kwai Bars tended to be on the whole younger than those in the central district. But that research took place much later - between 1994 - 1999

    http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/dat...CE01?view=true

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    Re: "The Garage"

    Quote Originally Posted by Armando View Post

    Near the start, he mentions that he was with friends in Rome Club on Soi 4
    Some years back, Jimmy First (from The Pinnacle), claimed he managed the Rome Club back in the day. Maybe someone can confirm?

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    Re: "The Garage"

    But Thaniya is soi Japan nah? Always said to expel white westerners and only allow the Japanese. Though I do not know if it already was that at those times-before I first came (around 1980/2). I DO remember a host bar in Thaniya, open for each and all, on a 2nd or 3d floor and closer to Suriwong.
    What armando most likely refers to is the famous book TMOT= The men of Thailand, as the description of the US writer fits in for 99%. It had several prints, somtimes the section about the current (as far as print can do that-long before this www became available) open bars/gay places etc. were separate booklet, sometimes in the main thick book. I did not check this link yet though for this. 1st print must also be from the early 80ies.

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