Fri, Mar 27, 2009 - Page 13 News List

Right round like a record

Spin was dark, dirty, it smelled and the floor was sticky. Revisit what was once the best club in town tomorrow night at Huashan Culture Park

By Ron Brownlow  /  STAFF REPORTER


At the first Back to Spin party in October last year the crowd danced so hard you could feel the floor shake and tiles fell from the ceiling in the movie theater downstairs.

It happened at the venerable Paris Night Club (夜巴黎舞廳) in Ximending but the atmosphere felt like opening night at Luxy. Outside, the line snaked half a block down Wuchang Street (武昌街) while inside celebrities including Wong Kar Wai (王家衛) and Faith Yang (楊乃文) grooved with clubbers who were too young to have ever seen the inside of the party’s namesake, the old Spin disco on Heping East Road (和平東路).

Tomorrow it’s going to happen all again — only this time on a much larger scale. Organized by 10 former Spin patrons who are now in their mid to late 30s and mostly work in the entertainment industry, the second Back to Spin takes place in a converted warehouse at Huashan Culture Park (華山文化園區) on Bade Road (八德路). A capacity crowd of 550 attended the first party and 200 people had to be turned away. This time there’s room for 1,000, but as of Sunday 500 tickets had already been sold.

Opened in 1993, Spin was Taipei’s version of CBGB, the New York club where The Ramones, Blondie and The Talking Heads got their start. Spin wasn’t so much a place to drink and hook up — though there was certainly a lot of that going on — as it was a mecca for people who liked music and knew that here the DJs always played the latest releases from the US and Europe, which in those days were hard to find anywhere else. It was “an information center” in the words of Back to Spin organizer Arthur Chen (陳彥豪) where you could meet “lots of weird people.”

Customers would rendezvous at 45 — the bar was a major hangout before it got chopped in half to make room for a parking lot — and buy a drink to get free ticket to Spin. Then they’d head to the 7-Eleven at Heping East and Jinshan South (金山南路) roads, down a few beers outside and hide a couple more in their pockets before descending into the pit next door. Spin was dark, dirty, filled with dancing, sweaty, head-banging bodies, it smelled of smoke and stale beer and the floor was sticky. The police often visited and nasty fights frequently started inside. It was the best club in Taipei.


WHAT: Back to Spin

WHEN: Tomorrow from 9pm to 4am

WHERE: Central Warehouse No. 5 (中五館), Huashan Culture Park (華山文化園區), 1, Bade Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市八德路一段1號), near the intersection of Jinshan North (金山北路) and Zhongxiao East (忠孝東路) roads

ADMISSION: NT$800 at the door, NT$500 advance tickets on sale at the Fucking Place (操場), 2F, 169 Heping E Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市和平東路二段169號2樓) or online through

Tomorrow, former house DJs Alex 36, Mykal, Fish and Randy will play a mix of old favorites like Pulp, Suede, Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana along with new rock and electronica. As with the first Back to Spin, you must partake in a “ceremony” upon entering: downing a (free) shot of tequila. And if in the unfortunate event you can’t get in, you can always go to Underworld (地下社會) on Shida Road (師大路) where Back 2 the Future (回到未來) is holding another one of its DJ parties that bring to mind the way things used to be at Spin.


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