Nightlife » Local Events

LA’s Cockfight...Rocks On!

by JC Alvarez
Saturday Nov 26, 2011

We've all proven we can sweat it out to the electro-techno beat of pop music and gleefully worship at the altar of dance anthems whenever we hit the circuit scene. But sometimes the only driving bass line that can satisfy that urge in your gut comes from some good hard rock and roll - the lick of an electric guitar, the kiss required to quench your thirst.

Broadening the palette of what every gay outing should offer Cockfight at the Cha Cha Lounge in LA's other gay-burb of Silverlake is proving just the remedy for those disco diehards needing a little something to get over the hump. On the last Wednesday of every month Simon Cantlon and Bryan Wilson bring out the bodies that rally to those badass beats.

"I appreciate pop music," Cantlon does admit, "but I've always said to my friends...why isn't there a gay rock night?" It's not as though gays have ever shown a particular aversion to rock. With its big hair, leather-clad lead singers and all those panty-tossing would assume gays fit right in. With iconic performers like David Bowie, who paved the way for glam rock, and Pat Benatar, belting "Love Is a Battlefield", to Heart and the cult antics of The Ramones, rock at the core speaks volumes to a community that has long associated itself with misfits.

"I just wanted a gay rock night...simple with no big themes." What Cantlon and Wilson have put together is a Wednesday night party that is spreading like wildfire, which for LA is fast. There is no cover and guaranteed drink specials - with rather colorful names. How about a shot of Hellfire or a swig of Coke Whore? Whatever your poison it's most likely on the menu. An authentic rock DJ spinning the modern hits to the classics is always featured.

Spinning the Rock Hits

"It’s got to be guitar-based rock," Cantlon jokes, exacting one of his rules for DJing a night at Cockfight. "We’ll always be mixing it up," although he admits that they are excited to produce some live acts and have considered celebrity DJs to operate the turntables. One of the names dropped is LA socialite Alexis Arquette, who is a staple in the alt-rock scene. "We might even try a ’Win-A-Date’ event with Alexis - who knows?" Other celebs expected to drop by and roll with the crowd would include Traci Lords and punk-rock band Abe Vigoda, who incidentally has a gay band member among its troupe.

With an intention to provide an alternative experience to the typical gay outing - the free cover alone is attractive since most battle to deal with the recession - Cantlon and Wilson’s Cockfight at Cha Cha Lounge is catching on even with the mainstream population. "It’s a whole other scene on the East Side in Silverlake," Cantlon explains. And perhaps that’s why they settled on launching their rock and roll party at the Cha Cha Lounge.

Worth the Trip

The cozy, Mexican "dive-bar" has doubled as many things during its history and now pays homage to the Rock Gods the last Wednesday of every month. "It’s a fun and funky place...and a really cool space." With its velvety wall decorations and sombreros, a working photo booth and an interestingly unique assortment of trinkets left from the vending machine, hitting the mosh pit at Cockfight on Wednesdays sounds like the perfect remedy to the gloss and glitter of the West Hollywood strip.

"We’re keeping it fun and interesting," Cantlon promises. "No bells and whistles," just rock and roll, hot boys wearing their Iron Maiden and Slayer tees and the thrum of that guitar. Do you have moves like Jagger? Cockfight is the place to prove it.

Cockfight takes over Silverlake’s Cha Cha Lounge (2375 Glendale Blvd) the last Wednesday of every month. No cover. Nightly drink specials.

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Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


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