I’m sharing this from Gay Brighton Past – Our Velvet Vault of Memories.
Thank you to Billy Short for sharing this photo, so full of memories for me.
Thank you also for your very kind words – they mean more than you could ever know:
“As far as I’m concerned, this is an important historical photo. On the face of it, it’s ‘just’ Hazell Dean, performing at Bolts.
But there are two key things to understand here.
Firstly, in Brighton we had up to this point very few big clubs and discos, and Bolts opened a big dance floor one-nighter at Sherry’s in the 1980s, at the start of a new disco boom – and as the gay pub and club scene expanded exponentially.
Secondly, it was then almost weird that AIDS soon hit at the same time, and all the liberated fun sort of came to a stop, as we took stock about who we were and are.
We still danced to the club hits, but our Divas were also the glittered priests on stage, telling us it was still OK to have (safe) fun. And we let off steam with their help, while many of our friends were in the hospitals.
Those of us in relationships, never knew if past innocent connections might come back to haunt us, and we also struggled with the ever changing safe sex rules.
We gay men carried on, but nothing seemed fair.
Hazell Dean was thrust into this spotlight with some great dancefloor anthems, some of which were chart hits. But she also knew her job here, and for that we will forever be grateful.
Brighton Bolts, mid 1980s. Picture by Billy Short
High Energy courtesy of Hazell Dean.”
This was, is and ALWAYS will be my tribe, by beautiful lost boys – the ones who left us too soon, but also the ones who survived – this is MY TRIBE! ❤️