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Rites of spring
Apr 1st, 1986 by Warren Swil

The Black Party at Probe was a special event

where the audience WAS the show

 Coauthored with DJ Stewart Barkal

First pubished in Frontiers Newsmagazine,
April 1, 1986
Not Available online

SOME 2,000 men last weekend shared a 15-hour fantasy in what has become one of the rites of spring for Southern California’s gay male community: The Black Party.
From early Saturday evening until Sunday afternoon those attending were able to temporarily put aside the realities of survival in the ’80s, and indulge in a fantasmagorical journey into a reality limited only by their imagination.

DJ Stewart Barkal, his personal Bozac mixer on the console, is seen in the DJ booth high above the dance floor at Probe in 1985. (Additional description of this image included in the post script at the end of this post.)

For those at the eighth annual Black Party may have seemed like magic how the physical and sensual environment was able to stimulate the intensity of the response they felt.
But the sensory experience of the partygoers, created by the elaborate decor and props, the lighting and music was a direct result of the passion, creativity and skill that was contributed to all aspects of the production.
All these elements were carefully and deliberately designed to stimulate the imagination and unlock inner fantasies.


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