Before bouncers or doormen became codified, legislated and organized into a multi-million-dollar security industry, anyone could turn-up on the door of a bar or a club, so long as they were willing to put the boot-in or take ‘a doing’ from some disgruntled patron. Back in the 1970s, everyone seemed to take turns at standing on door. My brother made a brief career of it, in velvet jacket and bow tie, before becoming an accountant.
Once, even I had my stint on the door of a club with a pal called Mike. While I was out of my depth, Mike had experience. He wore steel toe-caps, had a cycle belt wrapped around his waist, and carried a chib tucked-in his boots. I hoped my interest in modern literature and the films of Ken Russell would dissuade any would-be trouble-makers. Thankfully little happened other than escorting a few drunks off the premises. But it was an experience and I’d discovered it wasn’t my calling. Mike went on to join a chapter of the Hell’s Angels, while I went off to college.
I was reminded of my puny attempts at bouncing by this rather wonderful film report, from the late great Bernard Falk, on the training of Glasgow bouncers during the 1970s. Meet Cherokee, Dirty Harry, Big Billy, and Little Billy, who are trained to deal with troublesome customers in a gentle, polite and effective fashion, at a ‘rent-a-bouncer academy’ by black belt Judo champion, Brian Voss.
Previously on Dangerous Minds
With thanks to NellyM