Club Desire. Again

Worse than ever.
Worse than ever.

Club Desire. I’ve written about it in the past.

It’s a legendary place. Just about everybody who played on the “Chitlin Circuit” played here. Big names like Count Basie. Ray Charles. Fats Domino. Dave Bartholomew.

If you poke around Storyteller long enough, you’ll find my original writing about it. It was the temporary home of many of the bigger touring R&B bands in the 1950s and 60s. It helped give birth to rock n’ roll. Fats Domino’s career blew up here. He evolved into one of the genre’s founding fathers in this building. And, at the Dew Drop Inn and at Cosimo Matassa’s recording studio — called the J&M Recording Studio — in the French Quarter.

For the record, The Dew Drop Inn is being restored. Slowly. The J&M Recording Studio is a laundromat. With a historical designation. You can wash your clothes in a famous place. And, Club Desire is… well, falling down. No music has been played there since the 1970s.

The original paperwork to start its demolition was posted on the front door on July 29, 2015. The Office of Code Enforcement voted to approve the demolition. But, it took a while for the city council to vote, then FEMA got involved to determine if the site should be demolished using Federal funds since it is historical, but without a designation. A few groups thought about buying it for back taxes, which stretch back 25 years and total $90,000.

A lot of people want to save the structure, but nobody — as I know it — has done much more than talk about it.

If I don’t see anything in any of our local media, I return every couple of months to check out its deteriorating conditions. If it continues to collapse upon itself at its current rate, there won’t be much more to do but clean up the remaining rubble.


Your comments about yesterday’s post are pretty much in agreement. You like the warmer versions of the pictures. Generally speaking, I agree. Many years ago, I was taught that if you must err, do it on the side of warmth. That is especially important for portraiture. You don’t want normal human beings looking like the zombies on Walking Dead.


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