The Song Does Not Remain the Same

At Respecs, all things must pass. Even nightlife columnists.

And there was more to come. "Clematis used to be good ten years ago. It's coming back," Sapienza said, citing Mayo's newest clubs-in-the-works as proof: a reincarnation of the alt-rock pool hall Lost Weekend and a joint venture with Vince Neil called Dr. Feelgood's. The latter, set to open January 18, will feature "hair metal [and] glam rock with modern rock and a little touch of hip-hop and dance," Mayo said.

Even at the reunion at Respecs, the old angst seemed to have dissipated. To the music that once incited a mosh pit, people just swung their arms and stomped a little. "No one's angry anymore," said James Cacace, who served ten years as a Respec bouncer. And Respec has endured.

"It's always been about the music," said Mayo, looking more like a beach bum than a nightclub kingpin, in shorts and a T-shirt, his wavy hair the same mess it always was, just a little grayer now. "We're true to our form. We're honest... like pecan pie," he said, adding a droll "heh-heh-heh."

John Harris, a 30-year-old sound engineer for Panic at the Disco, offered his perspective as he peered through ladies' rhinestone-studded Versace glasses. "I don't think it ever changes," he said. "I leave, tour the world, come home, and Respectables is always the same — free-thinking people hanging out in one spot."

That's the heart of it, no matter how the beats change. Or the writers.

For you see, this is my last Night Rider communiqué. I'm not moving to Finland as I'd once planned, but I am moving on. I'll be a free agent from now on, pursuing new opportunities in my own evolution.

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