Ibiza Looked Just As Fun Before the Ravers Came
Before the crap ecstasy and Paul Oakenfold, Ibiza was something else entirely: a sleepy Balearic island known for being the favored vacation destination of famous, wealthy hippies hoping to escape the exhausting stresses of making music for a living. There was, however, a short period of change between the boho years and the Ibiza Uncovered era—a span of time that last roughly from the mid-1970s until the late-80s.
During that time, instead of being overrun by tourists getting dressed up in their best pair of shorts to hurl $15 at a luminous bottle of drink in Pacha, Ibiza Town was full of beautiful European people wearing weird clothes and dancing around in open-air nightclubs. It was a bit like Berlin was in the 2000s but with glorious, blazing sunlight and sandy beaches rather than Arctic winds and stern Soviet architecture.
Photographer Derek Ridgers happened to be on a family holiday in Ibiza in 1983 when he came across all these European club kids, and fresh from photographing London’s skinheads, he trained his camera upon them. For whatever reason, no publications would buy his photos at the time, so they’d been sitting around unseen for decades until he dug them out and put them on display this month as part of the ICA’s “Ibiza: Moments in Love" exhibition.
I gave Derek a call to chat about his pictures.
Dealing Drugs in Saudi Arabia Is Stressful
“Abdullah” sounds nervous over the phone. He nearly didn’t want to talk to me in the first place, even though I’m not using his real name in this article. His paranoia stems from the fact that a close friend was recently arrested for possessing some of the hash Abdullah had sold him, and now he believes the authorities are “out to get” him, too. Which is why he’s recently shut down his Facebook, deactivated his email account and gone into hiding from the mutawa—the country’s religious police.
I’ve been an expat in Saudi Arabia for almost 15 years, so I’m well accustomed to how frustrating its hardline Islamic restrictions can be for secular people trying to live their lives. However, this doesn’t compare to the dangers of doing what Abudllah does and illegally importing or selling drugs or booze, crimes for which perpertrators can be thrown in jail, lashed, or even publicly executed. Increasingly, the mutawa are the ones responsible for finding and catching those deemed guilty of these crimes against Sharia.
Regardless of the law and the heavy penalties for breaking it, liquor and many other illicit substances are available in Saudi Arabia—it’s just a question of knowing where to look. A rare study on the topic, published by the World Health Organization in 1998, found that 24 percent of patients at a hospital in Riyadh had abused alcohol. More recently,WikiLeaks exposed the royal family’s wild parties, which include liquor, cocaine, and prostitutes.
Fashion Week DON’Ts
New York Fashion Week comes around twice a year like a big black asymmetrical comet covered in zippers, cocaine, and the body parts of gay men. We love to hate it and we hate ourselves for loving it so much. We’ve been covering the fashion shows and parties of NYFW for some time now and we’ve picked up a few tips to help you navigate through all of the posturing, grand standing, and douche bagging to get to the actual good stuff—the art of clothes. Here is our list of things we feel you shouldn’t do when you’re spending a week looking at human coat hangers and doing bumps with D-level celebutantes.
Smiling is stupid because it could allude to the fact that you might actually be having fun. Fashion isn’t fun—it’s hell. Do you see us smiling? No. We’re all just sucking in our guts and holding in our farts.
This isn’t China, pal. People don’t take kindly to getting shoved in lines at Fashion Week parties and shows. If you put your hands on that guy in front of you in the red leather dress, you’ll have a studded pair of size 11 pumps lodged right up your anus.
Don’t Wear Anything That Can Seriously Hinder You from Having a Good Time
Everybody wants to wear some crazy shit at NYFW. But before you go peacocking in some neoprene straightjacket, remember that eventually you have to take it off and nothing kills the moment more than halting the love train to carefully disrobe an avant garde designer piece.
The Greatest Summer Jam Since 1980, Round 2
Hello, internet. It’s us, your friends at Noisey. We decided to determine the greatest summer jam since 1980, tournament style. After a Round One that was tabulated by our resident goofball Luke Winkie, we decided to open the tournament up to voting from a panel of elite Internet Explorers and mage-level Netscape Navigators so that we might bring a sense of professionalism and objectivity to such a precise and scientific quest.
Because what is a “summer jam,” anyways? Is it a song that dominated the summer it was released in? Is it a song that only sounds good when it’s over 85 degrees out? Verily, nay. The summer jam is an ineffable beast; a riddle wrapped inside of an enigma wrapped inside a hook so obvious and dumb that whoever wrote them invariably deserves a MacArthur Genius Grant. It’s nostalgic but somehow casts an eye towards a better future. It’s not necessarily sexual, but when deployed correctly, the summer jam makes everyone within earshot a minimum of 10% sexier.
Some housekeeping before we get to the winners: Last round, people on the internet complained that lots of these songs didn’t come out in the summer, and that the songs we picked from the 80’s were arbitrary and that we left out actual genuine summer jams from the era. To these notions, we scoff. The summer jam is about living in the now; it doesn’t matter when a summer jam was released as long as it truly and unequivocally jams in the summer. In the galaxy of the summer jam, the past only exists to mine from so that your summer of now may shine brighter. Destroy your idols. Fuck Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer.” The Ataris’ version is better, anyways.
All your favorite Noisey writers wrote about their favorite summer jams. (Mine’s “Big Pimpin’”.)
We Need to Talk About London’s Club Drug Problem
Dr. Owen Bowden-Jones is the founder of London’s Club Drug Clinic, started in 2011, which aims to provide aid to people who have “begun to experience problems with their use of recreational drugs.” After they were overwhelmed with users of ketamine, cocaine, ecstasy, and legal substances who wanted help, a second clinic was opened earlier this year.
Unlike heroin and crack, for which many rehabilitation and counselling services exist, party drugs often aren’t associated with bad things like addiction, losing your job, losing your mind, and ruining your life. Owen hopes that in addition to helping individual users, his clinics will spread understanding of the dangers of these relatively new drugs through the medical world.
I gave Owen a call to find out what he’s discovered from treating people.
VICE: Has drug use changed much in the UK in the past ten to 15 years?
Owen Bowden-Jones: What we’ve seen are relatively major reductions in heroin and crack use and an increase in a new group of drugs called “club drugs”—things like ketamine, MDMA, and mephedrone.
I’m familiar with the category. What about the ways in which people take them?
Actually, we’re finding that quite a few of these people are beginning to inject their drugs, especially mephedrone and ketamine. So all of the very real dangers that we used to see with heroin injecting, we’re now beginning to see with these newer club drugs.
Oh, dear. What are the drugs that cause the most problems?
Here at the Club Drug Clinic, the four main drugs we’ve seen have been ketamine, GBL or GHB, crystal meth, and mephedrone. You can often determine the drug someone’s using [when they come in]. It seems to split along the lines of sexuality. We’re seeing a lot of gay men using crystal meth and GBL—for sex—while we’re seeing a lot of straight clubbers and students using ketamine and mephedrone. Interestingly, we’ve hardly seen anybody come into the clinic saying they’ve got a problem with MDMA or ecstasy—that just hasn’t happened.
Thailand’s Full Moon Parties Have Been Taken Over by #YOLO Idiots
It’s an old cliché to bemoan what is compared to what used to be. But as the morning sun rises over the fluoro debris and thousands of empty plastic cups from the night before, it’s hard for me to do much else.
I’m standing on a crowded Haad Rin beach on Thailand’s idyllic Koh Phangan, home to the original and now infamous Full Moon Party. Hours before, 20,000 bodies writhed together in motion to pulsating house music, fuelled by cheap alcohol and magic mushroom milkshakes. Now, among the rapidly sobering hardcore who continue to dance, a smattering of those bodies dot the beach, their semi-conscious, half-naked torsos slowly roasting in the Thai sun. They lie surrounded by beer bottles, shattered glass, and plastic buckets.
It’s all a bit depressing, but of course there’s nothing particularly original about any of this. The descent of the Full Moon Party from fabled hippy love-in to an 18-30-club-rave-on-sea has been in motion for years. Once arcane events attended by 30 or so loved up psytrancers who, for all their faults, at least seemed to be striving for some kind of spiritual experience, now the Full Moon Parties seem to be yet another hedonistic playpen for actuarial science students whose idea of a spiritual experience is getting a henna tattoo.
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I Went to a Nightclub for the First Time Ever