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BA of the Week: DJ Bus Station John of The Tubesteak Connection (10 Years Tonight!!!) & Disco Daddy

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Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spirit — probably not.

Wanna be a Broke-Ass of the Week? Holler at us here and we’ll send you the questionnaire.

Lend him your ears.   Photo courtesy of Jody Jock.

DJ Bus Station John, padrino of the bathhouse discotheque and guardian angel of vinyl, has been holding court in his red-hued chamber of cruise, The Tubesteak Connection for 10 years, tonight.  With his crates of discos, crimson light gels, and smutty mimeographs of moustachioed muchachos making nice with their meat, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say he probably single-handedly saved venerable kerosene dispensary, Aunt Charlie’s Lounge from a fate similar to its less fortunate sisters in the Polkstrasse, or that he is alsothe City’s nightlife conscience- acting as custodian of our queer musical and cultural roots and taking the piss out of self-important scenesters who can barely be bothered to phone it in.

In 2004, seeing a city, teeming with a bunch of smelly homos in need, he answered our call and, countless black & white cock shot-emblazoned handbills, sweaty funking and grooving, cell-phone-less pick-ups and hazy Friday mornings later, his Turk Street Tunnel of Love is still going strong.

In honour of the little disco that could, we caught up with the man with the wild and wooly countenance, the inimitable BSJ, our Broke-Ass of the Week.  Behold as he fields our fearless leader’s formidable questionnaire with rapier wit and wisdom….


Name: DJ Bus Station John

Age: 53, owning it.

Occupation: DJ / Nightlife Promoter

Where are you right now, and what are you up to?: In San Francisco, workin’ hard to keep our connection to old-school gay culture, aesthetics & history alive.  This may range from spinning vintage disco for the young’uns to enjoying cocktails with my treasured gay elders. I also spend a great many hours at Kinko’s, cutting & pasting club flyers over a hot Xerox machine!

What neighborhood do you live in?: Close to Van Ness and Market. In the 20+ years I’ve lived there, it’s never really had a name—though, naturally, genius realtors have been scrambling desperately to “brand” it with such pretentious names as “Mint Slope,” “Deco Ghetto,” and worst of all, “Mid-Riff.”  I’m pleased to report that none of these have stuck.

Best money saving tip: Rent Control.  It’s what’s made it possible for me to live here since ’87, to find my niche, & to make my creative mark on San Francisco.  Prepare to fight for it, again, sooner or later.

What do you refuse to spend money on?: Most material things I don’t care about.  So, basically, everything.  I really only spend money on records, food, cocktails & tips!

Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: I think my bicycle, though I’m sure it didn’t cost more than 500 bucks.

How’d that feel?: Great.  Using a bike to get around liberates you from Muni & meter maids.

Favorite cheap eat: The pozole at Zapata in the Castro is my default meal on any given day.

Favorite dive bar: Aunt Charlie’s Lounge.   One of San Francisco’s last surviving old-school gay dives, and my home bar for sure.

Best deal you’ve ever gotten: My ongoing best deal is/are the industry perks I get as a DJ—like comp-ed drinks & guest list privileges now & again. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

Favorite free thing to do: Riding through Golden Gate Park out to Ocean Beach and staring at the shimmering sea. Also, watching old movies on the internets ’til four or five in the morning.

Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: Well, we all know people with money who don’t love their lives—and, everybody has their ups & downs, regardless of their economic station in life. That said, lately I been lovin’ my ups; I know a lot of great people from all walks of life through promoting & playing my old-school dance music, and the joy we share at my parties is both free AND priceless.

Do you own Stuart’s book?: No, but I’d like to peek at it—I was raised by bargain bees!

Best hangover cure: Re-hydrate while you dehydrate: drink a big glass of water (no ice) for every couple of cocktails you imbibe. I also advise not drinking the well sh*t. It may be cheaper, but your liver, stomach & head will thank you in the long run.

Are you a hipster?: Child, my skinny-jeans days are long over!


Bus Station John hosts the Tubesteak Connection every Thursday at Aunt Charlie’s Lounge in the Tenderloin and Disco Daddy following the beer bust at the Eagle Tavern every 3rd and 5th Sunday in South of Market. For booking, electronically mail him at

The Tubesteak Connection 10 Year Anniversary
Thursday, April 24, 2014 9:00 p.m.- 2:00 a.m.

Aunt Charlie’s Lounge
133 Turk Street (@ Taylor)

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Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen's early years were spent in a boxcar overlooking downtown Los Angeles. From there he moved around the state with his family before settling under the warm blanket of smog that covers suburban Southern California. Moving around led to his inability to stay in one place for very long, but San Francisco has been reeling him back in with its siren song since 1999.
By trade he pours booze, but likes to think he can write and does so occasionally for the SF Bay Guardian, Bold Italic and 7x7. He also likes to enjoy time spent in old eateries, bars and businesses that, by most standards, would have been condemned a long time ago.