It's Tuesday night -- Ladies Night -- at the Roxy (5351 West Alabama), and while the customers are drinking themselves silly with cheap bevvies, managers Brian Riggs and Cory Johnson and KRBE DJ/club MC Scott Sparks are sitting around the manager's office, skimming through copies of the latest Hawaiian Tropic Texas calendar. One would think they were preparing themselves for the raciness that is soon to come: foxy boxing (two bikini-clad gals don humongous gloves and fight) and the Ladies Night staple, amateur male stripping. But they are also scouring the titillating, full-color shots of bodacious babes to see what they're up against. "Just looking at the competition," drools Sparks.
It's on this same night that five mouthwatering beauties will show up to sign copies of the 2002 Roxy Model Calendar. For just ten bucks, guys -- and gals -- can walk away from the horndog-friendly dance spot with an autographed reprint of the club's most notorious merchandise. It's kinda like the legendary Pirelli calendar -- except any ol' person can get it, not just royalty and David Letterman.
In 1995, owners Mario Anzaldua and Larkin Stallings came up with the idea to capitalize on the club's libidinous ambience by rounding up some sparkling, possibly surgically enhanced (not that there's anything wrong with that!), scantily clad female specimens to pose for a calendar. The first edition dropped in 1996 and, except for 1998, when the owners decided to release an all-male calendar, the Roxy has been giving fans beautiful girls -- girls so beautiful you get ugly just looking at 'em -- to look at all year long. "When November hits," says Sparks, "they're asking when the new Roxy calendars are gonna come out."
Originally the calendar was seen as a promotional item to entice the enticing into the club. But the promotion is now six years old, and the Roxy is one of the most popular clubs in southwest Houston, so the calendar has become more of a tradition than a hype tool. "We don't make a huge killing off of it," assures Riggs.
If anything, the calendar has increased the number of ladies on the premises. About 100 girls (most of them white, but Riggs says there was one black woman) entered the prelims for this year's calendar. Last year, the calendar went for a colorful thongs/bikinis/lingerie theme. This year, it has gone all out -- literally -- with artful yet arousing topless and nude photos in black and white by Larry Fagala, the local shutterbug who shot the first Roxy calendar and whose artwork hangs in another nightspot, downtown's The Hub (312 Main). Riggs takes full responsibility for the new butt-bald-nekkid concept. "If anybody, you know, wants to complain about it, they can call me," he says.
If you ask the girls what it was like baring themselves for the Roxy calendar, most agree that getting their Lady Godiva on was anything but a glamour gig. Brittany, the 19-year-old model and student who appears as April's bare beauty, wasn't prepared for the five-hour shoot. "It was really uncomfortable on the hardwood floor, and I had to, you know, lift my butt up off the ground and -- it was pretty uncomfortable," recalls Brittany. "It wasn't really very sexy actually shooting it."
Nineteen-year-old model/student/ athlete Jessica (who won the $100 bar tab in that night's foxy boxing tournament) was downright miffed about her bottom-baring shot for September. She claims she didn't know her butt would be on view, but it is -- as apparent as the full moon on a cloudless night, in fact.
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Also upset was Tiffany, Miss June. "I was actually told that nothing was gonna be shown in my picture, you know, because they took a lot of risqué pictures," she says. "I really didn't want anything to be shown, and I mean, now that it's out, I can't really do anything about it. I did make a big deal about it, but it didn't seem to change anything."
Fagala says that he was "explicitly clear" on the possibility of nudity and insists that the gals are simply accentuating their coyness. "The problem is it's bullshit," says Fagala. "The bottom line is they want the title, but they don't wanna do the work that it takes to do the pictures. My client is asking me for a certain something, and that certain something is a very racy calendar -- but classy."
House music fans have a tough decision to make Friday night: Where should they start off their weekend-long, dance-and-Red Bull binge? Both Space (799 St. Emanuel) and Hyperia (2001 Commerce) have visiting headlining DJs to whet the appetites of the hungry locals. At Space, Austin mixman/producer D:Fuse will be strapping on his cowboy hat and spinning some progressive house goodies for the club's "Karma" night. Over at Hyperia, Seattle's Donald Glaude, he of the blond dye job and exquisite technique, is scheduled to lay down a funky midnight set. If you're a novice who just needs to go out and feel the beat, you can always go to both clubs. True househeads, though, will find that their loyalty lies with only one honorable DJ. Hate to get all Lord of the Rings on ya, but this is how serious this shit can get.