"The club felt it was too risqué. I mean, we're talking about pasties and a G-string. People wear less than that on the beach in San Diego."
Sean Suicide is the tour manager for the Suicide Girls, an all-female "tongue-in-cheek burlesque revue with a punk-rock attitude."
The L.A.-based troupe has appeared in San Diego before, opening shows at Brick by Brick and the Casbah. Courtney Love requested the troupe open her five-date West Coast mini-tour, which had its first date at 4th & B October 24.
But on the day of the show, the Suicide Girls were told they were off the bill. They got their full pay, but they were not allowed to perform.
This was the only date on the tour where the Suicide Girls did not perform.
"I guess this is too hot for San Diego," said Suicide Girls spokeswoman Jennifer Vogelman. "The club felt girls with pasties reveals too much. This is very strange.... The girls have played San Diego before. It's not like they were unknown there." The group has played Brick by Brick and the Casbah with even more women.
"It definitely would have been a violation of our liquor license, and they would have shut us down," said Ray Johnson, general manager of 4th & B about the Suicide Girls show that didn't happen. "They wanted to strip to pasties and have their butt cheeks exposed." He said advance publicity about the Suicide Girls drew day-of-show attention from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control and local police. "Both the vice and the ABC were here. They checked [the Suicide Girls'] website and found totally nude girls.... We tried to work out a compromise," said Johnson. "They chose to not modify their show -- which was to cover up their butt cheeks and cover more of their breasts."
Johnson said the Suicide Girls were paid in full, but both the club and the Suicide Girls agreed their show would not go on. Johnson said he is not mad at the officials who showed up on a Sunday. "Their job is to keep the community safe. Whether we agree with it is beside the point."
On the other Courtney Love dates, the four-member Suicide Girls (whose lineup is picked from an assortment of 426 girls -- as per their website) reenact short scenes from movies, sometimes using hula hoops. "It's not sexual per se, it's just sexy and fun," said Vogelman. "San Diego is more conservative than I thought. Isn't SDSU considered a huge party school? This sounds like something that would have happened in Texas. Their only other cancellation they've ever had was in Denton, Texas."