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GROOVY 25TH ANNIVERSARY

TWIST Let's Celebrate!

ISSUE # 25 | 06.21.18 DESTINATIONS: TOKYO, JAPAN MODERN & TRADITIONAL TOP TRAX: JASON WALKER & TONY MORAN INTERVIEW


8. DESTINATIONS: TOKYO, JAPAN

With over 13 million residents in its official metropolitan area, Tokyo also has the largest population of gay people in Japan, and a vibrant community fully integrated into its society.

10. TOP TRAX: JASON WALKER & TONY MORAN

SPREADING THE LOVE

FILM WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA

The latest duo to populate our Pride playlists is legendary DJ/producer Tony Moran and powerhouse vocalist Jason Walker, and DJ FR8-O sat down with them for an interview.

14. COVER STORY: TWIST 25TH ANNIVERSARY

JULY 14

This week, Wire Magazine brings you a very special cover story celebrating the 25th anniversary of TWIST, a beloved South Beach LGBTQ institution where thousands of gay local residents and tourists, and many famous celebrities, have had a great time over the years.

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GO TO WIREMAG.COM: GOING OUT

Visit wiremag.com/goingout for this week's rundown of nightlife, dining and cultural events to plan your outings.

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Photo “The Wizard of Oz” Movie (1939)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:


Publisher/Editor in Chief Rafa Carvajal Associate Publisher/Editor Michael Bustamante Design & Production True Ink Designs L.L.C. | trueinkdesigns.com

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Columnists Alfredo Barrios Alyn Darnay Anthony Reyes Michael W. Sasser Dr. Amy Wecker Official Photography Studio Photo Studio Miami Staff Photographer J.R. Davis Local Advertising advertising@wiremag.com National Advertising Rep. Rivendell Media | 212.242.6863 Contact Information Tel: 305.520.WIRE Email: info@wiremag.com 1541 Brickell Avenue, #2004, Miami, FL 33129 Wire Magazine is published, produced, and owned by Wire Media Group L.L.C. All Rights Reserved. Distributed in print in Miami, The Beaches, and Fort Lauderdale, and digitally worldwide through wiremag.com The views, opinions or positions expressed by contributors to and interview subjects of Wire Magazine are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Wire Magazine, its staff or publisher. Photo by Abel Cruz & Jorge Freire Photo Studio Miami photostudiomiami.com Model: Joshua Michael Brickman


PUBLISHER'S CORNER CONGRATULATIONS TWIST! A QUARTER CENTURY BRINGING THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY TOGETHER This week, I am delighted to welcome our readers to a very special issue celebrating the 25th anniversary of TWIST nightclub in South Beach. I want to extend my congratulations to co-owners Richard Trainor and Joel Stedman and the entire TWIST family for this amazing milestone. On behalf of myself and the Wire Magazine family, we celebrate your extraordinary success over so many years with a well deserved special issue. We also wish you the very best for many, many more years to come! Never in his wildest dreams could Richard Trainor have fathomed 25 years ago that the club he was opening in South Beach would become an LGBTQ institution beloved by thousands of people from around the world, and our community's very own "Cheers." With its famous "Never a Cover... Always a Groove" philosophy, TWIST has turned into a home for so many people over the years. As TWIST entertainer Pussila told me, "We all need family and friends to bring us comfort and understanding. We all need TWIST to be there for our happy times, and our hard times – a place we can all call our home." This same feeling was reiterated by TWIST bartender Mario Trejo, "Our community needs a place where they can come and get away. A place that feels like home and that they know they will be safe. Even if it's just to get away for an hour or two, they know TWIST is the place." In preparation for this week's issue, I sat down with a number of members of the TWIST family to look back at the past 25 years. They shared some wonderful memories with me, including how TWIST was named. Their heartfelt stories taught me a lot about the history of TWIST and all those years of fun memories. I myself remembered so many great memories and people when I went through hundreds of TWIST photographs in my Wire Magazine archives. Enjoy all the interviews and the selection of very special photos. Besides the interviews and photos in this week's print and digital issue, we also published the extended version of our cover story online, so visit wiremag.com to read the full interviews and peruse more photographs. In addition to looking back at a quarter century of TWIST memories, in Top Trax, DJ FR8-O sits down with legendary DJ/producer Tony Moran and powerhouse vocalist Jason Walker to chat about how they are spreading their Pride love with this year's ultimate Pride anthem, "I'm In Love With You." Their latest collaboration has already won the attention of the Billboard charts and is winning the hearts of fans worldwide. In Destinations, we bring you another special vacation idea – Tokyo, Japan. This famous city is home to over 13 million residents in its official metropolitan area and has the largest population of gay people in Japan, with a vibrant community fully integrated into its society. I loved Tokyo when I visited Japan and definitely plan to return to this fascinating city in the future.

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Cheers to keeping the groove alive and well at TWIST,

Rafa Carvajal Publisher & Editor in Chief rafa@wiremag.com

"WHEN YOU GET A GROOVE GOING, TIME FLIES." - DONALD FAGEN

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By Michael W. Sasser

JAPAN

magine a world where until recently, there weren't even really words to denote gay and straight and in which the spectrum of orientation was not only non-controversial – it wasn't even conversational. Gay? Straight? Shrug. What else you got?

WHERE YESTERDAY MEETS TOMORROW

Welcome to Japan, specifically Tokyo. With over 13 million people in the official metropolitan area alone, Tokyo also has the largest population in the nation of gay people. While fully integrated into society, the gay community does have a massive May Pride parade with distinct cultural flair to it, as well as targeted venues. Tokyo's main gay bar scene is located in Shinjuku Ni-chome, home to hundred of bars, clubs and cafés. You'll want to do some advance research. Some venues are limited to Japanese only, although that's less common as time progresses, so plan ahead. A few key sites are GB in Shinjuku, which is friendly to Westerners and appealing to 'gaisen' (Japanese men who like Westerners). Dragon MEN is a favorite for traveling Westerners. Eagle TOKYO welcomes everyone. 24 Kaikan Shinjuku and JIN-YA are among the gay saunas friendliest to tourists. For those who haven't experienced it, the gay sauna experience in Tokyo is simultaneously relaxing and racy. 8 WIREMAG.COM #25 2018

However, Tokyo isn't a top circuit destination necessarily, and it is huge – almost 40 million people in a city that is really more like a mass of clustered cities. You'll want to see the city and sites, but you must plan ahead what you want to see and do – unless you have six months to take it all in. Modern high-tech Tokyo offers a range of accommodations from which to choose, from some of Asia's hottest resorts to quiet guest homes in pleasant neighborhoods. Most of Tokyo's luxury hotels are concentrated around the Tokyo Imperial Palace, Nihombashi, Roppongi and Asakusa areas with convenient access to the city's main sightseeing spots and shopping. The Hyatt Regency Tokyo is consistently high-end as is the Tokyo Station Hotel. The gorgeous ANA InterContinental Tokyo is conveniently located for public transit. Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills sits atop a skyscraper and offers some of the city's most spectacular views.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TOKYO CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU. GOTOKYO.ORG

DESTINATIONS


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Getting out and about requires planning, since one could spend an entire week just exploring arts, culture or historic sites. That said, must-see destinations include Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, the most scenic, high-tech looking shopping destination you are likely to see; Tokyo Skytree, the world's largest tower; the Nezu Shrine (particularly during the Azalea Festival, April-May); Gotokuji Temple; and Ueno Park, a lush respite in a city of steel and glass. Other entertaining sites in the city include Tokyo's magical DisneySea and Tokyo Disney World, various Sumo shows and demonstrations, the gardens of the Imperial Palace in Chiyoda, the Mori Art Museum, numerous museums clustered around Ueno and venues offering classes or demonstrations in tea ceremony, calligraphy, or martial arts.

simple-looking – the very definition of refined class. That said, some of the simplest noodle dishes from tiny restaurants favored by crowds of locals are likely to impress as well – for a lot less money. Like New York or Paris, Tokyo is one of those cities in which one could live for several years and still not see every significant site – and it is constantly evolving. The best advice is to prepare an agenda in advance and consider some of the host of tours, many offering completely different experiences. It's well worth the effort. For more information, visit gotokyo.org. Michael W. Sasser has been a travel writer for more than 20 years, for publishers ranging from Time Out and Frommer's to Miami Herald Custom Publishing and ABARTA Media. He is author of thousands of travel stories and dozens of travel books. You can contact him at mikewsasser@yahoo.com.

It's all a matter of which aspect of Tokyo most interests you. While there are plenty of outdoor sporting or environmental based things to explore out of the city, the one you won't want to miss is a visit to Mt. Fuji. Countless vendors offer all sorts of ways to visit the famed mountain and understand why it has such a strong role in local culture and tradition. Whether you stay domestic for the nightlife, explore the city's myriad attractions or focus on short jaunts outside of the metro area, you'll find world-class dining throughout. Japanese cuisine is delicate and deceptively #25 2018 WIREMAG.COM 9


TOP TRAX By DJ FR8-O

JASON WALKER & TONY MORAN

PHOTO BY KARL GIANT. COURTESY OF PROJECT PUBLICITY

Spreading the Love

ride season continues to unfold around the world this month, and with this new season of love comes new music to help us celebrate. The latest duo to populate our Pride playlists is legendary DJ/producer Tony Moran and powerhouse vocalist Jason Walker. This unstoppable team has joined forces for the third time to deliver this year's ultimate Pride anthem, "I'm In Love With You." Their latest collaboration has already won the attention of the Billboard charts and is winning the hearts of fans worldwide. I got to chat with the two-time Grammy nominated dance producer and Out Music Award winner to get the details on the dance floor's most-inspiring love song.

10 WIREMAG.COM #25 2018

DJ FR8-O: This is your third song together. What's it like working together again? Tony Moran: Ever since Jason and I first met working on "Set It Free," I really fell in love with his voice. So I've always had him on my mind for one song or another, and ideas just pop up as I get to know him better. When we got to the songs "So Happy" and "Say Yes," we were at a point where we felt like twins separated at birth. I can easily channel the feelings that he gravitates toward. So along with co-writers Ryan Shaw and Mike Greenly, I went on this mission to continue this journey with Jason. Jason Walker: It's true! When we first met, he was doing a remix for a song I did with Junior Vasquez. It's effortless to work with Tony. You know how sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get somebody to give an opinion or get things done? It's not like that with him. It's like we'll do something and it'll be totally easy because I feel like he knows me. In the case of "I'm In Love With You," he sent it to me and of course I loved it. We went into the studio and it took three hours or so. When you go into the studio with Tony, you pack a lunch and you stay for the day because there are things he wants to hear and he doesn't let up, and I can appreciate that. One of the reasons why I love working with him so much is that I know he's gonna get out of me exactly what he wants or we're not going to leave.


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DF: The song was Billboard's #1 Breakout Record one week and then their Hot Shot Debut the next. How are you feeling about that? JW: It's always otherworldly when that happens, because it's not easy to get on any kind of chart. I still remember the first time my first record entered the charts. I couldn't believe that it was actually happening, and I still feel the exact same way every time it happens. It's just awesome! There's no other way to describe it. TM: It's an honor to know that out of the hundreds of releases that happen on a weekly basis, people will listen to our work and recognize it on a national level. DF: You guys look like you're having a great time in the music video. Any fun stories from the shoot? JW: Oh it was great! Anytime you get to work with Karl Giant, it's always an experience. He knew the artist, Randy Polumbo, who owns the space where we shot. He makes art installations all over the world.

TM: The one thing about working with Karl that I adore is that sometimes I'm so used to being a big part of whatever I'm doing, but with Karl you just gotta bring a parachute. You may not know where you're going to land, but you know there's a bigger picture in mind. JW: Only someone that insane can be that creative. Karl and I are good friends, and I've told him, "Look bitch, you're crazy!", but there's a reason his work is so wonderful, and it's because he puts everything he has into it. DF: Will you be performing the song anywhere this Pride season? TM: Jason will be performing at NYC Pride with Junior Vasquez. I'll be going with all of my friends to not just support, but to celebrate our "New Yorkness." JW: It's gonna be a crazy weekend! The night before Junior's party, I'll be performing an unplugged show in this little venue in the East Village called Pangaea. I love to do cover songs that you would never expect someone to sing, and I put a new twist on them. DF: Are there any remixes we should be listening for on the dance floor? JW: There are so many! TM: Jason is just the kind of artist who has gotten to where people want to work with him. These are people whose stats are over the top – Todd Terry, Hybrid Heights, Dinaire + Bissen. I don't think every song needs to have 16 remixes, but it's nice to know that 16 people want to work on it.

If you're a recording artist, producer or musician and would like your work featured in TOP TRAX, hit me up at abarrios@wiremag.com. 12 WIREMAG.COM #25 2018

PHOTO BY KARL GIANT. COURTESY OF PROJECT PUBLICITY

TM: I think we have the luxury of being such good friends that we're able to say, "We will come back again until it's right." My goal as a producer is to make the artist feel comfortable telling the story. I'm not committed to one word or note. I'm committed to the feeling. JW: I'd say a decent amount of the vocals are my interpretation. I try to stay true to the melody, but you have to make certain spots your own. But, I have to say it's truly a collaborative effort.


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844-495-0237 HughesNet is a registered trademark of Hughes Network Systems, LLC, an EchoStar company. The HughsNet Gen5 service plans are designed to deliver download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps, but individual customers may experience different speeds at different times of the day. Speeds and uninterrupted use are not guaranteed and may vary based on a variety of factors including: the configuration of your computer, the number of concurrent users, network of Internet congestion, the capabilities and content of the websites you are accessing, network management practices as deemed necessary, and other factors. When you connected to HughesNet service using Wi-Fi, your experience will vary based on your proximity to the Wi-Fi source and the strength of the signal. *Speeds may vary depending on distance, line quality and number of devices used concurrently. Subject to availability. Some prices shown may be introductory offers. Equipment fees, taxes and other fees and restrictions may apply. **Speed comparison based on 1.5 Mbps DSL.


TWIST

Groovy 25

th

y r a s r e v i nn A

hat started 25 years ago as an idea to open a bar by TWIST co-owner Richard Trainor is now a beloved LGBTQ institution in South Beach celebrating a quarter of century welcoming thousands of people from around the world and local residents to our community's very own "Cheers." I want to extend my congratulations to the TWIST family and co-owners Richard Trainor and Joel Stedman on this fabulous anniversary. On behalf of myself and the entire Wire Magazine family, we celebrate your extraordinary success over so many years with our TWIST 25th anniversary special issue. We also wish you the very best for many, many more years to come! TWIST invites all of us to a very special evening next Wednesday, June 27 to celebrate their 25th anniversary with shows and performances by TP Lords, Josefina La Globos, DJ Sushiman and special guests. Everyone will also enjoy open bar and hors d'oeuvres 9-11 p.m.

14 WIREMAG.COM #25 2018

COVER STORY PHOTOS BY RAFA CARVAJAL, HENRY PEREZ & COURTESY OF TWIST.

By Rafa Car vajal


I sat down with a number of members of the TWIST family to look back at 25 wonderful years. Enjoy our interviews and a selection of very special photos that look back at many fun memories in the history of TWIST, a South Beach mecca with seven bars, three dance floors and a different vibe in every room. Everyone always enjoys "Never a Cover... Always a Groove," at TWIST seven nights a week, every week of the year!

JOEL STEDMAN. CO-OWNER Rafa Carvajal: How was TWIST born? Joel Stedman: South Beach was really starting to happen in the early '90s. Richard and I had been part of that scene for a while and wanted to create our own space. A friend of ours found the location with a small hand drawn sign that read, "For Rent." Richard made a deal and the rest is history. We really wanted to create a club that we would enjoy ourselves. Bar hopping was always fun, so why not create several bars under one roof? RC: Why was the bar named TWIST? JS: Richard was out with some friends, with their sole mission that night being to name the club. Up to this point the bar under construction was simply known as Richard's bar because everyone knew Richard, and knew he was opening a bar. They went through about a hundred names that night and it was starting to get late. Somebody then said, "I am so twisted!" Well, that was it. Richard then yelled, "TWIST! That's it, that's the name." RC: How did you get involved with TWIST? JS: I met Richard the first week I moved into town through some mutual friends. He hired me to bartend at a club in Hallandale that he was managing at the time. We became fast friends and worked on many projects together leading up to TWIST. I had moved to Iowa after Hurricane Andrew blew through. Richard called me not long after and said, "Get back here, I found a space on Washington Avenue." He said it had columns everywhere and seven foot ceilings. This was the era of giant clubs from Warsaw to Paragon. I thought, oh boy, this is going to be interesting... but told Richard, "Let's do it, we'll make it work." Within weeks, we were busy almost every night.

RC: As an owner, how do you feel about TWIST turning 25 years old? JS: It's really difficult to even imagine. These last few weeks, we've been digging through old photos, reliving memories and remembering what a magical place South Beach really was and continues to be. After being involved in several clubs together in a short period of time, I don't think either Richard or myself ever dreamed TWIST would go for 25 years. The amazing thing is it seems like we are just getting started. RC: What has made TWIST such a successful LGBTQ establishment in South Beach for a quarter century? JS: First off, it has got to be fun. If not, forget it. To truly accomplish that, it takes a team of very talented people. We've prided ourselves on having professional management and security, a bar staff that's always friendly, super hot dancers and DJs that are simply the best in Miami, and maybe anywhere. RC: What is your fondest celebrity moment at TWIST? JS: I'll never forget when they told me Katy Perry was stopping in after her concert. I really didn't believe it till I walked up to VIP and there she was, pouring drinks for her crew. We did a couple of shots and away the night went. So many good times. RC: What do you think is the legacy of TWIST for the LGBTQ community in Miami Beach and Miami? JS: That will have to be said by someone else. We simply just wanted to have a good time. I guess a few others did too.

RC: What would you like to say to your TWIST patrons who have supported you and your team for the last 25 years? JS: We owe everything to our guests who have joined us day in and day out, year after year, literally from around the world. It has been exhilarating meeting so many people who have found South Beach so much fun. It has been truly an amazing ride and we RC: Why is TWIST so popular with visitors and couldn't have done it without our loyal guests. residents alike? JS: We try to treat everyone the same, whether RC: Is there anything else you would like to share with Wire Magazine readers? they have been coming to TWIST for 20 years JS: I owe so much to my business partner and best friend Richard Trainor. He took me or if it's their first visit. This is our home and under his wing in the late '80s and showed me the world. We worked hard but always we try and treat everyone like family. If you knew how to have a good time.I cannot express how blessed I feel to be part of this treat the locals well, they'll bring their visiting amazing success story called TWIST. Now, for another 25. Cheers to 25 wonderful years! friends.

#25 2018 WIREMAG.COM 15


VALENTINO ERIKSEN. GENERAL MANAGER Rafa Carvajal: How did you get involved with TWIST? Valentino Eriksen: I had desired since childhood to move from my small Midwestern industrial city to a big city, so I decided to make the move in 2002. Inspired by the movie The Birdcage, I set off for Miami without any advanced employment or living arrangements, having never even visited Florida. I drove cross country for two days, excited about exploring a new unknown land. I read about the "gay" beach, so I parked my Jeep on 12th and Ocean, found a room at the Cavalier Hotel for $200 per week, and started looking for a job. TWIST offered me the general manager position and I've been there ever since. I live right down the street and love being able to live, work and play in this vibrant neighborhood. It's like being in paradise. RC: Why do you think your staff likes being part of the TWIST family? VE: We have a very good work environment. We get busy, work hard and the money is good. It's perfect if you're a night person and like interacting with people in a high energy atmosphere. We have a great staff of hard working professionals that take their jobs seriously. We have a friendly cooperative management style. Our morale is high, we have low turnover, and everyone gets along with each other. The staff enjoys what they do, which allows them to get the job done and have fun doing it. If you're part of the TWIST staff, you are hard wired into the local gay community. RC: Why is TWIST so popular with visitors and residents alike? VE: TWIST prides itself on being a friendly welcoming place. We really do put the customer first in almost every decision regarding the business. The owners, management and staff are Miami Beach residents. The "locals" are our neighbors and friends. We all share the gratitude and appreciation as our fellow Miamians. With a strong customer base of locals, the tourists come too and it creates a good synergy.

16 WIREMAG.COM #25 2018


ROSS BERGER. CUSTOMER Rafa Carvajal: Tell us about "Lights By Ross," and the atmosphere in South Beach back in the early '90s when TWIST opened. Ross Berger: I am originally from Broward, and I've been coming to South Beach since 1987. I loved the bohemian atmosphere and decided to settle here in 1993, after I finished college in Arizona. In the early '90s, South Beach was like a village – everyone knew each other. You had everyone from artists to "near dead" retirees, and everything kooky in between. The stranger, the better. It just didn't matter. Each night of the week, there was some party going on somewhere. Drinks were cheap, rent was cheap, and real estate was cheap. For less than $500 a month, you could rent a one bedroom apartment. My brother lived in a studio at Forte Towers for $290 a month. In 1990, they raised his rent to $305, so he moved to a less expensive place! Affordable and fun! RC: I hear you were at the opening in '93. Tell us what that was like? RB: There was a buzz around town right before TWIST opened. Most gay places were cavernous, bass thumping nightclubs that were packed with shirtless men that started late night and went into the morning hours (I know, terrible). TWIST was going to be a real bar where you could hang out, meet up with friends for cocktails and conversation, and also listen to good music. Something the beach lacked in our community. A group of us used to go to TWIST on Sundays after the beach for 50 cent draft beers served in an ice cold glass mug. Good times. RC: What is your favorite room at TWIST, and why? RB: I like the upstairs video bar. Nathan and Mario have always been so kind and welcoming. They really make you feel special when you walk in (despite the shenanigans of the night before). The vibe with the latest pop videos keeps it interesting. RC: What is your favorite celebrity moment at TWIST? RB: I have seen a few celebrities at TWIST over the years. One time, I was in the Bungalow Bar and was standing next to this blonde woman who looked extremely out of place. I struck up a conversation with her, and she told me that she was with her friends and that she's from Connecticut. You could smell the money on her. As we parted, she said, "It was lovely to meet you, I'm Martha."

"I LIKE THE UPSTAIRS VIDEO BAR. NATHAN AND MARIO HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SO KIND AND WELCOMING. THEY REALLY MAKE YOU FEEL SPECIAL WHEN YOU WALK IN." - ROSS BERGER

DJ BILL HALLQUIST Rafa Carvajal: How long have you worked at TWIST and how did you get your start? Bill Hallquist: I'd known the owners, Richard, Joel, and a few others who are no longer there, for several years. I worked with them in at least a few other clubs before they decided to open TWIST. In fact, I worked with them for at least a year at a club they opened in South Miami called Kaos, immediately before they decided to head to the beach to open TWIST. I stayed on at Kaos, which became Ozone, for a few more years, and perhaps about three years or so later, I was asked by Joel if I would do some guest spots at TWIST. Soon after, I was given a weekly residence, which lasted for over ten years. I then moved to doing regular guest spots. So, I'm guessing, for 20 years or more, I've been a part of the TWIST family. RC: Is there a particular song that brings you back to the days when TWIST first opened? BH: Wow, that's a tough one. Thinking back to what was really huge at the time, and songs we found ourselves playing for a long time, C&C's "Boriqua Anthem," Hope's "Tree Frog," Mighty Dub Katz's "Magic Carpet Ride," RuPaul's "Supermodel." Also, most any of the club mixes coming from Gloria Estefan and her team are among some of the music that brings me back to that particular time. RC: Why do you like working at TWIST as a DJ? BH: The energy of the main dance floor room is really quite special. I've always called it the little big room, because it's not a huge room, but if I play the room, maintaining an energy level as if it is huge, it has always seemed to work well for me. I especially love the proximity of the DJ booth to the dance floor and the crowd, feeling all of the energy of each moment is absolutely intoxicating. I also adore the owners, they're truly great guys, and the entire staff and management team is amazing, so friendly and fun. I especially love working with DJ Mika, who I have more respect for than he could know. He is, hands down, one of my very favorite, most committed, and the best DJ's I have ever worked with. He's also more fun to work with than I can say. TWIST is so fortunate to have such a talented professional as their head DJ.

#25 2018 WIREMAG.COM 17


NATHAN PAUL SMITH. BARTENDER & VJ Rafa Carvajal: What do you do at TWIST? Nathan Paul Smith: I bartend and VJ in the Upstairs Video Bar, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights. For those not sure what a VJ is, it is a video jockey – I create video edits for remixes of the latest songs, using some of the best DJs like Barry Harris, Lord N., Craig Vanity, Rising Sun, etc. To be able to say that I make a living by spending time in a gay bar, where people go to be themselves without judgement and let loose, is priceless. A lot of TWIST's customers have no idea that I do the video work for the upstairs video bar. I do this by creating exclusive video edits of remixes from some of the best DJs from around the world, that you can only see at TWIST. I make six, one-hour long DVDs at home that play during my shift. RC: Why do you think TWIST has been so popular for a quarter of a century in South Beach? NS: Because it never stops evolving with the times, and it offers a safe place to let loose and not be judged. When I was younger, the LGBTQ bar was the only place I felt normal and safe. I know that we have made some advancements, but it is still extremely important for people to be able to have that safe place to go and be themselves, and TWIST provides that. RC: What is your favorite celebrity moment at TWIST? NS: Well... that may be a hard one to answer. I mean, I have stories about Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Drew Barrymore, and the list goes on. Luckily, I've had many celebrity encounters at TWIST, so I cannot just pick one and I can only tell the stories over the bar, not in print. I want them to come back and what happens at TWIST stays at TWIST. RC: What do you think keeps customers, both visitors and residents, coming back to TWIST year after year? NS: "Never a Cover, Always a Groove." We live by that at TWIST. Also, Richard and Joel keep the club as current as possible. TWIST is constantly evolving with the times. We hold our customer base as family. We treat everyone as equals. We also have seven bars under one roof, so you can never get bored at TWIST. RC: How did you get involved with producing the TWIST commemorative Anniversary DVD? NS: I was working for a long time in the Bungalow Bar with the dancers, making good tips, but I felt that the community needed some visuals with their music, and at that point I was already getting started with the music videos on my Pop Mondays. I spoke with Richard about moving my weekends to the upstairs bar, and making it more of a video bar and he agreed. Well, it took off better than any of us expected. A year after, Rich-

18 WIREMAG.COM #25 2018

ard asked me to start making the annual Anniversary DVD. This will be my 10th year making the DVD, and it will include all the latest remixed videos of the songs that are the soundtrack of your summer this year, and a few tracks that will keep you dancing way after the summer ends. I have a few Latin tracks, a lot of divas and, of course, the lady of the year, Cardi B, makes a couple of appearances in this year's DVD. But to find out what truly makes the tracklist, you will have to be at TWIST on June 27, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to get your own copy. Be there because they go by quickly. RC: Is there anything else you would like to share with Wire Magazine readers about being a member of the TWIST family? NS: If you work at TWIST, and you are truly working to be there for the club and the club clients, Richard and Joel truly treat you like family. Richard Trainor has been more of a support for me in my work and personal life than anyone. I would not be the man that I am today if it was not for TWIST. I am truly grateful for TWIST and the many people that come through those doors nightly. There would be no Nathan Paul Smith without TWIST. Thank you to everyone that has walked through those doors in the last 25 years, and thank you to all who keep coming back.


PUSSILA. ENTERTAINER

MARIO TREJO. BARTENDER & FUN SPECIALIST

Rafa Carvajal: What do you do at TWIST? Pussila: First, thank you for the opportunity to be in this article. I think this is a very special moment in our community to have TWIST reach this milestone! For me, my job at TWIST is to entertain the many people who visit with my many artistic expressions, as an MC, performer and comedian. My job is to make you have an amazing, happy time! I don't just like working at TWIST, I love it! It is the only place that I have had the freedom of a canvas to be my true artistic self.

Rafa Carvajal: What do you do at TWIST? Mario Trejo: I'm a fun specialist at TWIST and I love it because my job consists of transforming people's moods from down to up, and sad to happy. I try to make people feel good and forget about their problems for those few hours they're at my bar. I want them to feel amazing. The biggest reward is when I've accomplished that, and the customer/friend let's me know that I've done so.

RC: Why do you think it is important to have such a popular LGBTQ establishment in South Beach? P: We all need a strong foundation to hold our walls. We all need family and friends to bring us comfort and understanding. We all need TWIST to be there for our happy times, and our hard times. Let's stay together in unity and love, and take care of TWIST – a place we can all call our home.

RC: Why do you think TWIST has been so popular for a quarter of a century in South Beach? MT: TWIST is a club like no other. It's bar hopping without leaving the building. The staff is welcoming – just yesterday, a new customer told me, "Omg, I feel like I'm home when I come here. I feel safe and I always have an amazing time." It just f**king rocks! Also, our community needs a place where they can come and get away. A place that feels like home and that they know they will be safe. Even if it's just to get away for an hour or two, they know TWIST is the place.

RC: Is there anything else you would like to share with Wire Magazine readers about being a member of the TWIST family? P: I would like to invite all of our friends and family, our regulars patrons, and all those who haven't experienced TWIST yet, to come and celebrate together on this very important time, not just for our TWIST family, but for our entire LGBTQ community. I appreciate the incredible support from all of my fans who have helped me to shape my craft throughout all these incredible years at TWIST. Thank you from the bottom of heart.

RC: What is your favorite celebrity moment at TWIST? MT: It has to be when Sam Smith came to TWIST. At the time, he had just been nominated for the Oscar award for best song in a movie. He came to my bar, we talked and I told him he was going to win the Oscar, then he thanked me for the vote of confidence. Fast forward a few months later, he comes back to TWIST and sat with me at the bar and I said, "I told you, you would win!" I thanked him for being on the biggest stage in the world, and dedicating his award to the LGBTQ community and his support for all us.

#25 2018 WIREMAG.COM 19


ADORA. DJ & ENTERTAINER Rafa Carvajal: What do you do at TWIST? Adora: I do something that I love to do, and I can call it a career. Entertaining is in my blood. I was born to be on a stage and going to work makes me happy. It's probably been more than ten years since I began working at TWIST, which is like going to work at a family gathering. For me, the good energy comes from within and is transmitted to everyone, from bartenders to security. I feel comfortable, happy and also proud to be working at the longest lasting gay club on Miami Beach... or maybe even Miami. RC: Why do you think it is important to have such a popular LGBTQ establishment in South Beach? A: We're maintaining our presence alive. We have a place that is gay owned and operated. TWIST is a pillar of our community and I can't imagine South Beach without it. Every room has a totally different ambience and energy, which brings all kinds of people. Young, old, straight, bisexual, asexual... you name it. Oh, and homosexuals, of course! This makes TWIST the party melting pot of Miami. RC: What is your favorite celebrity moment at TWIST? A: For those who know me, I'm not a name dropper, but since you ask, one of my favorite celebrity moments was coming from Warsaw with Versace and two friends. It was a late night and we decided to walk, which was already a show within itself. We stayed downstairs since they didn't want to move. We stayed after the bar closed. I remember asking if the lights could be turned down a little bit, and they did. Gianni was amazed that they did that for us. It was just one of my many wonderful moments at TWIST. I'm extremely glad to have been part of it from the very beginning, and that TWIST is still going strong. Long live TWIST!

EDISON FARROW. CUSTOMER, FORMER BARTENDER & PROMOTER Rafa Carvajal: As a former bartender and promoter, what does TWIST mean to you? Edison Farrow: TWIST is my favorite place to go to. The bartenders are friendly and there is just an element of carefree, unpretentious fun there. I started bartending at TWIST in 1996. It was a great way to meet people. I have many stories from my nights dealing with customers at TWIST. While bartending there, I started my Seventies Sundays. It was a fun weekly party and we had a crowd that never missed a Sunday. I played all of the '70s classic disco. Many customers and I would dress up for the party. RC: What are your thoughts on TWIST turning 25 this year? EF: Twenty five years is quite an amazing accomplishment. There are very few businesses in Miami Beach that have sustained for that long. TWIST has really kept our gay community going with its continued success and attracting gay tourists from all over the world. RC: What is your favorite bar at TWIST, and why? EF: I love the video bar upstairs. Nathan and Mario have great energy and always make you feel welcomed there. The room is fun for socializing and dancing. That is also the room I worked in during my last few years as a bartender there. Also, the Bungalow Bar in the back. The bartenders are friendly, the MCs are fun and the dancers are hot!

20 WIREMAG.COM #25 2018


DJ MIKA Rafa Carvajal: Why do you like working at TWIST as a DJ? DJ Mika: I like the freedom to play what is current and relevant. I love watching people smile and dance. TWIST is an affordable night out, with a friendly staff and a variety of rooms and genres of music. RC: What is your favorite celebrity moment at TWIST? DJM: Versace's visits. RC: Is there anything else you would like to share with Wire Magazine readers about being a member of the TWIST family? DJM: TWIST is a family, which is what makes it a unique place to work at and party.

THOMAS BARKER. CUSTOMER Rafa Carvajal: Why have you enjoyed going to TWIST over the years? Thomas Barker: Consistency! No matter when I go, I am always greeted by some of the sexiest bartenders in South Beach, and a packed house of locals and out of towners. Over the past 25 years, TWIST has stayed true to its roots of quality cocktails and fun. I mean, they still serve drinks in real glasses!

"OVER THE PAST 25 YEARS, TWIST HAS STAYED TRUE TO ITS ROOTS OF QUALITY COCKTAILS AND FUN. I MEAN, THEY STILL SERVE DRINKS IN REAL GLASSES!" - THOMAS BARKER

RC: Why do you think tourists and residents, both gay and straight, enjoy going to TWIST so much? TB: The secret to TWIST's success is that they offer seven unique bar experiences, so whether you are looking to dance your ass off at a mini-circuit party, throw some dollars down the G-string of a sexy stripper in the Bungalow Bar, find a Latin lover in Bar Five, or sing along to Nathan's pop remixes, it is all there. RC: What does TWIST mean to you? TB: TWIST in and of itself, is like an old friend. I have been going to TWIST since I was old enough to drink‌ I'll let you do the math. In that time, I have met some the most amazing people, had plenty of scandalous experiences, received comfort in times of tragedy or frustration, and worked with owners Joel Stedman and Richard Trainor on some of the most important issues and events for the LGBTQ community, including the development of Miami Beach Gay Pride. RC: What is your favorite bar at TWIST, and why? TB: When I am at TWIST, you will always find me at Nathan and Mario's bar upstairs. First off, both of those guys are the best of the best when it comes to bartenders and service. They always greet me with a smile and remember my drink. Secondly, Nathan does an incredible job of putting together some of the best pop remixes out there. That, paired with their personalities, creates such a positive energy and friendliness that is contagious, which makes it really easy to meet new people. RC: What is your fondest memory at TWIST? TB: My fondest memory is not PG enough for this story. However, my favorite memory at TWIST was literally sitting on top of Nathan's bar in the pop room, drinking, cackling, and kikiing with my favorite South Beach characters. Every night was like a family reunion‌ a time for all of us to catch up on last night's trade, scandalous tea, and do enough shots to put an elephant down. #25 2018 WIREMAG.COM 21


JD BOWER. OPERATIONS MANAGER Rafa Carvajal: What do you do at TWIST? JD Bower: I'm the operations manager. I like working at TWIST because each day is a new challenge. You never know what you are walking into and you must constantly adjust. I actually met Richard and Joel when I was living in Provincetown. We became friends and when the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance to work at TWIST. RC: Why do you think TWIST has been so popular for a quarter of a century in South Beach? JDB: Because it is inclusive to all. It's not just a gay bar, it's more like a home to many customers. They are very protective of TWIST and always pitch in to help, such as during the Pride parade, to help put up halloween decorations, Christmas, and birthdays. Every event TWIST holds, many customers show up to give their support. Richard is the driving force behind it, and all of you just never want to let him down. RC: Tell us about your Pride experiences at TWIST. JDB: Long, long hours. Pride is one of the busiest weekends of the year. But as soon as the parade starts, you are filled with the energy of Pride. I still have no idea how we pull it off each year. Richard is the biggest force behind Pride – he just never stops.

"IT'S NOT JUST A GAY BAR, IT'S MORE LIKE A HOME TO MANY CUSTOMERS. THEY ARE VERY PROTECTIVE OF TWIST AND ALWAYS PITCH IN TO HELP." - JD BOWER

22 WIREMAG.COM #25 2018


DJ DEANNE Rafa Carvajal: What is it like working at TWIST? DJ Deanne: I started playing at TWIST relatively early in my DJ career. In the early years, it helped shape my sound and bring to light my DJ soul. I was always able to play the way that I wished I could in Indianapolis, where I was a DJ at a club. It gave me a breath of reinvigorating life every time I played, and went back home. As the years passed, TWIST became my home away from home. It was my first Miami residency and playing for their crowd always felt good. Now, as my career has grown, it's always nice to see everyone when I can, and I consider the TWIST family as my family. I love seeing people smile, dance and have a great time at TWIST. RC: Why do you think TWIST has been so popular for a quarter of a century in South Beach? DJD: There is something for everyone. The staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is fun and kind of crazy at times. It's cruisey without being too dirty, and they pour great drinks. I'd also like to think that the same sense of family that I have come to feel over the years is something the patrons feel too. Also, if it's not that deep for someone, I'm guessing that there is something simply brilliant to "Never a Cover, Always a Groove." RC: Why do you think it is important to have such a popular LGBTQ establishment in South Beach? DJD: As a community, I believe we should always have a place we can go where we know that we can truly be ourselves and be with people who have shared experiences, and celebrate that thing that makes us so special in our own fabulously gay way.

YESSIE DE LA CRUZ & MARK MCNAIR. BARTENDERS Rafa Carvajal: Why do you do you like working at TWIST? Yessie De La Cruz: I love working at TWIST because I get to meet people from all over the world and become friends with them! And the money is good too! I also love human interaction, and changing somebody's day with a simple smile. Mark McNair: You get to meet people from all over the world, and the money is great as well. The most fun part of my job are the hot guys that you get to see night after night. It's like a big parade of eye candy. RC: What is your favorite celebrity moment at TWIST? YDC: My favorite celebrity moment was when one of my favorite Mexican pop singers invited me on a date... MM: Seeing Katy Perry behind the bar upstairs. She was so down to earth. RC: Is there anything else you would like to share with Wire Magazine readers about being a member of the TWIST family? MM: Thanks for making TWIST such an extraordinary place. Without our loyal customers, TWIST would not have been able to grow and become such an amazing club. Come by June 27, and help us celebrate our 25th anniversary!

Publisher's Note: Visit wiremag.com for the extended version of this story. You can read the full interviews and peruse additional photographs. #25 2018 WIREMAG.COM 23


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Wire Magazine 25.2018 TWIST Groovy 25th Anniversary  

This week, Wire Magazine brings you a special issue celebrating the 25th anniversary of TWIST in South Beach. We want to extend our congratu...

Wire Magazine 25.2018 TWIST Groovy 25th Anniversary  

This week, Wire Magazine brings you a special issue celebrating the 25th anniversary of TWIST in South Beach. We want to extend our congratu...