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Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.’
Kurt Lockwood writes www.citypaper.com I grew up in the Dundalk area of town and graduated from Patapsco High School way back in 1988. I’m a Baltimore Boy through and through – if you cut me I bleed Old Bay and Natty Boh.
It took many years for me to accept this about myself. When I was growing up in the 1980s in economically depressed and socially backwards, thinly populated Dundalk, I found it quite difficult (and painful) to be accepted as Patapsco High School’s resident counter-cultural-punk-rock-provocateur-artiste. Thankfully, things are quite different today. These days, I am celebrated for and indeed make my living as such, being an award-winning, internationally-known adult film star of nearly 1,500 pornographic scenes shot with the most attractive Penthouse Pets, Playboy models, and sexy adult starlets all over the world, and appearing on the nationally televised Showtime series, “Family Business.” (read City Paper‘s previous story about me here.)
When I was kid growing up in Charm City, I had a fake ID that said I was 18 so that I could get into Cignals on Charles St. every Friday night where me and my “progressive music” (as it was called back then) loving friends would dance all night in the after-hours bar and, in the wee hours of the morning, we would stumble out into the breaking dawn with sounds of Ministry, Book of Love, The Cult, Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, New Order, Depeche Mode, and Skinny Puppy still ringing in our ears and drunkenly emanating from our mouths. (Ah, teenage intoxication of the good ol’ ’80’s). From the City Paper I used to find out all the other latest hotspots to go dance with my friends: There was Cignals on Fridays, The Power Plant on Sundays, The Metro, Club Charles, Club Depot and we always ended up at Never On Sundays for the best drunk-person food in the city at 5:00 a.m. Most of these clubs are all long gone now. Pity. Good times.
And I wasn’t just dancing I was also gigging out with different bands I was in (Freudian Slip, Rov Ostrov, Lisa Squeez) playing the old, local Baltimore rock clubs like The Rage, Max’s On Broadway (when they had bands), The Loft, The Rev. All, R.I.P.
BUT. . . It was always a dream of mine to have my band featured in the City Paper. Every week, I would greedily grab the free local rag that truly had it’s ear to the ground of what was hip and happening in and around Baltimore desperately searching for any tiny blurb about my band that unfortunately never came. Remember, there was no internet then so the City Paper you now hold in your hands was THE weekly Bible for every hipster, artist, wannabe and wish-they-were. I devoured every article, poured over every photo, and drank in each detail about a vibrant Baltimorean nightlife world that my teenage self was only beginning to discover and couldn’t wait to become a part of.
My high school was very difficult to exist in for a somewhat fey, arty, cute boy a bit on the small side. Things have changed so much since that era. Back then I was threatened, bullied and beaten daily. I wasn’t gay but they found my guy-liner and all black clothes quite reason enough to hate me for not conforming to their world of fluorescent I.O.U. sweatshirts and un-ironic moustaches (hey, it was the ’80’s). I rejected all of that and I wore their scorn like a badge of honor. But what allowed me to really survive the cultural wasteland that was my high school was the escape of the Baltimore club scene that I found about through the City Paper and the friends I made going out and for that I will forever be grateful to Charm City.
Baltimore is my home city and I love her. I love her from her terrible accent, hon’ (which surely must be one of the most unattractive accents on the planet), to her perpetual stench of brewery, to her burgeoning industry that always seems to be existing in the early, gray/dawn morning, a quixotic juxtaposition that’s awakening from it’s historical beauty, still embarrassed by areas of awful urban decay (that just can’t seem to be fixed), yet ever hopeful, as evidenced by our glittering Inner Harbor showcase of tomorrow.
A lot has happened to me since those bygone days. Like the Aerosmith song goes, “I was a high school loser, never made it with the ladies” (not the ones in Patapsco, anyway, who never gave me the time of day). But soon I matriculated to the University of Maryland College Park where I majored in Theater and my luck got a little better. After that, I thought about returning to Baltimore. But frankly, by then, I was ready for the kind of adventure that can only be found by leaving the safety of where one is from. So after graduation I moved to California to seek my fame and fortune. After a stint touring as a guitar player on tour with the famous Father of Punk Rock, Dee Dee Ramone of the seminal punk band, The Ramones, I suddenly found myself out of work when he passed away of a heroin overdose.
That’s when I found porn. Or should I say porn found me. Nearly ten years, and 1400 women later, I am now writing this for my old hometown City Paper. Imagine. The prodigal (if obscene) son returns.