Set in what had been a mammoth bowling alley at the grubby intersection of Santa Monica and La Cienega Boulevards, the rink expense around a million bucks in 1979 to develop and adorn, cash equipped by Mr. Ross’s two company partners (one of them, Denny Cordell, was the English report producer who commenced Shelter Documents) augmented with a very last-minute infusion from Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of Motown. The rink was contrary to nearly anything else in the metropolis, its interiors a ongoing mural established by John Kosh, a graphic artist who throughout his vocation would style and design more than 1,000 album handles, even though none a lot more iconic than 1 early energy: the Beatles’ “Abbey Highway.”
“I required the location to have an old Hollywood really feel,” Mr. Kosh claimed by cellphone from Los Angeles. “It was a magic cave with skaters whizzing all-around crashing into each and every other. The flooring of the rink was poured in deep blue polyurethane to make it appear to be as while skaters ended up skimming the floor of a lagoon. I explained, ‘Let’s just go mad and have Carmen Mirandas bananas flying all over the ceiling.’”
For opening evening, Mr. Ross imported 24 members of the home skate crew at Empire Roller Disco, a team whose moves on the flooring were being regarded unsurpassed. They ended up resplendent in gold lamé, significant-waistline stretch pants, turbans and beaded braids and cornrows, Ms. Ross mentioned.
It was excellent, extraordinary, unbeatable, Mr. Ross recalled remarking to a close friend, who replied that it would be only downhill from there.
‘What Was It About Flipper’s?’
And it would, despite the fact that for 36 months — about the similar daily life span as a further unforgettable club, Studio 54 — Flipper’s burned itself indelibly into the consciousness of habitués, entertained by a succession of surprises like a skater dressed in nothing but her stockings and quads, a Prince live performance that showcased the artist writhing on a purple bed in a G-string or the regular gigs by the Go-Go’s, who performed on a stage in the center of the rink.
“It was an wonderful, wonderful place,” Nile Rodgers, the Grammy-winning musician and co-founder of Chic, mentioned by phone from London. Each time he observed himself in Los Angeles to complete or deliver music for other artists, his nightly rounds of clubbing invariably began at Flipper’s, in which he normally arrived on his possess eight wheels.