I often never tell anyone about my past because it’s something that I’m not proud of. However, if the front door at the former Junctions Nightclub on Water Street in St. John’s Newfoundland could talk, it would tell you that, “I was given this life as a Journalist because I am strong enough to live it.”
I actually have debated writing this editorial for about three years, but today is the day.
I wasn’t born brave, and I wasn’t always fearless. Working on this oak door as a bouncer at Junctions Nightclub for almost two years straight really taught me how to be both. Many nights while working this door I feared for my life and I had good reason to. Customers regularly carried knives, brass knuckles and even guns.
Junctions Nightclub, for anyone who remembers, was a gateway to drug use in the early 2000s in St. John’s when the oil money, cocaine, and ecstasy hit Newfoundland. With drugs, comes drug dealers and Junctions was full of them. I know this because I let them in. The sale of drugs by dealers I let in brought the customers in the bar, the strobe lights lit them up and the techno made them dance while controlling their every move.
I wouldn’t have wished this job on my worst enemy. All nights working there was chaos. I took many bumps on this door of hard knocks and handed out a few myself. I remember my broken hands and my black eyes. It happened a few times. My mother told me the place would be the end of me. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I ruled the oak door with an iron fist and if you visited this club during the 2000’s you had to go through me to get in, and if you got thrown out of there chances are it was me too. Special thanks to Paddy Murphy for always having my back on this door.
There are lots of crazy stories from the club’s legendary heydays, from wet t-shirt contests to brawls to liquor violations, the nights inside the techno blaring Afterhours bar were completely unpredictable. The sex, drugs, and techno offered at Junctions served as the perfect release for a generation raised under the pressure of don’t do drugs. Though the club was ultimately destroyed by greed and drugs, its short reign defined the flashy exuberance of nightlife in the 2000s in St. John’s. Even a brief sampling of this club was enough to scramble the senses.
I’m sure there are many tales of what went on behind the oak door that has become modern myths. I can tell you the atmosphere inside was off the hook, dangerous and the club was filled to the rafters with people whapped on ecstasy while chugging bottles of water to remain hydrated. The club owner would actually turn off the water in the facets in the bathrooms so you couldn’t refill your bottle.
If ecstasy wasn’t your drug of choice, cocaine was always available. Thousands swarmed the building when Afterhours began looking to dance their buzz off or start one.
While working there I met some shady characters, which I won’t name, and some amazing people. One amazing individual who became a lifelong friend of mine during my time from Junctions is DJ legend, Lex Griffiths. We remain friends to this day.
Griffiths remembers the madness.
“Junctions was a fun club to DJ in during the mid to late 2000s. I used to DJ there on Wednesday nights which were labelled Red Light, Green Light Wednesdays, you wore a red glow bracket if you were taken, green if you were single and ready to mingle,” Griffiths said. “We would always get a great crowd out that were out to dance the night away which was great, it would make my job easy. Friday and Saturday nights I would DJ the Afterhours which would start at 3:00 a.m. and usually run until 6:00 a.m. They were long nights as I would DJ somewhere else before that, then rush down when one club closed at 3:00 a.m. and then I would start again for another three hours. Lots of Vodka Redbulls in those days (as I was not a drug user) which were great to keep you going, but not so great when you wanted to sleep at 7:00 a.m. so sleep patterns were a little nuts during those years. But if you wanted to make the dollars that’s what had to be done.”
I also remember those sleep patterns and the many after-parties I attended after the club closed in the morning. But that’s another story which I will write a chapter on in a book I’m compiling in my spare time about my travels and my life. Don’t worry Junctions alumni, I won’t name anyone.
It is never to late to turn your life around. Every great dream begins with a dreamer, and I knew I was meant for greater things. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
I am strong because I’ve been weak. I am fearless because I’ve been afraid and worked at Junctions on the front door.
If this door could talk, on McMurdo’s Lane on Water Street in Newfoundland not Disneyland, it would tell you quite the tale.