Old Patong had a string of new bars going up.
The huge woven palmfond roof of the Gonzo bar finally caught fire and the place quickly burned to the ground, really a matter of minutes!
Since Gonzo had the most space on Soi Bangla[Bar Road], the powers that be decided to add another Soi off Bangla.
I believe it is what is now, Soi Eric?
But, before Soi Eric was even around, Soi Gonzo was and the new bar spaces, little more than big cubicals were short leased to any and all that could come up with 10,000baht.
Many were immeadiately sold to ExPats, several Aussies and a few Germans had those little cubes up and running almost overnight.
Naturally they all had electricity, meaning that each bar had it’s own ghetto-blaster going at a minimum of 100watts 24/7…:-(
Our good friend “3” worked at the Happy Heart Bar, actually she went and sold hooch to the tourist for a month or so anyway, “3” never was in one place too long, perferring to do her own thing. She was the first of what is now thousands of “entertainers/hostesses”on the beach. She was gifted with Miss Universe good looks, a heart of gold and the ability to take care of herself under all conditions!!
The stroke she’d had several years before left her limping some, but she was still a force to be reconned with and Patong Patty and I always liked her laugh and the way she took on the world! She had a bright spirit, her father, now a Monk, she’d been on her own since the War, marrying a GI, actually moved to NYC for a short stint, but her husband was soon killed in the War and “3” returned to the Land Of Smiles.
She’d worked in the R&R camps up Kon Kin way, even worked with Guitar Noi years back in a stage show!
Anyway, the new barsoi, Soi Gonzo was soon full of little, noise making businesses, the word got out all the way to Bangkok and MANY folks came south for the sun and work! There was ALWAYS work in Old Patong! It was growing like a weed, wild and out of control.
The tales of the bar sois are many, like the Kangaroos that lived under the counter after closing time, and only bought the place to get a “discount” on beer…:-)
Most of the “businesses” lasted a season at most, some two seasons, but, they soon became the business model for little bars!