4 JULY 2, 2004
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Tongues wag, stories differ in Grace Jones affair
Rich's says promoter
failed to pay Grace
Jones, but promoter
claims club was closed
By JOHNNY HOOKS
The Pride event that was talked about
most on Monday was the one that never
happened: Grace Jones' much-publicized
appearance at Rich's.
The fans who gathered at the club heard
an announcement that Jones was in the
building and was preparing to take the stage.
The next announcement informed
patrons that due to circumstances beyond
the control of the club, Jones would not be
The rumor mill and wagging tongues
suggested that a near mini-riot ensued
with patrons pulling posters of Jones
down and shredding them, as well as tearing fixtures from the walls.
Rich's owner. Nassim Joseph, who purchased the club in October 2003, said there
was no riot.
"There was no mini-riot, nothing was
destroyed, and people were very understanding," he said.
Joseph said the problem had nothing to
do with Grace Jones but rather with the
Miami promoter, Margarito Guajardo.
Joseph, who said he plans to turn the
club over to a new group that will market
it to a straight audience, wanted Rich's, as
it has been known for 20 years, to go out on
a high note.
When contacted about an appearance
by Jones, Joseph said, he booked the
Joseph said Jones was in the building
around 4:30 a.m. and per her contract with
Guajardo and Joseph, was to be paid the
second half of her $25,000 fee, in cash upon
arrival at the club.
"The promoter tried to finagle with
Jones, asking her to accept less money, or a
check, to which Jones replied she would
not," Joseph said. He said the promoter
indicated he had lost the key to his lockbox
and was unable to pay Jones what her contract stipulated.
"She was very nice about it to me, but
refused to go on and returned to her hotel,"
Attached by bodyguards?
Joseph made the announcement that
Jones would not appear, then headed to her
hotel to try and work something out.
When he arrived at the hotel, Joseph
said he was attacked by the promoter's
The appearance by Grace Jones at Rich's last weekend didn't happen, but stones differ as to why.
bodyguards, leaving his face bloodied.
When Jones realized what was happening, Joseph said, "She offered to go ahead
and do an intimate show for the remaining attendees, to which I replied it was
not necessary. There were only staff left
Contacted by phone in Miami, promoter
Guajardo claimed that Grace Jones did not
appear at Rich's because when she arrived,
she found the club locked.
A faxed, hand-printed statement from
Guajardo reads: "The Artist was on their way
to the club. When we all arrived, the club was
closed. The Artist had the decision to perform
anytime before noon, as on contract."
The document bears signatures that
read: Grace Jones, Chris Robert Jones (personal assistant) and Margarito Guajardo.
In the aftermath, Joseph has threatened
to sue the promoter, and Guajardo has
threatened a countersuit.
No more gay Rich's
Joseph, who said he was at Rich's
opening in 1983, said the weekend and
the rumors that followed have left him
"I just am sick to my stomach that this
is how Rich's is going out," he said.
Certainly after the events of Pride
weekend, Joseph said, he has no choice but
to change the club.
"It may be the same old Rich's for one
more weekend, then it will change," he
said. "I will retain ownership, but I cannot continue to hemorrhage money. I
think it's sad."
He added, "We we're already only open
on Friday and Saturday nights and to be
honest, this is a business and the gay community has not been supportive of the club
since I took it over."
July 4th • "Spiritual Parenting"
Rev. Janet Parker
Please Join Us For Praise and
Worship at our Sunday
Morning Service And
Experience the Love of God!
"Building Community Through Compassion
urch Service begins at Warn and nursery is available for small children.
Shepherd Groups meet during the week for prayer and bible study,
contact church office for information.
Visit Our New Improved & Larger Nursery/Children's Area
3333 Fannin, Suite 106, at 10AM
Church office 713-528-6756 • E-mail email@example.com
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For information, call 713-861-9149
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