Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret

The Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret was a nightspot in Vancouver Canada for many years. Here’s a photo from 1958.

It hosted such luminaries as Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane in the 60’s. Then it became a magnet for the punk scene. DOA, Black Flag, Ramones and many others played at the place. At every opportunity I’d get to Vancouver, drop in on friends and take in whatever gigs were going on down at 109 East Hastings. It closed down in the late 80’s (Here’s someone else reminiscing)

The neon sign was rescued by the local band 54-40, restored and donated to the Vancouver Museum who have a mandate to preserve some of the history of the city.

Socio-political implications of this sign

The term Cabaret, aside from being the name of one of my favorite movies also implies a show or  entertainment, often on the less than tasteful side. It is a performance which is what much of contemporary culture, particularly on-line has become.  It’s a freaky little side-show.

And just so you know what the new header is about on another level. Since it comes from the mid-20th century it is an early indication of commercial cultural appropriation. The Worst Horse blog give a lot of examples of the use of Buddhist images to sell products. The local historians in Vancouver, even with the very large percentage of Asian population of that city, don’t mention anything about that.  So it’s one of the reasons I chose this sign and one of the reasons I’m going to keep changing it up over time. Sometimes the changes will reflect an ironic or even satirical political point of view and sometimes they’ll just be for aesthetic reasons.  I’ll keep a record here of the changes.

Dec. 9, 2009

Dec. 20, 2009

Dec. 29, 2009

Jan. 4 2010

Jan. 8 2010

Jan. 15 2010

Jan. 19 2010

Feb. 1 2010

March 19, 2010

March 22, 2010-the animated version of the above. You may need to click on it to see it.

April 22, 2010 Multitudes

May 21, 2010 Boobs

May 26, 2010 Censored Boobs

June  1 2010 Black

June 9 2010 Chewed to Bits by Giant Turtles

June 22, 2010 Spiny and Spineless (Skeletons and Jellyfish)

July 7, 2010 Cabaret #1 (coincides with post Wealth and Poverty) Current tag line” À la carte menu-opinion, propaganda, chef’s specials on weekends only”

July 19, 2010 Silence  (coincides with Sex and the Sangha series)

July 28, 2010 Stingrays over the Himalayas

Aug 5, 2010 Cake, Gauguin, Dragonfruit

Aug 19, 2010 Buddha Speed tagline It’s just a blog….

Aug 31, 2010 Black/White

Sept 19, 2010 Outline  tagline Juice made from concentrate

Oct 13,  2010, Cheetos.  tagline I am not a Professional Buddhist

Nov 6, 2010 Cheetos turn to lumps of shit. tagline Why U so negative?

Nov 7, 2010 Fishy  tagline-A barnacle on Buddha’s raft

Dec 19, 2010 Bumpy night with the bette davis tagline from all about eve


June 30, 2012

I changed it up a little since then. Stopped writing on this blog for about a year and now am doing something different.

With this theme I get to randomly change the header images so here’s the current selection.

By NellaLou

One comment on “Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret


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