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Kinetic Playground building owner disputes GLN's release (UPDATE)
News update Friday, Oct. 1, 2010
by Andrew Davis
2010-09-29

This article shared 5709 times since Wed Sep 29, 2010
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Jim Gouskos, the owner of the building that houses the nightspot known as The Kinetic Playground, 1113 W. Lawrence, has disputed a Gay Liberation Network ( GLN ) release accusing him of threatening an organization member over the protest of an appearance by a reggae singer who has recorded anti-gay lyrics.

According to a press release issued by Gay Liberation Network ( GLN ) , Kinetic Playground manager/owner Jim Gouskos threated GLN member Roger Fraser with assault over the protest of a planned appearance by reggae performer Capleton.

The release stated that Fraser attempted to persuade Kinetic Playground to cancel the Saturday, Oct. 9, engagement of performer Capleton, who has called for killing lesbians and gays in the lyrics of his song lyrics.

When Fraser said that Kinetic's refusal to cancel Capleton would be met with a protest, Gouskos allegedly replied, "Don't threaten me because I can get a bunch of goons outside to throw eggs at you guys."

The release also stated, "While in an earlier conversation Gouskos claimed that he was pro-LGBT and would never have knowingly booked someone with Capleton's anti-gay M.O., he said that an $11,000 contract forced him to go ahead with the show. GLN's Fraser replied that many other clubs, such as Chicago's House of Blues, had managed to cancel contracts with kill-gays performers and that he or his lawyer should call them for advice on how to do this."

The release then stated that Gouskos subsequently "apparently called openly gay Ald. Tom Tunney, and reported that Tunney said he'd never heard of Capleton, and used this as an excuse to dismiss GLN's concerns. Well, just because Alderman Tunney may not be up on the latest Jamaican dance hall music hardly settles the matter of just where Capleton stands on LGBT people."

Gouskos subsequently called Windy City Times and, in an emotional talk, denied GLN's statement in its entirety.

"I was made aware of it by a letter that [ Fraser ] sent," Gouskos said. "He started telling me what Capleton sings. ... He then sent me a clip [ of Capleton's music ] . I didn't understand what the guy was saying. Then, I called the promoter, King Tubbis, about Capleton; Tubbis said that Capleton has signed the [ Reggae Compassionate Act in 2007 ] , but Roger said that Capleton said some [ anti-gay ] stuff in L.A. [ Note: The letter Fraser sent to Gouskos stated that Capleton "quickly violated the terms of the agreement. As a result, his tours in Switzerland and France were cancelled in 2008." ] Then I talked with Tubbis about canceling the show and Tubbis said, 'I paid $8,000 for the contract.' I asked if he could get out of the contract. It's not my contract. I didn't refuse to do anything.

"I then asked Roger if he knew where we were; he said no. I said, 'Our zip code has the highest number of gays and lesbians in America.' He said, 'I highly doubt that.'"

When asked if he ever threatened Fraser with assault, Gouskos, "No way! I never threatened him." Gouskos added that he even offered Fraser a booth inside Kinetic that evening—and that the offer still stands. Gouskos then repeated, "I never said I'm going to throw eggs. I never, ever, ever said that. That's one of the things that has me [ most ] offended."

Gouskos added, "I'm part of this [ Uptown ] community. This is my community. I'm not doing anything to offend anybody. If you're not a contributing part of the community, I want nothing to do with you. Everybody here has worked too hard to change this neighborhood for the better."

Gouskos also does not want people to think that the Capleton show is a reflection on him. "These are people who are part of my life," Gouskos told Windy City Times. "I don't differentiate. I don't look at [ a neighbor ] across the street like he's different because he's gay. He's my friend; he's my neighbor."

"I told [ Fraser ] that everybody has the right. If you want to protest and stand outside, you have the right."

As for Capleton, Gouskos emphatically said, "I'm against anything anyone does that's about hate."

Lastly, Gouskos—who said that he has been emotionally hurt by GLN's release—denied ever contacting Tunney, asking, "What reason would I have to call him?"

GLN plans to protest Capleton's performance Oct. 9 at 10:30 p.m. at Kinetic.


This article shared 5709 times since Wed Sep 29, 2010
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