Staying abreast of events at Bohager's

Is it a snub as mayor heads to other club?

March 12, 2003|By John Woestendiek | John Woestendiek,SUN STAFF

Bohager's, the Fells Point nightclub where about 10 women were cited by police for indecent exposure during a Girls Gone Wild event last week, has a new band headlining its St. Patrick's Day Party on Sunday: Gaelic Storm, the Celtic band that appeared in the movie Titanic.

The Los Angeles-based group agreed to appear at Bohager's at the last minute after - here comes the backstory - the Irish band originally scheduled to appear, headed by Mayor Martin O'Malley, canceled.

O'Malley's March has frequently played at Bohager's, including post-St. Patrick's Day parade parties for about 10 years.

"The mayor has just decided not to play here this year," owner Damian Bohager said yesterday. He declined to say what reasons were given by the mayor, whose band canceled the appearance right after the Mardi Gras party at Bohager's on March 4.

Undercover city police officers cited about 10 women for indecent exposure at the event, called "Pardi Gras 2003," sponsored by a local radio station and the makers of the Girls Gone Wild videos.

Baltimore was one of about 40 cities where events were held to choose finalists for a "Miss Girls Gone Wild" contest that will be part of a Thursday night live pay-per-view television special.

Makers of the videos travel to Mardi Gras, spring-break beaches and other party locations and encourage women to display their breasts.

The pay-per-view event was moved to South Padre Island, Texas, last week after the mayor of Panama City, Fla., warned that police would arrest both women who disrobed for cameras and those who encouraged them to do so.

Baltimore city police officials said officers were sent into Bohager's on March 4 because of concerns about overcrowding and rowdiness. The women were cited, officials said, because the club does not have an adult entertainment license.

The club received no citations.

Police were later criticized - both by Bohager and callers to the sponsoring radio station, 98ROCK, who questioned the department's priorities.

A spokesperson for the mayor said O'Malley is scheduled to take part in the St. Patrick's Day Parade Sunday, then appear with his band at 4 p.m. at Fletcher's in Fells Point.

The spokesperson declined to comment on why the mayor's band withdrew from the Bohager's appearance, referring that question to band spokesperson Jamie Wilson. Wilson said the band decided on a different venue "because we are trying to broaden our fan base."

O'Malley could not be reached for comment.

Despite the withdrawal, Bohager said O'Malley remains a "friend" who is "always more than welcome" at the club.

Gaelic Storm landed a brief role in Titanic - it appears in the scene where Rose and Jack dance in the steerage section - when the movie's musical director saw the band performing at a Santa Monica club about six years ago.

Since then, the band has released three albums, the most recent of which rose to No. 2 on the Billboard World Music Chart.

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