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Aaron Chapman

29 November 2012 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The musician, writer and historian Aaron Chapman discusses his new book, Liquor, Lust, and the Law: The Story of Vancouver’s Legendary Penthouse Nightclub (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012), with Joseph Planta.


Liquor, Lust, and the Law: The Story of Vancouver’s Legendary Penthouse Nightclub by Aaron Chapman (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Liquor, Lust, and the Law


Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.

The musician, writer and historian Aaron Chapman joins me now. He’s just written a terrific book, Liquor, Lust, and the Law: The Story of Vancouver’s Legendary Penthouse Nightclub. Located at 1019 Seymour, there hasn’t been a business or institution in the history of Vancouver that has evoked as many memories, myth and merriment as the Penthouse. Opened in 1947 by the brothers Filippone: Joe, Jimmy, Ross, and Mickey, it was a happening place hosting musical acts like Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole, and Duke Ellington. It was one of the first places in Vancouver that would welcome black entertainers. As well legendary stars such as Frank Sinatra would frequent the joint. In the 1970s, the Penthouse became the source of much intrigue and imagination thanks to exotic dancers, and the sort of folks that a place like that would attract: con men, members of the underworld, and the vice squad. In 1983, Joe Philliponi, who was known as the ‘Godfather of Seymour Street,’ was gunned down at the Penthouse during a robbery. His murder is one of the city’s most infamous. Mr. Chapman has done an outstanding job chronicling the history of the Penthouse, and presenting in this book for the first time some wonderful photographs of the place, but also Vancouver back in the day. It’s a marvellous history, and a wonderful look back at the city as it once was, and what the Penthouse is today. The place is beloved. Aaron Chapman was born and raised in Vancouver. He is a member of the Town Pants, and was a member of the Real McKenzies, a founding member in fact. He contributes to the Vancouver Courier, the Georgia Straight, and CBC Radio. His website is at www.aaronchapman.net. This book is published by Arsenal Pulp Press. Incidentally, there’s a signing at the Book Warehouse, Friday, 07 December 2012 at 7pm, with Aaron and Danny Filippone, the proprietor of the Penthouse, and son of Ross. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, in person this morning, Aaron Chapman; Mr. Chapman, good morning.

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