Gotta Go Gotta Flow

Life, Love, and Lust From Chicago’s South Side

“A supremely arresting and affecting match of potent images and singing words.”
— Donna Seaman, Booklist (Starred Review)

“It was a living self-contained theater.” That’s how Michael Abramson described his years photographing Peppers Hideout, Perv’s House, the High Chaparral, the Patio Lounge, and the Showcase Lounge on Chicago’s South Side in the 1970s.

Bump contests and blues. Love goddesses and shake dancers. The Sexy Mamas and Their Mack. Funky. Sexy. Music and voodoo. Every night like New Year’s Eve.

This was the scene that Abramson recorded. Wrote British novelist Nick Hornby, an admirer of Abramson’s work: “One tiny corner of the world over a handful of evenings a long time ago; but that tiny corner of the world has, for decades now, meant a great deal to an awful lot of people scattered all over the world.”

Enter Patricia Smith, a poet who grew up not far from these South Side clubs. She took a look at Abramson’s photos nearly four decades later and brought his night world back to life. “These fiercely breathing visuals are a last link,” she says, “to the unpredictable, blade-edged and relentlessly funky city I once knew.” Her words and his pictures open the doors and give us a front-row (or a back-row . . . even better) seat to a time and place long gone.

So: Watch. Listen.

Poems by Patricia Smith
Photographs by Michael Abramson

  • Hardcover: 200 pages; 157gsm paper + flood varnish over 4c (Sepianna Inks) images
  • ISBN: 978-0-9915418-2-9
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 9.5 x 1.25 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • USA Orders Only!
  • Price: $40.00 (plus tax and shipping)