Penthouse biographer Aaron Chapman visits underworld

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Aaron Chapman is best known around town as a long-time member of Celtic rock group the Town Pants, but he has now branched out by penning his first book. Liquor, Lust, and the Law: The Story of Vancouver’s Legendary Penthouse Nightclub explores the colourful and sometimes sordid history of one of the city’s most iconic nightlife hot spots.

“It not only gets into a lot of show business history of Vancouver,” Chapman told the Straight, “it also gets into the underbelly of Vancouver history with how the place became a home for the Vancouver Mafia in the 1970s.”

Chapman, who is an experienced local freelance writer, interviewed members of the Filippone family (owners of the club) in addition to patrons and employees. In the book, his research is complemented by an assortment of photos from the nightclub’s archives.

“There are photos in the book of Louis Armstrong at the Penthouse, Billie Holiday, all the way up to some later people like Little Steven and Michael Stipe,” Chapman said. Liquor, Lust, and the Law, published by Arsenal Pulp Press, is available now in bookstores and online. Chapman will officially launch the book at the Penthouse next Thursday (November 22).

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