The Dil Pickle Club Revived

July 26, 2008

Download Story
SS/file
The entrance to the original Dil Pickle Club

Founded in 1914 by former Wobbly Jack Jones, Jim Larkin, and the cadre of Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) and the Charles H. Kerr Company, and made famous by "clap doctor" Ben Reitman, the Dil Pickle Club became known as the controversial center of the "Chicago Renaissance."

Writers Sherwood Anderson, Carl Sandburg, Djuna Barnes, William Carlos Williams, Vachel Lindsay, and Kenneth Rexroth, mingled with radicals, unemployed workers, prostitutes, gangsters, and slumming Gold Coast socialites at the famed "Pickle." The irreverent spirit of the Dil Pickle Club was illustrated by the motto emblazoned on the club's door: "Step High, Stoop Low, Leave Your Dignity Outside."

Although its original location (reached by squeezing "Thru the Hole in the Wall Down Tooker Alley, to the Green Lite Over the Orange Door") is long gone, the new Dil Pickle Club will meet three times yearly, in July, November, and March, featuring works by Chicago artists and their international cohorts.

This recording of the first revival at the Gold Coasts's Zebra Lounge includes live music by Tom King Clear, short speaking by Gale Aherns, and new writing by Michael Marcinkowski. The reunion also included a picture show by Robin Hustle and performance art by Matthew Nicholas and Eric Warner.

 

Recorded Saturday, July 26, 2008 at Zebra Lounge.