Another Night in Paradise

Laying bare the lives of Dallas' Strip Club DJs

The Maniac

"How about a round of applause for all the lovely ladies of The Clubhouse giving you a table dance? Somebody give me a 'hell yeah!' Hey! Stick around, we're going all the way to 4 a.m. The party's here at The Clubhouse, the place to be! Oh, yeah! Whooo! All right, let's bring up another sexy lady, main stage, first time up this evening, say hello to Venus!"

As The Fixx's "Red Skies at Night" fills the smoky air of The Clubhouse, Dr. Rock, in his perch high above the stage, is doing more dancing than Venus is. Odds are, everyone in the club is watching Venus, or maybe one of the four other naked women languidly wriggling around on another stage. But the way Rock sees it, if even one person is watching him, he's going to give them a show.

Even when the girls are wearing less than this, The Fare Room's Lance Hicks doesn't really notice. As long as he's working.
Mark Graham
Even when the girls are wearing less than this, The Fare Room's Lance Hicks doesn't really notice. As long as he's working.
Baby Dolls' Robert Pennington stopped telling people he works as a strip club DJ. With his clean-cut look, it's not hard to fool them.
Mark Graham
Baby Dolls' Robert Pennington stopped telling people he works as a strip club DJ. With his clean-cut look, it's not hard to fool them.

Truth is, he could do that just by standing there. Born 51 years ago as Glen Procell, Dr. Rock stands well over 6 feet tall, and his teased and feathered hair-metal hair adds a few more inches. With his name and appearance, Rock is a caricature, and that's kind of the point. No one wants to party with a short-haired guy named Glen Procell. But everyone wants to hang out with the glammed-up Dr. Rock. That's why he's been voted Disc Jockey of the Year by Adult News & Entertainment several years running.

"I put a lot into this," Rock says. He's not always Dr. Rock. When he's taking care of his 10-year-old daughter, he's Mr. Procell. "I have fun. And some people just don't have fun. They just look at it as a job, what they gotta do, that they can't do anything else. I like doing this. And then I take it a step further. I'll get out there and perform myself...Whatever it takes to make everybody happy and smile."

He's been working here for seven years, since the club he was part owner of, Club Legacy in Arlington, was sold. But he's been around The Clubhouse since before it opened in 1995. He was even offered an ownership stake, which he turned down. ("I could kick myself in the butt over that one," he says.) More than the girls, and almost more than Pantera's Vinnie Paul and Rex Ewing, who are among the owners, Dr. Rock is the face of The Clubhouse. It's not difficult for him to command respect--and more than a little affection--from the dancers.

"I always have a little orientation with them so they can know what I'm about and they can hear what this club's about, what we do here, the way we do it," Rock explains. "This is how we roll, and I guarantee you, if you listen to me, and listen to the great management staff we have here, we'll make you some money and you'll be happy here."

Almost 20 years of experience have proven this theory to Rock--not that he set out to become a leading authority on the ins and outs of the strip club business. Though he seems to be born for the role he plays, Rock's occupation is as accidental as the other DJs'. He came to Dallas in the early 1980s. He'd just come off the road with his band The Prisoners and was settling into his new job running a construction company.

While his crew was working on a site near Webb Chapel Road and Northwest Highway, they'd spend their extended lunch hour at Caligula XXI. During one of those lunches, the DJ celebrated his birthday a bit too vigorously, downing three hurricanes in 10 minutes. The manager, Terry Brown, remembered Rock from his days with The Prisoners and drafted him into service.

"So I jumped on the mike and helped him out that afternoon, and it was like I was a natural for the deal," Rock says. "And then the nighttime group came in about 6, 6:30, like they do in this business, and the owner, Nick Rizos, went, 'Who is this guy? You need to get this guy on for our nighttime.' So I started doing it, like, three nights a week, then four nights a week."

Before long, Rock had acquired his DJ name--he was pre-med at Louisiana State University--and a full schedule of DJ gigs. He'd found his calling, not to mention a way to buy a new Corvette. When he started working at The Clubhouse a decade later, he knew he'd found a home, too. And it's a happy one.

"All right! Who's having a good time out there? Say 'hell yeah!' Who wants to get drunk tonight? Say 'hell yeah!' Who wants to get laaaid tonight? Say 'hell yeah!' Who wants to get high tonight? Say 'hell yeah!' You're kidding me. I don't believe you."

"I want to get high!" someone screams from downstairs.

"Well, go up to the second floor. You'll be up higher. All right, coooming to the main stage, please, gentlemen, here's Mariah! C'mon, shake that booty!"

He cues up Nelly, P. Diddy and Murphy Lee's "Shake Ya Tailfeather" as Mariah does just that. He disappears across the hall into the dancers' dressing room, where he keeps two lockers to store his costumes. He comes back in a backward baseball cap and shades and starts doing a routine he learned as a Mavs ManiAAC. This season, Rock joined the big-man dance team that entertains fans during Dallas Mavericks games. Again, he's a natural.

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