Hellfire West

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This article is about a
Sessions House or ProDom Venue

Bill James: "Recently, the HellFire club in Detroit was raided by the police? Yet New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago have always had B&D Clubs. Do you think it was the community or the club that caused the raid?"

Michelle Peters: "That's really two questions: First, do communities support or tolerate B&D clubs. Second, why did Hellfire West get shut down?"

"Most communities are hypocritical. My slaves come from almost every occupation: Lawyers, Judges, State Legislators, Policemen, Automotive Executives and the like. They all come to me, BUT they'd rather do it quietly. Remember Michigan Is mid-west-Redneck-God-Fearing-Middle-America. What that means Is so long as there is almost no publicity, a community will tolerate clubs, Mistresses, and virtually anything else. HOWEVER, The minute some bible thumper decides he'd like to get elected and `clean up the town' you can bet there'll be trouble. New York City, Boston, `Frisco, & LA have better things to do than raid clubs. Do these towns support these clubs? No, I don't think so. But they do tolerate them. Unfortunately, HellFire West in Detroit made some very basic mistakes."

Bill James: "What happened to Hellfire West? I understand it was probably one of the best clubs around?"

Michelle Peters: "It sure was. It had the best stage, sound system and lighting I've ever seen in a club! It was clean, had nice furniture and an excellent layout for shows.

Bill James: "Sounds like a perfect set—up. What went wrong?"

Michelle Peters: "To start with, when `Sir Michael opened the club he didn't have a club licence or a liquor license. Somebody must of have told him that if you sell tickets and then cash them in at the bar for a drink, you can get around the liquor laws."

Bill James: "Was it true?

Michelle Peters: "Not even close! We had parties that went on until 4:00AM and he kept selling drinks even though the bars are supposed to close at 2:00 AM. It only took a couple of weeks before the Liquor Control Commission to come, and shut him down."

"As soon as they raided the place it made the papers. It was a holiday for the Newspapers — You know headlines like "Kinky Club gets Raided!" What he should have done is quietly filed for his licences an permits then quietly opened up. He did end up filing for his permits but he didn't try avoid the publicity."

Bill James: "I think I can see this coming. What happened next?"

Michelle Peters: "Sure enough, now everybody is watching for this guy, looking to shut him down. As time went on he felt they need more publicity. He invites Channel 7 shows up at the club with TV cameras Soon they are on the the Four O'clock `Good Afternoon Detroit' Show. Also, he finds a gossip columnist from the Detroit papers. We find out that he used to work for the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. This reporter probably couldn't write an obituary for his mother without digging up some dirt on her past!"

"With the TV and the newspaper articles the locals are getting down on the club. To top it off, the vice squad slips a female undercover officer in the club looking for a job as a Mistress. As soon as she gets on the payroll she blows the whistle for prostitution."

"Personally, I don't think there was any grounds for the charge of prostitution. However, it was her word against anyone else's so the second raid totally shut the place down."

Bill James: "This is the kind of thing you can probably do very well at and not have to have to be on the evening news."