Atlanta’s MJQ: Underground Heaven

The MJQ nightclub was founded in 1994 by George Chang, a 6’4″ Swedish-Chinese party monster. He quickly cultivated hip cache with an eclectic mix of music, including lounge music, dub, jungle, acid jazz, retro-soul and trip-hop. Three years later he upgraded to a larger venue and became a cornerstone of Atlanta nightlife that is still going strong today. Creative Loafing provides an expansive two-part oral history of the club, providing fascinating anecdotes how the club actively evolved with the times in order to stay in business.

Late-night magic at MJQ: An oral history, Part I, 6.16.11

Late-night magic at MJQ: An oral history, Part II, 6.23.11



Freaknik: Black Woodstock

Although Freaknik started as a barbecue amongst Atlanta’s black colleges, by the early 90s it had the rep of the ultimate off-the-hook party. Anything goes. Every year it got bigger, ultimately taking over the city with gridlock and insanity. It was unsustainable and Atlanta’s attempts to rein in the madness failed, ultimately causing the party to end. Complex takes a fond look back.

The Oral History of Freaknik, 4.12.13

Izzy, the WTF Mascot of the Atlanta Olympics

Izzy, described variously as a tear, a glob of toothpaste, and road kill, was originally called Whatizit. The Olympic mascot is intended to remind people of the host city or region. Given a chance to define Atlanta, the host committee came up with a fat blue zero. The marketing and branding blunder was mitigated somewhat through a public campaign to remake Izzy with a focus on youth appeal. Billy Payne, the glad-handling wizard who brought the Olympics to Atlanta over Athens, Toronto and Melbourne, chose the design after looking at the ten finalists for a few minutes, and before his staff had arrived for the day. Here is the behind-the-scenes story of what happened after that fateful decision.

What is it? An oral history of Izzy, the mascot marketing snafu of Olympic proportions, July, 2016

The 1996 Olympic Bombing in Atlanta

Here are two pieces dedicated to the Olympic Park bombing in 1996. The first is from Sports Illustrated and includes shocking quotes from the cowardly bomber, Eric Rudolph. The second is from Atlanta Magazine and includes extensive anecdotes from security guard Richard Jewell, who was on the scene and was wrongly accused of the crime.

An oral history of the bombing that rocked the 1996 Atlanta Games, 7.24.12

Fallout: An oral history of the Olympic Park bombing, 7.1.11