Club L.A. Rok TV.
If you remember where that was and what that was, you’re probably in your mid 40’s to early 50’s and you probably tried to get your mug on television by dancing in front of one many cameras 9NEWS news had in one of Denver’s biggest dance clubs.
It was such a happening spot in the early 1990’s that Denver claimed it even though it was located near 88th and Wadsworth in Westminster, Colorado.
Club L.A. was a place to get your dance on while watching and listening to the latest videos by the likes of Mariah Carey, George Michael and Madonna.
“Club L.A. back then was the hottest club in town,” said Louie Giunta.
Giunta, now in his mid-40’s and living out of state, graduated from Arvada West.
He spent a lot of time dancing in Club L.A. Now, it's a Mattress Firm store.
It's in the exact same spot and looks about the same from the outside - minus the palm trees.
I met Louie through Facebook at just the right time because he was in Colorado visiting for a few days.
We sat down at a picnic table in a park located next to his old high school in Arvada.
Giunta recalled Club L.A.
WATCH | SPEAR Flashback: Tearing up the dance floor at Club LA
“Everybody walking around in their MC-Hammer pants, patent leather shoes, doing the old dances you would see on the 80’s, 90’s videos," he said.
Not just anyone could get in to this popular dance club and dance on Denver’s first dance show: you had to audition for Rok TV.
Rok TV was produced by what was - at the time - the ABC affiliate 9NEWS, owned by Gannett Productions.
Filming took place on Wednesday and then aired on Saturday at 11:00am and 11:35 pm.
“It was the first dance TV show Denver had ever done. It was a kind of cutting-edge type of thing, so that drew a lot of people to it,” said Giunta.
One of the many it drew in, was Tom Spear.
Giunta lived with Tom for a short time in the apartments down by Home Depot near Olde Town Arvada.
Giunta first met Tom at Jerry's Arcade in Arvada.
“Tom was a real friendly guy, always enthusiastic about everything that he did. We were much younger than he was, so it was an opportunity to be able to have somebody to look up to, somebody who was accomplishing things right and left, because everything he did, he did really well,” said Giunta.
It was during one of those meetings in the arcade when Louie and some friends were dancing. Tom inquired why they were dancing.
Giunta explained to him they were dancing for Rok TV.
Tom Spear wanted in.
“It didn’t take a few lessons, it took an hour. The next thing you knew, Tom was on his way and he was dancing just like all us younger kids were doing. He had a few years on us, but he had all the moves and the beats down,” said Giunta.
Tom may have had the moves and the desire, but he lacked the right look.
“When we first met him, he had long hair. But when he started hanging out with us doing the Rok TV thing, we cut his hair to match the style of that time,” said Giunta.
That time was 26 years ago.
Louie said his time with Tom was short-lived.
“Throughout the whole time that I knew him, he always gave things away. For example, I have one of his World Championship rings. That, to me, is pretty special and pretty important, but he never really held on to things,” said Giunta.
Giunta mentioned that Tom gave someone a foosball table for a wedding gift. According to Giunta, Spear would let him borrow his red Mazda Miata whenever he wanted.
“To him it was more important to be giving and grateful, he was always a giving and grateful guy,” Giunta said.
Twenty years has passed since Giunta has seen Tom. I showed him video of how Tom appears today and he was intrigued.
“Tom has the power and the ability to do anything that he wants, so whatever he’s doing right now is by his own choosing,” said Giunta.
Just two weeks ago, Tom was sitting at the very spot at which I spoke with Giunta. It was a Saturday morning and Tom was listening to the radio and peacefully eating.
I approached him to ask if he had any new visitors coming by to say hello.
“Are you that 9NEWS guy?” he asked. I was surprised he recognized me, because he never looked at me. I told him I was that 9NEWS guy and he said, “Good for you guys.”
I followed up on the question about visitors.
“I’ve got friends all over,” was his response. I asked him again if he was cool with my project about foosball and him.
“Yeah, it’s cool,” he said.
Unfortunately, he has no interest in reading or seeing anything about the SPEAR project.
“Tom is a manifester, he was always able to see things before they even happened and he knew how the outcome was going to be on many things. If he wanted to be a foosball champion, he would be a foosball champion. If he wanted to be a dancer, he would be a dancer. And that’s what he did, and that’s why it’s so intriguing to find Tom in the position that he’s in right now,” Giunta said.