Ro Cuzon on the inspiration behind his short story “Christmas Candyflip, 1992″, featured in our holiday-themed collection Dreaming of a Noir Christmas.

I moved from France to San Francisco in the second half of 1991, as the rave scene was about to explode all across the City by the Bay. At the time one of my first wife’s good friends was the promoter behind the famous itinerant party ‘A Rave Called Sharon’ (my wife was actually an investor in a couple of the very first parties). This was before raves were held in regular SF clubs and instead organized in abandoned or rented warehouses. Just getting there was part of the fun. You picked up a flyer somewhere—from a record store, a trendy boutique, some guy on the street. You called the number on it and a recording sent to some street corner the night of the party (usually South of Market, or Oakland, Berkeley or any adjoining county). There, some guy dressed like a Dr. Seuss character would hand you another flyer with the rave’s address, or another rendezvous point. Once you got to the rave, you might find anywhere from 200 to 1000 costumed or half-naked people frantically bobbing to deafening house music under lasers and psychedelic lights, the vast majority of them high on ecstasy—or ecstasy and LSD taken together, aka ‘candyflipping’. In 1992, I drove down to L.A and also went to Disneyland for the first time. I was still attending raves regularly at the time (that’s what SF people my age did back then on the weekend) and something about Disneyland struck me as having the same twisted, psychedelic vibe as my crazy San Francisco parties. Twenty years later came this little Xmas story. – RC