The Lobby and Anything Goes

Update April 2015: I just logged in to my old Anything Goes site where many of you are and discovered that way back in November 2014, Confuzer (thanks very much) posted a link to some of the chats that went on in 2000. Take a look. Some of the posts had me rolling at the memories. The usual suspects You know who the guilty parties are: RussianGirl, confuzer, verdeii, loz-who-changed-her-name-from-lollipop for obvious reasons, ROSES, Draven et al.

The link to the chat record is down in the comments, also.

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For Alicja, wherever you are.
I’ll be seeing you
In all the old familiar places…
–Irving Kahal

Update May 2011: Michele White has written a book titled “The Body and the Screen – Theories of Internet Spectatorship”. It runs some 200 pages, not including notes and end credits. By the sound of it, she was being paid to sit and chat. The book is copyrighted in 2006.

Club Gabbay gets an honorable mention at the bottom of page 29. I wonder how much time she spent in the rooms, and what character names she used. She has more publications to her credit, so it’s obviously not a thesis. Michele, if you’re out there, come by and say hello.

Link to Michele’s publication on Amazon here. Unfortunately, the pdf has been removed.

I found the link to a record of some very old ClubGabbay chats that Confuzer (Rutger) mentioned in his comment, below. There’s quite a few of them. Read and enjoy. Don’t neglect **ArRoW**’s Chat Center guest book below, either.

Update October 2009: With the closing of GeoCities domain and web sites at the end of October 2009, all the old familiar places will be gone for good. Here’s a link to **ArRoW**’s Chat Center guest book. Take a look at some of the old entries for some memorable names.

Update April 2007: It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Alf on April 24, 2007, known to us all as Fozzie. While Fozzie was working in his woodlot, harvesting trees to turn them into lumber for a building he wanted to construct, the little Furpot was called to the great kitchen in the sky, where beautiful cooks and lovely waitresses prepare and serve the finest foods and sweetest desserts known to exist, just for him. Fozzie will be sadly missed by all of his good and kind friends from Australia to North America and places in between.

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ClubGabbay's notable chat background

The Lobby chat room background from ClubGabbay. I did a little color enhancing to make the background more recognizable.

Back in the ’90s there was a chat site known as ClubGabbay, or Anything Goes. It consisted of a number of rooms, most notably the wildly popular “Anything Goes” chamber, but also a more tame room known as “The Lobby”. The crazies–of which I was one, I sheepishly admit–populated Anything Goes, while more sane individuals among us were known to frequent the Lobby.

(How many of us discovered ClubGabbay from the Healthy Choice Chat Center? I know I was one that initially found the Healthy Choice room, but soon thereafter migrated to ClubGabbay and Anything Goes.)

In the search engines, the site was listed as being one for music appreciation, but from what I saw, no one who came in talked much about music. Eventually, in the late ’90s, the owner of the site attempted to sell his somewhat mediocre audio recordings to fund the operation, but that bombed big-time. Eventually the entire place collapsed into the one remaining room known as The Lobby.

The chat room eventually ended up being given or sold–I’m not sure which–to a couple of people. Then the trolls arrived, during which time a couple of the regulars using multiple handles actually ended up destroying the place. Finally, the Lobby imploded and was closed. The domain remains still, but it comes up as a commercial search site, listing mostly inane plastic cookware and travel sites–such a fall for a once-popular and widely-known series of chat rooms.

During the course of the site’s operation, I went on the road to meet many of the chat site regulars, who were physically located far and wide across North America and the world. Most of those I met were located in North America, but some from offshore ended up visiting, and I eventually rode to meet them also.

When the chat room closed, we were limited to the various messenger services and their limitations. The crazy days were long gone by then, and the silliness that had pervaded the old site no longer ruled in the one-on-one world of the IM chat clients. If you couldn’t post a link to a silly picture, what was the point? Stay in touch without that? No, thanks. Consequently, we all went our various ways, and most ended up falling off the map.

I think it would be mildly interesting to find out what all the crazies are doing now. From personal contact, I know that a few have completed their Masters or PhDs, some have gotten married, others are having babies, and still more are doing what they always did, working away and killing time in other chat rooms or forums. Some have passed on from this life and are now in a kinder, gentler place but will continue to live on in our chat room memories.

It was a fun time in the early days of the wide-open chat room environment, but eventually most of us lost contact while moving on to live our lives.

Here’s a link to a forum, not often used, for all the old familiar faces.

84 thoughts on “The Lobby and Anything Goes

  1. Every so often I get nostalgic and do some Google searches on the old places I used to hang out online. Club Gabbay was the first chat room I ever participated in, and the first person I ever spoke to over the Internet was named “*Skittles*”. I only saw her that one time… sometimes I wonder about the person on the other side of the screen, who they are, how they’ve been, etcetc. I always watched for her so I could say hi.

    Missing in action are Rose and CapdWeazel. I really wish I could get in touch with either of them again.

    And Tabitha/Carmen, if you’re out there, I hope you’re doing okay.

    It’s sad to hear of people departed from us, but it’s nice to see some old, familiar names. I remember almost everyone… RussianGirl, pete DC, Cyanide (Pubic Enema :P), weyme, **verdeii**, *ArRoW*, confuzer, Damaris, MedMan, Bossman/Brandon, Mike/2112, MustangLady, cjcoplin, and Narf… and how can I forgot loz? I think loz was my favorite. I miss all of these people, even if I didn’t always get along with them.

    Things have not gone as planned in my life and I have some hard times right now, but things are starting to look up. I hope everyone else is doing well. If anyone remembers me – “Justin C”, “bloodredtears” and other similarly melodramatic names… send me an email.

    The user Justin has been booted from the Lobby.

    • I get that alot… and those moment always pull me back to gabbay. It was a magical time with magical people of whom most i’ve lost. And you always wonder right? Always wonder…

    • No way. CapdWeazel is a good buddy of mine. We’re still in touch. This takes me way back though, wow. I remember that feeling when you see a friend’s name on the list of guests presently chatting. The internet is so different these days.

  2. For some reason I was thinking about Club Gabbay tonight and here I find myself reading all these posts from people, most of whom I recognize. I’m glad to hear you’re all doing well. I’m happy and healthy living in So. Cal. with my awesome husband who was a fellow Gabbay’er. We’ve been married almost eight years now. How many people did Gabbay bring together? Arrow and I were close friends but I’ve completely lost touch with him and have no idea where he is. So many people I met over the years. It was always an adventure.

    I do want to say I recently found out a friend of mine from Gabbay passed away a few years ago. RIP Echoes. I know you’re in a better place.

    Caryn

    • So sorry to hear about Echoes.

      In my travels I too met quite a few of the old (relatively speaking) Club Gabbay denizens. It was always a pleasure. They were all sane, contrary to some of the antics that we witnessed online.

      Meds

    • Thanks, Confuzer. I just realized these old posts were available. I’ve read through, and some are absolutely hilarious. Thanks for making them available.

  3. Long, long shot but does anyone remember the old SA gang? A group of guys chatting from South Africa – I think most of them used movie titles as their names?

    and did you ever post those old snapshots, confuzer?

    • Sorry not yet… time moves so fast! Still in the queue though, along with the USA trip movie I need to edit from last year and a whole bunch of other stuff… 😛

  4. Hey my mother used to chat in the lobby she went by the name angel and blue eyes I think. She was from Australia.
    Well anyway she passed away last year.

    Cheers

    • I’m sorry for your loss, Steve. While I do remember those two names, I wasn’t one of the people that chatted with blue eyes.

  5. Hi, I used to be TheSoupNazi2000. Wow, I can’t believe it has been that long ago….probably around 14 years. I was in high school when I was on Club Gabbay and now I am 33.

  6. *bump*

    I moved recently and this caused me to clear out old junk. So I found my old harddrives, plugged them in, and found snapshots of the lobby from around 2000 in Temp internet files (among alot of other things).

    IE does actually take snapshots of around 25kb of your chats. So if people have old HD’s, check the Temp internet files in your IE application data, hilarious.

    I will create an online repo for all these files shortly 🙂

  7. Let’s see here, I went on this website Gee..like 17 years ago…I think I got an aneurysm just thinking about it. I was Trainspotter/Ice-T/Cold Blooded/Shuma Gorath….I actually met Frog Lady, Dazzle, ArRoW, *ALICIA*, and Verdeii and a few more whose name I seem to have forgotten. I went Romania for Dazzle..that was fun. Verdeii was nice enough to take me to Six Flags to which I will always feel endebted to..I mean that was first time at 6 flags.. I remember starting on that website a long time ago..Christ I can remember when it was ..*holds breath* Club Atlantis..*LOL* then I remember the Admin’s would keep booting people.. Frog Lady’s dad is a cool guy, I remember him and I were rooting for Princeton in the tournament a while back. Thinking back, it is utterly amazing how primitive the internet was compared to now. When I first came to Gabbay I lived in Seattle, then I moved to Phoenix, then Mexico and back to Seattle Christ when I started there I was in my early 20’s nw I am ALMOST 40…But I can remember it like it was 6 months ago..be well…

  8. OMG!! Back in 1997 Anything Goes was the first chat page my friends and i ever visited. My handle back then was Black Orchid and there was always an american guy called Clayton who would post about his bloody cards and football games.
    My friends and I also went on one day as Black Jesus and the Holy Homies. This chat room was where i met someone who would go on to be a long term partner and life long friend. Yay for Anything Goes!!!

  9. Just thought I’d be the first comment of 2014!

    I think my handles were pandora, Gothika, weyme….to name a few..

    I am still in contact with some dear friends from here but still looking for a few more!

    • What a surprise. Welcome! We’re all glad you found the place. No doubt you’re surprised to find that after all these years, someone wrote a blog post about everyone’s favorite chat room – and the crazies that habituated the madhouse – so very long ago. It’s not often that people stop by any more, but some do, from time to time, to see what’s become of everyone. Comment as often as you wish, and again, we’re all happy you’re here.

  10. that was my first chat room.. the almighty AG!.. cool people like the misterious milk, the australian mizzhades -or something like that.. she was (is) -dunno- a poet.. and other folks with whom i exhanged some words. Istill remember the little chat of a guy that wanted us to pay. That was funny *LOL.. we xharged all against him.. no doubt that he did not wnted to talk about he subject :). Geat times 🙂

    Greets from mexico

  11. Amazing…I found Club Gabbay by accident when I was a senior in high school killing time in computer class, fell in love with it during my following years, was there for the melt down and when it was made to only allow so many in at a time.. I still keep in touch with one from back in the day (Irma) but lost touch with others.

    I was saddened to hear about Foz 🙁

    I remember a lot of the names mentioned above and so many more. I “think” my handle at the time was Lynney18..

  12. (20:46:54) Confuzer says to **verdeii**: *kiss*… no blame… just plain love

    Haha, I hooked up an old HDD as I am a data hoarder and it had some ICQ chats on it with the above line in one of my chats with Celtic Myst. By the way, it did steer up some old memories. Anyone remember Desert Dreamer? I went shit crazy on google just now to find her, but only know her first name “Angie” and her nick… The old emails are all obsolete. We should be able to connect our FB account to our old ICQ numbers 😀

  13. I loved Club Gabbay, though I was a total troll and trouble maker. I was assigned by a magazine I worked for to go in as an 18 year old named “Jenna” from Los Angeles and report on the world of chat.
    Most were fun folks to chat with. Except for the middle age men from across America that wanted nothing more to schtup an 18 year old. One was named Scott who after 3 weeks of chat admitted his love for “Jenna” and he was married with kids.
    When I admitted I was a reporter, he called me sick, yet I reminded him he was the middle aged married dad admitting love of a complete stranger. Sounds sick to me.
    After the assignment, I just chatted for fun.

    • Glad you found the place, Jenna. Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. I wonder if Scott will stop by and try to hook up all over again.

  14. *Hops in the Lobby Door and onto a stool* Hey Gabbay! Drinks all round. High They’re! Sorry to hear about Foz. HE was a friend. It has been Soooooo Long. Lots of names here I remember Arrow, Delta, Spectre, and of course Delta! *Shoots his triple tequila in one gulp* I had actually recreated the club using perl script back in the day to add a chat to a site I was working on. Not sure if I still have the code. Would be cool to go a little retro for awhile. I despise what happened to the net. Hope life has found you all safe and if not happy then at least content. *Hops out the door* Byyyyyeeee!

  15. Hey errybody,

    *STARCHILD* here.

    The Lobby and AG were brilliant timewasters. I can still remember loads of people. Joon, arrow, Lobo, Cyan (thanks for the spurs – I owe ya one), Snobunny, Foz (bummer), Spectre, Verdei, Bossman (hey!), Medman, Chan (lulz) & the dreaded SN (hahaha)… loads. It was like a constant battle of wits – pure class. Had some good fun, prolly at your expense at times (c’est la vie, eh?), but damned if I don’t think about that shitty 64bit room with so many code holes you could crash it in the time it took to long type a gif… How many of you can attest to learning your basic html to the times you asked someone how to post a pic, or a link, or “ghost” the lobby, or enter unnoticed. Am just after remembering MATTS BACKDOORS. Hahaha. Good times.

    Sucks about Foz – he was sound.

    I’m outside of the states now and good.

    I was half smartass/half hacker troll and fairly decent guy, unless I was drunk, which back then was often. Just thought to google it for the hell of it and delighted to see so many of you doing well.

    somebody ping me for aul times sake…

    Be Easy

    *POOF* –> remember that lame shit?

    *STARCHILD* aka @INDIEandaJONEZ

    • Hey Starchilod… I think remember you too. And you are right about the coding….I started bolding then shouting (). Actually became a pretty good coder and designer before they came out with all the programs that allow any ^%$# to “think” they can program. Finally gave up when it stopped being fun.

  16. I too looked up Club Gabbay on Google. I still keep in contact with FillyMouse, and Amethyst. Everyone else whom I chatted with, I lost contact with a long time ago. It was nice to read your posts. Good memories for the most part. 😮 )
    xoxo,June

  17. Egads! Talk about memory lane. Like most, Club Gabbay was my first chatroom too. I think I started as 2ndJoy, but known later as ViolentSkies or ViSki for short. I remembered many awesome people, one in particular, Lord.Chris (I think) lol – So weird, dunno what made me think of this place…but I have only good memories. 🙂

  18. Gabbay – man, it has been an age. for those who might remember, I started off there in about ’99 as ‘lolli’ or ‘lollypop’ (old childhood nickname), but was happy to switch to ‘loz’ after peterdc (aka pdc) told me that’s what I’d be called somewhere in England. my real name is ‘Laurie’, see?

    hello to all the old lobbyists who have posted here already! Justin & I reconnected via messenger a couple years back, but unfortunately I seem to have lost my ability to chat much in the last few years & I lost him again. I actually miss being a chat addict, hah! not to mention the place (lobby) to go to chat. I’ve set up chat rooms over the years, but never got much use after all so they’re defunct also.

    anyway – great to see all these folks posting – take care, all!

    • Lozzie!!! I hope you see this – I miss you and hope you’re doing well!!!!

      I hope twolanes let’s me post my email so you can connect with me again! jtcen84 at gmail dot com!!!

  19. Great to remember most of these names and sorry to find out Foz is no longer with us as well.

    Anyone remembers DogBreath? (he actually had another nick before that one but I can’t remember it *bummer*)

    Anyway, hope you guys are doing good, take care.

    ZaX.

    • I miss the Club Gabbay days!!! Does anyone remember AlteredStates023? That was my handle… wow, the 023 was in reference to my age at the time! I have such wonderful memories of the Lobby and Anything Goes. Wish we had something like that now today 🙂

  20. -Found this on a random Goggle search. lol
    ClubGabbay.com popped my chat cherry! It was ’96 I was a Freshman in college, experimenting with all sorts of weird things. lol

    Let me reintroduce myself. Earth/Vertigo I think I had a couple others, not sure if I was using TriEarth96 back then. Ah, those were the days. I was more of a Lobby person myself, though I did hop around into the occasional, other “chat rooms” I think the internet was such a different place back then, and ClubGabbay was such a crazy place. Dang, I hope Somebody got the Ferrari. I wish all you nuts, a delightful and happy future, where ever the road of life takes you.

    • Yeah you’re right. The Internet was a much different place back then. It began to change in the early 2000’s, around the time places like 4-chan and SomethingAwful.com started to become popular.

  21. hey everyone The Lobby was my 1st chat room some of you might remember me as Blackened or Pullimic and I know I used other handles but after 15 years I don’t remember them all feel free to give anyone my e-mail address that asks for it 🙂 congrats to Caryn and Dave on their wedding. I stayed out of anything goes in the beginning as I was only 15 in 1996 and didn’t venture in there until anything goes was already dead it still had a few years before it was shut down and only the Lobby was left but hardly anyone used anything goes unless there was a lemmings attack, hacker or a troll

  22. Wow hi guys! I just randomly googled Club Gabbay again and here I am again!

    Update on my life: I broke up with April (girlfriend from 2009) and moved back to CT. I am currently attending school for nursing and have a new girlfriend who lives in NJ. We are long distance for the moment but plan to move in together in summer 2012.

    I miss everyone and I hope everyone is doing well.

    -The story of life is the blink of an eye.
    -The story of love is hello and goodbye.

    MIA and loved:
    CapdWeazel
    Rose

      • Thank you. It’s good to see you again. Although, you know I never could figure out who you are ( by “you” I mean the person responsible for the whole “two-lanes” and “on the road” thing.) For some reason I have it in my head that you’re MedMan.

        I spent some time on the road when I was 19 – 25. I started hitch-hiking but eventually I got tired of waiting hours for rides and switched over to freight trains. I even went to a few of those “Rainbow Gatherings”, but I burnt out on that real quick.

        You know, even though I’m in school and I have a wonderful girlfriend and my life is pretty comfy right now… I really miss sleeping on concrete and never knowing what time it is.

        • Sleeping on concrete can be highly overrated.

          As for the time thing, stop wearing a watch. You’ll find yourself being on time for the things you really care about.

  23. Confuzer here…

    Once every year I google clubgabbay. Just now I even found a guy who recorded some chat logs but they seem to be from the lobby. I was more the anything goes type 😉 I google darkhorse + club gabbay so you might find them too, a few of you are in there.

    I just got my first baby, a boy I named Vinz. And just living my life. Funny that my first chat experience glues on me with the nostalgia burning, we are funny that way.

    Greetz from the Netherlands,

    Fuzz out (Rutger van de Putte on facebook)

    • Hi Rutger,

      It’s great that you found us and left a note. I think we all appreciate it. I was more of an Anything Goes type also, but towards the end The Lobby was the only room remaining open.

      Congratulations on the arrival of your son.

      I’ve seen that site you mention. Here’s the link to miscellaneous Club Gabbay chats recorded for posterity.

  24. Hey guys,

    anyone remember the good old german guy who often helped out as admin?
    Damn it I think I forgot my nick… Too many chats *g*
    But I remember many of you like Spectre, Joonie and many others.

    Gabbay was a cool experience for me and my first world-wide chat experience…

  25. Wow…I used to chat quite a bit back in the day, hell, nobody probably remembers me. I used to go under: *majikman*, *blackrain*, and *badmoonrising*. It’s cool to see that a lot of people still think about gabbay, it owned me for quite a few years.

  26. Wow! I can’t believe I found this page. Thanks, Meds, for keeping it going. I remember all the names mentioned here. Hopefully some of the other regulars will get bored like I did and google Club Gabbay and find their way here. I looked up Nicholas Shades’ Facebook and signed up there. Maybe some of us can reconnect that way. Of course, I don’t know a lot of people by their real name so it makes it hard to reconnect. Mine is Caryn. (FYI, Gabbay did not give me his Ferrari. LOL Where do these rumors get started? LOL)

      • Spectre/Dave! How are you doing? I’m doing great. Still living in Los Angeles. Working way too much, although I shouldn’t complain about that with so many people out of work these days.

        I got married three years ago to a fellow Club Gabbay’er. His name is also Dave from British Columbia. We did the long distance thing for almost six years till we couldn’t do it anymore and he took the leap and moved down here.

        Do you keep in touch with anyone from the old hangout? MedMan is really the only one I keep in touch with now and again. The others have all gone away. I sorta miss those days.

        What’s going on with you?

        • Greetings and salutations, former Gabbay peeps! It’s so nice to hear from so many of you here in the comments. I’ve been over to the Shades, but I can’t figure out what’s going on there, so I’ve not been back.

          Ah, yes, the Ferrari. I’d forgotten all about that. What was the point of the Ferrari again? Rumors. Aren’t they grand?

          I’m glad you found the place. Occasionally people turn up through a search. As far as I know, this is the only one that shows up in the results.

          Meds

  27. It was years ago I was last at clubgabby…. so many people. Those were fun times. Gothika/Weyme, Delta, Verdeii, Bluerose, Damaris…

    seems to be virtually impossible to find anyone again… 🙁

  28. Hey it’s Bossman! Talking about a blast from the past. Rf please pass on my email address to anyone that asks. Also get me in contact with Mrs Joon!

    What’s everyone doing now? I was just thinking about moonlight, Eli, and some others when I decided to search club gabbay

  29. Joon, I don’t publish email addresses, but if anyone should ask me for it, I’ll get in touch with you to confirm that you indeed want to hear from that person.

  30. I was Joon.. and then justajess on clubgabbay and made a lot of friends on there. I was friends with CDV, Roses, Damaris, arrow, verdeii, and many others. If you remmber me; just send an email. I miss the old gabbay, I’ve been married for nine and years and I will have my third child in Dec.

  31. This is August 2009 and for some reason I Googled Club Gabbay this morning just to see if it was still around. Found this article. Recognize a few names. It was a fun, fun chat room. I used to love to torment the admin, get kicked off, the log on by another name and torment him/her some more. I’m a lawyer working in SC now, and I try to behave appropriately MOST of the time.

  32. I loved that place. I was jenniebear and used to speak to Lizardking, lobo and xoxo mostly. I remember verdeii and damaris as well.

  33. Wow I remember the Lobby from ages and ages ago. I remember the stupid Ferrari contest that was up for like a year. I heard Mike gave it to Verdeii or something?

    The news about Foz really sucks. I didn’t know him very well but I knew him enough to know that he was an alright dude.

    Man, I wish the Lobby was still up. Whatever happened to Damaris? She was such a bitch.

    Anyway, when I was 19 I left home and hit the road, hopped some freight trains, lived in national forests, went to Cali, etc. I came back to the east coast, I got a job, live with my girlfriend, and am probably going to become an EMT.

    Oh yeah, this is Justin, one of the trolls that was always causing problems. 😛

  34. I lived in the lobby with a ton of friends most of which escape my memory. There was Verdei (California), Bluerose (Melbourne Aus) and Lizardking from Norway. My handle was CrazyCanuck (Glenn Dufty/Toronto/Canada and I’ve lost touch with these people. Anybody have a clue where to find them?

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