A simulated sadomasochistic sex show at a huge North Point Boulevard dance hall provoked an outraged Baltimore County liquor board yesterday to dish out the quickest and most severe penalty it has invoked in recent memory.
The board, which refused to grant a postponment in the case, ordered Steeltown's liquor license suspended for four weeks, starting Monday night, and imposed a $1,500 fine. It usually takes several months for infractions to reach even the hearing stage.
Two county liquor inspectors, alerted by an anonymous call, attended the Sept. 21 late-night show, featuring a band called Genitorturers. They gave the board a graphic description of the 75-minute performance.
They said it featured simulated torture and several kinds of simulated sexual acts and abuse involving whips, chains, whipped cream, artificial sexual organs, a metal cage, a rack and a 10-inch long galvanized nail, which was later thrown into the audience.
About 250 people paid $8 each to get in, the inspectors said.
Inspector Blane T. Massey said the nail hit him on the wrist as it flew into the audience. He knocked it down, and his partner, Donald R. Crockett, retrieved it to show the board.
Three club licensees and Isaac Klein, president of the corporation that runs Steeltown, all disavowed the performance, claiming that they, too, were offended by the act but had no forewarning of its content.
Their attorneys argued that the act was not illegal under the board's rules because it was clearly a "performance" and not a true "simulation," which is illegal.