To me, the Peppermint Beach Club of Virginia Beach is forever linked to the sounds of Bill Deal and the Rhondels, who revved up tunes by the Tams (such as “I’ve Been Hurt”) and helped popularize the term “beach music” in the sixties.
Nowadays the club features “hip-hop,” “punk rock,” “emo,” and “indie” music. I know this because Justice Barbara Milano Keenan writes about it for the Supreme Court of Virginia today, giving a win to the nightspot that was repeatedly fined because the aforesaid music was judged too loud.
Virginia Beach’s noise ordinance was unconstitutionally vague, the court rules. “Noise that one person may consider ‘loud, disturbing and unnecessary’ may not disturb the sensibilities of another listener. As employed in this context, such adjectives are inherently vague because they require persons of average intelligence to guess at the meaning of those words.”
The victory for noisy nightclubs surely will last only as long as it takes city leaders to pass an ordinance based on sound pressure level readings.
By Peter Vieth