Dick Collier Jr. known to his family as Richard or Uncle Ritchie, was born in Maryland on August 13, 1943.
Dick served in the U.S.A.F and during that time was injured and lost a kidney. After leaving the Air Force, Dick attended college in Maryland where he earned a B.A. in Drama, he then went on to the University of Miami where he earned his Masters in the same subject.
It was in 1977 that Dick, now living in San Francisco bravely took the plunge
and leased the old television studio at 520 4th Street. Dick had a vision to
turn this gigantic open space into a state of the art gay discotheque. His
degrees in drama must have come in handy to transform this concrete and steel,
cold building into a welcoming, plush, inviting club that catered to "the
When the club first opened it didn't yet have a liquor license and was essentially an after hours juice bar. Dick insisted on only the best for his club which he had decided should be called The Trocadero Transfer. Dick was intrigued by the famous Palais du Trocadéro a large and beautiful concert hall in Paris, France. According to his oft times colleague Rod Roderick, Dick felt he wanted to transfer the stylish and elegant feel of the Palais du Trocadéro to his own dream project, hence the name Trocadero Transfer.
He brought in Barry Lederer from New York to install the now legendary Graebar sound system, custom built to match the acoustics of the building. It sported over 250 speakers and had the best components money could buy.
Dick gathered together a team of the best and most creative and imaginative people he could find to make the "Troc" stand out from other clubs. The lineup would gradually change over the years but the team of DJs, lighting techs/operators and set designers along with the bar staff, door staff and managers etc. were like a family. They would work tirelessly through the night so when the partygoers arrived at the club they could be wowed by the latest look. Dick was grateful to his Troc family for helping to manifest his dream. They were often rewarded for their efforts. After a White Party in 1980, Dick took his entire staff for a five day vacation to the Russian River where they were wined, dined and given a welcome break.
The Troc family feeling that Dick fostered extended beyond his staff to the many members who gathered under those mirror balls during those early years. Occasionally Dick would throw a party at the Troc with free champagne and a sumptuous buffet. Admission would be free to members. Many friendships were formed during those times that still endure today. Like the ripples from a stone tossed into a pond Dick's legacy, the Trocadero Transfer touched many lives. People actually moved to San Francisco just so they could join in the Troc experience. As Dick was heard to say "The Trocadero Transfer, nothing like it, never will be".
Dick was instrumental in organizing many grand events around the West Coast and even as far as Sydney Australia, but through it all his baby was the Troc. Eventually his old military injury caught up with him and due to ill health Dick moved back to Maryland to the bosom of his family where he lived out his days reminiscing about his wonderful achievements and being cared for by his immediate family.
Richard Collier Jnr. passed away on December 24th 2004. He is missed by his close and loving family. He is also missed, remembered and thanked by his extended gay family.
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