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September 2, 2014

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Weeks before it reopens, Crazy Horse Too fending off a lawsuit filed by … Crazy Horse III

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John Katsilometes

The famous Crazy Horse Too exterior as photographed in May 2013.

Mike Galam had something of a crazy week, having been sued in District Court on Wednesday and burglarized of $250,000 in jewelry from a home safe on Thursday.

It all makes a guy want to seek safe haven in a gentlemen’s club.

In spite of the litigation and home theft at his residence in L.A., Galam, who is the new owner and operator of the notorious Crazy Horse Too gentlemen’s club, is geared up for a May 23 reopening of the adult haunt on Industrial Drive near the Interstate 15 on- and off-ramps.

If you remember where the late Buffalo Jim Barrier once repaired cars and masterminded his Buffalo Wrestling Federation fight cards, the Horse is still there, abutting Buff's old Auto & Marine repair shop. And if you remember that Barrier tried to stage an actual bout pitting himself against the club’s hotshot operator, Rick Rizzolo, you will regret that match never came off.

A few months ago Galam took control of the topless dance club once run by the slick and well-suited Rizzolo, who was swept off the property in 2006 after pleading guilty to tax-evasion charges.

Taxes weren’t all that were evaded in the Rizzolo regime. After being manhandled by one of Rizzolo’s henchmen at the club in 2001, tourist Kirk Henry suffered a broken neck and was rendered a quadriplegic. Henry sued, and as part of Rizzolo’s plea agreement, the visitor from Kansas City was awarded $10 million in damages from the deposed club overlord. Rizzolo never paid that settlement, though he did serve one year and one day as part of his tax-evasion plea deal.

Galam has nothing to do with the nefarious past of Crazy Horse Too, but when he bought the club, he obviously bought building bearing that famous name. And this week, attorneys representing Crazy Horse III Gentlemen’s Club filed a complaint in Clark County District Court against Galam and a host of other defendants, alleging trademark infringement for the use of the “Crazy Horse” title. The plaintiffs sought a temporary restraining order to push back the club’s opening, which is set for May 23. A grand opening is being planned for June 1.

“I’m not even using ‘Crazy Horse Too’ in our advertising right now,” Galam said in a phone conversation Friday afternoon. “All of the photos we’re using are just of the building. It’s an iconic building that people recognize.”

Galam also owns the Bare Elegance Gentlemen's Club near Los Angeles International Airport and another Bare Elegance in the San Fernando Valley. He says that in his 12 years of operation at both clubs, there has never been a report of assault and battery while he’s been in charge. He promises that Crazy Horse Too will be a reputable business that focuses on fun, not fighting, and was driving to the club Thursday afternoon to oversee a two-day job fair to fill dozens of positions.

That's when he took a call saying his home had been ransacked and his safe emptied, cleaning him out of a quarter-million dollars.

He didn't make the job fair.

“I got physically sick when I heard about this,” Galam said, adding that family photos and mementos also were taken during the burglary. "So, I can't tell you how our job fair went."

But Galam seems a resilient sort and is quite comfortable playing the huckster when talking of his topless haunt.

Among the many spots he is seeking to fill at the new CH Too are, obviously, dozens of dancing … positions. He says, “For the first 10 days, girls will not have to pay a stage fee to dance at the club. We’re super-selective, too. In our ads, we’re saying, ‘Sloppy jalopies need not apply.’ ”

That description is certain to offend anyone who isn't part of the gentlemen's club demographic, though Galam gets a laugh from his rhyming reference. But talking of old jalopies — actual jalopies — brings to mind Buffalo Jim, who made a career of repairing those cars. In fact, the parking of old jalopies on that property was one of the many reasons Buff and Rizzolo feuded for so long.

But that was a different time, folks, at Crazy Horse Too, where only the name remains the same.

Updated Saturday at 3:30 p.m.: Clarified since this column was originally posted was the original reference that Galam purchased the name Crazy Horse Too along with the club's property and building. Also, representatives of Crazy Horse III say that their attempt to to issue a restraining order to halt the planned opening of Crazy Horse Too on May 23 is still an unresolved matter.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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