50's/60's Sex Club Wars/Carol Doda

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I am currently researching information surrounding the sex club wars of the 50's and 60's in the S.F. area, specifically N.Beach where Carol Doda started. The research is being done to potenially make a film about that time and events. Any help with refrences and websites would be very helpfull.

Warm Regards,

Ethan C. Marshall Intern to Ragna Nervik Palomar Pictures, Los Angeles, CA

-- Ethan Marshall (ethanmarshall@hotmail.com), April 24, 2001


As I remember it, there were nightclubs in the 50s. Some had strippers. But topless, was an invention of the Galaxy with the "Swim" (Bobby Freeman's hit) about 1964. Carol Doda's main competitor was someone with the first name of Yvonne. Yvonne was an Iranian citizen was deported on morals charges!

The rest is history. Topless was all over the Broadway strip. Now that every honky tonk in every two bit town has topless...so what? But back then, it was uniquely San Francisco.

-- ziggy (maugo99@hotmail.com), April 25, 2001.

You cound ask Carol Doda yourself, she owns a lingerie boutique on Union Street. I met her at Mama's, a breakfast place at Washington Square back in 1977, and she looked gorgeous...

-- Wolfgang Schubert (chouby@aol.com), April 25, 2001.

You might check out CAROL DODA AND THE TOPLESS ERA: A Fact Sheet Research by Marsha Garland at: http://www.sfnorthbeach.com/g34.html

Or, Carol Doda's - 1850 Union Street, #1 - San Francisco, CA 94123 - 415-776-6900

-- rich (sfhistory@zpub.com), April 25, 2001.

In 1967, I moved from LA to Berkeley where I was a graduate student in the UC Criminology School. Prior to that time I had sereved 4 years in the USMC and graduated from Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA Since there was no GI Bill in place from 1954 to 1965, I worked my way through college and beyond in the night club scene, starting as a bouncer and working up to manager. Prior to arriving in SF, I had worked several clubs in LA including in management at the LA and Phoenix Playboy Clubs. While attending UC Berkeley, I worked for almost two years at Gomans'Gay 90'S Topless Restaurant/Night Club.

Very unique club with a topless dancer in a glass enclosed cage 25' at and above Broadway in front of the club. The Gomans operated a classy restaurant with vaudville shows in which Bea Goman, Ray Goman and son Ray Jr. aka Skip performed. I was hired to assist the family in the sad transition from vaudville to topless. I became very good friends with the family. I lived the North Beach life and enjoyed the benefits that came with working in the scene. I also did my post graduate research as a participant/observer of the North Beach topless scene and the Tenderloin after hour clubs. Being an ex Marine and night life character allowed me to deal with the criminality and violence as a matter of course. At the same time I became very active in the anti-war movement as well as the 60's counter culture.

The competition amongst the too numerous topless clubs was fierce, each pushing the limits, several welcoming arrest for indecent acts to gleen the publicity. The Gomans were unable to deal with the topless wars, especially the raunchy acts that the Condor, Off Broadway, Roaring 20's and especially Big AL's were offering to the sex starved voyers who were lining up at the door. The Gomans went bankrupt. I departed the scene with degree in hand just when bottomless became the act d'jour. I believe that Ray Goman Jr.(Skip) is active in the SF entertainment scene. He would be an excellent resource for your project.

As for me, I went on to dedicate my life to fighting injustice and abuse of the down trodden as an activist criminologist, and radical psychotherapist. I was a vegetarian for 20 yeares, then a vegan for the past 11 years. For the past ten years, as founder of Wild Burro Rescue, I have stopped the National Park Service from shooting wild burros at Death Valley National Park. They shot to death over 400 wild burros from 1987 to 1994. No burros have been shot at Death Valley since 1994 when we began annual live capture rescues of those burros designated for lethal removal. To date we have rescued over 300 wild burroe and are providing lifelong care to over 180 at the WBR Sanctuary, Diana Chontos, President, Wild Burro Rescue, PO Box 10, Olancha, CA 93549

I realize that I have given you way to much personal history that has little to do with the subject at hand. I am probably prone to rambling because I am presently in transition seeking out another cause to champion, so the past, present and future all seem so relevant now.

Good Luck with your venture,

Gene Chontos

-- Gene Chontos (wildburrorescue@myhome.net), August 08, 2001.

I have lots of vintage sex pictures of the 30's, - 70's.... we can trade...

-- garsau reece (khelp@info.com), January 10, 2003.

Does anyone know if Carol Doda's real name was just that? I am involved in a discussion with an Associate, and my claim is that she changed her original name as it was "too plain" for her business. Please advise. Many thanks.

-- the WKB (thewkb@pacbell.net), August 16, 2003.

Here's one clue (man, is she hard to find). This obit was published in thereporter.com. Carol Doda is her niece.

Published: Tue, Jun 2, 1998 Virginia Pauline Waxman Funeral services for Virginia Pauline Waxman, 89, of Fairfield will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at Bryan-Braker Funeral Home.

The Rev. Lanny Partain will officiate. Burial will be in Suisun- Fairfield Cemetery.

Mrs. Waxman died May 31, 1998, in Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Vallejo after a short illness.

Born Aug. 17, 1908, in Vallejo, Mrs. Waxman was a resident of Fairfield all her life. She worked for the civil service as a seamstress in 1930 and was a mother and homemaker.

Mrs. Waxman was a member of Post 104 of the American Legion and the Fairfield Senior Center.

She is survived by her son, Jack of Fairfield; brother, Elmer Doda of Lake Tahoe, Nev.; cousin, Melvin Cook of Yountville; niece, Carol Doda of San Francisco; and one grandchild.

Visitation is 5 to 9 p.m. today at Bryan-Braker Funeral Home.

-- Rosa (rosadebon@yahoo.com), August 17, 2003.

i had an oppurtunity to meet carol doda while attending the san francisco art institue in 1978-1980...carol was taking some photography courses and i would see her in class a few times a week..being a photo major i used to talk with her about meeting the photographer "diane arbus" who photographed carol backstage at the condor back in the 60's and the photo has lived on to be one of diane arbus's famous images as seen in her book "diane arbus"...carol and i became good friends and she gave me her san francisco art institue student id card which i now have taped alongside her photo in diane arbus's book... carol is the last of the curvy sexy beautiful women..similar to raquel welch, sophia loren, etc...

-- william ceriale (rcerial@attglobal.net), July 04, 2004.

Regarding one of the earlier responses - the name of the individual in competition with Carol Doda was Yvonne Dangiers. She was persian. She was facing deportation when Melvin Belli, the famous personal injury (torts) attorney married her to head off the deportation proceedings. Belli had a terrific looking law office (very Dickensian) that one could view at night from the street. It literally became a tourist attraction. There was an issue of Playboy in the mid '60s, which did a pictorial article on North Beach, which probably has reference to a lot of the relevant names. The mayor at this time was Joe Alioto (succeeded Jack Shelly) who became involved in defamation litigation with Look magazine, which had published an article linking him to organized crime.

-- Robert Hughes (rwhughesnc@earthlink.net), August 14, 2004.

San Francisco in the 50s and 60s was a really small town, and North Beach was the smallest jazz/nightclub area of any state I've played. It seemed back then that all the club owners, managers and bartenders knew one another and got along - there were endless lines of tourists, so there was plenty o' everything for everyone. There was fun in the air and customers (corney as it sounds) really enjoyed themselves. The word "War" doesn't apply, not even remotely.

I had the pleasure of working with Carol Doda in three (3) one-act plays at the downstairs theatre (in late 60s called THE THEATRE NOW, on Mason St., downstairs of the movie house in the middle of the block between Post and Geary. Carol was one of the most down to earth, no-bullshit, genuine actors I've ever worked with (and I've been in the theatre since a child (in NYC in the 50s). Her performance in WILD GEESE was totally real, as it was when she played Sadie Thompson in RAIN (I think it was at the GEARY THEATRE. I wish I'd have told her how much I admired her. Perhaps, now that I've read your site, my next trip to S.F. I'll hope to see her at her shop. Funny, how one can work with a couple thousand actors in lifetime in the theatre and remember only a few, like Carol, who were so real, devoid of ego. Her sense of humor, I recall, was refreshing. Enuff from me. Thank you -- and everyone who's written in, for the memories.

Paul Nesbitt (in Hollywood 'til I can move home some day to San Francisco)

-- Paul Nesbitt (pasm514@aol.com), October 14, 2004.

i like old people

-- naciimkey (naciimkey_99@hotmail.com), January 21, 2005.

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