peak condition

Carol Doda was one of San Francisco’s first topless strippers.

image found here

In 1964 she made international news, first by dancing topless at the city’s Condor Club, then by enhancing her bust from size 34 to 44 through silicon injections. Her breasts became known as Doda’s “twin 44s” and “the new Twin Peaks of San Francisco”

She go-go danced the Swim to a rock and roll combo headed by Bobby Freeman as her piano settled on the stage. From the waist up Doda emulated aquatic movements like the Australian crawl. She also did the Twist, the Frug, and the Watusi.

Doda was a witness during the trial of two all-nude dancers who were arrested for indecent exposure and lewd and dissolute conduct, in 1969. Presiding Municipal Court Judge Earl Warren, Jr. moved the trial, temporarily, from the courtroom to Chuck Landis Largo club. There Doda performed to live song and dance numbers, along with a movie entitled Guru You. She was cross-examined by a deputy district attorney about what she hoped to convey to audiences in her act. She responded that the movie represents a satire of pornography…it’s to show people the humorous side of sex. Several members of the 10-man, 2-woman jury kept in check their smiles as Doda explained the 17-minute movie. The deputy district attorney opposed asking her to perform, considering it irrelevant to the case. He was overruled by Warren.

image found here

In 1968 she appeared in The Monkees’ film “Head” for which Jack Nicholson co-wrote the screenplay and Toni Basil wrote the choreography.

“The film rejects plot in favor of a psychedelic trip through a series of parodies of every major film genre, including the Western, the musical, and the war film. These stylized romps are intercut with various surreal scenes, such as the classic sequence where the Monkees are sucked up through a giant vacuum cleaner and then spewed out as bits of dandruff in Victor Mature’s hair

image found here

Co-screenwriters Rafelson and Jack Nicholson based HEAD on conversations they had with the Monkees while on a vacation. Nicholson and Rafelson can both be spotted briefly on the commissary set. It’s also memorable for Teri Garr’s first line in a motion picture “Suck it before the venom reaches my heart.”

Published in: on February 20, 2010 at 8:36 am  Comments (41)  
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41 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love the piano playing pic, but the last one is so melancholy

    • She looks a little out of it doesn’t she?

  2. Torpedoes!!

    • Snap! I would not normally use that term, but they are definitely torpedoes.

  3. She has a familiar Dusty Springfield look about her… hard faced, but soft of heart.

    • I think she’s gorgeous. Especially in that top close up. And I have to have a go at replicating that hair do in the last pic.

  4. nursemyra, have you seen “Head”?

    “Head” is a work of genius.

    Given the Monkees TV series, one might have had low expectations of the film. But it’s a Dada masterpiece.

    My fave bit: a cameo by Frank Zappa where he subtly, but surely, trashes Davey for not playing a musical instrument.

    • I haven’t but I’d really like to!

    • I’ve seen it too. I have lines from it in my head: Victor Mature (I think): ‘Never, but never, make fun of no cripples’ The Monkees: ‘The money’s in, we’re made of tin, we’re here to give you more’ Indian guru inside vacuum cleaner after they’ve been listening to him for ages, thinking he’ll know how to escape: ‘But why ask me, for I know nothing?’. Oh joy!

  5. I like the headline!

  6. Even gravity is never going to turn me into a size 44. Thank God.

  7. Topless women are the proper way to begin your Saturday morning.

  8. Augmented boobs look peculiar …… just sayin’

  9. I was the right age to love the Monkees. Still think their music sounds great if you avoid sincere love ballads with Davy singing lead. This from a man who also loves Capt. Beefheart. I was too young to see Carol Doda but her name alone was scintillating to my young imagination. I guess she was all about civil rights too!

    Pat Riot

    • Captain Beefheart! More joy! I think he would have been most suitable for inclusion in ‘Head’.

  10. I never imagined I’d see The Monkees, Jack Nicholson and Toni Basil all in the same sentence. What strange bedfellows!

  11. I’ve got to see if I can find Head to download. I didn’t even know Jack was producing back then. Not too sure about The Monkey’s…but I’ll give it a shot.

  12. Oh, the Monkees! i was in love with Mike… still am. Forgot completely about “Head” and will have to track that one down!

  13. This is very insightful.
    Thanks.

    • Thanks for dropping by 25BAR, you haven’t posted any photos for a long time…..

  14. Living just north of Frisco, Carol Dodo was a local celebrity. Thanks for the fun romp through memory lane.

  15. Breast enhancement in ’64? How was that done? By contained implants or direct injection of silicone? I’m guessing the latter which, since that stuff is hardly compatible with human physiology, must have made for either a shortened life or an uncomfortable old age.

    She certainly had huge areolae, didn’t she?

  16. ANother life lessordinary. I can’t imagine that breast enhancement was a particularly safe option back then

  17. never trust implants is my advice .. ;-)

    • Never trust them to do what? Help you rob a bank?

  18. When I was scouting for photos on the Victoria’s Secret post, I found that they’re now selling a bathing suit that looks exactly like the first red “outfit” in your blog. And to think, they didn’t even come up with that on their own…

    • Rudi Gernreich first designed that topless one piece thingy in the sixties and caused quite a stir.

      • Yes he’s mentioned in most articles about Carol. an interesting collaboration.

      • I didn’t know that, I’d never heard of Carol Dodo before reading your post, Nursie. I used to have a fabulous book of Mr. Gernreich’s fashion. Oh, how I love the sixties!

  19. And no one gives the Monkees any credit . . .

  20. Teri Garr was super adorable back in the day!

  21. i might be wrong on this. but i *swear* i remember reading a story about her “making love” with a strip club bouncer in san francisco in the 1980s. they were “together” on a stage piano as it was being raised to the ceiling after a performance. the bouncer was crushed to death. carol doda survived.
    heh. funny the weird things that can happen.

    • The story about the piano is true Sera, but it wasn’t Carol, it was another dancer and it happened much later, in the 1980s I think.

  22. Donkey has been trapped!

  23. Twin Peaks, i knew david lynch was NOT a feminist lol always informing, always entertaining, love your blog dahling :)

  24. Another great post. I sort of stole it and reposted it. I really enjoy your stuff – so to speak.

  25. Ms. Doda was an amazing woman of the same sort of honesty and integrity of Annie Sprinkle, I admire them both. I just don’t get why women who have moderate sized breasts want to voluntarily saddle themselves with those giant torpedos. But I guess it takes all kinds. Great post.

  26. “Suck it before the venom reaches my heart.”
    If I had a nickel for every time I heard that old saw.

  27. My friend was a journalist in San Francisco at the time Carol Doda was so notorious. A promoter had an idea to have her leave an impression of her breasts in cement as a satire on Hollywood’s tradition of handprints in cement.

    She pushed her boobs into the cement and all that happened was they left a couple of blobby impressions with no discernible shape, and then Doda had to contend with cleaning off the wet quick-drying cement before it hardened. It was a bust (yuk-yuk) as a lasting tribute to the queen of topless dancers in North Beach, but by god, the reporters got their eyes full that day.

  28. She is one foxy mamma. Nothing is as lewed as my hip thrusting taunts.

    She actually had the silicone injected!?!?! can’t you die from that or get pretty messed up from it. It’s very bad when silicone implants break. wondering if that’s the same effect?


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