peak condition

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

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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.

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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

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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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shades of shame

My father was a plasterer by trade and he built the home I grew up in. He actually made the cement blocks himself, and he and my mother laid them together, on weekends and after work. It took two years to build and another ten before they adopted first my brother and then me. My mother had plenty of time to decorate.

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All rooms were wallpapered in patterns that would induce a migraine if I were to still live there. The lounge had four walls of embossed yellow daisies and one feature wall of black paper with penny farthing bicycles racing across the top of the piece de resistance – a pale blue and white fireplace shaped like a cloud and sprinkled with micadust.

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The summer I turned 13 I begged to be allowed to paint my bedroom wall. Long nights were spent discussing this preposterous idea, my mother objected strongly, my father not so much but in the end I gained a hollow victory. Hollow because my father chose the paint, I believe it was called shocking pink.

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I can’t recall how long I endured those walls but I think it was 1974 when I defied my mother and covered them with posters. My favourite was from a movie I’d never seen starring a dark and brooding boy called Mark Frechette

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“Mark Frechette, the actor who seemed to carry into his private life much of the tortured soul he portrayed in Michaelangelo Antonioni’s 1970 film, Zabriskie Point, is dead at age 27. He was the apparent victim of a bizarre accident in a recreation room at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution, where he had been serving a sentence for a 1973 Boston bank robbery.

image of Daria and Mark found here

Frechette’s body was discovered by a fellow inmate early on the morning of September 27th pinned beneath a 150-pound set of weights, the bar resting on his throat. An autopsy revealed he had died of asphyxiation and the official explanation is that the weights slipped from his hands while he was trying to bench press them, killing him instantly. A source in the county DA’s office, which is investigating the incident, termed the circumstances “a little strange,” especially since the bar left no mark on Frechette’s neck.”

The video is a little long but it’s an interesting glimpse into the past. Daria Halprin lived on, married and divorced Dennis Hopper, and now involves herself in creative arts therapy. I still haven’t seen Zabriskie Point.

What happened to your teenage pinup crushes…..?

Published in: on January 30, 2010 at 7:54 am  Comments (50)  
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cousin thomas was a poodle

The Amazing Criswell was famous for his wildly inaccurate predictions

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Criswell married an eccentric former speak-easy dancer, named Halo Meadows. His wife spent a great deal of time sunbathing; she also had a poodle named “Buttercup” which she was convinced was the reincarnation of her cousin Thomas.

Criswell was longtime friends with actress Mae West, once predicting her impending rise to the position of President of the United States, whereupon she, Criswell and George Liberace, the brother of showman Liberace, would ride a rocket to the moon. West used Criswell as her personal psychic, as well as lavishing him with gifts of home-cooked food, dropped off via chauffeur. Additionally, West was known to sell Criswell her old luxury cars for $5. For her 1955 album The Fabulous Mae West, she recorded a song about the psychic, titled, appropriately enough, “Criswell Predicts.”

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Criswell authored several books of predictions, including 1968’s Criswell Predicts: From Now to the Year 2000. In this book, the author claimed that Denver would be struck by a ray from space that would cause all metal to adopt the qualities of rubber, leading to horrific accidents at amusement parks. He also predicted an outbreak of mass cannibalism and the end of planet Earth, which he set as happening on August 18, 1999.

His second book “Criswell Predicts Your Next Ten Years!” was released in 1969. “Why should you feel lonely when you have a trillion counterparts?” Criswell admonishes the reader in his foreword to Your Next Ten Years. “Do the other trillion feel as lonely as you? Are you fair to them?” This work is a combination of fashion tips, financial forecasts, amazing labor-saving devices, spicy gossip and gloomy tales of impending social collapse.

His friend Mae West was famous for the delivery of her one liners. Her play “Drag” was banned from Broadway as was her radio play “The Garden of Eden” where she purred the line “Oh, Adam — mmmm, come over here with your little ways and wiggle them into my heart.”

Diane Arbus had this to say after her photographic session with Mae

“When at last you come up and see her you know you are in the presence of a lady. Resplendent and familiar, she smiles between her superb teeth and rolls her eyes heavenward…. “Men are my kind of people,” she says. “I want them absorbed in me. … The man I don’t like doesn’t exist.

But the world of Mae West is not entirely physical. Her psychic eye has been opened. She has seen visions … “I knew,” she says, ” that in some marvelous way I had touched the hem of the unknown. And being me, I wanted to lift that hemline a little bit more.”

mae west images found here


Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 7:05 am  Comments (35)  
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