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Yvonne D’Angers – Off Broadway Topless Dancer – 1966

26 Jan

Off-Broadway-1966-Y'vonne-D.-AngersI just can’t help it. I am putting up another topless dancer picture. I have spent the last couple of days doing research for a final chapter on our experiences in the  incredible atmosphere of North Beach in San Francisco in 1966.

Originally the old Barbary Coast to the various and often scurrilous sea-farers of the 1800’s it became a major Italian neighborhood in the City, featuring outstanding Italian food and imposing Catholic churches. While known as the “Paris of the West”, in the forties and fifties it spawned the beat generation centered around the City Lights bookstore in North Beach.

As the Beatniks faded away two cultural revolutions began to rise in the cauldron that is San Francisco. One of them was, of course, the rise of the Hippies in the Haight brought on in part by the student population of nearby San Francisco State College. In roughly 1963-4, the mainly Russian neighborhood began to change to the “Drop out, drop in” culture that would reign for a few short years. It was the hotbed for musical expression of the philosophy of the young or as it’s motto states: “Sex, Drugs, & Rock ‘n Roll”.

Meanwhile, over in North Beach in mid-1964, Carol Doda galvanized the world coming down in a bikini bottom on a piano at the Condor Club. This, of course, was the cultural stream we entered in late 1965 and it was without question a terrific time to be young and in music. Where the Hippie culture was re-defining music, we were reveling in the music of the era we loved. And we were surrounded by some of the best performers and musicians of our time.

But I was reminded in my Internet travels of this stunning lady, another iconic topless dancer of the era, Yvonne D’Angers, who performed at the Off Broadway. She was an Iranian-born blond bombshell who came to be known in the press as “The Persian Lamb”. She was a star witness in the 1965 trial over legality of topless waitresses but was much more famous for chaining herself to the Golden Gate bridge to protest her threatened deportation.

At least a part of the significance to North Beach to the City is trumpeted in a brazen newspaper ad: “Two of San Francisco’s three most famous landmarks … belong to Yvonne D’Angers, now appearing topless in North Beach at Off Broadway.” They fail to mention what that third one was.

 

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  1. Keiko Amano

    February 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Larry,

    I envied that culture from far, and shortly after I came to the U.S., the international club at Palomar College to which I belonged went to San Francisco. But the height of the era was passed, and I didn’t see hippies. I was so disappointed.

    Thank you for my lost time and American sculptures!

     
  2. L Williams

    August 5, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Any idea how much an autograph of Yvonne d’Angers on the top half of an “Off Broadway” menu would be worth, do you?

     
    • larryinla

      August 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Sorry to say, I don’t know. I’d sure like to see it though, if you’d like to post photo of it here. I don’t mind if you want to announce that you’re accepting offers for it. I’m curious what became of Yvonne, though. She was quite the thing on the street.

      :)