A Very Cool Thrift Store Find! San Francisco History!

Very Cool Thrift Store Find!

San Francisco History!
The Condor and Big Al’s on Broadway
Original photograph signed by Bob Kreisel and rescued for $2

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Original photograph signed by Bob Kreisel

The Condor   Where It All Began
The birthplace of the world’s first topless & bottomless entertainment
Topless – June 19, 1964   Bottomless – September 3, 1969
Starring Ms. Carol Doda   San Francisco, California

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

The Condor Club and Big Al’s are located at the corner of Broadway and Columbus Avenue in the North Beach district of San Francisco. The Condor Club opened in 1964. The large marquee sign featured a cartoon image of Carol Doda with red flashing lights on her breasts. Carol Doda’s 44DD breasts were dubbed “the New Twin Peaks of San Francisco” and were insured for $1.5 million with Lloyd’s of London.

NOTE: The other famous clubs on the block are Roaring 20’s and the Hungry 1 Club.

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Carol Doda (August 29, 1937 – November 9, 2015) was the first known topless entertainer and a cultural icon of the 1960’s. She made history on June 19, 1964, when she bared her breasts and performed in a topless “monokini”. The club went “bottomless” on September 3, 1969, and remained full nude until 1972 when it became illegal to serve alcohol in full nude clubs.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Carol Doda danced at the Condor Club until 1985 and died in 2015. Her only arrest happened in 1965, when police raided the club on April 22. She was arrested along with Pete Mattioli and Gino del Prete, the owners of the club on indecency charges. They were all found not guilty. She retired as a stripper in the 1980s but continued performing, and she also owned Carol Doda’s Champagne and Lace Lingerie Boutique in San Francisco until her death from kidney failure in 2015.

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Broadway and Columbus in North Beach, San Francisco (at night)

The original Condor Club closed in 2000. For a time it was a sports bar (and still is), and then a restaurant and a performance venue. The current Condor Club reopened in 2007 as “San Francisco’s Original Gentlemen’s Club” with a new neon sign.

“You know what’s funny about The Condor? 1) It’s not really a strip club until 6 pm, and 2) it has two entrances: one for the strip club, and one for a pretty unremarkable sports bar with big-picture windows facing Columbus St, a decent-enough draft beer selection, and live music. The two are separated by a small door frame with a velvet curtain drawn, so if you’re new and you make your way in through the Columbus entrance, you might not even put two and two together that you’re in a strip club. And, since we’re in the middle of North Beach, it’s exactly the kind of place a hapless tourist could wander into.” – Lauren Sloss in 2014

Big Al’s (the adult book store) closed in 2009. It is now a sandwich shop and cigar store. They kept the name and the neon sign.

Both clubs are San Francisco landmarks and an important part of the history of the city. The strip clubs of North Beach have been seen in many films and TV shows, featured on postcards and in travel and tourist brochures for over fifty years.

Bob Kreisel

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This bio was on the back of the photograph

The Condor Club560 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133 415-968-8678 http://www.condorsf.com

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This is not a paid promotion! Just here to show the Condor Club is still in business!

 

 



 

 

 

 

FlashbackFriday! Janis Joplin’s Psychedelic 1964 Porsche 356c Cabriolet

FlashbackFriday!

Janis Joplin’s Psychedelic 1964 Porsche 356c Cabriolet

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Janis Joplin’s Porsche 356c Cabriolet in the Lobby of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live

Janis Joplin purchased a used 1964 Porsche 356c Cabriolet for $3500 from Beverly Hills car dealer Estes-Zipper in 1968. She paid Dave Richards, one of her roadies, $500 to give the Porsche a psychedelic face lift. Completed in one month and titled “The History of the Universe.” The car and its paint job (a base coat of Candy Apple Red with portraits of Big Brother and the Holding Company, her astrological sign Capricorn, “The Eye of God” design on the hood, butterflies, jellyfish and a Northern California scene on the side doors) became one of the most recognizable vehicles in San Francisco.

The Porsche was stolen in 1969 and partially repainted before being found.  When the stolen car was recovered, the paint job was restored because they were able to remove the new paint from the clearcoat with little damage to the original artwork underneath.

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Janis Lyn Joplin aka “Pearl” RIP (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970)

After Janis’ death in 1970, the car was used by her manager Albert Grossman. And then in 1973 ownership of the car went to her siblings, Michael and Laura Joplin in Ohio, who shared it for about 30 years. Michael rebuilt the original engine and returned the car to the original dolphin gray color (although some say it was originally oyster white). Working from photographs, artists Jana Mitchell and Amber Owen, restored Dave’s original artwork in 1990 and the 4-speed manual transmission was rebuilt and restored. The family loaned the Porsche to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when Janis was inducted in 1995 and it was exhibited in museums until 2015. We saw it and took the above photograph in the Lobby of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live in Los Angeles in 2013 (see our previous Blog).

NOTE: Dec. 10, 2015 – A 1964 Porsche 356 that once belonged to the rock singer Janis Joplin sold at auction for $1.76 million (the highest price ever paid for any Porsche 356 at auction). The car had been expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000. The sale price includes a 10% commission for Sotheby’s auction house. According to the family, the proceeds from the auction will be used to support social programs in Janis’s memory.

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.”

Sotheby’s did not say who bought Janis’ car and the buyer has not come forward.

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Janis’ Porsche at the “Driven by Disruption” Auction at Sotheby’s