Mad Men at the Metropole

1960s go-go dancers
Some guys have all the luck!

We ad agency messengers fight for the uptown deliveries because they take us past the Metropole Bar. During the day, its doors are kept wide open so passers-by can watch the rock bands play but, more importantly, watch the caged and fringe-skirted go-go girls shake their money-makers. We gawkers must stand behind a yellow line on the sidewalk to let pedestrians pass. Tourist husbands pretend not to look as outraged wives pull them past this go-go Gomorrah. At night, the Metropole closes its doors and the girls go-go topless. 

1960s topless go-go girl
Alas, the doors were closed at night

My favorite band of the summer is the Eggheads. They wear monk cowls and have their heads shaved like Friar Tuck. And, man, they put on a show that is clean outasite. (That meant “very entertaining” in 1965 parlance.) They and the go-go girls dance the Monkey, Frug, Swim, Jerk, Hitchhike and Watusi in perfectly synchronized moves. It is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I can tell from the way they look at each other that the “with-it” guys in the band are “making it” with the “swingin’ chicks” in the cages and I seriously consider taking up the bass. 

Friar Tuck porcelain figureine
No wonder he’s smiling!
Boy Outa Brooklyn a murder memoir by Jack Antonio 
Image: the smiling face of Steeplechase park in Coney Island, Brooklyn
Available as a paperback and eBook
And as an eBook here

Daytime in a Nightclub

Crowds outside The Peppermint Lounge
Suburbanites ready to shake their sacroiliacs

I spend the clammy days delivering invoices and sample ads to midtown bars, eateries, niteries and the new style of sexy nightclubs called discotheques. Picture this scene straight out of Mike Hammer–  

Sunny day. I go into a cave-like club where the chairs are on the tables, the janitor is sweeping up, the bartender is taking stock and a chanteuse is auditioning for the owner. He is seated alone, tie undone, sleeves rolled up, working on a highball and worrying over the receipts. 

I live this scene in the world-famousPeppermint Lounge, “the Home of the Twist” – plus the Copacabana, Latin Quarter, Roundtable, Roseland, Arthur, Upstairs at the Downstairs, the Rat Fink Room and, my favorite, the Santa Claus Bar. 

Joan Rivers preforming at Upstairs as the Downstairs in New York
Joan Rivers – the Queen of Clubs
Vintage ad for Jackie Kannon at The Rat Fink Room, NYC
I probably delivered this ad
Boy Outa Brooklyn a murder-memoir by Jack Antonio 
Image: the smiling face of Steeplechase Park I Coney Island, Brooklyn
Available as a paperback and eBook
And as an eBook here