When I went to my dentist and mentioned I was going to this, he - a long time Vancouver resident - mentioned a strip club he and his fellow dental students used to go to. I did a little research and found out some information on Gary Taylor's Show Lounge.
Taylor played short gigs at the Penthouse Cabaret, the Zanzibar, and the King of Clubs in the early 70s. Then he opened his own club, Gary Taylor's Show Lounge on Granville Street. Here 'beautiful, innocent-looking women' were hired to strip, accompanied by jazz and blues musicians.
Gary was rumoured to be a smooth, fast-talking man who bet strangers on the street he could get a woman to take her clothes off on his stage. A friend has even joked that Taylor could talk a nun into going on his stage.
I am getting this information from the book Burlesque West by Becki L. Ross and she interviewed Taylor in 2007. Gary says he was at the forefront of a 'pure and innovative' trend to enable women who were 'amateurs' to 'discover themselves' on stage and 'have a lot of fun doing it'. (page 73)
Taylor's method of having small stages for exotic dancers was proving to be a wise move. The Las Vegas style acts with all their pomp and glitter, which were usually held at places such as the Cave, Isy's and the Penthouse became too expensive.
In 1972, nude dancing was legalized in British Columbia but different officials were slow to get on board with that ruling. In Surrey, Mayor Bill Vander Zalm led the charge to ban nude entertainment in neighbourhood pubs and in 1973, the BC Liquor Control Board ruled that all night club entertainers must be accompanied by a three-piece orchestra. This was obviously a back door attempt to circumvent the new law since having to have a three-piece orchestra with all dancers would have made the show too expensive for the common man to attend.
Gary Taylor was charged in November of 1973 with presenting an 'obscene performance' at his show lounge. Taylor and his lawyer, Tony Pantages, re-enacted the 'obscene performance' at the Show lounge with police, the crown prosecutor and Judge McGivern in attendance. Gary Taylor won the case and charges were dismissed against he and five female performers.
The photos you see here were taken from the Vancouver Lookout a couple of weeks ago.
I hope you find beauty around you.