These blogs can sometimes have unexpected results.
Yesterday, I was talking to someone who wanted to make a short film based an old blog of mine from 2012.
And, about three weeks ago, someone commented on my 23rd October 2014 post What It Was Like to Work in a Canadian Strip Club in the 1980s – which had been contributed by Anna Smith, this blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent, who now lives in Vancouver. She performed at the club in question – Le Strip in Toronto – as ‘Nurse Annie’.
Here, in an edited-down form, are some of the Comments on that original 2014 blog. It includes an odd list of strippers which, I think, gives an idea – I hesitate to say ‘feeling’ – of the era.
Sherry, 12th December 2016
lol i used to dance there many moons ago, best friend owned it for a while, club was an experience for sure.
Strawberry Cher, 28 December 2020
I worked Le Strip one time, was more of a Starvin Marvin girl. That comment is from a Sherry (dancer). Are you Mississippi Sherry? I danced under the name Strawberry Cher. Hope you are well and everything is good for you.
Richard, 5th August 2019
I confess! I worked Le Strip for a short while. I was the fellow in the announce booth, that silver-tongued lucky guy who hailed the arrival of Black Satin, Dolly De Milo, Bridgette, Varushka.
Recalling Saturdays, there were regulars who formed a small queue at Le Strip’s Yonge Street entrance. One Oriental gentleman, an older man, would be the very first to climb the steep set of stairs into the club.
It offered comfortable theatre seating, Each performer took to the narrow, eye-level stage for their fifteen minute performance. Refreshments were never offered,
My mother declined any conversation during my Le Strip days. I never listed Le Strip in any job application.
Richard, 21st May 2020
Months after I quit my announcer gig, my friend and I took our seats in the intimate theater-like audience at Le Strip. The dancer interrupted her performance and shouted out her greeting directly to me. Though but for an instant, it elevated me before my friend to incredible heights.
I witnessed a singularly raucous event at Le Strip just once during my short employment there, an after hours party. It was Varushka who tumbled off the narrow stage at this very crowded do. Everyone there kept all their clothes on. Varushka was the daughter of a high school principal. The beautiful 19 year old became a stripper for any of the multiple reasons girls take on this type of work with her unique background.
Norm the bouncer relentlessly reminded anyone of his Roy Orbison security days.
I am careening towards my 70th year looking back on my Le Strip days fifty years ago with a kind of fondness.
Brock, 8th August 2020
I attended Le Strip from the day it opened on Jan 11, 1971 until it closed on Aug 28, 1997.
Obviously I saw Nurse Annie dance in the 80s.
I was the gentleman that gave out the trophy every year.
Here is a list of trophies given out.
Candy Kiss was 71-72. Candy was a great dancer.
72-73 was Roxanne, a rather shy and nervous dancer because her pubic hair was really long and I thought it “trophy worthy”.
73-74 was Dianne Da Ville, who had trimmed pubic hair.
74-75 went to Elaine Paris. She was nervous about going nude. Always danced to Elvis Presley songs.
75-76 was Lolita, first black dancer to get the trophy. Only about 20, 110 lbs and very nervous about dancing.
76-77 went to April, black hair and very pretty. Also nervous but liked that the job paid well.
77-78 was Linda, blonde hair and shy as well.
78-79 was Valerie. She was originally from Nova Scotia and Le Strip was her first club to dance in.
In 80-81, the dancer was Joy and may have been a friend of Nurse Annie. About 5’3″ and blonde. Nervous at the start too.
81-82 went to Morgana Rivera, a little more curvy than previous winners with a beautiful smile.
82-83 was Jacky, another black dancer. Also shy when she started. Her husband came to the club to watch her quite often.
83-84 went to Black Magic, who always dressed in black. Nervous at first but soon got very comfortable.
84-85 was Cody Barret aka Foxy Lady. She was an excellent dancer who had danced at the club for several years.
85-86 was Morgana Rivera again, first time a dancer won twice.
86-87 went to Candice White. Black hair, about 120 lbs who was nervous. Had a mohawk and even shaved her head.
For 87-88 it was Andrea Royce, who looked like adult movie star Rhonda Jo Petty to me.
88-89 was a dancer named Red, brown hair sometimes dyed red. Truly stunning young woman. 34 B and a fair amount of experience. When Red danced, every finger had a gold ring on it and a gold chain around her waist. Her belly button had a gold ring and she even had a gold clit piercing.
89-90 was a dancer named Jacky T, long-time dancer. Stayed at Le Strip until it closed in 1997. Had breast implants and brown hair.
90-91 was a dancer named Rose, very petite, around 5’3″ and black hair. Shaved herself in a landing strip style. She was very nervous at first.
91-92 went to Mandy, very shy. First dancer I had noticed had pierced nipples. In fact, first poster Sherry was friends with Mandy I believe.
After that, I started bringing the trophy to a different club Whiskey-a-Go-Go north of the city.
Nurse Annie mentioned the pervs who were there every week. Even to this day in 2020, I am still friends with several of the dancers and my ‘fellow pervs’.
The original owner, Howard Devin, sold club in 1980 to a man named Don. He owned in until April 1, 1995. Ray Pope bought the club from Don. Ray and his wife both were ex-dancers so knew more about what is like to be a dancer.
These days, I’m 73, still live in St Catharines but lost a leg to diabetes. My days there were an incredible time and I will never forget it.
Your truly, the perv Brock.
George, 8th April 2021
During the mid to late 70s I had the Records On Wheels store. I use to go Le Strip mostly for afternoon lunch and day drinking… then back to my store.
I had two of the dancers come to my store to pose topless by two stationary bikes in front of my store while The RPM magazine took photos. We were promoting Queen’s album All That Jazz, which had a fold-out poster inside of topless ladies riding bikes – “I want to ride your bicycle!
I had the girls walking topless inside my store. The place was PACKED… including lots of 13 to 14 year old boys acting like they were thumbing through the albums. The cops came in and we hustled the girls out the back. It was sooo much fun. I still have the picture from RPM magazine.
Brock, 12th August 2020
Some other dancers I remember were Yvette in ’72, married to a laywer, had 2 kids and she got divorced. Nervous at the start. And Angel Eyes, ’73 – she was very pretty. Unusual act because she told jokes as she stripped.
Holly started at age 37 in 1985. 5″2″ and curvy, she danced to Al Green songs. Once on stage she wore purple high heels, leather outfit.
In ’76 there was a dancer with stage name Shirley Carson, started around age 42, quite busty. I asked if I could get a table dance and she came out and said she had a problem. I asked what that was. She said she had not taken a shower and was going to sweat a lot. I didn’t mind, so we had the dance.
One of the most memorable was Gwendolyn, 5’5″ who wore gloves, which not many dancers did. One of her talents was that she could juggle while dancing.
Brock, 2nd September 2020
There was a dancer named Lana. She started in 1979; was first at the Zanzibar in 1977. She was about 5’10” and had brown hair. In high heels she was 6’1″. On her hips was a tattoo of green hearts. She could do a yoga move when laying on the stage and flutter her stomach like a belly dancer. She could do the splits as well. Some people hated her and some loved her. I was one who was a big fan.
Another dancer named LeeAnn who I remember had a bend in her nose. Only danced about a year, had been a high school cheerleader. Some of the patrons remembered her from those days. Always in heels and a nightgown when she came out onto stage. Nervous at first due to recognition but got to be a pro. Probably left due to her being recognized from high school days.
Val, 14th September 2020
Brock, I used to go there all the time. Do you recall a girl called Amber? (Christine) ?
Brock, 12th October 2020
Hi Val, the dancer named Amber I remember was real name Kim and wore white shoes and an orange top; she was very pale with freckles. She owned a flower shop and got married to a Portuguese man. I think she may have got divorced and I have lost touch with. Is this the same Amber/Christine that you remember or am I thinking of a different Amber?
Amelia, 27th March 2021
Why would any decent person promote this filth and reminisce about this slutty so-called job? Shame on you. You are pathetic.
I asked Anna Smith is she wanted to react to that last post…
Anna Smith, 14th April 2021
I can hardly express how sorry I feel for the pathetic individuals who have never experienced the double ecstacy of going on stage, dressed however the fuck you want, and getting paid hundreds of dollars in cash to show your ass. In those days, I frequently enjoyed showing my ass for free, just to remind tourists they were not in New York, but getting paid for so doing was even better.
My “comely bottom” was once even reviewed by Peter Goddard, the esteemed music critic for the Toronto Star. He said that its appearance shattered the lofty tranquility at Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto, during an anti-nuclear concert.
The same eventful showing of my behind was also reported in The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper.
It was somewhat embarrassing however, because many fine musical artists performed that evening and, unlike Mr Methane, my ass is not musically talented whatsoever.
4 responses to “A ‘pervert’ comments on his memories of a strip club in Canada in the 1980s”
Such a fantastic response and love that photo of you! From a lifelong dancer and fan. Sophie. (ps I’ve had a chance to connect with Don late last year who owned Le Strip in the 80’s. I was able to interview him and would love to share what he had to say one day, I will be sure to reach out when I do in case it is of interest to folks participating in these posts)
Hi guys…I started working as the doorman at Le Strip around 1983 after my ex-girlfriend (Black Magic) and her husband offered me a part time job there.
Don Cullen was the owner at the time and Black Magic and he were in a partnership running the place…the doorman job quickly became redundant as Don thought the position unneccessary and turned customers away. I was offered a position as cashier and worked the evening shift after relieving Maury who was the day cashier.
During those days the regular DJ’s were Brad Boyle and his half brother Grant Bristow, (yes, the Grant Bristow who was the CSIS undercover spy who infiltrated the Neo-Nazi Heritage Front in the 80’s-90’s) Ron Hedland (RIP Ron) and Rob (?).
As a result of the firings of personal for a number of reasons the club found itself short DJ’s and I was told in no uncertain terms that I would have to learn the DJ job as well…a job that in all of my wildest imaginations I never thought I would ever perform. Even Don’s nephew Jim was press ganged into service!
But “show business is show business” and “the show must go on” and in short order I found myself in the sound booth announcing the lovely ladies to the audience in the best voice I could muster; “here she is ladies and gentlemen, the boss with the hot sauce – the princess of perpetual motion…let’s have a big hand for…?”
One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was from my ex-girlfriend Black Magic; “Dave…whatever you do, don’t come onto the girls that work here – let them come onto you, if they are interested in you they will let you know about it!”
Thank you Margie…as a fairly young and fit man in my late 20’s-30’s it wasn’t long before a number of beautiful and seductive women and I forged intimate relationships that I still cherish to this day; “Dorothy-Sharkey-Laurie Anne-Sammy-Opal-Yevette-Cashmere-Star-Michelle Paquette”…oh my, it was a young man’s dream come true!
But like all good things, they must eventually come to an end. I hired on to the railway in 1986 and while I still kept a hand in at Le Strip slowly the railway became my main source of income. By 1995 I ended my career at Le Strip and the railway became my main gig…a career that only ended in 2019 when I retired after 33 years of service.
Le Strip will always live on in my heart…it no longer exists but it’s a place that I can go to when times get tough, a place that will never fade in my mind’s eye – I miss the friends and the lovers that I made there…I only hope that you have all fared as well in your later lives as have I.
Awesome post! I remember coming here in 1995 when I was 18, the only place that would let me and my friends in at the time. It was wild and reminds me of how great the city was at that time. Even though by that time most of the ladies that performed looked like they could’ve have been our grandmothers…lol!
By 1995 some of them were grandmothers!!!