Celebrate Go-Go Dancer Appreciation Day
The West Hollywood City Council unanimously approved the city’s co-sponsorship of Go-Go Dancer Appreciation Day throughout West Hollywood on Saturday, October 29, 2011. The council item was co-sponsored by Mayor John J. Duran and City Councilmember John D’Amico, and the event will be produced in conjunction with local businesses, including those on historic Santa Monica Boulevard and the world-famous Sunset Strip.
Turns out, WeHo has a long history of "being on the cutting edge of new artistic and musical endeavors," said a city press release. It's actually true, and it primarily involves straight people. The Whisky A Go-Go, the first live music venue and the only surviving one to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, opened its doors in 1964 and soon after introduced suspending cages with go-go dancers from the ceiling of the club. While some like to think that The Whisky A Go-Go's name helped created the word go-go dancer, Wikipedia says, "The term go-go derives from the phrase 'go-go-go' for a high-energy person, and was influenced by the French expression à gogo, meaning 'in abundance, galore', which is in turn derived from the ancient French word la gogue for 'joy, happiness'."
To that point, in 1968 the first Groovy Guy contest was started as a marketing tool for the then newly-formed Advocate magazine and as a way to unite the Los Angeles gay community. The release explains that by 1970 "the contest had become so famous that The Advocate featured a Groovy Guy float in the first gay pride parade down Hollywood Boulevard and that summer’s contest was held at Ciro’s Restaurant (now The Comedy Store). The Groovy Guy contest ran in one form or another through 1991."
So what's the point of all this? Besides the 12-inch obvious one?
“Go-Go Dancer Appreciation Day is about celebrating the part of our West Hollywood culture that arrived with the freedom generation and stuck around through the decades as an expression of who we are,” said Councilmember John D’Amico. It's also about tourism, as Go-Go Dancer Appreciation Day will consist of an amateur go-go dancer competition on Larrabee Street north of Santa Monica Boulevard, as well as local clubs hosting numerous events.