The West Hollywood City Council has 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. The event will be produced in conjunction with local businesses, including those on historic Santa Monica Boulevard and the world-famous Sunset Strip.
The City of West Hollywood has a long history of being on the cutting edge of new artistic and musical endeavors. 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 launched a trend that would ultimately become the norm in clubs all over the world by suspending cages with Go-Go dancers from the ceiling of the club.
“From the Whisky to Micky’s, from Voyeur to Club Eleven – Go-Go dancers perform all year long for the delight of both locals and tourists in West Hollywood,” said West Hollywood Mayor John J. Duran. “We have more Go-Go dancers per square mile than any other city in America and it’s time we celebrated their efforts and hard work!” continued Mayor Duran.
In the mid-1960s and the 1970s, the Sunset Strip became a major center for the counterculture as Go-Go dancers did their thing at the Whisky and other clubs along the Strip. 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. 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.
“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.
By the early 1970’s both the female and male Go-Go dancing phenomenon was part of West Hollywood culture and dancers have been appreciated on stages big and small at clubs across the City ever since.
“On behalf of the Whisky A Go-Go, the original home of Go-Go dancers, we wholeheartedly support the City of West Hollywood’s efforts to celebrate the history and contribution of Go-Go dancers throughout the years in the City,” said Mikeal Maglieri, owner of the legendary Whisky A Go-Go.
Go-Go Dancer Appreciation Day will consist of the City working in conjunction with local businesses to stage an amateur Go-Go dancer competition on Larrabee Street north of Santa Monica Boulevard. Clubs along the Sunset Strip will also participate and businesses Citywide will be hold special events and offerings on Go-Go Dancer Appreciation Day.
“The City needs to do a better job in marketing West Hollywood as a gay destination. Go-Go Dancer Appreciation Day will do just that, as well as demonstrate how effective it is for local businesses to join together with neighboring businesses and promote an entire area to the benefit of all,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Jeffrey Prang. “It will also serve to bring members of the community together to celebrate West Hollywood’s rich and vibrant history,” continued Mayor Pro Tempore Prang.