A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Cheri P - Ecdysiast Extraordinaire
Saturday, March 24, 2007

On Christmas Eve 1966 my Argentine Merchant Marine ship the Río Aguapey docked in New Orleans. I decided to visit the city on my own and immediately went to the then notorious Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. I had never ever had a bourbon or seen a burlesque act so I followed some sailors into a club. I asked for my bourbon (it was terribly strong) and sat up front (in later years in Vancouver this was called "gynecology row"). A perfectly bored woman appeared on stage and she proceded to plug in an electrical cord to the wall oulet. This, I immediately found out was her music player. She then danced around looking extremely bored and by the time most of her clothes were off I was out of the joint. I left with the impression that the woman was some sort of robot who plugged herself in and then danced.

It was around 1978 that I finally overcame my curiousity to enter the Drake Hotel Pub Lounge. I had been told that terrible things happened here and that no decent young man (by then I was 34) would ever be caught in there. I sat down and ordered my beer. I felt obliged to order beer even though I have never liked it. On stage I saw a very young (20, at the most) blonde girl with a bob haircut and legs that seemed to go on forever. She danced with skill, energy and with a beautiful smile on her face. I was so enamoured that I returned again and I soon was a Vancouver fan of the ecdysiast art. I became a fan of Cheri (that was her name) and of Tarren Rae (the only girl who could compete with Cheri in having long and shapely legs).

Cheri (on the Drake stage, right) had been known to kick so high that she once managed to break her nose with one of her legs.

It didn't take me long to insinuate myself into the presence of these dance queens so that I could try out my new flash equipment and learn to make beautiful women more beautiful and prove Mac Parry, the editor of Vancouver Magazine, wrong as he had asserted that I made beautiful women ugly and ugly women uglier.


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Karen Campbell At Last

Pat Carney, Mark Budgen & Maldon Salt

Only Butter

Blue Is The Colour of Spring

The Corsican Hellebore & St. Helena

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The Latent Image, Magic & Cris Derksen

Neil Jordan & Joseph Cotten

Bullfighters & Male Ballet Dancers, Paco Camino & ...

Iggy Pop and Joseph Goebbels

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