Now my daughters, and probably the wife, will have words to say about this blog.

We were dining tonight and listening to soft music when George Benson’s “On Broadway” came on.  And that always reminds me of the best stripper I ever saw.

Now let’s go back in time.  In the 80s and 90s it was common for guys to go to strip clubs in the evening.  Truthfully, I never actually liked them that much.  Very expensive drinks, horrible food (if you risked eating) and girls taking off their clothes to some kind of music.  I always felt a bit of embarrassment — where do you look …. at their eyes, or down there.

Still it was a requirement of the job, particularly when in sales and taking out male clients.  Fortunately as I moved up in the organization I could delegate these evenings to others.

In 1981 I was with Gulf Oil enjoying some of the best working years I ever had.  Our office was in downtown Toronto.

One night a group of up-and-coming executives like myself stayed on for a meeting and went out for dinner.  The single guy in the group said we have to go to Gimlets Bar to see the ladies.  Now this was a club downtown where the executives went.  No truck drivers or factory workers, everyone was in a suit.  No Hell’s Angels sitting at the back to keep an eye on their girls.

The experience was much different from the few strip clubs I had been to at that time.  The girls were gorgeous but they were dancers not strippers.  Yes they took their clothes off during the dance (although never going naked)  but the dance routine was the show.  The one I remember the best was a girl coming on the stage in top hat and tails doing her routine to On Broadway.  Fabulous.  The dancers were not drug addicts but girls with other jobs trying to break into the dance roles at the limited theatre available at the time in Toronto.

I always thought that the movie Flashdance was based on this club and it proved to be true.  Tom Hedley was a reporter in Toronto and he attended the club and co-wrote a script that became Flashdance.  To make it sell they had to change the location to Pittsburgh and move it down to a blue collar venue, but the essence was  about dancers, not Hell’s Angels strippers.  The movie did far better than anyone expected.   Hedley and his partners kept the rights to the concept which is why there has not been a sequel.  They were able to live off the money made from the movie.

The reason for this blog (not just listening to On Broadway) was that I recently read that there is a musical coming out in London next fal,l based on Flashdance and approved by the writers.  I just hope they have a great looking gal in top hat and tails.