Folk music and Yorkville Coffeehouses

A Bird Without it's Feathers: Topless Dancers, Naked Chefs and More

Shortly after the opening of his venue, Kerr introduced go-go dancers; who both danced on stage in the Jungle Room to the bands that were playing as well as in the top floor windows so that were visible from the street. According to the Globe and Mail, the girls looked like "something out of Tarzan". The newspaper's "THINGS TO DO AND SEE" column mentioned a go-go dancer named "Batwoman" as a popular fixture of the club.

Kerr introduced topless dancing to his coffee house and the City of Toronto in August of 1966. He planned an elaborate launch event. The 21-year-old Swedish dancer was topless and wore a mask. She was behind an iron grillwork as a smoke machine created a foggy atmosphere. Kerr even invited the Toronto Police. They declined to attend. He served patrons exotic snacks of chocolate covered ants and bees. The event was a disaster. The smoke machine overwhelmed the room. The dancer, who was unable to be seen by the audience because of the smoke, began to choke as people cleared the room.

Topless dancing became routine at The Mynah Bird and Kerr set his sights on more nude entertainment. He hired topless folk singers and held a Miss Nude Canada competition. The winner received $1500; and patrons could pay to paint on a nude woman. In 1968, he constructed a theater on the second floor and began to show erotic movies imported from Europe. He eventually made nude films of his own in the coffee house off hours starring his staff. He hired several men who prepared sandwiches and poured coffee dressed only in a chef's hat. Also, he hired male dancers in bikini briefs who were paid more than their female counterparts. This resulted in a topless protest conducted outside the venue for equal or higher wages for women.

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