The long history of gogo dancing and gogo bars and clubs dates back to long before Thailand’s first gogo club opened in Bangkok, before Thai bar girls as we know them today, and before the Tahitian Queen, the first gogo and now the oldest bar in Pattaya opened.
The term ‘go go’ is derived from the French word “a gogo”, which means “in abundance” or “galore”, and this is thought to previously originate from the term “la gogue,” meaning “joy/happiness”. Whether or not this is where “gogo bar” originated from is hard to say, but the evidence certainly suggests that “go-go”, agogo, a go go, a gogo, or whatever you choose to call it originates from the French language.
One more possible origin is an American slang term that became popular in the early 1960s. The term “go go” was a derivative of the original “go” or “the go”, meaning something was trending or popular.
The First Go-Go Club.
The origins of Go-Go Dancing actually date back to 1958 when the first Go-Go club, Peppermint Lounge, opened in New York City. It was from here that ‘The Twist’ was launched, as in the famous Sam Cooke song ‘Twisting The Night Away’. Around this time, the club became really popular and began to attract big-name celebrities and stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, Noel Coward, and Frank Sinatra.
How Go-Go Dancing Started.
During this golden era at the Peppermint Club, girls used to get on the tables, wearing mini skirts and what later became known as ‘Go-Go Boots’ and dance The Twist. The spin-off from this was the management obviously knew a good thing when they saw it and so decided to hire sexy girls to dance and keep the customers entertained. These girls are widely regarded as the first Go-Go Dancers, and it is from this point that Go-Go Dancing gained popularity.
First Topless Go-Go Dancer.
In June 1964, in San Francisco’s Condor Club, after having silicone breast implants that took her from a size 33 to 44d, Carol Doda began topless Go-Go dancing.
She was to become the World’s most famous Go-Go dancer, and she remained at the Condor Club performing her topless Go-Go dance routine for twenty-two years. Another famous Go-Go club, ‘Whiskeys A Go-Go’ was opened and began hiring Go-Go dancers in 1965. This is said to be the first Go-Go club to have dancers performing inside cages suspended from the ceiling.
The photo above is from The Classroom back in the day when it was one of the popular agogo clubs in Pattaya and has an interesting history all of its own.
The birth of Go-Go Clubs in Thailand.
Go-Go Dancing became popular in Thailand during the Vietnam War era. The GP (Grand Prix) Go-Go Club in Bangkok is thought to be the first Go-Go club in Thailand. It opened in 1969 and attracted an audience of local ex-pats and American G.Is. The trend didn’t take long to spread, and Bangkok’s nightlife venues, especially Patpong, were soon populated with Go-Go clubs.
It was some nine years later that Pattaya’s first Go-Go bar, the Tahitian Queen opened. Since that time, Go-Go bars have played a major role in the history of Pattaya’s bar scene.
Pattaya’s first Go-Go Dancer may well predate the opening of Pattaya’s first Go-Go club. According to legend, a group of G.I’s enjoying their R&R in Pattaya persuaded a local fisherman’s daughter to dance naked for them.
Wikpedia, the history of gogo dancing, first topless gogo dancer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go-go_dancing
Wikipedia, where gogo dancing originated, Peppermint Lounge: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppermint_Lounge