The first time I ever saw a performance by Granny Go-Go was when I was a kid in 1965 or so. There was a really great movie show on late night television called "Stu Martin's Double Date at the Movies" but we always called it "Late Date". Stu was the host, "Satin Doll" was the show's theme song. Two Grade B movies would beshown each night but that wasn't the cool part. It was the action during the breaks that was the real entertainment. First of all, two girls in bee-hive hairdos would "man" the telephones. You'd call up Miss Early Date or Miss Late Date to vote on your favorite entertainer of the evening. They probably answered a few obscene phone calls and made a few real dates too, but you could only speculate by the expressions. It was summer, so we'd beg mom to let us stay up late enough to see at least the first movie. The entertainment was a constant stream of Tacoma talent vying to be voted the winner. If you won, you got to come back that next night to go against the next challenger, sort of like a Tacoma star search. The emphasis was on variety, that's for sure, and the weirder the better. I think I even remember a neighborhood rock 'n' roll combo being on, although it wasn't anyone notable. But one night somebody notable did appear - Granny Go-Go. She got up on a small pedestal, in a fabulous costume and danced like mad. In those days, anybody over the age of 20 was an old timer and here was this 50-plus woman doing dances only teenagers and the Shindig Dancers dared to do. We were stunned! Of course, she was a big hit and so popular she was almost a regular. It was a spectacle we'd never forget.

Through the years I would hear that Granny Go-Go was still dancing around Tacoma. Stu Martin had long since left town to host movie shows in California. One night, when Kurt, Kahuna, Dale and I were hanging out at the Java Jive, there was an old woman dancing to the juke box by herself. The guys were amazed. I knew it must be her and told them all about Granny Go-Go. Later we thought it would be a real blast to get her to dance but would never have believed that she would actually be entertaining Girl Trouble and Tacoma.


Girl Trouble is always on the lookout for special entertainers that we think are totally unique. After we saw Sylvia Eads dancing at the Java Jive one night, we kept thinking of what a cool possibility it would be to have her dance at one of our shows. Of course, by the time we had decided we had to put this brilliant idea into effect it was a couple of weeks later and Granny Go-Go was gone-gone.

We figured we'd find out how to contact her someday but we couldn't imagine she'd be that interested in dancing at one of our shows. Through a coincidence, Kurt actually knew someone who lived next door to Granny Go-Go. He arranged to meet with her and was surprised to learn that she'd love to dance at a Girl Trouble gig. Our plan was to have her dance a a gig that we knew would be well attended, so we decided to get her for Thee Headcoats show at Seattle's Off-Ramp.

On gig day we drove to the Off Ramp and unloaded our equipment. Dale and Kahuna stayed at the club while Kurt and I drove back to Tacoma to pick her up. The weather was horrible. Even by Northwest standards we drove back of I-5 through a HEAVY rainstorm. When we finally got to Granny's pad she was all ready to go (a true professional). Since we had noticed a huge traffic jam that stretched for miles Northbound on I-5, we wisely chose to take the usually slower Old Highway 99 route. It was slow going but at least it WAS going. Granny told stories and jokes and we sweated the ride back thinking we might miss the whole damn gig. Dale and Kahuna sweated it out back at the club, wondering if we'd ever show up.
Kurt skillfully maneuvered the GT tour van through the traffic and we pulled up with only seconds to spare. It was tough getting Granny up to the stage because the place was packed. If we could have only taken pictures of people's expressions as Granny passed by them! They just couldn't figure her out.
Granny stayed off to the side of the stage while we played our set. The crowd was particularly enthusiastic (or drunk) and we knew that they'd be thrilled to catch Granny's act. For that dramatic effect, Granny wears a plain looking "house dress", to cover her gold lame go-go outfit with the black fringe, until it's time to spring into action. Granny must have dug the Girl Trouble sound because she even dance a little before her "song" was played. People in the audience were enjoying her dancing even before she started to let loose.

Then it was time. Kurt gave her an appropriate introduction, she shed her outer garment, and hit the stage. The crowd went absolutely nuts! Granny's performance has such an effect on audiences. We played an Elvis favorite for her; "Little Sister". With 500 people cheering her on, she really pulled out the stops. We finished our show with another song or two and the crowd cheered for us to bring Granny back on for an encore. So we played the Collins Kids rocker, "Mercy" while she wowed them a second time. Kurt held up a placard that read "Go Granny Go" on one side, and "Go! Go! Go!" on the other. The crowd chanted that as she kicked into high gear. What a show stopper! Granny's first performance at the Off Ramp in Seattle; Dale and K.P. are getting show stopping tips. Photo by Ron Hall.

The Girl Trouble van mechanic and chauffeur (aka Dad) drove specially to the club to get Granny Go-Go back home for us. I suspect everyone figured he was some sort of city fire inspector as he made his way up to the stage. After Granny signed a few autographs she was led through the crowd and out the back door.
Kurt and I watched as Dad and Granny drove down the street and onto the I-5 on-ramp. I think she had already started telling him some of her dirty jokes.

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