Fairbanks got caught up in the Go-Go craze that swept the nation in the mid 1960s, much to the chagrin of many residents of our fair city. The following newspaper article did a great job of exposing the bare facts of the issue.
Faribanks Daily News Miner- December 10, 1965
File 13 by Kent Brandley
From time to time National Geographic has run photographs of bare breasted women members of some primitive tribe. Playboy magazine has taken up where the Geographic left off in running some illustrations of something less primitive.
Where Go-Go got going is hard to say. It was going strong in Paris in January of this year. The wave hit San Francisco and made headlines there not long afterwards. Recently it crept up the coast and Seattle church groups were somewhat shocked with the topless dancers and the lack of a law against it.
Fairbanks is apparently being swept by the craze stronger than ever before now. Formerly one or two bars offered Go-Go girls, but now just about half of the downtown bars are offering some form of such entertainment. Amid the leers and cheers, the lude and the nude, I interviewed a topless Go-Go girl here. Her name is “Scarlet”, and the emphasis is on the scar.
Scarlet figures if LBJ can display his abdominal scar, she has a perfect right to do the same. Whether she is telling the truth or not, Scarlet claims her dancing friend’s name is Belly McNelly. She is not really in very great shape.
Scarlet was dancing the frug with a young guy she called “Coachie A Go-Go.” Apparently, he was a local school teacher.
“I’ve been a dancer for two years,” Scarlet told me rather proudly. “Now I’m Alaskan A Go-Go.” She jolted me a bit (and I don’t jolt easily) when she said, “Before that I was a chippie [prositute]—believe me that’s a hard way to go.”
Scarlet says she’s from Michigan, which she explains is close to Wisconsin. “Upper Peninsula,” she added. She explained that normally she doesn’t dance with customers, because it “cheapens the act,” but she made an exception in “Coachie A Go-Go’s” case.
Scarlet isn’t at all embarrassed to dance with just half a bikini in public. After all, “It’s a living,” she says.
Note: In the end, the strip clubs won out, setting the stage for a whole new level of seedy bars that operated during the pipeline. Alaskan A Go-Go is now in the dustbin of history, probably where it belongs. This Go-Go Gone, history nugget has been proudly brought to you by Men’s Igloo No. 4 and Women’s Igloo No. 8 of the Pioneers of Alaska.