California Strip Club is Home of War Protest Song
During the "Hippie" and Playboy era of the 60s strip tease joints began to open in San Francisco. By 1970 they were opening in other parts of the country but especially in California. Protests against the Vietnam War were widespread. The Vietnam War began in 1959 when Communist-led guerrillas in South Vietnam launched an attempt to overthrow the government of South Vietnam. Kennedy sent military advisers to South Vietnam to assist the government in the south. After a report in 1964 that the North Vietnamese had attacked U.S. vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin, Johnson sent the first U.S. combat troops to Vietnam in 1965. By 1968 there were more than 500,000 U.S. troops there. Nixon won the presidency in 1968 based on a promise to end the war and did withdraw almost 100,000 troops in 1969. Nixon expanded the war in April 1970 with the invasion of Cambodia. The act was met with more active protest demonstrations around the country. A song performed by Edwin Starr became the unofficial theme song for the protesters.
War What is it good for Absolutely nothing War What is it good for Absolutely nothing War is something that I despise For it means destruction of innocent lives For it means tears in thousands of mothers' eyes When their sons go out to fight to give their lives War What is it good for Absolutely nothing Say it again War What is it good for Absolutely nothing War It's nothing but a heartbreaker War Friend only to the undertaker War is the enemy of all mankind The thought of war blows my mind Handed down from generation to generation Induction destruction Who wants to die War What is it good for Absolutely nothing Say it again War What is it good for Absolutely nothing War has shattered many young men's dreams Made them disabled bitter and mean Life is too precious to be fighting wars each day War can't give life it can only take it away War It's nothing but a heartbreaker War Friend only to the undertaker Peace love and understanding There must be some place for these things today They say we must fight to keep our freedom But Lord there's gotta be a better way That's better than War War What is it good for Absolutely nothing Say it again War What is it good for Absolutely nothing
A NOTE OF IRONY! This song was written by Barrett Strong and recorded by Edwin Starr for Motown. Some years ago they held a joint news conference to tell the world that the song was not an anti-war protest song but a song which really was a commentary on human relationships. It just coincidentally came out during the Vietnam War and was appropriated by protesters. They professed to be in favor of a shooting war if necessary but, the private wars of people were every bit as destructive and absolutely not necessary.
Just before catching the "Red Eye" flight from Los Angles to Philadelphia we visited a nightclub recommended as a "must see" by Sam Glick. The club had neon light dancing girl on the marquee announcing the Pink Pussycat.
When the song "War" was played over the speaker system a nubile stripper mounted the long bar to harvest the larger denomination dollar bills men placed in their empty beer bottles. No doubt men who attended these nightly performances will remember how she collected her pay each time they hear the song "War".
In February 1972 Nixon traveled to Beijing, and in May 1972 he visited Moscow. He signed trade agreements with both countries and a treaty with the USSR to limit the deployment of antiballistic missile systems. In June, the USSR completed an agreement with the United States that enabled it to make huge purchases of U.S. wheat. Although the Vietnam War continued in October it was announced that peace in Vietnam was "at hand." Nixon won easily over George McGovern. Almost unnoticed during the campaign was the arrest of five men connected with Nixon's reelection committee. The five had broken into the Democratic Party's national headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C., in an attempt to steal documents and place wiretaps on the telephones.
Following Nixon in February 1973 Bob Klingerman and I visited Moscow where we obtained an order for a thirty-ton vacuum melting facility. I was not able to find other buyers for our miniseptor until five years after Bob departed for greener pastures. This contract with the Soviets led to a bungled embargo and my appearance on NBC News in December 1987.