Monthly Archives: June 2014

Trident Waitresses

The following take on the Trident Waitresses is Published here with permission from Baron Wolman from the pages of “Rags”   Intro:  The Trident of Sausalito has evolved into a “Freedom of  Expression” and a reflection of a differing lifestyle. The key word is Style. It’s not service with a smile that counts anymore, it’s service with Style! The title for this article was The Ladies A La Mode

The Ladies A La Mode by Blair Sabol

     Five years ago the Trident was barely going through the motions of being a “Jazz Joint” with all the attendant atmosphere: lots of black leather, red rugs, cigarette smoke overcast, as well as “Bunny” rejects for waitresses – to lend a stamp of authenticity.  But authentic for whom or for what became the question.
     Time marches on, forgetting to take with it the “clubbing it” scene, and leaving owner Frank Werber in the throes of rapid culture changes.  He ended up trading his full time job of managing the Kingston Trio for organically tripping on “self discovery.”  Werber went from bookings to busts.  And, all for the better.  Naturally enough, Werber took the Trident tripping along with him … changing it’s interior …  painting the ceiling in bright organic colors … arching curving wooden partitions – no right angles – for backrests and a sense of space .. None of the Dayglosplotchiness of 1967 vintage psychedelia that marked a sell out organization – just natural wood grained comfort and lots of greenery.
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Janie, voted the Best Dressed by the rest of the Trident ladies says that, she, “was always clothes conscious but over the year that I’ve been working here I’ve bought more far out stuff and bought just a lot more in general.  I really don’t own any more straight clothes anymore.  It’s great to wear what you are …. your prersonality.
     That’s why people dig the Trident so much, cause they can related to the girls since the girls look real and not like antiseptic white milk bottles. Besides having no dress code here makes you more than just a waitress.  You become creative by just inventing your own outfit each time.
      Oh yeah … there’s a liquor bar but organic juices have become the highlights (higher and lighter) and the drastically modified menu includes freshly baked and grown goodies from nearby commune’s kitchens and gardens.  The Trident has become healthfully re-established within the community and people recognize it as part of the hipper restaurant solution instead of the problem. And, it is because of the Trident’s more liberated approach that some thirty to forty people descend upon the restaurant daily asking for jobs … and more specifically: chicks!  It has become “status” to be a “Trident Lady,” not waitress.  ” If she’s playing a part,” explains house manager Lou Ganapoler, ” you’ll pick it right up. She has to fit in with the cosmic flow of the place. That’s why we let them dress the way they are.  Every girl here is known to be a beauty because she is being her real self.  Wearing clothes she really sees on the streets and being just the plain person that she is.  No putting on a strange uniform and acting uptight because that’s the superimposed attitude stemming from the management.”
     Frank adds a few more prerequisites: ” I like them to dress the way they would if they were at home turning on with their cats.  It’s more comfortable and freer for them to operate.  However the chicks must really dig themselves first and not be afraid of how to show it.” He means in spirit as well as the more obvious physical features, like bralessness and thrifty antique chiffon transparencies so often used to slam home the liberated message. Frank and Lou keep an unusual employee file – a Polaroid album full of all their past and present girls, categorized according to “beginners, permanent,cashiers, and hostessess,” not to mention their four star ratings.
     And, believe it or not the only numerology recorded besides age – which averages to about 22 – was that of Social Security and not of measurements.  Very few references are asked of the girls, although the most prevalent “previous job held” was “grooving.”  Lou admits, “We are so into our girls giving forth that certain energy and spirit that we tell our people, ” Look our service is lousy but our karma is high and vital!”
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Laurie, ” I was a Playboy Bunny and really into the heavy makeup and uplift bra thing.  But now …  I’ve been working here for over a year and the make up is gone except my sequin stars and I’m really into old clothes and lots of feathers.  Everything I own has magic and I try to make people aware of that magic while I’m working …  I love to turn em on, by the way I look different every day.

David Crosby

From an interview with David Crosby in this month’s Santa Barbara Magazine David ends the interview with a wonderful compliment about the Kingston Trio. At the time of the interview David and CS&N were playing at the Santa Barbara Bowl. David was asked, “You’re playing the Santa Barbara Bowl – which I’m sure you love and have played many times before. Do you remember the first concert you went to there?” And David replied, “The first show I saw there was the Kingston Trio and I was absolutely thrilled. I was folksy, I loved it! They were very good! I think that’s how far back it goes – my relationship with the Bowl. I consider Santa Barbara my home. I love it very much, and hope to live out my life here.”

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(Image from Santa Barbara Magazine)
Excerpt lifted from David Crosby’s “Since Then” How I Survived Everything And Lived To Tell About It:
     “After a series of adventures, the Mayan and it’s crew sailed into San Francisco Bay and found moorings in Sausalito. David lived upon the boat and recorded his solo album “If I Could Only Remember My Name” at Wally Heider’s studio in San Francisco.  He made the Trident  (a local restaurant and bar) his personal watering hole.
      Built on pilings over the water on Sausalito’s main street (Bridgeway), it had a deck with an expansive view of all of San Francisco Bay and the most gorgeous waitresses north of the Playboy Mansion. No airbrushing and no implants.  Trident women had rings in their noses and tattoos of flowers and butterflies where you could see them, and sometimes where you couldn’t.  There was no house uniform so waitresses could wear anything from Victorian Velvet to see-through Indian gauze.  Some shaved, some didn’t.  
      The line between staff and clientele often blurred: beautiful women would hang out waiting for an interview or a job opening, and female staff would stick around after work, fraternizing with guys who could afford the tab (it was not a cheap place to eat). If sex, drugs, and rock and roll had caused a revolution, the Trident was it’s Reign of Terror!”

Sharlee

Sharlee
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond”
Remember when you were young,
You shone like the sun,
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there’s a look in your eyes,
Like black holes in the sky,
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire
Of childhood and stardom,
Blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter,
Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!

By Pink Floyd, that visited the Trident in April of 1974, and were extraordinarily friendly. There’s a lot more to this story, maybe for another time? Here’s Sharlee that had a spectacular diamond set in one of her front teeth. When she smiled, and the light hit her diamond, she literally dazzled anyone caught in her spell. What a beauty… others tried to replicate her bling, but no one came close.

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Robert Lazhoff “Bobby”

Did you know about Manager John my roommate at the time, who got coked out and stole the contents of the safe?. However he left enough money in banks to open the restaurant the following morning! Next, the opening manager Skipper Cutty cleaned out the bank money before calling Lou, Frank, and the police … so, when we all had to take lie detectors in a suite they booked at the Alta Mira … Skipper was going to fail, so John confessed. Frank didn’t turn him in, but confiscated the stash John bought, and Frank shared it with staff commenting on each line what poor taste John had. I didn’t think it was that bad.

The punch line? Rip-Off John ended up, and still may be the DA in Sonoma County? All because Frank didn’t charge him.

By the way, for the Trident talent show Sharlee did a strip tease as the finale. Her main talent.

I was also held up at gun point twice in my Trident history, and I was working the time the nude streaker guy ran down the bar surface, across the floor, and dove into the Bay.

When I met Mick Jagger at a private party he asked for a margarita and I turned him onto a Tequila Sunrise which Billy Rice and myself invented in 1970, when the Trident served more tequila then all the other bars in the US combined. There is documentation on this somewhere. Anyways, Mick took the drink across country in 1972 and promoted it.

And of course I was tending bar for the Hell’s Angel’s Sunday afternoon take over and subsequent fight with the offensive line of the San Francisco Forty Niners. The next day it made the headlines of the San Francisco Chronicle. And,the San Francisco Forty Niners won! The Hells Angels used glass coffee pots from the bus stations as frisbee type weapons and damaged some players. Which became the reason thereafter we only used metal coffee pots. I never used a pyrex pot again in my career. Dangerous weapons!More excerpts from emails:

Frank’s original lawyer was Michael Metzger, Metzger was brought in by the Feds from NY to prosecute Frank. He lost. Metzger quit the prosecutors office and then got divorced, and then joined Frank’s law team, and took up with the Trident waitresses. The Feds then busted him and Frank, at the DeSilva Island house and it made a big stink in the newspapers.

Shirly, aka Thunder Pussy, Styles, and Debris was among the most exotic girls to work at Trident. Hard core sixties Gate Fiver. One week Lou ordered her to do cocktails on deck against her wishes, and she went out and changed into a riské Pre WWII sleazy cocktail outfit. A tiny red crinoline sticking out perpendicular from the crotch and not much more, but very artsy.

She also starred in the non commercial porno “Marriage of Captain Garbage andThunder Pussy” filmed in the mud location at Gate Five around 1969. In that era non commercial meant for fun of it. She also sang with “the Tubes” for years.

BTW: After the Jazz Club days up to the beginnings of the Trident Frank’s nick name in the press was “High Priest.” Tommy Smothers was also in attendence for the trial with other celebrities like the Reverend Cecil Williams!

Email Bobby in Maui at: bobby@lahaina-maui.net

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1990 Trident Marin Independent Journal Article

Sausalito’s Trident was THE Place to Be! It was the archetypal fern bar, the creme de la hip Sausalito saloon that floated on sex, drugs, and Rock and Roll. The Trident was open from 1961 to 1980. Launched as a Jazz Club by the Kingston Trio, it was refurbished in 1968 by the group’s manager Frank Werber, who sought to catch the spontaneous, give peace a chance spirit of the day.

It became a mecca for rock stars,celebrities and hipsters, young and old. “It was like riding a hurrican,” says Werber, now 61 and living in Maui. “The Trident was definitely a manifestation of it’s time and a forerunner and trendsetter for multitudes of restaurants, and it’s effects are still being felt in the cool 90s.

Staffers were like family members who regarded the place as a chapel, it was a spiritual experience.” The Trident hosted impromptu concerts by Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, threw legendary parties and provided the setting for a scene from Woody Allen’s “Play It Again Sam”” It’s story attractions included platoons of attractive waitresses hired as much for their good looks as their ability to charm customers. Robin Williams, then a struggling comedian, worked there for a time as a busboy, getting the job “because of his antics,” Werber said.

Employees were hired after Trident executives reviewed Polaroid pictures of them. A prospect’s persona was also critical. Among the

Trident’s hallmarks were handcrafted wood, stained glass, art and music. Organic food laced an eclectic menu. The menu – a psychedelic work of art that now sells for $100 a print – exclaimed: “Welcome to our space. Positive energy projection is the trip.”

Located at 558 Bridgeway beneath the old Ondine’s and now the home of Horizons, the Trident was favored by Woody Allen, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Clint Eastwood, Tommy Smothers, Groucho Marx, David Crosby,StevenStills, Pink Floyd, Allan Watts, and scores of other noted customers.

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The “Other” Trident Story!

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The Trident Origin

In the summer of 1960, Louis Ganapoler commuted daily in his dull green 50’s Pontiac from his home in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey over the George Washington Bridge to Greenwich Village, New York. Here the scent of espresso coffee from Little Italy mingled with the scent of marijuana from Harlem. Lou managed the seminal Jazz nightclub called the “Village Vanguard” owned by Max Gordon. At the Vanguard the greatest names played nightly to crowds of beatniks, mobsters, hustlers and intellectuals all gathered to hear and see the cutting edge of entertainment. If you wanted to see Miles, Coltrane, Dizzy, Cannonball, the Weavers, Peter Paul and Mary, Woody Allen, Mort Sahl or Lenny Bruce, you went to the Vanguard. Lenny Bruce had just finished a week as a comedy headliner. Each night after Lenny was paid, he would go down to Alphabet City to cop a fix. Each night, after he’d gotten high, street thugs rolled Lenny for what was left of his pay. Lou said, “Lenny, why don’t you put your bread in your sock before you split?” When they tried to mug Lenny the next night they didn’t get his pay, instead Lenny got smacked in the eye for pissing off the hoods. One night Lou and Lenny went to a Gypsy to get Lenny’s fortune read. After a few minutes of what seemed like bullshit to Lenny he got up to leave without a word, and his way was blocked by the Gypsy’s two sons (Lenny was notoriously cheap, and the madam wanted her money). After an awkward moment, Lenny leaned to Lou and whispered something. Lou said to the Madam, “Lenny wants to know if they’ll ever cure his deafness?” It was a punch line, but like everything else in Lenny’s life it was a defense against his own worst impulses. The Kingston Trio was scheduled for a week long engagement at the Vanguard. Frank Werber who was the manager, visionary and baby sitter of the Trio that had booked the gig for prime dough because at that point, the boys were a sensation. “Hang down your head Tom Dooley” had crossed over from college radio to mainstream, and had gone gold two years before. Lou liked the kids and their manager. Back in 1957, they had come east from Palo Alto, California, played clubs like the Vanguard and the Hungry I, and started to make a name for themselves. They were broke then, and Lou knew it. He reached into his pocket and gave them some cash and told them about a flop house they could crash in nearby. They never forgot that goodwill. After the 1960 gig had finished, Frank told Lou about a club they had bought near San Francisco as a tax write off. That’s how wealthy they had become. “We’d like you to come out and see the place. Maybe you could recommend someone to manage it for us.” Now Lou stood on Bridgeway Street, the fishing town of Sausalito. From this vantage, he could see the outline of San Francisco through the drifting fog on the bay. Sailboats tacked lazily to avoid the return of the fishing fleet. The “club” that the Trio owned sat over the water on creosote soaked pilings. Named “The Dock”, it was less a night club than a way-station for mariners wanting drinks and snacks. Sawdust covered the floor to soak up the spilled drinks and vomit. But Lou could see the potential, and he trusted Frank’s vision. After sizing it up, he met with the guys. “So what do you think Lou?” Bob Shane asked. “Could be a gold mine. Lotta work though…” “Can you recommend a manager?” Frank asked. “Yeah,”Lou said, “Me.” There were no papers signed, no money discussed. Hand-shakes all around was all. Lou flew back to the East Coast to give the Vanguard notice and told Belle to sell the house and car in Jersey, pack up all their stuff and get ready to move the three kids to California. Lou carried some of the beat style of New York with him to Marin County. Black suit, white shirt, skinny black tie and goatee was his signature look. In the daytime he looked out of place, but against the setting sun, he cut a rakish figure. He was 42 years old. Lou had always worked in restaurants. His parents owned a deli and sitdown restaurant in the Bronx called “Janoff’s”. Janoff’s had an advertising slogan: “At Janoff’s it’s good. You always get the very best food”. Lou had worked there throughout high school and stayed on even after while his older siblings had gone off to college. Then the war came. But Lou knew how to run a kitchen and a floor crew. He knew how to manage people and most important, he could make money in a restaurant. Not a lot of people could. As the carpenters cleaned up The Dock for it’s reincarnation to The Trident, Lou hired a young Escoffier trained chef named Pierre Flaubert. Pierre and Lou worked out the menu. New York steak, escargo, beef ragout, fresh fish, soups and stews, salads and sides. It was an agreement of style and substance. Pierre was a multiple level black belt Karate master who was invited back to Japan each year by the pre-eminent Senseis to judge and award degrees to the creme-de-la-creme of black belts who competed. Most of the bus boys, and dishwashers that were hired for the opening of the Trident were Korean. Guys with names like “Park” & “Sook”. They were all martial artist who could kick higher than their own heads. They all knew Pierre could kick all their asses jointly, or severally. There was an air of respect that flowed through the kitchen onto the floor of the Trident. It came from top down. And most of all they loved ” Mr. Lou” (MistahRooh) what was always there to explain what, why, and how something had to be done. There were only waiters in the original Trident. In those days, waiters could make a good living for themselves, and their families. All the floor crew wore matching starched gold or turquoise single button coats with white shirts and ties. This was a classy joint. No more sawdust on the floor. Lou began a practice that ensured that the place always ran smoothly. He told the captain, Joe Morrell, and the waiters that tips were to be pooled and shared with the busboys and dishwashers. When the Trident was busy, as it was almost every lunch and dinner rush, the place ran like a beautiful, simple machine. And, everyone looked forward to those little manilla (tip) envelopes at the end of the shift. Lou used his contacts and reputation from the Vanguard days to book the acts into the Trident. Local talent was used as much as possible and there was plenty of it. In those early days Vince Guaraldi, Jean Hoffman, George Duke, Flip Nunez, Don Scaletta and Denny Zeitlin lived near enough to play on weekends. Headliners included Jon Hendricks, Sergio Mendez & Brazil 66, Bola Sete, Willie Bobo, and Bill Evans. Round about 1967 the Jazz scene was in decline. Even Miles had begun to play what would become known as “Fusion” music. Acid was still legal, and the Haight Ashbury district had become a Mecca to kids everywhere. Frank once again saw it coming and made a decision. They would re-invent not just the Trident, but innovate for restaurants and bars everywhere, for all time.  Jon Hendrick’s Trident Contract: 18TridentJohn HendrixsContract

Sausalito Historical Society Trident “Flashback” Party

Bill Cosby and the Trident

On February 10, 2011 Paul Liberatore reported in the Marin Independent Journal newspaper that:

In 1965, just before he was cast in “I Spy,” becoming the first African-American to co-star in a dramatic television series, Bill Cosby lived on a houseboat in Sausalito with his young bride, Camille, while he worked at San Francisco’s hungry i.

The 73-year-old entertainment industry icon, educator and activist returns to Marin on Feb. 12 for two shows at Marin Center in San Rafael.

During a recent telephone interview, Cosby, the winner of nine Grammys, six Emmys and two Golden Globe awards, reminisced about his idyllic time in Marin.

During the day, he’d often hang out at the Trident, a legendary fern bar and restaurant on the Sausalito waterfront.

“I remember afternoons at the Trident, enjoying the jazz performers,” he recalled, mentioning “the little Italian fellow with the ‘Peanuts’ thing,” referring to Marin pianist Vince Guaraldi.

The ’60s were the nascent days of the counterculture, when educated young people were dropping out, going back to the land, experimenting with alternative lifestyles.  Bill Cosby Trident Article

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Back in the day….

The Trident Alumni doing what the do best, just having fun!

The Trident Alumni doing what the do best, just having fun!

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