The Daisy in Beverly Hills


"The Daisy",  which bloomed in 1962, was Beverly Hills' first  members only - private discotheque. It was a place were actresses in skin tight pants would dance the Watusi jerking elbows and hips with Steve McQueen or Robert Redford.


Jack Hanson,  bought the property on Rodeo Drive where the original Romanoff's had stood. Night spots like The Mocambo, Ciro's and The Trocadero were slipping away and discotheques and Go Go clubs were moving in. The timing of the Daisy's infancy was perfect. A new culture of music was just about to arrive from London, mod fashions were featured in all the hip boutiques and a new young Hollywood crowd was taking over the scene in Los Angeles during the early '60's.

 
 The original Romanoff's before it moved to it's second location and became the Daisy

For a better perspective of where it once thrived, you can see the  original brick structure of this stunning image of the Anderton Court Shops located at 332 N. Rodeo Drive by Architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Photo by the brilliant, Julius Shulman

On any given night you'd see Sonny and Cher on the dance floor, Warren Beatty and Julie Christie canoodling on the brick patio or the Jackson 5 performing a few of their very first sets on stage. 

Glancing around the intimate booths, one may have spotted Paul Newman,  Natalie Wood, Peter Falk, Sammy, Tony Curtis, Jay Sebring, Sharon Tate, Angie Dickinson, John Derek and Linda Evans. The Daisy was also one of the first night spots Frank Sinatra was seen publicly with Mia Farrow.


Shooting 8-ball in another room will be a Richard Conte or an Omar Sharif, properly galleried. Scattered around the tables in the main room, will be the Zsa Zsas, the Joan Cohns, the Oleg Cassinis, the David Hemmingses, the Ryan O'Neals,  and 17 different varieties of teen-agers, each fully capable of saying, "Well, hi," and making it sound like, "Where's the acid?"

                               Fabian and actress Carol Conner dancing the Watusi in 1965
                                                            Menu card featuring Jack Hanson 
 Compared to The Daisy, all other discotheques are slums. And, sitting there one night, a good actor named Norman Alden gazed at the dance floor, swirling with Hanson's scented, glowing human decor, and put it all in perspective with a joke. "Oh, this crazy tinsel town with its popcorn machine for a heart. It's all alabaster and sham," he said. "Think of all those young girls, going from casting office to casting office, willing to sell their souls for a part. I can't tell you how happy I am to be a part of it."

 Vintage Los Angeles member Dave Etchie recalls, " I was on the "Dating Game" and the producers and my date went to the Daisy as part of the prize. Unfortunately my winning date was only on the program for the exposure as an actress. The producers and I enjoyed the Daisy and we didn't see the date the rest of the evening".

Hordes of celebrities from the entertainment and sports fields were members. And those that weren't of course still managed to get in like Dean Martin and Wilt Chamberlin.



Hanson also owned the wildly cool boutique, "Jax" with his wife Sally located on the corner of Wilshire and Bedford and made beautifully cut pants for Jackie Kennedy, Barbra Streisand, Marlene Dietrich and Audrey Hepburn. He socialized with showbiz players and hobnobbed with all the Hollywood swingers that frequented his club. James Elroy described him as, "Noir Personified!" Jack 'firmly' believed women should show off their best features, so sensations such as Twiggy or Diana Ross would be seen inside "Jax" trying on the latest tight slacks or thigh-high miniskirts before attending a night out.  They specialized in very tight peddle pushers that zipped up the back.

     

The trademark of "Jax" slacks was their extreme tightness (because the pants zippered up the back) which emphasized the female butt. You needed to be very slim to carry this off. One of his best customers in the early days was Marilyn Monroe. The shop  had a number of interesting salesgirls, namely Frank Sinatra's daughters, Nancy and Tina, and Dean Martin's three daughters, Deana, Gail and Claudia. 


Photo by Julius Shulman

By day their backyard is headquarters for a Hollywood sport-in. By night his own discotheque became a Beverly Hills drop-in for the likes of Dickie Smothers greeting Jack with Peter Sellers. Nancy Sinatra Jr. once said, "The most important men in America are my father, Hugh Hefner and Jack Hanson."

A rare documentary of Beverly Hills in 1965 featuring rare film footage of Jax starting at 2:51 (but the entire 8 and 1/2 minutes is worth a watch!)


Natalie Wood leaving The Daisy in Beverly Hills and getting into a Mercedes-Benz 220SE Coupe 1964

The Chic destination was also where Aaron Spelling met 18 year old, Carole Gene,  also known as, Candy. Their first dance together was to "My Funny Valentine" and that song had been their "song" ever since.

Lovely Jill St. John and the talented Jack Jones were also  seen frequently together at the Daisy Club in Beverly Hills around 1967.


James Garner's character in the Rockford Files referenced the Daisy in an episode I recently watched. " I went to the Daisy and then cruised Rodeo Drive for a half hour”. 


Jack Hanson also put together a celebrity softball team that included, Anthony Franciosa, Peter Falk, Bobby Darin, Mark Goddard, Michael Callan, Ryan O'Neal, Peter Stone, Aaron Spelling, and Danny Thomas.  The team's cheering section consisted of Anne Francis, Suzanne Pleshette and Nancy Sinatra.
Jack Hanson at his Beverly Hills club, THE DAISY. Jill Hayworth dancing behind him

Nancy Sinatra with Sharon Alpert at The Daisy

If there is anything that delighted Jack Hanson as much as being in his New World rumble at The Daisy it was the weekly Softball games he had arranged between a couple of power-loaded outfits called Raskin's Raiders and, big surprise, The Daisy. When someone once suggested that Raskin's Raiders perhaps seek a different opponent for a change after they had just won a series, Producer Jimmy Harris (Paths of Glory, Lolita, The Bedford Incident), a Raider mainstay in center field, said, "What? And not get to see Tony Curtis try to pitch?"

 My folks used to frequent The Daisy with Joey Bishop, Gene Barry and Buddy Hackett. This photo was taken at one of Buddy's parties. He had requested on the invitation that everyone show up dressed like construction workers. (which explains my parents overalls). 

Joey Bishop's wife Silvia, my parents Al and Judi Martino and actor Gene Barry in 1969
 
Mel Brooks also held a cast party for "Young Frankenstein" at the Daisy in 1974 and director,  Paul Schrader" captured a scene on celluloid for "American Gigolo" staring Richard Gere in 1980

 


   Scene from "American Gigaolo" filmed on location at The Daisy


And on August 11, 1969 Diana Ross invited Hollywood’s media to come and meet Motown’s newest act,  The Jackson 5  between 6.30p.m. and 9.30p.m. at The Daisy, 326 Rodeo Drive, in Beverly Hills! Berry Gordy boldly predicted that The Jackson 5′s first three singles would be number one hits (they were) and that they become one of the biggest-selling acts of the decade at the club.
The Daisy - Beverly Hills, 1984

It was at this party that ten-year-old Michael, just over two weeks away from his 11th birthday, was instructed to tell interviewers that he was only eight years old. Ever the professional, young Michael understood the importance of publicity in show business, and eager to please, he gladly did as he was told. 



Vintage Los Angeles member, Jeff Jansen recalls this awesome memory. "I remember seeing the amazing stage show of The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo at the Daisy. That band eventually morphed into Oingo Boingo and launched the career of the now famous Danny Elfman."


Eddie Bales, another member of Vintage Los Angeles also shared his recollections: "I was one of the Daisy's valet parking attendants.  I was old enough to drive but not enough to go in (though I did on NYE 1983).  I was ALWAYS tipped extremely well. Edy Williams was a regular with her friend, a character named Skip E Lowe. Edy was in "Beyond The Valley of The Dolls", "Batman", and tons of classic TV series of the '60's and '70's. She became known for crashing the Oscars with those scandalous outfits in the late 80s and ALWAYS wore revealing outfits and would flirt with me.  I was barely 18 and beyond nervous and had absolutely no idea what to do". 

As far as MY own personal memories of The Daisy,  growing up in Beverley Hills during the 70’s still had little fragments of elegance and fortunately I took afternoon cotillion classes on Saturdays at 10 years old. But let's face it - our parents enjoyed it way more on those late night evenings dancing the night away, while us kids were stuck home with the babysitter watching "The Love Boat" or "Fantasy Island". But one thing I do remember clearly besides that dance floor was the the food.  This was the first place I ever tried a club Sandwich and The Menu was always naming dishes after dedicated customers and and powerful heavy hitters. 



 I can't help but notice how eerie O.J.Simpson's dish is -  also  
 considering The Daisy is where he met Nicole Brown



    Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tony Curtis and Red Buttons at the Daisy

Sadly the Daisy has since been banished from Beverly Hills and felt it needed a worthy tribute. Please feel free to leave any additional information on the Daisy in the comment box. I would love to hear your reflections, informative facts or photos if you have any to share.

Your personal DeLorean of the Internet, 
Alison Martino

Sections for this blog came from a Sports Illustrated article. Click here to read the entire article on Jack Hanson and additional information from members of Vintage Los Angeles.
Photos and memorabilia: Vintage Los Angeles Collection


Alison Martino is a writer, television producer and personality, and L.A. pop culture historian. She founded the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles in 2010. Alison is currently a columnist for "Los Angeles Magazine" and muses on L.A’s. past and present on Twitter and Instagram.

Comments

  1. Back around 1979-80 I heard about an amazing "members only" nightclub in Beverly Hills called the Daisy, as a young man just barely old enough to legally drink I knew their would be no way in hell that I would be able to afford a membership, however I figured that was no reason to keep me from getting in! So after thinking for awhile, I came up with a plan.. I called the Daisy early one afternoon and told the person that picked up the phone that I was thinking of becoming a member and I wanted the opportunity to check the place out before buying my membership, who ever I was talking to said no problem, just give me your name and I will have the maitre d' at the door let you in! I hung up and said to myself Yahoo I'm in!!! So later that night I put on my best disco clothes and drove to BH. The first thing that became clear to me was that they had valet parking, one Ferrari, Bentley and Jaguar after another were being parked, I of course had a old beat up orange colored Dodge Colt with a giant dent in the front fender, I did not want anyone to see me pulling up in front so I parked way down the street. I walked to the Daisy and the door man had my name on his list and let me in! Once inside I quickly learned I was not in Kansas anymore! I was freaking out a bit and decided I would hang out at the bar and try to look cool and get a drink, then I notice a few feet to my right is Sonny Bono, I was thinking wow it's Sonny Bono!!! I had never even seen a celebrity in person before, I was freaking out, (but trying my best to look cool), as I was looking at Sonny he noticed me, I looked away however every time I would look back at Sonny he would notice me staring at him, I tried to act like no big deal but I'm sure he thought I was stalking him, it seemed like ever time I looked at him he would notice my crazy eyes staring at him, Lol, this scenario repeated the entire night right up until closing. When it was time to leave I walked down the street and got in my junker of a car and as I was driving by the Daisy I notice a Rolls Royce convertible pulling away and at the next stop light the Rolls was next to me, I looked over and sure enough it was Sonny Bono!!! Sonny looked over at my piece of crap car and then noticed me behind the wheel and I'm sure he thought there is that crazy ass stalker again!!! When the light turn green Sonny gassed his Rolls and left me in the dust like a bat out of hell... This was the first and last time at the Daisy and that's my story.

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  2. I met Jack in 1982. He saw me riding my bike from Beverly Hills High School to home in a dress. I was 16. He pulled me over and asked me if I wanted a job. I said yes then ended up working at Jax on Rodeo Drive selling t-shirts and torn dresses ala "Flashdance." The tourists buses would stop there because it was the only shop on Rodeo they could afford to buy anything. I got minimum wage plus commission if I could sell over $800 in a week. Every time any of us got close Jack would hire another teenage sales girl which pissed us off. Jack was pretty cheap. By then Jack was also getting a little senile and would accidentally leave his car double parked on Rodeo.

    OJ Simpson and Al Jareau came into the shop one day shirts unbuttoned low wearing then hip gold medallions on gold chains. Ah, the '80's. OJ mistook me for another blonde sales girl, picked me up, spun me around. I only worked there for the summer then I went to college at USC.

    I ended up going to the Daisy 1982-1983. They didn't card back then, thank god as I was 16. I also used to go to Voila on the first floor of the Beverly Center. Angelyne used to hang out there. Voila also did not card. 30 years ago, hard to imagine it's been that long.

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    1. I worked one summer in the kitchen as a busboy/dishwasher at The Daisy in the early 1980's. I worked with a super nice man from Mexico who spoke very little English, he would salute me every once in awhile when I'd come in with a load of dirty dishes and say "Thomas El Presidency" or something like that. The cooks at that time were from Thailand they would make up these super spicy chicken lunch bowls for us all to eat. I got along great with Nicole and the other waitresses, bar tenders etc, Both Jack Hanson and his son were super cool to me. By far working at The Daisy was one of my favorite jobs. Thomas Hierholzer

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  3. Do not forget Sally who was just as important and maybe more.

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    1. Sally was very important. She's the one who told me Jack was starting to go senile. I thought he might have just been "eccentric."

      Jack made all of us teenage sales girls wear these torn "Flashdance" dresses, skirts and shirts in the store. I actually think I was 15 when I worked there. He didn't ask my age. I was 5'8" and acted mature so I got away with it.

      I remember he had a ton of super old clothing from the 60's and 70's in the storage area beneath the store. The storage area was the same size as the showroom. It was totally packed full of old faded clothes.

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  4. The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo played The Daisy?? That must have been completely awesome! Was Danny the lead, or was his brother still involved?

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  5. I sat at Jack Hansen's living room table in 1962 and hand addressed the invites to join The Daisy. I was a JAX girl, but never actually worked at the store. I was a regular at his house for tennis on Sundays. I was there as Jack's guest from 1962 to 1964, and then multiple times every year thereafter. Last time I saw Jack, was in 1986 or 1987 - I stayed at his Santa Monica beach house next to Shutters. I then lost touch with him..........and his girlfriend at the time. They had adopted a child. Does anyone know what happened to Jack? And, did Sally go on to become SallyHanson Cosmetics?

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    1. My daughter justed showed we this sight. She was researching her grandfather. I marred Terry Hanson ( Jack's son) in 1989. The stories he told about the Daisy and the experiences he had.... .

      No, Sally was not associated with Sally Hanson Cosmetics. She was a wonderful talented lady.

      Jack passed away in 1990 or 91 ... another story..


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    2. You married Terry and you can't even spell his name right?. That's Hansen with an e whoever you might be.

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    3. Check your facts it is Hanson with an O. Jack's real name was John Martin Hanson. His Girlfriend was Joan. Son was Terence Martin Hanson . Who ever I might be? Is Michele
      Hanson Terry's widow.

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    5. what happened to terry we were good friends and played baseball together in high school and hung out for a few years after that i liked jack and sally terry and i use to go to the daisy alot lost touch in the 70's i moved up north

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    6. I was member #81... those were some epic nights!

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  6. Thank you so much for publishing this story about The Daisy. It was a pivotal place in time in the sixties, hugely impacted the scene and careers. Oh, the stories I could tell...................I was a Daisy insider.

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  7. I was too young to go to the Daisy but I remember walking by it on Rodeo as a kid. What's got me going is the youtube clip you posted from American Gigolo noticing Jerry Magnin's across the street. Now there is a fond memory!

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  8. You mention Romanoff's briefly. Going to do a spiel on them any time soon? I have some artwork from there that you might want to see...

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  10. I visited ACE night club last weekend and we spent great time with lots of fun. We danced almost whole night and drinks, Just loved it and this is the best nightclub nyc for enjoyment.

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  11. My dad was Jimmy Raskin of Raskin's Raiders fame. They played The Daisy every Sunday and always had a big crowd of fans (including my sister and I). Those were fun times. So 60's...

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    1. I was a good friend of your father's. And Jimmy Harris who I'm sure you remember. I also played baseball every Sunday - on the Daisy team. And yes, those were definitely good times. I remember you and your sister.

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  12. Thanks for the article. I remember going to the Daisy for catillion and having to wear white gloves... I had no idea it was a disco! This was probably in 1973 or so..
    I grew up above Sunset Strip in the "bird streets", back then it was not a status area like it is now, but many celebrities lived near us - Bruce Lee, Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks and Bernie Taupin are the ones I remember.

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  13. Does anyone remember. He wasn't a celebrity but he was a character. Walter "Snuffy " Smith from Dallas. But he was living in Malibu at the time. Sometimes came with Racine Pekar. He was a member of "Pips".

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  14. My Uncle Kurt Grayson was an actor and home flipper in the Beverly Hills post office area off Coldwater cyn , I lived with him from 1975 to 1977, he took me to Pips many times, I recalled seeing Lucy playing backgammon often, Kurt knew many people in the business, his best friend and actor home flipper Reid Smith went out with Jackie Smith,(I beat Reid arm wrestling at Jackies home off Lindacrest,I was 14) Maude Adams, I met Jackie Bisset, Valerie Perrine, Melanie Wilson daughter of Dick Wilson, I was very fortunate to have been able to be there at that age.

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  15. Speaking of Jax, I worked there in 1969. I was 19, and having left the shop with a job application form, was surprised to find myself pursued down Wilshire by Jack Hanson himself, who finally caught up with me and asked if I could start tomorrow. Reading your blog here I see that was apparently not an unusual way to get hired at Jax! I was thrilled to serve some of my favorites, like Joanne Woodward and Julie Andrews, and a new kid on the block named Raquel Welsh. I'd love to know whatever became of some of my co-workers there, like lovely feisty Tanya (daughter of French actor Eddie Constantine) and beautiful Sherry. Hmm, there oughta be a Jax Reunion blog somewhere. I remember when Jack and Frank S. both underwent their hair transplants at the same time....buddies in torture. And I too would like to know if Sally Hanson is the same as she whose name is on the cosmetics line. I know that Jack is now deceased.-- And while I never attended the Daisy Club, or even broke in, I did used to break into another membership-only club, The Factory, tucked away on Curson Pl off of W. Santa Monica Blvd., and co-owned by Paul Newman, Sammy Davis, Jr.,and others. Have anything on this? Or on the Cinerama Dome (where I also worked that same year)? Finally, I must thank you Alison for this blog which I have just discovered while sitting here reminiscing. Would love to read more stories about Jax, et al !

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  16. Reading the book by Eddie Fisher, "Been There Done That" which is just fascinating and he mentions that he met the then young actress Stefanie Powers at the Daisy that started a love affair that lasted for several months. I just had to look this place up. Thanks for all the good info about the Daisy.

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  17. I was dating this agent, Sandy Smith (who called himself the Tennessee Stud, lol), who played tennis with Jack Hanson and was a member I also went to school with Jack's son Terry and was friends with Gene's son, Mike Barry. Lots of great memories. There will never be another amazing era like the 60s.

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  18. I met Terry when he was teaching tennis in Fort Lauderdale and spent almost a year with him both in FtL and BH. Does anyone know what happened to him? Handsome, sweet and sad person....

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  19. I met Terry when he was teaching tennis in Fort Lauderdale and spent almost a year with him both in FtL and BH. Does anyone know what happened to him? Handsome, sweet and sad person....

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  20. Chez Moi on Charlville ,Nippers on Rodeo. I DJ'd at the Daisy from 84-86 and had my reception there. Peter was the maitre d. I also worked at the old Bistro on Canon Drive from 79-86. Good Times! Kurt Casper Juanillo. Good Times!

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  21. the Daisy was Sacred Ground to us LA Natives..miss watching my Parents Pow-wows there..Marc Norman

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  22. the Daisy was Sacred Ground to us LA Natives..miss watching my Parents Pow-wows there..Marc Norman

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  23. the Daisy was Sacred Ground to us LA Natives..miss watching my Parents Pow-wows there..Marc Norman

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  24. I loved the Daisy! as well as Volia, "water shue," RIP! I forgot the club next to Volia, that one too. Carlos and charlies,
    El -bravado upstairs, then to Helena's, odyssey, chameau, Dan Tannas, Rainbow just to change it up a little. when i was really young FLIPPERS, Playboy mansion when it was quaint with just about 200 hundred people at hefner's home. I love that time in my LIFE! I MISS IT! Now its not sexy, not stately, Glamours or Elegant. Its messy! How sad!

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