Wherein we look at some of the local books that have been published this year and give you some ideas of what to get your book-loving friends and family for Hanukkah, Solstice, Festivus, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or just because it’s a day ending with “y”.
|Don’t forget to support your local independent bookstores!|
Liquor, Lust, and the Law: The Story of Vancouver’s Legendary Penthouse Nightclub
by Aaron Chapman
Arsenal Pulp Press
The past couple of years have seen the publication of some incredible books about Vancouver history: Vancouver Noir, At the World’s Edge: Curt Lang’s Vancouver, and Fred Herzog Photographs immediately come to mind. Now Aaron Chapman and Arsenal Pulp Press give us a look into a Vancouver landmark and the family that have kept it going for more than 60 years.
Most people today know the Penthouse Nightclub as a “Downtown Vancouver Exotic Haven,” but in the first two decades after brothers Joe, Ross, Mickey, and Jimmy Filippone opened it in 1947, it became the place to see and be seen. It was a popular spot for visiting musicians and actors to relax, get a drink (or four), and listen to music. Any not just any music. Acts like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr, Nat King Cole, and Duke Ellington performed there, and the Penthouse was one of the few places in Vancouver where African-American musicians could perform.
Chapman covers all of this, plus the more lurid aspects of the club’s history from the 1970s and 80s. He worked closely with current owner Danny Filippone in gathering family history, stories, and photographs. The 160 photographs throughout the book capture the famous and infamous aspects of The Penthouse, and Chapman doesn’t shy away from or gloss over the steamier side of the club’s history.
Liquor, Lust and the Law is a great read and a look into a part of the history of “No Fun City” that is usually kept behind closed doors.
Vancouver Heritage Tours will be hosting tours Tuesday Dec. 11 at the Penthouse. Join Danny Filippone and Aaron Chapman for a night of stories, food, drink, and entertainment as they take you on a “behind-the-scenes” tour of the historic family business. Aaron Chapman will also be selling signed copies of his book, so you might want to check off a few people from your holiday list. Details and ticket information at heritagevancouver.org.