Benita Mattioli presents her memoir "Three Nights at the Condor"
Relive San Francisco’s racy history and meet author Benita Mattioli and her husband Pete and Readers’ Books on January 22nd. There will be a reception at 6:30 followed by a presentation at 7. Three Nights at the Condor tells the captivating true tale of how the Condor, a tiny San Francisco bar, was transformed into the first--then the most famous--topless nightclub. Pete Mattoli was a partner in the Condor for sixteen years, from 1958 to 1974. Three Nights at the Condor focuses on his relationships with the legendary Carol Doda, his notorious partner, Gino Del Prete, promoter Big Davey Rosenberg, and more. From the first night Carol Doda danced topless on the white baby grand piano, to the uproar within the community, including the arrests and trials. The topless revolution blew into North Beach like a wildfire in 1964, changing the city--and the world--forever.
Author Benita Mattioli was determined to tell the story of the Condor after listening to her husband Pete’s stories over the years. While writing stories from Pete’s memories, she bought a tiny tape recorder in order to interview some of the North Beach managers, characters, bartenders, and entertainers. She dove into the newspaper archives to mine the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner and News Call Bulletin, finding fascinating articles and photographs. Her final book is a work of love, illuminating a part of San Francisco city history.
Benita Mattioli grew up in a small Mormon town in Utah, moving to New York City in her twenties to become a flight attendant. She met Pete Mattoli while on vacation in Hawaii. At the time, he was a partner in or had managerial rights to seven San Francisco topless nightclubs. After years of listening to his stories about his life in North Beach, she decided that someone just had to write a book. Pete and Benita have been together since 1970, and they live in Sonoma County, California.