June 22, 2010
Miracles of the Internet age!
Yesterday, I searched Google for LA Knockers and found 4 wonderful videos on You Tube, of this amazing dance group, lovingly edited by Marilyn Corwin, the curly hair blond bombshell I fondly remember.
I logged on to Facebook and found her email, I wrote her a message and she CALLED ME!
Not only that, but she put me in touch with LA Knockers creator and choreographer, my old friend Jennifer Stace. She is now living in Baja California, close to the other stunning dancer, Yana Nirvana!
I used to photograph these wonderful girls in all kinds of fantastic attires and dance poses, when I was a photo-journalist living in Hollywood, starting from 1976 until 1984.
I will now edit all these images, select my favorites and post them on this blog.
I hope lots of old and new fans will find this and leave their comments.
Elisa Leonelli, photographer (see About LA Knockers page for more info)
And here you can see one of the videos, Jennifer’s favorite, with some of my photographs at the end.
June 24, 2010
I first saw the LA Knockers perform life at the Starwood in 1976, and I was – literally – knocked out by their exciting dance energy.
So I immediately asked Jennifer if we could do a photo sessions, because I had just started working as a photo-journalist and I was contributing to the theater section of the Italian magazines TEMPO and ESPRESSO. They wanted me to send photographs and text about visually interesting and risqué performers.
I didn’t even have a studio yet at the time, so a borrowed the space from my photographer friend Ave Pildas, and we did various set-ups for the layout: red tutus against a huge dark grey backdrop, white leotards against white, black costumes on red, also, in an outdoor location by the fire-escape, a cheerleaders theme, with football helmet and pom-pons.
Jennifer, Marilyn and Yana even posed for me in the costumes for their movie CINDERELLA, as the stepmother and stepsisters Marbella and Drucella.
We want to know if you’re checking us out, log on to our blog, so leave a comment with your email and we’ll send you the Cinderella photo!
July 4, 2010
After that first photo session, I became the LA Knockers “official” photographer. That is, when they needed photographs, I would take them in my studio. By then I had rented a storefront space at 6340 Yucca, close to my apartment on Beachwood Drive.
In March 1977, I took black and white head-shots of the 3 dancers: Jennifer, Marilyn and Yana. In November 1977, Jennifer needed a group shot with their guitar players, Arnold Schoonover and Phillip Truescroff, and the new dancers: Becky Jordan and Kimberlee Carlson. Here’s a color slide from that session, which was mostly in B&W.
July 4, 2010
Another photo session, for the purpose of advertising the LA Knockers new line-up, took place in my studio in 1979, I shot mostly B& W and some 4×5 slides as well. I was learning to use different techniques and the big view camera was my next challenge; I used blue gels for the background light on white seamless, and red gels for the rim light. Here’s a 35 conversion of one of those 4x5s and a B&W print.
July 4, 2010
For this session from June 1979 we decided to use outdoor locations, one was the shiny blue wall of the Pacific Design Center, another the red wall around a doorway, fit backdrops for the colorful leotards of the LA Knockers. The line-up: Becky Jordan, Kimberlee Carlson, Jennifer Stace, Marilyn Corwin, Patti Nelson.
We sent out to various magazines a selection of images from these early photo sessions, with a text where I wrote about the L.A. KNOCKERS
“They are hot, wild, glittery and moving in fast motion.
They dance at the beat of punk disco tunes and strike provocative poses. They are pretty but not girlish. They are strong, assertive, sexually aggressive women.
With their bodies they express the fire of unrestricted female sexuality, a world apart from the coy and slow seductiveness of traditional gogo dancers.
There is something compelling about their performance. It must come from the fierce determination of director choreographer Jennifer, the veteran that taught them how to dance and keeps them under her wing with the love of a big sister.
They perform at the Starwood, Troubador, Comedy Store, Matrix Theater, Playboy Club, in TV and movies.”
July 7, 2010
It’s frustrating to look at photos of dancers, without being able to see them move and sing.
For this experience we recommend watching the L. A. Knockers videos edited by Marilyn Corwin on You Tube.
As the next best thing, we show here a sequence, of this dance number called “Choice”, created for the show at the Playboy Club in late 1979.
First Jennifer, as the fiery Spanish man with a moustache, dances with hot Kimberlee, as a flamenco dancer in a red dress with a rose between her teeth.
Then Jennifer dances with another sexy girl in a read dress.
Finally, the first girl is upset that the man’s attention has shifted to the second girl. Jealousy!
Please leave your comments, we’ll post them here.
July 7, 2010
As a recurring theme of the Playboy Club show in late 1979, the L. A. Knockers spoof Hollywood movies.
Jennifer Stace as John Travolta from “Saturday Night Fever” dances with Becky Jordan, as a sexy Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz”.
Kimberlee Carlson as Dracula is about to dig her fangs into the neck of Kim Blank, as the lady in distress in a white nightgown.
And here’s another video, to see the exciting LA Knockers dance: Part 3