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9 1/2 YEARS BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR, A Memoir: A Mitchell Brothers Stripper Remembers Her Lover Artie Mitchell, Hunter S. Thompson, and the Killing that Rocked San Francisco [Kindle Edition]

Simone Corday
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Corday’s book is a delicious page turner." –Tristan Taormino, The Village Voice

"the book offers a wealth of lurid and surreal anecdotes. . . . In what other setting could Thompson turn out to be the most level headed character." -- San Francisco Magazine

"You've probably imagined her in your Hunter S. Thompson dreams: a sexy, unpredictable, brainy absurdist able to keep up with the drug-fueled antics of pornographers while also maintaining a serene humanity. Simone Corday is this woman. In her memoir, 9 1/2 Years Behind the Green Door, she describes life with the infamous Mitchell brothers when she danced and caroused at their peepshow theater in the 1980s. In the book, which is largely dedicated to describing her relationship with lover Artie Mitchell, she's often naked or making regular visitor Thompson giggle by chasing men around the strip joint in a gorilla suit. She also pontificates hilariously on hypocritical moralists and the pain they feel because of the success of the theater and those famous films. At a recent reading, her complete lack of bitterness, heartbreak, or regret were evident, and her genuine love of San Francisco, sex, and honesty made the stories even funnier. In the end, she writes on her Web site, "I bought the ticket, and it was a spectacular ride."--Hiya Swanhuyser,, San Francisco Weekly

“Hunter S. Thompson a friend of the Mitchell brothers drifts in and out of this story. Reading it I can imagine him bounding around with his usual bow-legged gait, doing what he did best - plamasing everyone in sight, looking like he owned the place. He was at O'Farrell to do research for a Playboy article (which was never published.) He was dubbed "Night Manager" A title I`m sure he relished. He loved being around people, he loved to enjoy himself with the help of whatever substance happened to be around, and where better than O'Farrell Theatre. . . Even though Hunter's presence in the story is a selling point, that doesn't mean the book can't stand alone without him. It's a fascinating and sometimes disturbing account of a unique partnership ending in devastating circumstances, with little justice.”--Martin Flynn, Editor Hunter S. Thompson Books, hstbooks.org


Editorial Reviews

Review

Brothers Jim and Artie Mitchell are sex-industry legends. They're best known for producing several porn films (including Behind the Green Door) and running the infamous strip club, the O'Farrell Theater. Opened in 1969, the O'Farrell occupied a unique place at the center of a burgeoning San Francisco sexual subculture. It featured rooms with different themes, live girl/girl action, and stage shows, some of which were less standard striptease and more avant-garde performance art. Behind the scenes, the brothers hosted outrageous private parties where special guests were treated to fisting, bondage shows, and orgies. The theater attracted celebrities, rock stars, politicians, artists, and writers, including Hunter S. Thompson, who spent a great deal of time there researching a book called The Night Manager that was never published.

In 1991, Jim shot Artie to death. The story has been told in two books--but there has never been a firsthand account of the decade leading to Artie's murder by an insider who had intimate knowledge of the brothers, the club, and their world. In her memoir, Simone Corday shares her story of a decade with an infamous sex mogul.

Corday's book is a delicious page-turner that captures her incredibly stormy relationship with Artie from 1981 to 1991, and the frenetic, rambunctious, rebellious world he built. With vivid stories based on her journals from the time, she paints the picture of a strip club like no other: one that nurtured her creative spirit, inspiring political and satirical performances. Not only is her tale an important piece of sex-industry history, but it's refreshing to read a memoir of stripping in which sex work is neither romanticized nor demonized. She tells it like she saw it, period.

-- From The Village Voice, Tristan Taormino

Diablo Cody may be the ex-stripper-turned-writer It Girl of the moment, but Simone Corday is our local version: a former dancer at the O'Farrell Theater (with a master's in English) and the sometime girlfriend of Artie Mitchell, the club's flamboyant co-owner. Her self-published memoir is unpolished at times, although the prosaic rough patches, coupled with Corday's deadpan insouciance while relating sensational details of the sex industry, add to its authenticity. In addition to its main tragic element--not Mitchell's infamous 1991 murder at the hands of his brother, Jim, but Corday's unwavering love for Mitchell, despite his being a philandering, substance-abusing, all-around asshole--the book offers a wealth of lurid and surreal anecdotes. Shame over wearing a gorilla mask during a threesome? Apprehension about having sex with a dwarf? Check and check; Corday covers it all. Surprisingly, the cameo appearances by Hunter S. Thompson (at one point the club's "night manager") prove disappointingly tame. In what other setting could Thompson turn out to be the most levelheaded character? (Mill City Press)

-- From San Francisco Magazine, Henry Jones

If there's such a thing as a typical stripper, Simone Corday wasn't one. When she first went to work at the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater in 1981, she was in her 30s with a master's degree in English from UC Berkeley. By the time she left that world behind, a decade later, she had become a longtime lover of Art Mitchell, who was shot and killed by his brother Jim in 1991.

Corday writes near the beginning of her book that she doesn't regret being part of a sexually uninhibited place at a sexually uninhibited time. "Of course, it is unrealistic to claim that women never experience inequities and abuses when they experiment with sex. Sometimes, even I did. . . . I live in a different century and place now, but to say I regret my experience during this turbulent time would be false to who I am, and to the spirit of this book."

So, what, exactly did go down at that Tenderloin establishment in the `80's? Not much suitable for a family newspaper. Orgies, drugs, politicians and, of course, Hunter S. Thompson play roles in Corday's story, although no figure looms larger than Art Mitchell. While he was an inexcusable jerk, Corday says she couldn't help loving him. She is still incensed at the sentence the now-deceased Jim Mitchell got after his manslaughter, not murder conviction.

There are many times in the book when one would like to shake some sense into Corday regarding Art Mitchell's behavior. But in recounting that tumultuous time, she doesn't aim to impart many lessons. "I'm a bit of an outlaw. I got to live through a very exciting time," she says, and it gave me tremendous material."

-- From the San Francisco Chronicle, Rehan Harmanci

In 9 ½ Years Behind the Green Door, readers are taken back to 1980s San Francisco and into the world of Simone Corday, a stripper working during the heyday of the infamous Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater. Opened as an X-rated movie theater by brothers Jim and Artie Mitchell, the O'Farrell was and remains one of America's oldest, most notorious adult-entertainment establishments. This nightspot was the major force behind the normalization of lap dancing in strip clubs nationwide. Corday's memoir is a lengthy peek at the lives of the theater's management and employees, most notably her lover of ten years, Artie Mitchell.

Cool recollections of porn star Marilyn Chambers and an early Missy (the star of Behind the Green Door, the Sequel) feel much like the blase recital of the latest Katie Holmes sighting from your favorite jaded New York friend--gossipy and entertaining for their ordinary, unpolished delivery.

9 ½ Years Behind the Green Door falls into the long and illustrious tradition of stripper memoirs. Just as much of the great Gypsy Rose Lee's writing was centered on her mother, Rose, Behind the Green Door's heart is Artie Mitchell. That said, the detailed descriptions of Corday's novelty acts will entertain and nourish those interested in strip performance, just as the intimate tidbits about the production of several of the brothers' films will intrigue the porn history enthusiast. Finally, current and former strippers will find the nuances of the strip club and the interactions among dancers to be interesting, warm, and familiar. Overall, while 9 1/2 Years Behind the Green Door probably won't leave the reader sharing Corday's interest for Artie, it certainly will leave them with a deep respect for what a tough badge of honor being an O'Farrell girl in the 80s truly was.

-- From $pread Magazine, Shakti Ziller

You've probably imagined her in your Hunter S. Thompson dreams: a sexy, unpredictable, brainy absurdist able to keep up with the drug-fueled antics of pornographers while also maintaining a serene humanity. Simone Corday is this woman. In her memoir, 9 1/2 Years Behind the Green Door, she describes life with the infamous Mitchell brothers when she danced and caroused at their peepshow theater in the 1980s. In the book, which is largely dedicated to describing her relationship with lover Artie Mitchell, she's often naked or making regular visitor Thompson giggle by chasing men around the strip joint in a gorilla suit. She also pontificates hilariously on hypocritical moralists and the pain they feel because of the success of the theater and those famous films. At a recent reading, her complete lack of bitterness, heartbreak, or regret were evident, and her genuine love of San Francisco, sex, and honesty made the stories even funnier. In the end, she writes on her Web site, "I bought the ticket, and it was a spectacular ride."

-- From San Francisco Weekly, Hiya Swanhuyser, 2008, sfweekly.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 1001 KB
  • Print Length: 367 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1934248622
  • Publisher: Simone Corday (January 26, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004L6264M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinarily Intimate March 11, 2008
Format:Paperback
Simone Corday not only provides intimate details about working at the O'Farrell Theater, she kept track of conversations between she and her long-time lover Artie Mitchell, and her compadre Hunter S. Thompson in journals.

In her memoir, you are like a fly on the wall, drinking in so many delicious details about her life with these over-the-top counterculture icons.

It's a sensual, emotional page turner. You won't want to put it down, and then you will be crying out for more, lingering on that final page, and searching for old Mitchell Brothers' films to get more glimpses on her extraordinary life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Simone Corday Review and Interview October 7, 2009
Format:Paperback
Simone Corday, MA in English, author and former dancer at the famed Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre in San Francisco. Jim and Artie Mitchell opened O'Farrell Theatre on July 4 1969. It quickly became the place to be in San Francisco for lovers of all things sex. Hunter Thompson called it "The Carnegie Hall of public sex in America."

I have been looking at old reviews of Simone's book 9 ½ Years Behind the Green Door. I want to steer clear of the trite first line like "Corday was a stripper, dancer "etc. Why? Because there's more to ladies of this ilk than meets the eye, at least the ones that I have met over the years. During my time in London in 1986 sleeping rough, I was never short of a coffee or burger - complements of the dancers at a local spit on the floor strip joint. They worked hard, letting the fat, greasy, drunken horde maul them for a few extra quid. Looking back on it, these girls could play the slobs like BB King could play guitar. The girls went home with some cash, and the slobs went home with nothing but lint and a feeble, cholesterol fueled hard-on in their pockets.

On their way home the girls would stop-by my bench /bed with a coffee or something to eat. We'd chat for a while, they'd give me the low-down on their night and I on mine. It killed an hour, I got fed and they got to unwind. They were a special sort of person, strong-willed, compassionate and no nonsense. They made my time in London that bit easier.

In 1981 Simone walked into a world of sex, drugs, debauchery and whatever else that went with the Mitchell Brother territory - in particular Artie Mitchell. She became his long time, long suffering lover - putting up with more than anyone should, but in a misshapen way they became locked in a bond many would envy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars La Vida Pantera...8 1/2 years at Mitchell Brother's September 20, 2009
By Kellae
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was there...and saw most of what Simone wrote. We worked together for years. She was inner sanctum, I was living my own life. Scarily enough, we all thought Artie's behavior was perfectly normal...when behind the painted walls on O'Farrell St. Her book is vivid, brilliant, and true! I am proud to say I knew this woman, and have the utmost respect for her honesty, and unselfishness in laying her heart and soul out for the world to see. A must read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is THAT what happened? March 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Back in the eighties in San Francisco, it wasn't all that uncommon to find one's self strung out on a sunny afternoon, hallucinating while getting a lap dance at the Mitchell Brothers. Times were weird, and I myself bumped into Hunter S. Thompson prowling the seedy corridors of sexual madness that passed for recreation to a generation gone bad. 9 1/2 Years Behind The Green Door offers a non-male perspective on what was going on inside the Walls of one of the most notorious sex palaces in the nation. In her highly entertaining memior, Simone Corday paints a graphic picture of what the ladies really think of us men. It's not exactly flatttering, but it is fairly level-headed and spot on. If you missed the heyday of sex clubbing, or just want to revisit a San Francisco that can never be returned to again,check out this book. You know you want to. Forgotten Strokes,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Drags a bit September 19, 2013
By RocBed
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Any time I keep checking to see how much of the book I have left to read, it's not holding my interest or doesn't move quickly enough to keep me entertained.

There are lots of details, necessary to the book, but make it wordy and somewhat dry. It's OK if you're a non-fiction fan. I've read worse, but I've read lots better, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not tittilating but a good read September 3, 2012
By Paul K
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was apprehensive about this book. I have read other books written by those in the sex industry and, well, writing just isn't their thing. Often, spelling and grammar aren't their thing either. But this book was at least proofread. The image on the cover, not depicting the author, seems like a bad ad for cigarette smoking. The book itself gives a story that has the air of truth.
But this is not a sex book. The author mentions many sexual encounters with Artie Mitchell and says that because of her work she's in a better position to perform and judge sex. Maybe so. But this book isn't intended to be a turn on, read Letters to Penthouse for that.
Instead, this book talks about a relationship with a man that almost simultaneously pulled her in and pushed her away. He was haunted by demons, well, by drugs at least. Even so, his killing by his own brother is hard to explain on many levels. But I'm glad Simone Corday wrote this story. It tells about life in the sex industry for nude dancers and doesn't glamorize nor damn it. Although, I have to admit that I had a fantasy about what it would be like to have such a person as a girlfriend. That fantasy is less interesting to me now but having a girlfriend who is that loyal is a real turn-on.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I love a good trashy behind the scenes pull it from ...
I love a good trashy behind the scenes pull it from the garbage read. However the writing is so poor that whatever tales she has to tell are simply wasted. DON'T BOTHER.
Published 5 days ago by OK RACH
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't read this unless you want to feel awful
Where do I begin, I have never read a book that was as depressing as this one. Ms. Corday's book centered around her long-time relationship with a man who owned the strip club... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Houston Mama
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Glad she shed a different viewpoint on the whole scenario. Well done.
Published 1 month ago by Tony F.
2.0 out of 5 stars Huh?
I had a hard time making sense of this woman, and have concluded that she has suffered from a form of Battered Woman's Syndrome, not to mention amnesia. Read more
Published 11 months ago by ZenRN
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding This Genre of Folk Helps A Lot!
When I was a private tech college student in mid-60s S.F., being a naive country boy gave me a blind eye to the underground life of that day. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Walk On the Wild Side
I'm struck by the human voice within all those sensational headlines of the times.
Simone Corday offers history and heart. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Howard M. Gordon
1.0 out of 5 stars Through the eyes of a Cokehead!
I had expected an inside look at the porn business and instead followed a coke addict through her ordeals in the business
Published 14 months ago by John Braden
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Life Page Turner
Consider a woman who was raised in a conservative, main stream environment. She has a Master's Degree in English Literature and was working for a group of prosperous lawyers, in... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Victoria L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
The author gave a behind the scenes look into her time as a dancer at the infamous O'Farrell theater in San Francisco. Read more
Published 18 months ago by StevenN
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
OK, you would think that naked porn and stripping and hanging out with Hunter S. Thompson would be interesting!!!!! Right? Read more
Published 24 months ago by D
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