It wasn't very big, and I don't recall a dance floor. It was large enough for tables and chairs, a bar area, and the stage where the magic sometimes happened.
Quite different than the local bars and clubs, this place had singers, an orchestra, other acts, and a rock band.
Oh, and it had Miss Lisa, our beautiful hostess who always stood out in her evening gowns.
The first act was Mr. Jimmy who sang a variety of show tunes in the manner of Frank Sinatra. He liked an up-tempo version of Around The World. His gimmick was to substitute "Taipei town" instead of "London town."
The next act was Miss Grace who usually was good for at least one try per night of Dusty Springfield's You Don't Have To Say You Love Me.
Miss Grace was actually a very good singer. Listen to THIS.
Then came, personally, my favorite singer, Mr. Mel. We would always send a written request for him to sing his version of Bobby Darin's Mack The Knife.
Mr. Mel never disappointed. Now, if you remember, the song was originally a German song about a serial killer and darn tough to sing. Darin's English version blew the lid off the charts.
After Mr. Mel finished, we would always give him a standing ovation for his valiant effort. Here's Bobby Darin singing MACK.
The orchestra then cleared the stage and the rock band filtered in from somewhere. When they were ready, Miss Lisa would announce, "And now, ladies and gentlemen, we have for you Hot Music with the Thunderbird Combo."
The group was Filipino, which was quite common for the clubs in Taipei. At least they were up-to-date on their choice of songs in that summer of 1968.
First came Nobody But You which was a hit by The Human Beinz. When the first dozen words are the same, you're in luck. Listen HERE.
Another one they sang quite often was Bend Me Shape Me by The American Breed. Check it out HERE.
Finally here is Black Is Black, by Los Bravos. If you want your baby back, click HERE.
|Photo by Steve Callis; courtesy of Linkounavy.com|
Going west on Min Chuan (MinQuan) West Road, you can see the 77 Club on the left, followed by the alley next to the Pink Bar.
This 2006 picture is close to the angle of the previous one. Most of the buildings near the 77 Club are still standing.
Looking down Alley 10, The Pink Bar would have been where the KUDA sign is, with the Monte Carlo down further on the right where the yellow sign appears. On the left is the old 77 Club building.
Looking back up the alley, what might be the door to the old Monte Carlo Club appears on the left.
It was a small place with a half-circle bar and had a Fedders air conditioner pumping cold air through the wall.
Whenever thinking about the Monte Carlo Club, two songs pop up in my mind. Both are by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. For Young Girl , click HERE. For Woman Woman, click HERE.
For an almost complete look at the bars and clubs in Taipei during the Vietnam War, try dawgflight.com and look under Taipei Nightlife, Parts I and II.
Whether you were on R and R or were stationed around Taipei, this website's maps, pictures, cards and descriptions are hard to beat.
Better yet, click HERE.