Joani Presents

Alternate Names: 
Valli Haus
Type: 
bar
First Document: 
1961
Last Document: 
1972
Address: 
Joani Presents
6413 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91606

Joanie Hannon, also known as Joani Waldor, is a musician and businesswoman perhaps best known for Joani Presents, the North Hollywood nightclub and musical venue that she owned between 1961 and 1973. During the mid-1950s, Hannon was the drummer for an all-girl band that toured Europe and Asia under the auspices of the United Services Organization (USO). In 1958, she was the drummer in the all-girl band portrayed in the Billy Wilder film starring Marilyn Monroe, Some Like It Hot. Between 1957-1958 she owned and operated Joanie's Bar in Palm Springs, California. Hannon was then co-owner (with her brother David) of a lesbian and gay-oriented bar in the Studio City area of North Hollywood before opening Joani Presents. The latter featured performances by well-known jazz musicians and other entertainers. In 1991, Hannon relocated to Humboldt County in Northern California, where she presided over a night club she owned in Garberville during the 1990s.

In a 2011 interview, Hannon detailed some of the difficulties of playing her role as a drummer both in film and USO live shows: "I was forced to be a heterosexual woman...I had to constantly flirt." She elaborates on the discomfort this caused her as a lesbian, going on to say that during her USO performances, she knew that an "extremely feminine" drummer was wanted and ideal. Despite this, Hannon counted her appearance in Some Like It Hot as one of the highlights of her career and even described an encounter she had on-set with Marilyn herself. "Monroe was standing beside [Hannon's] drum set as a scene was set up and remarked, 'I just love the drums. I wish you'd teach me to play.'" Hannon was left starstruck and later had nothing but praise for the movie star's friendly demeanor.

References: 
Citations: 

Magpie 3-68, Magpie 4-69, The Timely Gay Bar Guide 1970, Gay Guide '71, Action 1972, Action 1973, Barfly West 1973, Everywoman 1971