Friday, March 11, 2011


Stan Munro Davies remembers meeting notorious artist and writer Rosaleen Norton, "the witch of Kings Cross", at a private party, albeit briefly. Stan is a performer who started in show business at thirteen as a singer, dancer and acrobat. He arrived in Kings Cross in the very early 1960s to work at Les Girls. He just turned 70 and is still working today.

I only met Rosaleen once, at a party. It scared the pants off me so to speak. Not literally! It was after a show. so I was dressed in men's clothes, I wasn't dressed for work.

It was before Les Girls opened in '63, but the "6 O' Clock Swill" was definitely not a thing of the past (closing hours weren't extended to 10 p.m. in NSW in 1967). In those days the routine was - stand out side the Hilton with a flagon and look for a party to go to.

It was a gay get together we ended up at. I was taken there, me an innocent coal miners son! It wasn't her apartment, she was a visitor to the party if I remember correctly. She was sort of the guest of honour really. It was near the Les Girls club, in a flat down the back of some shops. I can't rememeber who else was there really... I'm sure Carlotta (the star of Les Girls cabaret show) was.

I was introduced and Rosaleen just sort of nodded to me and that was it - just a sort of hazy look of acknowledgement she gave me. I could describe it as a drugged look, if anything. I think she was pretty out of it, there was a lot of hooch around and oh yes drugs were around at that time of course. I remember she had really long fingernails Of course, she was a scary character - she looked intimidating,

Naturally she took an image, and she rode it. And she sounded intimidating too, from what I had heard - I had heard so much about her from the queens. I do remember she was reading cards for the boys that were assembled around her like flies. The queens adored her, she was a bit of a legend. And I just think she liked the odd types, and we certainly were at the time!

Transcribed from a Facebook chat interview on 15 January 2011.

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