Observer Hotel, The Rocks, Sydney
By MICK ROBERTS ©
ALTHOUGH right-handed, when I drop into the Observer Hotel at Sydney’s Rocks, I like to drink a beer using my left hand. The gesture is in memory of a left-handed drag-queen who performed in the pub’s back-bar for over 25 years.
Every Sunday afternoon from the 1970s through to the early 1990s, Lanie entertained a packed Observer Hotel with her risqué act, which consisted of ‘music hall’ style bawdy tunes, dirty jokes, and crude insults, all from a stool in front of an upright piano.
Lanie, who was rather ‘large’, and was in her 60s when I first started visiting the ‘Obby’, as it’s affectionately known by regulars, on a Sunday afternoon
Decked-out in a sequin gown, heavily made-up with bright blue eye shadow, and crowned with a glamorous blonde wig, she swore like a trooper, and had a huge and devoted following. She was accompanied by her faithful and slightly built piano player, known simply as ‘Rambo’.
The foul-mouthed drag-queen, who left many a tourist aghast when they poked their heads in the door of the Observer Hotel, had a left handed policy.
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‘Didyano’ Pub & Beer Trivia
Didyano #183: Sarah Bird is recognised as the first woman publican in the colonies of Australia, having been granted a license in New South Wales in 1797.
More pub and beer trivia HERE
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