Batten the hatches and secure the rigging, mates, there's
a female tornado on the horizon!
by Wilbur Jerger
Vol. 2, No. 8-20, 1953
Get out your all-weather
togs, boys, there's a Storm coming up on the horizon and her first name
is Tempest. Tempest Storm, that's the name. If it doesn't seem possible,
don't worry. the lady herself is real enough. We can prove that. Right
Georgie Kaye, the comedian, who was headlining at
the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, told me about Tempest. "She's at the Embassy
Club in North Las Vegas," Georgie said. North Las Vegas is the Barbary
Coast of Las Vegas, a tough, unbridled part of the city. I respected Georgie's
judgment in such matters as Tempest Storm so I hiked north of the strip
to the Embassy Club where Tempest was packing them in from all over lower
I got there just as she was about to go on. The
room was small, intimate, and packed mostly with servicemen. Tables flanked
the dance floor on three sides, the orchestra on the fourth. Doc, the master
of ceremonies, announced: "the greatest of them all, Tempest Storm, with
her million dollar treasure chest!"
I sat at the ringside, my camera ready. The orchestra
took up a slow beat. The room darkened, a single spot playing on the entrance
next to the bandstand. Curtains parted and a tall, magnificent woman appeared.
Tempest Storm moved with grace and control. She smiled. Her teeth glistened
in the spot. Her hair was flaming red. Her Roman-type profile was beautifully
classic. She wore an evening dress, tight at the knees, tight at the bosom.
She undulated about the room, the eyes of the audience following her in
unbelief. She went into her strip, loosening her dress zipper by zipper,
strap by strap, until it slipped to the floor. Tempest smiled, tossed her
head and ran her fingers through her hair. She stopped with a grind for
The tempo of the music picked up and Tempest circled
the room, swaying and grinding, flirting with the men in the audience.
She was having a good time. She faced the bandstand and slowly bent backwards
until her head touched the floor, her red hair flowing downward while her
long body formed a graceful arch. She rose, loosened her veil and let it
fall to the floor. She was left wearing only a tiny G-net and a diamond-shaped
patch. Off came her bra. She held it aloft in triumph, then cast it aside.
She stood flushed and trembling before her audience who howled like a pack
of wolves. Two giant pasties and her G-net were all that Tempest was left
wearing as she went into her dance, throwing neck, shoulders and head into
the quickening beat of the drum, faster and faster in jungle fury. With
blatant, bombastic movements, body quivering, Tempest came to the culmination
of her dance. It was angry, writhing, animalistic. Tempest Storm had mastered
all the movements, bringing them to perfection. Throwing her arms forward
and her hips back, she ended it convulsively, arms stretched above her
head in a triumphant gesture, smiling, breathless, tremendously pleased
with the overwhelming applause.
I visited Tempest in her dressing room after her
act. She is a simple, direct, and soft-spoken woman, with natural red hair.
She sat in the tiny room still breathing hard from her dance, her bosom
heaving, her white body covered with small heads of perspiration. She smiled
at me and mopped her upper lip with tissue. A tiny thread or two clung
to the slight duck-like down there and I found it quite attractive. I had
seldom seen such a beautiful young woman. She still wore the pasties and
the G-patch without embarrassment, as though she were sitting fully clad.
It is her business to show herself thus and it is quite natural for her
to be without clothes.
"Yes, you can photograph me in here, if you want,"
she said. While I took pictures and she assumed various poses she told
me about her life.
She was born in Daytona Beach, Fla., and had only
recently come to Los Angeles, lured in part by the glitter of Hollywood
and in part by offers to dance in the burlesque houses on Main Street.
She made a short picture but it wasn't very good, Tempest says. But it
did show some things--that she was a beauty, and that she could dance.
She continued to strike various poses about the
room while we talked, and I shot her candidly without interrupting her
conversation. "I'm going to dance at Minsky's soon," she told me.
"Is it true you have, ah . . . them, insured for
$50,000?" I asked.
She was demure about it. "Yes," she said. "Al Jolson had his voice
insured. Violinists get their hands insured. And, well, I have my . . .
stock in trade insured. $25,000 each."
She laughed as I finished shooting. I thanked her
for her cooperation and she thanked me. I felt, as I left her dressing
room, that I was leaving one of the most beautiful women in the world.
And I remembered Georgie Kaye's remark about her before I had gone up to
the Embassy Club. It was a gag, of course, but it showed he was
impressed. "Not since Shakespeare wrote 'The Tempest'" Georgie had said,
"has there been such a storm as Tempest Storm." As far as I am concerned
you can throw in hurricanes and typhoons too. That's a lot of stormy weather.