Doggies Disco, one of Kuta’s first night-life joints

During the Morning of the Earth surfer days of the early 70s, night life in Kuta was pretty basic. Either one was wandering the midnight trails through the coconut groves, stoned on magic mushrooms and trying to mind-meld with the cows that would continue grazing at night, their bells tinkling like starlight (or so it would sound to the Stoned One); or one was already long asleep on the kapok mattress upon the bamboo bed, the kerosene lantern dimmed low, dreaming of blue barrels. (Okay, there’d also be an ad-hoc party now and then, some of them even planned the day before — but generally, in those electric-less days, you went to bed pretty darn early)

Then there came Doggies Disco. I have no idea when it appeared, and who owned it. Not a frequent visitor — I think only twice — I have only the vaguest of memories, and I can’t guarantee their accuracy. What comes to mind: Two cement statues of six-foot high Bali mutts standing in front sweat box of a dance hall somewhere in the vicinity of where the Bali Bomb memorial is now located. Stinking hot. A disco ceiling ball. Saturday Night Fever. Lukewarm beer. Toilets straight out of Dante’s lower circles of hell — it was preferable to step outside and pee behind the nearest palm tree in the coconut grove. You’d cool off, too.

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13 Responses to Doggies Disco, one of Kuta’s first night-life joints

  1. Kevin Gordon says:

    They were great days. Shortly after in the mid – late 70s, The Rum Jungle at Legian was worth the trip down from Kuta. Toilets there were also a health hazard but walking outside to pee behind the hedge proved more risky due to the open wells in the ground behind the hedges with no barricades. Of course these were not visible in the dark of night and I fell victim to this peril, finding myself hanging upside down by my lower right leg inside a stone well at midnight. Clothes ripped and gashes everywhere I dragged myself out and hobbled back to the road where I managed to get a lift back to my Kuta losmen with a Javanese couple. I’m still grateful my bones aren’t lying at the bottom of that well.

  2. I think I remember Doggies from 1977, but my memory’s not what it used to be… I might have a photo of the doggie statues somewhere…

  3. GRIZ> says:

    That’s where one went , usually very late at night , if one was to procure international , interracial financially mutual relations with the opposite sex . Any time you went there before the witching hour though it was usually full of Javo seedy macs who , because they had no money , generally just hung around . And because you did have money , I always thought the vibe there was kind of heavy . There and Rum Jungle were also good to catch up on some culture as often the Javanese Knife dance was being performed which I witnessed often.
    Things kind of took off once The Sand Bar ( or Pit as it was fondly refered to ) sprung up across the road on the original Sari Club sight .

  4. robert says:

    Wasn’t too fussed on Doggies, only went there occasionally on a late night hunt. Rum Jungle was pretty cool for the day, plenty of trees, dirt roads, not much light, kind of surreal. The sand bar, thatch roof, open bar, the owners name was Paul if I’m not mistake [ big guy ] .. Great times

  5. Anonymous says:

    I was a young trainee nurse and decided to go to Bali with a friend in the early 70’s. I still get that wonderful feeling when you fly into Bali and look out of the plane window. Back then it was mainly all palm trees!
    We stayed at the Ramayana Seaside Cottages, Sari Beach Inn, Puri Damai, 3 Brothers Inn, Melasti etc etc
    Nights out were at Gado Gado, Kayu Api, Peanuts. Norms Bar was owned by Nyoman who was a legend because he was the only Balinese that had been to Australia and they called him Norman or Norm. He used to come out and drink with the crowd late at night and they had great drinking games there.
    There were many, many places along the beach that people sat around and had mushroom soup or omelettes and then enjoyed the sunset 🙂
    There was only one disco on the island back in the early 70’s at Bali Hyatt and you only went there for a real special occasion. There was only one Western doctor – he was a German guy at Bali Hyatt too.
    To get mail you had to cycle or bike ride to the one post agency to check Poste Restante and making a phone call was a nightmare.
    Days were spent at the local markets and stalls along the road. I used to sit outside the little shopfronts/stalls and make offerings and the ladies plaited and braided my long hair in Balinese style.
    We ate at places like Poppies,Dayu 1 or 2, Kintamani (Asia) restaurant, night markets in Denpasar, Mama’s
    We wore sarongs and sandals most days and if we decided to go to a “nice” place we just stopped at a stall and bought a top and skirt or dress and a pair of size 38 cloth shoes. Our sarong and sandals were put inside our batik shoulder bags and off we went.
    If it was late afternoon rain we wore our bikinis on the walk to Legian and bought new dry clothes there!
    We went to tooth filing ceremonies and cremations and helped with the village preparations.
    We took the ferry to Lombok where we were greeted like movie stars as they had not seen any “white girls” with light or blonde hair.
    I am blessed to have spent early days there before it became a tourist mecca. Fond memories indeed. I was in Bali a few months ago and I took some maps of the area back then and some old photos and the Balinese loved to look at the differences and the places where there are now roads and massive shopping complexes etc
    Just my memories

    • Thank you Donna, you certainly rekindled my old grey cells – wonderful memories indeed. It’d be great if you could share your old maps and photos here on “balisurfstories” where I know they will be appreciated. Terima Kasih!

    • Jan says:

      Yes…l too was there in 1979…stayed at Janji Inn..lovely losmon $1.00 a night,with the black tea and black rice pudding….riding the bemos with chickens and everything else in cages…magic mushrooms at One Ducks Nuts..Legian /Kuta Rd.
      Always a Jaffle and juice at Happys on the walk back to the Losmon, Doggies once a week because alchohol was expensive…surfing at Ulu Watu..and l still have the scars on my ankles from the coral cuts…after 36 yrs l am going back in July.

  6. Jan says:

    I too was there in 1979 ..l had my 21st there..stayed at a Losmon called Janji Inn..$1.00 a night with black tea and black rice pudding every day.
    Always stopped at Happys on the way back to the losmon for a Jaffle and juice…Eric Clapton would be playing You look Wonderful Tonight
    Went to Doggies once a week as Alcohol was expensive then and l was there for nearly 3 mths.
    Bali On a Shoestring was the book to go by The Bible
    Bemo rides with chickens and everything else.
    Magic Mushroom at One Ducks Nuts on Legian/Kuta Rd.
    The Pub hadn’t been open all that long still remember that guy…..Surfing at Ulu Watu..and getting coral cuts on my ankles and l still have the scars.
    Going back in July for the first time since then….36 yrs ago.

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