Place residence

The Sunset Strip is still a rock spot

By Michele E. Buttelman

Signals Staff Writer

Sunset Boulevard runs from the Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades east to Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles. The total length of the Legendary Causeway is 27.5 miles. But only 1.6 miles from this legendary road is known as the “Sunset Strip”.

Located in the heart of West Hollywood, it was once known as the playground of Hollywood’s old guard elite like Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo and the home of infamous nightclubs and bars like Ciros and Mcambo.

However, the “Strip” is perhaps most famous as home to the world’s most iconic rock and comedy venues that continue to entertain crowds of patrons most nights.

Whiskey to go

8901 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood 90069.

On January 16, 1964, a small club on the Sunset Strip opened for the first time. Johnny Rivers headlined the opening night concert.

It was The Whiskey a Go Go, the first live music venue to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and perhaps the most iconic club on the Strip.

A DJ named Joanie Labine played records in a booth suspended to the right of the stage between Johnny Rivers sets. Labine entertained the crowd by dancing and the idea of ​​the go-go dancer was born.

Over its nearly 60 year history, The Whiskey a Go Go has hosted some of rock ‘n roll’s most important bands, including The Doors, Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin.

The Doors began their run as a house band at The Whiskey a Go Go opening for each band to play there from May 23 to August 21, 1966.

Artists like Frank Zappa, Neil Diamond, Guns N’ Roses and Mötley Crüe have been launched at The Whisky.

The Roxy

9009 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood 90069

The Roxy Theater opened in 1973. Founded by Lou Adler and Elmer Valentine, with the help of original partners David Geffen, Elliot Roberts and Peter Asher.

On September 20, 1973, the now famous concert hall opened its doors with a three-night performance by Neil Young. The first year featured headliners such as Cheech and Chong, Jerry Lewis, The Temptations and Frank Zappa.

Other big hits from the early 1970s included Joe Cocker, Billy Joel, Smokey Robinson, Hall & Oates, Bruce Springsteen and the Ramones.

The Roxy was not only a stage for musicians but also for comedians and actors. In the early years, the opening acts consisted mostly of up-and-coming comedians, including Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Arsenio Hall. In 1981, The Roxy took a chance on little-known comedian Paul Reubens and his eccentric character Pee Wee Herman.

Many “live” albums were recorded at the Roxy, some of the titles include: 1973 Linda Ronstadt: Live at The Roxy 1973 Genesis: Live at The Roxy 1974 Frank Zappa: Roxy & Elsewhere 1976 Patti Smith: Live at The Roxy 1978 Bruce Springsteen , The Boss: Live at The Roxy

The viper room

8852 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood 90069

A far cry from the rock heyday of the 1960s and 1970s, The Viper Room opened in 1993.

The Whiskey a Go Go has hosted some of rock ‘n roll’s most important bands, including The Doors, Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin. PICTURES COURTESY OF WHISKEY A GO GO

It belonged to actor Johnny Depp and Sal Jenco who starred in “21 Jump Street” with Depp.

At Depp’s request, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed on the club’s opening night.

The Viper Room has become a favorite meeting place for Hollywood’s most famous young actors and musicians.

Adam Duritz, the lead singer of Counting Crows, worked as a Viper Room bartender in late 1994 and early 1995 to escape his newfound fame.

The Pussycat Dolls performed there from 1995 to 2001. Other artists have included Stone Temple Pilots, Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Cole, Lenny Kravitz, Pearl Jam and Iggy Pop. Keanu Reeves performed there in 1997 with his band Dogstar.

Sadly, the Viper Room won’t live to see its 30th anniversary.

On March 3, it was announced that the iconic Viper Room would be demolished in favor of a 12-story skyscraper, with construction to begin in 2023.

It will become a residential building with restaurants, cafes, a luxury hotel, a concert hall and a recording studio with original Viper Room memorabilia displayed throughout the building.

However, there’s still time to see the iconic Viper Room in action. The shows are scheduled through April.

The comedy store

The Comedy Store will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 7, 2022.

It was founded on April 7, 1972 by comedian Sammy Shore, his wife Mitzi and screenwriter Rudy DeLuca. It all started because Shore needed a place to train when he was off the road. He was the longtime opening act for Elvis Pressley.

It was the world’s first stand-up comedy nightclub.

Famous comedian friends of Shore, such as Redd Foxx, Tim Conway, Buddy Hackett and Jonathan Winters could “design” new sets at the store.

Among the many comedians who launched their careers at The Store in the 1970s were Robin Williams, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Garry Shandling, Paul Mooney, Jimmie “JJ” Walker, Andy Kaufman and Michael Keaton.

In the 80s and 90s, new store voices included Howie Mandel, Louie Anderson, Jim Carey, Arsenio Hall, Sam Kinson, Sandra Bernhard, Bill Hicks, as well as Roseanne and Whoopie Goldberg.

The 2000s saw Joey Diaz, Bobby Lee, Steve Ranazzisi, Sebastian Maniscalco, John Caparulo, Whitney Cummings and Chris D’Elia invade the famed Stores stages.