|Location||9081 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, California|
|Genre(s)||Folk, singer-songwriters, rock, heavy metal|
The Troubadour is a nightclub located in West Hollywood, California, United States, at 9081 Santa Monica Boulevard just east of Doheny Drive and the border of Beverly Hills. Inspired by a visit to the then newly opened Troubadour café in London, it was opened in 1957 by Doug Weston as a coffee house on La Cienega Boulevard, then moved to its current location shortly after opening and has remained open continuously since.It was a major center for folk music in the 1960s, and subsequently for singer-songwriters and rock. In 2011, a documentary about the club called Troubadours: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter was released.
The Troubadour played an important role in the careers of Hoyt Axton, Jackson Browne, The Byrds, Neil Diamond, Elton John, Eagles, Carole King, Love, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, J. D. Souther, James Taylor, Tom Waits, BTS and other prominent and successful performers, who played performances there establishing their future fame.
In October 1962, comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested on obscenity charges for using the word "schmuck" on stage; one of the arresting officers was Sherman Block, who would later become Los Angeles County Sheriff.Buffalo Springfield debuted at the club in 1966, and Randy Newman started out there as well. On August 25, 1970, Neil Diamond (who had just recorded his first live album at the Troubadour) introduced Elton John, who performed his first show in the United States at the Troubadour. Comics Cheech & Chong and Steve Martin were discovered there in the early 1970s. In 1974, John Lennon and Harry Nilsson were ejected from the club for drunkenly heckling the Smothers Brothers. That same year, Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band performed third on the bill with ex-Byrd Roger McGuinn headlining, going on stage at 1:45 in the morning. In 1975, Elton John returned to do a series of special anniversary concerts. In November 2007, James Taylor and Carole King played a series of concerts commemorating the nightclub's 50th anniversary and reuniting the two from their 1970 performance.
The Troubadour featured new wave and punk in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including Bad Religion, Flipper, The Meat Puppets, Napalm Death, and Redd Kross. L.A. residents and proto-grunge band Melvins have played the Troubadour stage 24 times and counting as of November 2019, including live tapings for Carson Daly in 2012 and 2015.
In the mid- to late-1980s the club became virtually synonymous with glam metal bands like Candy, Cinderella, Guns N' Roses, L.A. Guns, Mötley Crüe, Poison, Ratt, Warrant, and W.A.S.P.. Guns N' Roses played their first show at the Troubadour, and were also discovered by a David Geffen A&R representative at the club. During the glam and metal years, Gina Barsamian was the primary booking agent for the club. It continued to attract non-glam metal acts through this time and into the 1990s such as Fiona Apple, Steve Earle, Mudhoney, Papa Roach, Silverchair and Radiohead.
In the 21st century, the venue is well known for promoting artists as diverse as Arctic Monkeys, Bastille, Billy Talent, Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand, Kina Grannis, Ray LaMontagne, Lawson, The Libertines, Melt Banana, Metz, Joanna Newsom, and Orville Peck. Rise Against filmed at the club five nights in a row for a DVD, Generation Lost . On April 1, 2016, it saw the first show of Guns N' Roses since Slash and Duff McKagan had rejoined the band. Busted's first show as a reformed band in America was performed at the Troubadour in June 2017.The first concert of Grace VanderWaal's first national tour was held at the Troubadour on November 5, 2017. Stone Temple Pilots' first live performance with their newest singer Jeff Gutt was held in November 2017.
Like many small businesses and music venues,the Troubadour has struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic; it launched a GoFundMe page in May 2020, which raised $70,000. In August, Elton John celebrated his 50th anniversary of playing the venue, and expressed his concern about the survival of the iconic nightclub. Comedian Bill Burr has hosted two of his Monday Morning Podcasts from the venue to raise money during the pandemic by selling limited edition signed posters.
James Vernon Taylor is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A six-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
Carole King Klein is an American singer-songwriter who has been active since 1958, initially as one of the staff songwriters at the Brill Building and later as a solo artist. She is the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century in the US, having written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100. King also wrote 61 hits that charted in the UK, making her the most successful female songwriter on the UK singles charts between 1962 and 2005.
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John William "Long John" Baldry was an English-Canadian blues singer, musician and voice actor. In the 1960s, he was one of the first British vocalists to sing the blues in clubs and shared the stage with many British musicians including the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Before achieving stardom, Rod Stewart and Elton John were members of bands led by Baldry. He enjoyed pop success in 1967 when "Let the Heartaches Begin" reached No. 1 in the UK, and in Australia where his duet with Kathi McDonald "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" reached No. 2 in 1980.
Sister Kate is singer Kate Taylor's first album, released in 1971.
Sir Elton Hercules John is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. Collaborating with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967 on more than 30 albums, John has sold over 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits in the UK Singles Chart and US Billboard Hot 100, including seven number ones in the UK and nine in the US, as well as seven consecutive number-one albums in the US. His tribute single "Candle in the Wind 1997", rewritten in dedication to Diana, Princess of Wales, sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the history of the UK and US singles charts. He has also produced records and occasionally acted in films. John owned Watford F.C. from 1976 to 1987 and from 1997 to 2002. He is an honorary life president of the club.
Douglas Lars Fieger was an American singer-songwriter-musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of the rock band The Knack. He co-wrote "My Sharona", the biggest hit song of 1979 in the U.S., with lead guitarist Berton Averre.
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The Bitter End is a 230-person capacity nightclub, coffeehouse and folk music venue in New York City's Greenwich Village. It opened in 1961 at 147 Bleecker Street under the auspices of owner Fred Weintraub. The club changed its name to The Other End in June 1975. However, after a few years the owners changed the club's name back to the more recognizable The Bitter End. It remains open under new ownership.
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