Whisky a Go Go

Last updated
Whisky a Go Go
"The Whisky"
Whisky a Go-Go.jpg
The Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip
Address8901 Sunset Blvd
Location West Hollywood, California 90069
Coordinates 34°5′26″N118°23′8″W / 34.09056°N 118.38556°W / 34.09056; -118.38556 Coordinates: 34°5′26″N118°23′8″W / 34.09056°N 118.38556°W / 34.09056; -118.38556
Type Nightclub
Genre(s) Rock and roll, pop, alternative rock, punk rock, ska, new wave, heavy metal, glam rock, glam metal, alternative metal
Capacity 500
OpenedJanuary 16, 1964
Website
whiskyagogo.com

Whisky a Go Go is a nightclub in West Hollywood, California. It is located at 8901 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip, corner North Clark Street, opposite North San Vicente Boulevard, northwest corner. The club has been the launching pad for bands including Iggy And The Stooges, Alice Cooper (who recorded a live album there in 1969), The Doors, No Doubt, System of a Down, The Byrds, The Germs, Buffalo Springfield, Steppenwolf, Van Halen, Johnny Rivers, X, Led Zeppelin, KISS, Guns N' Roses, Who Knows,Death, AC/DC, Linkin Park, and Mötley Crüe. In 2006, the venue was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [1]

Nightclub entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night

A nightclub, music club or club, is an entertainment venue and bar that usually operates late into the night. A nightclub is generally distinguished from regular bars, pubs or taverns by the inclusion of a stage for live music, one or more dance floor areas and a DJ booth, where a DJ plays recorded music. The upmarket nature of nightclubs can be seen in the inclusion of VIP areas in some nightclubs, for celebrities and their guests. Nightclubs are much more likely than pubs or sports bars to use bouncers to screen prospective clubgoers for entry. Some nightclub bouncers do not admit people with informal clothing or gang apparel as part of a dress code. The busiest nights for a nightclub are Friday and Saturday night. Most clubs or club nights cater to certain music genres, such as house music or hip hop. Many clubs have recurring club nights on different days of the week. Most club nights focus on a particular genre or sound for branding effects.

West Hollywood, California City in California, United States

West Hollywood, commonly referred to as WeHo, is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Incorporated in 1984, it is home to the Sunset Strip. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, its population was 34,399. It is considered one of the most prominent gay villages in the United States.

Sunset Boulevard thoroughfare in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Los Angeles, United States

Sunset Boulevard is a boulevard in the central and western part of Los Angeles County, California that stretches from the Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades east to Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles. It is a major thoroughfare in the cities of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, as well as several districts in Los Angeles.

Contents

History

In 1958, [2] the first Whisky a Go-Go in the United States opened in Chicago, Illinois, on the corner of Rush and Chestnut streets. [3] [4] [5] It has been called the first real American discothèque. A franchise was opened in 1966 on M Street in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., by restaurateur Jacques Vivien.

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States.

Illinois State of the United States of America

Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

It owes its name to the first discothèque, the Whisky à Go-Go, established in Paris in 1947 by Paul Pacine. [6]

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, as well as the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018. The city is a major railway, highway, and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, and is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, but the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015.

The Sunset Strip Whisky was founded by Elmer Valentine, Phil Tanzini, Shelly Davis, and attorney Theodore Flier and opened on January 16, 1964. [7] [8] In 1972, Valentine, Lou Adler, Mario Maglieri and others started the Rainbow Bar & Grill on the Sunset Strip. [9] In 1966, Valentine, Adler and others founded The Roxy Theatre. [8] Lou Adler bought into the Whisky in the late 1970s. Valentine sold his interest in the Whisky a Go Go in the 1990s but retained an ownership in the Rainbow Bar & Grill and the Roxy Theatre until his death in December 2008. [8]

Elmer Valentine was the co-founder of three famous nightclubs on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California: the Whisky a Go Go, The Roxy Theatre and the Rainbow Bar & Grill.

Lou Adler American record producer

Lester Louis Adler is a Grammy Award-winning American record producer, music executive, talent manager, songwriter, film director, film producer, and co-owner of the famous Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, California.

Rainbow Bar and Grill Bar and restaurant in California, United States

The Rainbow Bar and Grill is a bar and restaurant on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, United States, adjacent to the border of Beverly Hills, California. Its address is 9015 Sunset Boulevard.

Although the club was billed as a discothèque, suggesting that it offered only recorded music, the Whisky a Go Go opened with a live band led by Johnny Rivers and DJ Rhonda Lane, spinning records between sets from a suspended cage at the right of the stage.

Johnny Rivers American musician

Johnny Rivers is an American rock 'n' roll singer, songwriter, guitarist, and record producer. His repertoire includes pop, folk, blues, and old-time rock 'n' roll. Rivers charted during the 1960s and 1970s but remains best known for a string of hit singles between 1964 and 1968, among them "Memphis", "Mountain of Love", "The Seventh Son", "Secret Agent Man", "Poor Side of Town", "Baby I Need Your Lovin'", and "Summer Rain".

Disc jockey person who plays recorded music for an audience

A disc jockey, more commonly abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays existing recorded music for a live audience. Most common types of DJs include radio DJ, club DJ who performs at a nightclub or music festival and turntablist who uses record players, usually turntables, to manipulate sounds on phonograph records. Originally, the disc in disc jockey referred to gramophone records, but now DJ is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any source, including cassettes, CDs or digital audio files on a CDJ or laptop. The title 'DJ' is commonly used by DJs in front of their real names or adopted pseudonyms or stage names. In recent years it has become common for DJs to be featured as the credited artist on tracks they produced despite having a guest vocalist that performs the entire song: like for example Uptown Funk.

Early Whisky matchbox. Note the alpha-numeric phone number and French style Whisky a Go Go Matchbox.jpg
Early Whisky matchbox. Note the alpha-numeric phone number and French style

The Whisky a Go Go was one of the places that popularized go-go dancing. Elmer Valentine, in a 2006 Vanity Fair article, recalled arranging to have a female DJ play records between Rivers' sets so patrons could continue dancing. But because there was not enough room on the floor for a DJ booth, he had a glass-walled booth mounted high above the floor. [8] [10] A contest was held for the female DJ job but when the young winner called Valentine on the night of the opening and tearfully said her mother forbade her from doing it, Valentine recruited the club's cigarette girl, Patty Brockhurst. Valentine quickly hired two more female dancers, one of whom, Joanna Labean, designed the official go-go-girl costume of fringed dress and white boots. [10]

Go-go dancing form of nightclub entertainment

Go-go dancers are dancers who are employed to entertain crowds at nightclubs or other venues where music is played. Go-go dancing originated in the early 1960s, by some accounts when women at the Peppermint Lounge in New York City began to get up on tables and dance the twist. Some claim that go-go dancing originated at, and was named after, the very popular Los Angeles rock club Whisky a Go Go which opened in January 1964, but the opposite may be true – the club chose the name to reflect the already popular craze of go-go dancing. Many 1960s-era clubgoers wore miniskirts and knee-high, high-heeled boots, which eventually came to be called go-go boots. Night club promoters in the mid‑1960s then conceived the idea of hiring women dressed in these outfits to entertain patrons.

Vanity Fair is a magazine of popular culture, fashion, and current affairs published by Condé Nast in the United States.

Go-go boot low-heeled style of womens fashion boot first introduced in the mid-1960s

Go-go boots are a low-heeled style of women's fashion boot first introduced in the mid-1960s. The original go-go boots, as defined by André Courrèges in 1964, were white, low-heeled, and mid-calf in height, a specific style which is sometimes called the Courrèges boot. Since then, the term go-go boot has come to include the knee-high, square-toed boots with block heels that were very popular in the 1960s and 1970s; as well as a number of variations including kitten heeled versions and colours other than white.

Rivers rode the Whisky-born go-go craze to national fame with records recorded partly Live at the Whisky. In addition, The Miracles recorded the song "Going to a Go-Go" in 1966 (which was covered in 1982 by The Rolling Stones), and Whisky a Go Go franchises sprang up all over the country. [11] Arguably, the rock and roll scene in Los Angeles was born when the Whisky started operation; because of its status as a historic music landmark, the venue was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. [12]

The Whisky played an important role in many musical careers, especially for bands based in Southern California. The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Smokestack Lightnin', and Love were regulars, and The Doors were the house band for a while – until the debut of the "Oedipal section" of "The End" got them fired. Van Morrison's band Them had a two-week residency in June 1966, with The Doors as the opening act. On the last night they all jammed together on "Gloria". Frank Zappa's The Mothers of Invention got their record contract based on a performance at the Whisky. The Turtles performed there when their newest (and biggest-selling) single "Happy Together" was becoming a hit, only to lose their new bassist, Chip Douglas (who had arranged the song), to The Monkees; guitarist Michael Nesmith invited him to become their producer (he returned to the Turtles a year later, to produce them). Neil Diamond also played at the Whisky on occasion. Metallica bassist Cliff Burton was recruited by the band after they watched him play a show there with his band Trauma. At one point singer and actress E.G. Daily had a residency at the Whisky.

The Whisky a Go Go in 2007 Whisky a Go-Go - 2007-05-03.jpg
The Whisky a Go Go in 2007

Arthur Lee of Love immortalized the Whisky in the song "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale". "Here they always play my songs," he would sing on the side two opener of Forever Changes . The Whisky was located on the strip between the streets Clark and Hilldale. British rockers Status Quo also referenced the venue in their 1978 song "Long Legged Linda" with the lines, "Well, if you're ever in Los Angeles and you've got time to spare / Take a stroll up Sunset Boulevard, you'll find the Whisky there."

In 1966, the Whisky was one of the centers of what fans call the Sunset Strip police riots. In the mid-1970s, the Whisky hosted stage presentations, including the long-running show The Cycle Sluts. During the early 1990s, the Whisky hosted a number of Seattle-based musicians who would be a part of the grunge movement, including Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Melvins, Fitz of Depression and 7 Year Bitch. [13] Tracks recorded from a February 12, 1992 concert of Hole appear on their EP, Ask For It (1995). In 1994 Oasis played at the Whisky too. In 1997, System of a Down played at the Whisky. The band were unsigned at the time, and played songs from their early demo tapes, in particular containing the band's only live performance of the song "Blue".

On September 12, 2016, the Whisky a Go Go launched an official TV channel on the Roku Connected TV platform. The Whisky a Go Go channel opens the Whisky's doors to a global audience with live music videos, full concerts and related content spanning its 52-year history. [14]

See also

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References

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  3. "Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection >> Results >> Details". Indiana University Archives. May 1966. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  4. "Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection >> Results >> Details". Indiana University Archives. May 1966. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  5. "1967 Discotheque Club Chicago with Marquee of Rovin Kind & G | Flickr – Condivisione di foto!". Flickr. March 22, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  6. Brewster, Bill; Broughton, Frank (1999). Last Night a Dj Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey. Grove Press. p. 50. ISBN   9781555846114.
  7. "Whisky Articles". Whisky a Go Go. January 16, 1964. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  8. 1 2 3 4 McLellan, Dennis (December 7, 2008). "Elmer Valentine, co-founder of Whisky a Go Go, dies at 85". Los Angeles Times. pp. B11.
  9. Sandomir, Richard (May 11, 2017). "Mario Maglieri, Who Coddled Rockers at His Clubs, Dies at 93". The New York Times . p. B14.
  10. 1 2 Kamp, David (September 4, 2006). "Live At The Whisky". Vanity Fair.
  11. Perrone, Pierre (March 25, 2009). "Elmer Valentine: Promoter behind Los Angeles' Whisky a Go Go and Roxy clubs". The Independent.
  12. "Take a stroll through music history at Hollywood's Whisky a Go Go". AXS. June 12, 2014.
  13. "Whisky A Go-Go". Tripod - The Sunset Strip. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  14. Smith, Kevin (September 12, 2016). "Whisky a Go Go's new streaming channel allows you to watch iconic live music performances". Los Angeles Daily News.