Legendary Sunset Strip club Whisky A Go Go opened January 16, 1964 and has been the launching pad for countless bands including LED ZEPPELIN, STEPPENWOLF, VAN HALEN, JOHNNY RIVERS, GUNS N’ ROSES, IGGY AND THE STOOGES, LINKIN PARK, MÖTLEY CRÜE and many, many others. In 2006, the all age venue was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
The Whisky played an important role in many musical careers, especially for bands based in Southern California. THE BYRDS, BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD, SMOKESTACK LIGHTNIN’ were regulars, and THE DOORS were the house band for a while — until they got 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. CHICAGO was the house band there when Jimi Hendrix saw them and asked them to go on tour and open for him.
To this day, bands vie for the chance to play there and consider themselves fortunate to perform in such hallowed ground.
Coming out this year will be a documentary called “The Rainbow” about the beloved and respected owner of Rainbow Bar & Grill, The Roxy Theatre and Whisky A Go Go, Mario Maglieri, and his family, and their significance to the Los Angeles rock scene these last five and a half decades. Maglieri passed away last May.
In 2016, the Whisky A Go Go launched an official TV channel on Roku. 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 54-year history.
As long as there has been a Los Angeles rock scene, there has been the Whisky A Go Go. An anchor on the Sunset Strip since its opening in 1964, the Whisky A Go Go has played host to rock ‘n’ roll’s most important bands to today’s up-and-coming new artists.