Artists turn L.A. streets into an urban art gallery any music fan would love.
In 2020, the Sunset Boulevard scene–from Rock Row to Dodger Stadium–has dramatically changed as a result of the pandemic and the nation’s turbulent political climate. And the changes extend beyond just the physical sense of seeing the famous, once-glamorous and vibrant landscape covered in bland blonde plywood and political graffiti.
The biggest impact is the deafening silencing of the world-class live rock and roll music that always seemed to be a ubiquitous part of the Sunset Strip. Regardless of when you visited Sunset’s Rock Row, there was always an exciting rock and roll energy and spontaneous soundtrack permeating the legendary thoroughfare and creating an intrinsic connection with visitors.
Until this year, there was always music in the night air, whether it was the power chords of superstars likeLita Ford or local faves like Budderside emanating from the Whisky A Go Go, or the rockin’ retro sounds of Missing Persons or L.A. rockers Warner Drive (pictured below) shaking the foundation of the Viper Room.
However, while the temporary closure of the Whisky, Viper Room and Roxy is tough on everyone, there is some good news.
Rock Row Refugee Stephen Pearcy Returns to Whisky, June 23
Before and after launching Sunset N’ Clark in 2006, we have been to some really great shows on the Sunset Strip. There was Motley Crue headlining the now-defunct Sunset Strip Music Festival in 2011, and Ozzy Osbourne before that, in 2009. But one of the most surprising shows that really stands out as being pretty stellar was Ratt legend StephenPearcy‘s headlining appearance at theRainbow‘s “Parking Lot Party” in 2015.
We’ve seen the original Ratt perform many times back in the day. And the band, with its signature two-guitar assault, always gave a stellar show. But years later at the Rainbow, while we still loved Ratt, we kinda weren’t expecting Pearcy, after having been off the Strip and out of the spotlight for a while, to rock as hard as he did.
Sure, his famous long raven locks now had a few streaks of silver, but the combustible energy was as raw as it was back in the day when tying bandanas to your shins was cool.
After chatting about his on again/off again stint in Ratt, Pearcy reminded the crowd that as the singer and songwriter behind all of the band’s hits, he “is Ratt.” He was referring of course to the other “Ratt” incarnations that were scurrying around on the club circuit at the time courtesy of his then-ex-band mates.
From the small stage adjacent to the Rainbow’s side patio, Pearcy proved that he is indeed Ratt by covering timeless anthems like “Wanted Man” and “Dance” with a ferocious energy that could power every neon sign over Sunset for a year.
Pearcy is bringing that energy back to the Sunset Strip on June 23, when the metal icon again headlines the Whisky A Go-Go in support of his latest album, Smash. Since the Rainbow’s “Parking Lot Party,” the Rock Row refugee has been back on the block to rock the Whisky a few times, including last fall.
There’s never been a better reason to ditch Netflix for a night and instead take in some kick-ass culture straight from the awesome ’80s. Expect to hear all the classics that still blow away anything on the radio today. The show starts at 10 p.m. Angel City Rockers, SJ Syndicate, Crowfly, and Retrofeelya are also on the bill.Tickets are $30.
RELIVE HOLLYWOOD’S HEAVY METAL GLORY DAYS WITH THE BEST OF RATT, DOKKEN, SKIDROW, CINDERELLA & MORE MONSTERS OF METAL AT CATHOUSE LIVE, AUG. 15 IN THE O.C.
Legendary club promoter Riki Rachtman is back to save the modern music scene by opening up a big ol’ can of heavy metal whoop ass on August 15 with the hotly anticipated return of one of his most famous Hollywood clubs, the Cathouse. And he’s bringing a few famous friends with him when Cathouse Live rocks The O.C. this summer.
Bringing added heat to Southern California’s summer concert season are legendary hard-rock frontmen Sebastian Bach, Stephen Pearcy (right), Tom Keifer, Don Dokken and Tracii Guns, whowill be covering the greatest hits of Skidrow, Ratt, Cinderella, Dokken and L.A. Guns, respectively, onthe Cathouse Live main stage at Irvine Meadows.
Theheavy metal hit-makers will besharing an all-star bill with Extreme, Trixter, Saigon Kick and Sunset Strip refugees Bang Tango, BulletBoys, Junkyard, Pretty Boy Floyd and Little Caesar. Plus, there are many more timeless metal bands that will keep Cathouse Live rockin’ from sun up ’til sun down on August 15.
Rachtman’s rockin’ summertime revival offers a rare opportunity for fans to get a taste of the famous club he launched in 1986 with some help from Faster Pussycat’s Taime Downe. Cathouse became a favorite hangout for the likes of everyone from Axl Rose (right) to Lita Ford and hosted every band from Pantera to Pearl Jam. The Hollywood hot spot, which closed its doors on Highland forever in the Nineties, is immortalized in classics by Motley Crüe, AliceCooper and Faster Pussycat.
We raise our Bics to Rachtman for bringing the best of classic metal back to SoCal this summer with Cathouse Live. And the best part? Tickets start at $15! Get more details here.
(Main photo: (clockwise from top, left to right): Don Dokken, Bang Tango, Sebastian Bach, Riki Rachtman, Trixter, Extreme, BulletBoys’ Marq Torien and Tracii Guns)
STEPHEN PEARCY BRINGS RATT’S HEAVY METAL HITS BACK TO SUNSET APRIL 12 TO ROCK RAINBOW’S ‘PARKING LOT’ PARTY
Few things can trump watching Pasadena-launched hard rock legends Van Halen shake the foundation of Hollywood Boulevard earlier this week for Jimmy Kimmel Live. However, there is another awesome artifact from the Eighties that will soon be crawling out of the cellar and right into the heart of West Hollywood!
On April 12, the Rainbow Bar & Grill will be welcoming back to Sunset Ratt rocker Stephen Pearcy, who is set to headline the hot spot’s annual Party in the Parking Lot with some of the greatest songs to ever put metal on the pop culture map.
From 2 to 10 p.m. next Sunday, the Rainbow (9015 Sunset) will once again be pulling out all the stops to rock WeHo in celebration of the L.A. landmark’s 43rd anniversary with a free concert by Pearcy along with former Guns N’ Roses and Slash’s Snakepit guitarist Gilby Clarke; L.A.’s Little Caesar, who scored a hit with a cool cover of “Chain of Fools” in 1990; Sunset Strip mainstays Barb Wire Dolls and more string-breaking, ball-busting bands.
The party is happening behind the Rainbow and Roxy, which will be gloriously transformed into one huge heavy metal parking lot!
Gazzarri’s and Whisky refugee Pearcy is headlining the concert event armed with an arsenal of timeless metal hits that spanned the Eighties, including: the 1984 smashes “Round and Round,” “Wanted Man, “Back for More”” and “Lack of Communication”; 1985’s “You’re in Love” and “Lay it Down”; 1986’s “Body Talk” and “Dance”; 1987’s “Slip of the Lip”; 1988’s “Way Cool Jr.”; the 1989 hits “Loving You’s a Dirty Job” and “I Want a Woman”; right through to 1990’s “Shame, Shame, Shame.” Plus, recent tracks like “Best of Me” from 2010’s Infestation prove that Pearcy still reigns as one of metal’s greatest frontmen.
The Rainbow party offers a rare chance to experience the best of Ratt live from the voice and songwriter behind the hits, because, as Pearcy confirmed earlier this year on the Eddie Trunk Podcast, he and the remaining members of the Sunset Strip-launched band won’t be reuniting anytime soon.
“If people wanna hear the band, they can hear Ratt music with me, singing my songs, but I doubt there will ever be another Ratt record, no” Pearcy told Trunk last February.
The 58-year-old singer, who ditched his rocky tenure in Ratt once again last year, is sure to shake up his Rainbow set with some of the guitar-heavy, hooks-packed songs from his scorching, hard-hitting 2011 solo album, Suckerpunch.
All things considered, one thing is certain: Rainbow’s Party in the Parking Lot is gonna take you back to the glorious metal years of the Eighties — and you won’t even need a hot tub time machine.
SUNSET & CLARK: 10 OF THE HARDEST-ROCKIN’ THINGS WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2015!
1. GETTING POISON’D
Metal fans looking for nothin’ but a good time won’t have to wait too much longer now that Poison has announced that the Sunset Strip-launched legends will be hitting the road again next year.
“It looks like it will happen [in 2015],” Bret Michaels recently confirmed to Cleveland Scene. “It’s been a few years. We just want to put together the right package and show to celebrate with everyone.”
2. OZZY OSBOURNE’S RETURN TO TV
The legendary P.O.F.D. himself is returning to reality television for new episodes of The Osbournes, which will find Ozzy Osbourne and the fam — Kelly, Jack and Sharon — giving fans another peek into their lives a decade after the hit show ended its run on MTV. This time around, The Osbournes will include, according to Sharon Osbourne, eight new episodes and will debut on VH-1 in early 2015.
3. STEPHEN PEARCY GETTING ‘SMASH’-ED
Sunset Strip legend and former Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy is following up his recent headlining gig at the Whisky A Go Go with the release of his fourth scorching solo album, Smash, due out in early 2015.
4. CHRIS CORNELL, MIKE MCCREADY & DUFF MCKAGAN RELAUNCHING MAD SEASON
The Nineties supergroup Mad Season is reuniting — sort of — on January 30 in Seattle. Mad Season founding members Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin will return with a revamped lineup that includes legendary Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan replacing late Walkabouts rocker John Baker, who passed away in 1999,and grunge god Chris Cornell taking the mic in place of Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley, who died in 2002.
The band, which is reportedly planning a new album, will be taking the stage with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra as part of SSO’s “Sonic Evolution” showcase. The once-in-a-lifetime concert will also feature works inspired by Nirvana and Pearl Jam, along with the world-premiere of McCready’s decidedly less grungy orchestral composition “Waking the Horizon.”
5. METALLICA DROPPING A NEW ALBUM…MAYBE
“I’m pretty convinced that 90% of the record is actually written; it’s just gotta be kind of assembled between all those riffs,” Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich revealed to Metal Zone last summer. “It’s just a matter of connecting this to this and sort of shaping it into a song. And so, I’m pretty psyched about that.”
In September, frontman James Hetfield (pictured) confirmed the long-awaited album’s progress, telling Pulse of Radio: “We’ve come up with enough material for a record, for sure…We just haven’t had the time to really focus on it and…start whittling at these masterpieces.”
Bassist Robert Trujillo, who previously reported that Death Magnetic producer Rick Rubin will also helm the new album, provided an update to RockCellar Magazine in early December.
“We’re just blueprinting everything right now,” said Truillo. “There are a lot of ideas, a lot of song bodies, you gotta go through the process. For me personally I’m really excited about what we’ve been able to jam out.”
The band has promised fans that they’ll be hearing Metallica’s tenth studio album by as early as 2015 and no later than 2016.
6. BULLETBOYS RETURNING TO SUNSET
L.A. metalheads BulletBoys are bringing the band’s awesome hard rock hits like “Smooth Up in Ya,” “Hard as a Rock,” the killer cover “For the Love of Money” and “Freakshow” to the Whisky A Go Go on March 19!
Frontman Marq Torien and most of the band’s founding lineup are still cranking out killer original rock jams, like the stellar “Symphony” from BB’s upcoming release Elefante. Get ticket details here.
7. SYSTEM OF A DOWN GETTING ‘SOUL’-FUL AT FORUM
SoCal superstars System of a Down are set to headline another hometown show in the new year, when they will rock Inglewood on April 6, bringing the band’s “Wake Up the Souls Tour” to the Forum.
8. ROCKING OUT TO A NEW KISS ALBUM
Iconic rock god Gene Simmons revealed to the Toronto Sun earlier this year that the world’s hardest-working rock band has its sights set on releasing new material very soon.
“I recently wrote a new song called ‘Your Wish is My Command,’ so the process has already started,” revealed Gene Simmons about the upcoming follow-up to 2012’s Monster.
9. MARILYN MANSON UNLEASHING ‘HELL’ ON EARTH
Shock rocker and antichrist superstar Marilyn Manson will be returning to the spotlight in 2015 to rock your face off with his ninth studio album, The Pale Emperor, which drops January 20. If the album’s kick-off single “Third Day of a Seven-Day Binge” is any indication of the weight of the new material, Pale Emperor is going to be stellar.
A day after the album drops, Manson will launch “The Hell Not Hallelujah Tour,” which snakes its way through the U.S. starting in Washington, D.C. on January 21 and ending in Vegas on February 14. The singer-songwriter will then head overseas to rock a few summer festivals. Unfortunately, Manson has not announced an L.A. date.
10. HEAVY METAL HITTING THE HIGH SEAS
Los Angeles bands Buckcherry (right) and Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society along with Limp Bizkit, P.O.D. and Filter lead a rockin’ roster of awesome acts that will be hitting the high seas February 2-6 as the star attractions of ShipRocked: The Ultimate Rock N’ Roll Cruise.
Sailing from Florida to the Bahamas and back, ShipRocked will also showcase the super-band Metal Allegiance, which includes current and former members of legendary metal bands Megadeth, Anthrax, Pantera, Testament and Dream Theatre.