Tag Archives: west hollywood

SOUNDS OF SABBATH

RAINBOW

Return of Rainbow’s ‘Backyard Bash’ brought classic metal back home to the Sunset Strip.

It’s been a hell of a wait but on Sept. 5, the Rainbow Bar and Grill welcomed back all the heavy metal you could handle with the triumphant return of its annual Backyard Bash, an all-day live concert event featuring national and local bands cranking out heavy metal hits in the parking lot behind the Roxy and Rainbow.

After having its spring events canceled twice and their fall event once, the Sept. 5 Backyard Back marked the first time the Rainbow is hosting a rock and roll party of this magnitude. And it did not disappoint.

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BACK FOR MORE

Gilby Clark covering the Rolling Stones at Ultimate Jam Night Hollywood

Ultimate Jam Night Hollywood officially confirms it’s coming back to the Sunset Strip in August!

It has been a long couple of months trying to get used to some kind of balance of a normal life during this crazy corona situation that’s happening around the world. It’s been especially tough in Los Angeles County, where the mask mandate just seems to fluctuate with the wind.

However, I received some great news recently as I was walking down Sunset and passed the Whisky A Go-Go as it was hosting a surprise show by Yungblud.

I spotted Whisky’s owner and had to ask about the return of Ultimate Jam Night Hollywood, which is the greatest thing to happen to the world-famous club since The Doors was its house band. Mikael Maglieri confirmed that it was “definitely coming back, most likely in August.”

Eagles of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes showed up to Jam Night on his motorcycle

Then, a short time later, the official Instagram page of Ultimate Jam Night Hollywood confirmed that the night is coming back on August 24. Nothing could be more awesome than hearing that news, because that one single night is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen of the Whisky A Go-Go in my life, and I have seen plenty of shows there by the biggest artists on the planet going back as far as the awesome Eighties.

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WHISKY CURES EVERYTHING

Five of the hardest rockin’ shows headed to the Whisky A Go-Go in 2021.

Sure, we all know that the year 2020 sucks worse than that recent Tommy Lee album, but with a promising vaccine reportedly on the way, there are plenty of awesome concerts that we’re looking forward to in 2021 as we start to make up for lost time.And thanks to Pfizer, we’ll be doing it mask-free and close enough to scare the band. (That was a Fast Times at Ridgemont High joke.)

While we certainly love, respect and appreciate livestream shows from our favorite bands and nightclubs, nothing can ever replace the euphoria and excitement and the intrinsic connection with bands and fellow fans that a live concert offers. Catching concerts at the Whisky A Go-Go–which I’ve done countless times for decades–is a unique experience that wows all the senses.

Whisky A Go-Go

Setting the scene for virtually every Whisky show is the ubiquitous aroma of fine cannabis that wafts above small cliques of Whisky patrons usually seen hanging out in front of the club between sets. The contact high provides a decent buzz that adds to the excitement of seeing the awesome interior of the legendary venue and its unique rock artifacts that cover its walls and pay tribute to past Whisky headliners and house bands like Motley Crue and The Doors.

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KICK OUT THE ‘JAM’

Whisky A Go-Go

Whisky’s ‘Jam Night’ delivers more treats than tricks in October.

Tuesday nights in WeHo have never been the same since “Ultimate Jam Night Hollywood” took over the Whisky a few years back. The weekly two-hour showcase of live music has brought back to the Sunset Strip neighborhood an authentic and always awesome rock and roll experience not seen nor heard since the days when Axl, Nikki and Blackie strode its storied streets. In fact, many of the stellar musicians in the “Ultimate Jam” band as well as the weekly surprise guests have likely rocked a stage alongside iconic bands like Guns N’ Roses and Quiet Riot at one time or another. The Tuesday night “Jam” band includes Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot) Matt Starr (Mr. Big), and Mitch Perry (Edgar Winter Group).1OAK

When not rocking the Whisky’s stage as frontman for the new revival of Sweet, staggeringly talented vocalist Paulie Z hosts “Ultimate Jam Night,” effortlessly segueing between announcing the artists and raising the roof with the house band on a few of the evening’s cover tunes. And all through October, Z and his crew were serving up more treats than tricks.

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‘POWER’ TRIPPIN’

Gene Simmons- Main

Book Soup offers KISS fans chance to snag Gene Simmons’ autograph.

Multi-talented KISS legend Gene Simmons‘ new Harper Collins book, On Power: My Journey Through the Corridors of Power and How You Can Get More Power, is set to hit bookshelves on Nov. 14.

The prolific author’s self-help/business guide is a follow up to Simmons’ best-selling 2014 tome, Me, Inc. and will set you back about $16.

Fans pre-ordering On Power through West Hollywood’s Book Soup, however, will get an added bonus for the same price. Select copies pre-ordered from the Sunset Strip book shop will be autographed by the Demon himself and are set to land in the store on Nov. 14. Book Soup is one of only two booksellers worldwide offering the limited-edition signed bookplates.

To pre-order On Power, visit or contact Book Soup, at 8818 Sunset Blvd.

GUN CONTROL

Hollywood Roses

Hollywood Roses Revisits Guns N’ Roses at Whisky, Feb. 14

hollywood-roses-axl

Sure, on Valentine’s Day, you can always do the usual wine and roses thing with your better half.

However, we have a much better suggestion: the Night Train and Roses thing!

On February 14, toast the evening with some Night Train while getting your faces rocked off by the sounds of Hollywood hit-makers Guns N’ Roses at local faves Hollywood Roses‘ headlining gig at the world-famous Whisky A Go-Go!

The Whisky is located in the heart of the Strip’s Rock Row at 8901 Sunset Boulevard at Clark Street. Get more details and tickets for Hollywood Roses’ Valentine’s Day show here.

But don’t blame us if the date starts to feel a little uncomfortable should the band break out “Used to Love Her”!

ART ATTACK

snc-titleMetal-Loving, Groundbreaking Urban Artists–and a Few Superstar Creatives–Are Turning L.A. into the Guerilla-Art Capital of the World. Eat Your Heart Out, East Village

By David Ciminelli 

HARINGHanging out in NYC’s East and West Villages in the ’80s/early ’90s, it wasn’t uncommon to spot cool and edgy urban art left by creative transplants like Keith Haring and Mark Kostabi and locals like SAMO/Basquiat and Robert Longo. (Nowadays, you can still find some of these celebrated artists’ sidewalk carvings and fading murals throughout NYC, if you know where to look.)

CyrcleToday, throughout Greater Los Angeles, there’s a new crew of mega-talented street artists leaving an artful touch on the cityscape and transforming the Sunset Strip and various parts of L.A. into an attention-grabbing urban art gallery of wickedly-creative pop art. Prolific standouts in the urban jungle of creativity include current and future superstar artists like ThrashBird, BeccaAnnie Preece, Alec Monopoly, David Flores, Plastic JesusPhil Lumbang, Cyrcle., ThankYouXWrdsmth, Teachr1, ImHuge, Trusto, SepterHedHomo Riot, Mr. Brainwash and Destroy All Design.

Roxy

Take a virtual tour below of these and other artists’ amazing artwork that Sunset and Clark has stumbled upon over the past few years during our travels up and down the Sunset Strip, from the PCH to DTLA, and throughout the Southland. A few world-renown artists, including the edgy and awe-inspiring Banksy, Kenny Scharf, Retna and Shepard Fairey, also gifted the City of Angels with colorful original creations, both sanctioned by the city and guerilla-style. Check ’em out and get inspired by awesome artworks that all share a rock and roll edge.

Beatles Banditos

Stones art, Hlywd, 2010

Johnny Cash

Destroy All Design

KISS

Alec Monopoly

Killer Mickey

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LET THERE BE ROCK!

AC/DC

ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT ANGUS YOUNG!

The Sunset Strip welcomed in a new neighbor this week, when Angus Young landed on the boulevard in a slick new West Hollywood billboard hyping AC/DC‘s new hit album, Rock or Bust.

acdc

It’s great to see the Aussie guitar god overlooking the strip between La Cienega and Alta Loma, especially when Rock Row near the Whisky and Roxy is suffering from the urban blight of not one but two (!!) One Direction billboards featuring the boy band peering down on the intersection of Sunset and Clark/San Vicente.

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HARD LUCK WOMEN

PRISS

YOU WANTED THE BEST (KISS TRIBUTE BAND), YOU GOT THE BEST: PRISS AT VIPER ROOM, NOVEMBER 14

PRISS-BASSHey, Iron Maidens, we’ve found the perfect band should the female Maiden cover group ever decide to start its own Metalpalooza festival: PRISS, a face-painted, leather-costumed, hard-rockin’ KISS tribute band that is fronted by four fierce female rockers.

The L.A. band, which certifiably kicks ass — check ’em out here — will be heading to the Sunset Strip on Friday, November 14, to bring the hits from one of the greatest rock bands on the planet to the Viper Room. The 21-and-over show also features two more really good local bands that are definitely worth checking out: Spirit in the Room and Breaking Arrows.


Even the “God of Thunder” himself, Gene Simmons, has given PRISS a seal of approval, featuring the band on Family Jewels last year, when Shannon Tweed joined PRISS on stage as “Queen Simmons.”


The ladies of PRISS not only prove that KISS’ famous costumes — and various incarnations of them — look even better on a sexy-edgy all-female band, they are also remarkable musicians that rock just as hard as the ground-breaking, multi-platinum group that inspired them.

PRISS-3PRISS is comprised of starry-eyed guitarist-vocalist Doll Stanley (Moa Henriksson); darling demon bassist-vocalist and “Goddess of Thunder,” Jean Simone (Andrea Zermeno); spacey lead six-string slinger Lace Frehley (Jennifer Paro); and foxy feline drummer Luda Criss (Judy Cocuzza).

Viper Room is located in the heart of West Hollywood, at 8852 Sunset Boulevard at Larrabee. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are only $10. (Seriously, $10!) Get tickets and more information here.

The only reason you can possibly have for missing PRISS on the Sunset Strip is that you’re laid up in a KISS Kasket! See you at the show!

Photos: prissarmy.com

CRÜE’S LAST CALL

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DECADES OF DECADENCE TO CLIMAX IN L.A. IN 2016, WHEN MÖTLEY CRÜE RETURNS TO ROCK SUNSET ONE LAST TIME

‘After New Year’s [2016], we’ll do three nights at one of the arenas in L.A. and then do a special show at the Whisky-a-Go-Go on our 35th anniversary.’

VINCE NEIL (Las Vegas Weekly)

SONG REMAINS THE SAME

Led Zeppelin 2

BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE YOU ROCK & ROLLED? GET SET TO SHOUT AT THE DEVIL & DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY ONCE AGAIN! 

Not enough metal in your summer? Bummed about the closing of Rock Row landmark Hollywood SoundCheck? Disappointed by the lack of classic metal bands in the SSMF 2014 lineup? Don’t fret. A good mix of hard rockin’ fan bands is coming to a stage near you to save your end-of-summer partying.

Motley Inc.On September 12, a hard rocking trio of cover bands paying homage to three of the biggest rock groups in history–Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue–will set their amps to 11 and rattle the roof of House of Blues Anaheim. Giving L.A. rock fans a good reason to make the commute over to The O.C. is Atomic Punks, the L.A. Music Awards-winning tribute band whose spot-on covers of early VH tracks has made fans out of metal aficionados like Bret Michaels and Howard Stern; Crue-worshipping rockers Motley Inc.; and Wanted, which will attempt to rock a million–or a couple hundred–faces with scorchin’ renditions of Bon Jovi’s runaway hits. Get tickets and additional details here.

Molly RingwaldsThe next night, on September 13, head over to House of Blues Sunset for a trip back to the awesome ’80s with Brit band The Molly Ringwalds. The costumed cover rockers’ roster of retro rock and pop classics generally includes tunes by Sunset Strip icons like Guns N’ Roses, The Go-Gos, Motley Crue and Poison. Timeless tracks by Eighties metal monsters like Twisted Sister and Whitesnake also often wind their way into The Molly Ringwalds’ set list. And considering that these cover rockers are from Sheffield, England, you can expect to hear some anthemic hits from the group’s hometown heroes, Def Leppard.

pyromaniaWanna get rocked? The Whisky A Go Go is the spot to head to on September 16, when fellow Def Leppard lovers Pyromania takes center stage as headliners of the return of AXS TV’s concert show The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands. Get more details and free tickets here.

Stroll the Sunset Strip east the following week and hit up House of Blues Sunset for a night of good times, rad times when Led Zeppelin 2 cranks up its amps on September 25. Winding down its national tour through America, the Chicago-based band sticks so close to Zeppelin’s repertoire that you can expect to get a contact high just by watching. It’s also why Metallica guitar legend Kirk Hammet has publicly declared, “These guys sound fucking exactly like Led Zeppelin!”

HEAVY MENTAL

Robert Trujillo

ROBERT TRUJILLO TO REUNITE WITH MASS MENTAL AUG. 26 

mass-mental-whiskyMetallica bassist Robert Trujillo is keeping good on a promise made earlier this summer and is heading back to the Sunset Strip to rock the Whisky A Go Go with a reunited Mass Mental on August 26.

The all-ages show will feature Trujillo once again jamming with his funky, pre-Metallica, art-rock bandmates: vocalist Benji Webbe, bassist Armand Sabal-Lecco and drummer Ken Schalk.

Making the historic heavy metal experience even more cool is the addition of guest vocalist Whitfield Crane of Ugly Kid Joe.

The L.A. show is a warm-up gig for Mass Mental’s September 6 slot at Germany’s Warwick Open Day music fest.

Get tickets for the Whisky show here.

GET THE PARTY STARTED

viper-room-aniversary

VIPER ROOM FINALLY REACHES DRINKING AGE

Viper RoomLandmark Sunset Strip rock club The Viper Room celebrates its 21st anniversary this month as one of the city’s best venues for live shows. To mark the milestone, from August 11 to 16, The Viper Room, at 8852 Sunset Boulevard, is hosting a week of special shows featuring an electric and eclectic mix of music, including an all-star salute to classic rock. Check out the details here.

Great acoustics, fantastic sight lines from anywhere in the club, comfy vibe and an always awesome roster of diverse rock-oriented artists has kept Viper Room one of Sunset and Clark’s favorite hot spots on the Strip since we first stepped foot in the club not too long after it first opened its doors. Here’s some of our favorite Viper Room moments from the first 21 years…

Warner DriveFAVORITE SHOW BY A LOCAL ACT:

After randomly stumbling upon Warner Drive one night during a multi-band bill a few years ago, the Hollywood rockers immediately became–and remain–our favorite local band. And we made that decision before the band was done with its first song.

 

Big B

FAVORITE SHOW BY A NATIONAL ACT:

Bryan “Big B” Mahoney in 2012. The hip-hoppin’ white trash renegade rocked the Viper Room hardcore with nothing but a mic, a kick-ass three-piece band and an arsenal of redneck party anthems. The set still has us baffled as to why B isn’t bigger than Kid Rock yet.

 


Extra FancyBEST VIPER ROOM MOMENT:

Checking out a multi-band bill in the mid-Nineties and watching singer-songwriter Brian Grillo (right), frontman of legendary, in-your-face, Silver Lake-launched homocore band Extra Fancy, literally drop his mic mid-show and jump off the Viper Room stage before a packed crowd to chase a heckling homophobe right out of the club!

 

 

anthony-kiedis

 

FAVORITE ROCK STAR SIGHTING:

The time we turned and noticed that the guy standing next to us at the back of the club nodding his head to the music at a random show was one of our all-time favorite artists, Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis.

 

 

 

GN'R

COOLEST VIPER ROOM SHOW EVER:

In what was probably the hardest rockin’ show since Guns N’ Roses used to rock Sunset, Viper Room regulars the Lonely Drunks Club Band celebrated the 25th anniversary of Appetite for Destruction in 2012 by inviting the vocalists for some of L.A.’s best bands, including Brando’s Island and GN’R tribute band Hollywood Roses, to front the mic on a track-by-track cover set paying homage to the hits-packed metal classic. Axl would approve.

 

 

Viper Room - David FloresMOST INDELIBLE IMPRESSION:

In addition to bringing in some of our favorite national acts and introducing us to great local bands like Warner Drive and Lonely Drunks Club Band, The Viper Room has also helped to hype some very cool visual artists whose original work has adorned the club’s exterior over the years, including our faves David Flores and Becca.

 

never-the-brideMOST SURREAL ROCK MOMENT:

If we weren’t there to witness it, we wouldn’t have believed it when then-newly signed Atlantic artists Never the Bride performed a record release show for the British band’s 1995 self-titled major label debut that included a powerful cover of “Going to California” that was indisputably on par with Led Zeppelin‘s untouchable original.

SIGN O’ THE TIMES

flipagram

 

OLD TOWER RECORDS SUNSET LOCATION IS ‘FLIPPED’ AGAIN

Tower_Records_Sunset1WeHo has gotten yet another facelift! Innovative start-up Flipagram is bringing some youthful, edgy ambiance back to the old Tower Records Sunset location as the newest proprietor of the famous property in the heart of West Hollywood.

live-on-sunsetAfter Tower toppled in 2006, the shell of Tower Records Sunset at the corner of Sunset and Horn had it famous yellow and red exterior painted over numerous times in various shades as it housed a few different businesses of varying success.

SAMSUNGLive on Sunset clothing store settled into the warehouse-size building for a few years before calling it quits in 2013. The site then became a random parking lot for a few months before a Halloween costumes pop-up shop rented the space last fall.

abandoned tower sunsetFlipagram set up shop on Sunset in June after launching online late last year. The good news is that the company seems to have a lot more in common with the former record retailer than other businesses that were housed at the old Tower location. Music-focused Flipagram lets users synch their choice of hit songs to their cell photos to create “short video stories” via the free app. It’s kind of like Instagram but with an added dose of cool courtesy of some Motley Crue or Def Leppard. And what could be better than sharing your photographs synched to “Photograph”?!?

‘HOUSE’ PARTY

Motley Crue
SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES: SSMF 2011 honorees Motley Crue at House of Blues’ pre-fest party.

HOUSE OF BLUES CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF ROCKIN’ SUNSET

sunset-strip-vWe raise a toast today to House of Blues Sunset, which is celebrating 20 years of kicking ass on the world-famous Sunset Strip by bringing in some of the greatest rock shows around during its first two decades of decadence.

Aerosmith helped House of Blues Sunset kick open its doors with a show by the hit-making hard rockers 20 years ago today, April 22. Since then, the local hot spot in the heart of WeHo has hosted a rockin’ roster of local and international music artists. Further adding to its street cred, House of Blues Sunset is also the official host to the Sunset Strip Music Festival‘s annual pre-event kick-off party honoring SSMF’s honorees.

SAMSUNGSome of our favorite shows over the past two decades include Pat Benatar, Foo Fighters, 311, The Doors, L.A. rock legends XTenacious D, Jars of Clay, Goo Goo Dolls, Social Distortion, Steel Panther, local faves Warner Drive (right) and cheering on Motley Crue at the band’s 2011 SSMF event, to name just a few of the superstar artists that have lured us back to Sunset and Olive again and again.

To celebrate the milestone, House of Blues Sunset is offering a 20 percent discount at the hot spot’s restaurant and store.