The Canterbury Apartment
The Canterbury apartments was located at 1746 N. Cherokee Avenue, Hollywood California.
In 1978 it became the above ground home for the underground.
chauser's canterbury tales
The Canterbury is where the Go-Go's first grouped up and formed a band. In 1978 several of the original members were living here.
Former Canterbury Apartments on the
southeast corner of Yucca and Cherokee
The Canterbury Apartments was an old, run down apartment building located on the southeast
corner of Cherokee and Yucca.
Once upon a time, it was a somewhat posh Hollywood apartment complex just north of Hollywood Boulevard. However, in 1978, it was nothing more than a seedy run-down flophouse in a town that was seedy and run down. In fact, it was about to be closed down by the fire department for every kind of health and safety violation imaginable.
Hollywood, in the mid 1970's, was a burnt out place. Once fashionable buildings were abandoned and left derelict. Jobs left, the middle class left, and so did the banks, stores and restaurants.
Amongst the ruins, Hollywood Boulevard became a refuge for prostitutes, homeless indigents, run-away teenagers, flamboyant transvestites, drunks and drug dealers.
For the most part, those living at the Canterbury in 1978 had little or no regular income. The residents were primarily; criminals, pimps, junkies, newly arrived immigrants and crazies. Several somen were reported to have been raped there. Even the landlord had recently killed someone and suffered from mental derangement.
The hall lights and plumbing were perpetually broken. It wreaked of every fowl smell imaginable. The carpeting was putrid. Roach and residents ran amok. Drugs were consumed in unnatural quantities.
However, the Canterbury had some of the cheapest rents in the neighborhood, it was close to the Masque and rooms were available!
So - in this burnt out hovel, the punks set up their cribs. This is gonna be so much fun!
Courtyard of the Canterbury Apartments (1978)
2008 photo: tlc
Same view today
1978 - the Canterbury did have another thing going for it - location!
The Canterbury was only one block away from the punk's favorite underground club, the Masque. The Canterbury would be the perfect location to hang out after hours and host after show soirees. Who cared if you had to live in squaller. Wasn't that part of the whole punk ethos?
So - in early 1978, the Canterbury became a nest of punks. It happened so fast the neighborhood didn't know what hit the. It suddenly became Height Ashbury meets the Chelsea Hotel.
location ... location... location...
The Canterbury became one big animal house with no RA on duty. Here one could play musical instruments and play musical beds. Most nights started at the Masque and ended at the Canterbury. Life was one big slumber party.
Alice Bag on the rooftop of the Canterbury 1978
Same view today
Courtyard of the Canterbury
1978 photo: Jules Bates
Belinda Carlisle moved into the Canterbury with her friend Lorna Doom (the Germs bassist).
Jane Wiedlin lived there with her friend Debbie Dub, and her then boyfriend Terry Graham (the Bags).
Jane with Terry Graham
Margo was good friends with the whole X crowd and the plunger girls so Margot move there.
Other fellow punks included: Shannon Wilhelm, Kira Roessler, Pat Morrison, Craig Lee, Rob Ritter, Black Randy, Trudie Arguelles, Hellin Killer, Trixie and Mary Rat. Darby Crash use to hang out there but did not live there.
And - just like in high school, the cliques soon formed. You were included or excluded from the little sub groups forming up.