- January 30 - 31, 1981
- June 17, 1981
9009 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA
the Roxy Theater
2008 photo: tlc
By this time the GoGos played the Roxy, they stopped pretending that Kathy Valentine was only a temporary replacement as their bass player. She's in the band. You Go girl!
2008 photo: tlc
The 450-seat Roxy Theater opened September 23, 1973. It was next door to the Rainbow Bar 'n Grill which opened in 1972 and owned by Elmer Valentine, Lou Adler and others. (Before becoming the Rainbow - it was the Villa Nova Italian restaurant.
2008 photo: tlc
The Roxy opened in a building that formerly housed Chuck Landis's Largo burlesque club. The Largo featured comedians and the most exotic girls in filmland.
Before it was Largo it had been the Westside Market and Hazen's market.
Ad from the early 1960's
Backers of the Roxy Theater included three major record company executives - producer Lou Adler of Dunhill and Ode Records, Peter Asher and David Geffen - head of Electra - Asylum Records and partner in the Geffen-Roberts management company. They had record company connections with many recording artist including; Carole King, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Linda Ronstadt, Eagles, J.D. Souther, BB King, Miles Davis and many of the California Sound country rock bands from the '70's.
Other backers of the club included two veteran club operators, Elmer Valentine of the Whisky and Chuck Landis of the Largo. Needless to say the Roxy quickly became the sweetheart club of the music industry.
Lou Adler wanted this new venue to attract only top notch artist who an opportunity to play in a small, attractive and intimate Los Angeles setting.
The Roxy promised the best lighting, best sound, dressing rooms (with carpeting and showers)... everything provided to make a performer comfortable.
Upstairs was the after-hours facility - On the Rox - a bar/lounge area available for receptions and private partys. There was mural with dozens of rock stars, past and present.
On The Rox became a favorite music celebrity hang out. Regulars here included John Lennon, Keith Moom and Harry Nilsson. This is where John Belushi partied the night before he overdosed at the Chateau Marmont in 1982.
Before the Roxy opened, Doug Weston's Troubadour in West Hollywood was the most important showcase of contemporary folk and folk-rock talent. Record company executives and agents had noticed the impact appearances at the Troubadour had on the careers of Elton John, Cat Stevens, the Tom Waits, Carly Simon, the Byrds, Lenny Bruce and many more.
With it's plush environment and record industry connections, the Roxy Theater would become the Troubadour's stiffest competition. Indeed, the Troubadour struggled for years afterwards.
It even pulled business away from the Whisky A GoGo.
The Roxy was conveniently located across the street from this building at 9000 Sunset Bouevard.
2008 photo: tlc
In the mid 1960's and '70's, this 16 story building became ground zero for music business big wigs such as in Warner/Elektra/Atlantic/Asylum Corp. Many music executives music industry were officed here. And it was not far from the Cock'n'Bull restaurant at 9170 Sunset Boulevard - popular with celebrities.
On September 1973 Neil Young opened the new Roxy theater with a three day engagement.
Hundreds of bands played the Roxy, including:
Neil YoungRichie HavensCheech & ChongJoe WalshDavid SoutherJakson BrownBB KingTemptationsFrank Zappa
Rick NelsonThe Rocky Horror Show (9 month run)Joe CockerNew York Dolls
- March 1974 the Roxy Theater hosted the American debut of London's The Rocky Horror Show starring Tim Curry before it went to New York.
Bruce SpringsteenEric BurdonTower of PowerManhattan TransferSuzie QuatroSmokey RobinsonHolliesTaj MahalJanis IanThe TubesHall and Oats
1975 was a tough time for L.A.'s clubs. The record business was in a slump. Without record company fianacial support, the Whisky's future was uncertain. For a couple years it stopped showcasing live local acts and turned into a disco. The Troubadour's struggled but shut down for awhile.
After Rocky Horror Show left - the Roxy continued it's policy of only booking good solid acts. They wanted to keep the Roxy a high class place - even if it meant keeping it dark for a long time.
Del ShannonElvin BishopGeorge CarlinSarah VaughanElliott MurphyBoz ScaggsRobert PalmerBill WithersChaka KhanBob MarleyJohn SebastianDr. HookRoger McGuinnWarren ZevonThe RamonesJ J CaleFlo and EddieDionGraham ParkerDon McLeanLou Reed
Chuck BerryManfred MannPeter GabrielFour SeasonsMuddy WatersKiki DeeAndy GibbBette MidlerMeat Loaf
PlayerStephen BishopRick NelsonByrdsAnn MurrayLou ReedIan DruryWarren ZevonRichie FurayTodd RudgrenJohn PrineSmokey RobinsonLaura NyroTelevisionTim CurryTalking HeadsThe CarsIsaac Hayes
Tanya TuckerHerbie HancocksStphen StillsTotoJan and DeanMcGuinn, Clark, HillmanOingo Boingo (Mystic Knights)PocoChuck BerryB-52Rita CoolidgeHall and OatsPat BenatarThe MotelsBarry ManilowCurtis MayfieldHank Williams Jr.The Tubes
Muddy WatersFloe and EddyHiroshimaGladys Night and the PipsLou ReedEddie RabbittDire StraitsDickies
Until 1981 the Roxy had a strictly mainstream policy. Then - in 1981 - it started to host some Whisky and Starwood-type bands. This began November 1980 when they aloud the Dickies to play there. The manager took out the tables and chairs which gave the kids more room to roam and pogo.
JJ CaleCarl WilsonCrampsUB40Suburban Lawnsthe GoGo's!