The Whisky-a-Go-Go: LA’s Contribution to Rock ‘n Roll History

The Iconic Whisky-a-Go-Go Exterior

The Iconic Whisky-a-Go-Go Exterior

Fun Facts About LA’s Whisky-a-Go-Go

  • The Whisky A-Go-Go, at 8901 Sunset Blvd at Clark, West Hollywood, CA became the principal hangout of Sunset Strip musicians and hipsters in the 1960s
  • The 1967 film The Graduate features Dustin Hoffman’s character Benjamin running out its doors into the street
  • Johnny Rivers was the first sensation to come out of the club, soon after it opened
  • The ‘trend’ of having a mini-skirted girl dancing above the crowd in a cage got its start at the club
  • The Whisky always had two or three bands playing, but they were not always billed.
  • Often the unbilled bands were simply local bands, but it being Hollywood and all, sometimes unbilled local groups acting as the house band went on to become hugely famous (like The Doors)

  • At times, the billed bands couldn’t make it, and another band was substituted. While this is common in nightclubs, what was uncommon about the Whisky was that the band substituting could be just as good or better, and possibly even better-known, than the band it was replacing
  • It was not uncommon for a group to be booked for a week at the Whisky and then to skip a night for a larger gig
  • The Whisky, in its heyday, was open six or seven nights a week
  • When no one well-known was billed, local groups from LA would play
  • A partial list of the acts that played at the Whisky – it is literally a “Who’s Who” of Rock ‘n Roll:
    • Johnny Rivers
    • The Doors
    • The Turtles
    • Otis Redding
    • Jefferson Airplane (later Jefferson Starship/Starship)
    • The Byrds
    • Sam & Dave
    • The Rascals
    • The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    • Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
    • Cream
    • Eric Burdon & The Animals
    • Them
    • Steppenwolf
    • John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
    • The Hollies
    • Lemon Pipers
    • Traffic
    • Canned Heat
    • The Nazz
    • Three Dog Night
    • Ten Years After

    • Alice Cooper
    • Steve Miller Band
    • Chicago Transit Authority (later Chicago)
    • Velvet Underground
    • Taj Mahal
    • Led Zeppelin
    • Pink Floyd
    • Bob Seger
    • Flying Burrito Brothers
    • Linda Ronstadt
    • Dr. John
    • Blues Image
    • Count Bassie
    • Junior Walker
    • Buddy Rich
    • Mountain
    • The Zombies
    • Chuck Berry
    • Little Richard
    • The Kinks
    • King Crimson

    • Grand Funk Railroad
    • Humble Pie
    • Fleetwood Mac
    • Golden Earring
    • Iron Butterfly
    • Sha na na
    • Billy Preston
    • The Five Stairsteps
    • Mott the Hoople
    • Redbone
    • The Beach Boys
    • Black Sabbath
    • Allman Brothers
    • BB King
    • Sugarloaf
    • J Giles Band
    • Ted Nugent
    • Brownsville Station
    • Mothers of Invention
    • Yes
    • War

    • Elvin Bishop
    • Quicksilver Messenger Service
    • Edgar Winters
    • Little Feat
    • LaBelle
    • Badfinger
    • ZZ Top
    • Nazareth
    • Looking Glass
    • Flo and Eddie
    • Foghat
    • Stevie Wonder
    • Steely Dan
    • Roxy Music
    • Focus
    • Status Quo
    • Chambers Brothers
    • Climax Blues Band
    • Iggy and the Stooges
    • Rufus (featuring Chaka Khan)

    • New York Dolls
    • Funkadelic
    • Bachman Turner Overdrive
    • Aerosmith
    • Lynyrd Skynyrd
    • Rick Springfield
    • Van Halen
    • Motley Crue
    • Guns ‘n Roses
    • and many, many more…

 

Special thanks to www.ckickenonaunicycle.com

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