LOS ANGELES – APRIL 24: Troubadour marquee for Tommy Stinson’s band Perfect in Los Angeles, California on April 24, 1998. (Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images).
The Troubadour is a small music venue on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood with quite the wild history. Like, one of the craziest. It opened in 1957 as a coffee house, and eventually moved to its current location as a place for small concerts. Many famous musicians and comedians graced its stage like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe, Poison, Cheech & Chong, Steve Martin, Bonnie Raitt, Buffalo Springfield, Randy Newman, Bad Religion, Neil Diamond, The Byrds, Eagles, Elton John, Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell to name a few.
And talk about stories, check out some Troubadour history here:
Lenny Bruce arrested on stage for obscenity charges in 1957
Bob Dylan random jam session in 1964
Richard Pryor records his live debut album in 1968
The Eagles’ Don Henley and Glenn Frey meet in 1970
Led Zeppelin show up after their show at The Forum and play a 3 hour jam session
Guns N’ Roses play their first show ever in 1985
John Lennon and Harry Nilsson were kicked out for heckling
Elton John plays his first show in the United States in 1970
Metallica make their Los Angeles headline debut in 1982
The impressive list goes on and on!
You may have heard, small music venues across the country are at risk of shutting down due to coronavirus, and music fans are banding together in an attempt to save them. Elton John is one of those fans. His first show in the US was at The Troubadour in 1970, so it holds a special place in his heart. “We have to preserve venues like this,” John said, and added “The small venues are the life and soul of music, and they have to be kept afloat some way or another.” Find the full story here.
If you want to attend small concerts once we beat this pandemic, check out SaveOurStages.com or nivassoc.org for more info. In a couple simple clicks, both websites will send emails (and/or Tweets) to your state politicians expressing support for the Save Our Stages Act, that would ensure the survival of independent venues across the country. Remember that time you saw your favorite band at Great American Music Hall? Or Bottom Of The Hill? Or The Ivy Room? It’s time to show these venues that you love them, and want them to remain active in the Bay Area music scene.