It was on this date in 1964 when The Whisky A Go Go opened up in Los Angeles. The first performer was Johnny Rivers singing the latest in Rockabilly. The club was one of the first to call themselves a discotheque and featured the famous Go-Go dancers in mini skirts dancing in cages, shaking their hips to the latest teen music. Cigarette girls passed out nicotine sticks and the liquor flowed. I am sure much drunkenness and debauchery ensued.
The Whisky gave birth to many bands back in the 60’s such as Alice Cooper, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, The Stooges and many more. The club has been immortalized by Smoky Robinson & The Miracles when they recorded “Going To A Go Go” live at the club. Before you knew Go Go clubs sprung up around the country.
Later in 1966, The Doors found themselves being regulars. In fact The Doors remained the house band until they debuted their new song called “The End”. The famous Oedipal section of the song got them fired.
Many bands cite their career starts at the famous club including Frank Zappa & The Mothers, The Turtles, Love, and Them (featuring Van Morrison). Arthur Lee of Love even mentioned the club in a song on their classic album “Forever Changes”in a song called “Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale”. “Here they always play my songs,” The Whisky was located on the strip between the streets Clark and Hilldale.
Throughout the 60’s every major act made a stop here including The Kinks, The Who, Cream and Led Zeppelin.
It continued in the 80’s and 90’s with bands like Guns & Roses, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and many more.
It’s still there today with all the rich history. Probably not what it once was, but it deserves its place in rock history.