Sunset Boulevard – a curving slice of American romance running from the rough edges of East LA through the music of Hollywood, past the riches of Beverly Hills and ending at the Pacific Ocean. It is a famous stretch of 22 miles that has attracted American dreamers of all walks of life, hoping to make it big. “Sunset Boulevard,” airing as a special edition of “20/20,” reveals some of the riveting stories and pivotal moments in the make-it or break-it world of this American dream machine, including:
• the farm kid turned hot shot gossip columnist partying with the hippest stars, who reveals on camera those with whom he allegedly did drugs
• the starry eyed new band named “Queen Caveat” on the brink of success or burn out
• the young war veteran turned aspiring actor haunted by his past, determined to make this his moment
• the teenagers at Hollywood High – once a school for nurturing Hollywood talent and royalty like Judy Garland, now a last chance for some of LA’s toughest kids
• the Hollywood beauty turned runaway, dying to be loved, her body dumped off Sunset, and, in a gripping police investigation, her killer caught on tape.
Hosted by Jay Schadler, the special includes interviews with Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, Mickey Rourke, Alice Cooper and Hugh Hefner, all featured in the recent documentary “Sunset Strip The Movie.” Lou Adler, owner of the famed Roxy Theatre nightclub, and his son Nic, who currently runs it, are both interviewed and allowed ABC unprecedented access on and off stage to the Sunset Strip’s most legendary and influential music venue.
“Sunset Boulevard” airs on SATURDAY, APRIL 21 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC. The two-hour broadcast also features original music.
Sunset Boulevard, one of the most famous streets in all the world, is known as a place where dreams come true. The 22 mile stretch is home to legendary landmarks, tourist destinations, local favorites, and places where history was, and continues to be, made. If the pavement could talk, we would hear the sounds of nearly every great musician, actor, entertainer, and fan having a once in a lifetime moment.
On April 21, Sunset Blvd comes to life on your TV on a very special 2 hour episode of ABC’s 20/20. It captures the culture of the entire street from where it becomes Sunset after Cesar Chavez Ave. in Downtown and all the way to the ocean.
To bring the story even more to life, us, ABC, and the rest of the Boulevard are asking “What’s Your Dream?” We want to know and we want everyone else to know Sunset Blvd is where dreams are made. Tweet yours using the hashtag #SunsetBlvd to bring rock & roll fantasies to the internet.
If your feet are anywhere near as tired as ours are, chances are you were at the 2011 Sunset Strip Music Festival, Motley Crue edition!
If you can fully wrap your head around the fact that Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, and Tommy Lee have been the face (and hair) of metal and hard rock music for 30 years…whoa, give us a minute, here. Sunset Blvd practically gave birth to the band and it was a hell of a sight to see them as honorees of this year’s SSMF, to see them ‘come home’. Sweet home. Full circle.
Drummer extraordinaire, Tommy Lee, may have been “tripping out” as he stood on the West stage looking out at the massive sea of humanity in the middle of The Strip, but we were just as blown away by the ridiculous rock show that they treated us to, right down (or up, if you’re into defying gravity) to the amazeballz drum rollercoaster and Vince Neil sounded stellar. Was that a red headed Deadmau5 in the passenger seat? Why yes it was! Ninety minutes of loud like “Wild Side, “Dr. Feelgood” and “Saints of Los Angeles”, pyrotechnics, fake blood spew, upside down drummers, glorious guitar solos, and more blonds than Ms. Clairol could handle, all made for a night that reminded us all of that made, and still makes, The Strip so special. Thank you, Crue!
But before and after Motley Crue rocked the boulevard, from The Whisky to The Roxy to The Key Club and the Media Lounge at The Viper Room, there was a TON of other music to absorb which obviously required you to speed walk/run; hence the tired feet. The West stage had the rock vibe going with a lovely Gavin Rossdale, his ponytail, and a reunited Bush, She Wants Revenge, and Black Veil Brides while the East Stage had the party/groove action of Matt & Kim (and many blue balloons), Tribal Seeds, Cobra Starship, and oh yes, that was Chuck D and company aka Public Enemy causing a social-minded ruckus and a rock riot with Scott Ian (Anthrax) slinging his axe on “Bring The Noise”…which they did.
The FM 98.7 Media Lounge once again set up camp at The Viper Room where artist interviews, acoustic sets, and fun fan meet & greets took place with Bush, Semi Precious Weapons, Nikki Sixx, Buckcherry, Purple Melon, Black Veil Brides, Escape the Fate, Matt & Kim, and more. Yay FM 98.7!
One of the best things to happen to the festival could be found on The Roxy stage and his name is Jordan Cook. Cook is no stranger to West Hollywood having had a killer residency at The Viper Room last year, and he brought the full force of his rock ferocity to his first SSMF and left a whole lotta folks in open-mouthed awe. Dancing was not optional with Imagine Dragons, Chappo’s spacey indie funk was a good time, but if your ears desired the “hard stuff”, The Whiskey had everything that you needed with bands like All Hail The Yeti, Key To Chaos, DC4, and Motochrist. Among the three venue stages there was a lot of local love going on as LA’s Warner Drive, Indians, Voxhaul Broadcast, Acidic, Queen Caveat, Kozmonaut, and many more made their hometown proud. A special gold star goes to our Sabrosa Purr who made The Roxy walls sweat with the strut of their slick badassery. And who better to send the SSMF off and out into the ether with Sunset Strip-style than a fabulous Semi Precious Weapons/EMPIRE party at The Roxy complete with the gorgeous girls of Voyeur, Breedlove, Lady Starlight, and hosted by two lovely and talented friends of The Strip: Shane Campbell and Lenora Claire.
There was much to take in; the music to hear on the outdoor stages, the venue stages, the Musicians Institute Live stage, the sights to see along The Strip (if you saw a tree man strolling The Strip, it wasn’t those $5 sake bombs talking) like the Gibson Guitar display, the Jack Daniels Experience, the half naked girl in The Roxy…yeah, even that. Another amazing Sunset Strip Music Fest in the books and on the record of West Hollywood history. We hope that you had even half as much fun as we did because, if you did, then your feet are REALLY tired.
Many thanks to absolutely everyone who had a hand in making the 4th annual Sunset Strip Music Festival a balls to the wall success: artists, sponsors, staff, venues, volunteers, and especially our WeHo neighbors.
Check out the official SSMF Hipstamatic feed featuring photos of the entire festival here.
SSMF ARTIST PROFILE: BUCKCHERRY
By: Brent X Mendoza
Before heading back out on the road to headline the Rock Allegiance Tour along with Papa Roach, Puddle of Mudd, and POD, Buckcherry will be making a stop at home and visiting our very own Roxy Theatre to pay their respects to The Sunset Strip as one of the featured bands at this year’s music festival.
Phoning us from the road before a benefit show in New York City, front man Josh Todd brought us up-to-date with the band’s latest whereabouts and shared with us his recollections of coming up as a young band on The Sunset Strip, his first show at The Roxy, and his number one sex tip for Buckcherry fans.
So this upcoming show at The Roxy, what can we expect? Debuting any new material?
No, I mean debuting new material with the internet now is not really a good idea [laughter]… We’re not even really at that stage right now where we have new material worked out that’s presentable to the public; we’re still in the embryonic phase of the songwriting process; and we have five records, so we have a lot of songs that we already can’t make it all the way through.
But we have a nice set worked out; we’ve been on the road for over a year, and I think things are going to go off at The Roxy.
Growing up in So Cal, how does it feel to be part of such a historic event like The Sunset Music Festival? What does it mean to you?
It’s cool ya know… I mean it’s our heritage; that’s where we came up on The Sunset Strip.
When I graduated high school, all the first club shows I ever saw were up there; and that’s when The Strip was still at the tail end of the whole hair band thing; so it was just insane up there, and unless you were there to witness it… it was quite a scene!
I was glad to be a part of it for a little while and to actually come up out of it and still be doing what we do is awesome. So we’re excited! We haven’t had a show in Hollywood in a long time, so it’s going to be good.
Do you remember your first show at The Roxy?
I do! I remember I was in a band called Slamhound, and I don’t know if it was the first time, but we played a sold out show up there opening up for Pretty Boy Floyd and that was really nuts!
I think around that time, or shortly after that… we’d only been a band, or only playing out for like 6 months, and we got on the cover of Rock City News; and we just thought that we had arrived at that point!
It’s funny ya know, looking back at how green we were, and naïve… but we were on a mission ya know? We were hungry; we were animals, and we just wanted to crush that place.
A couple bands you’ve worked with before Mötley Crüe and Escape The Fate are also going to be a part of the festival. Any plans to jump on stage and jam at all?
I dunno… They’re playing the following day that we are, and we have a lot of stuff going on; a lot of press going on, and we’ve been touring… so ya know, my time at home is really precious and I’m going to be with my family as much as I can when I’m not on stage or doing press.
So I don’t know if I’m going to be able to make it out, but I love both those guys and we had a fun time writing songs; and I think we’re going to hopefully hook up in the future and write some more.
Maybe the next Buckcherry record?
Maybe the next Escape The Fate record [laughter]
You were speaking before about the hair metal scene back in the day; how do you think the scene in Hollywood, on The Sunset Strip has changed since your younger days? Do you relate to what’s currently going on? What new local bands are you into?
I mean it’s a different place now… it’s just not a controlled market like it used to be, so there aren’t these big movements of music because you can just log on and basically access any genre, any kind of music you want. So it’s much different then when I was coming up.
I do like a lot of new bands… One band I’m really into right now is Rival Sons. I think they’re really great and I’ve been listening to them a lot.
So how are you guys utilizing the internet and the changing marketplace?
Well we’ve just really been trying to get more intimate with our fans through Twitter, and Facebook, and all that kind of stuff… and incorporate everybody into what we are doing; which is kind of the way we rolled out our record “15.”
Ya know, Myspace was really big at that time, and the fans kind of dictated the pace of that record, and what songs were going to popular. And I think that’s what’s cool about the internet; it’s not as expensive to market a record, which is good, but you’re also not selling any records… So it kind of balances itself out.
Finally, your bass player Jimmy was one of the contributors to this book: Sex Tips from Rock Stars. Do you have any tips for any Buckcherry fans that maybe find their way backstage?
I only have one tip – always wear a bag! That’s it. That’s my tip!
Buckcherry plays this Thursday, Aug 19 along with Taddy Porter and Dead Sara. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are SOLD OUT.
U.K. soul mama gets crowned on the Sunset Strip Monday, March 19, at the Roxy
By Ernest Hardy
Thursday, March 22, 2007
“Performing to a sold-out Roxy, Amy Winehouse gave a hilarious intro to the confessional song “You Know I’m No Good”: After she had betrayed a lover, he asked if she even loved him. “I told him, ‘I do love you,’ ” she recounted — adding with playful exasperation, “ ‘But, like, I get bored. I told you I’m no good!’ ” The crowd loved it — and sang every song by heart, all night long.
Winehouse’s top-to-bottom brilliant sophomore album, Back to Black (Republic/Universal), is bursting with great, quotable lines, many as wry as they are poignant. One of the best is tucked in the driving, Motown-based “Tears Dry on Their Own,” where she admits: “Even if I stop wanting you/and perspective pushes through/I’ll be some next man’s other woman soon…”
The word other is key here. That’s the woman who wears the scarlet letter — fallen, disgraced. Winehouse casually conveys volumes through a single word or phrasing choice throughout Black, a breakup album whose defining characteristic is working-class feminine wit. And I mean both types of wit — intelligence and humor, which Winehouse uses intuitively to express how obsession dovetails with addiction. References to booze and boozing, drugging and fucking-as-self-destruction crowd the text of this confessional album. The musical filter through which Winehouse pours it all is the girl-group sound of the early ’60s — the Shangri-Las, the Shirelles, the Ronettes and the Chiffons.
Live, Winehouse was noticeably nervous but utterly charming, singing for an audience who knew all the words to all the songs. She was in spectacular voice throughout, backed by a crack band (man, that horn section . . .) and two chicly attired male backup singers who energetically pulled off synchronized choreography. Winehouse’s own herky-jerky, off-the-beat dancing and ragged emulation of girl-group style somehow underscored an aura of sincerity (a matted beehive with an unkempt tail; an ill-fitting dress that kept sliding down her scary-thin frame; weathered leopard-print shoes rummaged from the back of some tranny’s closet). Her awkward performance of femininity befits a woman who can’t quite figure how to stop fucking up her relationships and her life.
Winehouse may be retro, but her work is, mercifully, irony-free. This is no academic study of girl-group traditions; instead, it’s a gut-level recognition of the strength and beauty of those impeccably crafted records — and the 8-by-10-ready public personas attached to them. For Back to Black, Winehouse gave her producers, Mark Ronson and Salaamremi.com, explicit instructions about the sound and vibe she wanted to accompany her self-penned lyrics. Together, they’ve captured not only the aesthetics of an era (the album is a gorgeous latticework of perfect, anachronistic detail) but also the naked romanticism, and theatrical but sincere vulnerability, of pop gone by. But Winehouse also references kindred artists outside the girl-group heyday: Esther Phillips (whose addiction-filled life and the havoc it wreaked on her career make her the most resonant influence), Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and, of course, Lauryn Hill.
At the Roxy, Winehouse sang everything from Back to Black, including “Addicted” (inexplicably left off the U.S. release, replaced with a god-awful remix of “You Know I’m No Good” featuring a rap by Ghostface Killah). Highlights of the set were “Tears Run Dry” and… it’s hard to say. The crowd’s energy was so intense, and their already-won love so exuberantly given, the night had the feel of a raucous coronation.
What was especially interesting about the performance was the way Winehouse handled her nerves — besides frequent sips taken from a cup at the edge of the stage. She stared down at the stage a lot, then looked up with a sneer or curled lip that evoked gum-popping, eyeball-rolling femmes from Ronettes to B-girls, gangsters’ molls to biker chicks. But there were also fleeting moments when she clearly checked out of her own performance: Her eyes would simply go blank, and she’d retreat behind them. Still, that voice — the sound of mysteriously missing teeth, Spanish Harlem stoops in summer and declarations of undying love — never wavered, and was never less than amazing.”
To read the rest of the review check the LA Weekly
“Amy Winehouse is such a hot mess!
She is the stuff of legend, and on Monday night a who’s who of hipsters and Hollywood players were treated to a tour de force performance by the Rehab chanteuse.
You never know if Wino is gonna show up to a gig or if she’ll even make it through a show, but she more than held her own at The Roxy.
Unfortunately, fans expecting to see her at Spaceland in Silverlake tonight might be a tad disappointed. We hear she might be cancelling!
Why? Because the venue is too small and they won’t allow her 10+ person band to come with her.
Hopefully that will all get sorted out, but if it doesn’t…..well, that’s Amy Winehouse for ya!
To sing the blues you must live the blues. And she lives it.”
Check out Scott T Sterlings review…
I Was There: Amy Winehouse at The Roxy, 3/19/07
“I guess you could call it pure, dumb luck. It just so happened that I heard about the Amy Winehouse show at the Roxy a couple of hours before my man Jeff Weiss informed me that she was also scheduled to play at Spaceland. Given my druthers, I would’ve purchased a ticket to see her in the much smaller Spaceland. But in my haste to secure a chance to see this notorious UK train wreck up close and personal like, I’d already laid my good money down for the Roxy show. In hindsight, I inadvertently made the right choice, since Ms. Winehouse famously bailed on the Spaceland gig.
I got to the Roxy a good 20 minutes before she took the stage, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen such an intense scrum up in that joint. It was packed to the back with an interesting array of Los Angelenos, skewing older than I’d expected.
Worming my way towards the front of the room, I found a choice spot maybe five feet from the stage, off to the right. A very drunk girl stumbles into me, pausing to take off her high heels. Oh boy, here we go. An older couple behind me is drunkenly making out, repeatedly ramming into my back. Really? The things I do for music.
When the lights finally dim and the curtains open, a surprisingly together looking Winehouse saunters up to the microphone to the strains of the Chiffons “He’s So Fine,” looking oddly sexy (skinny legs and all) in a blue prom dress that put her cleavage up front and center and showcased her bevy of tattoos. There were no signs of track marks or “meth skin” to be seen anywhere. She didn’t even appear to be drunk. What gives?
Backed ably by retro R&B outfit the Dap-Kings, our girl sailed through most of Back to Black admirably; her husky croon sounding even stronger than it does on the record. Her voice shined on mid-tempo numbers like the reggae-tinged “Just Friends,” but really soared on the barn-burners like “You Know I’m No Good.” What’s especially impressive is the way she attacks high notes, filling them with pure emotion, the total opposite of showboats like Christina Aguilera who completely overdo it with ridiculous trills and runs that never seem to stop.
Sliding in a verse of Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” into “He Can Only Hold Her,” it was hard to miss the irony. Is Winehouse destined for a similar crash-and-burn like the one that beset Ms. Hill? Given her raw talent and limitless potential, I certainly hope not.
She’s comfortable and self-assured onstage. After announcing the evening’s last song to a boisterous chorus of “No!” she joked with the crowd:
“Well, obviously it’s not the last song. We still have to do the encores. I’m just playing the game up here, all right?”
Nikka Costa is back at The Roxy June 23 and she is ready to make you shake your groove thang!
Her latest album Pro-Whoa! just came out June 21 so she’ll be breaking out all the hits and brand spankin’ new songs at this show. This highly anticipated new EP features the traditional Nikka funk we all know and love but adds a new pop sound that will have you singing “Nylons in a rip” for days.
Pro Whoa! can be streamed on Nikka’s Facebook page here
Come prepared, if you’ve seen her here before, you know things get sweaty and that’s how we like it!
Santa Barbara, CA based artist, R. Nelson Parrish, was thrilled to find out he was given the opportunity to design a 10 foot fiberglass Gibson guitar for The Sunset Strip. Parrish set out on a photo excursion and was inspired by the photos he took of the Sunset Strip from a moving car. The guitar he designed embodies the lights and life of Sunset and ultimately the most American of pastimes “cruising the Sunset Strip.” He used wood, automotive paints, fiberglass, and pigmented resin to create the piece.
We are honored to have his Gibson guitar on our building.
JANE’S ADDICTION @ THE ROXY THEATRE
Friday, July 2, 2010
By: Brent X Mendoza
In The Strip’s long history of secret shows and intimate showcases, Jane’s Addiction at The Roxy definitely falls in the top ten of “wow factor”. The chance to see these quintessential Los Angeles legends, a band that practically defined the genre of alternative rock, in a 500 capacity club is an event that comes but once in a lifetime.
Setting the tone for the evening, the show kicked off with a short Jim Rose style, bondage/burlesque skit. Acting as hostess and looking like escapees from an Agent Provocateur catalogue, two scantily clad beauties took the stage to Manson’s “I Put a Spell on You”. After a brief side show, cheek piercing stunt, the vixens flung back the stage curtain and Jane’s exploded onto the stage.
Revealing a backdrop reminiscent of the Ritual album cover, the band featuring new bassist Duff McKagen (GN’R) looked and sounded better than ever. With their camera phones held high, the crowd of lucky guest listers was writhing with excitement in a way that jaded LA crowds never allow themselves.
Early on, the band launched into fan favorites like “Had a Dad”. With Farrell perched atop a small platform at the head of the stage, the two burlesque dancers swung suspended from harnesses, kicking their legs as they flew out over the crowd. Echoing the chorus,“gimme some more”, the audience was ecstatic when Farrell grabbed up cameras and cell phones from the amateur videographers in the front row and gave them some special stage POV footage.
The hits just kept on coming as the band drew from their classic records and pulled out jammers like “Ted Just Admit It” and monsters like “Mountain Song” and “Been Caught Stealing”. “I feel like Kobe Bryant hitting a three-pointer at the end of the game”, exclaimed Farrell as he shimmied his way back and forth across the stage.
The packed house hit their height of elation when the band exploded into “Stop”. Belting out the last verse of the song, the crowd humorously stumbled, being put on the spot and having to blurt out the correct lyrics to the classic they’ve been absent mindedly singing along with for years.
Closing out their epic set, the band all moved to the front of the stage and took a seat for an encore, acoustic jam version of “Jane Says”. “We played this place for our first record… had every record label exec in the city in the palm of my hand… tonight felt like the good old days” pronounced Farrell before exiting the stage with Jane’s famous Español moniker “Juana’s Adiccion”.
Photo Credit: Erik Voake – erikvoake.com
In the spirit of Independence Day, nationwide concerts will be hosted by music venues on July 1st, 2010 to benefit those directly impacted by the Gulf Coast Oil Spill.
The organizers have created an ambitious goal: Gather music venues around the country to donate ticket sales on July 1st and create an online giving platform that encourages donations to the relief efforts. The fundraising goal is set to $500,000, which will be directed to our nonprofit partner the Gulf Restoration Network, which provides assistance to the people, wildlife and wetlands affected as well as advocacy work throughout the Gulf Coast.
The organizers of the event include: Nic Adler, owner of The Roxy on the Sunset Strip; Megan Jacobs of The Roxy, Casey Phillips, talent buyer for venues including Tipitina’s in New Orleans and Viper Room & The Mint in Los Angeles, and Sloane Berrent, founder of Answer With Action and creator of The Causemopolitan.
Revenues from ticket sales will be donated to help the fishermen and their families along the Gulf Coast cope with this disaster in addition to wildlife and wetlands restoration for the Gulf Coast. Over 25 venues have been confirmed and more are being added every day. Artists performing include national as well as local acts across the US.
“We know through music and the generosity of people that we can help make a difference in the Gulf Coast.” Adler says. “We hope this inspires others to make a donation, attend an event and get involved.”
The wetlands and wildlife are in desperate need of our attention now and can’t wait for BP to take care of those in need. Many of our fellow Americans in the foreseeable future will have no livelihood, are preparing to leave their homes and are now lining up for food handouts. With hurricane season on the horizon, there is reason for great concern and it’s crucial the affected communities be prepared for the worst.
Details on how to make a donation or find an event to attend in your area can be found on this site. Both the online giving platform and an online auction is going to coincide with the benefit concerts.
We want to see how bad you want to come to the show. Make ANY kind of video you would like showing us how much you love the band, The Roxy, and everything in between. Want to sing us your favorite All Star Weekend song? Paint your faces with a Rockin Roxy R? Grab your friends, be creative and reap the rewards! Tweet us @theroxy and let us know when you submit and use #ASWROX to let us know. Submission deadline is JUNE 17 (the show is June 24)!
Be in the KNOW! Text ROSTA to 48696 to get exclusive ROXY ONSALE TEXT ALERTS. We’ll only text you when new shows go onsale and you can opt out anytime. It’s just our way of giving you a little heads up.
At the first show of his two-night engagement (one open to the public, one in support of a charity), Soundgarden/Audioslave front man Chris Cornell took the stage to thunderous applause and a sea of cell phone photographers. Casually making his way across the perimeter of the stage, Cornell welcomed the crowd, slapping hands with those fans lucky enough to be in the front row of the sold out show.
Flanked by a stand up piano and a collection of acoustic guitars, Cornell took his seat in a cozy wooden chair amidst a living room setting reminiscent of the MTV Unplugged series. “I have a set list but I usually don’t follow it”, he announced as he launched into his first song, a soulful version of Audioslave’s “Be Yourself”.
Drawing on material from all of his various projects, the songs translated surprisingly well as acoustic numbers. Stripped down to the bare essentials, Cornell’s sorrowful, raspy vocals were particularly moving on songs like “Preaching The End of The World” and “Fell on Black Days”, which was accented by beautifully executed cello accompaniment. Other notable songs of the evening included Soundgarden’s “Seasons” from the quintessential Gen-X film Singles, and an a cappella version of Audioslave’s “Like a Stone”.
Cornell was in good spirits, engaging in lively back and forth banter with the crowd in between songs. One of the more humorous stories of the evening stemmed from a conversation that had taken place earlier that day at sound check. Cornell, who was convinced that it was his first time playing at The Roxy, later discovered his photo on the wall, taken from a show at the club years earlier.
The hour and a half long set ended with a stunning version of “Ticket to Ride”, featuring looped guitar riffs and Cornell’s powerful falsetto vocal harmonies floating over the melody. Cornell exited the stage the same way he entered, with a round of high fives as his loops continued to distort into infinity.
Catch the second Chris Cornell show tonight when he plays a benefit to aid the Fulfillment Fund, a charity which helps low-income students to graduate from high school and go on to college.
Bittersweet, but a true testament that music heals all. With the utmost respect and gratitude to our late homie DJ AM, a new project emerged – and we welcomed it with open arms.
Photo Credit: Erik Voake