Whiskey a Go Go
The Whiskey a Go-Go is a nightclub in West Hollywood, California located on Sunset Boulevard. The first was opened in Chicago, Illinois and was considered the first real American Discotheque. It got the name from the first discotheque in Paris.
Elmer Valentine, Shelly Davis, and attorney Theodore Flier founded the Sunset Strip Whisky. It was opened on January 16, 1964. Valentine went on to open the Rainbow Bar & Grill along with The Roxy Theatre. Valentine sold the Whisky in the 90s but kept ownership of the Rainbow and Roxy until the day he died.
The Whisky offered live bands. It first opened with a band led by Johnny Rivers and Rhonda Lane. Since there was hardly room for a DJ booth, Rhonda would spin records from a cage that hung from the ceiling next to the stage. This was the start of cage dancing.
The Whisky a Go-Go popularized go-go dancing. The bar also stood at the forefront of popular music trends such as rock and roll, punk and heavy metal. It played a very important role in many musical careers. The Doors were regulars until they played a 12-minute track of “The End” and were banned. It was also home to the bands: The Byrds, Alice Cooper, Buffalo Springfield, and many others.
Many British performers made their first headlining performances at the Whisky, including: the Kinks, The Who, Oasis, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Slade, and others.
During the 1970s the Whisky focused on New Wave, punk rock, and heavy metal movements. In the 80s bands like Motley Crue, Guns n Roses, and Metallica played at the whisky while rising to the upper echelon.
The Whisky a Go-Go was iconic in the music scene during the 60s-70s. It was home to some of the biggest bands and led a huge musical movement.