Profile: Whisky a Go Go

whizzkyfoneThis Day In 1964: The Whisky a Go Go opened its doors on Sunset. Let us all enjoy this image of the Whisky a Go Go’s famous façade as captured by our own Jeannette on March 4, 2005 via Motorola V551.

In the years that followed its opening, the Whisky served up (has anybody picked up on the latent past tense?) countless landmark moments in the history of rock and roll. One such moment occurred Saturday, August 20, 1966: As the story goes, Jim Morrisson, absent for the first set of the Doors’ performance (they were the house band), was eventually found tripping acid in his underwear on the floor of his Hollywood apartment. He was dragged to the Whisky for the second set. Three songs into this set he asked the band to play ’The End’, the song typically reserved for the closer. This of course would be the famous performance wherein Morrisson proclaimed his Oedipal love for his mother and the band was promptly fired as a result.

While applying all of this storied history to the state of the establishment in 2007, one cannot help but wonder just how the strip’s dinosaur began its decades-long nosedive into irrelevance. Weston’s Troubadour has managed to retain consistent momentum for an even longer period of time (it opened in 1957)…and has in fact become the venue bands such as The Strokes and The Killers turn to for those impossible-to-get-in-to, rock-and-roll- defining secret shows. So whatever happened to the Whisky? Tough to say. Booking managers are key, this much we know. One could argue the theory that while both venues embraced the hair metal culture during its day, one of the venues simply forgot to detach from said embrace.

Let bygones be bygones tonight. Turn out to watch The Avery Girls perform at the Whisky this evening and raise a glass to the opening of an institution that has never caved to the pressures of corporate or non-hair-metal America. It matters not that the Velvet Underground shared weeklong runs with Chicago Transit Authority at this verysame venue in 1968, while a quick google on The Avery Girls reveals only the fact that they are a woman’s basketball team from 1921. Raise a glass this eve, say I!