The Whisky a Go Go is a nightclub at 8901 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip. It became a pioneer place in the Sunset Strip
Though the club was said to be a discothèque, meaning only recordings with no bands, the Whisky a Go-Go opened with a
live band led by Johnny Rivers and a short-skirted female DJ spinning records between sets from a suspended cage at the right
of the stage. When, in July 1965, the DJ danced during Rivers' set, the audience thought it was part of the act and the concept
of Go-Go dancers in cages was born.
In 1966, the Whisky was one of the centers of the Sunset Strip police riots. The club was harassed repeatedly by the City
of Los Angeles, which once ordered that the name be changed, claiming "whisky" was a bad influence. It was the "Whisk?"
for a while.
The Whisky played an important role in many musical careers, especially for California based bands. Bands such as The
Byrds, Alice Cooper, Buffalo Springfield and Love were regulars, and The Doors were the house band for a while. Van Morrison's
band Them had a two-week residency in June, 1966, with The Doors as the opening act. On the last night they all jammed together
on Gloria (which The Doors would later go to record live on there album Absolutely Live!). Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention
got their record contract based on a performance at the Whisky. Jimi Hendrix came by to jam when Sam & Dave headlined.
Otis Redding recorded his album In Person at the Whiskey a Go Go there in 1966. The Turtles performed there when their biggest-selling
single "Happy Together" was becoming a hit. Neil Diamond also played at the Whisky on occasion. Chicago Transit
Authority (later Chicago) was also a house band until discovered by Jimi Hendrix and brought on tour in 1968. San Francisco
based artists also frequently played there such as Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Jefferson
Airplane. Many British performers made their first headlining performances in the area at the Whisky, including The Kinks,
The Who, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Roxy Music and Oasis.
In the mid-1970s, The Whisky was the home of The Cycle Sluts, a cabaret show. However, Kim Fowley was able to persuade
the management to return the club to rock music. On Thanksgiving Day, 1976, two Fowley-managed bands, Venus & The Razorblades
and The Quick, began a four-night stand. Thanks to the club being filled, the Whisky continued on as a rock 'n' roll club.
The new wave and punk movement was presented there, bands such as The Germs, The Runaways, Quiet Riot, X, Mötley Crüe,
Van Halen, The Ramones, The Dictators, The Misfits, Blondie, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, XTC and The Jam played there early
on in there careers.
The Whisky fell on hard times once the first flush of punk rock lost steam, and closed its doors in 1982. It reopened
in 1986 as a "four-wall", a venue that could be rented by promoters and bands. Although a few booths remain on the
perimeter, the interior has mostly been transformed into a bare, seatless space where the audience is forced to stand throughout
the performances. A few sets of tables and chairs remain in the upstairs area, but these are often roped off as a "VIP"
section, reserved for special guests of the bands, record executives, etc. Against this new economic backdrop, a number of
hard rock and metal bands, including Guns N' Roses and Metallica, rose to prominence in the 1980s.
During the early 1990s, the Whisky hosted a number of grunge bands including Soundgarden, Nirvana, Mudhoney, The Melvins,
and 7 Year Bitch.
After re-uniting in early 2007, The Police held a live webcast of a rehearsal at the Whisky on February 12, 2007, and
Avril Lavigne on November 6.