50 Years Later, Robby Krieger Plays the Whisky Articles, Reviews Article by Keith Valcourt and Michelle Belaskie HOLLYWOOD, CA, January 16—The first discotheque, Whisky à Go-Go, opened in Paris in 1947. The first American one opened in Chicago in 1958, at the corner of Rush and Chestnut streets. But it is the gritty one, parked at the corner of Clark and Sunset, which opened January 16, 1964, that we have come to know and love. (You can still see its French influences, if you look.) In the 60s, the Whisky popularized go-go dancing, complete with requisite costume of white go-go boots and fringe. The Miracles recorded “Going to a Go-Go” in 1966 about the Whisky. Many bands and acts (over several generations) made their name at the Whisky: The Byrds, Alice Cooper, Buffalo Springfield and Love among them. Frank Zappa got his recording contract based on a performance at the Whisky. In June 1966, Van Morrison’s band Them played there, and The Doors opened. The Doors went on to become the “house band” for awhile, until that whole Oedipal thing in “The End” got them fired. Fitting then, that 50 years later, the Whisky celebration includes Robby Krieger of The Doors (“and his Jam Kitchen Band”). On this night, 50 years later, the Whisky a Go Go was packed with hundreds of clubgoers who had made the Sunset Strip their home for many years. There were a handful of celebrities hanging out in the VIP balcony (including Rex Smith, the eternally beautiful (Warrant “Cherry Pie”) video vixen Bobbie Brown, Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, American Idol alum Allison Iraheta and actor Corey Feldman, looking pretty pale. Seriously, you OK, Corey?). West Hollywood’s mayor, Abbe Land, kicked off the night, presenting the club’s current owners with a special proclamation. Mario Maglieri, who has owned prominent parts of the Sunset Strip since the 60s (the Rainbow Bar & Grill, the Roxy) accepted the honor alongside his wife, son and grandson. After a raffle giveaway of a custom Whisky guitar and some awkward dancing by a couple of overdressed go-go dancers, it was time for music. Opening act Wild Roses, blasted into a solid-sounding, tight American rock set with giant hook-filled choruses. Then just a few minutes shy of 10pm, Krieger and his collection of top-notch players (“Robby Krieger’s Jam Kitchen”) hit the stage. With Tommy Mars (keyboards), Arthur Barrow (bass), Joel Taylor and Tom Brechtlein (drums), and the horn section of Larry Klimas and Vince DeHan, they started things off with a cover by another Whisky frequenter, Frank Zappa. (Mars also played with Zappa.) Krieger spoke about playing the club back in 1966, and how much Mario Maglieri loved Jim Morrison, before launching into “Love Me Two Times,” with Krieger handling lead vocals. A couple of Jam Kitchen originals followed: “What Was That?” and the anti-technology rant “Screen Junkie.” Krieger’s snaky guitar riding over some rock solid jamming grooves was the highlight. Many notes were played. Admittedly my sobriety didn’t serve me well through these these long jams. I think they would be better appreciated in an altered state. An instrumental version of The Doors’ “Lost Little Girl” blended into yet another original, “Snake Oil.” After another Zappa cover (“Cosmik Debris”), The Doors’ version of “Back Door Man” and two other Jam Kitchen compositions, Krieger brought singer Dave Brock from The Doors tribute band Wild Child onstage to handle vocal duties. Damn, that guy can channel the late Jim Morrison. Judging from the expressions on many faces, I’m pretty sure some of the hippies there thought they were actually seeing Jim resurrected. The band tore through five Doors classics in a row—“Wild Child,” “Touch Me,” ”Roadhouse Blues,” “Riders on the Storm” and “Light My Fire,” ending the night on the highest note possible. Somewhere, I’m sure, Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek were smiling. FULL PHOTO GALLERY WHISKY A-GO-GO WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE ROBBY KRIEGER | JAM KITCHEN | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | ITUNES KEITH VALCOURT | WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | RETROROADMAP | ROCKERZINE MICHELLE BELASKIE | BLOG | ENTERTAINMENT BLOG | TWITTER | VIZIFY |COMEDY TWITTER | BIZ TWITTER | PINTEREST KIMBERLY ANNETTE| WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.