Infamous Rock and Roll Locations

After reading about the rock tours of the 1970s… many locations became famous for the decadence of The Who, Led Zeppelin, Doors, and many traveling musicians. I’ve picked some spots that have been mentioned here and there in stories of travel.

 

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Continental Hyatt House or The Riot House – Swimming pool on the roof…check…John Bonham riding a motorcycle down the hallway…check…Keith Richards dropping a TV out of room 1019 or 1015…check…. every major rock act including Led Zeppelin, The Who, Doors, and Stones stayed there.

8401 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

https://www.wehoville.com/2013/09/05/wehos-riot-house-4-reasons-really/

 

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Edgewater Inn Seattle – The Beatles stayed here on their 1964 tour. You can just open the window and go fishing from your room.  Led Zeppelin also stayed here in 1969 and their wild reputation started here…just google Led Zeppelin Edgewater Inn if you want…

2411 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121

https://www.edgewaterhotel.com/seattle-hotel-history.aspx

 

 

 

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The Rainbow Bar and Grill – The original Hollywood vampires formed here. Keith Moon, Alice Cooper, John Lennon, Harry Nilsson formed an informal club to drink their and your share of booze. Alice Cooper is trying to revive the club now with the help of Johnny Depp.

9015 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

https://www.visitwesthollywood.com/stories/feature-rainbow-bar-grill/

 

 

 

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Villa Nellcôte – The mansion in France that Keith Richards rented in 1972 where Exile On Main Street was recorded in the basement of the mansion. Many events happened here and nearby. Car chases, drugs, boat excursions and a visit from John Lennon…

 

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Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco – Rodney opened this up in 1972 and it stayed open through 1975. It catered to Glam Rock but Led Zeppelin would hit this club when they came into town.

7561 Sunset Boulevard

http://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/its-all-happening-rodney-bingenheimers-long-gone-70s-era-disco-returns/

 

 

More on the Riot House…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santo & Johnny – Sleepwalk

I’ve never been a big instrumental guy. I do like a few like “Walk Don’t Run” but this one is probably my favorite. It sets a mood like no other. It was written and performed by Santo and Johnny Farina in 1959. It peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100 and #22 in the UK Charts.

This song has been used in numerous movies and television series.

La Bamba is probably the movie that people remember it the most.

 

 

Counting Crows – Mr. Jones

If you were reading music magazines in 1993 you know this band was really overhyped. There is no way any band could have lived up to it. When I heard this song though I could tell the singer listened to Van Morrison because some of the phrasings are the same. In 1993 The song went to #5 on the Hot 100 Airplay, #1 in Canada and #28 in the UK.

From Songfacts about the song.

This was written by lead singer Adam Duritz and guitarist David Bryson (the other three band members also got composer credits). On an episode of VH1’s Storytellers, Adam explained: “It’s really a song about my friend Marty and I. We went out one night to watch his dad play, his dad was a Flamenco guitar player who lived in Spain (David Serva), and he was in San Francisco in the mission playing with his old Flamenco troupe. And after the gig we all went to this bar called the New Amsterdam in San Francisco on Columbus and we got completely drunk. And Marty and I sat at the bar staring at these two girls, wishing there was some way we could go talk to them, but we were too shy. We kept joking with each other that if we were big rock stars instead of such loser, low-budget musicians, this would be easy. I went home that night and I wrote a song about it. I joke about what it’s about, that story. But it’s really a song about all the dreams and all the things that make you want to go into doing whatever it is that seizes your heart, whether it’s being a rock star or being a doctor or whatever. Those things run from ‘all this stuff I have pent up inside of me’ to ‘I want to meet girls because I’m tired of not being able to.’ It is a lot of those things, it’s about all those dreams, but it’s also kind of cautionary because it’s about how misguided you may be about some of those things and how hollow they may be too. Like the character in the song keeps saying, ‘When everybody loves me I will never be lonely,’ and you’re supposed to know that that’s not the way it’s gonna be. I knew that even then. And this is a song about my dreams.”

Mr. Jones

Sha, la, la, la, la, la, la
Mmm
Uh huh
I was down at the New Amsterdam
Staring at this yellow-haired girl
Mr Jones strikes up a conversation
With a black-haired flamenco dancer
You know, she dances while his father plays guitar
She’s suddenly beautiful
We all want something beautiful
Man, I wish I was beautiful
So come dance the silence down through the morning
Sha la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Yeah
Uh huh
Yeah
Cut up, Maria!
Show me some of that Spanish dancin’
Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones
Believe in me
Help me believe in anything
‘Cause I want to be someone who believes
Yeah
Mr Jones and me
Tell each other fairy tales
And we stare at the beautiful women
She’s looking at you
Ah, no, no, she’s looking at me
Smilin’ in the bright lights
Coming through in stereo
When everybody loves you
You can never be lonely
Well, I’m gonna paint my picture
Paint myself in blue and red and black and gray
All of the beautiful colors are very, very meaningful
Yeah, well, you know gray is my favorite color
I felt so symbolic yesterday
If I knew Picasso
I would buy myself a gray guitar and play
Mr Jones and me
Look into the future
Yeah, we stare at the beautiful women
She’s looking at you
I don’t think so
She’s looking at me
Standing in the spotlight
I bought myself a gray guitar
When everybody loves me
I will never be lonely
I will never be lonely
Said I’m never gonna be
Lonely
I wanna be a lion
Yeah, everybody wants to pass as cats
We all wanna be big, big stars
Yeah, but we got different reasons for that
Believe in me
‘Cause I don’t believe in anything
And I wanna be someone to believe, to believe, to believe
Yeah!
Mr Jones and me
Stumbling through the Barrio
Yeah, we stare at the beautiful women
She’s perfect for you
Man, there’s got to be somebody for me
I wanna be Bob Dylan
Mr Jones wishes he was someone just a little more funky
When everybody love you
Oh! Son, that’s just about as funky as you can be
Mr Jones and me
Starin’ at the video
When I look at the television, I wanna see me
Staring right back at me
We all wanna be big stars
But we don’t know why, and we don’t know how
But when everybody loves me
I’m wanna be just about as happy as I can be
Mr Jones and me
We’re gonna be big stars

Thunderclap Newman – Something In The Air

A band discovered by Pete Townshend of The Who that featured John “Speedy” Keen, Jimmy McCulloch, and Andy “Thunderclap” Newman. The song peaked at #37 in the Billboard 100 and #1 in the UK Charts in 1969.

It was written and sung by  John “Speedy” Keen. The song has been featured in many movies and commercials. 16-year-old Jimmy McCullock would later play in Wings and the reunited Small Faces.

Something In The Air

Call out the instigators
Because there’s something in the air
We’ve got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution’s here, and you know it’s right
And you know that it’s right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together now
Lock up the streets and houses
Because there’s something in the air
We’ve got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution’s here, and you know it’s right
And you know that it’s right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together now
Hand out the arms and ammo
We’re going to blast our way through here
We’ve got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution’s here, and you know it’s right
And you know that it’s right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together now

 

Lone Justice – Ways to Be Wicked

First time I heard this song I loved it. It was by a group called Lone Justice with lead singer Maria McKee. The song was Ways to be Wicked and it was written by Tom Petty and Mike Campbell. I loved McKee’s voice.

In 1985 the song peaked at #29 in the Mainstream Rock Charts and #77 in the UK. This is a surprise to me because I heard the song quite a bit back then and thought it charted higher. They had two more songs that come to mind. “I Found Love” and “Shelter”. They should have made it further than they did. Maria did have a number 1 in the UK with “Show Me Heaven” in 1990.

Ways To Be Wicked

Honey, why you always smile
When you see me hurt so bad?
Tell me what I did to you, babe
That would make you act like that?

Well, I’ve been your fool before, honey
Yeah, and I probably will again
‘Cuz you ain’t afraid to let me have it
No, you ain’t afraid to stick it in

Well, you know so many
Ways to be wicked
Ooh, but you don’t know one little thing
About love

Well, I can take a little pain
Yeah, I can hold it pretty well
I can watch your little eyes light up
While you’re walkin’ me through Hell

Well, I’ve been your fool before, honey
Yeah, and I probably will again
‘Cuz you ain’t afraid to let me have it
No, you ain’t afraid to stick it in

Well, you know so many
Ways to be wicked
But you don’t know one little thing
About love

Those cobra eyes
Lie with a smile
Baby you take pride
In the devil down inside, yeah

Well, I can take a little pain
Yeah, I can hold it pretty well
I can watch your little eyes light up
While you’re walkin’ me through Hell

Well, I’ve been your fool before
Yeah, and I probably will again
You ain’t afriad to let me have it
No, you ain’t afraid to sitck it in

Well, you know so many
Ways to be wicked
Ooh, but you don’t know one little thing
About love

Well, you know so many
Ways to be wicked
Yeah, but you don’t know one little, one little thing
About love

Yeah you know so many
Ways to be wicked
But you don’t know one little, one little

The Alarm – Sixty Eight Guns

This song was released in 1983 and reached #39 on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks and #17 in the UK.  I saw The Alarm open up for Dylan. At that time I didn’t know who they were but I liked them right away.

In 1991 The Alarm was doing a concert and lead singer Mike Peters suddenly said “We’ve shared some great moments in time over the last ten years and tonight I would like to thank all the people who have supported me from the beginning to the end. Tonight this is my last moment with the Alarm, I’m going out in a Blaze of Glory – my hands are held up high”…… It would have been nice if he would have shared this little bit of info with his bandmates before the concert.

 

Sixty Eight Guns

And now they’re trying to take my life away 
Forever young I cannot stay
Hey
On every corner I can see them there
They don’t know my name they don’t know my kind
They’re after you with their promises
(Promises of love)
They’re after you to sign your life away
(Yeah, yeaoh)

Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns
Sixty-eight Guns
Oh, the Sixty-eight

Living in the backstreets 
That’s our home from home
The painted walls were all we’ve ever known 
?he Guns Forever’ that’s our battle cry
It is the flag that we fly so high 
For every day they’ll try and drag us down
(Drag us down and down)
I cry with anger I have done no crime
No
(Yeah, yeaoh)

Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns
Sixty-eight Guns
The Sixty-eight

Up on the terrace I can hear the crowd roar 
Sixty Eight Guns
And in the subway I can hear them whisper 
Sixty Eight Guns
Through all the raging glory of the years 
We never once thought of the fears 
For what we’d do when the battle cry was over . 
Nothing lasts forever is all they seem to tell you when you’re young 

(I, I do swear
To unbreak the promise
To unbreak the vow

Unbreak it)

When you’re young
Have no illusion, no disillusion

Unbreak the promise
Unbreak the vow
Uphold the promise

SIXTY EIGHT GUNS

Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns
Sixty-eight Guns
The sixty eight guns
Sixty eight guns
The sixty eight guns

Kinks – Come Dancing

I saw the Kinks on this tour. This remains one of the best concerts I’ve ever went to. They were in their early forties at this time and all over the stage. In 1983 this song peaked at #6 on the Billboard 100, #6 in Canada and #12 in the UK.

This song got heavy play on MTV at a time when I would watch the channel. I’ve always liked the Kinks. They get forgotten but deserve their place beside the Beatles, Who, and Stones.

From Songfacts on Ray Davies writing the song.

Ray Davies wrote this nostalgic song about his older sisters, who loved to dance. The song describes how guys would take them out dancing, only to be frustrated at the end of the night when all they would get for their efforts (and money) was a kiss on the cheek.

Davies had six older sisters (and one younger brother: his Kinks bandmate Dave). For years, Ray said that the specific sister this song is about was Gwen, who was the sixth sister and seven years older than him (this fits the timeline, as a young Ray would have seen Gwen going out dancing and then sending off her dates). He later claimed that the sister in the song was Rene, who was 18 years older. According to Davies, Rene married a Canadian soldier and moved with him to Canada. He says is was an abusive and unhappy marriage, and Rene would often return to the childhood home in Muswell Hill for visits.

One of these visits took place in 1957 when Ray turned 13. For his birthday, Rene bought him his first guitar: a Spanish guitar he wanted. That night, she went dancing at the Lyceum Ballroom in London. Rene had rheumatic fever when she was young, and her heart was weak. That night, she suffered a heart attack and died at the ballroom. Twenty-five years later, Ray wrote this song to memorialize her and remember her love of dancing.

Come Dancing

They put a parking lot on a piece of land
When the supermarket used to stand
Before that they put up a bowling alley
On the site that used to be the local pally
That’s where the big bands used to come and play
My sister went there on a Saturday
Come dancing
All her boyfriends used to come and call
Why not come dancing, it’s only natural
Another Saturday, another date
She would be ready but she’s always make him wait
In the hallway, in anticipation
He didn’t know the night would end up in frustration
He’d end up blowing all his wages for the week
All for a cuddle and a peck on the cheek
Come dancing
That’s how they did it when I was just a kid
And when they said come dancing
My sister always did
My sister should have come in a midnight
And my mom would always sit up and wait
It always ended up in a big row
When my sister used to get home late
Out of my window I can see them in the moonlight
Two silhouettes saying goodnight by the garden gate
The day they knocked down the pally
My sister stood and cried
The day they knocked down the pally
Part of my childhood died, just died
Now I’m grown up and playing in a band
And there’s a car park where the pally used to stand
My sister’s married and she lives on an estate
Her daughters go out, now it’s her turn to wait
She knows they get away with things she never could
But if I asked her I wonder if she would
Come dancing
Come on sister, have yourself a ball
Don’t be afraid to come dancing
It’s only natural
Come dancing
Just like the pally on a Saturday
And all her friends will come dancing
Where the big bands used to play