KTTV 70: History of the 'Whisky a Go Go'

What's your Whisky memory? I'm referring to the famed 'Whisky a Go Go' on the Sunset Strip. The live-music club built in 1964 helped put the L.A. music scene on the map.

Even Hall of Fame guitarist Robby Krieger first went there as a fan. As KTTV celebrates its 70th anniversary we asked Krieger to take us back in time.

In the early days of the Whisky, you'd see Go-Go dancers and live acts like Johnny Rivers, who got his start there. Krieger says "had the Whisky not been here in L.A. there would be no L.A. music scene."

Krieger was 18 years old the first time he entered this West Hollywood landmark. Krieger recalls standing up on the red booths, craning his neck to see the British band 'Cream' on stage. He saw Jimi Hendrix there too.

When his own band, The Doors, was discovered by the Whisky, they were playing at a small venue down the street. The Doors with frontman Jim Morrison were just starting out.

"We did everything we could to get here, including some things I can't tell you," laughed Krieger. "It was pretty much the goal where every band at that time would love to play."

'The Doors' became the Whisky house band.

"Once you get a full house, It just turned Jim on. He just totally changed. It was the perfect place for him to come out of his shell," said Krieger.

The record companies took notice.

"We were so different. The blues, jazz. We had this crazy lead singer. They'd never seen anything like us," Krieger said.

After more than 50 years the Whisky a Go Go still stands. With the Roxy and Rainbow Bar & Grill restaurant just down the street, the nostalgia lives on. Tower Records is gone, so is Gazzarri's.

Bands that made their mark here include Janis Joplin, Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses.

The Whisky remains that go-to place for so many acts. KISS on its final tour recently played there in a sold-out show. It's still home to emerging artists and veterans alike. You can even catch Krieger here with his own band, the Robby Krieger Band.

For more information, visit www.whiskyagogo.com.

As a part of the fabric of LA's music history its part of our KTTV 70 celebration.