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Whisky a Go Go
Whisky a Go Go is located on the Sunset Strip at 8901 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The popular nightclub was opened January 16th, 1964 by Elmer Valentine, Phil Tanzini, Shelly Davis and attorney Theodore Flier. The famous nightclub was originally advertised as a discotheque, suggesting only recorded music was played, although the Whisky a Go Go opening night was led by a live band with John Rivers as the lead vocals. The decision to open the establishment with a live band would result in the Whisky a Go Go becoming the center of the Los Angeles music scene in the 1960's.
Go-go dancing began at the Whisky a Go Go when Valentine ordered a suspended DJ booth to be hung above the dance floor to allow for more dance space for patrons. Valentine also hired a few female dancers to dance next to the DJ booth to entertain the dancers below. One of the original go-go dancers, Joanna Labean, designed the official go-go girl costume of fringed dress and white boots in the 1960's. During this time many bands and singers rode the go-go popularity wave and created music and songs about the go-go dancing at the Whisky a Go Go.
The Whisky a Go Go has always been at the forefront of musical trends from punk to rock to heavy metal. Many groups have also begun their careers at the Whisky a Go Go including Alice Cooper, Buffalo Springfield and Love. The Doors were the house band for a while and Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention were offered a recording contract based on a performance seen at the Whisky a Go Go. Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding would stop by to jam with different bands as they were passing through town and many British performers began their US careers here including The Kinks, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Oasis.