Roxy Theatre (West Hollywood)
Last updated on 7 June 2017
The Roxy Theatre (often just the Roxy) is a nightclub on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, owned by Lou Adler and his son, Nic, who operates it.
The Roxy was opened on September 23, 1973, by Elmer Valentine and Lou Adler, along with original partners David Geffen, Elliot Roberts and Peter Asher. They took over the building previously occupied by a strip club owned by Chuck Landis called the Largo. (Adler was also responsible for bringing the stage play The Rocky Horror Show to the United States, and it opened its first American run at The Roxy Theatre in 1974, before it was made into the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show the next year.)
Neil Young and his band The Santa Monica Flyers played the Roxy for the first week it was open. Only three months later, the Genesis lineup with Peter Gabriel played several consecutive days at the Roxy, a run that some band members and many fans consider to be amongst their finest performances (due partially to the intimate atmosphere and good acoustics of the venue, as well as the legendary reputation of "Hollywood" amongst performers around the world).
Paul Reubens, then a struggling comedian, introduced his Pee-wee Herman character in a raunchy revue here in 1981 that included other aspiring comics including Phil Hartman and Elayne Boosler.
The small On the Rox bar above the club has hosted a wide variety of debauchery in its history. The bar was a regular hangout for John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Alice Cooper and Keith Moon during Lennon's "lost weekend" in 1973-74 and hosted parties arranged by Heidi Fleiss in the 1980s.
Recordings and notable performances
- Jazz group The Crusaders recorded the live album Scratch at the Roxy in 1974.
- Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention recorded most of their Roxy and Elsewhere (1974) album during December 1973. Since 1974 various albums have included material from those shows. In 2015 a live concert video was released showing those performances.
- Bob Marley & The Wailers recorded Live at the Roxy (released in 2008) on May 26, 1976.
- The Ramones played their first California concert at the Roxy on August 11, 1976. The concert scenes for their 1979 movie Rock 'n' Roll High School were filmed at the Roxy in December 1978.
- Peter Gabriel played several shows at the Roxy during his first solo world tour on April 9 and 10, 1977 (2 performances/day). All of these shows was broadcast by FM local radio but has never released as an official record.
- George Benson's Platinum live album Weekend in L.A. (1978) was culled from a three-night engagement at The Roxy from September 30 – October 2, 1977.
- Nine songs from Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's Live/1975-85 album were recorded at the Roxy from shows in 1975 and 1978. The 1978 show was also broadcast on local radio station KMET.
- Van Morrison recorded a radio show in November 1978 that was released as a promo LP Live at the Roxy.
- The live album Welcome to the Club by the Ian Hunter Band, featuring Mick Ronson, was recorded at the Roxy during seven shows over a week in November 1979 and released the following year.
- Prince (musician) very first leg of his debut North American tour, "Prince Tour" kicked off at the Roxy on November 26, 1979
- English prog rock band Gentle Giant played their last gig here on June 16, 1980. The soundboard recording was later released as the live album The Last Steps.
- Warren Zevon's live album, Stand in the Fire, was recorded during five shows he played at The Roxy in 1980.
- Musician Stevie Wonder played a concert at the Roxy featuring the first ever live performances of his hits Lately and Master Blaster (Jammin').
- Billy & The Beaters' 1981 debut album (including singles "I Can Take Care of Myself" and "At This Moment") was recorded live at the Roxy January 15–17, 1981.
- In 1984, Ratt recorded the video for their hit single "Back for More" from the album Out of the Cellar at The Roxy.
- Guns N' Roses recorded Live at the Roxy in 1986.
- Jane's Addiction recorded the basic tracks for their 1987 self-titled debut album, at The Roxy in January, 1987. While the album was finished in studio, the band hoped tracking the basics live would better help capture the energy and essence of the band.
- The Too Hot For Snakes album by Carla Olson and Mick Taylor was recorded on March 4, 1990.
- System of a Down made their first performance here in 1993, due to their manager and bassist persisting.
- NOFX's live album I Heard They Suck Live!! was recorded at the Roxy on January 8–9, 1995.
- Michel Polnareff's live album, Live at the Roxy, was recorded in 1995 and released in 1996.
- Social Distortion released a live album, entitled Live at the Roxy on June 30, 1998, that was recorded on April 7–9, 1998.
- The CD/DVD album Collision Course by Linkin Park and Jay-Z, comes with a DVD that contains behind the scene footage and the second take of all the Collision Course's songs at the Roxy Theatreon July 18, 2004.
- Avril Lavigne performed her acoustic EP Control Room: Live at The Roxy in 2008. When speaking about this tour, Lavigne said that she wanted this tour to be performed in smaller locations so she could connect with her fans more instead of at large arenas.
- The Mighty Boosh performed their second stint of American shows at The Roxy Theatre in July 2009.
- The Roxy Theatre is featured in the 2008 video game, Midnight Club: Los Angeles.
- Sum 41 shot the video for their song "Screaming Bloody Murder" at the Roxy on April 3, 2011.
- The Royal Pirates held their fourth public California showcase at the Roxy on August 5–6, 2011.
- Fuse TV taped the live performance of Red Hot Chili Peppers for Fuse Presents: Red Hot Chili Peppers Live from the Roxy on August 22, 2011.
- KoRn shot the performance part of the video for their song "Narcissistic Cannibal" at the Roxy on September 27, 2011.
- Ariana Grande performed a sold out concert at the Roxy on February 19, 2012.
- Jessie J has also played a show at The Roxy on April 9, 2012 to a crowd of 500 including Jason Derulo and bandmates from The Wanted.
- MENEW performed a sold out concert during their Wide Awake Hello Tour at the Roxy on August 14, 2012.
- Tori Kelly performed a sold out concert at the Roxy on October 24, 2012 (which was streamed live online on Ustream).
- Mark Tremonti played a show at The Roxy with his solo band on March 3, 2013, playing his debut solo album All I Was.
- Escape the Fate released a DVD, Escape the Fate: Live from the Roxy from their free show there on January 6, 2013. It was included in their Deluxe version of the album Ungrateful.
- Atmosphere did a release party at the venue for their seventh album, Southsiders, which was released on May 6, 2014.
- Babes in Toyland played their second show in 14 years since their breakup in 2001 on February 12, 2015 at the venue. They were introduced by Tom Morello, and in attendance were other celebrity guests including Brody Dalle, Donita Sparks, Eric Erlandson, and Patty Schemel.
- U2 played a concert at the Roxy on May 28, 2015, during a gap in performances during their Innocence + Experience Tour.
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