Rainbow Bar and Grill

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Coordinates: 34°05′26″N 118°23′18″W / 34.090621°N 118.388318°W / 34.090621; -118.388318

Rainbow Bar and Grill
The Rainbow Bar & Grill.jpg
The Rainbow
Location 9015 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, California
Coordinates 34°05′26″N 118°23′18″W / 34.090621°N 118.388318°W / 34.090621; -118.388318
Type nightclub
Genre(s) rock heavy metal Glam Metal
Opened 1972

The Rainbow Bar and Grill is a bar and restaurant on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, United States adjacent to the border of Beverly Hills, California. Its address is 9015 Sunset Boulevard.

The bottom level of the building is the restaurant, The Rainbow Bar and Grill. Upstairs is an exclusive club called "Over the Rainbow", which consists of a full bar, dance floor, and a DJ booth. The restaurant is next to The Roxy Theatre and The Key Club.

The restaurant was founded in early 1972 by Elmer Valentine, Lou Adler, Mario Maglieri and others,[1] opening on April 16, 1972 with a party for Elton John.[2] At the time, the word "rainbow" signified peace and freedom. It quickly became known as a hangout for celebrities of all types.[3] John Belushi ate his last meal[4] (lentil soup)[5] at table #16. For many years, the owner was Mario Maglieri.[3]

Before becoming the Rainbow, the restaurant was the Villa Nova restaurant, which was originally owned by film director Vincente Minnelli, at the time married to Judy Garland. Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe met at the restaurant on a blind date in 1952.[6]

The Rainbow became known as a hangout for rock musicians and their groupies. Notable regulars at the Rainbow in this period include Lemmy Kilmister, John Lennon, Keith Moon, Micky Dolenz, Grace Slick, Ringo Starr, Neil Diamond,[4] Robert Plant, Tony Iommi, Ronnie James Dio, Alice Cooper, Lizzy Valentine and many others. Elvis Presley was known to have occasionally visited the Rainbow. The famous group of musicians called The Hollywood Vampires made the Rainbow their home away from home in the early 1970s.

Los Angeles songwriter Warren Zevon referenced the scene at the Rainbow in the last verse of his 1976 song "Poor Poor Pitiful Me."

The musical group Rainbow was named after this club.

The track "Rainbow Bar & Grill" from the Cheech & Chong album Let's Make a New Dope Deal takes place in the bar and restaurant.

Producer Kim Fowley used to hangout at the Rainbow, especially in 1975, when he formed the all-girl group The Runaways. Actress and musician Cheryl Smith was given her pseudonym Rainbeaux Smith early in her career as a result of her frequenting the Rainbow; she briefly replaced Sandy West as drummer of The Runaways at the very tail end of that band's existence.

As musical trends on the Strip changed towards heavy metal in the 1980s, the Rainbow followed suit. Members of Mötley Crüe,[7] Poison, and Guns N' Roses frequented the bar.[8] It was mentioned in a number of songs, such as "Sunset and Babylon" by W.A.S.P., "Vampire" by L.A. Guns and "Peach Kelli Pop" by Redd Kross, and featured in the videos of "November Rain", "Estranged" and "Don't Cry" by Guns N' Roses and also, although briefly, "Rock Out" by Motörhead .

Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers noted in his book Scar Tissue that he often sat with his father, Blackie Dammett, at the club along with various members of bands such as Led Zeppelin. Often the waitresses and bartenders were groupies as well as those who frequented the establishment. In Pamela Des Barres' book, Let's Spend the Night Together, the author commented that as an employee in the early 1980s she met a number of celebrities including Billy Idol.[9]

In the early nineties, a tradition of hanging out at The Rainbow after a show was carried on by Glam Metal bands like Peppermint Creeps, The Zeros[disambiguation needed], Alley Cat Scratch, Slamhound, No Sympathy, and Big Bang Babies.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McLellan, Dennis (December 7, 2008). "Elmer Valentine, co-founder of Whisky a Go Go, dies at 85". Los Angeles Times. pp. B11. 
  2. ^ Erik Quisling, Straight Whisky: A Living History of Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll on the Sunset Strip (Bonus Books 2003), pp175-176
  3. ^ a b Waserman, Kastle. "Rock 'n' Rollers, Your Tab Is Running at the Rainbow", Los Angeles Times, 2002-12-15, p. I8.
  4. ^ a b "High life", People Weekly, 41 (2):56–62, 1994-01-17.
  5. ^ Bonino, Rick. "Soup up your own recipes", Spokesman Review, 1999-02-17, p. D1.
  6. ^ "Legends never die: Joe DiMaggio – 1914 to 1999: Yankee Clipper famous for far more than baseball exploits", Toronto Star, 1999-03-09, p. 1.
  7. ^ Zimmerman, Linda. "Scratchin' Around for Chicken Soup", Los Angeles Times, 1988-01-31, p. 90.
  8. ^ Haring, Bruce. "Metal bands regain a heavy attitude", USA Today, 1996-04-16, p. 4D.
  9. ^ Des Barres, Pamela (July 9, 2007). PUNKCAST#1177 "Let's Spend the Night Together". Reading in Soho. McNally Robinson NYC. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 

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