Raji's

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Raji's was a rock and roll nightclub in central Hollywood, open in the 1980s and early 1990s.[1] It was located in the Hastings Hotel building. The space had previously been a Greek restaurant called The King's Palace.

It was one of the great sweaty, smoke-filled 'dives' of rock. It featured performances by bands such as Green Day, Guns N' Roses, Redd Kross, Hole,[2] Jane's Addiction, Arab and The Suburban Turbans, Dream Syndicate, The Lonesome Strangers, Snake Farm, The Billy Bremner Band, The Shades, Tex & the Horseheads, Lock-Up, Mary's Danish, The Miracle Workers, Social Distortion, The Electric Ferrets, the Mentors, GG Allin, The Nymphs, and Los Lobos, as well as out-of-town acts like Nirvana (as seen on the cover of Nirvana's 7" single, "Sliver"), Pink Fairies, Pussy Galore, Mod Fun and Kyuss. Top-draw local acts like Thelonious Monster, The Muffs, the Red Aunts, The Lazy Cowgirls, Beck, Trash Can School, Pigmy Love Circus, Oiler, Kryptonite Nixon, Butt Trumpet, Kill Buddha, the Sacred Hearts, the Creamers, The Humpers, and many others found enthusiastic crowds as well.

The club was also a hot spot for musicians, who would often come to watch bands and have drinks. Notable customers included Jonathan Richman, members of R.E.M., Top Jimmy, Gil T, and Carlos Guitarlos (of Top Jimmy & The Rhythm Pigs), Billy Bremner of Rockpile, Nino Del Pesco (The Lonesome Strangers), Viki Peterson (of The Bangles), Texacala Jones or Mike Martt (of Tex & the Horseheads), Bernie Bernstein (The Little Kings), Flea (of Red Hot Chili Peppers), Pope, Beck, Mike Savage (of Pigmy Love Circus), Texas Terri, and more with an inside few often invited to stay after hours to party with the infamous Danny "Dobbs" Wilson, founder and booker of the club, and his regular cast of characters which included Bernie the doorman, Autumn the bartender, floor security Clint, Tony T, Dirty Ed, and The Pope.

Around 1991, poor management and poor treatment of local talent resulted in a sort of "blackout" for Raji's by many bands. The employees who had helped Raji's become the club that it had once been dispersed.

At the instigation of local bands, however, a new booker named K.C. Dinneny opened "Club Gidgit" at Raji's. It opened on March 17, 1992 (St. Patrick's Day), at 3:00 in the afternoon, with a $5 entry fee. Raji's rocked once again, with Firehose, DC-3, and the Alleycats/Zarkons, among others.

After the success of "Club Gidgit," K.C. went into negotiations with the owners and was able to get complete control of the club, except the bar, and was able to run Raji's on his terms. This resulted in musicians receiving 80% of the net and the rehiring of ex-employees, such as the infamous "Dirty Ed" as the back door man, once again. Raji's briefly recaptured its former glory. One could see the likes of Dwarves, Spoon, Fishbone, My Other Side, Meat Puppets, Backbiter, Suplex Slam, The Red Devils/Blue Shadows, DC-3, Rage Against the Machine, Dumpster, Dead, White, and Blue, White Zombie, Haunted Garage, Pennywise, Green Day, The Reverend Horton Heat, Top Jimmy, X, The Muffs, Wetherbell, Texorcist, Circle One, The Gears, The D.I.'s, Adolescents, Dogstar, The Uninvited, The Superkools, Claw Hammer, Two Free Stooges, The Flesh Eaters, Continental Drifters, Kyuss, Buglamp, Cake, Two Bass Hit, The Marigolds, The Jack Brewer Band, The Melodiacs, and The Skulls, among countless others. Bands that had previously deserted Raji's, such as Tex & the Horseheads and Thelonious Monster, returned at this time. However, with K.C.'s departure at the end of the year, the club returned to the owners who had previously mismanaged it, and the decline continued.

In 1991, the owners of the building decided to take over the booking and operation of the club. The quality of acts slowly declined, and attendance dropped off accordingly. K.C.'s brief management of the club only temporarily arrested this decline. In 1994, following the Northridge earthquake which damaged the hotel building, Raji's closed.

A bar called Raji's existed a few blocks away from the club's former location, run by the same family that ran the club in its last two years, until 2007, when it closed due to the gentrification of central Hollywood.

Danny "Dobbs" Wilson died in 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "All Time Top 25 Rock N' Roll Bars". Whiskey Goldmine. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  2. ^ Brite, Poppy Z. Courtney Love: The Real Story. Simon & Schuster. 

Coordinates: 34°6′5.14″N 118°19′28.33″W / 34.1014278°N 118.3245361°W / 34.1014278; -118.3245361