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The Starwood Club was located on the northwest corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and North Crescent Heights Blvd. It had been a fashionable jazz nightclub called PJ's in the 1960s, which attracted a large number of film and TV personalities and some old school jazz musicians. PJ's hosted such acts as The Bobby Fuller Four, The Standells, Rufus Thomas, Trini Lopez, and Kool & the Gang who recorded live albums there. It was managed by Elmer Valentine before he left to found the Whisky A Go-Go.
By 1966 PJ's had been bought by an organized crime figure, Eddie Nash and reputed organized crime figure Dominic Lucci, and was managed by Gary Fontenot (not an organized crime figure) for many years. In 1973, after Nash bought out Lucci's ownership interest in the club, it became The Starwood. It closed in 1981, torn down by the City, after too many citations for underage drinking and noise abatement issues. Before it was demolished it caught fire, though not burning totally. This occurred while unexplained fires befell other Nash-owned properties at the time. Subsequently the structure was torn down, and a mini-mall was built on the site.
The Starwood was highly instrumental in the careers of many regional bands and artists including Van Halen, The Germs (their legendary last show), The Go-Go's, FEAR, Circle Jerks, The Knack, W.A.S.P. (known as Circus, Circus at the time), The Motels, Quiet Riot and The Runaways.
Motley Crue, one of the most successful bands to emerge from the Sunset Strip music scene, played their first concert together as a band at the Starwood in 1981 with help from the band's bass guitarist, Nikki Sixx, who was employed by the Starwood at the time and convinced his boss to let them play there. Sixx had previously performed at the Starwood prior to forming Motley Crue, with his former band, London.
Some of the acts from outside of California who played at the Starwood include The Damned, Dokken, Devo, The Jam, Cheap Trick, The Ramones, Dead Boys, The Stranglers, AC/DC, Slade, Vince Vance & the Valiants, Rush, and The Fleshtones.
Starwood was mentioned in the Red Hot Chili Peppers' song "Deep Kick" ("Had to sneak into the Starwood"). The club is also mentioned (along with Madame Wong's and the Whiskey A Go-Go) in the title track from Frank Zappa's 1981 album, Tinseltown Rebellion.
- Young, Paul (2002). L.A. Exposed: Strange Myths and Curious Legends in the City of Angels. St. Martin's Press. p. 113. ISBN 9780312206468.