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The Starwood entrance in early 1979.
|Former names||P.J.'s (1961-1973)|
|Address||8151 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
|Type||Nightclub, music venue|
|Capacity||800 (500 seated)
400 standing at the Rock Room
|Closed||June 13, 1981|
The Starwood was a popular nightclub and music venue in West Hollywood, California from early 1973 to 1981. Many punk bands and heavy metal bands started their careers playing at the club. The Starwood was located on the northwest corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and North Crescent Heights Blvd. It had been a fashionable jazz and pop music nightclub called P.J.'s in the 1960s, which attracted a large number of film and TV personalities and some old school jazz musicians. The club 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.
In January 1972, the P.J.'s had been bought by organized crime figures Eddie Nash and Dominic Lucci, together with Hal Glickman. In 1973, after Nash bought out Lucci's and Glickman's ownership interests in the club, it became the Starwood, which was managed by Gary Fontenot until the club closed its doors on June 13, 1981, shut down by the Los Angeles County authorities, after too many citations for underage drinking and noise abatement issues, among others. In May 1982, 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, Dokken and the Runaways.
Judas Priest did 3 great nights at the Starwood in 1978.
Mötley Crüe, 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 on April 24, 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, opening for the already established California-based band Y&T. Sixx had previously performed at the Starwood prior to forming Mötley Crüe with his former band, London.
Some of the acts from outside of California who played at the Starwood include the Damned, Devo, the Jam, Cheap Trick, the Ramones, the Dead Boys, the Stranglers, AC/DC, Slade, Vince Vance & the Valiants, Rush, UFO, and the Fleshtones.
The 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.
- TLC (November 20, 2008). "Starwood 1973- 1982". gogonotes.blogspot.com.
- John (March 20, 2014). "Gary Fontenot, Manager of the Starwood" (obituary and interview). wonderland1981.wordpress.com.