Have you ever thought you went somewhere, but really did not? Or, perhaps you just forgot? I am almost certain that I went to the famous Troubadour in Los Angeles in the Seventies. I was often in Los Angeles on business, and tended to stay and dine around central Los Angeles. And perhaps nowhere in LA was a place so well known for “unknown” musicians than the Troubadour.
Opened in 1957 in West Hollywood, the Troubadour has presented some of the world’s most famous entertainers, such as Elton John, James Taylor, and Tom Waits. So, just to make doubly sure I have been there, I am going tonight, perhaps to see the next Grammy winner, or the next big flop.
Some of the events and people that put the Troubadour on the musical map:
1957 Lenny Bruce was arrested here.
1964 Bob Dylan walks on stage for an impromptu jam session.
1965 The Byrds with Roger McGuinn perform their version of “Mr. Tambourine Man”.
1966 Buffalo Springfield makes their debut.
1968 Joni Mitchell, Richard Pryor and Gordon Lightfoot make their debuts.
1969 Poco, Neil Young, and James Taylor make their debuts.
1970 Don Henley and Glen Fry meet in the Troubadour bar. Neil Diamond introduces Elton John to his U.S. debut. Others appearing in 1970 were Linda Rondstadt, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, James Taylor, and Carole King.
I think you get the idea now. The names just keep coming, each more famous than the other. Any night can produce an impromptu set by someone who has made it big. Included are: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Miles Davis, Pointer Sisters, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Carly Simon, Brian Wilson, Tim Hardin, Pearl Jam, Johnny Trash, Coldplay, Tom Petty, Hall and Oates, Prince, Ringo Starr, Alabama, John Legend, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, Neil Young, and David Crosby.
So, who am I going to see? A guy named Jay Brannan, a folk singer and song writer. His music is called sweet and sad, with a healthy dose of humor. Performing with Brannan is Bitch, a queer icon who is a singer, actress, and writer. She plays the electric violin, bass, and ukulele. She has used Kickstarter to fund her last three musical projects.
If you are ever in the West Hollywood or greater Los Angeles area, I strongly suggest you stop by. It is located at 9081 Santa Monica Boulevard. Tickets are available online, and many shows sell out quickly, some based on rumors as to who might show up. Tonight, I can only hope it is Springsteen or Elton.