Where Ten Rock Palaces Used to Stand (Photo Essay)

Where Ten Rock Palaces Used to Stand (Photo Essay)

At one time they ruled the night as some of the most iconic hot-spots in music history. Here are ten that are now all gone, transformed into new facilities with new functions and new audiences…but who’s to say you can’t feel a little bit of the spirits if you pause outside where the doors used to stand?

  • The Warehouse – 1820 Tchoupitoulas Street New Orleans, Louisiana

warehouse

From 1969 to 1982, a former coffee storage warehouse hosted many memorable rock concerts, including shows from David Bowie to Bob Dylan. It was here on December 12, 1970, that The Doors played their final public performance—a supposed disaster that found front man Jim Morrison smashing a hole in the middle of the stage with the mic stand.

The building has since been razed.

  • The Experience – 7601 Sunset Boulevard Hollywood, California

experience

In the late 1960s, this famous building featured a huge painting of Jimi Hendrix’s head on the front door—so to enter you had to walk through his mouth. Hendrix jammed here many times, as did Led Zeppelin and many others. Today, the building still stands but it’s an auction house.

  • Rendezvous Ballroom – Between Washington and Palm Avenues (Along what is now Ocean Front Boulevard) Balboa, California

rendezvous Ballroom marker

Originally built in 1928, the Rendezvous Ballroom was a huge, two-story dancehall that over the years hosted Artie Shaw, Ozzie Nelson, Benny Goodman, Guy Lombardo, Bob Crosby, Tommy Dorsey, Stan Kenton and many other music legends of the day.

But it was in the late 1950s and early 1960s that a musical revolution began at this spot, because that’s when seminal surf guitarist Dick Dale and his group the Del-Tones began playing here. Their numerous appearances at the ballroom are considered by many to be what became the birth of true “Surf” music (Dale’s sound even inspired a dance—“The Surfer Stomp”). In 1966, the Rendezvous Ballroom burned to the ground and today a plaque can be found at the site.

  • Shelley’s Manne-Hole – 1608 Cahuenga Boulevard Hollywood, California

manhole

For 14 years (1960–1974), the famous Los Angeles jazz club Shelley’s Manne-Hole was located here. Drummer Shelly Manne ran the place, which featured headliners such as Miles Davis, Bill Evans and John Coltrane. A manhole at the site commemorates the former club.

  • Bel Air Club – 312 Catalina Avenue Redondo Beach, California

bel air club

Thought to be the birthplace of surf music, this is where a band called The Belairs played regularly in 1961 to the beach crowd. Their catchy instrumentals caught on, especially a tune called Mr. Moto, which became a local hit and eventually inspired the Beach Boys. An office is now located at the site.

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