Los Angeles is known for its nightlife now, but not many people think about the long history behind it. The Grammy Museum is now helping honor that history with an exhibit all about The Roxy, one of LA’s most historically famous clubs.
The exhibit opened Sept. 17 and will continue into 2024. Lou Adler, now 89, and founder of the club was present. The icon was mostly quiet, taking in the press and adoring fans. His second oldest, Cisco Adler, explained “He’s a man of few words and great impact.”
Don’t let his silence fool you, as his son joked that he still considers everything. He’s the type of guy to stay up all night thinking about the font on a napkin.
The senior Adler’s tediousness has paid off because The Roxy speaks for itself. The exhibit honoring the venue comprises mostly of pictures from different historic nights and performances. For example, the work from Joel Berstein who shot the opening night in 1973 is present. Exhibit patrons can see pictures of Neil Young’s performance as well as backstage content and iconic event attendees including Elton John.
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Other artists captured in these photos include Linda Ronstadt during her 1973 shows, Peter Gabriel in 1977, Prince sporting a tiger-striped bikini bottom in 1979, Levon Helm in 1982 and Nick Cave in 1983.
There is even a rule-breaking photo of Bruce Springstein at his 1975 concert, where cameras were banned but photographer Kevin Goff snuck it under his jacket.
The Rocky Horror Show, which debuted in the US for the first time at The Roxy has its own section dedicated to it. Pictures capture the cast, backstage, as well as celebrity attendees including Mick and Bianca Jagger.
During the opening night, a documentary was screened about the club. Lou Adler describes the music scene at The Roxy as “chaos,” as the invitations eventually became uncontrollable. However, he doesn’t regret a single thing: “I was able to do and be involved with things that survive the test of time. That’s the thing I’ll take pride in.”
He has all the right to be prideful given the venue’s status and success. The exhibit’s opening night included a panel where Julie Pilat said it best: “It’s the heart of L.A. It’s just such a special thing to have, in a sprawling city that is so massive, something that truly is local.”
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