In a New Age of Activism, WeHo Recalls Teen Protest of 50 Years Ago


By thelaegotist / / On Feb. 8, the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts presented “The Rise of Counterculture in West Hollywood: Art, Music and Poetry,” the latest installment of its ongoing celebration “There’s Something Happening Here… On The Sunset Strip 1966.” In last Wednesday’s slide show and discussion, L.A.-based writer/historian Domenic Priore showed how the Sunset Strip absorbed—then advanced—the folk music movement previously “owned” by Greenwich Village by adding amplifiers and subtracting weather. Mayor Lauren Meister kicked off the event by welcoming the crowd of about 100 people. Next, she introduced Councilman John Duran, who presented Priore with a Proclamation commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the Sunset Strip demonstrations. Priore discussed the rise of counterculture in West Hollywood through a visual virtual trip through the City. He began with the cutting-edge art scene centered on the Ferus Gallery on La Cienega, then crawled down Sunset to document the rich musical landscape of the ’50s and ’60s, when clubs on the Strip began hosting jazz, bebop, rock & roll, soul, folk and other styles. Highlights included the Artists Tower of Protest in response to the Vietnam War, that time Bob Dylan joined The Byrds on Stage at Ciro’s Le Disc in 1965, and the Sunset Strip Curfew Demonstrations of 1966 to oppose the closing of teenage nightclub Pandora’s Box. The series marks the golden anniversary of several important dates for the world-famous mile-and-a-half stretch of Sunset Boulevard, which runs through the municipality. A collection of photos by rock & roll photographer Henry Diltz is on display at the West Hollywood Library through May 3. West Hollywood became incorporated in 1984. Domenic Priore, author of Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Last Stand in Hollywood (2015 Jawbone Press, London). Photos courtesy of Tony Coelho/City of West Hollywood Upcoming/Related Programming: As Far as You Can See . . . Sunset Strip through the Eyes of Poets Thursday, April 6, 2017, 7 pm West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. To RSVP: Inside the WeHo Library, West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Kim Dower is curating a poetry reading called “Sunset Strip through the Eyes of Poets” as part of National Poetry Month. Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboards on the Sunset Strip Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 7:30 pm City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. To RSVP: Robert Landau will give a comprehensive talk on the history of Rock N’ Roll Billboards on the Sunset Strip at the WeHo City Council Chambers. @WeHoArts @wehocity