By thelaegotist / /
On the Sunset Strip in 1965, an electrifying cultural scene appeared out of nowhere, exploded into several creative offshoots, and then suddenly vanished. It wasn’t a coincidence. As L.A. was emerging as the world’s media center it experienced a gold rush of music, art, and social awareness. Meanwhile, Vietnam escalated and the bulk of postwar Baby Boomers reached young adulthood. And realized their fate.
Riot On Sunset Strip, 1966 (Deep Routes #4) captures this brief period when rock ‘n’ roll and social consciousness displaced film as Hollywood’s main draw. In this episode—which premieres this Tuesday, Sept. 1 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. PST on dublab.com—station DJs and hosts Domenic Priore and Becky Ebenkamp take a trip down The Strip when it was evolving from an era of glamorous dinner clubs to a hangout for teenagers who wanted to hear the electrified sounds of beat groups at Hollywood hotspots like The Trip, It’s Boss, The Hullabaloo, Whisky a Go Go, The London Fog, Bido Lito’s, and Pandora’s Box. The city had recently relaxed rules and now 15-year-olds could go to many clubs without an adult. It was officially the era of the teenybopper, and the Sunset Strip is definitely where teenagers hung out.
Deep Routes is a programming series that local community-driven radio and arts foundation dublab created in association with Metro Art. In each episode, listeners hear from musicians who defined their scenes along with a collaged soundtrack of hand selected music, interviews, archival photos, and a broadcasted livestream of the accompanying geographies as seen from a Metro Bike as visual accompaniment.
“Hosts Becky Ebenkamp and Domenic Priore bring the riotous, youthful energy of the 1960s Sunset Strip back to brilliant light in the newest episode of Deep Routes,” said Mark “Frosty” McNeill, dublab co-founder and co-producer of the series. “The energy of this momentous scene crackles with electricity through their vivid, historical narratives while a soundtrack of paisley-powered rock provides the magic carpet for these mesmerizing stories to fly high.”
Riot On Sunset Strip, 1966, also features contributions by special dublab guests Johnny Echols, the lead guitar player for the band Love, and Sunset Strip scenemaker Pamela Des Barres, author of I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie.
From the moment The Byrds debuted at Ciro’s on March 26, 1965 until the November 1966 protests, Sunset Strip clubs broke a number of legendary groups, including The Doors, Love, Buffalo Springfield, the Mothers Of Invention, Brenton Wood, The Turtles, The Chambers Brothers, and The Mamas & The Papas. Every night, bodies crammed into these once-grand clubs and spilled out onto the street, as documented in Priore’s book Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock ’n’ Roll’s Last Stand in Hollywood, on which this episode is based. Everything came to a head after repeated run-ins with cops. You’ve heard the famous song about the riots—now you can learn what it was about.