The last time I was at the Hollywood Palladium I was wearing a belly shirt and Doc Martins. Atrocious, right? I don’t remember the exact show we saw as there were many – No Doubt, Veruca Salt, Hole, the Offspring, Bad Religion, L7 – and I’m certain I wore a similar uniform to each. Last month, we headed up to Sunset Blvd. to see the Sound City Players show and it was 1994 all over again. You could feel the history of the Palladium when you walked through the doors, but better yet, I could feel my history.
For those of you not familiar with the Hollywood Palladium, it is a Los Angeles landmark that was built in 1940. Originally built as a dance hall, Frank Sinatra was the venue’s first performer. Crazy, right? It was home to The Lawrence Welk Show for many years. Jimi Hendrix performed there in 1969 and Stevie Wonder in 1973. The Grateful Dead and Keith Richards recorded live from there. Richard Prior filmed a performance there. Shots for movies like Almost Famous and The Blues Brothers were filmed there. See what a mean? The place reads like a history book of awesomeness.
I was barely 19 back when I was visiting the Hollywood Palladium on a regular basis. I remember it being tight with security but didn’t learn until last night why. Lots of fights with knives, apparently. I was usually accompanied by a good friend of mine at the time – Josh – who was like 6′ 8″ tall and he never hesitated to tell someone to back off. He always tore up the pit. The best part of the night was downloading the evening’s events on the ride back to Orange County. Good times.
So, the Sound City Players? Amazing. Maybe beyond amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. Sound City is a documentary about a now defunct recording studio in Los Angeles. So many famous musicians have recorded there – Fleetwood Mac, Rick Springfield, Cheap Trick, Rage Against the Machine, and Nirvana. The show at the Palladium was a full-out jam session after the documentary’s theatrical premiere. The bands I just mentioned? Yes, they were there – in some way, shape, or form. Here’s a link to the complete line up. Did I mention that Dave Grohl put this whole thing together? Yep, he can’t possibly get much cooler.
My favorite performance of the night was probably John Fogerty. How can you not love Proud Mary? It was great. Loved Rick Springfield too. Many years ago, my husband and I got caught dancing alone on the dance floor to Jesse’s Girl at a company party. We were rocking it pretty hard ’80′s style until we noticed we the only ones out there. Dancing halted and we hightailed it to the bar. So seeing Rick Springfield performing that same song was kind of a moment for us. The evening ended with Stevie Nicks. I just about died, especially when she and Dave sang together.
I smile knowing that I get to add the Sound City Players show to my own history with the venue. It will definitely be a night to remember but I can’t help to think that it doesn’t come anywhere close to trumping my early days at the Hollywood Palladium. Even in a belly shirt.