|Former names P.J.'s (1961-1973)|
Closed June 13, 1981
Owner Eddie Nash
Type of business Nightclub, music venue
Years active 8
|Address 8151 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Similar Gazzarri's, Whisky a Go Go, Troubadour, Santa Monica Civic Aud, Roxy Theatre
The Starwood was a popular nightclub and music venue in West Hollywood, California from early 1973 to 1981. Many punk bands and heavy metal bands started their careers playing at the club. The Starwood was located on the northwest corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and North Crescent Heights Blvd.
P.J.'s nightclub (1961-1973)
The Starwood was preceded by P.J.'s, a fashionable jazz and pop music nightclub during the 1960s, which attracted a large number of film and TV personalities, and some old school jazz musicians. Established in February 1961 by Paul Raffles, Chuck Murano, Bill Daugherty, and Elmer Valentine, it hosted such acts as the Bobby Fuller Four, the Standells, Rufus Thomas, Trini Lopez, and Kool & the Gang, all of whom recorded live albums there. Other notable performers at the venue were the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Tim Buckley. The club was managed by Valentine, before he left to found the Whisky a Go Go.
In late 1971, P.J.'s had been bought by alleged organized crime figures Eddie Nash and Dominic Lucci, together with Hal Glickman. After received a light renovation, the club was reopened to the public in January 1972.
The Starwood (1973-1981)
In 1973, after Nash bought out Lucci's and Glickman's ownership interests in the P.J.'s club, it became the Starwood, which was managed by Gary Fontenot until the club closed its doors on June 13, 1981, shut down by the Los Angeles County authorities after too many citations for underage drinking and noise abatement issues, among others. In May 1982, before it was demolished, it caught fire, though not burning totally. This occurred while unexplained fires befell other Nash-owned properties at the time. Subsequently the structure was torn down, and a mini-mall was built on the site.
The Starwood was highly instrumental in the careers of many regional bands and artists including Van Halen, X, the Germs (who played their legendary last show at the venue), the Go-Go's, Fear, Circle Jerks, the Knack, W.A.S.P. (known as Circus Circus at the time), the Motels, Quiet Riot, Dokken and the Runaways.
Mötley Crüe, one of the most successful bands to emerge from the Sunset Strip music scene, played their first concert together as a band at the Starwood on April 24, 1981 with help from the band's bass guitarist, Nikki Sixx, who was employed by the Starwood at the time and convinced his boss to let them play there, opening for the already established California-based band Y&T. Sixx had previously performed at the Starwood prior to forming Mötley Crüe with his former band, London.
Some of the acts from outside of California who played at the Starwood include the Damned, Devo, the Jam, Cheap Trick, the Ramones, the Dead Boys, the Stranglers, AC/DC, Slade, Vince Vance & the Valiants, Rush, UFO, the Fleshtones, and Judas Priest, who did three nights at the Starwood in 1978.