My idea of ‘Heaven’ takes form in a place 5447 miles away. This place may just be one of the most amazing destinations to go for all you 80’s metal heads. We live in a world that we know was created by the monstrosity known as ‘science’, but my world has been shaped and defined by it’s musical backgrounds and began it’s foetal form in Los Angeles, USA. You are probably wondering what I’m talking about?
The ‘Sunset Strip’ is the label that is given to the mile-and-a-half stretch of Sunset Boulevard. It passes through West Hollywood, California. The strip is best known for it’s lock of boutiques, restaurants and rock clubs that are on the cutting edge of the entertainment industry. It’s also identified for it’s colourful and large billboards which help to add to the places pizzazz. The strip slowly emerged in the 1920’s when a number of casino’s and nightclubs appeared, this attracted actors and actresses as it was a less-restricted area. During the 1930’s and 1940’s, glitz and glamour began to define the Strip as the restaurants and nightclubs essentially became a ‘playground’ for the rich and famous.
By the time the 1970’s began, the Strip became a popular place for musicians to hangout as the British Glam Rock movement seeped into the tastes of the American culture. The era that most fascinates me was in the 1980’s. With the increase of the glam metal scene, the Sunset Strip became a major area for up and coming rock bands. The rock clubs adopted a ‘pay to play’ tactic in which bands were charged a fee to play.Personally, I am in awe of the Sunset Strip because I know it was the place in which my favourite 80’s rock bands found their fame. Bands such as Guns N’ Roses and Mötley Crüe kick-started their legendary legacy by performing as many concerts as they could in some of the most popular nightclubs such as ‘The Roxy’, ‘Whisky a Go Go’ and most famously the ‘Troubadour’.
Guns N’ Roses began by having to sell a certain amount of tickets in order to be able to play and very often, no one turned up. This changed as the preferred style of rock shifted and influenced people to broaden their tastes to the new bands in which Sunset Strip was providing for them. Eventually, Guns N’ Roses became so big that they were able to close down some of the Strip in order to film Slash’s legendary guitar solo in the music video for ‘Estranged’.I hope that one day I will be able to go to America and visit this amazing place, soaking up the history that hangs in the air at the clubs and restaurants. Although it may not be the same as it was back in 1980, I can still say that I’ve eaten some food in ‘The Rainbow Bar& Grill’ where Guns N’ Roses would hangout or that I’ve visited the various boutiques and listen to the music that is influenced from the history of Sunset Boulevard.
Thanks for reading.