Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sunset's Sunset?

THE SUNSET STRIP. It's a mile and a half stretch of clubs, music venues, and restaurants. It looks, in my opinion, rather unremarkable, just more blocks of business among the many, many others in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I don't know much music history...and it's probably for this reason that'd I'd never heard of The Rainbow Room, The Viper Room, or The Whiskey-a-Go-Go before I moved to Los Angeles.

I've learned that some of the craziest, most talented musicians have performed and made their names in these venues. It's a big deal: Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Van Halen, Motley Crue - just to name a few - have performed here. What a rush! But to walk inside? Take The Viper Room, for example. It feels rather muted. It's just another bar, really. It might even need new furnishing, and it could definitely use a bathroom upgrade. I have to remind myself that I am walking inside walls that have housed musical legends.

Thanks to my recent internship, I've been able to visit Sunset Strip on three separate occasions in the past month. Each visit has felt the same: a struggle. I was eating at a diner 0.8 miles away from The House of Blues, and I thought I'd might drive and re-park, instead of walking the barren and shady strip at night. It took twenty minutes to get from here to there, and even more time to find parking. It makes me wonder how the stars can rise here when movement is often impossible.

It's also a place I've never been to during the day. It's often unremarkable to be in a place during the daylight, but when you consistently experience a place at night, it's worth noting, isn't it? For some reason or another, the experience on the Sunset Strip would not be the same under the sun. True to its name, the only activities that should be experienced there occur at night, when the sun goes down, or much, much afterwards.

I think I've heard people say, The Strip isn't what it used to be. From what it sounds like, the Sunset Strip used to be a hub, a hip hot spot, and now it's dwindled down a bit. I'm not really sure - I'm writing in the dark (maybe I should have finished reading the WHOLE Wikipedia article instead of just scanning it before I started writing..). Sometimes I wish I could have seen it then and now - seen how it's transformed. Would I have wanted to hang out among those crowds, or would I have avoided the scene altogether?

The musicians who play there now are names I've never heard of - but I guess, maybe it's a place where everyone gets their start, before they're well known. The Sunset Strip.

-- Jennifer Pellerito
 Photo Credit: H4NUM4N via Flickr.

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