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Top 10 “Rock n’ Roll” spots to visit when in Hollywood!

Top 10 "Rock n’ Roll" spots to visit when in Hollywood!


That world famous sign & palm tree lined streets in Hollywood

We have been getting tons of emails for years that ask Metal Sludge, where are the coolest places to go visit when I vacation in Los Angeles. Or, more directly Hollywood.

We have come up with a Top 10 "Rock n’ Roll" spots to visit list when in Hollywood!

If you are coming to LA these should be on your list.

10. Venice Beach

How rock n’ roll is the beach? Well, if any beach is close to rockin’ – it’s definitely Venice. There is mass tourist action here, endless cafe’s, street performers (some very good), a skatepark, sidewalk comedians and of course sand leading right into the Pacific Ocean. This is a good weekend morning to mid afternoon stop. Grab yourself some cheap swag, sun glasses and back to your Motel for the nightlife back in Hollywood.

Downfall, seeing more homeless people in a 2 hour period than you have in the last 2 years.


This cat ‘Harry Perry‘ has been on Venice for almost 40 years.

9. Melrose Blvd.

It’s just a street, but on the weekends, it’s pretty rock n’ roll mid day. Even though not as famous as some of the other Los Angeles Boulevards, Melrose on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon for shopping, is definitely a must. Foot traffic between 12 noon and 5:pm is almost like an outdoor club. There is about a 5-6 block stretch that is all shops, cafe’s, boutiques and more. Johnny Rockets usually has no less than 8-10 Harley’s parked out front, and probably just as many pit bulls tied up to the patrons tables. The shops are everything from trendy, to punk, rock n’ roll to designer.

The Bad: Parking sucks. The Good: Lot’s of young, attractive people, good food & killer stores.

8. NoHo District

This is short for the North Hollywood Arts District. NoHo doesn’t have a super popular rock club, or a ton of killer botiques like Melrose – but  there are a lot of related companies in the immediate area. Lankershim & Magnolia is a bustling corner with Amp Rehearsal Studios, a Starbucks and the HaHa Comedy Cafe. The area has a lot of new apartment and studio style lofts that house a young and energetic crowd. Also, a lot of music industry calls the neigborhood home, including Coffin Case, A&S Case, NRG Studios, Nitengale Studios, Steak House Studios, Track Record & One on One (where Metallica recorded the Black album. They also filmed much of the "Nothing Else Matters" VIDEO here as well). There are several cafe’s, resturants to go with a few dance studios, and several theatre style venue’s that host plays and musicals. The Metro Rail dumps you off right in the heart of NoHo & for a buck and some change you can go back to Hollywood or downtown on LA’s only underground subway in minutes.

You are literally walking distance to Universal Studios City Walk.

Suggested: Tokyo Delve’s Sushi. It can get pretty crazy with a line outside & people standing on tables.


Gn’R rock a booth at Canter’s back in the day

7. Canters Deli – Jerry’s Famous Deli

These 2 Deli’s are both worth a stop. Canter’s on Fairfax just south of Melrose has Guns N’ Roses roots. The son (Marc) recently released a book "Reckless Road". Aside from rock bands, this place has been a eatery and hang out for celebrities going back for decades.

The original Jerry’s Famous Deli is actually based in Studio City on Ventura Blvd and opened in 1978. This place has definitely seen some rock n’ roll over the years and celebrity clientel in general. Rockers Eddie Van Halen, Gilby Clarke & Stephen Pearcy all live up the street. Jerry’s also was home to several of the "Rock n’ Jock" bowling events with it’s attached PINZ bowling alley.

Canter’s is way more authentic. Jerry’s is more modern since it half burned down in 2002.


Whisky-A-Go-Go 1972 – Note the Alice Cooper billboard for new single "School’s Out"

6. The Whisky A Go Go  196619711980

It’s a club, but not just any club. The Whisky-A-Go-Go is without a doubt, one of the most famous club names on the planet. CBGB’s is now gone and Studio 54 has been history for decades – but the Whisky is still standing. This club is worth the price of admission on any night just to step in and imagine right before your eyes – in concert, The Doors, Motley Crue, The Go-Go’s, Iggy & The Stooges, J. Geils Band, Ratt, Nancy Sinatra and the list is endless. Not much else to say, but this place is legendary.

Only 1 short block down is the Viper Room formerly The Central & Filthy McNastys.

5. Hollywood Forever Cemetary & The Hollywood sign

Yes folks, a cemetary makes the list. And there is a list of who’s who buried HERE.

Legendary rockers, actors, and some of Hollywood’s most elite are piled in the ground at this location.

The Hollywood sign is just that, a sign. But it’s got history, you can see it from countless streets, and even some PEOPLE have hung themselves on it.

4. Guitar Center

It’s basically the K-Mart of music equipment located right on the Sunset Strip in the heart of Hollywood. But for a K-Mart, it has quite an atmosphere. The RockWalk of fame is worth a look alone. Across the street are select smaller music related stores (Carvin, Mesa Boogie & Sam Ash). These stores are always full of newbies, wannabes and usually some name guys too. Directly across the street is El Compadre Mexican resturant. Standing to the right as you exit Guitar Center is the World Famous Sunset Grill. Yes, the song Don Henley wrote is all about this location. Sadly, the original "shack" was torn down, and what a shame that was. Axl Rose once did a photo shoot outside this place.

Draw back, dealing with jackass employees (musicians) who act like total DICKS


Steven, Duff, Axl & Izzy dinner at El Compadre (1986)

3. Steel Panther

Where EVER they are. You need to go. The band has been playing Monday nights on the Sunset Strip for more than 10 years. From the Viper Room, to the Roxy, to the Key Club and now at the House of Blues. Every Monday without fail, you will be rocked like FUCK. Seriously, if they play a gutter or a garage, the show will be a madhouse. Imagine Bon Jovi & Poison in concert, 1988, tits everywhere, leppard spandex, lazer lights and oh yeah, did we mention tits everywhere? The band has jammed with every star imaginable. Paul Stanley, Steven Tyler, Phil Anselmo, Tommy Lee & even Meatloaf.

Chances of meeting someone famous. About as sure as Vince Neil drinks alcohol. Bring a camera.

2. Amoeba Music

Yes, a music store. But not just any music store. Amoeba Music is the Worlds Largest independent record store. It also has some great history related to where the building stands. Even though the building is fairly new, this same address once was home to William Hames Photography studio. Dozens of rock album covers, band shoots and more were filmed right at this location. It’s also about 200 feet from the iconic Cinerama Dome Theatre which opened in 1963. The premiere of "Decline of Western Civilazation Part 2 – The Metal Years" was also HERE.

Amoeba has every style of music, on every format. Including LPs, EPs, Cassettes & CDs in the long box. Add in rare posters, concert flyers and they even have the occasional in-store performace, or meet n’ greet.


Rainbow Bar & Grill, the #1 Rock n’ Roll hot spot in Hollywood California

1. Rainbow Bar & Grill

This has to be #1 for your rock n’ roll stop. The place has been legendary for decades and don’t be shocked if you run into Lemmy sitting at the bar. Or one of the biggest dicks in the Porn world either – HE is always there. The walls are full of history, polaroids, framed photos, signed 8x10s, and platinum records from Ratt & Van Halen. There are 3 different bars, a great Italian style menu, a patio so you can smoke and a fireplace. Oh and Christmas lights strung from the ceiling.

A few notes, the Rainbow does NOT have live music. At least not regularly. A lot of people don’t realize this. They occasionally have some acoustic style shows in the up stairs bar, but if you want a full blown club style concert – you’ll have to go to the Whisky 2 blocks down, or the Roxy Theatre right next door.

The CD player must be jammed, because they’re still playing the same songs as they did in 1989. Be ready for some "Girls, Girls, Girls", "Nothin’ But A Goodtime" and "Welcome to the Jungle".

We did a bigger extensive list many years back, and it’s still right HERE

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