Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip is one of those fabled California mythologies. It’s the seedy version of The Beach Boys’ California, an enduring legacy of Hollywood’s downside. Instead of surfboards and muscle beach and girls in bikinis, the myth of the mile-and-a-half strip of Sunset Blvd. is better known for its down-and-out history: the rock clubs where dangerous bands like The Doors and Guns N’ Roses played, where River Phoenix od’d at The Viper Room, where authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dorothy Parker holed up and where gangster Mickey Cohen controlled nightclubs and restaurants in the 1930s.
Suffice it to say, the place has garnered mythical status. Oddly, a panoply of historical videos have surfaced in the last day or two, courtesy of the Vintage Los Angeles FB group and Youtuber dantanasgirl, that shows the Sunset Strip in the mix-Sixties.
According to Dangerous Minds, “the building on the right in the first clip that bears the words Come to the Party would shortly become the Whisky a Go Go and further down the road Largo would become The Roxy.” These videos really make the Strip seems benign, almost belying its reputation.