Troubadour (West Hollywood, California)

The Troubadour

Exterior of the Troubadour in 2006
Location 9081 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, California
Coordinates 34°04′53″N 118°23′22″W / 34.08138°N 118.389399°W / 34.08138; -118.389399
Type nightclub
Genre(s) Folk, singer-songwriters, rock, heavy metal
Seating type standing
Capacity 500
Opened 1957

The Troubadour is a nightclub located in West Hollywood, California, USA, at 9081 Santa Monica Boulevard just east of Doheny Drive and the border of Beverly Hills. It was opened in 1957 by Doug Weston as a coffee house on La Cienega Boulevard, then moved to its current location shortly after opening and has remained open continuously since.[1][2] It was a major center for folk music in the 1960s, and subsequently for singer-songwriters and rock.

The Troubadour played an important role in the careers of Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, the Eagles, The Byrds, Love, Joni Mitchell, Hoyt Axton, Carole King, Bonnie Raitt, J.D. Souther, Jackson Browne, Van Morrison, Buffalo Springfield and other prominent and successful performers, who played performances there establishing their future fame. In 1962, comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested on obscenity charges for using the word "schmuck" on stage; one of the arresting officers was Sherman Block, who would later become Los Angeles County Sheriff.[3] On August 25, 1970, Neil Diamond (who had just recorded his first live album at the Troubadour) introduced Elton John, who performed his first show in the United States at the Troubadour. In 1974, John Lennon and his friend Harry Nilsson were ejected from the club for drunkenly heckling the Smothers Brothers. Randy Newman started out at the club and comics Cheech & Chong and Steve Martin were discovered there. In 1975, Elton John returned to do a series of special anniversary concerts. In November 2007, James Taylor and Carole King played a series of concerts commemorating the nightclub's 50th anniversary and reuniting the two from their 1970 performance.[4]

Other alumni include The New Christy Minstrels, Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart, Don McLean, Carly Simon, George Carlin, Michael Nesmith, Rickie Lee Jones, Paramore, The Tragically Hip, Sloan, Lenny Bruce, Bette Midler, Leo Kottke, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel,[5] the Pointer Sisters, Liza Minnelli, Half Way Home, Sheryl Crow, Natalie Maines, The Everly Brothers, Karla Bonoff, MAGIC GIANT, Al Stewart, Kyle Vincent, Waylon Jennings, Tom Waits, Pavement, The Knack, Rise Against, Leonard Cohen, Tommy Cody, Isbelle Razors, Roberta Flack, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Paul Sykes, Donny Hathaway, Arlo Guthrie, The Dollyrots, Darren Criss, The Spats, Nick Jonas, Weezer, Neil Diamond, the Rising Sons, Republic of Loose and Bastille.

The Troubadour featured new wave and punk in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and became virtually synonymous with heavy metal and glam bands like Mötley Crüe, Candy, Guns N' Roses, Poison, Warrant and W.A.S.P. in the 1980s. Guns N' Roses played their first show at the Troubadour, and were also discovered by a David Geffen A&R representative at the club. During the Glam/ Metal years Gina Barsamian was the primary booking agent for the club. There is a variety of styles of music played at the Troubadour to the present day and it continues to be one of Hollywood's favorite and most respected places to see live music.

In 2011, a documentary about the club called Troubadours: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter was released.[6][7]

Today the venue is well known for presenting emerging UK artists (Radiohead, Coldplay, Bastille, Franz Ferdinand, The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Lawson), punk/hardcore acts, such bands as Billy Talent, Papa Roach, and Rise Against, the latter filming five nights in a row for a DVD, Generation Lost. It is also still a popular venue to showcase singer-songwriters: Ray LaMontagne, Joanna Newsom, Fiona Apple, Kina Grannis. On April 1, 2016, it saw the first show of Guns N' Roses since Slash and Duff McKagan had rejoined the band.


  1. Oliver, Myrna, "Doug Weston, Troubadour Founder, Dies". Los Angeles Times, February 15, 1999
  2. "Doug Weston Of Troubadour Dies", The Hollywood Reporter, Tuesday, February 16, 1999
  3. Brownfield, Paul (August 7, 1999), "Telling the 'Truth' About Bruce.", Los Angeles Times
  4. Hochman, Steve (November 30, 2007), "James Taylor and Carole King: They've Still Got Friends.", Los Angeles Times, pp. E1, E28
  6. "Troubadours: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter: Watch the Full Film". PBS. March 3, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
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