WHISKY A GO-GO Show List 1966-69

Corry Arnold has put together an incredible pocket history and show listing of the legendary Whisky A Go Go from 1966-69. Very cool and essential rock and roll history. (Mark)

Whisky1 This is a list of performances at Hollywood’s Whisky A Go-Go club from 1966 to 1969 known to me.  It has been gathered from various sources including posters, band histories, biographies and other accounts. 

The Whisky A Go-Go, located on the Sunset Strip at 8901 Sunset Blvd at Clark in West Hollywood, became the principal hangout of musicians and hipsters in Hollywood in the 1960s.  Johnny Rivers was the first sensation to come out of the club, soon after it opened (on 1.11.64), and that is when the club initially
started the whole ‘trend’ of having a mini-skirted girl dancing above the crowd in a cage. Somehow, the Whisky became the cool place for bands to play.

The Whisky always had two or three bands playing, but they were not always billed.  At times, the billed bands couldn’t make it, and another band was substituted.  While this is common in nightclubs, what was uncommon about the Whisky was that the band substituting could be just as good or better (and possibly even better-known) than the band it was replacing.  These listings are generally from advertisements, and at times they overlap or conflict with other performances by these groups. Groups were apparently paid Musicians Union scale wages to play the club, and may not have been much more even if they were well known. In the 60s, the Whisky was a prestige gig to see and be seen.  In any case, many of the bands lived nearby.

Whisky2 I have included some information about the lineups of some interesting groups who played these shows.  For groups with a stable lineup (like The Doors) or bands whose personnel changes are well-documented (like The Byrds) I have not bothered to include any information, but for less well-documented groups or
artists with complex histories I have included information about band lineups, where known.  I have also tried to indicate instances where live performances from the Whisky were released on albums.

The Whisky remains open to this day (www.whiskyagogo.com) a rare, if not unique, instance of a hip rock performance venue remaining continuously open since the 1960s and (more or less) retaining its status.  This is a perpetual work-in-progress.  Thanks to the many people who helped out with information and
corrections (particularly Marc Skobac).  Send all updates, information, corrections and advice to me at corrarnold@aol.com.

Corry Arnold
Plainsboro, NJ December 2004

1966

1.21-28.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Rascals
2.4-2.11.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Paul Butterfield Blues Band/The Leaves
Butterfield and The Grass Roots may have played some of the next two weeks as well, according to Mark Naftalin’s comments in the Mike Bloomfield biography If You Love These Blues (Miller Freeman Books 2000). A version of the Butterfield Blues Band’s epic “East-West,” recorded during this period at the Whisky, was included on the group’s East West Live cd (Winner 1996).
2.25-3.10.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Love/The Leaves
3.11-17.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Grass Roots/Hard Times
3.18-24.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Beau Brummels
4.1-7.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Otis Redding
5.9.66 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Doors (audition)
5.11-22.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Johnny Rivers/Buffalo Springfield
5.23-27.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band/Buffalo Springfield/The Doors
5.28-6.1.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Love/Buffalo Springfield/The Doors
The Van Morrison list has Them starting a residency on 5.30, with Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band opening, sometimes with Frank Zappa sitting in with Them and The Magic Band. Them had 6.1.66 (Wednesday) off, so Love perhaps headlined that date.
6.2-18.66 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Them/The Doors
Buffalo Springfield and The Association were probably second billed in the subsequent weeks, along with The Leaves and The Grass Roots. During this month, Them, The Doors, Buffalo Springfield are all regular performers almost every night, although the other groups named appear as well. Typically the
Whisky had 3 groups at this time, and everyone performed at least two sets.
On Saturdays and Sundays, all groups played a 4:00 pm all ages show.  On the last day, Them and The Doors play together for the last set, including a 25 minute “In The Midnight Hour” and a 20-minute “Gloria.”
6.22-7.10.66 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Gene Clark and The Group/The Locos/The Doors
Gene Clark had left The Byrds in March 1966 due to his fear of flying.  This was a rare performance by Gene and his band The Group, featuring Bill Rinehart (ex-Leaves) on lead guitar, Chip Douglas (ex-Modern Folk Quartet, soon-to-be Monkees producer) on bass and drummer Joel Larson (ex-the ‘original’ Bay Area Grass Roots).
7.16-7.23.66 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Turtles/First Review/The Doors
7.27.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Johnny Rivers/Chambers Brothers/The Doors
8.1-4.66 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Johnny Rivers/Chambers Brothers/The Doors
8.7-9.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Johnny Rivers/Chambers Brothers/The Doors
8.10.66 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Doors
Elektra’s Jac Holzman sees them this night.  It’s not clear who else was on the bill.
8.11-21.66 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Love/The Doors
The Doors are fired when Morrison misses the first show entirely (not for the first time) and although the band drags him back from his hotel he is not really in a state to perform.  His obscene rant on “The End” causes club owner Elmer Valentine to fire the band, who has already signed with Elektra.
9.1-11.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Byrds
9.14-24.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Chambers Brothers/Hard Times
9.27-10.2.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Mothers
10.5-15.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Beau Brummels
10.19-30   Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Love/Sons of Adam
There was also an additional act for the ‘All-Ages’ show on Oct 30 (the poster is unreadable).
10.22.66   Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Love/Buffalo Springfield/Sons of Adam
11.xx.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Sir Douglas Quintet/The Sparrow (one week)
11.21-26.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Buffalo Springfield/The Poor
11.28-12.12.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Jefferson Airplane/Peanut Butter Conspiracy
JA list has 11.28-12.4, PBC list has 12.1-12.12.
12.21-22.66  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Turtles/Buffalo Springfield

1967

1.1-2.67 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Peanut Butter Conspiracy
5.16-21.67 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Doors/The Byrds
6.26-7.2.67 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Sam & Dave
7.2.67 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Experience played a surprise guest set at the Sam & Dave show.
7.5.67 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Mitch Ryder Revue
7.6-9.67  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Eric Burdon and The Animals
7.13.67 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Buffalo Springfield
The Byrds apparently were billed all week, but McGuinn falls sick this night and the Springfield fill in.
8.11.67 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Kaleidoscope/Sunshine Company
8.15-6.67 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Peanut Butter Conspiracy
8.21-23.67  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Peanut Butter Conspiracy
8.23-25.67  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Moby Grape
8.24-27.67  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Byrds
It is perfectly plausible that The Byrds and The Grape—both hit bands—were billed together on the 24th or 25th.  Or not.
8.28-30.67  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Gene Clark
The exact lineup of the group backing Gene Clark is unknown, but may have featured The Gosdin Brothers as part of the band.  Vern (guitar) and Rex (bass) Gosdin were excellent country singers based in Southern California. They had done some recording with Clark, who had released Gene Clark and The Gosdin brothers in February 1967.  The Gosdin Brothers were on their own by this time, but may have performed a few gigs with Clark. Vern Gosdin would go on to become a successful country singer in the 1980s. It is also known that Gene Clark performed a few gigs with future Byrds Clarence White (lead guitar) and John York (bass) along with session man Jon Corneal (drums).  The White line-up had been formed to promote the album, and more likely played earlier in the year.
8.31-9.3.67  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Byrds
9.4-6.67 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Cream/Rich Kids
9.7-10.67  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Electric Flag
9.18-10.8.67  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Jackie Wilson
10.9-12.67 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Byrds
10.12.67  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Spirit
11.30-12.3.67 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Hour Glass
The Hour Glass featured Duane and Gregg Allman, then resident in Los Angeles, living in the “Dirt House” with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Steve Martin.
11.2-12.67  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Bo Diddley/Jimmy Smith
12.10-17.67 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Byrds
Steppenwolf opened on 12.11.67, possibly other nights.
12.14-17.67  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Big Brother and The Holding Company/Sweetwater
12.18-23.67  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Moby Grape
12.27.67   Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Country Joe and The Fish

1968

1.xx.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Hugh Masakela/Steppenwolf
1.25-26.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers/ Steppenwolf
2.28-3.3.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Eric Burdon & The Animals/Eire Apparent
3.7-8-9.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Hour Glass
4.7-11.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Traffic
4.11-13.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Blood, Sweat & Tears
5.29-6.2.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Spirit/Illinois Speed Press
The Illinois Speed Press were from Chicago, and featured guitarists Paul Cotton (later in Poco) and Kal David (later in the Fabulous Rhinestones).  They moved to Los Angeles around this time, under the aegis of producer Jim Guercio.  At the same time, their friends and rivals The Chicago Transit Authority did the same.
6.6-9.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Hour Glass/Word Salad
6.19-23.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Albert King/Evergreen Blue Shoes
7.17-21.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Canned Heat/Fraternity of Man
7.3-7.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Tim Buckley/Illinois Speed Press
7.23.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Mothers of Invention/Alice Cooper
Sometime between 7.21 and 8.9, Siegal Schwall Blues Band plays some gigs at the Whisky. Buddy Miles asks SS guitarist Jim McCarty to join his forthcoming group (the Buddy Miles Express).
8.13-16.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Illinois Speed Press/Initial Shock
8.17-20.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Lee Michaels/Illinois Speed Press
9.4-8.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Love
9.18.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Buddy Miles Express
The Buddy Miles Express makes their debut. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Burdon and Graham Bond show up to jam.  Jim McCarty had probably not yet joined the group, and Hoshal Wright was likely the guitarist.
10.23-27.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Velvet Underground/Chicago Transit Authority
10.28-31.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Three Dog Night/A.B. Skhy
10.31.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Spirit
11.1-2.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Blood, Sweat & Tears/Spirit
11.3-10.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Taj Mahal/Big Mama Mae Thornton
11.14-17.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Velvet Underground/Cold Blood
11.20-24.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Kaleidoscope/Black Pearl
11.16.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Three Dog Night
11.27-12.1.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Flying Burrito Brothers/Taj Mahal
Moby Grape is listed instead in some advertisements.  Its unknown who really played, although the locally based Burritos and Taj seem more likely. This would have been one of the earliest performances of the Flying Burrito Brothers.
12.12-15.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Harvey Mandel/Pollution
12.17-22.68 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Terry Reid/Illinois Speed Press
12.16-30.68  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Lee Michaels/Chicago Transit Authority

1969

1.2-5.69 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Led Zeppelin/Alice Cooper
According to Alice Cooper, the two unknown bands flipped a coin the first night to see who would go on first.  Jimmy Page does not remember that specifically, but agreed that such decisions were often decided this casually between bands.
1.6-8.69 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Buddy Miles Express/Alice Cooper
Led Zeppelin was replaced the last few days by Buddy Miles as a number of band members got the flu.
1.9-19.69 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Tim Hardin/Illinois Speed Press
1.22-26.69 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Lothar and The Hand People/Illinois Speed Press
Lothar and The Head People had been Denver hippest (and possibly only) psychedelic band in 1965-66, and had moved to New York in late 1966.  Although they had played the Fillmore and elsewhere, they did not release an album until mid 1968.
1.28-2.2.69 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Delaney & Bonnie & Friends/Illinois Speed Press
ISP replaced Taj Mahal.
2.5-9.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Van Morrison/Flying Burrito Brothers
Van Morrison’s band consists only of himself on guitar, John Payne (flute and sax) and Tom Kielbania (bass).
2.19-23.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Linda Ronstadt/Alice Cooper
2.26-3.2.69 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood It’s A Beautiful Day/Illinois Speed Press
3.5-9.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood  Slim Harpo/Illinois Speed Press
3.31-4.6.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Savoy Brown
4.8-13.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Flying Burrito Brothers
4.23-27.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Love
5.8-11.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Hugh Masakela & Big Black/Chicago Transit Authority/Illinois Speed Press
7.2-6.69 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Love
7.10-13.69 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Cat Mother and The All-Night Newsboys/The Flock
7.16-20.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Flying Burrito Brothers/The Churls
7.23-27.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Sir Douglas Quintet/Flock
10.1-5.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Dunn and McCashen
10.8-12.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Move
10.13-14.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood The Zombies
The Zombies had broken up in late 1968, but briefly reformed to ride their hit “Time of The Season.”  This lineup did not include vocalist Colin Blunstone.
10.28.69 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Chuck Berry/Five-Man Electrical Theatre
10.29-11.2.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Velvet Underground/Collectors
12.3-6.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Humble Pie/King Crimson
Another add has King Crimson and Gypsy thru 12.7.69, but Humble Pie played this weekend, based on the release of the cd Humble Pie Live At The Whisky A-Go-Go.
12.10-14.69 Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Bobby “Blue” Bland/Smokestack Lightning
12.15-16.69  Whisky A-Go-Go, West Hollywood Grand Funk Railroad

3 Comments on WHISKY A GO-GO Show List 1966-69

  1. My band, The Smoke Ring appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in May 1969. I believe we filmed the show in April 1969. While in LA, we went to The Whiskey A-Go-Go and saw who I remembered as “Blues Image”, even though Ride Captain Ride didn’t hit till early 1969.. The “closer” was Eric Burdon (not w/ Animals or WAR) and not in the best of shape. I don’t see these shows on the Whiskey A-Go-Go listing ..and wondered if there are missing shows…OR is my memory THAT bad? Thanks.

  2. this list is fantastic! i just wish a similar one existed for all the venues in nyc of that time. one small detail, the rascals were still called the “young rascals” back in 1966. they didn’t become simply “the rascals” until 1968. were they listed this way in the whiskey ads in 1966?

  3. I have a jimi hendrix poster for the experience from 8/16-18, 1967, greenwich village, whiskey a-go-go, tribune fastprint…authentic?

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