Filed Under:

Walking The Sunset Strip, A Fading Beacon Of Cool

Play associated audio

In a city with 6,500 miles of blacktop, one stretch of road might be the most legendary in Los Angeles: the Sunset Strip. It's where the vibrant L.A. music got its vibe; imagine The Doors blaring through the gates of one club and The Byrds softly strumming just a few doors down. From one decade to the next, from folk to metal to hip-hop, iconic music was born there.

But the Strip has taken a few hits over the years. August Brown covers pop music for the Los Angeles Times, and he recently wrote about the venue closures and cultural shifts that have thrown the future of the district into question — particularly as regards whether to revel in history or try and stay on music's cutting edge.

"You can only survive so long as a museum piece," Brown says, standing in front of the storied Whisky a Go Go club, whose exterior now sports a plaque from the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame. "You need to need to get young bodies in the door drinking six, seven nights a week if you want to stay open, especially today. Reputation will only get you so far."

NPR's Arun Rath joined August Brown for a walking tour of the Sunset Strip, with stops at the venues that made this part of Hollywood so influential. Hear more at the audio link.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

With 'Formation,' Beyoncé Lights Up The Internet. Here's What People Are Saying

The singer's new music video quickly drew commentary of all kinds — on its references to being black in America, Hurricane Katrina and Black Lives Matter.
NPR

Calif. Restaurant Gives Diners — And Sea Lions — An Ocean View

The Marine Room is a restaurant right on the beach. When the tide is high, waves hit the windows, and bring in unexpected visitors.
NPR

In The Light Of The Morning After, How Bad Was Rubio's Repetition?

"I would pay for them to keep running that clip, because that's what I believe passionately," Rubio said of a much-aired video excerpt if him repeating a line at Saturday's debate.
NPR

Super Bowl 50 Tightens Cybersecurity

This year's Super Bowl will be held in the most technologically advanced stadium in the world. FBI special agent John Lightfoot talks to NPR's Rachel Martin about the threat of cyber attacks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.