The unassuming Los Angeles music venue The Troubadour has been a fixture of the local music scene since its founding by owner Doug Weston in 1957. This historic West Hollywood venue was at the center of the ’60s folk-rock explosion and helped nurture the start of many now legendary artists’ careers by providing a stage for new acts to perform and be discovered.
Subsequently, many artists owe their careers to this cozy club which allows fans can get up close and personal with their favorite acts. After we heard Rod Stewart will be performing a free show at the intimate club this week, we decided to delve in deeper to the storied history of this famed music club.
After all, this is the club that comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested for obscenity in 1961 after saying “schmuck” on stage; where John Lennon his friend Harry Nilsson were ejected from the club after heckling the Smother Brothers; and where many of today’s legendary artists congregated to make years of music history.
Take a look below at just some of the many acts who got their start on stage at L.A.’s Troubadour!
The Byrds (1965) – After meeting at a Monday open mic night at the club, the group took the stage to perform their notable cover of Dylan’s “Tambourine Man” for the first time. After the group broke up, they would later reunite and launch their tour with a show at the Troubadour in 1973.
Buffalo Springfield (1966) – On April 11, 1966, a new group featuring Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay played their first ever show together as Buffalo Springfield at the Troubadour.
Joni Mitchell (1968) – On the heels of her debut release Song To A Seagull, the Canadian folk singer made her Los Angeles debut on the Troubadour stage, and her career took off from there.
Cheech and Chong (1970) – The stoner comedy duo were discovered by famed producer (and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee) Lou Adler during a Monday Hoot Night.
Elton John (1970) – On August 25, 1970 The “Rocketman” made his U.S. live debut on the Troubadour stage and was introduced by none other than Neil Diamond. Five years later, Elton returned to the stage that helped launch his career for a “5 year anniversary” show in August, 1975.
Billy Joel (1972) – The “piano man” himself made his Los Angeles debut by playing his first show as the opening act for Ballin’ Jack at the Troub.
The Eagles (1970) – After meeting at the front bar of the Troubadour, The Eagles’ Don Henley and Glenn Frey formed what would become the group’s original lineup with Randy Meinser and Bernie Leadon after performing as part of Linda Ronstadt’s live band. The group later paid tribute to the music venue in their song “The Sad Cafe” on the 1979 release The Long Run, which was the first not to feature Meinser.
Have you ever seen a legendary artist perform at the Troubadour? Share your memories in the comments below!