L.A has always been big on music, and caning it generally, but I can’t think of iconic disco or house venues, labels, or DJs from there. I know Ron Hardy played somewhere in L.A in the 70s, but it didn’t work out, and he returned to Chicago.
Was rock and then hip-hop/freestyle just the dominant sound of Los Angeles in that period, or am I missing something?
Firstly, there was the below piece, from my archives. Jane is something of a legend in the industry. When I met her in the 1990s, she was Shep Pettibone’s manager and then also Junior Vasquez’s manager. She now runs a charity in Ecuador dedicated to providing clean drinking water to people (her project has reach more than 1m. people). She’s an incredible woman.
The main club in LA was Studio One. Jane was a regular attendee there. I’d always understood that one out of Rinder or Lewis was the resident DJ there, but she said that she didn’t think either of them were. It opened on May 1st, 1974 (depending on what you read it ran until the late 1980s or early 90s). It was essentially the 12 West or Saint of the west coast and it was very controversial because it operated an unofficial colour-bar (the very few photos I’ve seen do back up this suggestion).
Weirdly, it also had a theatre as part of the complex with comedians/iennes like Joan Rivers performing. Inevitably Liza Minnelli was a regular. If you want to dig deeper, the only book I’ve come across with any detail in it, is Gay LA: A History Of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics and Lipstick Lesbians by Lillian Fadermann. She writes about the issue of race (and gender) in LA, among other things.
Here’s a trailer for a documentary about Studio One.
Also, I forgot to mention that before Studio One, on the same site, was another disco called The Factory (the building was originally a factory). One of the investors in it was Paul Newman.
Interesting! Presumably this wasn’t the place Ron Hardy played at then.
I do have the name of that club somewhere in the many piles of information that occupy my loft (and head), but it’s not coming to me right now. It definitely wasn’t Studio One. I’m not sure he was that well known in LA TBH. I’ve never met anyone in LA who talks about his time there.