City of West Hollywood Mayor, Sepi Shine presented record and film producer, Lou Adler, with a City Proclamation and a Key to the City of West Hollywood as part of the the city’s Artist and Icon’s series on Tuesday, September 12, 2023. Adler accepted the Key at the opening reception of a photo exhibition at the West Hollywood Library as part of the Roxy’s 50th Anniversary celebration, curated by the Grammy Museum’s Jasen Emmons.
“The City of West Hollywood is honored to recognize Lou Adler, an iconic record producer, manager, director, Grammy Award winner and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer,” said Mayor Shyne. “Lou Adler has a long history of connection to the City West Hollywood, co-founding the Rainbow Bar and Grill in 1972, and founding the Roxy in 1973, on the famous Sunset Strip.”
The mayor recognized Adler for producing and developing a number of iconic musical artists, including the Grassroots, Jan and Dean, The Mamas & The Papas, and Carole King. She also mentioned his movie business credentials as the executive producer of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and how he discovered and produced comedy albums and films for Cheech and Chong and how his work in entertainment landed him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006 as well as being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
Mayor Shyne also mentioned Adler’s philanthropy as co-founder The Painted Turtle which provides support to children with life threatening illnesses, a commitment that is deeply aligned with the City of West Hollywood’s core values.
“Now therefore be it resolved that the city council and the City of West Hollywood hereby recognizes Lou Adler with his with this proclamation and the key to the city for his historic contributions to the music business and to the creative and artistic culture of the City of West Hollywood, resolved this 12th day of September 2023,” said Shyne.
Council member Lauren Meister also presented a posthumous proclamation for the late Elmer Valentine who was recognized as a successful entrepreneur and club owner in West Hollywood with a long history of connection to West Hollywood, dating back to the 1960s when he co-owned PJs, the Whiskey a Go-Go, The rainbow Bar and Grill, and the Roxy, all located on a famous Sunset Strip.
Photos by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES (click to enlarge).
The exhibition ‘The Roxy: 50 and Still Rockin’ is presented by the City of West Hollywood, the Roxy, and the Grammy Museum and features historic photographs of musicians and performers who have graced the stage of the Roxy over its 50-year history along with an infographic highlighting the importance of West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip neighborhood in the music industry. The exhibit is viewable at West Hollywood Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, during regular operating hours, and is free to visit. Another exhibition at the Grammy Museum opens on Monday, September 18, 2023. More information is available at https://www.weho.org/
Earlier in the evening the West Hollywood Arts Division hosted a Q&A with Adler as part of the City’s Artists & Icons series at the city Council Chambers in celebration of the West Hollywood nightclub, the Roxy Theatre. The event featured a conversation with his son Nic Adler.
The Roxy Theatre is a legendary music venue located on the Sunset Strip in the City of West Hollywood. Regardless of its West Coast locale, it is known by music lovers all over the world. On September 20, 1973, Lou Adler and Elmer Valentine, along with Peter Asher, David Geffen, Bill Graham, Chuck Landis, and Elliot Roberts as advisors, opened the now world-famous music venue on West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. During the past 50 years, The Roxy has been a launch platform for aspiring artists and a home for those that are well-established in the industry.
They created The Roxy after they witnessed one too many venues neglect, mistreat, and deceive artists. Their dream to open a state-of-the-art venue where artists of all musical genres felt at home became a reality on September 20, 1973. The grand opening was celebrated by a three-night performance by Neil Young. The first decade of The Roxy featured headliners such as Chuck Berry, Jimmy Buffett, The Cars, Cheech and Chong, Joe Cocker, Devo, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Aretha Franklin, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, The Go Go’s, Hall & Oates, Etta James, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Patti LaBelle, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Van Morrison, Motley Crue, New York Dolls, Dolly Parton, Prince, The Ramones, Lou Reed, Smokey Robinson, Linda Ronstadt, The Sex Pistols, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Talking Heads, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and Frank Zappa.
The Roxy was not only a stage for musicians but for comedians and actors alike. Opening acts mainly consisted of emerging comedians, including Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Arsenio Hall, along with featured performer Paul Reubens (and his eccentric character Pee Wee Herman). This later led to the success of the beloved television series, Pee Wee’s Playhouse.
Several stage shows began here, including the Lou Adler-produced The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which had its first American run at The Roxy. This allowed the musical to become one of the most recognized and loved performance features of all time.
After the 1998 Off-Broadway premiere and the 2001 release of the movie, Hedwig and The Angry Inch became a story of triumph and survival for the colorful and off-beat. In 2006, Hedwig came to life on The Roxy stage.
The West Hollywood Artists & Icons celebrates the lives and work of West Hollywood residents and artists who present their work in the City, and who have made significant contributions to local, national, or global culture. The series has previously focused on many local artists and icons including Bette Davis, Mae West, Michael McMillen, Dan Guerrero, and Frances Taylor Davis.
For additional information about the Artists & Icons Series, please visit www.weho.org/community/arts-and-culture/about/west-hollywood-artists-icons.