For 60 years, the historic club the Troubadour has anchored the western edge of West Hollywood with live music. A perennial presence in Los Angeles live music since the Beatnik era, the club opened by Doug Weston has provided thousands of artists the opportunity to make magic on hallowed ground.
But as Gov. Gavin Newsom was recently laying out the stages by which businesses may be able to re-open, Christine Karayan, the club’s general manager, realized the seeming futility of the Troubadour’s plight. Newsom has announced that music venues will be among the last to open, in phase four.
“That means the middle to the end of next year to potentially open, and maybe a 25 percent cap” on crowd size, Karayan says. “I can’t foresee being able to ride this out like that.”
A rustic general admission room with a small balcony and an upstairs V.I.P. area, the 500-capacity club’s selling point has long been its intimacy. Save a few pesky support beams, there’s not a bad spot in the place. A folk and blues venue to start, in the mid-1960s it started adding rock, jazz and pop acts that included rising artists such as the Byrds, Lee Hazlewood, Nina Simone and Judy Collins. It served as a crucial early comedy platform for Richard Pryor, Steve Martin and the Smothers Brothers.
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The Troubadour has launched a GoFundMe page to help its staff amid the health emergency. More information can be found here.