Book Review:: “Riot On Sunset Strip – Rock ‘n’ Roll’s last stand in Hollywood”

“Riot On Sunset Strip – Rock ‘n’ Roll’s last stand in Hollywood”
Domenic Priore
Jawbone Press, Published 2007

Imagine what it must have been like to be hanging out in Los Angeles – The Sunset Strip during the mid 1960’s. Forget about the movie stars, the glitz and glamour of Hollywood – L.A. was a hot bed for pop music, art, and culture. The scene appeared in an almost over night fashion. The landing of The Beatles, The Stones and the British Invasion certainly made all of this a reality. But as quickly as it appeared it soon vanished with the riots of 1966 and the gravitating of the scene to San Francisco and the “Summer of Love.”

Author, Domenic Priore – (who also wrote “Look! Listen! Vibrate! Smile!”) takes a detailed look at the quick rise of an influential period in Rock history. “Riot On Sunset Strip – Rock ‘n’ Roll’s last stand in Hollywood” is the essential encyclopedia for LA MUSIC from 1965-1966 and it’s influence beyond. The book features all the familiar names: The Byrds, The Doors, The Beach Boys, Love, The Monkees, The Mamas And Papas, The Mothers Of Invention, The Turtles, The Buffalo Springfield along with slew of some of the more underground garage punk bands that suddenly found fame – The Leaves, The Seeds, The Standells, The Music Machine, and a surplus of others that even time may have forgotten.

The nightlife on the strip was just as important as the bands that graced its’ stages. The book not only details some of the legendary bands of the period, but also it’s now legendary venues. The Whisky a Go Go, The Troubadour, Ciro’s (Where the Byrds & Dylan brought it all together), Ben Franks (the hip happening place to be), The Trip (where even The Velvets made a rare West Coast appearance), Pandora’s Box, and more! Even folks like Jerry Lewis (Jerry Lewis Club) and Dean Martin (Dino’s Lodge) had clubs on the strip.

In between the book spotlights chapters on Pop Art in LA during this period – and it’s widespread influence which could be found from diverse media as gig posters, t-shirts, restaurant menus – even the 1965 World Series programs – between the Minnesota Twins &. The Los Angeles Dodgers. As you would also expect, a chapter is also dedicated to the Folk-Rock movement and all it’s important players. The last chapters also include a nice listing of the periods clubs (most of which are long gone) and the author’s growing collection of live LP’s recorded in Los Angeles by the likes of Rick Nelson, Neil Diamond, The Dillards, The Standells and lots more.

If you’re a fan of mid 60’s pop music “Riot On Sunset Strip – Rock ‘n’ Roll’s last stand in Hollywood” is clearly an essential add to your library of rock music books…lots of new stories to read and discover – ace indeed!


The Byrds “Mr. Tambourine Man” (Live 1965, “The Big TNT Show”)

The Turtles “It Ain’t Me Babe”

The Standells “Riot On The Sunset Strip”

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