The new Hotel Ziggy embraces differences and encourages guests and locals to come hang out and “just be who you are.” The design influenced by grit and rock ‘n’ roll features a modern counter-culture spin. Every element of the space is designed to honor and support the rebellious and independent attitude of musicians’ fight to be heard.
New Look for the Viper Room
Slated for a block-long site on the south side of the Sunset Strip between Larrabee Street and San Vicente Boulevard, the project would replace the current home of the Viper Room along with billboards, parking, and a handful of other small commercial buildings. In their place, plans call for a new mid-rise structure featuring a 113-room five-star hotel with meeting rooms, amenities, retail, and a new space for the Viper Room, as well as 26 market-rate condominiums and 8 units of affordable housing. An unspecified number of parking stalls would be located in a subterranean garage.
Bootsy Bellows 60s glam New Year’s Eve Bash
Bringing a touch of 60s glam to the Sunset Strip, LA’s chic club and lounge Bootsy Bellows pulls out all the stops for an over-the-top New Year’s Eve party. Admire the venue’s glitzy décor and grab a holiday beverage at the five-hour premium open bar before hitting the dance floor for a live DJ spinning an open format selection of hip-hop, house, and mash-ups. Join the crowd in an uproarious live countdown as the clock approaches midnight, and toast to the New Year with a complimentary glass of champagne and party favors. For the celebrity treatment, opt for VIP packages featuring reserved seating and bottle service.
dine L.A. is back on the Strip
dine L.A. is back on the Strip and we are entering the final week of this Los Angeles wide food fest featuring attractively priced prix-fixe meals from some of our favorites. Now enjoy outdoor dining with amazing views and people watching, preferably both.
1 Kitchen by Chris Crary for a garden-to-table lunch $25
Our choice: We’re going Sunset Strip meets Italian for lunch with a Panzanella Salad featuring Heirloom Tomatoes, Avocado, and Pickled Shallots. Follow that with the Chicken Bolognese con Torchio Pasta, Tomato Cream and Parmesan. And for dessert? How about a Martini per favore. Dinner Menu Option $45
8490 Sunset Blvd (@ 1 Hotel) / 424-281-1880/ Website
Tesse for a romantic dinner to share $45
Our choice: Let’s start with the Hamachi Crudo with fennel, gooseberries and crispy wild rice and follow that with the crowd favorite – Bucatini with Bone Marrow featuring duck prosciutto, shallots, parsley and balsamic. Since this is a an intimate dinner a deux, might we suggest pairing with the $45 wine tasting as Tesse and Bouteille are meant to be experienced together Book Dinner Now
8500 Sunset Blvd / 310-360 – 3866 / Website / Interview
The Tower Bar for the Hollywood power lunch $35
Our choice: Classic meets California in a glamorous, Old Hollywood setting starting with Avocado Toast with lemon, sea salt and chili flakes followed by a Cobb Salad with bacon, (more) avocado, hard boiled egg, crumbled blue cheese and the option to add shrimp, steak or chicken. This must be finished with the Tower Bar famous cookie choices of chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. Book Lunch Now.
8358 Sunset Blvd (@ Sunset Tower Hotel ) / 323-654-7100 / Website
Safety Precautions may include Cleaning & Sanitizing, Physical Distancing, Protective Equipment, and Screening. For questions, please visit the restaurant website and/or call ahead.
About the Author
Maxine Tatlonghari is a native California Girl who loves the eateries, hotels, history, shopping and art in her West Hollywood hometown. When not raising money for charitable causes, she serves on the Chamber Board and creates digital content about her current obsessions.
Your Sunset Strip Valentine’s Day Guide
“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burndown your house, you can never tell.” – Joan Crawford
Valentine’s Day. But make it legendary. Welcome to the Sunset Strip as we take a little stroll through sex, love, and rock and roll to find your ideal vibe.
Rock & Roll
The rich music history of the Strip makes it a truly unique destination overall, and check into the Sunset Marquis to experience the exclusive sanctuary of hit-makers for yourself. Don’t be surprised if you run into a legend or two on your way to the lush on-property Cavatina restaurant, who by the way, are offering their own specials. Or go all out and book a private one-bedroom villa.
People all over the world covent our California lifestyle. That starts with a delicious plant powered dinner at Fresh on Sunset. Consider pairing that with an eco-chic stay at the 1 Hotel which draws inspiration from the land, sea, and abundant sunshine of Southern California.
James Bond, anyone?
Glamour UK referred to The Edition hotels as “high-octane Glamour” and in this VDay package you and your date will be whisked from your home to the hotel for a 1-night stay in the Penthouse, with an expansive wraparound terrace and panoramic views of Los Angeles. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with a bottle of Dom Perignon and a 3-course meal, prepared by Executive Chef Pedro Contreras.
Old Hollywood Glam is always in style and nobody does it like Tower Bar. It is one of the chicest and most welcoming rooms in town, with a fireplace and discreet niche seating. Housed in Bugsy Siegel’s former apartment and connected to the newly expanded Terrace Bar- the experience is elegantly choreographed by Maitre D’ Gabé Doppelt. Add a stay at Sunset Tower Hotel and now we’re making memories.
Start with dinner at Night + Market WeHo, where the vibe is California chill meets Bangkok frenzy fueled by natural wine, and we’re here for it. End with a stay at the Mondrian landmark destination celebrating the best of a surrealist aesthetic with some of the best poolside views in the City.
Dinner and a Movie
Enjoy a nice romantic movie from the comfort of your own car through “The Sunset Strip Presents.” Enjoy the rooftop pool with lovely cocktails or dinner before the movie. After, check in at the famed Andaz Hotel, once known as the Riot Hyatt. We won’t get into all that here, but trust us, this hotel has earned the moniker.
Oh so Luxe
Iconic glamour and stylish allure is offered at the London West Hollywood. With food and beverage credits and deep soaking tubs, this Valentine’s special lends itself to couples and solo indulgence as well. Off-property shopping should include the fine jewelry offerings at Samira 13 to really spoil your loved one, or yourself.
Thanks for stopping by. Make sure to check out all the food, shopping, and getaway specials to find the perfect way to celebrate sex, love, and rock and roll on The Strip.
1 Hotel West Hollywood
Love is in the air. Celebrate your love for that special someone, the hotel is offering an unbeatable Valentine’s weekend package. In addition to your stay, you will get a bottle of Mionetto Organic Prosecco, chocolate-covered strawberries, organic house-made sugar scrub, a signature Kindling Candle, Bamford Botanic Lip Balm, Intimacy Kit, and late checkout.
Andaz West Hollywood
Drive to love and spend Valentine’s Day weekend on the Sunset Strip enjoying breathtaking views overlooking the hills of Hollywood and the famed Sunset Blvd. Also, enjoy a nice romantic movie from the comfort of your own car through “The Sunset Strip Presents” www.latenightdrivein.com. Enjoy our Rooftop Pool with lovely cocktails made by our mixologist at Bryant’s Rooftop Bar. Andaz West Hollywood Drive for love Package includes Complimentary Self-parking, Waived Destination Fee.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day at home this year? We’ve put together a special Take Home Meal for 2 for $220. Visit the link below and make sure you preorder by 5PM on 2/13. LEARN MORE
Valentine’s Day is almost upon us! Wishing EVERYONE a love-filled day What’s calling to you in this lovely display by Great and Infamous bookseller, Audrey?
CAVATINA at Sunset Marquis Resort
VALENTINE’S DAY 4-COURSE MENU
The Cavatina at Sunset Marquis celebrates Valentine’s Day weekend with a special 4 Course Menu @ $80++PP, celebrating the Californian Cuisine with an Italian twist and with a special takeaway Valentine’s Day Box for Two an optional enhancement like our signature.
Have you made your Valentine’s reservations for this weekend? We are serving our delicious regular menu and still have a few spots left. Give us a call at 424-239-1630 to check availability! LEARN MORE
Welcome to Fred’s Love Lounge! Whether you’re going on a hot date or hanging around the love shack (or a little bit of both), we’ve got everything you need to satisfy your sweet tooth. Figuratively—because candy is overrated. Click the link below to shop our Valentine’s Day gift guide now to be sure you’re ready for the 14th!
Fresh on Sunset
Valentine’s Day Menu $49/person
To order, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the restaurant at 310-432-5199. Orders must be placed by February 10th. Pick up will be available Saturday 2/13 and Sunday 2/14 between 4-9pm. Please schedule a pickup time when you place your order.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day at home this year? Bring home our special Lover’s Box for Two for $85. Visit the link below and preorder by 5PM on 2/13. LEARN MORE
The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills
Spend a romantic Valentine’s Day with us and enjoy a $170 one time F&B Credit towards Valentine’s Day dinner, upgraded accommodations, complimentary breakfast menu, and more. Each of our spacious suites offers an oversized deep soaking tub.
Stay Dates: Feb 11, 2021 – Feb 15, 2021
Mondrian Los Angeles
Love is suite at Mondrian
Celebrate with Mumm champagne and chocolate truffles upon arrival.
Night + Market WeHo
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and we have you covered! Pre-order now. Be sure to add this Coconut Red Velvet cake from Chef Samantha Quintero. You can choose from five selections: Option 1 – Spicy Duck Rolls, crispy rolls of roast duck, veggies, Thai chili, served with lettuce wraps and sesame hoisin or Option 2: XO Beef Broccoli, grilled ribeye steak, sliced and finished in the wok with Chinese or view more option by clicking the link below. A special selection of wines for Valentine’s Day! 2/8-2/14
Samira 13 Jewelry
Valentine’s Day coming in early this year!
Use code HEARTS20 for 20% off your purchase
Let Love Rule! Three and a half acres of lush gardens and your one-bedroom suite await you this Valentine’s Day. We’ve included dinner, breakfast, and a few treats to share. Let Love Rule in 2021. Includes Deluxe One-Bedroom Villa, Dinner Credit of $150 once during stay, Daily breakfast credit of $25 per person for two (room service), Bottle of House Champagne and Chocolate-covered Strawberries amenity upon arrival. $650 plus taxes and fees per night. Available to stay from February 12-15th 2021
The Sunset Trocadero Lounge
Join us this Sunday for Date night with your Valentine. Enjoy a free glass of red wine or a glass of champagne as we celebrate the day of Love. Call for reservations 323 -701-2062. Or book online on our website. Open from 6pm-2am daily.
Sunset Tower Hotel
Whether it’s a romantic staycation or a self-care getaway, leave it to us! Sit back, relax, and cheers a little bubbly, too. We will be offering a special weekend opening for Valentine’s Day with a prix-fix on both Saturday, the 13th and Sunday the 14th.
West Hollywood Edition
In celebration of Valentine’s Day enjoy our limited-time-only package, Date Night. Beginning with you and your date will be taken to the hotel from your residence for a 1-night stay in our custom-furnished Penthouse, with its expansive wraparound landscaped terrace and panoramic views of Los Angeles. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with a bottle of Dom Perignon and a 3-course meal, prepared by Executive Chef Pedro Contreras. See the full package below.
Meet the Author
Maxine Tatlonghari is a digital content creator and strategist who resides in West Hollywood. She serves as the first Vice-Chair of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and has been featured in Forbes, Visit West Hollywood, KTLA, and Huffington Post. She co-hosts the weekly We Know WeHo podcast.
City launches pedestrian-friendly pilot program on Sunset Boulevard
The City of West Hollywood is testing out ideas on how to make the Sunset Strip a better place to walk!
You’ll now see seats on the sidewalk under colorful light poles from east to west, a place to sit under umbrellas by Book Soup and four intersections extended with bold strokes of color to make it safer to cross the street. Bright posters on the light poles will point you where to go for food, drink, and entertainment – and tell you a bit of history of the Strip. These installations are only up for 6 months – after that we’ll see how well our experiments worked!
For more information on the Sunset Experience, please visit our website.
Take the Survey
These pop-ups create spaces to welcome pedestrians, invite walking, encourage interaction and draw attention to Sunset as an exciting place for people, not just cars. We want to hear from you during the 6 month period. Please consider filling out this short survey and let us know what you think!
VALENTINE’S DAY ON THE SUNSET STRIP
Your comprehensive guide to the hottest/most extravagant/sexiest/most romantic/naughtiest (and everything in between) day of the year…
Andaz – Riot House Restaurant
Enjoy ½ off all sparkling wines, a menu of fresh California cuisine and perhaps even make it a night to remember (Led Zeppelin style) in one of Andaz’s chic suites overlooking The Sunset Strip. www.westhollywood.andaz.com
For all you last minute procrastinators (and perhaps that other word that rhymes…) out there, Hustler Hollywood will be open 24 hours from Friday, Feb. 13th through Valentine’s Night, fulfilling all your emergency sexy time needs. www.hustlerhollywood.com
For those seeking the ultimate in Valentine’s Day extravagance, there’s the “As Suite as it Gets” experience at The London. Indulge in panoramic views of the city from one of the property’s palatial rooms, an hour long in-room couples massage, a hand drawn bath by a bath butler (yes, that’s a real thing), complimentary meringue kisses and rose Champagne delivered upon arrival, as well as breakfast at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant. Details and reservations here. www.thelondonwesthollywood.com
Pearl’s Liquor Bar
‘Cause they say the way to the heart is through the stomach… Feast on a special four course prix fixe menu featuring a choice of entrées ranging from vegetable tagliatelle, to filet of beef, to pan roasted sea bass, and of course can’t forget about dessert – close out the night with a triple layer cheesecake. Call (310) 360-6800 for details and reservations. www.pearlsliquorbar.com
Rock & Reilly’s Irish Pub
Celebrate the single life (or your most recent traumatic breakup) at R&R’s 3rd Annual Shred Your Ex Party. Just as the name implies, bring a photo of your ex, insert into shredder and cheers with a complimentary congratulatory shot for finally getting some closure. The party starts at 8 p.m. www.rnrpub.com
Mondrian – Skybar
Turn your Daytime Singles into Nighttime Mingles, poolside at the ultra chic Skybar. Featuring sounds by Yahtzel, Brooks & Millar and Sam Hiller, with Chris Clemo closing out the evening. RSVP only. www.skybarlosangeles.com
Plus for you real adventurous types, explore your kinkiest inner desires with the Mondrian’s 50 Shades of Sunset package. Included with your room: Champagne, a whip, a blindfold, restraints and a guide to bondage (the safe word is “banana”). Details and reservations here. www.morganshotelgroup.com/mondrian-la
State Social House
Embracing the new social norm of tech savvy app dating, State Social House is encouraging you to “Swipe Right” by offering a complimentary bottle of Champagne to any couple meeting up for a Tinder match date. www.statesocialhouse.com
The Viper Room
Relive those awkward high school years and all that great music with The Viper Room’s Sadie Hawkins Throwback, featuring the ultimate Van Halen tribute band Fan Halen. Gals, your guy gets in for free! Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 GA. www.viperroom.com
Bring a date, or check out the “new tail in town” solo, at The Strip’s most recent culinary destination, hosting an all-inclusive Omakase (chef’s selections) offering for $75. Call (310) 360-0366 for reservations. www.yellowtailsunset.com
DAVEY HAVOK STORMS THE SUNSET STRIP WITH NEW PROJECT XTRMST
Rarely ones to indulge in much more then a measure of rest, AFI vocalist Davey Havok and concerted partner in crime, guitarist Jade Puget continue to experiment with side-projects that hearken back to the genres that have shaped and inspired them both as musicians, and influenced their lifelong ideologies. With no exception, Havok and Puget’s new hardcore straight edge project XTRMST, finds the duo returning to their roots, assembling one of their most aggressive and visceral recordings to date.
Before debuting this new opus of angst to The Roxy Theatre masses this Thursday, hard-line frontman Davey Havok phoned in to TheSunsetStrip.com to discuss 20 plus years of straight edge, share his thoughts on this year’s Coachella lineup and weigh in on the current state (what’s left of it) of rock and roll.
What was the catalyst for realizing this new project XTRMST, and bringing it to fruition?
Havok: Well Jade (AFI guitarist Jade Puget) and I have been a part of the straight edge community since we were very, very young and for many years we talked about creating a straight edge band… And it’s taken us years and years before we had the time, and before it was really the right moment to do so. And while we were working on writing the last AFI record (Burials) we began writing XTRMST material as well, because we had been talking about it again and we felt that we could do it – so we did.
Define “straight edge” for those who might not be familiar with the movement…
Havok: Well for a band to be a straight edge band, it first needs to be comprised entirely and exclusively of straight edge members, and secondly it then has to forward the straight edge agenda – which is a movement in self-respect and respect for others through the abstinence and opposition of, and to, recreational drug use.
And how would you say your own personal perspective or philosophy of “straight edge” has changed or evolved over the past 20 plus years?
Havok: As far as my philosophy goes, my beliefs, and my involvement in it, my dedication to it has really only strengthened as life has gone on. I’m very happy that we waited this long to create this record, because I think that there is a perspective to it, with having so many years of being performers – and you know just being humans in this world – under our belts, it gives a different credence to the perspective than one that my 15 year old self may or may not have had, or my 20 year old self may or may not have had. I think that Jade and I being adults, and still believing in what a lot of people discount as a youth movement, really changes the outlook on it…
As the world continues to fall apart and deconstruct itself and I see people compromising their lives, their bodies, their minds, and their relationships for the sake of fitting in, for the sake of brief highs, it really furthers my commitment to my beliefs.
Recording the XTRMST record and also AFI material simultaneously… Was that difficult to sort of switch hats creatively and compartmentalize each project?
Havok: It wasn’t difficult in that instance because the two projects were so different that they were very definitive, and so to switch back and forth was easy because they were so distinct from each other. Also, XTRMST was so organic and came so quickly, it was so natural – it was something we really had been building for years at least theoretically, so at the point when we decided to move forward with it, we really were creating with ease and a quickness that was unparallel to anything else Jade and I had ever created together in the past.
I remember you had vocal surgery a few years back… Was there any concern about the harsher, more scream-ier vocals for this project?
Havok: It has not affected me personally in any way so far… Certainly it was a concern, and it was something I was very mindful of and cautious of when I was tracking the record. But during the tracking of the record I was able to deliver those very brutal screams with ease and without damage so far… And as I’ve been rehearsing them, I’ve experienced the same positive result, so hopefully that will continue as we begin to perform live.
The Coachella lineup was recently announced, and of course everyone has an opinion… What are your thoughts?
Havok: [Laughter] Well I’m very excited to see Ride. I never got to see them before so I look forward to that… I’m very happy to see Marina and the Diamonds on the bill, I don’t think I’ve ever missed her when she’s been in California. Who else… Run the Jewels, it’s exciting to see them on the bill as well… Oh Nero is on it, that’s exciting! I’ve never seen Nero. Those are the highlights that spring to mind…
With this festival and I guess sort of music in general, it seems that rock n’ roll is becoming less and less of a dominant force and has gone back to more of a niche genre. What are your thoughts on the current state of rock music? Is rock dead?
Havok: Yeah, I mean I think it’s gone away quite a bit. I think it grew back into being a subculture… You know, it’s more of a niche music style now, as opposed to what it was I guess since the 50s… but I mean there are people who still love rock n’ roll, certainly all the pop artists still use the term [laughter], they speak of “rocking.” So there is a pop culture relevance to the essence of it. But currently, musically speaking, I think people are less interested in it then they have been in the past…
And as far as Coachella is concerned… I mean, one of the headliners is Jack White, and in my opinion he might very well be the last rockstar. He is so phenomenal and he truly is a rockstar, so it’s very nice to see him playing on the top of the bill, he certainly deserves it.
And of course you have this upcoming show here at The Roxy. I know you guys played there with Blaqk Audio when you were doing that, I also saw an AFI showcase there a few years ago. Tell us what keeps bringing you back…
Havok: I love The Roxy, I’ve always enjoyed playing there. I was really excited to hear that they booked us to play with XTRMST… It’s got a great history, it sounds great, I really like the way the stage feels, and I personally have a long of history with it. I think the first time I played there was in ’97 – it was AFI, At the Drive-In and By the Grace of God. It’s just a great venue.
Coming up the rest of the year, what’s on the agenda for 2015?
Havok: Well we have the two XTRMST shows of course, and I believe, as it stands now, that’s it for us. We’re hoping to play in New York… We’d like to go up to New York if someone would be kind enough to bring us over, we’ll do that. But as of now, the two shows are all we have set…
And Jade and I, we’re done writing the new Blaqk Audio record; so we should be recording [that] very soon I would hope… And I would imagine that would come out this year as well.
XTRMST play The Roxy Theatre this Thursday, Jan. 29. Doors open at 7 p.m. The show is sold out! www.theroxy.com www.xtrmst.com
— By: Brent X Mendoza
BILLY MORRISON & THE NEWLY RENAMED ROYAL MACHINES RETURN FOR THEIR ANNUAL HOLIDAY RESIDENCY AT THE ROXY
In what’s become a highly anticipated annual December tradition, the Royal Machines (formerly Camp Freddy) are returning to The Roxy Theatre stage this Friday and Saturday for two back-to-back sold out nights. Besides getting the chance to see this band’s already star-studded lineup – which now consists of Billy Morrison (Billy Idol, The Cult), Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction), Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction), actor/musician Donovan Leitch, Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray) and Adrian Young (No Doubt) – these yearly performances have become notorious for their surprise A-list special guests, which in the past have included unannounced “drop-ins” from notables such as Steven Tyler, Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, Courtney Love, and Lana Del Rey, amongst many others.
Before taking in this weekend’s rock n’ roll Yuletide spectacular, catch up with Royal Machines’ co-founder and man of many bands Billy Morrison, as he shares his new found love of fine art, talks Billy Idol, and reflects on seven years of Roxy holiday shows’ past.
So from Camp Freddy to now the Royal Machines… this December residency at The Roxy has been a long standing annual tradition. Is there any one show over the years that sticks out in your mind as having been particularly special. What are your recollections?
Yeah so this is the first Royal Machines’ residency, following in the footsteps of the previous seven Camp Freddy residencies… And so picking one show out is almost impossible now – there are so many moments from so many years that stand out…
Cypress Hill doing “Paradise City” and the whole place jumping in unison, that was something to see! Getting Paul Cook, Glen Matlock, and Steve Jones on the same stage to play Sex Pistols songs was pretty fucking awesome as well! Also, I would have to say having Mick Fleetwood and Steven Tyler onstage with us was a highlight as well.
What’s the most memorable Christmas gift you ever received as a child?
Great question! I think I would have to say the Six Million Dollar Man action figure, complete with removable bionics. That or the whole Evel Knievel thing – the bike, the figure, the mobile home. These things stuck in my mind. I really wanted them!
You recently just got off the road with Billy Idol and also co-wrote much of the new record with your pal Steve Stevens… What was that experience like finally writing and recording with those guys as a band? Did you feel any pressure in the writing process trying to live up to past successes?
There is absolutely zero pressure writing and performing with Billy and Steve, except for the pressure I place myself under! Those guys are the coolest, most open and willing artists. It’s me that puts the pressure on myself. Of course I want everything I write, every note I play on a stage to be the best, most emotive, most appropriate note possible – which is of course ridiculous! We are all just guys making music together and sometimes I have to check myself, remind myself of that… To quote Mick and Keith, “It’s only rock n’ roll…” and then subsequently to just enjoy the process, the gig and the journey!
You’ve played with so many rock n’ roll giants over the course of your career. Is there anybody that you haven’t worked with yet, that would be sort of a dream goal or collaboration for you?
Believe it or not, I have always wanted to have an original music project with Dave (Navarro). He has a musical sensibility that is different to mine – he comes from the discordant, higher string, no power chord school of the alternative/punk/art scene. I of course come from The Sex Pistols, AC/DC school of chunky rhythm guitar. I’ve always thought that if the two of us could actually find the time and the headspace to write together, we would come up with something pretty cool.
I’d also love to write and record with Trent Reznor, purely because he is at the pinnacle of that genre – one of my favs. Other than that… Maddona, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Adam Ant are all guests for the Royal Machines that would be on my wish list.
Speaking of special guests… What sort of surprises can we expect at these upcoming Roxy shows? Can you give us any hints as to special guests?
Silly question! We never talk about who’s gonna be there… Mainly because we don’t know ’till it happens!
Lately you’ve been exhibiting your fine art at a number of charity events and galleries. Is painting a more recent artistic endeavor that you’re just now exploring? Also, you seem to be a bit partial to hand grenades as a subject matter, please explain…
Although I have been an art connoisseur and collector for quite a few years, I had never put brush to canvas (or pencil to paper) until February of this year. I never thought I could do it… But thanks to a couple of people pushing me in that direction, I eventually painted something for a charity auction in February. I expected a childish stick figure to come out, but instead some crazy dripping gold skull appeared in front of me, and my creative fire was burning extremely high. From that day, I have painted most days (even on the road), amassed a decent body of work, and I held my first art show this past October.
The reaction to my pieces, and the success of the sales have made me realize that if I am honest with myself when my brush hits the canvas, it will work. Art is art and it is primarily for me. If it touches other people, then I have succeeded.
The hand grenade is a violent and iconic image to me, that when painted in beautiful colors, or in a soft light, or dripping and melting, seems to speak of a huge dichotomy that we live with every day in this world. It’s a beautiful disaster. It’s destruction at its most poignant. It’s the pastel-shaded, beautifully lit chaos in which I live.
Favorite holiday/Christmas movie of all time?
The Nightmare Before Christmas, because it’s Tim Burton and he is God! And Home Alone, a true classic. And also, does Die Hard count..? It takes place on Christmas Eve… And who doesn’t wanna see Bruce Willis blow shit up and win the day in triumph!
What’s coming up for you in the new year?
Starting New Year’s Eve I am pretty much booked solid for a year. There will be a lot of touring in support of the new Billy Idol album. I have movies to make. I have TV to make. I am planning a second art show. And Royal Machines continue to do their thing… 2015 will be a very busy year for me, and for that I am truly grateful!
And finally, any New Year’s resolutions for 2015?
To continue to live my life to the fullest. To enjoy my work, my friends, and family. And maybe to give up smoking once and for all.
Royal Machines play this Friday and Saturday (Dec. 19 & 20) at The Roxy Theatre. Both shows are sold out. www.theroxy.com
For more info on all things Billy Morrison, the Royal Machines and Billy Idol visit www.billymorrison.net www.billymorrisonart.com www.royalmachinesmusic.com www.billyidol.net
2014 GIBSON GUITARTOWN UNVEILED – FEATURNING HOMAGES TO JANE’S ADDICTION, STEVEN TYLER & THE VIPER ROOM
What is to be the final round of giant art guitar sculptures was recently unveiled at a special launch party event at Hornburg, West Hollywood. The 2014 installment of Gibson GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip, features works paying homage to this year’s Sunset Strip Music Festival (SSMF) honoree Jane’s Addiction, as well as Day 2 headliner Empire of the Sun, Steven Tyler, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Prince and The Viper Room, amongst others.
A range of artists participated in the 2014 installment, including returning “rockstar” artist Stacey Wells, graphic designer/photographer Ruben Esparza, whose work is included as part of the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Kevin Llewellyn whose work is highly sought after by celebrity collectors.
As in previous years, the 2014 Gibson GuitarTown art guitars will be auctioned for charity at the end of their “tour.” Collectively, the previous auctions have raised more than $147,250 for charities, including Music For Relief, which provides aid to survivors of natural disasters; the Los Angeles Fund for Education’s “Arts Matter” campaign, which funds art and music education programs in Los Angeles public schools; the Los Angeles Youth Network, which provides services for homeless youth; West Hollywood Library and funds to support public art in West Hollywood.
The guitars will be on display at the SSMF 2014 (Sept. 20 and 21) street festival before being placed along the boulevard for public display.
This round of 2014 Gibson GuitarTown art sculptures include:
“Janie’s GottaGun” – Steven Tyler
Stacey Wells’ art can be found displayed at some of the most prestigious celebrity galleries in the country, alongside other talented artists such as: Ron Wood, Grace Slick, Ringo Starr, Sebastian Kruger and more. Paintings from her RockStar Reflections series have been featured at a private event for Gene Simmons and her portrait of Steven Tyler hangs in the singer’s Hawaiian home. Inspired by the vibe of The Sunset Strip, Wells chose Seven Tyler and his band Aerosmith for her subject matter.
“Golden Nostalgia” – Elton John
Sarah Chang of Sarah’sINCOGNITO is a London born, Los Angeles based artist. She is self taught and began painting at the age of 14. Sarah has worked with a broad range of partners and collaborators, from an LAUSD commissioned mural commissioned at the age of 16, to Fred Segal, to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Currently Sarah is focused on developing public art projects as creative solutions for several cities: LA><ART, the Laguna Beach Arts Commission and the Watts House Project, as well as several commercial real estate development projects in Southern CA.
“Cyndi Lauper” – Cyndi Lauper
A graduate of Fine Art from the University of Maryland, College Park, Antoinette started out primarily as an oil painter, before discovering her true love of chalk. She runs her own wearable art business (L’Antoinette Originals, et al.), is certified in textile design, an active member of an art collective (DAKO Vanguard) and co-proprietor of a downtown LA art gallery. She is now adding public and private mural arts to her portfolio, and is actively involved with various arts alliances and projects around the Los Angeles area, including the 6x6x6 Program in which six local artists create 6×6 murals to install in San Fernando Valley schools.
“Freddie Mercury Icon” – Freddie Mercury
A Los Angeles based artist, graphic designer, photographer and curator, whose work is included as part of the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the Santa Barbara Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago Illinois, among others. Esparza’s work also hangs in private collections throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe.
“Double Booked” – Jane’s Addiction/Empire of the Sun
Joshua was born and raised on a small farm in East Texas, joined the military when he graduated from high school and spent a year in Chicago for boot camp and school. He was sent to San Diego for further school and graduated with honors from one of the toughest programs in the Navy. He was then stationed in San Diego and stayed until 2005. After finishing his tour with the Navy, he was discharged with honors and moved to Los Angeles in January of 2005. He has been in West Hollywood since then, and loves the creativity that inspires him. He recently began drawing and painting again.
“Minnea(Prince Symbol)olitan” – Prince
F O R E M O S T (Darryl King) is a working visual artist and educator with a studio in North Hollywood, California. He is self-taught, and primarily works with magazine cutouts, sculpted and painted surfaces, and found materials to create large-scale collages. He received a BA in Art History and a M.Ed. from the University of California Los Angeles, and has also worked with fellow L.A. based artists Patrisse Cullors and Zeal Harris.
“Wake Up” – Rage Against the Machine
Demetra Karras is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design. There she studied Production, Costume and Set Design, with an additional emphasis in Film and Video Production and Computer Art. She is currently at work on a series of Mixed Media Pieces in Los Angeles, CA. Demetra is also the creator and owner of Fully Loaded Hearts.
“Serpent Sirena” – The Viper Room
Educated at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Roe earned a BFA with a studio emphasis in graphic design. He has worked designing key art and DVD packaging at POV Entertainment in North Hollywood, for clients such as HBO and Warner Bros, on projects like Big Love and The Wire. In subsequent years Roe has worked designing television graphics for BrandX with Russell Brand, even Art Directing the identity of the 2nd season of the show. Since July of 2013 Roe has been at Jewel Box Platinum in Marina Del Rey designing custom gold and platinum records displays for the music business.
“Live Fast, Never Die”
Kevin’s works have been featured in a number of major shows, including the Forum Gallery in NYC, the Arkansas Art Center Museum, Kat Von D’s Wonderland Gallery in West Hollywood, and the Butler Institute of American Art – the museum where Llewellyn was given his first solo exhibition at age 21. Llewillyn’s work has also caught the eye of collectors such as Madonna, Kat Von D, Ian Montone, Robin Williams, Trent Reznor, Mark Romanek, Scott Rodger, Nancy Berry, and Balthazar Getty. Most recently Llewellyn was the subject of an LA Weekly article where the publication examined his unorthodox practices of recording subject matter.
“The Man Who Sold the World” – David Bowie
Eleven years ago, Burman-Loffredo started using painting and drawing as his outlet for his recently discovered hidden creativity. “My drawings allow me to look deep inside my soul and work on its difficulties. I draw the past, present, and future in order to learn how I can be a better person, and what I can give to the world”. He thrives on being able to use his art as a healing process, not only for himself, but for those touched by his work – giving half of his earnings from art shows to charities he is passionate about.
“Nothing’s Shocking 25th Anniversary” – Jane’s Addiction
Forrest Holt is an aspiring Graphic Artist specializing in digital art, typography, and illustration. He currently resides in Simi Valley, where he has designed and implemented multiple posters for non-profit organizations such as “Not One More,” a group that helps raise awareness of heroin addiction. Having just turned 18, he is very excited to be the youngest artist to contribute to the Gibson GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip art project.
“Reggae Legend” – Bob Marley
“The English Rocker” – Marc Bolan
“China Cat” – Jerry Garcia
“Acid Queen” – Janis Joplin
Snow graduated from Humboldt State with a BA in Fine Art and continued on to the San Francisco Art Institute to receive a Masters of Fine Art Degree in Print Making. Willard has worked professionally as a presentation designer and teacher of graphic design computer applications. Sharing and teaching are both lifetime passions of Snow’s, he has been a teacher at the San Francisco Art Institute, California Art Institute North Hollywood, and Torrance Unified School Districts adult education program. Currently he is working on promoting his art at events all over the West Coast.
All photos courtesy of Gibson (Displayed in same order as artists listed)