It’s been a long time since comedian Lenny Bruce performed and got arrested on obscenity charges at The Troubadour in 1957, but the West Hollywood live-music venue on Santa Monica Boulevard still packs ’em in and pours drinks freely with a sense, to quote an old Neil Young song, that it’s better to burn out than fade away. Patrons and rockers hang out at the wood-paneled bar in front, maybe grab a seat at a black leather booth, and wait their turn to perform or to catch the band in the surprisingly small and intimate showroom. Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young and Stephen Stills made their live debuts at the Troubadour in 1966, and comedy legend Richard Pryor recorded a live album there in 1968. The list of debuts and historic moments is long: Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Neil Young, Elton John, Billy Joel, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Joe Strummer, The Strokes and many others have a connection to this 53-year-old establishment. If there’s a Hall of Fame for rock venues, the Troubadour, founded by the late Doug Weston, would be inducted. 9081 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd. (310) 276-1158, —Patrick Range McDonald

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.