As the Rainbow’s 50th anniversary approaches, we’re feeling nostalgic. We joined the colorful post-concert crowds at the famed Bar & Grill for pizza and stiff drinks countless times, cozying into its dark leather booths as music blasted and boys in black leather buzzed and boozed about. As a native growing up in the ‘80s, going to the Rainbow was like a rite of passage, a place we could hang and see real live rockstars in their natural habitat. And that hasn’t changed, even 50 years since it first opened its doors. If you love rock n’ roll and live in L.A., you probably have your own nostalgic music-memories there, even if they’re more recent than ours. The room (still) has an air of magic.

We’ve done some pretty epic interviews at the Rainbow too– from a chat with Guns n’ Roses’ Duff McKagen (20 years ago) to Spinal Tap’s Derek Smalls (Harry Schearer, who stayed in character for the entire interview!)– and we’ve drank and danced amongst members of Cypress Hill, Mötley Crüe and too many more to remember. We also chatted with Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister there on multiple occasions (not a brag because he was there a lot and was always really friendly to anyone who approached) and bittersweetly, covered the unveiling of his memorial statue there after he died.

The atmosphere inside of this legendary space is one of a kind, but the parking lot events (held annually for The Rainbow’s anniversary) have always been packed and poppin’ with a special kind of rawkin party energy. For its big 5-0, things are sure to go off. The line-up includes hair metal tribute terrors Steel Panther, Stephen Pearcy (of Ratt), Orgy, Crazy Town, and Sometimes Y, the new project from Yelawolf and Shooter Jennings (in their debut performance). The Rainbow’s 50th Anniversary celebration, Sun., April 24, 1 p.m.; free. 90165 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood.

Learn more about the L.A. landmark in the 2019 Gravitas Ventures documentary chronicling its history. Trailer below.


LA Weekly