Take a stroll through the rainbow streets of West Hollywood with rock artist, Kat Meoz, where music, art, and rebellion thrive on.
Entering the lush garden in the courtyard of the Sunset Marquis, you feel the buzz of the city slip away. It’s so quiet and peaceful here, you’d almost have no idea that just below your feet, in a recording studio under the hotel, some of the world’s loudest and most revolutionary rock stars have been making albums for decades. Don’t be surprised. Put some shades on and crack a smile. You’re in West Hollywood, the rebel city of the California Coast.
Founded by Interrupters
There’s a history of nonconformity here. “It is absolutely in the air,” says West Hollywood local and rock artist Kat Meoz. “It's filled with open minded individuals.” In the late 60s, clashes between teens and the police were perpetual on the Sunset Strip, a nightclub haven of Los Angeles. Youth culture was in rebellion against curfews instated by law enforcement as a means to curb late night noise. Deemed the “Hippie Riots,” they set the tone for what West Hollywood would come to represent.
Like moths to a flame, the rebellious energy of the riots attracted the most notable rock stars of the 70s. The Doors, The Byrds, Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones, and many others became regular fixtures on the Sunset Strip.
PRIDE (Personal Rights in Defense and Education) the national gay rights organization was founded at a local West Hollywood bar, The Hub. And in 1984 the city elected the first ever majority-gay city council. Newspapers declared it the first “Gay Municipality.”
Playing drag queen bingo in a West Hollywood bar
Like a Party Without a Guest List
“Anyone is welcome in West Hollywood, no matter what your gender, no matter what your orientation, or what your profession is,” says Kat. West Hollywood never shied away from its symbolic importance to the LGBTQ community. Today, it’s visible everywhere. Even the crosswalks are rainbow. Transplants with a drive for activism have flocked from all over to join this colorful community, populating galleries, boutique shops, new age cafes, and live music haunts all along Sunset.
The boulevard was aptly named. Sunsets on West Hollywood are well-known attractions. Stop by local hotel Chamberlain West Hollywood for a brilliant rooftop view. Then head to the Troubadour on Santa Monica for the live music. This unassuming West Hollywood institution has helped launch the careers of Elton John, James Taylor, and Tom Waits, but even the lesser known can book a show on an open night.
What else will you see on your trip? The undiscovered voice of a generation? A protest of great political importance? A music legend? Whatever you encounter, it will be a show to remember.
Kat Meoz exploring a West Hollywood street
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