Hollywood Palladium, I tried to stay away…

We all have our favorite magical venues. On the other hand, there are the nightmare venues only offering memories of terrible nights and bad energy experiences. The Hollywood Palladium holds the prize for worst venue in LA. After two tries, both rendering it Sketchville, USA, I swore I’d never go back.
In 1999, my dear friend Alex and I ventured out to try to go see an unannounced Prince show there. Tickets were $75 for face and they were never on sale to the public. We found a guy selling them for $100 outside the venue and went to stand in line to enter. The whole scene was shady but we felt like we had to try it. The usher took one look at our tickets and deemed them fakes. There was no way I was about to leave after coughing up a Franklin for these. Alex was so pissed off she just wanted to split. But I stood ground, and apparently was in the way of the VIP line. I told the guy working VIP the situation and he literally laughed in our faces. (He ultimately wound us letting us in and Alex and I fed parking meters and paid back whatever good karma we could think of for months. But still, it was an unsettling experience at first.)
The second time was for an Oysterhead Halloween show. It was just 6 weeks after 9/11 and when security was starting to go into agro overdrive. And it was unusually heightened at this place. I was in a Wonder Woman costume which basically meant I was in a one piece bathing suit and boots. Now everyone think back to pre 9/11 when our purses were sacred privacy. So I, of course, was walking around with a bag of bud, a glass pipe, and a bag of boomers in my purse. People were being strip searched and having innocuous belongings like their lip liners confiscated because “You could stab someone with them,” and hence they were considered weapons. Really, people?!?! I could do more damage with my fist and I have zero upper body strength. I did manage to get in, mostly because I’m talented, and also because I sacrificed my old camera to the bushes. People were abandoning their belt buckles, throwing them and hundreds of other “hazardous materials” behind the building shrubbery. It was like Christmas that day for the homeless of Hollywood. Needless to say the entire audience was frazzled and violated upon entry to the poorly laid out establishment. I’ll put money that anyone who was there would list it in their five worst show experiences, (except for this guy…).
Cut to nearly 9 years later, (that’s today). Blame it on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (shot there and I loved that show), blame it on the renovations (didn’t do anything for the layout, but the sound and paint job showed small signs of improvement, at least), or blame it on me going softer with age, I returned last night for The Black Keys. And I’ve lived to tell the tale.


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