A Troubled Troubadour

It’s been quite a while, but I can still hold out hope that my mother is not reading my column (written on this Mother’s Day).

The point is, the Troubadour is in trouble. The legendary, famed, celebrated and historic hang was a cozy, wood-covered musical mini mecca. Big acts, small auditorium, with an audience measuring a few hundred—not thousands.

l grew up on North Alta Drive in Beverly Hills. 

I was just a short platform-stumbling jaunt to Doug Weston’s Troubadour on the edge of West Hollywood. It was the hub of activities on Saturdays, plus… it was 7 o’clock and I wanted to rock… get a little action in. Hey, what do you do when the biggest acts of your decade are playing within walking distance of your neighborhood?

I did what any red-blooded teenager would do. I stuffed my bed, brought a bag of my glitter and feathered boas, my best Biba, a dress, and purple and black platform shoes. 

We happily lined up looking at the evening’s marquis. 


Since we weren’t old enough to drink, we enjoyed another Troub specialty: Italian ice, which seemed just as good as a gimlet to us. The place offered up orange ice in an orange, lemon sorbet in a lemon and coconut ice in an empty coconut shell. 

But that was just the warmup. What came next were the greatest acts of our time. Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, the Eagles with Malibu’s Glen Frey and, yes, that unknown piano player called Elton John, who went on to superstardom. I saw them all, and even better, I never got caught.

I mean, in an intimate venue with what seemed like a handful of friends and the biggest names in music, who could blame you?

The Troub has now been on the scene for 60 years. After I moved on to be a straight-A student and straight and narrow newscaster at CBS, others followed: Motley Crüe, Metallica, Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews Band and local fave White Stripes. 

Weston died in 1999 and there haven’t been any big corporations to fill the void. 

The last gig was Glass Animals on March 11. If the Troub stays alive, we are talking the beginning of next year. 

Like many others, the venue has sent me a GoFundMe page. 

So, dig deep for the memories. Who knows what awaits when this is all over, but it reminds me of an Elton John song I heard at the Troub called “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.” One phrase says, “They turn around to say good morning to the night / For unless they see the sky / But they can’t and that is why / They know not if it’s dark outside or light.” 

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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