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50th Anniversary of the Sunset Marquis

Bob Marley, Joe Strummer, Dave Grohl and more at the iconic hotel

Sunset Marquis Book, Bob Marley

Kim Gottlieb-Walker, www.Lenswoman.com, all rights reserved

Curbside, under the hotel entrance on Alta Loma: "There's a certain amount of respect for the place because we like it. And everyone who hangs out there really has an affinity for it. Nobody destroys the actual hotel, just themselves. It's a nice place to be self-destructive."

From the book If These Walls Could Rock: 50 Years at the Legendary Sunset Marquis Hotel.

Sunset Marquis Book, Bob Marley

Kim Gottlieb-Walker All rights reserved. www.lenswoman.com

Bob Marley

In between his now-legendary performances at the Roxy Theater on the Sunset Strip, Marley prepared for a week of interviews with the American press in his villa at the Sunset Marquis. David Coverdale recalls (somewhat vaguely) spending time with Marley: "Bob and I literally tripped over each other somewhere on the grounds and he invited me to his villa. Family Man Aston [Barrett] was there and some of the very fine Wailers. They were most impressed that Tommy Bolin, God bless his memory, and I actually walked out of the villa without falling down. We were stoned for days!"

Sunset Marquis Book, Joe Strummer

Bob Gruen

Joe Strummer

Reaching for his pack of smokes at the Sunset Marquis pool, 1979. "The Clash had been on their first American tour and didn’t realize how far the bus ride would be from San Francisco to Los Angeles. After half a day, they finally turned up Alta Loma toward the Sunset Marquis and a buzz spread throughout the bus. According to Bob Gruen, who was photographing the band on the tour, guitarist Mick Jones stepped off the bus, into the lobby, dropped his bags and shouted, 'Honey! I'm home!'"

Sunset Marquis Book, Joan Jett

Bob Gruen

Joan Jett

Promoting the Sex Pistols in a suite at the Sunset Marquis, 1976. "While in L.A. on tour with the New York Dolls, Kim Fowley and Rodney Bingenheimer introduced Bob Gruen to two 16-year-old local girls named Cherie Curie and Joan Jett, who told him they were starting a band. 'When I came back the next time,' Gruen says, 'they had the Runaways and they came and met me at the Sunset Marquis. Joan was wearing a homemade Sex Pistols T-shirt and that impressed me because nobody in America knew about them. So I took that picture of Joan laying on the bed in one of the rooms.'"

Sunset Marquis Book, Bob Marley

Julian Lennon

In his villa at the Sunset Marquis. "It was one of the best times of my life. I lived here and I was part of a whole group of ex-pats on Harleys, most of the guys from the Cult, a few other rock bands. That was our thing – cruising Sunset. But most nights of the week, we would be here."

Sunset Marquis Book, Beastie Boys

Beastie Boys

Ecstatic to learn that Rodney Dangerfield is in the villa next to theirs: "'They were huuuuuuuge Rodney Dangerfield fans,' says Beasties photographer Sunny Bak. They called Dangerfield on the house phone and knocked on his door, but never met their favorite comedian. 'They were particularly rambunctious at that time and were all over the girls. All of them were single and they all had no manners and they were just being their Beastie selves.' After a show at the Palladium and a night of partying, the Beasties wound up back in the Marquis hot tub, engaged in, er, 'group activities' with a girl who’d been on tour with them, according to a former hotel executive. What they didn’t realize was that they were within eyesight of guests enjoying Easter Sunday brunch on the South Villa lawn. 'They couldn’t see that people were having their Eggs Benedict and mimosas, looking over the garden with these guys that we had to have security remove,' the former employee says. 'Talk about no one wanting to get in that jacuzzi for a while.'"

Sunset Marquis Book, Morrissey

Linder Sterling


Bathing in his Sunset Marquis villa. "Morrissey was signing albums at the Virgin store on Sunset when things got out of hand, as a mob clamored to get to Moz and his security team whisked him back to the Sunset Marquis in a car. The mob chased after the car, and within minutes, the Marquis was overrun, people tearing up and down halls, knocking on doors, trying to find Morrissey’s room. Hotel security was forced to call the West Hollywood sheriff to help secure the property and remove the hundreds of kids who'd infiltrated the Marquis."

Sunset Marquis Book, Roger Waters

Timothy White

Roger Waters

Roger Waters hid out at Sunset Marquis during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Bill Ryan remembers seeing Roger Waters calmly on his way to his room with his girlfriend and warning him of the rioting. "Wait 'til we get to my room," Waters replied. "Then there's going to be some rioting."

Sunset Marquis Book, Scorpions, Usher

Robert Knight

Usher with the Scorpions

Across from what has come to be known as the "Nashville Bar" in back near the restaurant, after a plethora of country artists discovered the place. "Where else in the world does the biggest R&B singer in the world hang out with a German heavy metal band?" asks co-author Craig Williams.

Sunset Marquis Book, Anthony Kiedis

Ross Halfin

Anthony Kiedis

Rooftop at the Sunset Marquis. "'In 1992,' General Manager Rod Gruendyke recalls, 'I was being interviewed by a magazine around the pool and they asked me if the hotel still had its rowdy reputation. I said, 'No, it's much more of a business, and we've really cleaned things up.' As soon as I said it, I hear a scream and Flea jumps off the roof, four floors up, into the pool, and then the rest of the Red Hot Chili Peppers jumped in right after him."