The Sunset Strip was not the birthplace of Rock and Roll, but it was certainly the spawning ground for it. So many major rock acts got their start on the Sunset Strip. Jim Morrison and the Doors played the Whiskey and they were the house band there for awhile. Van Morrison, the Byrds, and many others performed at the Whiskey. The Roxy opened nearby, and the Rainbow Bar and Grill was where many of the band members hung out. Not far away, on Santa Monica Boulevard is the Troubadour, where many acts got started.
When I first arrived in Los Angeles, the whole 80’s hair band thing was just winding down. Nirvana and the Seattle scene killed it. They took the Marlboro man down from the Sunset Strip and it has never been the same since. It’s very corporate now, though a few of the old mainstays still remain.
In the novel, Palm Avenue, Ashley moves from Kansas and lands a studio apartment on Palm Avenue, which runs from Sunset Boulevard south to Santa Monica Boulevard. She is right in middle of the action. She gets a job as a hostess working at the hot new nightclub, “Kraven,” which doesn’t really exist, but if you would like to purchase the trademark from me…
Anyway, Ashley gets hired at Kraven because she is fresh, because she is innocent, and not yet jaded by the hard LA party lifestyle. She finds out immediately what a fish out of water she really is, working at the nightclub. She consciously and subconsciously starts adapting and transforming into an LA girl.
A passage in the book describes how Ashley’s consciousness shifts, “So this was how it worked? You do your best to look “in” and stylish. You hang out at the places where you will be seen by the right people. You take the right acting class, you eat and drink the right things, and you work out at the right gym. You take the right pills. You fuck the right people.”
Ashley, like so many others drifts into the decadent party lifestyle. For some, that actually pays off. There are no rules in Hollywood.