Sunset Strip live music venue the Key Club is shutting its doors March 15, the club’s management announced Monday.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share this news with you,” operations manager Ian Shepp wrote in a letter posted to the club’s Facebook page and Twitter account. “This is our final goodbye as the Key Club on Sunset. It has been an honor and privilege to share our passion for music with you.”
Shepp promises that the venue is “going out with a bang!” and packing the calendar in the club’s final days. “We’ll be making sure the Key Club’s last night on the Sunset Strip is nothing short of legendary,” he writes.
The Key Club, at 9039 Sunset Blvd. just down the street from famous rock haunts The Roxy, the Rainbow Bar and Grill and Whisky A Go Go, was built in place of the former Gazzarri's, a nightclub that booked early residencies by The Doors and Van Halen and was used for Huey Lewis and the News' video for their 1984 hit "The Heart of Rock and Roll." The building was heavily damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake and demolished in 1995, four years after the death of its owner Bill Gazzarri, who billed himself as "the Godfather of Rock 'n' Roll."
A new concert venue, Billboard Live, was built in its place and opened in 1996. It was re-christened as the Key Club in 1998.
In recent years, the space has played host to many hip-hop and R&B acts including Warren G, Lil Kim, Ciara and El Debarge but also has been a favorite of metal acts.