Whisky, on Rocks, to Become Disco
By Dennis Hunt (L.A. Times - 3/23/75)

After a few months of uncertainty, the Whisky's fate has finally been settled.  The Sunset Strip nightclub, which has long been a prominent showcase for rock acts, is going to abandon its live entertainment policy and become a discotheque in April or May.

 Though the club is now being remodeled, Valentine will still be presenting shows.  There may be an announcement shortly that his new partner in the discotheque venture is Sonny Bono.

 The Whisky's live entertainment policy has existed since the club opened on Jan. 16, 1964.  Many acts have played there on their way to stardom, including Chicago, Stevie Wonder, Cream, Three Dog Night, Linda Ronstadt, Van Morrison and Otis Redding.  One famous engagement featured Led Zeppelin as the headliner and Alice Cooper as the opening act.

 Considering the club's formidable history, Valentine wants an illustrious artist for the final engagement.  It is fairly certain that the closing show will star Neil Young.

 The reason for dropping the live entertainment policy is the clubs recent financial problems.  "We can't get big crowds regularly,” said Valentine.  "We are competing with every little rock 'n' roll club and every concert.  Only when we have a big name is business very good.  But you can't get a big star every week."

 Valentine has always counted heavily on record companies to subsidize engagements.  But lately he has had trouble getting their support.

 "Their help is crucial to the Whisky," he said, "but the companies don't have as much money to spend on breaking in new acts and they aren't breaking in as many hard rock acts as they used to.  That's the kind of act we have here most of the time."

 Operating a disco, which is basically a place where people dance to records, is cheaper and offers fewer headaches than operating a club that regularly presents live entertainment.  Because Valentine won't have to spend as much time with the Whisky, he can devote most of his attention to running the Roxy, which he owns with partners Lou Adler, Elliot Roberts and Chuck Landis.  Since the "Rocky Horror Show" closed a few months ago, the Roxy's schedule has been irregular.  But Valentine will change that.

 I'm going to try to have an act there every week," he said.  "It's easier to get record company support there because we can present all kinds of acts and because it's a very prestigious place.

 "But record company support isn't as necessary at the Roxy.  It seats 500, which is about 200 more than the Troubadour.  It's big enough that we can bring in a good act for just a weekend, sell out, and make very, very good money."