The Unexpected Closing of Hollywood’s Key Club, and what Fans can do to Help

Ian and Kane Shepp, the Key Club’s owners, couldn’t have foreseen the changes taking place and ultimately, the world famous Key Club in Hollywood has officially closed it’s doors. It was an unavoidable situation that sadly, is leaving dozens of employees looking for work in the harsh financial climate of the Southern California landscape.  In the blink of an eye, the entire staff, from the doorman to the owners, is finding themselves looking to create a new situation to provide for their families and meet their bills while looking for work.

The Shepps have organized a fund-raising effort to help the staff maintain their expenses while getting back to work. A crowd-funding program has been put online, and the goal is to reach out to the thousands of patrons who have enjoyed the countless shows the staff has put together. Even the smallest of donations helps the dedicated members of the Key Club crew to stay on their feet while they re-organize and reestablish themselves in the workforce.

Find out more about how you can support the people who helped bring you the best hard rock acts on the planet by visiting the Go Fund Me website at this address:

As the the world famous Hollywood Key Club has closed its doors, this ends a legacy in the hard rock performance market that stretches back into decades of historical live performances by the genre’s key acts. On Monday, March 11th, 2013, staff, friends and supporters of the nightclub held a candlelight vigil, saying goodbye to a place where rock and roll legends were born.

Until 1994, the famed Hollywood Sunset Strip location was known as Gazzarri’s on The Strip. Prior to their conquest in the major FM radio market, artists including the Doors and Van Halen were repeat offenders, bringing teens out into the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s elite at the undoing of parent’s attempts at putting the kabash on rock and roll.

Featured in the film “Decline of the Western Civilization: Part II – the Metal Years,” Gazzarri’s revealed the up front music scene, as well as a lot of the back room antics that drew musicians to Hollywood looking to take a bite of the nightlife, the fame and the entertainment industry at any cost. Crossing over generations of club-goers, the location became the “must-play” club in the rock and roll market, far surpassing the interests of the Whiskey-a-Go-Go, the Roxy Theater, the Troubadour and the Viper Room. To say you headlined at Gazzarri’s was a notch on your belt that set you and your band apart from the rest.

In 1991, Bill Gazzarri passed on, leaving the legacy of the club to fate. In the 1994 Southern California earthquake that devastated the landscape, the club was torn to the ground and reestablished with a new building on the foundation under the name Billboard Live, until 1998 when it was from that moment on, to be forever known as the Key Club.

At the peak of the location’s prowess on the music scene, the 90 yards of sidewalk that extended from the front of the Key Club location to the Rainbow Bar and Grill was the epicenter of the hard rock and glam movement. The lifestyle it presented spawned the creation of iconic incarnations including MTV’s Head Bangers Ball, Long Beach rock radio station KNAC and countless top selling live recordings including Cinderella’s “Live at the Key Club” as well as the rare bootleg recordings of Van Halen’s 1974 underground release. Artist’s like Jani Lane of Warrant, W.A.S.P. and long-standing legends Motley Crue called the club home, and on the 25th anniversary of Guns n’ Roses Appetite for Destruction, there was only one place to hold the celebration. That place was the Key Club!

Music promoter and record label founder Joe Dolan shares, “From my 16th birthday I knew well where I wanted to be. I was 3000 miles away from Hollywood, but my goal was defined, and the long schooldays spent daydreaming, while staring blankly out the window, built a foundation for the lifestyle I was going to both endure and enjoy. Hard rock had taken hold, and by hell or high water, I was going to be where the action was. I was headed for the Sunset Strip and I would call it (the Key Club) home. The irony that I would be part of the last night of it’s existence is hard to bear, but like millions of others, I’m proud to say I was here, and the club will forever be in my blood!”

Please take time to re-print and share this information across your Social Media Network, (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and keep the spirit alive. There is nothing definite to share about the next step in bringing the live hard rock music back to Hollywood, but a little bird has stated, good things may soon be in the works.

Follow the Key Club online at

To keep in the loop, visit and leave an email for future updates. For more information on this press release, please visit the website or call Joe Dolan at 818-742-7719.



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