The Odyssey 1 Nightclub
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Everything you're looking for is here:
Odyssey1 (more commonly referred to as The Odyssey)
was considered the ultimate 1980's LA gay disco.
The Odyssey was not exclusively gay - most nights attracted a straight crowd exclusively and the clientele was decidedly mixed every night.
The club was owned by the notorious Eddie Nash.
March 6, 1981
Ok, you're sitting on your ass in a sleazy dive in Reseda, or maybe Huntington Beach, listening to those two wicked witches of the west, Donna Summer and Barbra Striesand, sing "Enough is Enough" for the ten-thousandth time and you just can't stand it anymore!
But where can you go to dance to some good music? You're not even 21 yet and they won't let you into the Meat Rack. You been thrown out of the Spike and Studio One. You can go to Gino's II, but it's so dark in there all you can see are black light illuminated teeth!
Well, I've got news for you kids, there is a place where you can dance to the best new music in town, and you don't have to be 21 to get in. I'm talking about the Odyssey and in case you've never been there, here's the scoop.
On Monday and Friday nights at the Odyssey, you can dance to the re-mixed sounds of Lene Lovich, The Pretenders, B-52s, Haircut 100, Go-Gos, Devo and all of your other new wave faves.
Eye suppose it wouldn't be much of an exaggeration to say that the Odyssey is one of the nicest dancespots in L.A. with a spacious dancefloor, state of the art booming sound system and enough trippy lights to keep you happy even if you aren't on quaaludes.
If you don't find enough beautiful people to stare at (and believe me, you will) there are plenty of mirrors surrounding the dancefloor- you can stare at yourself dancing all night if you want and not look a bit out of place.
The crowd that congregates on Fridays at the Odyssey is a diverse one, ranging from disco clones to new wave clones to disco turned new wave clones. The Monday crowd is a bit more serious about the music and dancing.
On either night you'll find lots and lots of young, hip, attractive people ready to dance and do God knows what else! Everyone here is ready to party down, Dude.
You'll even occassionaly find a few cool punks hanging out, but the Odyssey certainly doesn't attract a radical crowd by any means. Go on a Monday night (the best night, if you ask me), and they'll give you a free pass for Saturday night which has a mixed, more mainstream crowd.
It's DJs Chuck E. Starr and Steven that spin the records, and I have seen them whip an audience into a frenzy - everyone screaming and pogo-ing to their careful manipulation of the sounds.
Being a disc jockey here is a lot like being a live performer, and Chuck E. Starr plays to his audience like no one else. Dry ice smoke, whirling lights and pulsating neon encircled pylons descending from the ceiling are all part of the Odyssey's mind assault. DJ Starr plays it to the hilt, visible above the dancefloor in his glass booth. One warning: he doesn't welcome requests.
Well, look- let me make this simple. Get up out of your seat right now, hop into your daddy's Mercedes and head down to the Odyssey on Monday and Friday for new wave nights. Of course, the club is open all other nights with a disco format with new wave hits thrown in the mix.
The Odyssey is open afterhours, located at 8471 Beverly Boulevard, near the corner of La Cieniga in West Hollywood. Check it out (as if you haven't already).
Coming up is what I call the big sell out. It was bad enough that I was asked to write an article about one of our advertisers. (You just read it). Now, you see, our semi-literate assistant editor has written a review that he wants inserted into this column. I told him to write a Sports column, something he knows something about, but to no avail.
So, since he has threatened that our column won't make it to the printer unless his screed runs, and I know he is a man of his word (when it comes to vengeance)... It is my great pleasure to introduce a true professional - a scholar and one of my very best friends, and I mean that in the very best Hollywood tradition, the incomparable Danny-Larry.
Skafish's Fun Fun Album
First let me introduce myself. I am Danny-Larry. At this time I want to speak out for Jim Skafish's album- Skafish.
It's a total unity of work from the very upbeat tune, 'Work Song' to the almost ballad like 'Romantic Lessons', which I heard from a good friend of Ronnie Spector's, was written for her latest album SIREN, however Polish Records producer Genya Raven felt the song was too close to Ronnie's 60s music, and passed on the song. Well, I say you shouldn't. It is one of the best pieces of work out today in this garbage filled music world.
The best cut on the album is 'Joan Fan Club'. Its very innovative, yet stylish. This album has a little something for everyone into good solid rock. It takes a selective ear to enjoy such artistry and I know our readers have such an ear.
Well, that's my review and whether you liked it or not, I'm about to turn you over to our first lady - Judy Zee . . .
Hi, everyone. . .
There were three people seated comfortably on a stage in West LA Music (7001 Hollywood Blvd)'s rear room where electric guitars are usually mounted on the wall. An audience of unseasoned, unsigned musicians watched and listened from the few hundred seats below. The effect was that of a school auditorium- with certain respected expert guests up on the podium who knew things the youngsters hadn't yet learned.
The real 'expert' in this case was ex-'Doors' keyboardist Ray Manzerek, who has been working lately with local bands, such as X and The Zippers, to professionalize and put out their music.
"Supporting the clubs, supporting the bands, that's what's necessary" says the man, "My objection to big record companies is that they've forgotten that music is an art." This earned the first sporadic applause of the evening. "Go with anyone who likes you," was Ray's advice to up and coming musicians, saying "If you know your music is good, then who cares what the hell anyone else has to say... Whether you make two dollars or 200,000,000."
The author of "No One Here Gets Out Alive", (a Jim Morrison biography), Danny Sugarman, on the other hand should be taken out and shot. Second handedly, and without the personal experience, with his ego-based, impure and hollow logic, he repeated everything Ray Manzarek would say. Futhermore, to improve his image, he would interrupt in the middle of Ray's rare vocal responses in anticipation of concluding the answer. Ray, being non-argumentative, would quietly allow these intrusions, though he clearly knew better. I personally, and I feel I speak for the audience as a whole, felt cheated by Sugarman's rude and abrupt outbursts.
The best thing Sugarman said during his discourse was that John Travolta will not play the part of Jim Morrison in the proposed Doors movie. "Ray elaborated saying, "You can use Jim's name, because Jim's dead." In reference to movie rights, they're not going to have anyone named 'Ray Manzarek' unless he signs, which he does not intend to do.
There will be a one hour television special from Copenhagen, "hopefully in the summer. July 3, 1981, a tribute to the Doors," says Ray.
The great Manzarek has spoken... pay no attention to that (Sugar)man behind the curtain.
"I always wondered if the Odyssey was on the net..GREAT articles...Yes I am still ALIVE and living in Palm Springs Calif. I still have all the music but I am no longer a DJ.
"Today I am a Registered Nurse in an Acute Care Hospital. Say if
you guys want any live feeds of the Odyssey or News feeds of the closing
let me know! Your articles brought back great memories of some fun times!
"Howdy, I grew up at the Odyssey and became a DJ in LA, claiming
the Fake Club as my premier gig before moving to NYC to play records there.
the whole sordid story is at:
"Chuck E. Starr (great to hear he's still around--and a nurse!!!) didn't play the first new wave record at the Odyssey - Steven Smith did. It was actually the Buggles doing 'Clean Clean', which I brought him; and I later forced to him to play 'Rock Lobster', which I had bought from Joseph & Henry's first Vinyl Fetish store--on Highland (and, I think; maybe La Brea).
"I just got in contact with Chuck's old light man who has tons of tapes from the Odyssey and hope to put them online soon at my site."
Thanks for the flashback,
The Odyssey Night Club in LA
Thanks to Michael Randall for the Odyssey photos!
Funny I was going to take my Odyssey matchbook and have someone make a t-shirt for me, But you beat me to the punch...lol Only thing is that you forgot to add the address on the back of the T- shirt.
Yes, that is me in the day at Odyssey. I was know for dancing to "One More Shot" next to the D.J. booth.. lol. When I heard the song playing I would run from the T.V. room, down the steps to the dance floor and take a HUGE hit of Poppers and just do my thang out there.
You must of gone to Phazes in the valley
and Hot Tracks too.
A few years back I was in Palm springs and
saw this guy and I yelled out " OMG You're Chuckie Star" and
it was and he looks the same as he did back then. So, 70's and gay leather
daddy like :)
"My name is Todd. I grew up in Whittier, and don't recall the first night I went to the Odyssey... what I do know is that it was a life changing experience for me.
" It was the first time I was 'out' and at a gay club. I was 19 and so enthralled with the whole scene. I had so much fun there... loved the onset of the whole 'new wave' time. I will never forget any of it. I went to the Odyssey until 1982 when I moved to go dance in Las Vegas. Thanks for the memories."
WOW. I grew up at The Odyssey. What has happened to Scott Harvey and Chris Cox, Nick Bois Manager, Steve The Door Man. Myself and Johnny Deakin lived with Louis Barazza on Croft Street and as under-age-ers and partied every night at the Odyssey, it was a blast.
After the closing we followed Nick to the Seven
Seas where he worked for Eddie Nash, just wasn't the same club or location.
Eddie & Nick got into a lot of trouble and Johnny and myself were
there for much of it. It is wonderful you have a write up on this Club
and those times. Saw many of the New Wavers first at the Odyssey along
with Grace Jones and Elvira at certain Halloween parties they had. Scott
Thorsen was another regular there too.
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