Hyatt West Hollywood Hotel, Los Angeles
The West Hollywood Hotel is a legend amongst the rock’n’roll community. Jim Morrison is said to have been spotted on the window ledge outside his room on a number of occasions, while The Who’s drummer Keith Moon, possibly one of the most explosive rock stars to have graced the earth, threw a television out of his window just for fun. Led Zeplin would rent out entire floors to stage their antics, with drummer John Bonham even riding his Harley Davidson down the halls of the establishment. These displays of debauched behavior earned The West Hollywood the nickname ‘The Riot House’ and secured its place in rock’n’roll history. The West Hyatt has since matured into a more respectable hotel, with the rock’n’roll behavior moving down the sunset strip to the luxurious Sunset Marquis where many of todays stars choose to stay.
The Chelsea Hotel, New York
The Chelsea Hotel is almost unrivalled in its list of rock’n’roll inhabitants – Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, just to name a few, passed through the hotels doors. The Hotel saw its most riotous times in the 1960s and 1970s with, perhaps, its most notorious incident in 1978. Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious was accused with stabbing and killing his girlfriend Nancy Spugen in his room. The playwright Arthur Miller, who lived at the hotel for six years following his divorce to Marilyn Monroe, summed up The Chelsea Hotel as follows, “There are no vacuum cleaners, no rules and no shame.”
The Cumberland Hotel, London
Over the four years Jimi Hendrix spent in London, he frequented many West End hotels, however The Cumberland remained a favorite of the guitar god. Jimi spent £17 a night on a hotel room where he would often hide away from the prying eyes of the media, and enamoured admirers. The Cumberland was Hendrix’s last official residence before his untimely death on September 18, 1970 aged just 27.
The Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles
The Chateau Marmont is synonymous with the Hollywood experience, hosting nearly every major A-lister to have visited the sunset strip. From Red Hot Chili Peppers Anthony Kiedis recording his vocals for “By The Way” in his hotel room, to James Dean auditioning for his role in “Rebel Without a Cause”, the hotel has seen many a high point in entertainment history. Like most haunts of the rock star, The Marmont has also seen its fair share of the dark times. When John Frusciante, also of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, took up residence in the Marmont he quickly descended into a drug hell, which nearly cost him his life. The Chateau Marmont is an institution of rock’n’roll and deserves its place in our top 5.
The Joshua Tree Inn, California
The perfect get away from the star paved streets of LA, Joshua Tree Inn stands firm in a wild and desolate landscape. Musicians such as Keith Richards, the Eagles, and Gram Parsons frequented the desert getaway, but one day the desert would claim one of their souls for good. On September 19, 1973, Gram Parsons died of a morphine and alcohol overdose. Gram then had one of the most rock’n’roll funerals of all time. Parsons stated that he wanted his body cremated at Joshua Tree and his ashes spread over Cap Rock, so Phil Kaufman his tour manager, and another friend, stole his body from the airport. Driving a borrowed hearse full of beer and Jack Daniels, the pair drove into the desert and cremated Gram under the star studded sky.