History and Memories

A former upscale 40’s Hollywood watering hole, Ciro’s fell out of favor in the late fifties. It was renovated in late 1964, to become one of the first venues the Byrds played in March, 1965. Almost immediately, Hollywood’s elite began to flock back to the club. Regulars included Peter Fonda, Sal Mineo and Lenny Bruce. The Byrds were in residence at Ciro’s long enough to have Bob Dylan offer the ultimate seal of approval by joining them onstage at the club sometime after he stunned the world by going electric at the Newport folk festival in July.

It was at Ciro’s that Pamela Des Barres officially became a groupie. At sixteen, she felt compelled to meet some of the musicians she saw at the clubs. “I knocked on the backstage door and the Byrds let me in! That’s how it happened. I sat there and watched them all smoke pot and thought I’d really made it into the in crowd. And no one believed me at school.”

Kim Fowley Remembers the Doors

“I first saw them at Ciro's in 1966 - I think I'd first heard about them from Billy James. I got to Ciro's before the Doors' set began, and the musicians were up on stage setting up. A heckler started yelling at the band: 'You guys are horrible. You can't play. You're crap. You can't drink, you can't think, you can't fight, you can't fuck.' He was in dirty clothes and looked dangerous.“

“The band looked nervous and started playing - and this guy hopped up on stage and started singing. It was Morrison, who'd been heckling his own band. That was one of the best things I'd ever seen in a club. No introduction - just the singer yelling at the band and then the music. I thought, 'My God, these guys are going to be interesting to watch.'”

~Kim Fowley

Copyright 2002

The life and times of Jim Morrison of the Doors, explored through original articles, exclusive interviews, special features, his creative influences and legacy, and other resources.