Whisky a Go Go sign auctions for $48,000

A neon sign from legendary Los Angeles nightclub Whisky a Go Go has auctioned for $48,300.

The iconic 13-foot-wide sign, which hung above the club in the 70s and 80s, sold above estimate at Saco River Auction in Maine, US on January 25.

Whisky a Go Go sign

"The Whisky" is still going strong today

That price is a reflection of the importance of the venue in the story of popular music.

Whisky a Go Go opened on the Sunset Strip in 1964 and quickly established itself as one of the country's leading music venues, with local bands the Byrds, the Doors and Buffalo Springfield all regulars.

Many leading punk outfits passed through in the 70s, and the top heavy metal groups of the 80s were also often to be seen there.

The auctioneer said prior to the sale: “Performing on its infamous stage is one of the true rites of passage in the world of rock ‘n’ roll and it is credited with having launched the careers of countless bands including The Doors, Frank Zappa, Buffalo Springfield, Van Halen, Motley Crue, and Guns N' Roses.

“It has been recognized as one of the most influential and important musical venues in the world.”

Today, Whisky a Go Go mainly attracts up and coming bands. The infamous cages that housed its go go dancers, from which the club took its name (or was it the other way round?), are no longer present. What would they make at auction?

The awning from New York punk nightclub CBGBs achieved $30,000 at Sotheby’s last year.

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