The Rainbow Bar & Grill
The Rainbow is a restaurant of sorts, a bar of other sorts, and a hang-out par excellence; the Rainbow is also a monument to Rock Capitalism in the 70s. It was originally conceived by Bob Gibson, Last Press Agent Before the Freeway and probably the most important and influential music-biz PR nabob in the world. He gathered together a group of friends and/or associates as fellow investors in the project. These included his partner Gary Stromberg, manager extraordinaire Roy Silver, P.R.-tist colleagues like Mike Ochs (Columbia, Shelter) and Corb Donahue (ABC-Dunhill, Costa Rica), Bob Regher of Warner Records and The World of Fine Art, Ode Records honcho Lou Adler, attorney Red Flier, and Elmer Valentine and Mario Maglieri (who own the Whisky and most of the rest of the Sunset Strip).
The Rainbow was planned mainly as a hang-out for the record industry and as a place to hold press parties. “We were tired of getting fucked over by other places,” Gibson says, “and decided to fuck ourselves over instead.”
Fucked-over Gibson sold out his interest last year; few, if any of the original partners remain. But the Rainbow remains. Home of the burnt-out and still-glowing, and of course the fledgling incandescent. One can eat at the Rainbow. Can one eat well? Well? It ain’t no goormay paradise, kid, and it ain’t supposed to be. I mean, Jim Croce sat right over there a few times and Elton John’s been in here in sunglasses, no matter how dark it might be. You expect tournedos Rossini too?
Upstairs is a members-only club called —what else?— Over The Rainbow, which caters to pop stars, record execs and anybody else from downstairs who can somehow talk their way in (not easy; they’ve been known to turn away the likes of John Entwistle). But even if you can’t get in upstairs, there’s always an eyeful at the bar or eating dinner. Either way, you can’t miss.