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WHAT A PARTY … Steel Panther headlines Massive 50th Anniversary Parking Lot Bash at Rainbow Bar


WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – The Rainbow Bar & Grill 50th anniversary party this past Sunday was as good as gold. 

Never before have that many guests attended the annual party event, as an overflow crowd of about 2,000 packed the restaurant and parking lot on a balmy, spring day.

So much hairspray, leather, makeup and lipstick – and that was just the boys.

Steel Panther, a hometown favorite, headlined, and the popular satiric glam band blew the doors off the place 

Fans had already endured hours in the sun by the time Steel Panther took the stage at about 9 pm, but you never would have suspected they might be weary, as fists pumped in the air throughout  Steel Panther’s dynamic set.

“That was a lot of fun. When I first got there, I didn’t realize the magnitude of what was going on,” Steel Panther singer Michael Starr said. “What a crowd. I couldn’t believe how many people were there. It was chaotic, man. I mean, there was a line all the way down to the Whisky.”

Starr, who prior to Steel Panther had performed in numerous local outfits – including a version of L.A. Guns and the short-lived Route 66 with Bobby Blotzer – felt right at home on the massive stage set up outdoors behind The Roxy.

Steel Panther rocking the parking lot stage with Marq Torien of BulletBoys
The Gang’s All Here, at the Rainbow Bar & Grill 50th Anniversary Party
Photo courtesy Facebook

“When I first got there, I saw all my old friends and some new ones I had never met before,” Starr said. “I mean, I don’t know, I just felt honored to be headlining. It was decadent, man. It was killer.”

Among the highlights was a stunning rendition of the BulletBoys’ hit “Smooth Up,” as singer Marq Torien jumped up.

It sounded like they had been collaborating on the song for years.

“We didn’t rehearse. I didn’t even know Marq was going to be there until I saw him backstage,” Starr said.“He and I are friendly, as you know. I was like ‘dude, you gotta come up and sing,’ and he was like ‘what do you want to do?’ I said, “What do you think? ‘Smooth Up in Ya,’ bro. Let’s go!”

Everything went smooth as “Smooth Up” until Torien called Starr by his real name Ralph (Saenz), but unlike the rest of the world, there are plenty here in Los Angeles that know Saenz by his real name and not his stage name 

“Yeah, dude, Marq Torien couldn’t help himself,” Saenz said. “And then (guitarist) Satchel was all, ‘Ralph? That’s a weird name. Who would have a stupid name like that?'”

Another big highlight was “Party Like It’s The End of The World,” as a model named Melanie from that album danced on stage and, with some prodding from Starr, proudly showed her “best in the world” breasts to the sheer delight of just about everyone including the girls.

In fact, Melanie was even called back for a “titty encore.”

Stephen Pearcy performed a set of Ratt hits, and the dark-haired Californian was on key and energetic, roaming the stage like a king and belting out classics like “Back For More” and “You’re in Love.”

“I have a lot of good memories of this place,” Pearcy said, “But I was always fucked up. That’s the only problem now. I’m not fucked up.”

Michael Thomas (Steven Adler Band), Paul Gargano (Metal Edge) and Chad Stewart (Faster Pussycat) all standing around waiting to sign autographs.
Steel Panther guitarist Satchel signs some flesh documents for Amy Warner
BulletBoys singer Marq Torien and Cathouse Alumni Michael Francis Miller

There were a million celebrities from Kip Winger to Quiet Riot original Carlos Cavaso to Betsy Bitch to Giuffria’s Alan Krigger, plus the usual groupies and burnouts that show up every year 

Promoter Jake Perry mixed in a couple of alternative metal acts with Crazytown and Orgy, and both drew a strong response. 

Crazytown featured handsome singer Seth Binzer, whom rock fans recognized from the old TV series “Sober House” with Steven Adler.

Orgy singer Jay Gordon is a longtime Sunset Strip devotee though you wouldn’t know so by the dark, gothic themes of the band’s industrial style 

The afternoon highlight was Pretty Boy Floyd led by original singer Steve Summers, who proved in fine voice and did a good job working the crowd.

“Set The Night on Fire” and “I Wanna Be With You” were the highlights, as Summers swilled Jack Daniels whiskey and even shared some with the front row.

“This was a really good celebration,” Summers said. “There’s some big bands playing, but back in the day for a year or two it was us right here on the Strip. We had our moment, too, and it’s nice looking back.”

Gerry Gittelson can be reached at

Steel Panther rocks the Rainbow Parking Lot Bash
Photo – courtesy Facebook
Eddie Trunk and Michael Starr of Steel Panther with Zadie – Photo courtesy Marlena Beltrame on Facebook
Stephanie Metcalf enjoys the festivities on Sunset Strip with 2,000 friends
Steve “Sex”Simmers of Pretty Boy Floyd salutes the crowd with a bottle of Ice Tea
Monsters of Rock Cruise regular Margott Hinostroza with Club Vodka promoter Joe Sutton
August Zadra and Bjorn hanging at the Rainbow Bash with 2,000 other rockers


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