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Dayle Gloria, ‘Queen of the Sunset Strip,’ Talks Sunset Strip Music Festival

Photo courtesy of Dayle Gloria

The Sunset Strip Music Festival is back. Now in its sixth year, the three-day Los Angeles-based music festival returns with headliners Linkin Park and more than 70 other bands and performers. Plus there’s a tribute this year to Sunset Strip music icon — Joan Jett.

SSMF combines decades of Los Angeles music history with the next generation of rock ‘n roll superstars. In advance of the fest, Noisecreep is visiting some of the legends that bring the famed venues to life.

The Viper Room’s Dayle Gloria is known as “The Queen of Sunset Strip.” Back in the day when the famed club belonged to Johnny Depp, Gloria was the talent buyer for the club and over the years she has booked some of the most important “first shows” the Strip has ever experienced (including Jane’s Addiction and Guns ‘N Roses).

Today she is back at the Viper Room, continuing to blaze a trail for live music in her trademark outspoken, gutsy style. Noisecreep had a chance to talk with the refreshingly no-nonsense Gloria.

Dayle, you’ve been on the Strip since the 1970s. What impresses you most about the music scene here?

I think it’s about the history. You can go all the way back to the 1940s when you had gangsters and Rat Pack performers playing up and down the Strip and then rock ‘n roll comes into play in the ’50s and ’60s that it becomes punk and then metal and everything that’s happening today and then all of a sudden, in just a few blocks of this one street, you’ve got more musical history than anyplace else in the country. That’s what makes me so passionate about this area — the live music scene. Without a live local music scene the whole musical community will fall apart. That’s how important all of this is.

You’ve played a part in so many up-and-coming acts along the strip. That must make you feel pretty good.

Anytime I can help a band by working with them it makes me feel good. I only work with bands that I really believe in. A great example is the act that today is called Steel Panther. They started out as something called Metal Shop and I worked with those guys for six years until they became Steel Panther. It was one of the funnier shows on the Strip but also one of the best. People would wait hours to get in, the biggest names in town to come see these guys play. But that was something we all worked very hard on, to make that show what it is.

Do you have any sort of formula for the bands you work with?

My formula has always been pretty simple. I just like to work with the best of the best. My attitude was always, if you have talent then you can come in and play — a pretty simple formula. Even if you weren’t a known band, if I thought you had the potential, then you could come in and play. I still feel that way today. I’m very passionate about music and I want to work with the best all the time. And when you see something in an unknown band that makes you think they’ve got that potential, that’s pretty exciting.

So you tend to get fairly involved with the bands you book?

I absolutely do. It’s sort of like what used to be called artist development at a record label. You work with them, you help guide them, you steer them toward being the best that they can be.

They call you the Queen of Sunset Strip. That seems a pretty big title to live up to.

I really take this street to heart. I’ve worked in every single club on the strip and I think that’s where my nickname comes from. There’s so much more going on here that I think the average person realizes. It’s a lot more than just bands wearing spandex. There’s a lot of history here to live up to and it’s what keeps me excited still coming here every day.

I’m totally dedicated to the live local music scene because without that I think the whole music is industry falls apart. That’s another reason I get so excited about the Sunset Strip Music Festival. This is a chance for us to celebrate some of the best bands we’ve got right now on the Strip while giving an opportunity to some up-and-coming bands that really have what it takes.

Our thanks to Dayle Gloria for her chat about the Sunset Strip. The Sunset Strip Music Festival, sponsored by Jack Daniel’s, begins today (Aug. 1) in Los Angeles and runs through Saturday’s (Aug. 3) street festival. For lineup and ticketing info, click here.

Next: Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda Contributes to Sunset Strip's Gibson Guitartown

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