Mario Mikeal Maglieri, beloved and respected owner of Los Angeles’s famous Sunset Strip establishments Rainbow Bar And Grill, The Roxy Theatre and the Whisky A Go Go, died Thursday, May 4 at the age of 93.
Born February 7, 1924 in Seppino, Italy, Mario came to the U.S. at age four. He eventually ran restaurants and clubs in Chicago until he moved to Los Angeles with his family. There he started the legendary clubs, The Rainbow, The Roxy and The Whisky.
His Italian heritage inspired the delicious food served at the Rainbow, especially the pizza, which was known as the best in the city.
Truly a lover of music and the arts, he helped hundreds of artists get their start in Los Angeles. Known as the the King Of The Sunset Strip, hopefuls from all over the world came to Mario‘s clubs with the desire of being discovered. He was a friend to all, and frequently came across talented musicians who went on to become platinum sellers. Their pictures line the walls of the Rainbow.
Since opening in 1964, the Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles has hosted some of the biggest rock stars in history, including THE DOORS, THE BYRDS, Janis Joplin, Neil Young, Smokey Robinson, THE TEMPTATIONS, LED ZEPPELIN, Alice Cooper, VAN HALEN, GUNS N’ ROSES, MÖTLEY CRÜE and METALLICA. In 1972, Mario Maglieri, along with Whisky co-founder Elmer Valentine, Lou Adler and others, started the Rainbow Bar And Grill down the street from the Whisky. In its heyday, the Rainbow counted Keith Moon, John Lennon and Alice Cooper among its regulars.
“Yeah, I’ve seen a lot,” Maglieri told The Guardian in a 2015 interview. “Things have changed on Sunset over the years, of course they have. But my business won’t change until I die.”
Back in 2005, Maglieri remembered Janis Joplin as a “raunchy broad. But she was a good kid. She meant well. Three days before she died, we sat in a booth and she asked for a Southern Comfort. She had this raspy voice and she was stoned and drunk. The girl brought over a glass of Southern Comfort and Janis said, “I wanted a [expletive deleted] bottle of Southern Comfort. She was a great girl. I loved her.”
As for Jim Morrison, Maglieri said he was “just a mixed-up kid, but a good kid. I kicked his ass off-stage [when] he screwed around. He would never show up on time. But he was a good kid. He meant well. I tried to straighten him out. I saved his ass so many times.”
Maglieri‘s love for his family was well known. He is survived by his wife, Scarlett, his son Mikeal and grandchildren Mikeal, Cheryl and Gina.
A public memorial for Mario Maglieri be held at the the Rainbow Bar And Grill on Sunday, May 28, starting at 1:00 p.m.