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  • John 12:46 pm on November 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dominic lucci, , ,   

    Bobby Fuller, P.J.’s & The Starwood Club – A Photo Gallery 

    Before it was the Starwood Club, the place was called “P.J.’s”. It was owned by Dominic Lucci and Eddie Nash. 60’s rocker, Bobby Fuller, played at P.J.’s and was no stranger to Eddie Nash. Thus, the circumstances surrounding Bobby’s death and rumors about Fuller being murdered by a jealous Eddie Nash or Dominic Lucci, over a woman, are not entirely unbelievable or unfounded. In the past, I made a blog post about Bobby’s murder here.

     
    • Gayle 9:13 pm on April 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I always thought the murder of Bobby Fuller was interesting. Any murder of a cute musician is intriguing. Nice photo collage, John.

  • John 9:56 am on June 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dominic lucci, , ,   

    Eddie Nash Frightened Former Starwood Employee 

    Just a heads up. At about this same time in June, 1981… David Lind and Barbara were arriving at the Wonderland house. It must have felt like Dave was right back in the summer o’ love 😉  Damn, didn’t it feel good to be home!

    Oh no, not you again.

    Oh no, not you again.

    The Starwood night club closed down during the same year as the Wonderland murders. It is a strange coincidence. The city officials were tired of the complaints from neighbors, etc., but the timing of the murders and licenses not being renewed is odd.

    In “L.A. Exposed” by Paul Young, we find out that…

    By 1966 PJ’s had been bought by an organized crime figure, Eddie Nash and reputed organized crime figure Dominic Lucci, and was managed by Gary Fontenot (not an organized crime figure) for many years. In 1973, after Nash bought out Lucci’s ownership interest in the club, it became The Starwood. It closed in 1981, torn down by the City, after too many citations for underage drinking and noise abatement issues. Before it was demolished it caught fire, though not burning totally. This occurred while unexplained fires befell other Nash-owned properties at the time. Subsequently the structure was torn down, and a mini-mall was built on the site.

    The jury is still out, so to speak, on whether Dominic Lucci had anything to do with singer Bobby Fuller’s mysterious death! To read about that story, click here.

    Let’s move on…

    At a punk rock forum, I found this little nugget from a former Starwood employee. I read another account once that was posted by a former waitress or bartender. She said Eddie invited her to his house for a party. She declined. Smart girl. She would have awoke to Greg Diles on top of her.

    Starwood manager, Gary, is also mentioned below. The “coat check” scam is just another cover charge. By the time you get in the damn club, you are already $10 light in the wallet!

    Oh, my darling Starwood! I was crazy in love with the ‘Wood’. It really was the home of Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll. Lol! It was never a place for lightweights, that’s for sure. Anyone who thought all that stuff didn’t go on there was highly naive.You knew the moment you drove or walked under that over marquis that this was OZ. A wonderful decadent OZ of Rock n Roll! I worked there on and off from 72 until it closed down in 82. Sometimes I’d go to my parents and visit, or go to Europe for a visit with my grandmother for a few weeks and come back to work at the ‘Wood’. Cleaning glasses and ashtrays at first,then on to cleaning up the tables on the main floors and up in the VIP club, the offices, etc,and working at the VIP entrance sometimes,and then my final and permanent job:: The ever insane Coat Check. This was before the cage went up. Gary had that put in when people kept stealing coats from the other end of the counter.They could just reach across and grab stuff before I could get to them! The Starwood was my home,my heart and soul.I grew up there, being only 18 1/2 when I arrived at the club for the first time. I got in with an older friend. They didn’t check IDs a lot there till much later on. I’ve never gotten over the loss of that place. The world lost a great nightclub,and personally, I don’t care about Eddie Nash (whom frightened the hell out of me every time he shook my hand), or what he got up to in the ‘underbelly’ of his Nightclub. I just wish it hadn’t ruined the Starwood’s life. I’d never say anything to disrespect the memory of such an iconic place for thousands of people who feel it it’s a part of their youth.

     

     
    • Bobby 10:59 am on June 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Eddie Nash – definitely the case of a guy whose reputation VERY MUCH preceded him. Granted he was kinda creepy looking but on account of his slight, gangly figure I’d hardly say he was an imposing guy. Are there any recent photos of Nash about? Wonder if he got skinnier (if that is even possible) or instead packed on the pounds after putting that pipe away.

      • John 11:06 am on June 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t know, but he is 80-something. You’re supposed to keep a healthy life to live to a ripe old age. He made it anyways!

        • Jenn 11:49 am on June 18, 2013 Permalink

          I know! It’s shocking!!!!!!!!!! I don’t know if he could get any skinnier but if he did pack on the pounds we would probably not recognize him in that speedo.

      • John 11:51 am on June 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        And Greg Diles lost 100 lbs while in prison for his drug and assault charges. He did not have the Nash genes or longevity and died of liver failure in 95.

    • localarts 11:06 am on June 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Van Halen was discovered at the Starwood in May 1977. Warner Brothers record exec’s were on hand that night. I wonder if Nash made a pack with Dimond Dave and the guys. Remember, the first track on side A of Van Halen 1 is “Runnin with the devil”

      • Jenn 11:49 am on June 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Wow! That’s right!

        • localarts 1:00 pm on June 18, 2013 Permalink

          Yeah, can you imagine an 80+ overweight Nash in speedo’s. I think I might puke!!

      • Bobby 11:10 am on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        He’s probably in his speedo’s right now, sitting on the couch in his modest Tarzana condo, notebook on his lap, reading this blog and giggling with pride. C’mod Eddie, post something for us!

        • The Odyssey 8:44 pm on June 21, 2013 Permalink

          The Manager of The Starwood had an affair with Elton John also.

        • Derek 5:24 pm on June 22, 2015 Permalink

          your absolutely right about Nash

    • Angie Fontenot 2:31 pm on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      My uncle is (was) Gary Fontenot. I would love to know more about him. An affair with Elton John? WOW

      • John 8:34 am on January 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Angie, yes… Gary was a peripheral player in the Wonderland saga, and knew Eddie Nash quite well. Did you know Gary very well, or was he a distant relative? Lee who worked at the Starwood tells some pretty cool stories here on the blog about Dom Fragomeli, Eddie, big parties, Eddie’s house, etc.

        • Angie Fontenot 8:41 am on January 7, 2014 Permalink

          Yes, I knew him as the coolest Uncle I had. He would come to Louisiana and visit every couple of years and my parents would fly me up to Hollywood for vacations. I remember when I was young (about 12 years old) they took me to the Starwood to see the place. It was unbelievable to my eyes. The stuff I saw in Gary’s office, I can still see it in my mind. When I graduated from high school in 1982 I flew up there and stayed with Gary for two weeks ~ an incredible two weeks. He was so much fun and I miss him very much. Did you know he passed away in Honduras a few years ago? He was living there and he had a nighclub.

        • John 8:49 am on January 7, 2014 Permalink

          Well, all that Lee told me was that he had died in Central America. Lee had nothing but good things to say about Gary. You can read those stories that Lee shared about Gary and the Starwood here:

          https://wonderland1981.wordpress.com/?s=gary+fontenot

        • Angie Fontenot 8:59 am on January 7, 2014 Permalink

          From what I understand, Gary was on the run from the mofia and that is why he moved to Honduras. Before he fled he worked for Merrill Lynch and the word “embezzling” actually came up. In Honduras, Someone shot him one night (attempting to murder him) as he was leaving his club, but he survived. No money was taken from him so it wasn’t robbery. My Dad told me the mofia caught up with him. About a year later a blood clot from the gunshot wound broke free and killed him. Gary’s father who is (was) wealthy was too tight to spend the money to fly his body back to the States for a burial. Supposedly they threw his body on the side of a mountain like trash. I would love to know exactly what went down but I don’t even know where to start. My Dad who is his brother still talks about him all the time. The whole family misses him, he was iconic to all of us and he was so much fun to be around.

    • david Gutiérrez 12:15 am on March 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      know gary fontenot very well back from Honduras he was a really nice person i will give angie fontenot more info about him my cell is (615)4031841 Now I live in nashville tennessee

      • Angie 1:07 pm on March 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for reaching out to me. I will give you a call this evening, central time. I’m in Baton Rouge, LA.

    • Joe 4:00 am on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      *Van Halen was discovered at Gazzari’s, not the Starwood.

      • localarts 10:14 pm on September 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Not according to EVH. Ted Templeman, Mo Ostin & Marshall Berle went to the Starwood one rainy Monday night in May 1977 and the rest is history! Eddie Van Halen has told that story many times.

    • Terri 8:55 pm on June 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Ed Nash opened Starwood with my uncle Tony Gharemanian, who left Capitol Records to open the club. I remember him discussing plans, asking my dad to draw up some ideas, and progress, etc. Walking into my aunts apartment seeing my uncle asleep on floor wearing what he had on the night nefore. Being 9 years old at the time I didn’t think much of it. I went to Starwood once while in high school, a little in awe then. I dont have anything really to add to the Starwood history other than a little girl listening to stories about progress of “the nightclub”.

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