How a performance 30 years ago in Long Beach brought Guns N’ Roses to Coachella

As the desert gets ready to welcome Coachella, one of the most talked about performances might not be taking place if not for a Guns N’ Roses concert that happened 30 years ago in a notorious Long Beach club.

Bruce Fessier of the Desert Sun has a nice behind the scenes article (worth a read) about how Goldenvoice, the promoter of Coachella, was able to snag the reunion of Axl, Slash, and company for this year’s festival.

In the story, Paul Tollett, head honcho at Goldenvoice, explains how a couple of shows his company promoted three decades ago – including one at a Long Beach club, Fender’s Ballroom (which was so out of control it was nicknamed “Fender’s Brawlroom“) – helped get the band back together for an Indio reunion 30 years later:

“We had a little leg up in that 30 years ago and, one month, we (Goldenvoice) promoted Johnny Thunders and Guns N’ Roses at Fender’s Ballroom (in Long Beach) and then we did them with Cheap Trick,” Tollett said. “They were our go-to band anytime we had anything rock related because we were doing mostly punk rock at the time. So, we’ve had a relationship all these years. But we wanted to make sure everyone in their camp believed in Coachella because there’s a lot of opportunity if a band is going to get back together.”

Tollett says he went to the first reunion show for the band at the Troubadour in Hollywood and says it was “phenomenal” – and with only 90,000 music fans in Indio to please each weekend, let’s hope so.

Here is that performance at Fender’s from 1986.  The quality of video is not that great – hey, it was the 80’s