The Story of the “Hell House,” Guns ‘N Roses’ Horrific Dump on Sunset

It was really only a one-room space, but woe to anyone who might walk inside. This is from Medium:

After the Hell Tour came the Hell House. And like the creation of a star, the Hell House was to suck in a lot of dark matter before it emitted the white heat and light of the Guns N’ Roses who were ready to make their first records. There are always torrid tales that surround the creation of a rock & roll legend, but in the Hell House bad things happened, things that do not reflect well on anyone involved — however famous and lauded they were to become.

The building was located in West Hollywood, behind 7508 Sunset Boulevard near the junction of North Gardner Street, a one-room space of around 12 feet by 12 feet that was officially designated a “storage area” (it’s now behind a shop called the Russian Bookstore). Just over the road was the Guitar Center, and nearby the Mesa/Boogie amp showroom. It wasn’t a dwelling space at all: it had a roll-up aluminium door, no bathroom, kitchen or air conditioning, and until Izzy and a couple of friends found some lumber abandoned behind the unit and used it to build a rudimentary gallery that just about slept three if you lay very still, was entirely unrecognisable as one.

Anyone needing the toilet had to use the communal facility 50 yards up the street. It was a terrible place, one you’d only consider if you were young, broke and living day to day with some fucked-up dream in your head. Izzy described it as “a fucking living hell…” Slash, having lost a job working on a newsstand and its attendant chance to crash at the apartment of the stand’s manager, was forced to choose between the Hell House or homelessness and even then sometimes took the latter option, sleeping in the Tower Records parking lot rather than the squalid, overcrowded nightmare that the House became.

You gotta read the whole story, right? Go here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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