Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Viper Room, 1994: The River Phoenix Wall

Before you read this story...
Dear reader, we're asking for your help to keep local reporting available for all. Your financial support keeps stories like this one free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.
5b2bdc454488b3000926bc75-original.jpg

Most of us point, shoot and load our photos into Flickr. And then there are some who scan in old photos such as Alan Light.

Above is a photo taken outside the Viper Room in 1994, the year after River Phoenix's early morning Halloween death. Fans graffitied the wall between the club and what is now a cigar shop. Today, that wall is painted beige.

Almost 10 years later to the day, singer/songwriter Elliot Smith killed himself. In tribute, fans wrote (and still write) messages on the Solutions electronics wall in Silver Lake where Smith posed for an album cover. While not painted over, it does occasionally get hit with tags, unfortunately, sometimes with quite large ones.

Support for LAist comes from

Photo by Alan Light via Flickr