Getting Wild at the Tropicana

When you pass the 8500 block of Santa Monica Blvd. these days, there’s not much to catch your eye. The Ramada Inn may be a pleasant place to stay but it’s not especially memorable. It’s hard to imagine now, but this was once the site of a slightly sleazy but beloved hangout for both rock stars and aspiring musicians called the Tropicana Motel.

This 44-unit motel was built in the 1940s, but things didn’t get interesting until it was purchased by baseball Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax in 1962. The action really began when Elektra Records, label of the Doors