(I copied this news story from the Whiskey-a-go-go website. I am guessing the year is about 1993. Anybody remember this?)

By Carmen Ramos Chandler
Daily News Staff Writer

WEST HOLLYWOOD – A promotional event for the rock group Van Halen got out of control Wednesday when thousands of fans tied up Sunset Boulevard traffic in a quest for tickets to an exclusive concert by the band. No one was injured and only one person was arrested, but law enforcement authorities were upset that they weren't warned that more than 3,000 fans would be showing up outside the Whisky nightclub for the ticket sale – at the same time a movie crew was filming a music video – and then be sent about three miles down Sunset to the Palladium in Holly wood to get the tickets. "I wouldn't fault the crowd for what happened; they were very well behaved," said Capt Clarence Chapman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"If anything, these kids were a victim of what happened. It should have been better coordinated. I wish they had let us know what they were going to do and we might have avoided what happened. "One radio description said they were running through the streets like hens converging on the Palladium," he said. Representatives of Rogers and Cowan, the public relations firm handling the Van Halen event, did not return several telephone calls from the Daily News. Chapman said about 60 sheriff's deputies and about 12 Beverly Hills police officers wearing protective face shields were on hand to keep the crowd under control. At one point, he said, Sunset was blocked off between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard. the Whisky is located at the corner of San Vicente and Sunset. Chapman said West Hollywood officials knew Van Halen was performing Wednesday night at the club, and had granted a film crew a permit to make a music video of the concert. The group had first signed with a record label 15 years earlier at the Sunset Strip music landmark. "What made everything go wrong was somebody got on the radio and announced that they were going to sell 200 tickets on a first come, first–served basis starting at noon at the Whisky," Chapman said. The first group of kids showed up about midnight, but were shooed away by security guards. Deputies "kept seeing these groups of kids on the street all morning. They weren't doing any thing, but we couldn't figure out what was going on," Chapman said. "But by about 11 in the morning they were converging on the Whisky and they wouldn't go away. They were fans and they wanted tickets. Who could blame them? They didn't want to lose their place." The first 200 people in line were scheduled, beginning at noon, to be given wristbands that would guarantee them the chance to purchase a $20 ticket to see Van Halen perform. The rest of the tickets had been given to music industry luminaries and ../media representatives. By about 1:30 p.m., more than 3,000 fans had gathered outside the Whiskey in anticipation of the ticket sale, which was scheduled to start at 2 p.m., Chapman said. "It got to the point that there was no way we could give out the 200 tickets without causing (an) absolute riot," Chapman said. "And then it turns out that they didn't even have the tickets at the Whisky. I guess they intended for them to pick up the tickets at the Palladium, anyway. You figure it out." All the while, Chapman said, the film crew was taking footage of the crowd outside the nightclub. When the concert's promoters announced that the wristbands would be given away at the Palladium, the crowd turned en masse and ran to their cars. "We had blocked off the street but not all of it." Chapman said. "And after they got past La Cienega, they were running in traffic, most of them on foot. It's amazing we didn't have an accident and no one was hurt." Chapman said his deputies followed the crowd to make sure nothing happened, but warned the Los Angeles Police Department that thousands of people were entering Los Angeles city limits and heading for the Palladium. "It caused a little bit of a problem with traffic, but other than that it was no big deal," said Sgt. Paul Anderson of the LAPD's Hollywood Division. "These were good kids and very well behaved, even though they ran through the middle of traffic. "I understand there was a line briefly in front of the Palladium, and after the first 200 tickets were given out the kids dispersed without a problem," Anderson said. "Thank God for that." Lt. Frank Salcido of the Beverly Hills Police Department said that one man was arrested near the Whisky for disobeying a police order after he tried to enter a secured area. There were no other reported problems. Chapman credited law–enforcement officers and the fans for keeping their cool. "It could have been a pretty volatile situation, but it wasn't," he said. Many fans were upset at the way the ticketing was handled. "They gave 200 seats to fans and the rest to industry types," said Bryan Keeper, 25. of Manhattan Beach. "They don't deserve to be there. It should be for the fans." Tony Burnett, 19, of Corona, said safety was an issue. "When you've got 5,000 people running down the middle of Sunset Boulevard, something's going to happen," he said. David Behrend, 24, agreed. "They should have handed out the tickets in a place not so exposed to traffic," he said. "I've been to a lot of these events and I've never seen anything like it. Sunset Boulevard turned into the Indianapolis 500," Behrend said. Chapman said West Hollywood city officials were on hand at the Whisky during the ticket sale, and have promised to make sure that city rules are tightened to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen again. "I know I don't want it to happen again, and it's not fair to the fans, who are the real victims," he said.

(Photos - Gene Blevins/Special to the Daily News)