“Really what is a honky tonk? It’s a s***hole with live music and cold beer,” Mark Wystrach of Midland smiles, sitting on the bus outside The Palomino.
The legendary North Hollywood club once played host to some of the biggest names in Country music, with artists like Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and more gracing the stage whenever they came through the golden state. It was an old haunt for all of the old legends, until it closed in 1995. “It was owned by Clint Eastwood at one point in time,” Wystrach remembers. “With the power of Midland, we are re-opening it for one night only for a special performance.”
“It’s a honky tonk séance,” adds Cameron Duddy.
In the exclusive video above, Midland take us through the historic, one-night-only event at The Palomino, where the band revives the legendary honky tonk to celebrate their new album, Let It Roll.
“So by day now it is a Russian supper club,” describes Cameron of the current state of The Palomino before Midland works their magic. “Slash bingo hall,” adds bandmate Jess Carson. “Slash doctor’s office,” piles on Cameron. “By night, it’s just straight up empty.” That is until the boys got a hold of it, filling the iconic club with the spirit of all those Country legends – much like the music of Midland shares DNA with those same amazing artists.
“We actually brought the original sign back,” Duddy adds, as the aged neon flickers through the window of the bus. The light bounces off of the hood of the classic car parked in front, and we’re transported back to another era.
Inside there’s remnants of The Palomino’s past life, old workshirts and Patsy Cline posters, fossils from the glorious glow of decades past provided by Valley Relics Museum. “It was a happening joint for a long time,” Wystrach says as his boots scrap across the parking lot. “It’s funny how certain places will keep the spirit and energy, and even though this place is the exact opposite and so far down the other line of the spectrum of what it used to be, tonight when you walk in there it does have a great feeling. It does feel like the spirits have kind of come back into the honky tonk, into the building tonight.”