What Is The "Fabulous" Forum? The 2014 VMAs Venue Is Kind of a Big Deal
Because the MTV Video Music Awards is an event for brilliant performances, crazy stunts, and uncomfortable moments that deserve apologies the next day (looking at you, Kanye), the venue needs to be just an incredible as the show itself. We've watched as the awards are moved from California to New York City and vice versa (with occasional stops in Miami and Las Vegas), we rarely place as much focus on the venue (of course that changed when Brooklyn became 2013's setting). This year, the 2014 2014 VMAs venue couldn't be more perfect: enter the classic music venue and one-time home of the Los Angeles Lakers, The "Fabulous" Forum in Inglewood, California. The venue has been around for quite some time and while it lost its edge for a few years, it's always deserved its "fabulous" nickname when you think about the wealth of iconic moments it has housed.
The VMAs will be the first major awards show ceremony held at The Forum, but the venue (which was built in 1967) has seen two NBA All-Star match-ups and all of the basketball games at the 1984 Summer Olympics. The Forum was made famous as the home of the Los Angeles Lakers (in addition to the NHL's Kings and the WNBA's Sparks) until The Staples Center was born. But the Forum is also rich with music history, which makes sense for the upcoming VMAs.
In case you weren't kicking it in L.A. in the '70s and '80s, here are some of the most iconic musical moments of The Forum's more than four-decade history:
1. Kurt Cobain Dedicates A Song To River Phoenix
During the last Nirvana concert in LA at The Forum, the late Kurt Cobain paid tribute to the late River Phoenix who, only a few days prior to the concert, had passed away due to an overdose. The performance is powerful tribute to both the finality of that final concert, and it's made more bittersweet considering Kurt Cobain's tragic death the following year.
2. Prince Takes Up Residency For 21 Nights
In 2011, Prince performed for 21 nights in Los Angeles with many of the concerts taking place at The Forum. The concerts were three hours long with roughly 85 percent of the tickets priced at $25. Um, steal! This is the only time I'll ever say this, but a concert like that is definitely worth a higher ticket price.
3. Cream Records Their Farewell Album
The Forum was the home for Cream's last concert of their US tour in 1968. Thankfully the concert was recorded and celebrated despite being the band's last hurrah ever in the US. The group later disbanded completely after performing one last time at The Royal Albert Hall.
4. Barbara Streisand Raises Money For George McGovern
Live Concert at The Forum was Barbara Streisand's second live album. The concert for 18,000 audience members was originally put on as a fundraiser for George McGovern's presidential campaign, because Babs has pipes and priorities.
5. Led Zeppelin Records How The West Was Won
During their 1972 world tour, Led Zeppelin recorded their triple live album How The West Was Won at both The Forum and The Long Beach Arena. The album was not officially released until 2003, however and it was certified gold and platinum and it received great reviews. The Forum was a leg of the band's great 1977 tour that was later partially canceled.
By 2012, The Staples Center and other venues had taken away most of The Forum's business, but rescue came in the form of the East Coast when The Madison Square Garden Company bought The Forum. The venue went under what was said to be a $50 million renovation and has now re-opened to more success. But even without the new upgrades, The Forum is still an extremely appropriate place to host a music awards show — especially one like the VMAs. I'm surprised the VMAs hadn't thought of it before now. Better late than never, I suppose.