Fender’s Grand International Ballroom may be the most legendary of the Southern California punk clubs. Just about every great band you can think of played there during its six years of existence. From 1984 through 1989, Fender's hosted everyone from the Ramones, the Adolescents, the Descendents, Black Flag, Bad Religion, Bad Brains, DI, The Exploited, DRI, Cro-Mags, and plenty of rock & metal acts, like the Replacements, Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iggy Pop, Jane’s Addiction, GWAR, Slayer, and Sublime. YouTube Fender's Ballroom – there's a remarkable amount of footage out there.
Many of those bands played some of their earliest shows at the club at 521 E. First St., Long Beach, inside the Lafayette Hotel. Fender’s operated during the peak of violence in the punk scene, and owner John Fender somehow navigated cocaine and embezzlement charges, several fires, and being declared a nuisance by the city, over constant fights, noise, drunks, gun shots, and ultimately riots.