The Nation’s Only Unionized Strip Club Reopened, With Music by Tom Morello

Morello was an early supporter of the Star Garden unionization effort

Tom Morello
Tom Morello playing live earlier this year.
Roberto Serra - Iguana Press/Getty Images

The saga of Los Angeles strip club Star Garden Topless Dive Bar has encompassed a lot of issues in the news lately — including troubling labor conditions and labor looking to organize. As NPR neatly summarized in an article earlier this year, the dancers at the club staged a walkout to protest working conditions, and subsequently announced their intention to unionize.

The dancers subsequently voted unanimously to join the Actors’ Equity Association — making Star Garden the first (and so far, only) strip club in the United States to have a unionized workforce.

All of which might help explain why Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine showed up to play the venue’s reopening. As Stereogum’s Rachel Brodsky reports, Morello was on hand to play some music as the now-unionized venue.

LA Is Home to the Country’s Only Unionized Strippers — Here’s How They Did It
Star Garden dancers won the battle for union recognition after a 15-month organizing effort

While Morello showing up there might look like a seemingly random occurrence, it’s not as strange as it might seem. The dancers’ unionization efforts have been going on for more than a year — and given Morello’s longtime support of organized labor, it’s not surprising that he would encourage their work. As Courtney Kocak wrote at InsideHook earlier this year, Morello has lent the dancers his support in the past, playing union-themed songs at their rallies. All of which made his most recent appearance there less a source of curiosity and more of a victory lap.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.