I discovered Rebel Hotel in the most rock ‘n roll way possible: their singer Ricky Ohrn was my Uber driver in Los Angeles. As soon as I saw this tall, thin, tattooed blonde guy, I knew he had to be in a band. A short conversation later, my guess was confirmed.
He described Rebel Hotel as “Guns n’ Roses meets Motörhead”, and I guess it’s as good as description as any, as long as you’re sticking to the punkier elements of both bands. Let’s just say it’s much more ‘Spaghetti Incident ?’ than ‘Appetite For Destruction’.
Their Facebook page describes them as “a hard rock band out of Hollywood California. Founded in Orange County CA 2010 by Ricky Ohrn, where they recorded 2 EP’s and made a mark on the scene as a high energy live band. They moved the Rebel studio to Hollywood in 2013, and recorded another EP of 5 songs named ‘Visualize Believe Conceive’ produced by Brian Marshak then followed up with a 2 song EP, ‘EP4’. Now better and hungrier than ever …”
The band is semi-active now, only taking a few gigs here and there when it makes sense for them. It can’t be easy being a Sunset Strip band when the Strip is disappearing a little more every year. But while some of it remains, they carry on its spirit, playing sweaty gigs at the Viper Room, the Roxy and the Rainbow.
Ricky’s studying to be a music manager, having figured out it’s better to call the shots than front the band. His life took him from Sweden to the Sunset Strip, winding through many detours (and as in all good rock ‘n roll stories, there was a woman involved). Hopefully he keeps strapping on his guitar to rock with Rebel Hotel, even if it’s just from time to time.
Their website is down (or has been hijacked), and as an unsigned band, it’s not easy to find their music. Check them out on Facebook, YouTube, Spotify and ReverbNation (your best option at this moment).