Legendary performer Marty Roberts, better known as one half of the decades-old lounge act Marty & Elayne, has died at 89, per reports from The Los Angeles Times and other outlets. The married duo was locally famous for their six-nights-a-week lounge act inside Los Feliz bar and restaurant the Dresden, with shows dating back some 40-plus years.
Many longtime Angelenos have spent time watching the Roberts perform at the dim venue on Vermont Avenue, sipping signature blood and sand cocktails from the bar. The pair would play drums, piano, flute, and a variety of other instruments, belting out jazzy tunes and even riffing on newer songs — sometimes with celebrity accompaniment. Marty Roberts had long molded his voice and stage affectation on Frank Sinatra and even got to perform with the Rat Pack legend years ago, as well as famous faces like Nicholas Cage, Seth MacFarlane, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and beyond. Despite the grueling weekly schedule the retirees continued to perform with glee for years and were said to be recording new music at home as recently as this fall.
Perhaps most famously, Marty and Elayne found starring roles in a ‘90s Tom Petty music video Yer So Bad, and earned screen time in the hit film Swingers. Both helped to introduce the performers to a new audience after decades of nightly shows and kept them in the hyper-local LA zeitgeist in a way that few others (not named Angelyne) could match.
Marty Roberts died of cancer last week while staying at his daughter’s house outside of Las Vegas, Nevada; he was 89 and is survived by wife Elayne, daughter Hali, and granddaughter Destiny. Reached for comment, Elayne tells the Times that there are early plans for an as-yet-to-be-formalized public remembrance of Marty at the Dresden down the line. He will be missed.