"Sweet Emotion" House
Boston, MA
Established: 1970
Notable Acts: Aerosmith
Historical Significance: From 1970 to 1972, future Aerosmith rockers Steven Tyler and Joe Perry lived in this unassuming house at 1325 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. Here, they plotted how to get a record deal and wrote the songs that would comprise their 1973 self-titled debut, including "Mama Kin" and "Dream On." Columbia came calling soon after, and the band returned to their former abode 19 years later for the "Sweet Emotion" video.
Photo Credits: Paris Visone/Gems/Getty Images
Memory Motel & Bar
Montauk, NY
Established: 1954
Notable Acts: The Rolling Stones
Historical Significance: The Stones’ "Memory Hotel," from their 1976 release Black and Blue, is named for an actual motel in Montauk, Long Island. But Jagger and Richards actually wrote the ballad while staying at Andy Warhol’s complex nearby. The lyrics, about a one-night stand - "Hannah baby was a honey of a girl/Her eyes were hazel and her teeth were slightly curved" - has led to speculation about the identity of the woman. Fans assume it’s Carly Simon, given the line about Hannah headed "back up to Boston."
Photo Credits: Jon Levy/Getty Images/Robert Knight Archive
Forest Hills High School
Forest Hills, NY
Established: 1937
Notable Acts: Simon & Garfunkel, the Ramones
Historical Significance: This Queens, New York secondary school is the ultimate musical high school. Its halls have bred two great bands, Simon & Garfunkel (who started playing together during their junior year under the name Tom and Jerry) and the Ramones.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Intex7 on Flickr/Douglas R. Glibert/Getty Images
1520 Sedgwick Avenue
Bronx, NY
Established: 1973
Notable Acts: DJ Kool Herc, the Ghetto Brothers
Historical Significance: Outside his Bronx apartment building, DJ Kool Herc scored block parties that featured spoken word over funk, Calypso and reggae beats. The closest approximation to this new musical style was "toasting," or the Jamaican art of bragging, but Herc’s looping alongside the Ghetto Brothers’ live music was an entirely new sound. Soon other DJs entered the fold, including Grandmaster Flash and Grand Wizard Theodore, and the hip-hop movement was born.
Photo Credits: James Joiner/Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Marcy Houses
Brooklyn, NY
Established: 1969
Notable Acts: Jay Z
Historical Significance: These 27 public housing buildings in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn have become synonymous with the hard-luck life because of one man who broke away so spectacularly: Jay Z. The rap kingpin spent his childhood here, which he has described as being rampant with violence and crack cocaine. He even took his rap handle from the J/Z subway lines that stop nearby.
Photo Credits: James Joiner/Anthony Barboza/Getty Images
Adam Yauch Park
Brooklyn, NY
Established: 2013
Notable Acts: Beastie Boys
Historical Significance: Growing up in Brooklyn, Adam Yauch often played in the small Palmetto Playground. After his untimely death in 2012, fans mourned his contributions to music, filmmaking, philanthropy and social advocacy. Later, just one day shy of the one-year anniversary of his passing, the city renamed his childhood hangout Adam Yauch Park. Its rechristening was a joyous day; in his speech, fellow Beastie Adam "MCA" Horovitz joked, "Like the Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys is for the children."
Photo Credits: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images/Fred Duval/Getty Images
CBGB
New York, NY
Established: 1973
Notable Acts: The Ramones, Television, Talking Heads
Historical Significance: Bar owner Hilly Kristal revamped his Hilly’s on the Bowery as a venue called CBGB & OMFUG: Country Bluegrass Blues and Other Music for Uplifting Gourmandizers. In its early days, Suicide, Wayne County and Television set the tone for the avant-garde scene that would make CBGB an internationally recognized punk rock hub. By the summer of ’74, the Ramones and Blondie were regulars, soon to be followed by Patti Smith, Talking Heads and the Heartbreakers.
Photo Credits: Teresa Lee/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives
Strawberry Fields/The Dakota
New York, NY
Established: 1884
Notable Acts: John Lennon, Yoko Ono
Historical Significance: The Dakota was home to John Lennon and Yoko Ono from 1973 to 1980. It was outside the south entrance where Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman on December 8th, 1980. Across the street, the memorial known as Strawberry Fields was dedicated on October 9th, 1985, on what would have been Lennon’s 45th birthday. An inlaid mosaic features the title of Lennon’s song, "Imagine," and visitors gather daily to leave flowers and other offerings.
Photo Credits: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Hotel Chelsea
New York, NY
Established: 1884
Notable Acts: Patti Smith, Janis Joplin, Sid Vicious
Historical Significance: Originally a writers’ haven, the Chelsea was where Welsh poet Dylan Thomas was staying when he died of pneumonia in 1953. Later, the place became a magnet for actors, artists and musicians. Patti Smith and Leonard Cohen lived there, as did Madonna in her early years; Sex Pistol Sid Vicious and girlfriend Nancy Spungen were also in residence when she was stabbed to death.
Photo Credits: Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images/Gijsbert Hanekroot/Getty Images
Electric Lady Studios
New York, NY
Established: 1970
Notable Acts: Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, the Clash
Historical Significance: After the Village Barn nightclub closed in 1967, Hendrix bought the place, intending to reopen it. But he soon decided it would better serve him as a studio. Custom-designed for the guitarist, Electric Lady featured round windows, ambient lighting and a psychedelic theme. Notable albums recorded at the space include Stevie Wonder’s Fulfillingness’ First Finale, Patti Smith’s Horses, David Bowie’s Young Americans and Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy.
Photo Credits: Nicole Fara Silver/Mick Gold/Getty Images
Rick Rubin’s NYU Dorm Room
New York, NY
Established: 1981
Notable Acts: LL Cool J, Run-D.M.C., Beastie Boys
Historical Significance: From room 712 of Weinstein Hall, Rubin established hip-hop label Def Jam Records, once described as "a swirl of 12-inch records, dirty T-shirts and tennis shoes." Beginning with an unmarked seven-inch by Rubin’s punk band Hose, Def Jam quickly moved into hip-hop. After befriending Russell Simmons in 1984, the duo released LL Cool J’s "I Need a Beat" and later worked with Run-D.M.C., the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy.
Photo Credits: Nicole Fara Silver/David Corio/Getty Images
The Apollo Theater
New York, NY
Established: 1914
Notable Acts: James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson
Historical Significance: Beginning with swing bands, dance acts and the vestiges of vaudeville, the Apollo became well known for its Amateur Nights, raucous affairs where poorly-received performers were chased offstage with brooms or cap pistols. Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix are a few of the musicians to earn early acclaim here, and James Brown solidified the theater’s prominence when he recorded his Live at the Apollo album here in 1962.
Photo Credits: William Gottlieb/Redferns/Frank Driggs Collection
96 and 98 St. Marks Place
New York, NY
Established: 1975
Notable Acts: Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones
Historical Significance: These unassuming units on the main bohemian thoroughfare of Manhattan’s East Village were immortalized on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 album Physical Graffiti, which was designed by Peter Corriston and named after the used clothing store in the basement of #96. Six years later, Mick Jagger and Peter Tosh lingered on the stoop in the Stones’ video for "Waiting on a Friend," from their hit LP Tattoo You.
Photo Credits: Nicole Fara Silver/courtesy swan song
Paul’s Boutique
New York, NY
Established: 1989
Notable Acts: Beastie Boys
Historical Significance: Paul’s Boutique, at the intersection of Ludlow and Rivington on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, isn’t a real store. But when the Beastie Boys needed a cover for their 1989 album of same name the record that would solidify them as party-ready yet thoughtful MCs - they headed straight for this corner. Ad-Rock, Mike D and MCA hung a Paul’s sign over an existing sportswear storefront, in honor of a Brooklyn shop that closed before the album’s release.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Meophamman on Flickr/Courtesy Capitol Records
Great Jones Street
New York, NY
Established: 1963
Notable Acts: Bob Dylan
Historical Significance: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan cover shows a young couple strolling, arms entwined, down this street in New York’s Greenwich Village; it’s as honest a portrait of Dylan’s lyrics as you’ll ever find. At the time, the singer was deeply in love with Suze Rotolo, an artist and civil rights activist. Later, in her memoir "A Freewheelin’ Time," Rotolo wrote graciously but emphatically that she was more than just a "string on Dylan’s guitar."
Photo Credits: Nicole Fara Silver/Courtesy Columbia Records
10 Ave. and E Street Sign
Belmar, NJ
Established: 1972
Notable Acts: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Historical Significance: When the E Street Band gathered for their first rehearsal in 1972, they practiced in the garage of a home owned by keyboardist David Sancious’ mother. (Visiting fans often mistake the house for the one on the corner of 10th and E; the actual address is 1107 E Street.) Sancious, who appeared on Springsteen’s first three albums, later formed the progressive fusion band Tone. He went on to perform with Sting and Peter Gabriel before returning to Springsteen’s camp for the 1992 LP Human Touch.
Photo Credits: Rob Warhurst/Michael Ochs Archives
Park Hill Houses
Staten Island, NY
Established: c. 1960
Notable Acts: Wu-Tang Clan
Historical Significance: Staten Island bred one of the greatest hip-hop acts of all time, Wu-Tang Clan, and they in turn often referred to the public housing project of their youths. The names were less than flattering (Killer Hill, Crack Hill), and in "Gravel Pit," Method Man fully revealed its ghostly elements with "From Park Hill, the house on haunted hill/ Every time you walk by, your back get a chill."
Photo Credits: wikimedia commons/David Corio/Getty Images
The "Big Pink" House
West Saugerties, NY
Established: 1966
Notable Acts: The Band, Bob Dylan
Historical Significance: Multi-instrumentalist Rick Danko first rented this West Saugerties, New York house, bringing in Bob Dylan to jam on two-track recordings in the basement. (They were released as The Basement Tapes in 1975.) Later, Danko, drummer Levon Helm and Dylan’s other backing musicians decided to branch out as a unit apart from the folk star. They adopted the name the Band and wrote a slew of songs that would become Music From Big Pink, which featured their trademark single "The Weight" and boasted cover art drawn by Dylan himself.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Joseph A on Flickr/RB/Redferns
Dub’s Lounge
Gainesville, FL
Established: 1964
Notable Acts: Eagles, Tom Petty
Historical Significance: Opened by James "Dub" Thomas in 1964, Dub’s was a bar no bigger than a small house, but it became famous for its topless dancers and performances by a young Tom Petty and his band, Mudcrutch. They’d play six times a week, jamming on covers and sneaking in an occasional original, which they claimed was a Santana track.
Photo Credits: Rob Witzel /Gus Stewart/Redferns
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
Athens, GA
Established: 1869
Notable Acts: R.E.M.
Historical Significance: St. Mary’s was the site of R.E.M.’s first show on April 5, 1980. The band played there for a friend’s birthday party, which was held in the converted sanctuary. All that currently remains of the church - which has since been turned into apartments - is its deteriorating steeple, which has been under threat of destruction since 2011. Fans feel the steeple should be landmarked, but to date nothing has been written into law to date.
Photo Credits: Jason Thrasher/Ebet Roberts/Getty Images
The Ryman Auditorium
Nashville, TN
Established: 1892
Notable Acts: Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Patsy Cline
Historical Significance: First opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892, this 2,362-seat venue famously served as the home of the Grande Ole Opry from 1943 until 1974, and it was the venue for The Johnny Cash Show from 1969 to 1971. The Ryman fell into a state of disrepair after 1974, but was restored and reopened in twenty years later following a series of performances by Emmylou Harris. In recent years, Patty Griffin, Coldplay, Mumford and Sons, and Neil Young have all performed here.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Joseph A on Flickr/Frank Driggs Collection
Johnny Cash Gravesite
Henderson, TN
Established: 2003
Notable Acts: Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash
Historical Significance: Cash’s final resting place is open to the public and located 18 miles northeast of Nashville. The singer’s burial on September 15, 2003 was preceded by a private service held at First Baptist Church of Hendersonville; it was attended by more than 1,000 mourners including Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris and Kris Kristofferson. Several members of the Carter family, including Cash’s wife June Carter, were also laid to rest nearby.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy ww78 on Flickr/Beth Gwinn/Getty Images
Elvis’ Childhood Home
Tupelo, MS
Established: 1934
Notable Acts: Elvis Presley
Historical Significance: Located in the northeast Mississippi town of Tupelo, Presley’s childhood domain stands as a museum open to the public. The two-bedroom, shotgun-style house, with its four front steps and a small porch, was built for $180 by Presley’s father, Vernon, in anticipation of Elvis’ birth. It remained the family’s home until they moved to nearby Memphis when Presley was 13.
Photo Credits: Mario Tama/Getty Images/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Sun Studio
Memphis TN
Established: 1950
Notable Acts: Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis
Historical Significance: Opened by early rock champion Sam Phillips and originally called Memphis Recording Service, this recording studio - later attached to Phillips’ influential label, Sun Records - hosted sessions from some of rock’s earliest icons. Most notable was Elvis Presley, who, in August of 1953, recorded his first official tracks here, including the breakout single "It’s Alright, Mama."
Photo Credits: David Redfern/Redferns/Michael Ochs Archives
Graceland
Memphis TN
Established: 1939
Notable Acts: Elvis Presley
Historical Significance: Elvis Presley’s former home now serves as a living monument to the artist. It was opened to the public on June 7, 1982, just shy of five years after Presley’s death. During his life, Graceland was the center of the massive Presley machine. In addition to housing his wife and his daughter, the 13.8-acre estate was tended to by a massive staff of workers and hangers-on.
Photo Credits: Mick Hutson/Redferns/Michael Ochs Archives
Soulsville USA/Stax Museum
Memphis TN
Established: 2003
Notable Acts: Otis Redding, Booker T & The M.G.’s, Isaac Hayes
Historical Significance: The original Stax studio, which was housed inside a converted movie theater with sloped floors, created the signature deep acoustic sound of artists including Albert King. It’s now operated by Soulsville USA, a non-profit launched in ’98 to maintain the space and its surrounding neighborhood, which also includes the adjacent Stax Music Academy (where the original Soul Train dance floor resides).
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy jbcurio on Flickr/Frank Driggs Collection
Johnny Cash Childhood Home
Dyess, AR
Established: 1934
Notable Acts: Johnny Cash
Historical Significance: At the eastern edge of Arkansas, in the small town of Dyess, stands Cash’s childhood house, where "The Man in Black" lived from age three until he joined the Air Force in 1950. His family moved to Dyess from Kingsland as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, acquiring 40 acres of land along with the home. The single-story, formerly dilapidated structure is in the midst of a major renovation; it’s expected to open in 2014 as a museum.
Photo Credits: Tim Rand/AP Images/Michael Ochs Archives
Fats Domino’s House
New Orleans, LA
Established: c. 1930
Notable Acts: Fats Domino
Historical Significance: A lifelong resident of the Lower Ninth ward, Fats’ compound still stands in the famed New Orleans neighborhood. Domino, who now lives in nearby Harvey, owned two adjacent properties: the main house is yellow with black trim; the other is cream, green and pink and home to his childhood sweetheart, Rosemary. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded the space, stranding Domino (who had to be rescued by the Coast Guard).
Photo Credits: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives
Motown/Hitsville, USA
Detriot, MI
Established: 1959
Notable Acts: Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5
Historical Significance: Berry Gordy launched the Motown empire from this former photography studio in Detroit’s New Center district. He started the Tamla Records imprint here, converting the space that would come to be known as Hitsville, U.S.A. into offices and a recording studio; eventually the building would house Gordy’s publishing arm, Jobete, plus a studio where Motown artists were trained to sing and dance.
Photo Credits: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives
The Stooges’ First House
Ann Arbor, MI
Established: 1967
Notable Acts: Iggy Pop and the Stooges
Historical Significance: The most raucous of all rock bands, the Stooges are typically associated as one of Detroit rock city’s founding fathers. But they got their start miles away in the college town of Ann Arbor. Legend has it the group came up with its moniker while watching The Three Stooges at a two-story house they rented in town, the same place where they developed the fuzzed-out proto-punk sound that would appear on the band’s ultra-influential 1969 self-titled album.
Photo Credits: Jeffrey M Smith/Gijsbert Hanekroot/Getty Images
Michael Jackson’s Childhood Home
Gary, IN
Established: 1949
Notable Acts: Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5
Historical Significance: Joe Jackson and his wife moved into this house after they married on November 5, 1949, starting the large Jackson brood spanning brothers Michael, Jermaine, Jackie, Marlon, Randy, and Tito plus sisters Rebbie, Janet and LaToya within its compact walls. Two decades later, the Jackson clan would depart following the success of the Jackson 5’s debut album, but it would always remain in their hearts: the brothers even titled their 1989 album 2300 Jackson Street in tribute to the place where the legend began.
Photo Credits: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images/Gems/Getty Images
Chess Records
Chicago, IL
Established: 1956
Notable Acts: Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, the Rolling Stones
Historical Significance: The Stones immortalized the Chicago address of Chess’ well known home with the song "2120 South Michigan Avenue." The English rockers also recorded here, following in the wake of their blues, R&B, and early rock heroes including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon and Bo Diddley. Members of Earth, Wind, and Fire later got their start here as session musicians.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Joseph A on Flickr/SG Schoenfeld/Getty Images
Wilco Towers
Chicago, IL
Established: 1964
Notable Acts: Wilco
Historical Significance: In a city filled with architectural landmarks, few prove as notorious as Marina City, the cluster of innovative skyscrapers looming over the Chicago River’s North Bank. The buildings, however, became a monument of sorts to acclaimed indie-rockers Wilco, who used an image of the towers for the cover for their 2002 breakthrough LP Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Sgt Fun on Flickr/Courtesy Nonesuch
Muddy Waters’ House
Chicago IL
Established: 1954
Notable Acts: Muddy Waters
Historical Significance: Blues great Muddy Waters used his Chicago home as a musical meeting place, hosting jams with legends spanning James Cotton and Howlin’ Wolf to Chuck Berry. Waters lived there for two-some decades until the mid-1970s, after which the property fell into serious disrepair. A recent city inspection found the property "dangerous and uninhabitable," raising alarms for its future status.
Photo Credits: Drew Reynolds/Gilles Petard/Getty Images
Bob Dylan’s Childhood Home
Hibbing, MN
Established: 1947
Notable Acts: Bob Dylan
Historical Significance: This celebrated songwriter was born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941, but grew up in the tiny hamlet of Hibbing when his family moved north six years later. Dylan graduated from the local high school in 1959 and soon thereafter began a journey that would change music as we know.
Photo Credits: Jim Steinfeldt/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives
First Avenue
Minneapolis, MN
Established: 1970
Notable Acts: Prince, the Replacements, Soul Asylum
Historical Significance: A must-stop spot for national touring acts, the Avenue’s main room hosted Prince’s earliest shows in addition to showcasing the work of Husker Du, the Replacements and Soul Asylum. First Avenue burst from local to national fame in 1984 as the setting for many of the live-concert sequences in Prince’s smash film debut, Purple Rain.
Photo Credits: CC; Image courtesy ChrisYunker on Flickr/Michael Ochs Archives
The Stinson Roof
Minneapolis, MN
Established: 1978
Notable Acts: The Replacements
Historical Significance: In the late 1970s, pioneering indie rockers The Replacements came together at 2215 Bryant Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. It’s the childhood home of guitarist Bob Stinson and his kid brother Tommy, who started playing bass after his older brother gave him one to stay out of trouble. After linking up with songwriter Paul Westerberg and drummer Chris Mars, the group went on to become one of the leading lights of the 1980s underground.
Photo Credits: Rachel Sievers/Courtesy Twin Tone
Surf Ballroom
Clear Lake, IA
Established: 1948
Notable Acts: Buddy Holly, Ricky Valens, the Big Bopper
Historical Significance: Still a vital venue in Iowa, the Surf Ballroom first gained fame as an early hub of rock and roll. It entered history books, however, as the place associated with "The Day the Music Died." It’s the last venue where Buddy Holly performed before he died in a plane crash alongside Ricky Valens and The Big Bopper on February 3, 1959.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Steve.1066 on Flickr/RB/Redferns
Antone’s
Austin, TX
Established: 1975
Notable Acts: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy
Historical Significance: Since its opening in the summer of 1975, Antone’s has been the epicenter of the Austin scene. In its first few years, the club offered the late Stevie Ray Vaughan an opportunity to jam with blues great Albert King. Vaughan went on to solo stardom, and the space has since hosted performances by Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and Bono.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Swanksalot on Flickr/Peter Sherman/Getty Images
Sound City Studio
Van Nuys, CA
Established: 1969
Notable Acts: Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Nine Inch Nails
Historical Significance: Sound City played a role in more than 100 platinum and gold albums, including Foreigner’s Double Vision, Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes and Nirvana’s Nevermind. The space was particularly revered for the way drums sounded in the main room. Small wonder, then, that Dave Grohl bought the recording console in Studio A when City closed its commercial operation in 2011.
Photo Credits: Erik Voake/Dick Barnatt/Getty Imags
Canyon Country Store
Los Angeles, CA
Established: c. 1900
Notable Acts: Joni Mitchell, Mama Cass, Carole King
Historical Significance: Jim Morrison lived opposite this minuscule market and deli, which the Doors frontman describes in "Love Street" as "the store where the creatures meet." Those "creatures" were the leading lights of the Laurel Canyon scene, including Mitchell, Nash, Carole King, members of the Byrds and Cass, who lived for a time in the basement and wrote "Twelve Thirty" here.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Nacko on Flickr/Jack Robinson/Getty Images
Riot House / Hyatt House
West Hollywood, CA
Established: 1963
Notable Acts: The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Jim Morrison
Historical Significance: This West Hollywood hotel was the headquarters for rock debauchery in the Seventies. It’s where Zeppelin rented out entire floors, Morrison lived until management booted him, and Keith Richards reportedly dropped a TV out the window of room 1015. Scenes for This Is Spinal Tap and Almost Famous were filmed here, and Warren Zevon mentioned it in "Poor Poor Pitiful Me."
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Matthew Winterburn on Flickr/GAB Archive
Chateau Marmont
West Hollywood, CA
Established: 1929
Notable Acts: Jim Morrison, Gram Parsons, Britney Spears
Historical Significance: After its debut as an apartment complex, Chateau Marmont converted to a hotel during the Great Depression and became a favored haunt for Hollywood stars intent on misbehaving. Jim Morrison injured his back while attempting to swing into his room from the roof on a drainpipe, and more recently, Britney Spears was banned in 2007 for smearing food on her face in the restaurant. Its also where John Belushi died of a drug overdose in 1982.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Keturah Stickann on Flickr/Ginny Winn/Getty Images
Whisky a Go Go
West Hollywood, CA
Established: 1964
Notable Acts: Neil Diamond, Van Halen, Guns N’ Roses
Historical Significance: This West Hollywood club has been a rock incubator for nearly a half century. The Doors were the house band, Zappa got a record deal here, the rest of Metallica recruited bassist Cliff Burton at the bar, and Mötley Crüe and GN’R essentially launched their careers at this Sunset Boulevard club, which also hosted early shows for Cream, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Hole.
Photo Credits: George Rose/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives
GN’R Apartment
West Hollywood, CA
Established: 1986
Notable Acts: Guns N’ Roses
Historical Significance: GNR members lived together in several crash pads, starting with a rehearsal space they fashioned out of a self-storage unit off of Sunset Boulevard. Their apartment on North Clark was a step up, though it wasn’t really theirs: early manager Vicky Hamilton lived there and let Axl stay on the couch for a night or two while he was hiding from the cops. He stayed six months, and soon the rest of the band followed suit (save Duff McKagan, who stayed with a girlfriend).
Photo Credits: Erik Voake/KMazur/Getty Images
The Troubadour
West Hollywood, CA
Established: 1957
Notable Acts: James Taylor, Randy Newman, Van Morrison
Historical Significance: Founded as a coffeehouse, the Troubadour hosted folk acts in the Sixties and became a proving ground for singer-songwriters including Newman, Morrison, Neil Diamond and many others. Lenny Bruce was arrested there on an obscenity charge in 1961, Elton John performed his first U.S. show there nine years later and John Lennon and Harry Nilsson were thrown out in 1974 for their drunken heckling of the Smothers Brothers.
Photo Credits: Michael Ochs Archives/Jack Robinson/Getty Images
Hotel California (Beverly Hills Hotel)
Beverly Hills, CA
Established: 1912
Notable Acts: The Eagles, Frank Sinatra, John Lennon
Historical Significance: Although "Hotel California" was more about a state of mind than any specific place, the Beverly Hills Hotel appeared on the cover of the Eagles’ landmark 1976 album, forever connecting the two. In addition to bands, the swanky 204-room palace has played host to movie stars and European royalty. Sinatra, Dean Martin and their Rat Pack pals were fond of drinking in the Polo Lounge bar, and Lennon and Yoko Ono spent a week holed up in one of the hotel’s 21 bungalows.
Photo Credits: George Rose/Getty Images/Ellen Poppinga - K & K/Redferns
Neverland Ranch
Los Olivos, CA
Established: 1988
Notable Acts: Michael Jackson
Historical Significance: With its petting zoo, railroads and amusement park rides, Jackson delighted in hosting children at Neverland - a practice that led to accusations of sexual abuse in 1993 and again a decade later. In his will, Jackson left the 3,000-acre ranch to a family trust. His children are reportedly restoring the property, which has been vacant since the singer moved out in 2003.
Photo Credits: Kevin Winter/Getty Images/Chris Walter/Getty Images
924 Gilman
Berkeley, CA
Established: 1986
Notable Acts: Green Day, Rancid, Bad Religion
Historical Significance: This non-profit venue in West Berkeley was an incubator for East Bay bands including Green Day and Operation Ivy, the ska-punk group that included future Rancid leader Tim Armstrong. For two dollars a year, members get a say in running the DIY space, where they’re expected to abide by simple rules: no alcohol, drugs, violence or racism.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Wallyg on Flickr/Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Grateful Dead House
San Francisco, CA
Established: 1966
Notable Acts: The Grateful Dead
Historical Significance: The Dead’s residency at 710 Ashbury, alongside neighbors Janis Joplin and members of Jefferson Airplane, helped cement the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood as an epicenter of Sixties counter culture. The band lived in this stately Victorian until March of 1968, a period that included the release of the band’s first album, the Summer of Love and the infamous drug bust of October 1967, chronicled in the debut issue of Rolling Stone.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Jolly Jolson on Flickr/Baron Wolman / Retna Ltd.
A Sound Garden
Seattle, WA
Established: 1983
Notable Acts: Soundgarden
Historical Significance: For his new art installation near Lake Washington, sculptor Doug Hollis hung organ pipes from 12 steel towers, creating tones dependent on the wind. Later, following the breakup of local act the Shemps, singer Chris Cornell and bassist Hiro Yamamoto invited guitarist Kim Thayil to join them in a new group. They named themselves after "the sound garden," which had just opened to the public.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy The Kozy Shack on Flickr/Ebet Roberts/Getty Images
North Aberdeen Bridge
Aberdeen,WA
Established: c. 1982
Notable Acts: Nirvana
Historical Significance: Kurt Cobain referenced this overpass in Nevermind’s closing track: "Underneath the bridge/Tarp has sprung a leak." During his lifetime, the singer propagated a myth that he lived under the bridge, though biographers note he likely spent his homeless days with friends. In 2011, the Aberdeen city council voted against a proposal to rename the bridge after Cobain. They did, however, allow a 13-foot statue of his Fender guitar to be installed nearby.
Photo Credits: CC Image courtesy Chrispugh on Flickr/Michel Linssen/Getty Images