In London, 40 percent of small music venues have shut down in the last decade. Here’s 14 iconic venues, that are crucial to rock ‘n’ roll history…
Manchester’s Hacienda, as recreated for the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People. Opening in 1982, the club initially specialised in live gigs (Madonna played one of her first UK shows there), but soon embraced the acid house scene. The scene of legendary debauchery, The Hacienda was also dogged by security problems. The club’s owners ultimately went bankrupt and closed the club in 1997.
The Troubadour in west London might be tiny, but it has played host to performances from Bob Dylan (1962, pictured), Paul Simon (1965) and Jimi Hendrix (1966). Back then it was the epicentre of the folk revival movement. In more recent years it has played host to gigs by a new generation of singer-songwriters, including Jack Penate and Jamie T.
The Clash played their first gig on 4 July 1976, supporting the Sex Pistols at the Black Swan pub in Sheffield. That venue has since changed it’s name to the Boardwalk, but it’s still a magnet for bands on the up, from Arctic Monkeys (pictured) to AC/DC. In fact the Monkeys played there so often, an early collection of their demos has come to be known as ‘Beneath the Boardwalk’.
Synonymous with punk-rock, and later new-wave, New York’s CBGB club closed in 2006, having played host to gigs by Television, Blondie, and The Ramones (pictured). A fashion store now occupies the site on which it used to stand. Rather undermining its punk rock heritage, CBGB recently opened for one night only, to promote a video game, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.
Sin-E, a tiny cafe in Manhattan’s East Village, wasn’t really a live venue per se (and it no longer exists), but it was immortalised thanks to Jeff Buckley’s early solo gigs there, which were made into a live EP. Buckley played there regularly before getting signed, sparking a bidding war. At one point, so many label bosses were coming to check him out, limousines lined the street outside.
It’s not quite true to say that The Beatles honed their live skills while performing at Liverpool’s Cavern Club (they’d already done that during their Hamburg residencies), but it’s certainly where they built up a fanbase and reputation. And they played there an awful lot. From 1961 to 1963, The Beatles made 292 appearances at the club, with their last occurring on 3 August 1963.
London’s Astoria was demolished in 2009 to make way for the city’s Crossrail project. The Libertines, Oasis, The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and Nirvana all graced its stage over the years, and it played host to the capital’s G-A-Y night for many years.
James Brown onstage at Harlem’s Apollo Theater in New York. The venue was a key stepping stone for many performers, including Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Billie Holiday, and Stevie Wonder. More recently, The Strokes, Gorillaz and Vivian Girls have played.
The Hollywood Whisky A Go Go opened in 1964, two years before this picture was taken, and was one of the first places to see live girls dancing in cages (Go-Go girls). The Byrds and Love were regulars as The Doors acted as house band.
Leeds Uni? Yes really. It was the scene of one of the greatest live albums of all time: The Who’s ‘Live At Leeds’, which included an awesome cover of ‘Summertime Blues’ and an extended, 14-minute rendition of ‘My Generation’.
The Hollywood Bowl is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic during the summer months, and was another favourite of The Beatles, who recorded ‘The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl’ there in 1964 and 1965. Morrissey also released a live album from the venue, which plays host to some spectacular 4th July celebrations too.
The Beatles begin their Japanese tour at the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, 30th June 1966. Anyone who was anyone played there in the following years, and a whole host of artists have recorded “Live at The Budokan” albums, including Blur, Bob Dylan, Avril Lavigne, Chic, Cheryl Crowe and Cheap Trick.
The Roxy on LA’s Sunset Strip was opened in 1973 by record producer Lou Adler and record exec David Geffen. As well as this legendary Guns N’ Roses performance, it’s seen action from Prince, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and the first ever Red Hot Chili Peppers performance.
Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones perform at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1972. It’s the third busiest concert venue in the world in terms of ticket sales after Manchester’s MEN and London’s O2 Arena.