By Kim Windyka
Music is one of few universal languages, and there’s no shortage of landmarks across the country that have played host to some amazing moments in rock history. Crank up the stereo and hit the open road for this epic adventure — it’s like a backstage pass, but so much better!
The Anchorage (Sunapee, NH)
As legend has it — and as lead singer Steven Tyler has confirmed himself — Aerosmith got their start after a chance meeting at The Anchorage, a New Hampshire restaurant where guitarist Joe Perry worked. After ordering some french fries, Tyler was so impressed that he asked the waiter who made them. The talented cook was none other than Perry, and the fateful introduction was made.
Tom’s Restaurant (New York, NY)
While you may recognize its exterior from the classic sitcom Seinfeld, singer Suzanne Vega made this Manhattan eatery famous in the music world in 1990 with her quirky tune “Tom’s Diner.” Grab a tasty, no-frills breakfast, lunch, or dinner any day of the week. You can even retrace Suzanne’s steps from the song today: just take a seat at the counter, and wait for the man to pour the coffee!
Cadillac Ranch (Amarillo, TX)
If “The Boss” names a tune after it, you know it’s something special. This striking Texas art installation, which inspired a Bruce Springsteen song, sits on the famed Route 66 and features wildly colorful cars that are partially buried in the ground. The best part? After years of graffiti, tourists are now free to make their own mark on the Caddies, so bring your spray paint and go to town.
RCA Studio B (Nashville, TN)
Musical greats like Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, and Roy Orbison have all made hits in this historic building. While it no longer functions as a recording space today, it’s been repurposed as a musical production classroom for students of all ages, as well as a bonafide tourist attraction for Nashville visitors. If you’re in the mood to croon, consider cementing your place in Music City with a group studio session after your tour.
Whisky a Go Go (West Hollywood, CA)
Right on the Sunset Strip, this historic L.A. nightclub was supposedly the first disco to introduce cage dancers, and its stage has hosted many renowned acts, including Buffalo Springfield and Alice Cooper. Back in the day, tock royalty The Doors even cut their teeth here as the house band!