10 Heavy Metal, Hard Rock Landmarks
Where bands were born, and where they died – this country is spiked with locations that mark where hard rock and metal history was made.
A few years back, Noisecreep contributor Chris Epting took a journey through America’s rich rock ‘n’ roll history with the musical landmarks detailed in his extensive book, Led Zeppelin Crashed Here: the Rock and Roll Landmarks of North America.
Since he’s an authority on the subject, here’s the first of several tours that Epting will take you on, visiting the spots where hard rock and heavy metal history all went down – for better or worse – the good, the bad and the ugly.
10 East 23rd Street
New York City, New York (Mapquest link)
Back in the pre-makeup days of 1972, this is where the band KISS (Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley & Peter Criss) got together to start rehearsing, up in a loft on the fourth floor. Ironically, today it’s located next to a store that sells original KISS comic books.
The Anchorage at Sunapee Harbor
17 Garnet Street
Sunapee, New Hampshire (Mapquest link)
Aerosmith was born right here, when New York drummer Steven Tyler met guitarist Joe Perry at this restaurant where Perry worked in 1970. According to legend, Tyler ate the best French fries he had ever had, and he wanted to meet the cook who made them. He walked into the kitchen and met the cook, who happened to be Joe Perry.
1325 Commonwealth Avenue-#2B
Boston, MA (Mapquest link)
It was pictured in the 1991 video for the classic rock staple “Sweet Emotion,” and it was here during from 1970-1972 that the band members of Aerosmith lived, wrote, played, ate (and maybe even slept a little) until being signed by Columbia Records. “There were six of us in the group, some of us were living in the kitchen, eating brown rice and Campbell’s soup,” Steven Tyler said to Circus Magazine in June, 1975. Those days, you know, when a quart of beer was heaven. It was hard times and it was really good. During lunch we would set up all our equipment outside of BU (Boston University) in the main square and just started wailing. That’s basically how we got billed. We never got much publicity in the magazines and newspapers.”
3132 Carlson Boulevard
El Cerrito, California (Mapquest link)
This Bay-area house, dubbed the ‘Metallimansion’ by the band and their friends, is where Metallica lived together from 1983-1986. During this time they wrote and rehearsed the albums Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets in the garage before recording both sets. This is perhaps the ultimate heavy metal landmark. Check out some KILLER photos of the INSIDE of the house in 2012’s must-read Murder in the Front Row book!
1101 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA (Mapquest link)
In September of 1986, Metallica bassist Cliff Burton was killed in a bus crash while the band was on tour in Sweden. After auditioning a slew of other bassists as potential candidates to replace Burton, they brought Jason Newsted to this legendary San Francisco eatery (famous for its Beef Stew) to offer him the job.
Century Park East and Little Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, California (Mapquest link)
In May of 1981, a drunk Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off of a live dove during a promotional visit to the Epic Records offices. He was promptly banned from ever re-entering the building and proceeded to release his seminal Blizzard of Ozz album with the label. It would go on become a triple platinum hit.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
833 5th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa (Mapquest link)
During the 1981–82 ;Blizzard of Ozz’ tour, Ozzy Osbourne would bite the heads off of rubber bats as part of his show. Fans got into the act, and throughout the course of the tour would throw their own offerings onstage. On January 20, 1982 someone tossed a very real, very stunned bat on to the stage. Oz, thinking it was a rubber prop, chomped the head off it and thus sealed his own legend as a satanic, ritualistic animal killer. He was taken to the hospital right after the show and checked for rabies. Luckily for him, he was OK.
Guns N’ Roses
1114 North Clark Street
Hollywood, California (Mapquest link)
In the early 1980s, this apartment complex was where the band Guns N’ Roses lived with their then-manager, Vicky Hamilton. The pad is located right near the famous Whisky nightclub, where the band would often hang out.
5055 Sinclair Road
Columbus, Ohio (Mapquest link)
This is where, in December of 2004, famed Pantera and Damageplan guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott was shot and tragically killed onstage, along with several other people, by a 25-year old gunman named Nathan Gale. Abbott’s band Damageplan had just started playing when the shooting began (Gale was killed by a police officer that had arrived on the scene after the shooting started). Today, Alrosa Villa is still a busy music venue, hosting everything from hard rock and metal acts to reggae groups.
Flying Baron Estates
Leesburg, Florida (Mapquest link)
On March 18, 1982, the Ozzy Osbourne Band played what would be their last show with Randy Rhoads at the Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, Tenn. On the way to Orlando they were to pass by the Flying Baron Estates, home of the tour bus driver Andrew C. Aycock. They stopped there to get some spare parts for the bus and the next morning Aycock took out a red and white 1955 Beechcraft Bonanza F-35 that was parked at the estate and started giving rides. With Randy Roads and a woman named Rachel Youngblood on board, the plane “buzzed” the band’s tour bus several times. Then, the plane’s left wing struck the left side of the band’s tour bus and hit a nearby pine tree, killing all on board.