3. Los Angeles, California, USA
Los Angeles has certainly earned its rock ‘n’ roll stripes. The outright home of the American film industry, the City of Angels has also seen a highly eclectic mix of bands, artists and musical styles emerge from its creative centre.
From the surf-rock of The Beach Boys to the eerie psychedelia of The Doors (and the lesser known but no less influential Love), and radio-friendly country-rock of The Eagles and Jackson Browne in the 1970s, L.A. has long been at the forefront of popular music trends.
Punk hit L.A. hard as well, with a fervent ‘hardcore’ scene developing in the early 1980s which saw the ascension of Black Flag, the Minutemen and X to underground hero status.
The mid to late 1980s saw L.A. become the centre of the short-lived ‘hair metal’ craze, with Mötley Crue and Guns ‘N Roses being the chief protagonists of this often-derided sub-genre of rock ‘n’ roll.
Like New York, L.A. has been a fertile ground for hip-hop and rap artists, and this music has been influential on it’s rock ‘n’ roll output as well, with prominent artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Beck incorporating the sampling and vocal techniques of their rap and funk peers.
Not surprisingly, Los Angeles boasts a plethora of rock ‘n’ roll landmarks too, including the ‘Riot House’ hotel made famous by Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, and historic venues such as Whisky A Go Go and The Troubadour as well.
Associated acts: The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Doors, The Eagles, Tim Buckley, Neil Young, Crosby Stills & Nash, Love, Beck, Black Flag, Germs, X, Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Jane’s Addiction, Rage Against the Machine, The Gun Club, Weezer
Landmarks: The Roxy, The Troubadour, Whisky A Go Go, ‘Riot House’ hotel