NYC Music Landmarks

THE BEST MUSIC MONUMENTS AND LANDMARKS IN NYC

New York City has always been a haven for passionate artists. Art history is seemingly around every corner, some more than others. Capturing all that history in a few stops is a tricky task. Our guide is hopefully a good start. Who knows what kind of stories, artifacts and experiences will unfold in these monuments of music within one of the world’s most musical cities.

Strawberry Fields in NYC

 

STRAWBERRY FIELDS

“Let me take you down, ‘cause I’m goin’ too…” When John Lennon was tragically killed in 1980, Central Park turned a 2.5 acre field near his Home in the Dakota Apartments into a memorial for the legendary Beatle’s life. This very peaceful field definitely aligns with the mellow psychedelia of “Strawberry Fields Forever”.

Location: West Side between 71st and 74th Streets, 10023


CBGB’S / JOHN VARVATOS

CBGB’s was more than just a music venue; it was a movement. The punk club on the bowery in lower Manhattan proved to be a starting point for so many influential bands, too many to list. Most notable performers at the club were Talking Heads, the Ramones, Blondie, the Police, Patti Smith, and so many more. Punk became a movement around the world thanks in no small part to CBGB’s role as NYC’s breeding ground. CBGB’s as a venue is no more, but boutique fashion brand John Varvatos has kept up many of the relics that made the space CBGB’s; they even will host the occasional concert in the space these days.

Location: 315 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

 
RAMONES/JOEY RAMONE WAY/TRASH AND VAUDEVILLE

The Ramones; Forest Hills Queens

 
Worldwide musical and cultural sensation the Ramones hailed from Forest Hills, Queens, but they’re most remembered for their contributions in downtown Manhattan: legendary concerts at CBGB’s, and perhaps most importantly, finding the foundation of their famous wardrobe (black jeans and leather jackets) at St. Marks Place’s Trash and Vaudeville. The now-legendary punk clothing store became part of an iconic look in the 80s with interest from nouveau punk icons like Joey Ramone and Debbie Harry of Blondie. The store is no longer at its well-remembered St. Mark's place address, but remains in the East Village at 96 East 7th Street. 

Just a few blocks south from the New Trash & Vaudeville storefront, The corner of E 2nd St. and Bowery has been renamed “Joey Ramone Place”, christened with a street sign that is New York’s most commonly stolen. Joey Ramone place is not far from CBGB’s old location nor Ramones chief creative partner Arturo Vega’s old loft. Stop by in your new leather jacket from T&V and you’ll know what it felt like being a Ramone. 

Joey Ramone Way Location: 325 Bowery, New York, NY 10003
Trash & Vaudeville Location: 96 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003

 

PHYSICAL GRAFFITI

While you’re on St. Mark’s Place, stop by 96 St Marks Pl to see something you might have seen before. It’s not immediately apparent to passers by, but the two buildings at 96 and 98 St. Marks Place are the buildings on the album cover of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti. Looking at the buildings at the same vantage point designer Peter Corriston gives a quick bit of voyeurism into rock history.

Location: 96 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

Chelsea Hotel NYC

 

CHELSEA HOTEL

Any notable musician, or artist of any kind, in the 60’s or 70’s invariably spent some stayed once or twice at the Hotel Chelsea. Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde” was written in room 211 where Dylan lived at the time. (He even name-checked the hotel in a later song, “Sara”.) Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen had a famous stay at the hotel which resulted in Spungen’s death. Poets and visual artists like Allen Ginsburg and Andy Warhol were known to hang around the hotel as well. No other building in the world can boast such an extensive list of celebrity guests.

Location: 222 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011


BLUE NOTE JAZZ CLUB / THE BITTER END / CAFE WHA?

Stay downtown to check out these famous small venues, where legendary rock acts of years past got their start in some cases, or in others, introduced themselves to the New York music scene. Blue Note has become one of the world’s most famous Jazz Clubs since its opening in the early 80’s. Its stage has famously hosted jazz legends like Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente and Chick Corea. Even today, Blue Note continues to host some of Jazz’s best and brightest musicians.

The Bitter End has been around for a little longer than the blue note, opening in the West Village on 147 Bleecker Street in 1961. Its age allows its owners to boast to be the oldest rock club in New York City. The list of performers who the Bitter End hosted before they “broke” is too huge to list, including Bob Dylan (who formed his Rolling Thunder Revue at the club) and other folk sensations like Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell. The club also hosted famous comedians before their time, such as Joan Rivers, Albert Brooks, and Bill Cosby. Like Blue Note, the Bitter End is still hosting shows new talents, and the stage there has more recently featured the likes of Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga in their pre-stardom.

Cafe Wha?, another small club in the village, has been graced with star-making performances, including a 19 year old named “Bob Dylan” at one of its open mic nights, a young Bruce Springsteen with his band Castiles, and Richard Pryor trying his hand at comedy. 7 year old David Lee Roth, nephew of owner Manny Roth, could often be found here checking out many of the new acts, like Jimi Hendrix, Peter Paul & Mary, or David Crosby.

Blue Note Location: 131 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012
The Bitter End Location: 147 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
Cafe Wha Location: 115 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012

 

Radio City Music Hall NYC

 

RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL STAGE DOOR TOUR / CARNEGIE HALL TOUR

Two legendary midtown venues with decorated histories of their own, Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall offer music-inclined tourists options a unique and immersive experience: backstage tours. At Carnegie Hall, visitors are treated to exclusive access to the two rooms (Perelman Stage & Stern Auditorium) as well as a guided walkthrough of the relics from Carnegie’s century-old history. Radio City Music Hall has a similarly immersive tour, which walks patrons through the theater’s many notable pieces of art scattered around, as well as looks at behind-the-scenes parts of the theater, and the opportunity to interface with a member of the Rockettes. Both theaters are still active and host shows, and if you get a chance to see a concert at either one, the history of the venue will enrich your experience even more. 

Radio City Music Hall Location: 1260 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
Carnegie Hall Location: 881 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

 
The Apollo NYC

APOLLO THEATER

So many amazing African-American performers, promoters and even audience members found a welcoming community at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. The Apollo’s legendary amateur night has launched nearly as many successful careers as the theater itself has seats, and even performers who flop at the Amateur Night often go to become stars. James Brown’s classic concert album was “Live at the Apollo”, and artists like Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Jackson 5, and Luther Vandross performed there. For those looking for a peek at inner workings, the Apollo also offers tours - by appointment.

Location: 253 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027 - 5 minutes away from the Oz Moving office!

 

HUSH TOURS

New York was the breeding ground for hip-hop on the east coast, with countless rappers emerging from the city like Nas, Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G., and the Wu-Tang Clan. It’s hard to pick one essential NYC hip-hop landmark to visit, but luckily a team of hip-hop insiders known as “Us in Hip-Hop (or HUSH)” have curated a guide to the city’s many rap and hip-hop points of interest, like Brooklyn’s Adam Yauch park, Notorious BIG’s childhood home, areas where first examples of hip hop was performed, and samplings of the city’s graffiti and street art that often came along with the street music of hip-hop.  

Visit hushtours.com for tour information.

 


 

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