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Travel topics > Cultural attractions > Music > Rock and roll

Rock and roll

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Rock music is one of the most popular music genres in the world. Rock and roll has been around since the 1950s, and has since developed into several different genres of music from surf rock to death metal, and has inspired pop music in general.



Map of Rock and roll
  • 1 London. A considerable number of world-famous rock bands and artists are from the UK, and many of them from London or the London region (or spent part of their carreer there). As such there are all kinds of rock-related places to see here, such as the house where the Beatles held their rooftop concert in 1969, or the Cart and Horses pub in Stratford regarded as the birthplace of Iron Maiden.


  • 1 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 751 Erieside Ave, Cleveland/Downtown (Drive north on East 9th St exit until you reach the Hall of Fame. If you drive into Lake Erie, you've gone too far.), +1 216 781-ROCK (7625). Located at North Coast Harbor, this distinctive building was designed by noted architect I.M. Pei and houses a massive collection of rock and roll memorabilia. Cleveland was home to the first Rock concert, the term "Rock and Roll" was coined by a Cleveland DJ and many of the music genre's icons used Cleveland as their springboards. As Rock Inductee, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, has been paraphrased - to become a rock star in the U.S., first, you have to be loved in Cleveland. Admission: Adults: $23.50, Seniors (60+): $21.25, Children (ages 9-12): $13.75, Children (8 & under): Free. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Q179191) on Wikidata Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Wikipedia
  • 2 Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, 191 Beale St (corner of Third St; on the plaza of FedExForum). Daily 10AM-7PM (last admission 6:15PM). A short video is shown at frequent intervals and then you are given a headset so that you can listen to commentary and numerous songs as you walk through the exhibits. Sponsored by the Smithsonian. The museum used to be housed in the Gibson guitar factory across the street, which puts visitors right on the factory floor. Famous musicians periodically visit to pick up custom guitars or to play a set at the Gibson Lounge, in the west end of the building. Adults $10.
  • 3 Graceland, Memphis. Home of Elvis Presley, "The King of Rock and Roll". It's no surprise that this is the number one tourist attraction in Memphis. Think "tacky tourist" trap but don't miss it – you might be pleasantly surprised. Although it is not advisable to venture in the suburbs surrounding the site, there is lots and lots of Elvis stuff to see here - the house itself (the upper floor, with Elvis' bedroom and Lisa Marie's nursery, is not open to the public), customized private airplanes, an automobile collection, gold records, costumes, and more. Elvis Week ("Death Week" to the locals) in early August, culminating in the candlelight vigil on the anniversary of Elvis' death. is a big deal, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. Check out the bizarre felt-pen scribblings on the fence, some hip-ironic, some of the psycho-lunatic-fan sort. If you happen to be in Memphis during Birth or Death Week – January and August, respectively – sit downtown for a few hours just to watch the Elvis fans. Not just on Halloween, but at any time of year, dress up like the King (or like Priscilla if you're a girl) and you'll instantly be a star in your own right!
  • 4 Buddy Holly Crash Site (The Day the Music Died) (near Clear Lake (Iowa)). In the early morning of February 3, 1959 a plane carrying rock musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson who were touring the Midwest together, crashed just after takeoff, killing them and the pilot. The accident taking the life of three popular rock musicians has been dubbed "The Day the Music Died" and has been refered to as such in popular culture. There are several memorials at the crash site.
  • 5 Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (Sullivan County (New York), Hurd Road a half-mile N of NY 17B in the town of Bethel, E of the hamlet of White Lake), toll-free: +1-866-781-2922, e-mail: . In the mid-2000s local entrepreneur Alan Gerry realized a long-held Sullivan County dream of capitalizing on the Woodstock festival site's potential as a tourist draw. The original site, at the southeast corner of the intersection of Hurd and West Shore roads, has been left undisturbed and accessible. On the hill nearby is a modern amphitheatre that has hosted performances by everyone from acts that appeared at the original festival to symphony orchestras. The nearby museum is also a must-see for anyone wanting to better appreciate the cultural significance of the surrounding acres of what was once Yasgur's Farm.


See also: Music festival circuit



Eat and drink[edit]

Traditional Rock and Roll is highly associated with 1950s American cuisine, and especially burgers, fries, and shakes. Many traditional diners will play classic rock songs on their jukebox or radio. Many genres related to Rock will more heavily associate with pubs, dives, and bars.

  • Hard Rock Cafe is a global chain of restaurants in 74 countries as of 2018. Restaurants are decorated with instruments, records and other rock paraphernalia.
  • 1 Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, +1 314 727-4444. A true landmark restaurant and bar, open till 3AM. Chuck Berry used to play here frequently. Absolutely filled with pop-culture memorabilia spanning decades, including lunchboxes, concert posters, toys, sports trading cards, and other Americana. This place is definitely not one to miss.

Get around[edit]

Classic American (and to some extent European) cars and motorcycles are part of the rock'n'roll lifestyle. While the periodization is not exact, production of private vehicles took off in the years following World War II, with cheap fuel and expansion of suburbs and motorways. Cars became faster and heavier until the 1973 oil crisis and environmentalist concerns, which encouraged more compact models.

See also[edit]

  • Nordic music; the Nordic countries have a prolific rock'n'roll scene, especially the harder flavors
  • Music in Britain and Ireland; in addition to the US, UK can be considered the other "superpower" in the history of rock.
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