Whenever you find yourself on the road, your headphones are one of your best journey companions. Your playlist is always shuffling a song that matches your mood, the view in front of your eyes, the destination you’re heading to. And here’s a great idea: why don’t you combine your love for music with the one for travel? Brilliant thought, isn’t it?
Next destination: England – where some of the major rock bands have started their careers, many of your favorite riffs have been written, and tons of rehearsals and live shows have conquered the audiences.
So England, here we come!
1. London Calling
London is the place where brilliant bands were born, as well as a magnet for a bunch of artists from all over the world. No travel and music buff should miss a visit in the English capital! Prepare yourself to spend some music-filled time and discover one of the most significant cities on the globe in terms of riffs, lyrics and drum beats.
This place had witnessed plenty of magical moments. Among the bands that started their careers here, I must mention no other than The Rolling Stones, those who can give lessons about transforming the stages into real playing fields over and over again. With years of top ranking hits and worldwide touring, the British group was born in London, in 1962.
Led Zeppelin is another resonant name that started mixing blues, hard rock and folk in The City. Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, The Kinks, The Who, Queen and Coldplay – everybody sings along with them. And now you have the chance to explore the urban areas where their road to success began.
Does The New Wave of British Heavy Metal ring any bells? Well, you’ve come to the right place, because Iron Maiden, the most popular group of this movement, has its origins right here. We are Motörhead and we play rock’n’roll – they say. Indeed, and they began doing it in London.
The punk movement shouldn’t be forgotten, either. Bands like Sex Pistols and The Clash have played their first catchy chords in the mighty capital. The Beatles, even if not originally from London, have spent a consistent part of their career over here.
Walk the Denmark Street (also known as the Tin Pan Alley), the place where the Regent Sounds Studio (The Rolling Stones recorded their first album here) is located. Other British bands have recorded their soon-to-be hits on this street, also. Don’t miss the chance to admire the music shops that line the sidewalks.
The Wembley Arena is another spot you’ll want to check out. The biggest international artists of all time have played (and continue playing) here, making their audiences’ dreams come true. The Marquee Club has seen live concerts played by bands like Led Zeppelin, Sex Pistols, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones (first show, back in 1962).
Freddie Mercury’s house can be easily found at 1 Logan Place, Kensington. Get your camera ready, because its outer wall is decorated with beautiful messages and graffiti made by talented Queen fans.
Last but not least, the Abbey Road will give you the chance to see the famous zebra crossing featured in one of the most iconic Beatles album covers.
2. Bang your head in Birmingham
Birmingham is the place where heavy metal was born and the city that gave the world two of the best and most innovative bands of all times.
Black Sabbath, the band that wrote the first heavy metal riffs was born here in 1968. Their bestseller albums are Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), Master of Reality (1971) and Black Sabbath Vol. 4 (1972). Among their most known songs, I have to mention Paranoid, War Pigs, Iron Man, Heaven and Hell, Children of the Grave, and Snowblind.
Judas Priest is the band that took music up to a different level, playing the purest and cleanest form of heavy metal. Besides their music, they are also famous as the first group that used leather clothing and motorcycles on stage. So yes, Birmingham is where music took a great turn and developed into a worldwide phenomenon.
Walk the Gas Street Basin and enjoy the beautiful canals – a true gem, a wonderful town-path. Take a break in Victoria Square and sit down for a cup of coffee – you’ll feel like a local! Don’t miss the National Motorcycle Museum with its wide range of old and new motorcycles – hundreds of them are waiting for you to stare at!
3. Let It Be Liverpool
Oh, Liverpool! The birthplace of The Beatles! Who wouldn’t want to visit this meaningful city? I bet you have at least a couple of the band’s tracks shuffling in your playlist. And this place will give you the opportunity to see where the magic happened.
The British musical quartet and a true lodestar for the hopes and dreams of so many generations worldwide has gathered around, played the first show and recorded the first songs here, in Liverpool. The rest is history – an amazing one.
The city is a place of pilgrimage for those who want to find out more and to experience the atmosphere that inspired John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. Your first stop should be The Beatles Story, a famous museum in Albert Dock that will introduce you to The Fab Four’s path – from the early times, to the Beatlemania and beyond. Don’t miss the famous Penny Lane and Strawberry Field, either!
Cavern Club is another spot you have to check out – the club where the band had about 300 live shows. You’ll find it easily, on the Mathew Street, right in the city centre. You’ll also want to stop off at 251 Menlove Avenue (Mendips), John Lennon’s childhood home. At 20 Forthlin Road you’ll have the chance to admire a house where Paul McCartney lived for several years.
Enjoy this wonderful trip and try to see of you can spot any Blackbird flying around Here, There and Everywhere. You’ll want to Get Back, I promise you!