19 music pilgrimages to make before you die

Prove your music creds by visiting one of these musical Meccas. Just don't do anything creepy while you're there.


1. The 100 gecs’ Tree of Clues

Somewhere in Des Plaines, Illinois is the mythical tree that appears on the album cover of the ‘1000 gecs’ album. Fans of Dylan Brady and Laura Les have been known to leave trinkets underneath. What will you find?

2. The Smiths’ Salford Lads Club

Ah, the days when Moz wasn’t terrible. Many have made the pilgrimage to Salford Lads Club to stand on the steps as The Smiths did back in 1985.

3. Jimi Hendrix’ London pad

Did you know that Jimi Hendrix spent years living in London? In the house that the composer, Handel, also once lived? Visit the Soho home of both musicians (now a museum).


4. Motown’s Hitsville USA, Detroit

The home of Motown and now a museum, so many iconic artists – from The Supremes’ to Marvin Gaye, The Temptations to Martha and the Vandellas – have recorded in this small house and studio in Detroit.

5. David Bowie’s wall, Brixton

The memorial to a truly mould-breaking artist lies in a passageway in Brixton – David Bowie’s birthplace. Now covered with glass, you can still go and see the mural and thousands of tributes paid to the musical icon.

6. Minor Threat’s Dischord House, Arlington Virginia

The home of Ian Mackaye’s legendary DIY punk label, Dischord Records is still standing (and operational) today. Many bands have been lucky enough to take the obligatory lads-on-the-steps photo, as seen on the cover of Minor Threat’s ‘Salad Days’ EP. For passers by, it looks like the property is gated. But it’s still cool to get a glimpse of where the DC punk scene was born.

7. Prince’s Paisley Park, Minnesota

The Purple One’s home and recording complex, until he passed away in 2016, is now open for tours.

8. John Lennon’s Strawberry Fields, NYC

A memorial to John Lennon in Central Park, New York City, close to the apartment building where he was gunned down by Mark David Chapman in 1980. Just don’t let that Gal Gadot lockdown singalong ruin the experience for you.

9. Elvis’ Graceland, Memphis

A must for any Elvis fan, Graceland is the home in which The King lived until his death, in the bathroom, at age 42. It was opened as a museum in 1982 and is now the most-visited house in America, outside of The White House.

10. The Beatles’, Abbey Road, London

Who doesn’t want a picture crossing the famous street in Maida Vale, just like the Fab Four? Just go early – or during COVID – to avoid the many, many, many tourists, queueing for a snap.

11. Haim’s Canter’s Deli, Los Angeles

Haim’s favourite deli and the home of their first ever gig as a band. Be like our favourite trio of sisters and order a matzah ball soup.

12. Glastonbury Festival

A slightly different type of thing, but every music fan on the planet should try and experience the majesty of Glastonbury at some point in their life. As someone who has been to a fair few music festivals, there is no other place like it on earth.

13. The Beatles’ Penny Lane, Liverpool

It’s in my ears and in my eyes and now, on the gram. Visit the inspiration behind the well-known Beatles song.

14. The Libertines’ Grove Passage (‘Up The Bracket’ Alley)

Libertines alley – AKA Grove Passage from the ‘Up The Bracket’ video – is now scrawled with Libertines tributes and lyrics. Pay it a visit, in between Bethnal Green and Hackney, to claim your own slice of Albion history.

15. Oasis’ Berwick Street

The cover of Oasis’ ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory’ was snapped on Soho’s Berwick Street. The street has changed a little since the photo was taken but nab a friend, don a khaki jacket and recreate the photo.

16. Elliot Smith’s ‘Figure 8’ wall, Los Angeles

The wall that features on the cover of Elliot Smith’s ‘Figure 8’ album can be found at 4334 W. Sunset Boulevard, in the Silver Lake neighbourhood of Los Angeles: Elliot’s old Stomping Ground.

17. Dilla’s Delights, Detroit

A Detroit donut shop, run by the uncle of the late J Dilla – the sweet treat that was the inspiration behind Dilla’s 2006 album ‘Donuts’.

18. Lemmy’s Rainbow Bar & Grill

The Rainbow is a grimy dive bar and live music venue on LA’s Sunset Strip. Over the years, it has hosted legendary rock shows and every rock n’ roller worth their salt has been seen propping up the bar. None more so, though, than Motorhead’s Lemmy, who until 2015 was a Jack n’ Coke-drinking regular. A statue of Lemmy can now be found out back.

19. Wu-tang District, Staten Island

Before Pete Davidson, The Shaolin Warriors put Staten Island on the map. Good to see them getting the respect they deserve with not just a road, but a whole district.