Gibson frames their list of the “The 10 Greatest Rock Venues Of All Time” as such:
If there’s a characteristic shared by many great rock venues, it’s that they’re rarely about glitz, glamour, or Vegas-style flash. Oftentimes, the best venues have a raggedly dilapidated quality that feels part and parcel of rock music itself. Many great artists served apprenticeships and honed their crafts in such settings, performing on low-tiered rickety stages. With just a couple of exceptions, the legendary venues below prove that shifts in the direction of rock can sometimes occur in the unlikeliest of places.
That in mind, these decisions are more historical than they are about acoustics or sound. And remember, they use the word “rock.” Also, the people at Gibson are looking backward, for the most, and not at the present. Care to take a guess, John Varvatos?
They don’t appear to be in any order:
Whisky A-Go-Go (Los Angeles, California)
The Fillmore (San Francisco, California)
CBGB (New York, New York)
40 Watt Club (Athens, Georgia)
Max’s Kansas City (New York, New York)
Marquee Club (London, England)
Cavern Club (Liverpool, England)
First Avenue and 7th Street Entry (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Crocodile Café (Seattle, Washington)
Apollo Theater (New York, New York)
As far as my own personal musical history, I’d throw Maxwell’s into the running. The West Coast version of me wants to throw Gilman Street into the running. (Someone’s kid brother just shed a premature tear for Glasslands.) You can read the accompanying historical blurbs at Gibson.com.
[Photo via cbgb.com]