The Cavern and the Top 10 Iconic Rock Clubs In History

The Cavern and the Top 10 Iconic Rock Clubs In History

Last week back in 1957, the most famous rock club in England opened in Liverpool. There was absolutely no rock and roll on the bill that night.

The Cavern Club was originally opened to mimic the cellar jazz bars that owner Alan Synter visited in Paris. There was a strict jazz-only policy in place while he owned the joint. The room itself was underground, having served previously as a wine cellar and a wartime air-raid shelter.

The club's first taste of rock and roll came in August 1957, when a gang of local punks known as the Quarrymen were booked to play skiffle tunes -- an inexplicably popular musical fad of the day. Quarrymen guitarist John Lennon decided to spice things up with a cover of Elvis' "Don't Be Cruel," prompting a note from Synter: "Cut out the bloody rock and roll."

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The next time Lennon and his pals played the Cavern, things were different. The band had changed its name to the Beatles and honed its act during a German residency. In 1961, the group took over the Cavern for three weeks, becoming a local sensation and attracting the attention of manager Brian Epstein.

Before long, the Beatles were the most famous rock and roll band in the world, and the Cavern Club achieved almost as much notoriety as the spot where the Fab Four were discovered. Even today, a rebuilt version of the club (the original was torn down in 1973) serves as both a tourist attraction and a popular live-music venue. Not a lot of places can claim that.

A few can, though. For a while there, the Cavern stood alone as the epicenter of authentic '60s rock and roll cool. In a matter of years, of course, other clubs on both sides of the Atlantic would rise to rival the Cavern's fame.

To celebrate the birthday of one of rock's most hallowed haunts, Rocks Off offers up the following highly scientific ranking of the most famous clubs in rock and roll history. (I Googled them.)

How many have you visited?

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