ROCKWALK, LOS ANGELES
For many people visiting L.A., the Hollywood walk of Fame and the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre are often at the top of their lists of places to see, so it may be easy to overlook the hidden gem tucked away inside the entrance of the Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard. However, for any music fans visiting the city, the RockWalk is a must-see attraction.
Founded in 1985, the RockWalk has memorialised some of the biggest names in the music industry. Despite initially being exclusively dedicated to rock icons, it has expanded over the years to include legends in blues and country and pop music as well. Some of the legendary musicians who have left their handprints here include: Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eddie & Alex Van Halen, Kiss, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith, Smokey Robinson, The Moody Blues, Jimmy Page, Black Sabbath, Grace Slick, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Johnny Cash, Jethro Tull, Steely Dan, Ted Nugent, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Jeff Beck, Lynyrd Skynyrd,The Ramones, Carlos Santana, B.B. King, and Les Paul.
From the Guitar Center Website:
"The RockWalk is dedicated to honoring musicians and musical pioneers who have made a significant and lasting creative contribution to the growth and evolution of music through their exceptional level of talent, outstanding innovation or creative ingenuity with their chosen instrument(s)."
In addition to the handprints, there are also busts of performers including Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Muddy Waters on either side of the entrance while the perimeter is framed by glass cases containing the iconic guitars of musical legends including Eddie Van Halen, Zakk Wylde and Dimebag Darrell.
The RockWalk often draws comparisons to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, however it's a very different experience. Rather than having to trudge through the streets looking for your favourite star, the RockWalk is compact and compiled neatly all in one place. If you do visit, it's definitely worth going right into the Guitar Center which houses an impressive collection of musical instruments - including the back room which is filled with vintage guitars. You can find guitars here in the $20-40k range. Just a little bit outside my budget...
Also, be careful not to miss the amazing artwork outside the building. The giant Jimi Hendrix mural is a masterpiece!
The Guitar Center RockWalk is located at 7325 Sunset Blvd on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.