Wednesday, June 16, 2004

All the little kids growing up on the skids are going "Cleveland Rocks!"

The Darkness
Scene Pavilion, Cleveland, Ohio
June 15, 2004

Upon arrival in Cleveland I was starving. So I stumbled to the Hard Rock Café since it was 2 blocks from my hotel. Once again I was reminded what a misnomer “Hard Rock” Café is in reality. They were playing decidedly un-Hard Rock music, most of it easily defined as “crap”. I did enjoy ‘Seasons In The Sun’ > ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ back-to-back, but is it wise to play ‘Seasons In The Sun’ in a restaurant?! Hide the knives! I was seated in a booth next to one of Courtney Love’s baby doll dresses. It was framed and mounted like a dead animal. Definitely disturbing, but I was starving so I fought off the gag reflex and ate.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

I am so against the R&R HOF in principle. However, since I was in Cleveland I had to check it out. I’d say 10% of it is gobsmacked amazing. The other 90% is crap. While standing in line waiting for the museum to open, an older white trash couple in front of me noticed 'Super Freak' playing over the PA. To which the guy said "Rick James ain't Rock and Roll!" and then went off on a little tirade about how inappropriate Rick James' presence was on this hallowed ground.

Dude, BILLY JOEL was inducted into your R&R HOF and yet they refuse to even acknowledge BLACK SABBATH. ‘Uptown Girl’ over ‘War Pigs’?!! Die.

My music geek highlights and rants:

  • The Blank Generation display (70's Punk): The pieces of Paul Simonen's bass that he's smashing on the cover of London Calling. Johnny Thunders' guitar and stage clothes circa 1989. Those clothes could probably go into rehab on their own.
  • Seattle display (Grunge): Surreal that I have most of the records on display. Hope I die before I get mold.
  • The only Zeppelin memorabilia was John Paul Jones items, such as his circa-1970 electric piano and bass. Where’s a Page violin bow, Bonham’s bass drum, Plant’s 70’s hair dryer, or at least the Seattle red snapper?!
  • The Who: 1965 Keith Moon stage outfit and 1967 drumhead. Pete's 70’s era #5 Les Paul.
  • Alice Cooper's Billion Dollar Babies boots.
  • Duane Allman's gold top Les Paul and cherry red SG.
  • The Ohio Music display case: Cramps, Dead Boys, Devo, Guided By Voices, NIN, etc. Nice local content.
  • A display case of old radios circa 1940-50's.
  • 1970's Lynyrd Skynyrd display cases: Great stuff. Allen Collins' Explorer, etc. A woman was telling her kids how she saw Skynyrd in 1976 with The Marshall Tucker Band (!). She also said how she still remembers where she was when she heard about the plane crash (at a football game in New Orleans). What a cool mom!
  • The package of circa 1960's Diana Ross & The Supremes branded white bread.
  • The gift shop has a locked display case of "valuable" rock memorabilia for sale. Plenty of Beatles, Stones, Elvis, etc. items. However, for the crafty museum visitor I say snap up the Dio guitar pic that's a bargain at $20!
  • Lotsa guitars all over the place. My favorite: Johnny Cash's with his name inlaid on the fretboard. Who woulda thunk: one of Kirk Hammett's beaten up ESP axes. I knew him when he was THIS tall!
  • Cream of the Crap: The Parental Advisory signs regarding "mature themes"! It's ROCK AND ROLL!! Also, the crap music the museum plays over the PA.. Mostly COMPLETELY inoffensive, disco / dance songs. I would have paid an extra $2 admission to at least hear 'Starfucker' by the Rolling Stones and watch the reaction of visitors.
  • Cream of the Crap II: A Bon Jovi display. Dave Matthews Band stage clothes. There was a large Methodist Church group touring the museum (they were all wearing matching t-shirts). They seemed to be digging the display case of Britney Spears stage costumes (Sinners!).

I got cocky and thought I could give the finger to the museum's "No Cameras / Photography" policy. Ironically, the first (and last) pic I snapped was of the San Francisco Summer of Love display. I was immediately busted by a security guard. Oh Irony, you are indeed funny.

Oh yeah! The Darkness:

The Scene Pavilion as “seen” from across the muddy waters of the Cuyahoga River

My 4th time seeing The Darkness and I guess I’m ready to admit I might have a problem. Maybe.. Oh yeah?!! Hey!! You know what?!! I can quit ANY TIME I want!! I just don’t WANT to… It’s fun being 16 years old again, but with the means to act upon those geek impulses.

I imagine seeing Justin’s brand new, custom made, one-of-a-kind ”Seashell” Les Paul is what Mel Gibson feels when he sees a Bible. If Gibson had cast a musical instrument in the lead role of The Passion of The Christ, he would have cast that guitar. Never has a Rock Star wielded a more profound axe. The wonder of Rock is mighty indeed.

I've givin' up, givin' up, givin' a fuck.

Twas a surgically precise 5,000 mile (round trip) concert experience. Hopped on a plane. Rocked. Hopped on a plane. Home. The Rock Godz are demanding, but reward their believers in kind. Praise be to my guardian Rock Angel (Hi Skychick!).

It should be noted that this was not the most extreme that I’ve gone for a music fix. That record is still held by the 10,000 mile (r.t.) S.F. > London escapade to grovel and drool at a Nick Cave lecture / solo performance in 1999. See! I DON’T have a problem!

A HUGE shout out to Jim and the Cleveland Old School for the much appreciated hospitality! Ian Hunter sang the truth – Thanks, my bruthas! Redd Kross and Quadrophenia 4-Ever! Check out Jim’s bitchin’ Hellbomb products at your local Hot Topic or via the Hellbomb web site.

On the way back to San Francisco some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. Beer count = 5. Doobie Brothers shirts seen = 1. Iron Maiden shirts seen = 2. Samhain shirts = 1. Misfits shirts seen = 0. “Hello Cleveland!"