Friday, March 16, 2007

old river road used to rule

I don’t know how many of you read Michael Heaton’s Minister of Culture column in the 3/09 Plain Dealer (I don’t actually know if anyone is reading this blog at all. But most people in my life would agree that’s it’s ‘all about me anyway’ {it’s usually said after sex}. So I’ll digress and just continue the thought for myself). It was about the ‘revitalization’ of the east bank of the flats from the perspective of the baby boomer generation. The generation that, arguably, had the most fun on the river, saw the coolest shows there and then left it in the fucking dust.

Heaton spoke of a time when any young drunkard could catch live music up and down the bank, through the steel mills and along into Tremont, with ease. From the old Peabody’s to Pat’s. The Odeon in its heyday or the original Pirate’s Cove. It was a nice trip down a memory lane that I never got to publicly urinate onto. But I feel the pain. I miss the Euclid Tavern where my mother would drop me off so I could see a hardcore show. I miss Speak in Tongues; bushes ripped from the soil and then hurled in the air during the final Gordon Solie show. But the grit still remains where those places once stood. You can walk down Lorain and still see the damage being done, if only in your minds eye. Meanwhile, the memory of the east bank is going to die with the boomers and the few of us who got to catch shows there before it was too late.

Soon someone will sip on an iced coffee, in their six figure residence, and enjoy the lakes breeze. They’ll being doing this right where Pere Ubu played, where The Spudmonsters and Mushroomhead cut their teeth. Or maybe, down the street, some teenage girl will be buying a top at the Gap and the sale will take place inches from where Metallica played the ‘MMS Coffee Break gig. Where legend has it, Lemmy and Blackie Lawless once tangled. The joint that hosted the place I saw both Rollins and Keith Morris play Black Flag songs in the same night. And I bet her dad used to hold back her mothers hair as she puked her guts out right there on Old River Road. I guess it really does belong to them.

As more of us move on, the legend fades. My generation has different places to house the memories. Remember the Black Eye? Those were good times too.--Chernus

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