Normally when I think of Cleveland Municipal Stadium I conjure up memoires of going to Indians games as a lad...a very young child walking down W. 3rd from the Rapid Transit and seeing the cavernous, monolith on the lake! Walking in one went up ramps to reach the various sections including box seats unless you had what are known as "Field Box" seats today. Every time I went the field was more green than the time before, the base paths and batters box a crisp white and the infield dirt was immaculate. I will never forget when Gaylord Perry pitched on Sunday it was truly "The Lord's Day." I vividly remember the 1968 Browns playoff win over Dallas. With my fellow Solon Comets Brothers we jumped onto the tarp then on the field to embrace Browns. Yes Marvin Upshaw may have been the biggest man I ever saw up close until I ran into Walt Wesley from the Cavaliers at a shoe store at Southgate a few years later. yes I was a regular at the Stadium.
There were also Billy Graham revivals at the Stadium, Cleveland Cobras Soccer and the cherry on the sundae (or so we thought)...the WORLD SERIES OF ROCK concerts. Stones, Aerosmith, CSNY and many more rocked out for the faithful and we all thought this was the be all end all of concerts anywhere in the world until September 2, 1995 when the CONCERT FOR THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME took place. You name past, present and future rockers and they were there! My favorite act that day into evening...ALL OF THEM! If Iist a few I should list them all but the concert had soul, funk, punk, Americana. Southern Rock and more. Think about the genre, you heard it on September 2nd into thr 3rd in 1995. I was invited backstage for a but by the late, great human being and concert promoter Mike Belkin. As I stood with Mike, Bruce Sprinsteen came up and started chattering away as if he was with old friends. Wearing blue jeans, a tee shirt and jean jacket Bruce was one of us. A "moment" then happened as Bob Dylan walked by, no more than 5 feet away. Bruce grabbed my wrist and said "Oh my God it's Bob Dylan." Dylan did not stop walking and simply said "Oh my God it's The Boss." PURE MAGIC!
The Rock Hall has truly cemented Cleveland as THEE ROCK N ROLL CAPITAL of the world and all the events leading up to 9/2/95 made it extra special, from the groundbreaking (I was Pete Townsend's security guy), to the "topping off" to the grand opening weekend when movers and shakers from around the world came to OUR GREAT CITY! I must add that when I walking Pete back to the VIP tent we were is a walkway separated from the crowd by snow fencing. Pete had two sharpies and told ne he would stop and sign anything except body parts ! Now he must have enjoyed my company as his PR guy grabbed me after, handed me a piece of paper with their hotel room at the Renaissance and said "bring something up after 6p for Pete to sign." I went out and bought a Fender guitar which Pete signed!
More memories of the CONCERT FOR THE ROCK HALL were how funky Larry Graham's bass really is, how cool it was when Cheryl Crown introduced the Allman Brothers as "those can ass boys from Georgia," the great sound of Heart doing Led Zep acoustically, Johnny Cash and his man in black persona plus so much more. I will run out of "letters" if I keep going. No doubt CLEVELAND ROCKED and ROCKS!