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the cramps :: Blog

Thank you Alex

Friday, March 19: 4:53 p.m.
Posted by Greg Harris

We lost an American icon yesterday with the passing of Alex Chilton. 

He followed his own path, emerging in the 1960s as a vocalist with the Box Tops—that’s his growl on The Letter—and moved in a different direction in the 1970s with seminal Memphis band Big Star. September Gurls still gives me the chills.  He then dropped in and out of view during what some have called his “lost decade.”

I came of age in the early 1980s in dusty record stores and Salvation Army thrift shops and among our crowd Chilton was an enigma that we embraced.  He was rumored to be washing dishes in New Orleans, playing gigs overseas, recording with The Cramps, or simply in voluntary seclusion. The Replacements stoked the flames and we tracked down Chilton’s vinyl—especially his messier late 1970s stuff— and passed around the rare live cassette.  His EPs from this era are fantastic. You feel a river of American music flowing from them. They would stay parked on your turntable for weeks after you purchased them. The songs were pure, damp, and loose with an acidic edge at times that felt just right.   Thank You John, Lost My ...

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Happy Birthday, Beachland Ballroom!

Tuesday, March 2: 12:44 p.m.

In the spirit of rock and roll and pride for the Cleveland music scene, the Rock Hall frequently partners with area venues in celebration of rock and roll as an art form, and one such venue is the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern. In its now 10 year run, the Beachland has become one of the most renowned places to perform at and see live music. Rock Hall Assistant Curator Meredith Rutledge shares its history and hopes with Beachland co-owner Cindy Barber.

A local and national music treasure celebrates its 10th anniversary March 5. Cindy Barber, co-owner of the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern, an anchor of Cleveland’s North Collinwood neighborhood, is planning on commemorating this milestone with t-shirts sporting the slogan, “The Beachland – Celebrating 10 Years of Deficit Spending!” When asked about her inspiration for starting a music venue, Barber replies, “Insanity is what made me think of starting the Beachland!” Barber is only half-joking about the challenges that have faced the Beachland during its run as one of the nation’s premier and most eclectic venues. She had been working as co-founder and editor of the Cleveland Free Times, and at the end of the 1990s was offered another ...

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