Smoky, Sweaty, Rowdy and Loud


Tales of Cleveland’s Legendary Rock and Roll Landmarks

Let’s head backstage at Cleveland’s legendary rock and roll landmarks as club owners, talent bookers, performers, promoters, and concertgoers share stories from the 1950s through 1990s

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  • Where it all began: the Cleveland Arena, site of the first-ever rock concert, anywhere.
  • The hugely influential Agora, where Springsteen and so many other acts burst onto the scene
  • The Coliseum at Richfield, erected in the middle of nowhere just in time for the arrival of arena rock.
  • Monster concerts at Cleveland Municipal Stadium―including the epic, multi-year World Series of Rock.
  • Groundbreaking R&B clubs Gleason’s and Leo’s Casino.
  • Staid, classical Public Auditorium, where the Beatles incited a riot and Led Zeppelin grabbed a teenage audience volunteer to fill in on bass
  • Musicarnival, the circular big-top tent that alternated summer-stock with hard-rock (to the dismay of suburban neighbors).
  • Bars and clubs like the Euclid Tavern, Variety Theater, and Empire Concert Club that rocked the ’80s and ’90s with punk, thrash, electronica―whatever it took.
  • The renowned Swingos’ celebrity hotel on Euclid Avenue, where bands remembered checking in and checking out―but nothing in-betPween!
  • And other classic venues well worth remembering.

Author:  Mike Olszewski and Janice Olszewski

Paperback:  204 pages


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