MOTT THE HOOPLE: BURNING DOWN THE HOUSEAugust 13, 2008
BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE
One stadium venue that I, and many others, initially thought would make a great place for concerts was Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, OH. Spacious and, even better, close to home (somewhere around 15 miles east of Orrville.) We finally got our wish in 1973 when the Edgar Winter Group, James Gang and Frampton’s Camel all appeared at the historic stadium named for football’s greatest coach and home for an Ohio powerhouse team (Massillon Tigers).
It took promoters some time and effort to stage the concert as many politicians, and the police, were against rock concerts. Eventually the politicians relented and then Mayor Mark Ross signed a permit giving the green light. Over 12,000 people were in attendance for that inaugural concert on July 21, including Rick, Roy and myself. It went off without a hitch and we thought we would have another concert venue close to home for big name acts.
Later we found out that there were an abundance of calls to the police for a variety of complaints and reasons (to wit; drug overdoses, 5 men injured, 1 car theft, 1 grand larceny, 1 attempted grand larceny, 28 calls for trouble and a fire!). The city fathers, and especially the police department, were not happy.
An infuriated Fraternal Order of Police organization went to the mat with the city council and got concerts banned from the facility.
One reason was an attempt by non-ticket holders who tried to force their way in. Apparently the fence that was blanketed with some kind of material to obstruct the vision of those on the outside was set on fire. It wasn’t until the middle of the night we discovered the arson was set by some pissed off Orrville rockers who couldn’t get into the sold out event to see Mott The Hoople.
Thanks mainly to WMMS radio in Cleveland, the Orrville, OH rocker population, and most rockers throughout Wayne County, had Mott The Hoople fever. We had all the albums, bought the 8-Track tapes, played their songs on the jukebox at Gene & Kate’s Pool Hall in Orrville, you’re damn right we’re going to see them.
Despite their best efforts, and a bit of arson, the friendly police persuaded (by their oncoming presence) Slick, Bug and the others to hightail it the hell out of there.
Paul Brown Tiger Stadium was constructed in 1949 through the Works Progress Administration program. It is primarily used for football and is the home field of the Massillon Washington High School. The stadium holds 16,600 and is named after former Tiger and famous football head coach, Paul Brown.