Archive for the ‘CONCERTS & VENUES’ Category

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ROCKIN’ ON THE RIVER KEEPS ROLLING

July 1, 2012

If you’re an Ohio resident, or live within the tri-state area, or just happen to find yourself traveling through Ohio this summer and are searching for some excellent music and an outstanding, friendly, festive venue then you need to check out Rockin’ On The River, held every Friday night in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio near the Cuyahoga River and Akron. Now in its 26th season, the 2012 edition kicked off last month and is already considered a success. The series of concerts ends on August 31 with the Rolling Stones tribute band, Satisfaction.
 
There’s more than music as spectators are encouraged to stroll through the ‘midway’ area and check out the many artisans & food vendors. All of this and not one penny is charged for admission to the events.
 
After running successfully for a number of years, the Rockin’ On The River concept got a real kick in the pants and upgraded in a myriad of ways when local entrepreneur Bob Earley was tabbed as the event’s coordinator. But he’s much more than that. Earley oversees all aspects of the events each year and is one of the best promoters around. But he has plenty of experience.

Promoter Bob Earley

Over the decades in northeast Ohio and the Akron area specifically Bob Earley has established himself as a personable, high-energy, honest, dedicated and civic-minded patron of rock & roll and the region. For probably four decades now Earley has been a successful club owner and businessman and has more energy, talent and chutzpah than most men half his age. He can get the job done.
 
He could write a book! And I’d buy one!
 
The area in Cuyahoga Falls that serves as the location for Rockin’ On The River utilizes an amphitheatre, large stage area and a 4,050 square foot pavilion. Sometimes just under 100 tents are used. They have permanent seating for nearly 300 and standing room for 1,000. It’s not unusual for the Rockin’ On The River events to attract upwards of 6,000 per Friday night.


 Each Rockin’ On The River concert is held on Friday nights (see remaining schedule below) and among some of the highlights include upcoming appearances by Almost Queen, the premier Queen tribute band, on Friday July 13, Dashboard Lights (Meatloaf Tribute band) on Friday July 20, the aforementioned Rolling Stones tribute band, Satisfaction on Friday August 31 and many others. The shows start at 5:30 PM with the opening act and run until midnight.

Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens

One standout event that will be a popular gig is the Friday August 17 Rockin’ On The River concert with headliner and hometown star Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, formerly of Judas Priest, who will perform an All-Star Jam when the famed area singer brings in five of his famous rock ‘n roll comrades to shake the house in downtown Cuyahoga Falls. The Summit 91.3 will be sponsoring that highly-anticipated concert.
 
All for…. Free!

PANAMA – The Van Halen Tribute Band

Which is how Earley wants it. The concert series makes money off sponsorship and the many vendors who participate. Earley is all about providing a good time, in a good, positive atmosphere. You never hear of any trouble of any kind at Earley promoted concerts.
 
Earley, who was key in helping to save the American Soap Box Derby in Akron, is also a weekend talk show host (7:00 PM – 10:00 PM) on WNIR 100.0 FM in Akron. Also serving as a substitute host (he’s been on the air doing a yeoman’s work for three straight weeks as this is being written filling in for the late, beloved and legendary Howie Chizek and other hosts until a replacement for Chizek is hired), Earley is a popular fixture at WNIR with his blue-collar attitude and ‘average, every day kinda guy’ persona. The one refreshing thing about Bob Earley on the air is, he doesn’t have an agenda, he doesn’t judge, he doesn’t take sides. He’s just there to entertain and have a good time.


 And it works.

So if you’re in the northeast Ohio area on a Friday evening check out a Rockin’ On The River concert. But only if you’re interested in good music and a good time!

ZOSO – The Ulitmate Led Zeppelin tribute band

REMAINING ROCKIN’ ON THE RIVER SCHEDULE

July 6……………..The Boat Drunks (Buffett & more) w/ Human Nature
July 13…………….Almost Queen with Red Sun Rising
July 20…………….Dashboard Lights (Meat Loaf) with Big in Japan
July 27 ………….Festa Italiana
Aug 3 – Aug 12.. Cuyahoga Falls Bicentennial Celebration
August 17…………Tim “Ripper” Owens & All-Star Friends w/ Opener TBA
August 24……..….Vicious Cycle (Lynyrd Skynyrd) with Kerosene
August 31……..….Satisfaction  w/ Butch Armstrong & Armstrong Bearcat Band
 
For more information on Rockin’ On The River visit the website HERE.

(c)2012 Doc Lehman/Bangagong!

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Blast From The Past Part 2

August 25, 2011

Here is another selection of handbills (flyers) and posters and advertisements hyping some concerts I attended back in the 1970′s.  I’ll scrounge through some boxes and files and try and find more to scan and post. Some f-u-n memories looking at these! Click on images to enlarge!

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Blast From The Past

August 17, 2011

Here are a selection of handbills (flyers) and posters and advertisements hyping some concerts I attended back in the 1970’s. If there is enough interest I’ll scrounge through some boxes and files and try and find more to scan and post. Some f-u-n memories looking at these! Click on images to enlarge!

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Almost Glad I Missed It!

July 26, 2010

Saw & loved the movie (GIMME SHELTER) but ‘almost’ glad I wasn’t able to be at this one!

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The One That Started It All

September 28, 2008

This is the one that started it all. The first ever rock ‘n roll concert. The inaugural Moondog Coronation Ball hosted and promoted by Alan Freed at the Cleveland Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on March 21, 1952. Freed was the host of the popular Moondog House Rock ‘N Roll Party on WJW AM Radio that aired on Saturdays. I wasn’t around then but it would have been so cool to had been there that day to watch a phenom born. Everything you need to know about that day can be found at this Alan Freed web page.

 

Alan Freed - The Father of Rock 'N Roll

Alan Freed – The Father of Rock

 

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What Is Your ‘Dream Concert’?

September 18, 2008

Recently an email exchange with an old pal brought up an age old question that has been bandied about for years by some of us old time rockers: What one concert would you like to attend that you missed out on? I can remember being asked that back in the 70’s too. For years my standard answer was Woodstock, of course. But after seeing The Beatles’ Anthology when it originally aired on ABC and buying the DVD set, I have decided to change my dream choice to seeing The Beatles at Shea Stadium in New York back on August 15, 1965. After seeing footage repeatedly, I dunno, I’d love to have been at that gig. Sure seemed like fun!

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(Richfield) Coliseum Rock(ed)!

August 17, 2008
The Richfield Coliseum 1974 - 1994 20 years of the greatest rock 'n roll.

The Richfield Coliseum 1974 – 1994 20 years of the greatest rock ‘n roll!

 Back in the early 70’s for the most part all of us concert-goers went to see the big name acts at relatively smaller venues, like the Akron Civic Theatre, Cleveland Public Hall, Music Hall, Canton Civic Center and others. With the advent of arena rock concerts nationwide northeast Ohio got their own when in 1974 the Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, OH, halfway between Akron & Cleveland and the brainchild of businessman and NBA franchise owner Nick Mileti, opened for business and served as home for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, WHA’s Cleveland Crusaders, NHL’s Cleveland Barons, MISL’s Cleveland Force, MISL & NPSL’s Cleveland Crunch, the IHL’s Cleveland Lumberjacks, and the AFL’s Cleveland Thunderbolts.
 
Music, particularly rock ‘n roll, figured prominently into the mix thanks to an arrangement with Ohio super-promoters Belkin Productions. The first musical performance to open the Richfield Coliseum was Frank Sinatra. The first rock concert was held soon after with Elton John headlining on November 4, 1974. From there on out during the next two decades it was a non-stop carousel of nearly ever and any band that had a tour bus coming to play the ‘big house’ (seating 22,000).
 
It was a big, big place but, and others may disagree, for the most part the acoustics weren’t that bad (except anytime Aerosmith played). And me and my pals, and dates, and whoever else, were there for the best bands. For instance: KISS, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, The Who, J. Geils Band, Queen, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson, Rod Stewart, Thin Lizzy, Tubes, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Foghat, Starz, Sammy Hagar, Boston, Ted Nugent, Babys, Rick Derringer, Angel, Peter Frampton, Black Oak Arkansas, Journey, Michael Stanley Band, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, Mother’s Finest, Heart, REO Speedwagon, ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, and the list goes on and on.
 
Most of my experiences were all positive. The police and security were pretty cool as long as you weren’t obvious or just a dumbass. There were plenty of restrooms with the mandatory pools of piss-on-the-floor of course and lots of eye candy and easy access to seats.
 
And you also had the opportunity over the years to see certain favorite bands multiple times.
 
Some of my memories of the Richfield Coliseum:
 
A big brouhaha immediately after the 1974 Elton John concert erupted when Richfield Zoning Commissioner Richard Crofoot went ballistic after seeing someone light up a joint during Sir Elton’s performance. He attempted to pass legislation to ban rock concerts at the Coliseum. He failed. It made all the local newspapers and regional and national rock publications.

My cousin Sue had two extra tickets to the Eagles in 1975 so I snatched them up for myself and a date. We ended up sitting next to my cousin and her date, a young fellow who eventually became a Mayor, State Representative and State Senator here in Ohio. (Dan Fogelberg, who recently passed, was opening act).


KISS mania had taken hold at high schools all across Ohio and everyone had KISS Alive and Destroyer. We hardcore KISS fans had everything they had done of course. For the March 9, 1976 KISS/Artful Dodger appearance at the Richfield Coliseum Flash and I went to the Ticketmaster location at the Belden Village Mall and bought three complete rows of seats. One row was around six rows below the other two rows. So we went to Orrville and sold most of them (at cost) to our pals (so we could control who we sat with). I had people in school (my senior year) who never spoke to me coming up asking if I had any tickets left and pleading for one. The power! A few tickets we gave away to some very charming young ladies and we kept two each. (I’d tell you the ‘details’ of that night but I have five grandchildren who may read this someday.)

Led Zeppelin on January 24, 1975 that saw a mini-riot erupt and thousands and thousands of dollars worth of broken window glass by a group outside who were unable to get tickets. That made the papers.

The Who on December 9, 1975. Nuff’ said.

I think I saw Aerosmith there at least four times at the Coliseum and only once was the sound working right and you could actually hear the band. Guess they were just jinxed there.
 
After a Ted Nugent/J.Geils Band show Bug, Mott & myself shaking hands with Peter Wolfe. As we came out of the Coliseum we walked by a couple limos and in the back of the first one with the window down was Peter Wolfe sitting between two lovely ladies with a drink in hand. We stopped, told him, “You guys kicked ass!” His response? “I know!” He slapped us each a high five and off we went.

I remember the Foghat/Starz show on February 20, 1978 because my pal Rog caught a flying drumstick from Foghat drummer Roger Earl. The two bands always kicked ass live.
 
I remember not expecting much out of Rod Stewart on November 4, 1977 because he didn’t have Faces with him (they were killer in ’75 at the Stadium). Wrong. Stewart kicked ass that night, had everyone out of their seats and had the audience n the palm of his hand.

Led Zeppelin on April 27 and April 28, 1977. Tickets were available via mail order only with a minimum number of tickets per order. So Flash and I got our money orders prepared and each ordered the maximum number allowed for both nights. We went to the Richfield Post Office and at midnight of the date orders could be postmarked we dropped our order in the mail (along with probably 100 others lined up). We got lucky and each got four tickets for both nights. First night was with dates, second night with buddies. The April 27 performance is a huge bootleg bestseller on the black market. Full details on this night can be found here: https://doclehman.wordpress.com/2008/03/09/

New Year’s Eve 1977 was celebrated at the Richfield Coliseum seeing Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and Derringer. A friendly law enforcement officer stopped us on the way home and inquired about our health and sent us on our way after promises of getting to Orrville ASAP and staying there. Derringer owned the night.
 
I remember taking three or four people for their first Angel concert on March 8, 1978 and them being blown away by Angel’s stage show.

I remember the January 8, 1978 KISS concert at the Richfield Coliseum because it took 20-25 minutes to get there and after the show we went to the car to be greeted by a mountain of snow. We had two blizzards that year (the second one, even bigger, in March) and the night of KISS was the first one. It took nearly three hours to get home, dodging sliding cars going backwards down Route 21 past us as I kept the hammer down on the Cutlass trying to get up those big hills with what seemed like five feet of snow and more coming down. We made it back to Orrville and were snowed in for three days.

I remember seeing Alice Cooper again later that year in ’78 because that was the first concert my older sister Cheryl had ever been to (we broke her in with that one!). That was May 5 and Jay Ferguson opened. A good time was had by all, as is the case anytime you see Alice Cooper.

Boston and Sammy Hagar on my birthday in 1978. Boston was good but Sammy laid the smackdown.

In 1978 went to see Black Sabbath and Van Halen. Had heard maybe one or two Van Halen songs on the radio at that point and none of us that went gave them much thought. We were there for Sabbath. Result: Van Halen whipped Black Sabbath performance-wise and musically like a bastard redheaded stepchild.

New Year’s Eve 1978 at the Richfield Coliseum: Bruce Springsteen. Nuff’ said.
 
Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson on September 22, 1979. One of my favorite concerts at the Coliseum. Too many reasons to list. But what a night!

Ian Hunter & the late, great Mick Ronson

Ian Hunter & the late, great Mick Ronson

There’s more, lots more (Tubes, Babys), but you get the idea. I’d like to hear from others about their experiences at the Richfield Coliseum.


 I know I saw well over 100 bands there during the 70’s and very early 80’s. A couple performances I missed that I always regretted were not seeing George Harrison (’74) and Paul McCartney (’76) on their respective tours because tickets were mail order and my orders didn’t get picked. I also went as far as making plans to buy tickets to see Elvis in 1977. One of my cousins saw him at the Coliseum in ’75 and convinced me I had to see him at least once. But right before the Cleveland tickets went on sale he died.
 
Lots of good memories there and lots of good bands came through many times. I think I saw KISS there four or five times, Aerosmith the same, Alice Cooper four times, Fleetwood Mac four times, the list goes on….
 
With the opening of Gund Arena in Cleveland the Richfield Coliseum was doomed. It shut down in 1994 and in 1999 was demolished and the property returned to woodland and under stewardship of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  You can find more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richfield_Coliseum  


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