Let’s head backstage as Cleveland club owners, talent bookers, performers, promoters, and concertgoers share stories from the 1950s through 1990s about the region’s most notable rock music venues, including . . .
- 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-between!
- And other classic venues well worth remembering.