1970s

Smoky, Sweaty, Rowdy, and Loud: Tales of Cleveland's Legendary Rock & Roll Landmarks, a book by Mike Olszewski from Gray & Company, Publishers – front cover

Swingos’ Celebrity Hotel—Rock & Roll Crash Pad in Cleveland

Hotels and rock stars have a long, twisted history. Just about every city has horror stories about rock stars, but everyone loved coming to Cleveland because of Swingos’ Celebrity Hotel. Artists came to town knowing the hotel had a top-rated restaurant, a superior wine list, exceptional security, and an owner who was very lenient as long as you paid your bills.

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At top, a photo of the Coliseum at Richfield, in winter. At bottom, a photo of a field of tall grass (where the Coliseum once stood)

Ghosts … (The Coliseum and the Arena)

Someone once said, “You know you’ve reached a certain age when you remember a sports venue being built, and then see the same building torn down.” I think of that when driving down Route 303 in Richfield, at the exit off Interstate 271. Now, there is nothing but a field bumping up against some nearby farms and barns. But once upon a time, a great arena rose up among the trees and squirrels and deer and prairie grass …

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The Buzzard: Inside the Glory Days of WMMS and Cleveland Rock Radio--A Memoir, a book by John Gorman and Tom Feran from Gray & Company, Publishers – front cover

Welcome to Cleveland

Fourth of July 1973. Welcome to Cleveland. There was a dead pigeon on the windowsill of my room overlooking Public Square in the Sheraton-Cleveland Hotel. Despite several calls to the front desk, the pigeon remained part of the decor for three long, hot, muggy days. It matched the desolate street scene below. Sure, this was a holiday, but still—at 10 a.m. there was not a single car or person on the street.

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