Originally posted on November 2, 2009 at www.myspace.com/johnzee:
Nothing illustrates where the music industry has gone in the past 25 years like the fact that the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland. Take your pick, either it’s in Cleveland because Alan Freed was the first radio disk jockey that actually said “rock n roll” on the radio first (Alan Freed was a rival of Dick Clark’s in the beginning but his career went down in flames when he was caught accepting bribes to play certain songs, a crime that he spent time in jail for.) Even at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary concert when Paul Simon thanked Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed for breaking Simon’s first hit, he added “For a reasonable sum of money.” Or if you want it spelled out for you, it could be the $65 million dollars that the city of Cleveland had to spend to get the prize of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame built there. Either way it is a perfect example of an art form forced down the wrong path by greed. But that’s not how it started for that sweet little thing called Rock n Roll. You’ll see no great Mecca with marbled halls and polished stone at it’s point of origin. Just a simple old building that probably should have been torn down years ago if it wasn’t for the fact that some of us remember it’s unique importance.
I can’t show you the place where the manger was located in Israel on that cold December night, because the knowledge of that location was lost centuries ago. But I can certainly show you where Rock n Roll was born. Show you the building where it all began, even let you touch it’s brick like a modern day Wailing Wall. You’ll be shocked by the insignificant look of it in comparison to the temple that greed built in Cleveland. “This is where it started?” you’ll look at me and ask. And “This can’t be it.” you’ll say.
“Yes, this is where it started, and that’s the way it always is in the beginning. Simple, innocent, and unassuming to the naked eye. Can you hear them? The Million Dollar Quartet is having a jam session in the back. They’d laugh if we told them they were going to be called that. Those boys just want to sing a couple of songs and play some music…”
Sun Studios (Historic)
706 Union Ave.