Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Tom Petty - he did back down

This morning was time to leave another city like those I have visited previously have had many things of interest to see and friendly inhabitants throughout.

When thinking of the problems in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, people I talked to around the town – on discovering I was a foreign visitor to their city – could not apologise enough. Even though I did not witness the shootings that occurred, I felt I got a real flavour of Indianapolis and, as news broadcasts were reporting, the trouble was caused by a very small minority of the 100,000 people that were visiting for the weekend event that was taking place.

With Indy disappearing in my rear view mirror, I was back in the car for a 320-mile drive to Cleveland. Even though I left at 9am, the road was being well used, but not a rush hour jam and everything was free flowing as I joined I70 West.

On leaving the State of Indiana and into Ohio, the speed limit was reduced from 70 to 65mph as the I70 took me back to Columbus. From there it was north in the I71.
Just north of Columbus, I managed to tune into the only commercial music radio station worth listening to. There are a number of interesting sports talk stations, but when it comes to music, I am biased as I know one of the DJs, but it is still locally owned, plays the music it wants to – not what most commercial stations tell its presenters to play – and there are no limited playlists where the same records are played on rotation.

WONE 97.5FM is based in Akron, and I was delighted I could pick it up a good 50 miles south. With 30 minutes without commercials, it was playing great rock ‘n’ roll and the DJ I have met a couple of times in previous travels (not only in the studio, but shared some good beer with), TK O’Grady was on air.

One of the commercials was presenter read. For a beefburger company, the tag line made me laugh:“If it ain’t on your face, you ain’t eatin’ it right!”

But then, as I approached Cleveland, TK gave out an announcement that would soon make me forget the commercial humour.

I was due to see Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers this evening at the Blossom Music Center, just south of Cleveland with a couple of old friends from previous visits.

But on Sunday, guitarist Mike Campbell collapsed during the outdoor concert at St Louis which saw temperatures at around 105 degrees. Doctors had advised complete rest for a few days, and TK’s announcement added that tickets would good for a future date to be arranged.

Can’t see Marble Office (the boss) letting me have a couple of days off to fly back for the gig.

As the city of Cleveland approached, there was something comforting about the fact that I knew the road well north of Akron, and then the familiar skyline came into view.

Going to meet up with Mark and Jeff as planned anyway, and maybe save from beer from going off.

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