DAILY DIRT: Rock and rollers, this week is cause for celebration 


Steve did not attend the first ever rock concert in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.

Daily Dirt for Saturday, March 23, 2024

For the record, the top three concerts I have ever attended: 1-tie. All four times I saw Rod Stewart, 2. Bruce Springsteen, 3-tie. Oak Ridge Boys at the height of their popularity, twice in the 1980s … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 900 of The Daily Dirt.

1. This week marks the anniversary of the event recognized as the world’s first major rock concert.

Back in March 1952, music visionary Alan Freed (if you’re not familiar with him, look up information about him — he was a fascinating character) put together the landmark event at the Cleveland Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

The “concert” probably deserves an asterisk, regarding whether or not the event should actually count as a full-fledged concert.

Cleveland city officials decided to shut the event down shortly after it started, citing “fire code violations”. Paul Williams and the Hucklebuckers were in the middle of their first number when the officials put the kibosh on any more entertainment.

Those in attendance — 10,000 inside the arena and another 20,000 outside — did not take kindly to that decision. Doors and windows were smashed and some lights were broken, but no one asked for their $1.75 admission back.

Interestingly, Freed (who was also a famous radio personality at the time) was broadcasting the event live on a Cleveland radio station.

So the next time you are attending a rock concert, give a tip o’ the hat to Mr. Freed, the man who helped make the concert-going experiences you enjoy today possible.

2. Ironically, it was also this week, only in 1978, when the Ontario (Calif.) Speedway hosted a mammoth concert that is still recognized as the record holder for a single-day paid attendance for a rock concert.

Roughly 225,000 tickets were sold, but the actual crowd count was around 350,000 due to gate crashers. Tickets were $12.50 in advance, $17 at the gate. (And, believe it nor not, parking was free.)

Headliners were Aerosmith, Foreigner, Heart, Santana, Mahogany Rush, Dave Mason, Rubicon, Bob Welch and Ted Nugent.

For those who might be wondering about the famous 1969 Woodstock concert in upstate New York, that was a three-day event that (unofficially) drew an estimated 400,000. While tickets were originally on sale for $6 a day, most of the attendees got in free and it took organizers years to pay off debts.

3. Obviously, if you’re a Chicago White Sox fan there’s not much to look forward to this season.

Your team will be absolutely horrible and probably win fewer games than the Oakland A’s.

Well, let me just make your day even worse.

Fernando Tatis Jr. is unquestionably one of the most talented — and flamboyant — stars in MLB. I would wager most forget Tatis once belonged to the Chisox. Chicago traded Tatis in 2016, who at the time was only 17 years old, but regarded as a budding star nonetheless. Now he is considered a generational talent.

Still only 25 years old, Tatis has won two Silver Slugger Awards, a Gold Glove and a Platinum Glove.

In his last two seasons in San Diego, Tatis has hit 67 home runs, stolen 54 bases and has a career .280 batting average. And the best is most certainly yet to come.

In 2/12 seasons in Chicago, Shields posted a 16-35 record. He was out baseball at the end of 2018.

Steve Thought O’ The Day – Have you seen the new State Farm Insurance commercial that features NBA twins, Brook and Robin Lopez? They definitely have a future after their playing days are over. (By the way, Robin is the one with the crazy hair.)

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Yeah, I had no idea who those guys in the State Farm commercial were.

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