We're coming to you today from the Blossom Music Center, in the Cuyahoga River Valley, between Akron and Cleveland. The summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra, one of the greatest orchestras in the world, a park chosen by the orchestra's great music director George Szell for its rural quiet and its beauty, but classical music doesn't pay the bills, and so, on Wednesday night, this beautiful outdoor arena was home to a concert by Ozzie Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, and Black Sabbath, 18,000 drug-crazed teenager came here and ripped the place apart ---- here's a short excerpt from that concert (TWENTY SECONDS: POWER CHORDS, ROCK CYMBALS, TK SCREAM, CHICKEN, BAT, TR HEAVY METAL GROWL) ---- that's from Wednesday night. That is how teenagers rebel against their parents who listen to public radio. There's still trash (TRASH) all over the stage, broken bottles, and a number of severely injured bats (BAT CRIES) with teeth marks on their necks.

Ozzie Osbourne was here. On this stage. And doing the warm-up for him was The Love Shovels (LOVE SHOVELS, OFF-MIKE, CONTEMPT) ----- a trash band, singing their hit song, "You Put Me In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & I'll Kill You" ---- it goes like this....


Take back your plaque
We don't want it.
Take back your plaque
We don't want it.
Don't want your plaque, don't want your prize,
All we want is to poke you in the eyes.
Don't want no statue, don't want no niche,
All we want is to throw you in the ditch.
Don't want a Hall of Fame, we ain't dead,v All we want is to bust your head..


GK: The Love Shovels represent the tradition of rock n roll demolition, trashing hotel rooms and destroying guitars onstage and blowing up the loudspeakers and cutting themselves with sharp glass and causing severe hearing loss, it's the oldest tradition in rock and roll, they went to the Hall of Fame and threw up.....


Rock n roll don't need a museum
We're not artists, we don't want to be em
We want to spit in your face and kick you in the shins (KONK, OUCH)
We want to poke you in the rear with red hot pins (OUCH)
We want to break your windows (GLASS BREAKAGE)
We want to bust your art (RIPPING, GOUGING)
We want to take your house
And rip it all apart. (BREAKAGE, FRENZY)

Thirty years ago was the beginning of the Psychedelic Era in rock n' roll.....so you'll find in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame museum John Lennon's psychedelic 1965 Rolls-Royce, Janis Joplin's famous psychedelic Porsche, psychedelic guitars of Eric Clapton and a pair of platform shoes that Jorma Kaukonen [YOR'-ma COW'-co-nun] of the Jefferson Airplane wore. And I think we should remember the Psychedelic Era, and remember that there was a time when it was considered bold and radical to ingest substances that made you stupid. Not that I have anything against stupidity, I don't. And if the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame can make Cleveland a mecca, then all the more power to it. A million and a half people have come to see it during its first year --- including former president George Bush....

TR (BUSH): Well, that's right --- thank you very much ---- Cleveland, you know ---- home of rock n roll ---- so important, having a home ---- and of course, rock and roll ---- so important to George Bush over the years ---- so many times when things aren't going the way that you might like to see it ---- you just put on a record ----- I know I do ---- and I have always loved the GeeBees. Always have taken real inspiration from the GeeBees.

GK: Very good. So many people come here. Henry Kissinger comes every month to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame....

TR (KISSINGER): That's right. I am very fond of heavy metal. Kiss was named for me, you know.

GK: I didn't know that.

TR (KISSINGER): Oh yes. Great band. Love the shoes. And Metallica. And of course Led Zeppelin. But my favorite is Black Sabbath. "Iron Man". I love that song.

GK: I see.

TR (KISSINGER): I was the lead singer of Black Sabbath for several years. That's why my voice is like this.

GK: Julia Child comes to the Hall of Fame. Julia? What's your favorite rock and roll band?

TR (JULIA): Oh my yes. Phish.

GK: Phish.

TR (JULIA): I used to like Meat Loaf but now I prefer Phish.

GK: I see.

TR (JULIA): It's a little Julia joke.

GK: Okay. And Ross Perot, what draws you to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

TR (PEROT); Look. As far as I'm concerned, most of the the rock and roll I ever heard was about as interesting as the rear end of a mud fence.

I'd rather watch chickens in a thunderstorm than go to any rock and roll concert I could name. But I will say this. The charts are interesting. Don't care for the music, but I love the charts.

Here's a favorite old song of mine ---- it goes back to before Psychedelic, before Folk Rock, before Heavy Metal, back to the Era of the Great Dumb song........


© 1997 by Garrison Keillor