The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Growing Old Stupidly …

When I was in my late teens, I would go to Rock City, every Friday night.

Rock City was a mecca for heavy rock music fans.

From 9 till 2am, it would play none-stop tunes at eardrum-busting volume.

There would be the classic songs by the classic bands – Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Queen, Whitesnake – but the best bit was when they would play something that was just breaking over in the US.

It was at Rock City I first heard Guns n’ Roses, Cinderella, Love/Hate, Badlands and countless others.

Eventually, Rock City gained an international reputation and so bands would not only send them copies of their new album before they were released, but they would ensure they visited and played at the venue as part of their World Tour.

I went to that smelly, sweaty, cramped and pulsating venue for absolute years.

Starting at the Tap and Tumbler pub round the corner before queuing up for entry in the sort of clothes a stripper would balk at before hanging around the edges of the club to say hello to the friends and acquaintances you knew before finally working your way through the heaving, throbbing masses to get into the middle of the dance floor so you could be swept up and pushed around by the intense energy of hundreds of people all loving the same thing at the exact same moment.

They were, quite frankly, some of the best times of my life.

I made friends.

It forged and influenced my love of music.

I discovered what being part of a community was really like.

It pushed me to experience and experiment with things I may never have done.

Which is all my way of justifying why – when I heard they were changing the floor after
40 years and were selling the old one off in pieces – I happily paid them £40 so I could own a piece of my history forever. [See pic at the top of this post]

Yes, it’s tragic.

Yes, it’s pathetic.

But as mid-life crises go, it’s less expensive than a Porsche.

Or an affair.

20 Comments so far
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Hearing you wax lyrical about a piece of wood that has no WiFi or additional gadget purpose is beautiful and disturbing. Who are you?

Comment by Bazza

An even more idiotic version of myself.

Comment by Rob

You are the most sentimental person I know. And yet your write up makes me wish I had a place like Rock City when I was growing up instead of the terrible Roxy nightclub with the clichéd aging DJ on the decks.

Comment by George

I bet an aging dj played better music that the noise Rob moshed to.

Comment by Bazza

You can talk to me about a lot of things Baz … music is NOT one of them.

Comment by Rob

I can imagine you sashaying across the dance floor to the DJ playing the latest songs from his ‘Now That’s What I Call Music 1’ collection … hahaha.

Talking of ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’, I recently saw an ad for #100 in the collection. I know I’m old but how the hell did they get to that number so quickly. I know the record industry is desperate for money these days but that’s ridiculous …

Comment by Rob

Not as ridiculous as Cinderella.

Comment by John

i am so fucking glad I dont know what those twats look like or sound like.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’ve got a piece of paper that I’ve just scrawled rock city on. Yours for only $1000.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I always thought Rock City was cool till I heard you used to go. Then I felt my whole life was a lie. Another thing of my life you ruined.

Comment by Billy Whizz

If your handwriting is the same as it used to be Billy, I don’t think I would be able to make out the words ‘Rock City’ so no deal I’m afraid. As for me disappointing you for going to your musical Mecca every Friday night, all you’ve done is make me happy … so thanks for that.

Comment by Rob

I think that is a wonderful momento for what seems to have been a pivotal time in your life Robert. I also think the management of Rock City are very smart.

Comment by Lee Hill

Yep … they’re very clever. They also know their audience – past and present – better than many companies with their tsunami of data profiles.

Comment by Rob

They’ve also sold more floor than there ever was.

Comment by John

Absolutely understand this.

Comment by Marcus

I think Nottingham kept the hair metal scene alive.

Comment by Pete

How odd that rockers would pay to get into a club to listen to recordings rather than a live band. I’m not sure if that ever caught on in the U.S.

Comment by Gary Trujillo

There were clubs that played music. Most had a live band perform at some point but they filled the rest of the night with recordings. Wouldn’t pay anything for a piece of their floor though.

Comment by DH

watching the mickey mouse club doesnt count as a fucking band.

Comment by andy@cynic

fucking hell campbell, youre a nightmare. no wonder you have so many fucking jobs, you need to keep earning to keep buying absolute shit. I use the word earning very fucking loosely.

Comment by andy@cynic

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