rock book

MANSFIELD -- Main Street Books welcomes back the Olszewskis, a husband-and-wife team who cover all manner of Cleveland cultural history topics.

This time, the couple takes on fabled rock-and-roll venues from the 1950s to the 1990s with "Smoky, Sweaty, Rowdy and Loud: Tales of Cleveland’s Legendary Rock & Roll Landmarks."

A presentation and book signing is planned Dec. 6 at 6 p.m.

Mike Olszewski is a veteran Cleveland radio and television personality and the curator and archivist for the Ohio Broadcast Archive and Museum. He also teaches media and communications classes at Cleveland State University, Kent State University, the University of Akron, and Notre Dame College.

Janice Olszewski has more than three decades of experience in the travel and tourism industry. Her photography has been published in Filmfax, Outre, and other national magazines.

About the book: Let’s head backstage as Cleveland club owners, talent bookers, performers, promoters, and concertgoers share stories from the 1950s through the 1990s about the region’s most notable rock music venues, including...

  • Where it all began: the Cleveland Arena, site of the first-ever rock concert, anywhere.

  • The hugely influential Agora, where Springsteen and so many other acts burst onto the scene

  • The Coliseum at Richfield, erected in the middle of nowhere just in time for the arrival of arena rock.

  • Monster concerts at Cleveland Municipal Stadium—including the epic, multi-year World Series of Rock.

  • Groundbreaking R&B clubs Gleason’s and Leo’s Casino.

  • Staid, classical Public Auditorium, where the Beatles incited a riot and Led Zeppelin grabbed a teenage audience volunteer to fill in on bass

  • Musicarnival, the circular big-top tent that alternated summer-stock with hard-rock (to the dismay of suburban neighbors).

  • Bars and clubs like the Euclid Tavern, Variety Theater, and Empire Concert Club that rocked the ’80s and ’90s with punk, thrash, electronica—whatever it took.

  • The renowned Swingos’ celebrity hotel on Euclid Avenue, where bands remembered checking in and checking out—but nothing in-between!

  • And other classic venues well worth remembering.

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