Cleveland was the rock and roll capital of the world in the '70s and 80's. Where other cities had great climates, economies and sports teams, we had rock and roll. Virtually every night we had concerts at multiple venues, many sponsored by WMMS (The Buzzard), which at the time was the #1 FM station in the country. We lived for rock and roll. And, the bands knew it. The venues were packed, the crowds were loud and the energy was palpable.
The Cleveland Agora Ballroom is legendary. It was a small place(1500, I think) that everybody who was anybody played. It was so popular that the owners developed Agoras in Akron, Youngstown, Columbus, Painsville, Dallas and Atlanta, among others. Cleveland Public Hall and the Convention Center were larger venues downtown. The Cleveland (Richfield) Coliseum was the main venue, with 25,000 seats for concerts. In the summer, Blossom Music Center, in Akron, was the outdoor spot, with a pavillion and a large outward grass slope. Throw down a blanket and you were ready for the show. Municipal Stadium was for the really big shows, like Pink Floyd. Plus, two or three times a year, WMMS would put on the "World Series of Rock" at Municipal Stadium. It was a multiple-band,12-14 hour, 100,000-plus attendance extravaganza. The Rolling Stones, Kansas and Peter Tosh was one and ELO, Journey and I forget who else was another. They were amazing.
WMMS broke many bands to the nation-- including David Bowie, Rush, and to a large extent Bruce Springsteen. Bruce even played a free concert at the Cleveland Agora Ballroom for WMMS's 10th Anniversary on August 9, 1978 (which incidentally was simulcast on rock stations all over the country)to say thank you. Rush has publically thanked Donna Halpern, ex-WMMS dj many times. Other 'adopted sons' include Artful Dodger, Badfinger, Fleetwood Mac, and Pat Benitar (whose drummer was from Youngstown.
Other artists adopted us. Ian Hunter recorded there and wrote "Cleveland Rocks" about his experience. Meatloaf recorded his classic &quo