Greetings from St. Louis, my home away from home. Drove over last night from Kansas City. During the trip, my wife and I occupied ourselves with a game of “500 Actors Who Are Better Than John Travolta” (really, not all that challenging).
This town goes straight to the Hall of Fame for producing my spouse, but it has also produced some others that you might know better. The east side of the river gave us Miles Davis and the west side gave us Chuck Berry, and if any city can claim two more important 20th Century musicians, I’d like to hear it.
St. Louis is home to Blueberry Hill (stop in, have a burger, feed the jukebox) and Vintage Vinyl (stop in, browse the bins, buy a bootleg). Uncle Tupelo first raised its glorious head here, playing on the banks of the Mississippi, a river with the mystique to match their music. I saw my favorite show ever here, the Replacements at the American Theater. I saw Paul Simon bring his full Graceland review to the fabulous Fox Theater. I saw U2 at the old, decrepit Arena on the night that the Cardinals played the Twins in game seven of the World Series, as Bono came out in the home team’s cap and jacket, and fans pressed radios close to their ears in hopes of catching a score. And I saw Bruce Springsteen play here in a moment that was memorable because his shows always are.
It's a town that loves its local brewery, loved its local radio (KSHE, are you still there?), and for reasons I never quite understood, embraced Sammy Hagar like he was a native son.
So, Hail! Hail! St. Louis. Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll.