Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Venues: Author celebrates new book this weekend at the Beachland

Cleveland author Deanna Adams came out with her third rock book, “Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Venues,” last year. But just as the book published and Adams planned to host a launch party at the Beachland Ballroom, COVID-19 shut down the very same venues she writes about in the book.

“How ironic to have a book about live music venues and have the pandemic shut down all the music venues,” says Adams of the timing.

Agora Theater, Killswitch Engage, After a second failed attempt to host the launch last year, Adams will finally be hosting the launch party, “A Celebration of Cleveland Rock History” this Sunday, Aug. 29 at the Beachland.

The book honors the past and present venues and the venue owners who treat fans to the music they crave. The book is packed with photos and Cleveland’s rock history.

On Sunday, Adams and WCSB 89.3 FM radio host Ray Carr will conduct live interviews with people who helped make Cleveland the rock and roll capital of the world, as well as play rock music, and exhibit photographs from the book.

Local musicians will discuss their careers and the venues they’ve played. Iconic venues like Brothers Lounge, the Winchester, Music Box Supper Club, Grog Shop, the now-closed House of Swing—and the Beachland—will be recognized.

“Most of them have survived and are back playing live music,” Adams says. “Music Box is one of my favorites because there’s music going on every night. And Beachland—they’re really good, as far as educating people on new music and band genres.”

Also on hand will be Beachland co-owner and founder of Cleveland Rocks: Past, Present and Future Cindy Barber, WNCX and Live Nation’s Sue Cendes and former deejays Billy Bass and David Spero, Cleveland musicians like Jim Bonfanti of the Raspberries, Alan Greene, Butch Armstrong, Jim Quinn, Jennifer Lee, Tommy Rich, Steve Jochum, and George Sipl.

“All those people are still active in the music industry, and that speaks volumes,” says Adams. “So many people deserve to be on that stage, and this is only a smidgen of what we can do.”

Armstrong Bearcat Reunion with Cy Sulak, Alan Greene, Butch Armstrong and Michael Barrick at Cebars TavernAdams says people like Plain Dealer rock writer Jane Scott, Agora owner Hank LoConti, and Michael Stanley will be remembered.

She says she expects a lot of discussion around Stanley, given his recent passing and Ghost Poets and The Resonators’ Jennifer Lee’s attendance.  

Adams’ first book with publisher Acadia Publishing, “Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Roots,” came out in 2010, and Adams says Acadia approached her in early 2019 about a book on Cleveland’s venues.

“I had images left over that weren’t used in the first book,” she says. “And there are tons of venues that have opened since [2010].” She adds that she couldn’t include every venue, as much as she would have liked to, because of space restrictions.

“Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Venues” book launch runs from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. this Sunday, Aug. 29 at the Beachland Ballroom, 15711 Waterloo Road. Tickets are $10. All proceeds go to the Beachland.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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