Thursday, March 13, 2008

The ego has landed at the Ryman

To the Lane Motor Museum in south Nashville - the best damn car museum you never heard of. A European flavour with a bias toward microcars, this museum is a cracker, with no barriers around the vehicles. I have longed to own a Liege and there was a beautiful yellow example on display.
Back into town to Rippy's Smokin' Bar & Grill at the corner of 5th and Broadway for a lunch BBQ, fries and 'slaw special. Live music nightly - a mixing desk hangs on the wall and the microphone stands have cup holders. We head to the Ryman Auditorium, an old church, for a tour - the ancient home of the Grand Ol Opry - Van Morrison's band is setting up on the stage and we are informed rather sheepishly that Van has decreed that no photos of the stage are allowed; as if he owned the place. We paid good money to take the tour so here is a picture of the stage:
When we are leaving a tout, or scalper, offers me tickets for the evening show. I said "I wouldn't go see that SOB if you paid me." He said "Well that is a definite no then." On to the Musicians Hall of Fame, a fairly recent development, that honours the session musicians and sidemen who have made the music of America. Excellent displays but no definitive list of who is in the Hall of Fame - a strange omission.
In the evening we head to the Bluebird Cafe, a home to songwriters, in a strip mall in the 'burbs. This is the serious side of songwriting and in Nashville this is serious business. Consequently artsy folk are taking themselves terribly seriously - "I wrote this song on a Greyhound bus with a ukelele" - everything in Nashville starts with a song. Everybody is carrying a guitar case hurrying to the next gig. They all want to mix with the celebrities and collect the royalties. It was fun sitting at the bar at the 'Bird, with tray orders being made up at my elbow, but you need to be a hardcore poet to take this.
We head home via the lights of Broadway stopping to watch a sternwheel river boat coming into view on the Cumberland River.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Rupert,

Some things change and some do not. I could have guessed that would be your reaction to Van M.

It makes me smile to think that, somewhere each day, someone is biting off more than they can chew when they decide to piss you off!

Like the blog.

Paul K