Cleveland Rocks

Album: You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic (1979)
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  • From 1995 to 2004, American comedian Drew Carey starred in The Drew Carey Show, a situation comedy based in Cleveland, Ohio. Instead of an original theme song, Carey used "Cleveland Rocks," an anthem to the City which was written in the 1970s. By an Englishman.

    In a June 2007 interview on The Late Late Show, host Craig Ferguson asked that Englishman, Ian Hunter, if he'd ever lived in Cleveland. Hunter didn't answer the question directly, but it is common knowledge that after splitting with Mott The Hoople he moved to New York, basing his second solo album around that move.

    Alluding to his touring with Mott, Hunter said "They didn't really like us on the coast much"; by us he meant not just Mott The Hoople but the whole glam rock scene referring in particular to David Bowie and Roxy Music. But "When we went to Cleveland, that was the first time we sold a club out." He added "Cleveland was kind of like the Poland of America" but he and the rest of the glam rock crowd thought they were cool, and as Cleveland thought they were too, he in turn thought Cleveland was the coolest place.
  • Hunter's original version runs to 3 minutes 48 seconds and appears on the album You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic; it was produced by him and Mick Ronson. The album was released on Chrysalis, March 27, 1979.
  • What Hunter didn't mention on The Late Late Show is that the song was released originally - with slightly different words - as "England Rocks."

    He has though gone on record stating: 'I originally wrote "Cleveland Rocks" for Cleveland. I changed it later to "England Rocks" because I thought it should be a single somewhere and Columbia wouldn't release it as a single in the US (too regional). "Cleveland Rocks" is Cleveland's song and that's the truth.'

    As Hunter toured the States with Mott in the early '70s, his claim has the ring of truth. Indeed, he has never made any secret of looking back to what he sees as the golden age of rock 'n' roll, and rock 'n' roll can in some sense be said to have originated in Cleveland. The disk jockey Alan Freed (1921-65) was born in at Johnstown, Pennsylvania less than two hundred miles from Cleveland, and moved to the City in 1949 where in 1951 he began playing rhythm and blues records on his WJW radio show The Moondog House. Freed became known as the father of rock and roll, because although he did not invent the phrase, he appears to have been the first person to use it on public radio.

    Hunter's original recording of "Cleveland Rocks" begins with a sample of Freed introducing his show. In April 1983, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was founded in New York City, and in 1995, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened its doors in downtown Cleveland. After his death, Alan Freed was cremated, and his ashes were interred at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, but in March 2002 they were moved to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Unsurprisingly, "Cleveland Rocks" was extremely popular in Cleveland, and on June 19, 1979, Hunter was given the Key to the City by the Mayor.
  • The later Drew Carey version was recorded by the Presidents Of The United States Of America. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above
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Comments: 2

  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationMore Songs About Cleveland, Ohio

    The Heart of Rock and Roll by Huey Lewis & The News
    Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot
    My Town by Michael Stanley
    Lookout Cleveland by The Band
    Drunk On The Moon by Tom Waits
    Oh My Sweet Carolina by Ryan Adams
    Pancho and Lefty by Townes Van Zandt
    Going To Cleveland by Mountain Goats
    Cleveland Polka by Frankie Yankovic
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationMore Songs About Cleveland, Ohio

    Cleveland Rocks by Ian Hunter, also The Presidents of The United States of America
    The Heart of Rock and Roll by Huey Lewis & The News
    Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot
    My Town by Michael Stanley
    Lookout Cleveland by The Band
    Drunk On The Moon by Tom Waits
    Oh My Sweet Carolina by Ryan Adams
    Pancho and Lefty by Townes Van Zandt
    Going To Cleveland by Mountain Goats
    Cleveland Polka by Frankie Yankovic
see more comments

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