Rock ‘n’ Roll-themed lives

Sarah Steimer

I was poking around this summer when I ran across an article about a new amusement park in Myrtle Beach. It’s called the Hard Rock Park – obviously by the Hard Rock Cafe folks. I read the article, looked at the pictures and tried to decide if I would ever go.

There are a few problems with this little park. First, admission costs about $40, the Times reported. And that’s only if you have some sort of coupon. Otherwise, it’s $50. A concert would actually cost less and involve way fewer small children running around, confused by a “Moody Blues: Nights in White Satin” 3-D ride. Plus, you probably cannot get wasted at the amusement park. This, of course, takes away from the “amusement” part of music for a lot of people.

Now, I had to ask, what would the artists think? I was outrageously surprised to see that, of all artists, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were not only OK with the park using their band’s name and some songs, but they actually helped design the roller coaster that bears the “Led Zeppelin” name. The car is shaped like a zeppelin and rides to the sounds of Plant wailing the “Waaay down inside” part of “Whole Lotta Love.”

This made me wonder what the souls of everyone who died in a fiery blaze on a zeppelin, the 1937 Hindenburg, would think of this ride. You don’t see zeppelins in the sky anymore for a reason.

So maybe those “rockers” still alive are OK with the amusement park; they would have to be in order to give their thumbs-up for any of their names or songs to appear at the park. But what about the deceased musicians the park immortalizes in the area titled “Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven?” Would Jerry Garcia want his name on a fake tombstone there?

What it all comes down to, though, is that this rock-themed amusement park is just as ridiculous as the original Hard Rock venture: a restaurant featuring rock artists. Does sitting next to Joe Perry’s 1985 guitar make you want to order a mildly expensive burger any more than a water park designed to look like the ghetto Bob Marley grew up in makes you want to splash in a fountain?


But rock music is probably one of the single easiest American exports (or British imports) to market. Rock music is synonymous with “cool.” “Cool” is synonymous with “good job” and “hot girlfriend.” Sometimes knowing the riffs to a Santana groove will get her in bed faster than a large bank account.

But of course simple mistakes regarding rock can actually ruin chances at coolness. Playing Simple Plan in the car on the way to a date at the Hard Rock Cafe can be far more lethal than ordering “just a salad” when you get there.

So maybe the Hard Rock company is just trying to help those rock-clueless along the way. If he takes you to the Hard Rock Cafe and orders a steak, you’ve got yourself an Alice Cooper. He orders a round of imported beers? Now he’s on the level of James Brown. Here’s the catch: What does he offer up for the grand fifth or sixth date? If it’s concert tickets to a George Clinton show, you have yourself one of the Beatles. However, if he suggests hitting up the new Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach .

You’ve got a Pete Wentz.

And what is this all teaching younger generations? If rock ‘n’ roll is cool and eating and/or roller coasters are fun, shouldn’t the combination of the two be out of this world?


The Hard Rock company is trying to combine music and entertainment. But music is entertainment. Therefore, it’s on the same playing field as mixing vodka and liquor. Vodka is liquor, and in the end, both combinations will probably make you want to puke. Simple.

Trying to tell kids that music and entertainment need be mixed is like raising a generation of alcoholics. Pace yourself.

Sarah Steimer is a magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].