hard rock hard times20 Apr 2005
One big mystery to me about dowtown Nashville (one of many) is the Hard Rock Cafe. Why is it still there? And I don’t necessarily mean “why does it still exist” – the obvious answer is “tourists” – but rather, why is it still physically on 1st and Broadway? I mean, this intersection is like the nexus of downtown, and what ritzy-shitzy vendors do we have occupying this prime real estate? Hard Rock Cafe, and across from it, an abandoned feed store. What is this, Mayberry? (disclaimer: I think the old acme feed store is pretty awesome and should be preserved in some way, I just wonder why it’s abandoned.) Even worse, one of Nashville’s most glorious old banks on 3rd and Broadway is currently occupied by .. a tattoo parlor. It’s just sad. What happened to the revival of downtown Nashville?
Another thing about the Hard Rock cracks me up. The mural on the wall with the guitar and the woman reclining on it. Now, I am pretty sure that I remember correctly that around when we first moved to Nashville (around 1989) this woman had a gigantic mullet. Then later when I moved and worked downtown, I noticed that it’s gone, but you can still see a lighter-blue mullet-shaped outline around her head. That’s right, they painted out the mullet.
If that’s not an ideal metaphor for this city’s identity, I don’t know what is.