On December 3, 1979, The Who Played a concert at Cincinnati with unassigned seating. Only 2 doors were opened and 18,348 people tried to rush inside to get good seats. Eleven people were trampled to death. In one episode, Roadies used the deaths of these 11 people as a cheap plot device. In the show, someone utters the word “Cincinnati” and the roadies are worried about a curse.
To remove the “Cincinnati curse” the tour bus has to drive 100 miles and find 11 eggs and 11 balloons. The curse would be removed once the eggs were smashed and the balloons released. The focus of the show was on the antics of the roadies as they searched for the eggs and balloons. This is extremely disrespectful to the families of the 11 people who died just trying to watch a concert. Smashing 11 eggs and releasing balloons does not remove the hurt from these tragic and completely avoidable deaths.
EMT workers remove bodies of the 11 people crushed in Cincinnati on Dec. 3, 1979
We at East Coast Stories would like to remind the writers of Roadies of the names of the people who died at The Who concert in Cincinnati on December 3, 1979. They were crushed people, not eggs. Here is the list of names:
Police cover dead body at The Who Cincinnati concert
After this tragedy the Cincinnati town council outlawed open seating concerts to prevent another stampede from ever happening. However, after a few decades had passed and people began to forget, the law in Cincinnati was changed. Open seating at major concerts and events is once again legal in Cincinnati.
The Who Cincinnati concert pictures of the dead
The city was afraid the law would reduce the number of concerts and therefore lower tax revenue. Stadium owners say that “things have changed” and a deadly stampede at an open seating event could never happen again. Don’t believe it. It is just a matter of time until the tragedy is repeated.
Newspaper headline the day after The Who Cincinnati concert
Roadies on Showtime was directed by Cameron Crowe, who made the wonderful film Almost Famous. Unfortunately, Roadies just did not have the magic that made Almost Famous great. The plots seemed forced and the characters came across as caricatures rather than than real people.
Roadies smash eggs to get rid of the Cincinnati Curse
Roadies, of course, is the nickname for all the laborers and technicians that work behind the scenes to make a rock tour happen. A good show about them could be very interesting, and we were looking forward to Roadies. However, it has so many problems we actually need to list them:
- The band is not interesting – It even has a boring name. (The “Staton-House Band”). The term “house band” is usually a derogatory term used for the third rate bands that play background music in bars. Sort of like the “house wine” that you should avoid drinking. We know that Roadies is supposed to be about the back-up people, but for the audience to care about them they have to also care about the band they are working for. We can’t imagine anyone wanting to go see a show by the Station House Band. (Note to to the hyper-“Roadies” fans who continue to to berserk about our post; yes we do know that the band name is supposed to be a combination of the last names of the key members of the band. That does not make the band any less dull.)
The WKRP In Cincinnati show tastefully discussed The Who Concert tragedy
- The Roadies are all pretentious jerks acting like they are cooler than anyone else. In Almost Famous the plot line was that the the boy following the band was not cool and he knew it . He felt intoxicated just by being in the presence of the performers who were totally cool without even trying. The Roadies have the opposite problem. They think they are cool but are not even close to being so. Being someone who makes coffee for a musician does not make you cool. You are still just a high school drop-out who makes coffee.
- The show can’t decide on a character to follow – In going for multiple plot lines, Roadies has not given us enough backstory on any one of the characters for the audience to care about them. Imogen Poots plays Kelly Ann, who has the opportunity to move on to better educational and job opportunities but decides instead to remain as a low level back stage worker. What the show never answers satisfactorily is “why”?
- Very little music is played. We hear a few snippets of famous songs and nothing of what the Staton-House Band plays. Characters talk a lot about how much they love the music. And talk and talk and talk. It would be much better if Roadies actually let us hear the music and watch their expressions.
At least after this one episode, Roadies did not resort to any more offensive tricks like trying to get ratings by bringing up the memory of the 11 people crushed at The Who concert. We were afraid they might stoop even lower by , having the tour bus cursed since someone mentions 9/11 or the World Trade Center.
Eyewitness account of the stampede at the Who Concert in Cincinnati
The Roadies writers were never able to step up their game. When the show was on the air, we wrote a number of posts with suggestions of plots that might have made Roadies a success. However, the show continued on its long dull trip and finally just fizzled out.
Luis Guzman as Gooch on Roadies, explains the Cincinnati Curse
- Editor’s Note – Roadies was cancelled at the end of Season 1 after lackluster ratings. However, people continue to be interested in reading about The Who concert tragedy in Cincinnati. This continues to be one of our most read most read posts. We get messages from people from all over the world who never knew about the tragedy and who feel for those killed and injured in the event. Thank you for your good wishes. Unfortunately, we also continue to get hate emails from fans who liked the show Roadies, and blame our series of posts in East Coast Stories for having gotten it cancelled. To those people we can only say, remember that Roadies was after all just a T.V. show, while the people who died at The Who concert in Cincinnati were real.
A security guard and an unidentified man look at an area where several people were killed as they were caught in a surging crowd entering Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum for a Who concert on Monday. Shoes and clothes were strewn around the area where the people were killed and injured, shown Dec. 4, 1979. (AP Photo/Brian Horton)
Unlike Roadies, WKRP treated The Who Concert tragedy with respect