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.
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:
- Teva Ladd
- Walter Adams
- James Warmoth
- Phillip Snyder
- David Heck
- Stephen Preston
- Peter Bowes
- Connie Burns
- Bryan Wagner
- Karen Morrison
- Jacqueline Eckerle
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 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.
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, 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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.
- 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.
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