View Full Version : Brew Pubs and Rock Stars

10-14-2007, 19:05
Once I was at the now-defunct Oldenburg brewpub in Fort Mitchell, KY. It was to see Michael Jackson give a beer dinner there. The facility was very large with different components (hotel, the brewery, a large beerhall-type facility, also an excellent breweriana museum) and there was a bus to ferry people around. At about 1:00 a.m. I was in the bus returning to the hotel. Across from me was Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick. I was, and am, a big fan of the band. We talked about the beers although I was a bit star struck. While evidently he liked a good brew, later I realised it was probably a research trip since the band wasn't playing there and he invested some years after in a brewpub in Chicago called Piece, an excellent brewpub and restaurant I've patronised a couple of times. Anyway around this time there was publicity about how loud rock music was starting to affect the hearing of some famous bands, e.g., The Who. So I asked him, "you guys were always really loud, are you worried about that because of what Townshend has said about tinnitus?". And he replied, "what"? (He was joshing me in other words :)).

This recollection was prompted by the statement on another thread about a Cheap Trick t-shirt.


10-14-2007, 19:07
What? .....

10-14-2007, 19:19
I recently moved to Louisville from Rockford, Illinois. I ran into Rick Nielson often. We went to some of the same bars and to some of the same fundraising event. I also saw him in places like Target.

He often had people approach him when he was in public, and he always found time to say hello and sign autographs. I'm sure he still does.

I went to Oldenberg 15 years ago or so. All I remember was a huge hall with steins all around the walls.

10-15-2007, 16:52
Gary Gillman even looks a little bit like Rick Nielson, as I mentioned to him at the recent KBF. I think it was the argyle sweater that tipped it in.

10-15-2007, 16:53
Does he wear a cap everywhere?

I hope it is without the long braided goatee. Nielson finally cut that off a few years ago.

10-15-2007, 17:02
Argyle sweater, thinning hair, baseball cap, long face. :)

Actually that is a compliment I well appreciate in the amical semi-joshing context we inhabit here.

I was listening to their box set lately, just great, the essence of power pop. There is a funny part where the band start a song and play the heavy riff from My Generation and someone (probably Nielsen) says, "oops wrong song". Which is kind of a insider's in-joke, 'cause The Who influenced these guys a lot.

But they could rock out in numerous pop genres (e.g., smooth power pop like Southern Girls), hard power pop (Invaders of the Heart), Beatles-like work-outs (I Want You To Want Me), fantabulous covers (their version of Don't Be Cruel - it's as good as the original), and, well, I could go on.

Rockford forever.


10-16-2007, 14:36
I recently moved to Louisville from Rockford, Illinois. I ran into Rick Nielson often. We went to some of the same bars and to some of the same fundraising event. I also saw him in places like Target.

I lived in Rockford for about two years (99-01), teaching at a Lutheran high school. Rick Nielson's kids went (for a while, anyway) to one of the elementary schools that fed into our high school, so he was at fundraising events and even played an elementary school "sock hop," as I recall.

Small world.

10-17-2007, 08:43
Update on the Old Oldenberg site.
The beer hall did a stint as a country western bar that did line dancing on the old TNN.
(Club Coyote or something like that)
Its now the southernmost outpost of The Montgomery Inn, known for its ribs and sweet barbecue sauce.
I attended a "Kegs Only" homebrew festival at The Drawbridge Inn, which is on the same property. It was called Beer and Sweat and sponsored by the BBL (Bloaterian Brewing League and mnemonic for Barrel, catchy)
One of the old Beer College guys is Beer Dave Gossipohl (sp?) He now works for Bryant Distributing and is their exotic beer guy. He was a guest speaker at my Beer Judge Certification Class two weeks ago.
The master brewer from Oldenberg is now the brewer at HofBrau Haus in Newport. (I think).

10-17-2007, 08:59
Thanks for this. I recall arriving late at the bar at the beer hall there (although the Jackson dinner was at the Drawbridge Inn) and met Jackson at the bar. I recall distinctly buying him a bourbon at the bar. We talked until quite late and then we saw him quite a bit over the next two days. We also drove with him into Cinci and had dinner at an old ethnic restaurant there (German), how we found it I don't know. And I well recall that he bought us dinner, a generous gesture which he didn't have to do. It was an older interesting neighborhood, and in an old book store we found a volume of H.L. Mencken's Dictionary of the American Language which Libby and I bought for Michael. I believe also we found and bought for him a book on beer and I remember he checked the index in the back to see if his name was there! The beer dinner involved breast of lamb and was one of the first organised by Jackson, who had a lot to do with the concept of cooking with beer (in addition to everything else he did). He was a great guy and fine writer, a very bright man who loved people and he changed the landscape of beer and whisky permanently. We saw less of each other after the mid-90's but (like countless others) I considered him a friend and am still grieved that he is gone.