And The Brand Plays On Pt.2
I have been hearing about this new theme park-Hard Rock Park.
I got to tell you, I’m not going to pretend to be objective here. I don’t like “theme” parks. I like the park part, roller coasters and food; the park part is good clean fun. It’s the “theme” part that I object to. For some reason my psyche rebels against the theme. I guess I’m in the minority on this because people seem to love them.
There’s a big theme park about 15 minutes away from here, Silver Dollar City. It’s the big tourist attraction in the area. The premise is that you are entering into an 1890′s era mining town. The employees all dress in pseudo era garb but, there are roller coasters and deep fryers and sound systems; it’s just a ridiculous notion. People seem to love it.
So, I haven’t been paying much attention to the new Hard Rock Park that’s opening in Myrtle Beach. Actually, some of the stuff is up and running and it’s open now for a “sound check”. See what I mean “sound check”.
Anyway, I saw a press release this morning about Arlo Guthrie and his involvement with the Hard Rock people. Evidently, there will be an Alice’s Restaurant on the property.
Arlo? This guy?
First a hugely popular satirical 60′s song, then a major motion picture…
and now you can actually get a table at the famed “Alice’s Restaurant” when the dining venue opens at Hard Rock Park just in time for the Grand Opening June 2nd. Legendary folk artist, Arlo Guthrie stopped in today to continue his work with the Park, mixing counter-culture comfort food with leisurely hospitality, to create the ultimate folk rock inspired dining experience.
The “comfort food” menu designed by Chef Tim Head and Arlo Guthrie will offer a full selection of items ranging from City of New Orleans Shrimp Creole to Officer Obie’s Pan Fried Pork Chops to, of course… Thanksgiving Dinner.
Featuring acoustic and folk music that spans the 60′s to today, Alice’s Restaurant has that “walk right in” feel offering sanctified entrees and desserts so good they are criminal.
In theory, I have nothing against a guy making buck and I realize that whoever wrote, “mixing counter-culture comfort food with leisurely hospitality, to create the ultimate folk rock inspired dining experience”, is just trying to do their job but, it rubs the wrong way.
But, it made me curious to see what else was happening at the Hard Rock Park. I tried the Hard Rock Park website but, it was wonky so I did a little searching and found this piece by Ben Steelman, who has had a look around the place.
The Pinball Wizard Arcade was still being installed. So were the Maximum RPM and Slippery When Wet roller coasters. The “Lost in the ’70s” shops hadn’t opened…
Consider, for example, Led Zeppelin – the Ride, the theme park’s flagship roller coaster:…
Passengers will rocket along at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour, turning upside-down six times, to the accompaniment of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love, piped from speakers aboard each train.
The Eagles’ Life in the Fast Lane coaster is only slightly more sedate…
Then try the Moody Blues’ Nights in White Satin – The Trip, a sort of psychedelic updating of the old Tunnel of Love. With Nights in White Satin in the background, riders wearing 3-D glasses take a slow but slightly dizzying cruise through an array of holograms, ’60s Op Art, blinking lights and what look like exploded lava lamps…
If children are too small for the roller coasters, they can bounce on the inflatables in The Punk Pit, scramble over the Reggae River Falls (although they probably should be wearing swimsuits to enjoy it thoroughly), play in the Magic Mushroom Garden (billed as “the world’s largest living black-light poster”) or try the milder, kid-friendly Shake Rattle ’n’ Roller Coaster.
All that and more at 50 bucks a head.
I’m past the point of calling attention to the irony of it all. Actually, I can’t think of anything funnier than the actual facts, they speak for themselves.
I wonder though, at some point, does this kind of stuff wear out its welcome? People have been cashing in and selling out since about 30 seconds after rock and roll happened. That is part of the history, part of the drama and, part of the conflict inherent in the plot line.
Maybe, because there are people, in their golden years, cashing in on the music they made as angry young men, there will always be a youthful contingent using that as rebellion fodder of their own. But maybe, at some point, the angry young man is perceived as the boy crying wolf and whole thing comes crumbling down. Maybe, music as a loss leader, “advertiser supported music”, “music 2.0″ or “music 3.0″ falters at the gate because the geezers beat everyone to the well.