Friday, July 11, 2014

#171: St. Louis Arena

In my lifetime I had only been to the St. Louis Arena twice. When I was 4 (1986), my family went to see Sesame Street Live, since my parents thought maybe I'd enjoy it. Unfortunately I have no memories of it. According to my mom years later, I wasn't showing interest as I was looking around the whole time. It wasn't until the fall of '93 a woman named Lorraine who taught Sunday school at my church took me to see the circus. Now, THAT I have memories of! On a side note, I remember we packed a picnic lunch (as long as it was in plastic!) before we went there. Remember, those were the days before 9/11 when all those places like Busch Stadium and the Arena would let you do that. I even recall Lorraine telling our seatmates 'Always take your OWN food when you go to these events. The prices are just too ridiculous'.

I enjoy hearing stories about concerts from the past from my older peers. Even though I'm glad I'm not older than I am, I sure wish I could have got to experience some of the greatest performances at the Arena in St. Louis. Who knows, maybe there's something on YouTube.

Here are some highlights of what I heard:
-On the night the Cardinals won the 1982 World Series, Mike, my station manager at the radio station I work at, attended a Rush concert at the Arena. Lead vocalist Geddy Lee, who is noted to be a huge baseball fan, was wearing a Cardinals cap and he addressed the crowd: 'I see something great happening to your team tonight'. And indeed the Cardinals won their 9th World Series championship!

-Every now and then I read some of the comments on Favazz (of KSHE 95)'s Facebook page about concert memories. Somebody wanted Favazz to ask Sammy Hagar (who really loves St. Louis) about the red car he brought out during a performance at the Arena back in the 80s. I listened to the interview later and Sammy didn't remember what they were talking about!

-Two years ago I saw Van Halen at the Scottrade Center. Van Halen, a band that is famous for changing lead singers, had been to St. Louis several times. David Lee Roth was the lead singer that night and he and the rest of the band did fine, playing all their old hits. I arrived at the show an hour early as it was filling up, and one of the ladies that worked at Scottrade Center approached me and asked if I wanted to move closer to the stage for no extra charge. Of course, I accepted! She told me that not a lot of tickets sold and they were trying to fill the closer seats. I later told Darrell, one of my friends (who's in his 40s), about the whole thing and he said: "Dude, that is sad. This was a band that once sold out two shows at the Arena in two hours back in '84".

I remember reading someplace that Frank Sinatra made his final concert appearance at the Arena (1991? 93?) and he signed off saying, 'I will see you again soon. I promise!'

Today, the former site consists of luxury apartment buildings.

The courtyard from the cake

One of the apartment buildings where the Arena once sat

The Mid America Transplant Foundation memorial

Here is the fountain next to the cake. According to Cakeway to the West Facebook group member Nancey Blackburn, she heard the cake was placed where the center ice was.
Left side of the cake which focuses on one of its former names, the Checkerdome as well as some of the teams the place hosted

A full view of the top of the cake. I won't lie; I really dug this! Can you name any of the bands on the stubs? I see Aerosmith, Rolling Stones, Rush....

Right side of the cake which, like the left, touches upon the sports team it hosted
A closer look at the stubs

Back side of the cake

Wikipedia link

1110 Highlands Plaza Drive, ST. LOUIS, MO, 63110
Cake artist: Sandra Schuchardt
Cake sponsored by Mid America Transplant Foundation

The cake was sold on 1/1/2015 for $639 in the biddingforgood auction.

No comments:

Post a Comment