Like a rhinestone cowboy...
Trip Start May 04, 2012
16Trip End May 20, 2012
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Where I stayed
After dinner, we walked up Broadway, and after being harassed by several staff trying to promote their bars, we settled on a place with a bluegrass band who turned out to be really good (although the banjo player did creep the hell out of me)
This morning, we started the day with a breakfast that contained waffles, which is always a good thing, but to my horror and disappointment, it seems that the sausage gravy has followed me from Memphis to Nashville (there is a video rant about the sausage gravy that we will upload when we have a wifi signal that is better than dial up in the 1980's). After breakfast we had a stroll towards the centre of Nashville. Our first stop was Third Man Records, Jack White's record label and recording studio. On the way, we spotted a large liquor store that we earmarked for later (if they won't provide a bar, what else are we to do! Not drink?!). When we got to Third Man, Sian was very excited by the odd decor of the shop and all of the vinyl on offer, and only got more excited when Jack White walked through the shop and into the recording studio. Apparently he had forgot his keys, and he had to hammer on the door of his own studio to get in. We purchased a few souveniers and proceeded to our next location...Hatch Show Print.
While on Beale Street, we met a very drunk but very friendly girl from Huntsville Alabama who loved Sian's accent. She told us we should check out a small poster printing place in Nashville called Hatch Show Print, so we went to check it out
Our next stop was the Country Music Hall of Fame. We were persuaded to go for the Studio B tour as part of the ticket admission. Studio B is a famous recording studio, known as the "home of a thousand hits", as over 1000 hit records have been recorded there
After Studio B, it was back on the bus to the Country Music Hall of Fame. This was an experience. First of all, you must understand that they take country music VERY seriously in Nashville. Very seriously indeed. If you know me and Sian well at all, you will know that we do not do serious all that well. It started off well enough, with a range of exhibits about country music from the early part of the 20th century - I learned a fair bit, and I was enjoying myself, but the beginning of the end happened when we went into one of their listening booths and heard a song from sometime in the 30's or 40's (I forget exactly when). Sian could not take this song seriously, as it contained a fair amount of yodelling. As we walked out of this booth, she proceeded to do her impression of the song. Needless to say, some of the looks that were thrown our way contained some VERY sharp daggers
After Elvis' rise in fame and country music's decline, pop country was invented. As far as we can tell, this basically involves making the music bad, and slapping rhinestones on EVERYTHING IN SIGHT! If there was ever any doubt about me and Sian becomming country fans, it was put to bed with the second half of the museum. Rhinestones, bad hair and a few more rhinestones is the only way I can sum it up. We got through the second half of the tour in about a third of the time that we did the first half, and the more rhinestones we saw, the louder we started to declare how hideous they were. Some people did not seem happy about this.
We purchased the bare minimum of souveniers (making sure that none of them had the words "country music" printed on them) and got out of there quicksharp
After that experience, we decided a trip to the liquor store was in order. They sell most european beer and a few english ales, including one of my favourites that I would never have expected to see here. I settled on some locally brewed beer and Sian got the US equivalent of Hooch, made by Jack Daniels. Very odd. Even odder was the fact that the guy who served us has family who live in Solihull and has dual English/American nationality - small world!
And so that is it for Nashville. I have liked it here, and I would come back, but if it's a choice between here and Memphis, I know where i'm gonna pick. Tomorrow it is on to Lynchburg and the Jack Daniel's distillery, so I should go and get some rest.