15 Dec 12
So, with my lung still stubbornly harbouring a pneumothorax (meaning no flying), and my right hand unable to operate a front brake lever (meaning no motorcycling), my only option was to jump into a hire car and make my Great Escape from Knoxville after 2 weeks of captivity! And where else should I run to but the seat of American Country Music itself – NASHVILLE!
What can you say about Nashville that hasn’t already been said in a million wrist-slashing, bourbon guzzling country and western songs? Except, ‘it’s not what I expected’. Music is, and has been, a very important part of my life ever since I remember playing the ‘saucepan drums’ to Tony Christie & ‘Is This the Way to Amarillo’ as a toddler. Although I didn’t progress much further on the saucepans, I did learn to play the violin, and later the guitar, the latter I still try to play occasionally (when my host of broken fingers let me).
Having been to Vegas a few years ago I immediately understood how Nashville received its endearing nickname ‘Nash Vegas’. Downtown (Broadway) is a strip of multi-coloured florescent strip lights as far as the eye can see, although nothing like on the huge scale of Vegas. Each set of lights denotes a music bar where all day, everyday (while I was there at least), live music blasts out the open doors & windows onto the streets, enticing the window shoppers inside (or not).
While I love any (well, most) kinds of live music, once you’ve heard one country & western (C&W) band knocking out all the classic C&W songs, you’ve pretty much heard them all (well, OK – I may not be the World’s greatest C&W fan…). The good thing is for lone travelers such as moi, all the bars are very easy to walk into and enjoy the music on your own, negating the need to pretend to look content reading your tourist guide book, or play with your iPhone. Indeed, copious amounts of drunk, flirty & flaunty middle-aged women made this even easier; or that may have just been when I was there.
An added bonus was the unexpected opportunity to visit the Parthenon, which I had missed when I was in Athens due to being to hung over after my friend’s wedding. Those Greeks did get around, although not quite sure why they chose Nashville; perhaps Knoxville was overbooked?