The Grand Ole Opry wasn’t open for tours yesterday because they were preparing for their holiday show, but I’m sure it’s a fine place to see a show.
1. It’s not the Ryman Auditorium — “the exact spot where bluegrass was born, where Johnny Cash met June Carter … where anything is possible: a soul can find redemption, a crumbling building can find salvation, and an unknown kid with a guitar can find their name in lights.”
Sure, Opry has been at its current home since 1974, but I get the nostalgia. But there’s one other issue …
2. Since Opryland USA was torn down, the Opry has been behind a mall. And it looks tacky as hell.
Cheekwood Mansion also wasn’t open yesterday because of preparations for the holidays (I get the feeling they take this stuff really seriously around here), but the rest of the grounds were open, as was the gift shop.
There, my wife and I struck up a conversation with the clerk, who said we absolutely must eat at Loveless Cafe because it was the last authentic place in all of Nashville.
Then we talked about the Opry, and we all agreed that having this showplace behind a mall was … well, tacky as hell.
I then told her that from what I understood, the “more traditionally minded” weren’t happy with the Ryman being replaced.
She liked that description, even wrote it down. I asked what people like her were usually called; variations on “stick in the mud” seemed to be the answer.
So we made a new friend. We did visit the Ryman, but haven’t gone to Loveless.