CLEVELAND — Cleveland may be the city that helped build Rock and Roll, but a lot of the success depended on the fans who attended those legendary concerts and Belkin Productions, the company that brought them here.
Fran Belkin is the wife of Jules. He and his brother, Mike, founded Belkin Productions in 1966 and were witnesses to the history of Rock and Roll. Fran had a unique perspective, backstage.
“This started out as a love letter for my husband for the wonderful life he gave me, but turned into a love letter to Cleveland,” Fran says.
One day she was cleaning out her attic and came across a box of t-shirts. It was the SWAG given to bands that played Cleveland. The custom designed t-shirts she helped create only for the bands and their crew members. Every one of them has a story and that’s how her book, Rock This Town, was born.
“I didn't realize that as I was telling all these stories we forgot this was such a special time in Cleveland's history. Cleveland was at the forefront of rock music, if Cleveland played it, it hit so every band wanted to play Cleveland,” Fran said.
She didn’t have a specific job at Belkin, she did whatever was needed and one of her tasks was helping the bands feel welcome.
“Pick out carpeting and plants and benches to give it [backstage] this village feel and later we were picking out pinball machines and hot tubs anything to make their time at that stadium not boring and unhappy we wanted them to feel good before they went on stage and we wanted to give them a good impression of Cleveland,” Fran said.
So while most have memories of great shows, Fran shares the stories you don’t know. From backstage while rubbing elbows with those who would become Hall of Fame legends.
“Backstage was so much more fun and don't forget all these road managers, tour managers and tour accountants, these guys were coming back and forth and they became our friends,” Fran says.
Rock this Town is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble or go to the book website for more buying options and to find out where Fran will be holding book signings. https://www.rockthistownbook.com/