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Houston Astrodome preservationists debut the worst song in the history of music

Oct 22, 2013, 11:06 AM EDT

Image (1) Astrodome.jpg for post 6763

Just my opinion on the music part, but we’ll get to that in a second.

In the meantime: we’ve written a bit over the years about the fate of the Astrodome. It hasn’t been used since it housed Katrina refugees in 2005. It’s rusting and obsolete and requires over $200 million to renovate the place back into usability. It’ll cost way less to simply wreck the place, though even the price tag for demolition is high.  In short: there are no great options for a stadium that was once cool and state of the art but is now a giant mess.

My personal view: It’s a building that we will be sad, for nostalgic reasons, to see go, but which is not architecturally significant enough to save for its own sake and whose renovation represents a public cost far too great to justify.  Nostalgia alone is no good reason to spend a quarter of a billion tax dollars.

Enter a November 5th referendum in which voters will decide whether to authorize over $200 million in bonds to turn the stadium into a convention center and exhibition space. Like I said, I’m skeptical of such things, but at least democracy will sort it out.  Unfortunately, democratic ends often require a public campaign. And the public campaign to save the Astrodome has this working for it. And please: to fully appreciate it, watch it all in all of its hathos and glory:

Bruce Springsteen is turning over in his grave. And yes, he is dead. He heard this yesterday and immediately walked in front of a bus to stop the pain. True story.

  1. natstowngreg - Oct 22, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Nah, Bruce wouldn’t turn the pain into suicide. He would turn it into a song for his next album.

    • dan1111 - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      But not if the very concept of music had been forever ruined for him.

      • Old Gator - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Craig is sometimes given over to hysteria and hyperbole. Whoever is responsible for this audial Ed Wood Jr. movie still have a long, long way to go before they come up with anything as atrocious as “Sweet Caroline.”

    • skids003 - Oct 22, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      How about charging the city of New Orleans to tear it down or renovate it? After all, it was their people who screwed it all up.

  2. anthonyverna - Oct 22, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    I don’t know. There’s always “Afternoon Delight” or “We Built this City (on Rock and Roll)”

    • Old Gator - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      “We Built this City” just sounds worse than it is – which is pretty bad – because it traces its pedigree back to “3/5 of a Mile in Ten Seconds,” “Wooden Ships,” “If you Feel,” “Have You Seen the Saucers” and “Miracles.”

      • stex52 - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Yup, Gator. The poppification of the Starship. It was ugly.

      • Old Gator - Oct 22, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        Yeah, I was listening to After Bathing at Baxter’s in the car yesterday. Dear Buddha, what an incredible record that was. They were nearing the peak of their powers then. The later Starship, especially after Marty Balin left it, sounded like a bunch of tin pan alley replicants.

  3. bmfc1 - Oct 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    I thought that this was going to be an article about “The Pina Colada Song.”

  4. nolanwiffle - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    If The Tyler Rose says it stays…..it stays.

  5. philliesblow - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    A song about a domed stadium is just crying out to be a remake of the Morris Albert classic “Feelings”.

    Ceilings, nothing more than ceilings.
    Trying to forget those ceilings above.

  6. caeser12 - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Worse than this?

    • youvebeenphaneufed - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      No

  7. cur68 - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    My. Dog.

    On the merits of THAT they should level the place with extreme prejudice.

  8. sportsdrenched - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Again, what’s wrong with fencing it off and letting is crumble in front of our eyes. It would be like a brain donated to science or something. Someone could film one of those shows about what happens if humans disapeared there. The possibilities are endless that don’t take millions of tax payers dollars.

    • Old Gator - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      Has anyone ever ackcherley charged to view a brain donated to science? There’s an idea for Scrooge McLoria.

      • cur68 - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        You should go see The Mütter Museum in Philly, Gator. It is brilliant. And yep, its got a whole bunch of brains that were donated to science and yep, you gotta pay to see ‘em. The exhibit on organic brain disease (as different from the psychiatric diseases) is brilliant. Just don’t eat first, eh?

  9. realitypolice - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Democracy shouldn’t be allowed to sort it out.

    You elect officials to make decisions like this. And there is only one sensible decision: tear it down. Bringing the electorate into it injects emotion into a decision where it can only bring harm. WIth a few obvious History lives in books and the memories of those who experienced it, not brick and mortar buildings, and certainly not stadiums. For half that money, you could add the equivalent amount of square footage to the existing convention center.

    Putting it on the ballot is the coward’s way out. I’d vote against the renovation AND against whoever didn’t have to backbone to just order it torn down.

    • shinerbock80 - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      So glad you’re reality in name only. Otherwise such bricks and mortar places like Independence Hall and the Alamo would be walmarts. And heaven forbid we preserve a stadium like the Roman Coliseum. What a waste.

      • realitypolice - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM

        I meant to write in my original post “with a few obvious exceptions” but missed a word. Independence Hall and the Alamo would certainly fall under the category of “obvious exceptions”. If you’re comparing the historical significance of those places to the Astrodome, you need to get a little perspective on life.

    • stex52 - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      You make a point, in a way. Harris County officials have been running away from that decision for years. They see it as classic lose-lose.

      I always loved the Dome, but I lean to the tear down faction.

      But a referendum does also make sense. They will have to take tax money to renovate, so bonds will have to be sold. Make everybody get on the train with you.

  10. gothapotamus90210 - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Article with pretty cool pics of the dilapidated Astrodome about a year and a half ago. I would love to tour it:

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/New-life-for-iconic-Astrodome-Group-suggests-3581357.php

  11. shinerbock80 - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Not architecturally significant? It is the epitome of mid-century modern in many ways. It was the first of its kind in the world. First multi-purpose domed stadium. First luxury boxes. First artificial turf (for better or worse, still part of sports history). And when it was built, it became the largest dome on Earth by over three times the previous largest domed structure. people around the world knew Houston by the Astrodome.

    Demolition estimates run from $45 to $100 million. And in the end you get nothing. This gives Houston a usable structure of enormous historical significance. Thank God democracy does play a role.

    • gothapotamus90210 - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Not to mention they still owe $25M+ from renovations in 1986.

    • skids003 - Oct 22, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      Charge New Orleans for it. Their people came in and wrecked it, they should pay for it.

  12. stichey - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Was I the only one waiting for a line like, “Despite the first home run by Mantle, now our dome they dismantle…” I was the only one? Ok…I can accept that…

  13. youvebeenphaneufed - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    If they can tear Yankee Stadium down, they can tear the Astrodome down, immediately.

    • shinerbock80 - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      This is such a tired and misinformed comment. The original yankee stadium was torn down in 1976. The team played home games in Shea for almost two years. All that was left was a few pieces of façade. So the ball park that was torn down a few years ago was actually a mid-1970s cookie cutter concrete park. But the fact is that neither the 1923 version or the mid-70s version represented any architectural firsts like the Astrodome does. This is not simply about the sports memories that took place inside the building. It is an iconic and greatly significant structure.

  14. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    I’m just really happy to see that Earl Campbell was able to have his say in the matter.

  15. thebigalphadog - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    If it’s going to cost almost half of what it would take to renovate then it SHOULD be renovated. It’s a piece of modern American history and it could ultimately be good for the economy of Houston. Lord knows our sports teams aren’t doing us any favors.

  16. humpalumpagus - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    This reminds me of a Weird Al song

  17. dan1111 - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Gator, it’s been awhile since you bashed that song. I was actually starting to miss it.

  18. nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    All seriousness aside for a moment, since the song was not a fair use parody, but was used for political purposes, I do hope they got Bruce’s permission, or his estate’s lawyers may come a’callin’.

  19. MyTeamsAllStink - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    I say Kingdome it.

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