Pointer and I Visit Downtown Nashville

September 12, 2011 - By Trigger  //  Down with Pop Country  //  29 Comments

Last week as I was traveling through Tennessee, I took some time to visit downtown Nashville, where I hadn’t been in a few years, and I brought along one of my best friends named Pointer. Pointer goes wherever I go. Funny thing is, we don’t always like the same things. For example, when I go somewhere sightseeing, I really have no desire to have my mug in the picture. Pointer is just the opposite, he wants to be in all the pictures. We also have total opposite tastes in country music. I like the cool old stuff and the new independent stuff, while he likes the current pop country radio stars. But we’re both good enough friends that we can respect each other’s interests.

I thought it might be fun and informative to share Pointer and my pictures of our downtown Nashville trip for those who’ve never been there.

We started off the adventure on lower Broadway, the last bastion of what Nashville used to be. You can find cool vintage shops here like the Ernest Tubb Record Shop and Hatch Show Print, legendary venues like Robert’s Western World, where BR549 and Joe Buck got their start, and Layla’s Bluegrass Inn next door, a place Hank3 plays frequently, all overshadowed by the mother church of country music, the majestic Ryman Auditorium just across the alley.

Of course one of the most famous places on lower Broadway is Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, where Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and others would hang out and write songs all day (Ryman Auditorium in the background).

It’s also famous for the famous faces painted on the front of the building. Pointer found one particular famous figure he really wanted his picture taken with.

Then we walked around the corner to visit the majestic Country Music Hall of Fame. In front of the Hall we came to a really cool walkway called the “Music City Walk of Fame”, with stars of famous people like Ernest Tubb, Little Jimmy Dickens, and Kris Kristofferson adorning the sidewalk.

Pointer found numerous stars he wanted to get his picture with:

And of course, we already know what a HUGE Kid Rock fan Pointer is!

After touring the Hall of Fame, we went to inspect the construction site for the new Nashville Convention Center, the one they tore the Musicians Hall of Fame down for after promising them a new space, an action that eventually led to all the artifacts being ruined in the big Nashville flood last year. Pointer thought the construction site looked really neato.

While walking down 3rd and Commerce, we ran into some bona fide Nashville natives:

I asked Pointer if he wanted to have his picture taken with them, and he said no, that they looked like assholes. I told Pointer it’s not fair to judge a book by its cover.

Then we hiked a mile or so to the famous Music Row district, where all the big movers and shakers in country music do their business. Apparently we’d just missed by 24 hours a big shindig at the BMI headquarters, canonizing Jason Aldean, Colt Ford, and Brantley Gilbert on the success of the #1 song “Dirt Road Anthem”. From CMT’s account, it sounded like quite the affair:

Large, gold-painted stones anchored the burlap table cloths that flapped and curled in the late afternoon breeze as uniformed servers circulated through the crowd, proffering trays of miniature cheeseburgers and bite-size servings of barbecue.

Now if that ain’t country, I’ll kiss your ass.

Pointer, being a huge fan of Leanne Rimes and Tim McGraw, wanted to get his picture in front of the home office of his favorite record label on Music Row:

After this picture, Pointer leaned over to me and said, “This Curb character sure does have his name splattered on just about everything down here, doesn’t he?”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

In closing, I’d like to say that Pointer and I both really enjoyed our trip to downtown Nashville, and we both found downtown Nashville to be a land of contrast.

29 Comments to “Pointer and I Visit Downtown Nashville”

  • Tootsie’s slogan should be “Home of the $5 PBR and Kenny Chesney songs”

    • I hate that place! It’s ridiculous that Kid Rock’s picture is painted on the outside.

    • HA! I visited Nashville for the first time a couple years ago and had to stop by Tootsie’s. Now, PBR was my Great Grandpa’s beer and as soon as I was able to start buyin my own I vowed to try it. Not only did I try it but I loved it and have been drinkin it ever since. After paying more than double what you usually pay I couldn’t help but notice all the sweater vested trust fund yuppies prancin around with a Pabst in hand. Pointer would have had a field day…

  • Tell Pointer I think I’m in love…

  • When I graduated from college, my twin brother and his girlfriend planned a trip for all of us to go to Nashville and Alabama. It was dubbed “the Summer of Hank” and we went to all of the historic places that Sr. knew and loved. We visited the Ryman and the Country Music Hall of Fame where they had the Family Traditions Exibit. We then went to Montgomery to see the grave site and his childhood home. We even went to a hot dog spot down that was one of Hanks favorite places to eat. We had a blast. Seeing your pictures brought back some great memories.
    Great write up Trigg…

    • The Family Traditions Exhibit is fantastic. So’s Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop and Robert’s Western World and Layla’s. Those are the traditional spots. Tootsie’s has the pop vibe going on.

  • I think that the Tootsie’s owned by the CMA cuz there are a couple of big CMA and Tootsie’s banner inside the CMHOF……in which they don’t talk much about willie and waylon…….but you can find some artifacts of Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert

  • Pointer reminds me of my pal Flipper. Flipper’s always tellin me how much he fuckin loves that new Shooter song and how Eric Church aint so fuckin bad as i say he is.

  • My kid just got suspended for whipping Pointer out in class today…he’s a good guy, that Pointer, but children aren’t always sure when it’s appropriate to take him along for the ride. Glad he liked Nashville so very much!

  • Pointer for host of the CMA’s 2012.

    • I second that!

  • Doesn’t “Pointer” have a twin?!

  • Hell yes! Too funny!

  • Not sure why you’re hating on a new convention center in a city that you don’t live in. It’s going to be great for the city, many downtown businesses including Ernest Tubbs Record Shop were very vocal in supporting it. Also, the Hall of Fame will be expanding because of this. The Songwriter’s Hall of Fame painted themselves as a victim in this whole thing, when if fact they were just holding out for more money. The city gave them VERY generous offers, that’s offers… not offer. This thing is going to be great for the city and bring in a lot of money and create jobs. Tennessee’s unemployment rate is close to 10%, so job creation sounds good to me. God forbid people that work in a downtown area wear suits to work… All that being said, I am as big of a traditonalists that you’ll find, but cities have to grow and progress Nashville included.

    • Well, in defense of Pointer, the reason he got his picture taken in front of it was because he thought it was neato. And the hidden message behind the suits I think is similar to yours.

      As for the Convention Center, first off, it was the Musicians Hall of Fame that got bulldozed, not the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. From my understanding an independent appraiser valued the Musicians’ Hall property at $9.8 million, but Nashville only wanted to give them $4.8 million, and when they held out for more, the city also reneged on their offer of housing the Hall’s artifacts somewhere on the new site, which forced the artifacts into storage, where many were eventually damaged or destroyed in the flooding.

      I understand that as a non-Nashvillian, I only have so much clot to complain about certain elements of city politics, but music culture and artifacts belong to us all, without borders. I think that was one of the underlying themes of the Musician’s Hall of Fame, that is now gone, and may never come to life again. I am not against progress, even in the lower Broadway corridor of downtown Nashville, and folks who lay down in front of bulldozers simply because they think all progress is bad are foolish and short-sighted. And I’m not against Nashville building a new convention center, and from what I saw from the construction, it is going to be awfully impressive, and it’s great the Country Music Hall of Fame will be able to benefit. But the way the Musician’s HOF was handled was regrettable, and more importantly, unnecessary, and it led to a tragedy I will be quick to make sure nobody forgets.

      It’s a good comment though Jeff, and it reminds us there’s two sides to every story. And in the polarizing atmosphere we live in today, I was just hoping to make folks laugh for a bit.

      • Wow we live in a world were even Pointer makes people mad? I can’t go on.

  • I’d also like to add Jeff that it’s a convention center that I’m sure will host big ticket artists to feed the pop country machine, overcharging fans and continuing the downward spiral of true artistry and real musicians. Please don’t forget this is SCM and for me that means destroying the greed and demoralization of the spirit of true country music that Music Row is hell bent on capitalizing upon. This convention center will be bringing pocket change to a few and big money to the already rich.

  • This was funny as hell Triggerman, but it’s also cool to see some of Nashville. I did not plan my trip to Muddy Roots very well, and had no time in the city. Something I plan to rectify NEXT Labor Day! By the way, you must have done this before the festival, since everything’s so dry!

  • That was awesome! Maybe Pointer needs to be a tour guide……

  • I laughed my ass off through this whole article!!!!! Very well done!

  • why the hell did you have to fucking remind me that a “kid rock” ever existed, still exists, and even has his face plastered in Nashville?

  • I could spend the rest of my days and nights slumped over in Whiskey Bent listenin to Shawn Mayer and die a happy man.

  • LMAO!!! I think me and ol’ Pointer would get along just fine!

  • This was good. thanks trigg for the laugh

  • Genius. Great article. Rock on, Pointer!

  • LMAO. Pointer. Great post.

  • Great article on a great city. As for Kid Rock, he seems to really know and respect country music. I remember him on a major award soon after Waylon’s passing and him being the only one to mention it. Johnny Cash apparently gave him a signed poster and Hank Jr. and DAC are friends of his. Not surprised to see his picture up on Broadway as he is known to pop in and sing with who ever is playing in the clubs there. Oh and does anyone believe that he needed to bring Jamey Johnson or DAC on tour to draw bigger crowds? I don’t like everything he does but he deserves a little more respect than he gets here.

  • F@%# the CMA, kid rock, all the fake and phony half assed, misguided, ignorant entertainers who hang the COUNTRY BRAND on their material. “HOW CAN IT BE COUNTRY IF IT SOUNDS LIKE ROCK -N- ROLL”!
    Thery said many years ago they were going to buy lower Broadway so they could get rid of “US” trashy assed OUTLAWS and generate millions of dollars for the city by creating a SAFER, CLEANER invironment for tourist!
    I told them they could only draw in a bunch of no talent freak shows if they drove us out. WELLLLLLL, Country Music is DEAD in Nashville and now it’s nothing but a higher dollar rip off and the artist are NOT ARTIST, they’re entertainers, you know, like monkeys in a cage, just siomple entertainers. All the “ARTIST” are gone.
    Pointer, you got it right.

  • Wow. Wish I was like all you guys and could type some clever/angry screed about Nashville…. Just to busy listening to Lefty. Sigh

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