The other day my good friend Anders sent me the following text:
I knew exactly where he was of course. Standing outside Third Man Records, Jack White’s record label, studio and shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Anders and his amazing band, Sadie and The Blue Eyed Devils, have been on tour in the south and they had made it to Mecca.
As I bet you’ve figured out, I am really into Jack White. I think he is a genius and a gift to musickind. So you can imagine I was both elated and jealous to receive this text.
I really want to go to Nashville myself. And not just for Jack White. . . oh, I’ll be honest, mostly for Jack White. But I love to feel the energy cities and see their histories, and I’ve never been to the South before. I’ve also been getting really into country and folk music lately. You won’t catch me listening to Taylor Swift ever, but I do dig Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline.
I just looked up flights to Nashville with my favorite travel resource Kayak.com and found a round trip flight for only $304! I also found a flight through my United Miles card where I can use my miles one way and shell out only $158 for my return flight. It’s so tempting, but I need to save money for my car insurance. But since Jack White is playing at the freakin’ Outside Lands music festival right here in San Francisco and I won’t be able to see him, I guess I have to plan a fantasy trip to Nashville!
Obviously my first stop would be Third Man records itself. Located in an industrial section of downtown Nashville, it’s a tiny, unassuming place, according to Yelpers. But the treasures it holds! Their online shop is pretty good, but I’ve heard that in person you can find a lot more rare, limited edition lps and memorabilia than what you see online. I’ve also heard that the shop is treated like an art space and is well thought out in terms of the design. The employees are supposedly nice to boot. I wonder if they’re hiring. . .
Assuming that Mr. White isn’t hanging around Third Man Records the day(s) I visit, I would have to stop in at various places around Nashville where I’ve heard he frequents to try to get a sighting. Apparently he has been known to grab coffee at Fido, one of Nashville’s first coffee shops, and brunch on the weekends at Marche, a European-style cafe. But he did go there with his ex-wife, Karen Elson, so I’m not sure if he’s brunching solo, but maybe he takes his kids or something. The spot I’m really excited to visit would be the Patterson House. The bar is a throwback to pre-Prohibition days, with a classy atmosphere and expertly made cocktails. And apparently The Man is there all the time. Sigh. Sounds like my dream bar!
Jack White aside, Nashville is Music City, and abounds with things to do music related. There is no shortage of venues from huge auditoriums to tiny bars so I should plan on seeing a lot of live music, an activity I immensely enjoy. And while it sounds kind of dorky to admit, I want to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum. I’m still just getting into country, so it would be cool to learn more about the famous musicians I’m listening to and see some of their cool shit. I wouldn’t go right now though, as there is a Taylor Swift exhibit with “treasures from her world tour”. Gag. There is nothing I’d rather do less.
For more historical-ness, I would visit the Hermitage, the home of Andrew Jackson, the 7th president of the United States from 1829 – 1837. It was originally built in 1821 and then renovated in 1836 in the Greek Revival style. That may sound boring to you, but I love history and architecture and old stuff, so to me it sounds like a fun day out!
Nashville also has a replica of the Parthenon in Athens, complete with a 42-foot statue of Athena. This blows my mind. Of all the things to build in Nashville, the Parthenon? Really? I remember seeing it in the climactic political rally scene in Robert Altman’s Nashville and thinking it looked oddly familiar. Since I’ve yet to visit the real Parthenon, I’d have to stop in and check the replica out.
Providing I don’t blow all my money at Third Man Records, I’m sure I will find many a music, vintage clothing, or western shop to part me from my hard-earned cash. That reminds me, I need to be saving that at the moment. Ah, life as a working stiff. It was fun to dream nonetheless! What destination or dream are you currently fantasizing about?
Good Luck and Happy Travels,