It's reassuring to know that life's been good to Joe Walsh, because some fans might not find his upcoming gig quite so appetizing.
The former Eagles and James Gang guitarist is slated to play the grand-opening ceremony at the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota, according to a museum spokesperson. Walsh's set on September 16 will cap off weekend-long festivities honoring the 64-year-old mystery meat. Also on the bill are Beatlemania, the Solid Senders and the singing Spamettes, among others.
The 16,500-square-foot Spam Museum opens its doors to the public September 15 with a variation on the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony: a tin-lid-rolling ceremony, modeled after the technique for opening a can of Spam. Marion Ross (Marion Cunningham of "Happy Days" fame), a native of nearby Albert Lea, Minnesota, and Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver of "Leave It to Beaver") will host the event. In addition to signing autographs, everyone's favorite TV moms will share the recipes for a few of their favorite Spam creations, such as Ross' Cheesy Macaroni Bake and Billingsley's Overnight Bacon and Broccoli Cheese Strata.
For the historically minded fan of the processed spiced-ham product, NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw and CEO Joel Johnson of Spam producer Hormel Foods will dedicate a memorial to World War II veterans in a section of the museum devoted to Spam's role as a tasty and dependable war ration. The WWII area features a letter from President Dwight D. Eisenhower to Hormel Foods and a replica of a military camp called Spamville.
A day before the celebration, Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura will broadcast his weekly show, "Lunch With the Governor," live from KSPaM, a radio station within the museum. There's little mystery as to what's on the "Lunch" menu that day (Spamburgers? Spambalaya?).
A smaller museum, the Hormel Foods/Spam History Center, opened in 1991 in the OakPark Mall in Austin, Texas. Until its closing, it averaged more than 60,000 visitors per year.
Founded in 1891 in Austin, Minnesota, Hormel Foods first shipped Spam to supermarket shelves in 1937. It's made with chopped pork shoulder meat, ham, salt, water, sugar and sodium nitrate. More than 5 billion cans have been sold over the years — enough to circle the globe 12 times, according to the company.