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Issue Date: May 2005 Issue

Dick Goddard Rocks

Lynne Thompson

Don't bother calling veteran Cleveland weatherman Dick Goddard to tell him some local rock band is using his name as their own. The WJW-TV8 meteorologist already knows. And though he's more of a "Sinatra-type guy," he wholeheartedly approves.

"I was flattered," Goddard says. "It's meant in the best of spirit. I would never think of suing unless they were deprecating the station or me. As far as I can tell, it's nothing like that."

The hard-rock quartet, which formed in early 2004, picked the "Dick Goddard" moniker because the weatherman and perennial Vermilion Woolly Bear Festival spokesman "embodies the city we grew up in," according to lead singer Bradley Powell.

Goddard the weatherman discovered the band when a couple fans left messages on his voicemail at the television station. He, in turn, called The Agora, where the band was performing during last year's Cleveland Music Festival, and asked for a copy of its CD.

"He wanted to make sure we weren't doing anything offensive and I assured him that we weren't," Powell recalls.

The group sent him not only a compact disc, but an entire care package that included promotional stickers, matchbooks and a T-shirt featuring an old black-and-white picture of Goddard and the words "100% Cleveland" on the front.

Powell and his bandmates may be fans of the ageless meteorologist, but they still need to brush up on their Dick Goddard history. They didn't know about the Woolly Bear polka, waltz and march until we told them, though Powell concedes it does explain why people sometimes yell, "Play the Woolly Bear song!" at their shows.

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