Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH, July 14-15, 2016
Since it’s only about an hour away from the Ashtabula reunion, the family was unanimous in agreeing that we would HAVE to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
I had been there before, in 1998. They had special displays for the Carls Perkins and Wilson, who had recently died. But much has changed in the intervening 18 years.
They recommend that you start your tour on the lower level, and this is appropriate. It has a film about the 2016 induction ceremony. I spent a LOT of time, and could have spent more, in the Stewart Gallery, reading about and listening to “The Roots of Rock: Blues, Gospel, R&B, Country, Bluegrass, and Folk.”
The Elvis Presley exhibit featured a 14-minute film about him, which was worth watching. Then “The Legends of Rock and Roll” were portrayed in various ways. Each of the Beatles’ albums was described in short films. There was a film on the Rolling Stones, which I did not have time to watch. Lots of outfits of artists from Hendrix, Bowie, the Who, the Supremes, Michael Jackson, and others.
A couple of displays were geographically oriented Cities and Sounds, and The Music of Cleveland and the Midwest. There was an area about the radio personalities, such as Alan Freed, who delivered the music. Also, I watched the 30-minute film Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.
There was a special section on Graham Nash: Touching the Flame, featuring the photos and drawings he and his friends created during his time with the Hollies and Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young). A sound booth allowed one to sing along with Bus Stop and Teach Your Children, and see how off-key we were, at which point, the recorded Graham would indicate that you shouldn’t quit your day job. (I wanted to try this solo, since I was more familiar with the songs, but never had the chance.)
Finally, on the Lower Level, was Right Here, Right Now, a display of videos of more recent songs, most of which I had never heard. I spent 20 minutes there but could have spent two hours.
The escalator skips Level 1 going up (but it lands IN the gift shop going down – no fools, them.) There were segments about the architects of rock and roll; watching Les Paul play was hypnotic.
A multimedia exhibit Video Killed the Radio Star was 11 minutes of very strange stuff, but I liked it. Peter Gabriel and others were represented.
The Daughter could have spent all day at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame listening to headphones listening to the “songs that shaped rock and roll and one-hit wonders,” and more the Hall of Fame Jukebox on the 4th Level, with a collection of songs by all the inductees.
I watched a short film, The Life and Music of Smokey Robinson. There were displays of the evolving technologies, “from Wax to .Wav.”
On Level 3, the Induction Ceremony highlight films from over the years that interested me greatly, but there was still so much to see, I watched only a couple of years’ worth, limited by time.
There’s also a cafe on this level, where we got some snacks and sat outdoors, with a nice view of Lake Erie. We were only bothered by the people who insisted on feeding the seagulls, despite signs prohibiting this.
I should note what on the wall on Level 4: Pink Floyd: The Wall, this giant paper mache-looking thing.
All photos (c) 2016 by Lydia P. Green