Thursday, July 16, 2015

Rock and Roll

Museum overload, thy name is Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There are enough displays, movies, interactive exhibits, photos, and stuff to look at that you could spend spend two to three days there. Instead, we spent one big day at the Rock Hall, as it's known, on the shore of Lake Erie in Cleveland. We actually went there even before our several day stay in Cleveland that we wrote about two posts ago.

Jim knows the musicians, history, and song lyrics of every band past and present. My knowledge is more like Beatles, Rolling Stones, Monkees (the latter of which has yet to be inducted). But we both really enjoyed what was our second trip to the Rock Hall.

I seldom remember watching American Bandstand as a kid, but there was a great 30-minute movie of Dick Clarke introducing nearly every band known to man, followed by a snippet of each band's music. Very well done.

Also great were the photos of the late Herb Ritts, a still photographer known for his "anti glamour" black and white shots, and who later directed music videos and TV commercials. His first photos that garnered attention were of friend Richard Gere when Gere was an aspiring actor. Ritts went on to shoot Michael Jackson, Elton John, Cher, Diana Ross, and other music icons. Per the display, Ritt's first music video was for Madonna, who talked him into directing because she loved his stills.

Great museum.  Pictures can't do it justice. Don't miss it when you get to Cleveland.
Front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Per the museum, Cleveland DJ Alan Freed coined the term "rock and roll" in 1951 and put together the first rock and roll concert in 1952.  
The Rock Hall as seen from behind the museum from the shore of Lake Erie. The museum was designed by architect I.M. Pei, who has designed buildings for cities all over the world.
From top left going clockwise, onstage clothing by Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Keith Richards, and Katy Perry. 
Madonna portraits taken by Herb Ritts. 
Part of an exhibit about exactly what it says at the top of the pic. 
The Beatles exhibit included a video wall of interviews and music from their albums.
Another exhibit about people and organizations who have protested rock and roll and/or its singers and lyrics over the years.  Guess it seemed like a good idea at the time, Tipper Gore.
Janis Joplin paid $3,500 for this 1965 Porsche and had it customer painted.  It was stolen while she was playing a gig in Sand Francisco; when recovered it was partially painted over with primer.  Joplin had it restored.
This inflated guy (and the two smaller creates to the right) had to do with Pink Floyd's album "The Wall." By the time I got to this floor I was on brain overload, so I don't have much to say.  If you are a Pink Floyd fan, it probably needs no explanation.


  1. Cleveland is always a great visit. In the rest of the country (actually the rest of the state) it still is remembered for its "mistake on the lake" days. With the exception of the flats, which seems to ebb and flow, Cleveland has been constantly improving over the years.

    In high school, and a few summers during college, I had a job working the "Grave Yard Shift" at Northern Frozen Foods. The building, which has since been removed, was built right on the Cuyahoga River. There was a large roll-up door that opened literally on the river. Small barges used to pull up there and unload there goods, just like the trucks did on the other side of the building. These were the years in which the river was the designated the most polluted river in the U.S. Many nights, my friend Jim Fullup and I, after slinging frozen peas and Mrs. Field's frozen pound cakes around, would open that roll-up door and watch the Cleveland Fire Department, River Division, put out small (and sometimes not so small) oil slick fires, floating down the river.

    The Cuyahoga has since been cleaned up and is now used as an example of how an entire watershed can be reclaimed. Still I can remember sitting there, watching the reflection of the fires off the water and the great arcs of whatever chemical the fireboats were pumping on those burning slicks and thinking at the time it was almost majestic.

    That goes to show you that with the passage more than 45 years, every thing becomes nostalgic, even a river that used to catch on fire. Of course that polluted mess had to be cleaned up, but somehow Cleveland suffers for the progress.

  2. Cleveland is now the "remake on the lake." It was great spending a few nights there. When you and Sandy go again, stay and the Metropolitan at the 9. Very fun hotel. (And as I've said before, you really need to start a blog.)