Sunday, January 8, 2017

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ~ Cleveland, OH

Originally posted: March 12, 2009


It’s all set! I can’t wait, but I’ll have to wait. I don’t want to wait; I just have to. My vacation dates have been approved for Memorial Day weekend through the first weekend in June.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH
Destination? The Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame (seen here) along the banks of the Great Lake Erie. My friends already know me as an aging rocker (wannabe), so I’ll feel right at home with all this history from the music makers and artists I’ve listened to from the static-filled days of AM radio, from my 12” LP disc vinyl album collections (Monaural & Stereo), old 8-track tapes, cassette tapes and now CDs, DVDs and mp3s - all my life - all of it. Oh yeah, I have music video DVDs. I’ve converted all my music CDs to lossless .mp3 files on my computer hard drive and for use on my 32 gig. iPod Touch and iPod Classic media players. The latter, I'm using with my Boze Soundock II. Isn’t technology great?

My lifelong friend, Steve and I at the Rock Hall
Yes, friends, ... ol’ Jim is as old as Rock ‘n Roll itself. I was alive and musically aware when Alan Freed - Cleveland’s original “Moondog” himself - coined the phrase for a new style of African-American rhythm and blues known as “Rock and Roll”. Freed, himself, tells the audience that “Rock and roll is a river of music that has absorbed many streams: rhythm and blues, jazz, rag time, cowboy songs, country songs, folk songs. All have contributed to the big beat.”

Historical Marker dedicating the site of the Rock Hall along side of Lake Erie.
And what a big beat Rock and Roll has contributed to my heart and soul. I don’t think I want to go to Heaven if it’s all harp and flute music. As soothing and sweet as it would be, it just doesn’t JAM - doesn’t move my feet with a funky beat the way James Brown music does. What would an R&B love song be today without the influences of The Temptations? With all the great musicians that have come into THIS world, left their mark of genius and gone to the great beyond, God knows there must be a helluva Rock and Roll band up there somewhere! (Somebody oughta write a song ... They did! The Righteous Brothers “Rock and Roll Heaven”) Just as Big Band, Early Blues, Early Jazz and all the Classical Composers like Mozart, Beethoven and Bach, to name only a few have left their mark on music and on history, so will Rock.

Art comes in many forms hanging in the Atrium of the Rock Hall.
My taste in music is very eclectic. There is plenty of room for the Classics, Big Band, Reggae, Blues (as you already know), Jazz as well as the great male and female vocalists of our generation and my parents’ generation. Okay, I confess. I do like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett as well as many others from “the old days”. Keep in mind that MY old days are different than your old days. (It’s OK to laugh now.) I spent half my senior year of high school working at a record store.

Artistic guitar display inside the lobby at Rock Hall.
I’ll give you an example of how I get time confused. One day, I saw Micah (you already know Micah from my at work video ) wearing a Pink Floyd Concert t-shirt from 1973. I said, “Cool shirt, Micah. Did you go to that concert?” Of course he looked at me like I was from another planet when he said in a simply matter of fact tone of voice, “I was born in 1986.” We both laughed at that. Just goes to show you that Rock & Roll is multi-generational and lots of younger kids really dig so-called, “Classic Rock”.

I didn't see it happen, but the Hot Dog opens and lights up somehow.
Of course, the Rock Hall of Fame is a museum. Old people like me love museums because they contain artifacts that - like history itself - are older than we are. It makes us feel young again. To me, all Rock ‘n Roll is contemporary music. It’s a voice of my generation. Through our generation’s music we danced, lusted, protested, loved and just plain rocked!

One thing I’m definitely going to miss about my visit is - no photography is allowed anywhere inside the building except the lobby. Damn! (I’ll see if I can sneak out with some shots before they throw me out! Will let you know how that goes.)

This is the lovely, "Jill", who assisted us with our 2009 Rock Hall Membership goodies.
In the meantime, I’ll flatly and off-key sing-a-long with the music lyrics I know and make-up words for the rest.  I’ll still use a broom, a stick or anything I can find to play my “air guitar” when I get “all wound-up”. I’ll still rhythmically flail my fists in a strong downward motion when I play “air drums” and move my feet to the funky beat because I just can’t fight the feeling to move some part of my body with the rhythm of the music. I don’t guarantee that it will be “pretty”. LOL I can’t imagine life without music and I can’t wait to see the artifacts that have made my favorite music possible. Of course, the real truth of music is about the musicians who played it. The Rock Hall of Fame honors that truth.

Of course, the trip wouldn't be complete without at least a beer (or two) at the Hard Rock Cafe. We decided to add a steak dinner to the bill. Expensive, but damned good.

Thanks to Steve's son, Stephen, who took this picture for us. Steaks are on the way.
By the way, buying a membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has it's privileges.
Invest in one and get the "royal treatment".


~-30~


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