As I looked at some of the pictures from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I realized I got the order a bit wrong in what we saw, but whatever. It was so overwhelming to see all those cool pieces of memorabilia in one place. If it were only the one floor, it would have still been amazing, but there were four more floors of exhibits.
The first floor had more great stuff, though, after the Beatles exhibit. There was a good amount of Rolling Stones stuff and a bunch of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin stuff around the next corner. We did also play some Beatles trivia before moving on and I won a bunch of schwag for the kids and I. The questions were pretty easy, to be honest, but there were a few I wasn’t sure of. I had forgotten that Eric Clapton (probably because he really is a douche) had played on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
I spent most of my attention on the Jimi Hendrix stuff because Joplin never did anything for me. I’m sure Joplin fans would disagree, and it did seem like there was a lot of stuff of hers to gawk at, but the Jimi clothes and guitars caught my eye. There were also some great handwritten lyrics, too.
Around the bend there were some smaller exhibits including a dress from Lady Gaga. She’s a tiny one, for sure. I am a fan of her singing, though, and she’s not bad on screen. There was a cool room of Ohio and Midwest America stuff. There was some Cramps and Devo stuff in the Ohio display, as well as some old flyers featuring bands like Rocket From The Crypt and The Pagans. I sent a picture or two to Amy as I knew she would appreciate it. It was kind of a bummer there was nothing from Brainiac, but they might not be RnRHOF material.
There was a sizeable Tom Petty display just outside of that room, but by that point, I was ready for a bit of a break. It’s amazing how easy it is to be overstimulated by things that you love. I look forward to going back to the HOF at some point to take it in a bit more.
When we started moving up stairs, there is a floor called The Garage. You can play instruments and get video lessons on how to play classic songs. Liam was excited to play guitar for a bit. I have to admit I was happy to play a little bass, too. It was fun watching all the people come through and show their stuff in there.
Next door to the instrument room, there was a place where you could jam with a house band and do a live version of karaoke if you wanted to do so. There was a fun band playing some stuff when I first started paying attention. Young dudes who knew their way around their instruments, for sure.
I wish Liam and I would have played a song. I’m pretty sure our cousins would have loved it. If I had it to do over again, I would definitely have thrown our hat in their to play “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones. It was about the easiest one on the list. Next time, I promise to do a song.
They had a fun machine to make a logo for your band. All you had to do was put in the band name and pick from some pre-made logos and fonts. I had some fun with this one. I won’t share what I made just yet, but soon enough. I bet some of you who are longtime readers of this blog will figure out what I made.
The next floor up was dedicated to recent inductees. I must admit it got me in the feelers to see Taylor Hawkins’ drums in the Foo Fighters section. What a shame it was to lose that guy. I read about the tribute shows they are doing later this year for him. What a lineup!
The GoGos’ stuff was cool to see, as was Gil Scott Heron. Those were probably the two recent inductees I was the most stoked on. I’ve never explored Kraftwerk a ton, so maybe I should dive in before too long. There was also a place on that floor where you could take a crayon and trace out the signatures of your favorite bands. I took a picture for Rhondi.
The next floor up had a big display of stuff from Pink Floyd’s The Wall. It certainly brought back some high school memories. I bet we watched that movie 100 times if we watched it once. One of my favorite memories was going to see it in the student union at ASU with Dorothy and Cassie. I’m guessing Aaron and Zack and KJ might have been with us, too, but I especially remember Cass laying down on the sidewalk where someone had put an outline of a body. That cracked us up.
The RnRHOF is a pyramid, as I mentioned, and the upper floors were small. From the Pink Floyd floor, you took a spiral staircase up to a cool room with a bunch of guitars and other instruments in it, plus a few outfits. They had the pedophile’s jacket from Thriller. I zoomed past his stuff because, well, he was a pedophile.
There were a couple of Kurt Cobain’s guitars up there and Liam and I both thought those were pretty rad. There were also a couple more from Jerry Garcia and one from Joe Strummer that I was in awe of as I looked at it. I’m still not the biggest Clash fan, but I do love what Strummer stood for and his solo stuff is great. There was a jumpsuit Lol Tol Hurst of the Cure wore on stage, and it reminded me of interviewing him a few years back. He was a good conversation, but his book was lame, in my opinion. I probably didn’t make any friends in the Cure camp with what I wrote about it.
The last floor at the top of the pyramid was accessed by a stairway that made my knees weak. I don’t always get that way with heights, but for some reason, stairs high up do it for me every time. It was an exhibit dedicated to four guitar players: Eddie Van Halen, Keith Richards, Tom Morello, and John Cipollina. I have to admit I know the least about the latter, but he was a founding member of Quicksilver Messenger Service and played with a ton of notable people in his life. They had a running video going where each guitar player talked about his work.
From that point, we headed down to the fourth floor and watched a video about American Bandstand our cousins were enjoying. It was very well done and brought back a lot of memories. I watched a lot of Bandstand growing up, apparently. We decided to make our way out pretty soon after that, found our way to the super expensive gift shop that barely anyone was buying anything from (I got Rhondi a shot glass) and headed out to see more of Cleveland.
See you tomorrow.