Friday, June 7, 2013

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland because the phrase was first uttered by a DJ there, Alan Freed, in 1951.

It is a fabulous experience, especially for someone of our generation. They have everything, from the roots of rock and roll in gospel, country, blues and jazz to the music of the 90's (it has to be 25 years since your fist hit before you're eligible to be inducted). There is music galore, displays of the clothes and instruments used by the members, their life stories, and videos of interviews and concerts. One exhibit is 30 minutes of American Bandstand highlights. There's an entire floor dedicated to the Grateful Dead.

The one disappointment I have is that they want to usurp under the banner of Rock and Roll every type of electronic noise and human utterance emitted since Rock and Roll. Rock and Roll may be here to stay, but that other stuff isn't Rock and Roll. They would do well to limit future inductees, and open a Post-Rock Hall of Fame for the things that pass for music today. I don't see much possibility of physical expansion, so any new exhibits risk displacing what is there and deserves to remain.

They don't allow pictures inside, because of copyright issues, so we only have a few from outside and the lobby.

If you haven't been, and you like the music of the 50s or 60s or 70s, don't leave Cleveland without going there. But hurry up, before they induct a bunch of gangsta rappers to replace the Beatles and Elvis exhibits.

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