Just went to Cleveland for work. In between meetings, I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
The basement was my favorite area. It is a little heavy on the clothing, but the outfits really show you the stature of the rockers. I knew Elvis and Johnny Cash were on the tall side, and broad-shouldered. Everyone else is tiny. I remember watching The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, and thinking Pete Townsend was a giant. I saw Roger Daltrey’s leather fringe outfit from that performance, and the man was an elf, maybe 100 lbs. soaking wet. Keith Moon was pretty small too. I think Jimi Hendrix was the only other person with clothes in the exhibit who wasn’t an elf. I expected David Bowie to be thin, but I thought his proportions would make him at least 6 ft tall. IMDB says he’s 5′ 10”, but from his clothes, I think that is pushing it.
Some of my favorites included:
- John Lennon’s Sgt. Pepper’s Outfit
- Rick James’ Purple and White Leather Outfit with Hearts on the Knees
- Gram Parsons’ Guitar
- David Bowie’s Collage Jacket (and awesome pins “China”/”Girl”, “Let’s”/”Dance”, and “Modern”/”Love”)
- Bjork’s Jacket from Post
- there was something hot pink(?) and awesome from Greg Dulli in the Ohio permanent exhibit, but I can’t read my handwriting.
They had a Bruce Springsteen exhibit that was really cool too, except for one thing. There were no references to the Nebraska album, except for a proclamation from Gov. Bob Kerrey bestowing the title of Admiral in the Nebraska Navy to The Boss. Because Springsteen didn’t tour on Nebraska, and the lack of flash on the album, it was no where in the exhibit’s memorabilia, lyric sheets, album covers, or even video snippets.
The exhibit had a display of a bunch of hotel room keys from one of the tours in the early eighties. Old plastic hotel room key chains used to be pretty cool. There was another display like this in the basement, attributed to Led Zeppelin or something like that.
I have a few tips if you want to visit the museum. Cameras are not allowed. I thought this was weird because I loved taking flash-free pictures at Graceland and the Sparkle and Twang exhibit. In the end, I had much more fun just looking at stuff. They have a coat/bag check, and this was great because I had my luggage with me. Finally, give your self a lot of time to visit the museum. I spent two hours in the basement alone. There are a number of audio and video presentations, and there is just no way to condense those experiences down.