September 2005: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
This weekend I was in Cleveland and got a chance to attend the 10th anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and museum. This was my first visit and it won’t be my last.
If you know me, if you’re a long time reader, if you’ve read the right blogs…you know I love music. If you didn’t know that: you do now. Some of my earliest memories are talking to my mom in the car about music and how it feeds my emotions…how I thought it was interesting that music could do that. I can almost place the song that was on the radio that had just finished when I told her and then I started talking about the next song. Wow was I in for a surprise…
New artists. Old artists. Seasoned artists. Mature sounds. Fast breaks. Heavy bass. Solo piano. Female vocals. Strings. DRUMS. I want it all; not pieces -chunks! I want chunks thrown in a blender, add the handful of Latin influence three pinches of soul a dash of gospel and 12 barrels of passion. Mix. Blend. Shake. Stir. Now feed the hungry ears begging for the tunes like baby birds crying.
Music. It’s what’s for life.
Getting a glimpse into the lives of all of these people I have heard -maybe never heard- was overwhelming. 500 influential songs, video montages, clothes, records, TVs, broken guitars, movies, never-ending photographs and more historical information then you want or need to ever know. Three hour tour? Try three days immersed in the walls of sound and you still won’t have soaked in the contents…the ingredients for history, politics, love, war, peace…emotions.
Emotions. It’s fuel for sound.
The contact buzz from the artist’s emotions, from the visitor’s reactions flows through the building and overwhelms you to the point you fear an overdose. A dizzying effect in certain sections where you can’t focus on any one exhibit -you can just spin in a circle trying to catch your bearings.
Passion. It’s a roller coaster.
Standing not far from the Jimi Hendrix exhibit I found myself fighting back a few tears. If it wasn’t for my friend saying “it’s overwhelming…” I would have cried. Why? I don’t know. Some lives are/were normal and others were almost from another planet. It wasn’t about them being alive…or being gone. It was just about them. How many people have they touched with their music? They could live for ten lifetimes and never know the answer. Sad. Beautiful. That’s passion.
“You can’t go home with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You don’t sleep with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You don’t get hugged by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and you don’t have children with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I want what everybody else wants: to love and to be loved, and to have a family. Being in love has always been the most important thing in my life.”
– Billy Joel