Dissecting A Hall
Leaving the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I was surprised that our visit took some 4.5 hours, and easily could have been longer. You have to pull yourself away, for example, when sitting in a theater watching a famous concert that holds your attention as it goes on and on.
From a writing/display standpoint, it was interesting to note the various ways in which careers are memorialized.
Some were original, handwritten documents. Those included words to songs and significant notes as initially composed. Simple ink on paper in its original form.
A second level communication was typed correspondence, usually formal letters that hold a significant place in an artist’s career. A few were original legal documents, complete with the nearly illegible small type at the bottom common in some legal documents. These aren’t as spontaneous as the handwritten pieces, but are original.
A third level ranking are original program covers, newspaper and magazine articles, an array of items promoting now-famous events or showing how they were covered after the fact to highlight or capture key points of something that’s already happened. These items aren’t directly from the artist or a representative, but rather reflect the view as seen through a third party or a promoter.
On a similar note are marketing pieces related to an artist but not directly from the artist, things manufactured to promote the star power.
There are videos, some original of live events, others made for a marketing purpose. A few videos are third parties, like news reports of politicians denouncing rock and roll and its impact on society.
The Hall of Fame incorporates multiple other elements. One I found interesting was highlights from various prominent deejays from different eras and different parts of the country (who remembers the heyday of Larry Lujack and WLS in Chicago?)
The hall has a variety of other items, including apparel worn and instruments used by Hall of Fame artists. Displays include recording studio equipment that belongs in a museum as well as a modern studio with a live feed.
One other takeaway is the broad brush of what’s considered rock and roll, including things like gospel and rhythm and blues. It’s a diverse lineup of performers, but the ones you expect are highlighted.
The hall is located along Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland. Certainly worth the stop.