Sunday, January 17, 2010

I love rock 'n' roll

Being born into a family of musicians (but, as it turned out, having ZERO musical talent myself), there's always been music in my blood and in my home in one way or another.

My dad (pictured at right) is a musician; in fact, my parents met when his band, The Mystic Cycle (can you get any more 1960s/1970s than that?!), played a dances at and near my mom's high school 90 miles away. My uncle is a musician; he won a Grammy in the 1980s. I even took a shot at music superstardom when I took up percussion in sixth grade; I lasted a whole semester before I realized I was terrible and gave it up to pursue choir (I was better at that, but still not great).

Anyway ...

When I was growing up, we always had whatever the current music-playing apparatus was — record players, cassette player sand eventually CD players (iPods didn't come along until much, much later). When I worked during high school, I spent entirely too much money buying CDs and concert tickets. In college, my prized possession was a 200-disc CD changer (which, of course, my roommates loved as well).

I've even dabbled in the music biz ... behind the scenes. In college I was a member of a campus programming board, helping to plan and execute concerts and other entertainment events of all sizes. As a professional, I've worked with musicians to promote concerts and album launches. I've even tinkered with a little bit of live music photography. No question, musicians are "my people," even though I have less rhythm than Elaine Benes.

And I'm still one of those people who can instantly be transported back in time when I hear a song that reminds me of a person, place or event in my life. Music has always been that big of a part of my life.

Yet somehow, at age 31, I had never been to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum ... until yesterday.

Thanks to a press pass arranged by my friend Tom Moore, a radio newsman in Cleveland, several friends and I, all from various parts of the media industry, were able to check out the "Rock Hall" firsthand.

And it was amazing.

From the opening video presentations showcasing the roots of rock 'n' roll and the philosophies of more contemporary rock and pop stars to the seemingly endless cases of costumes, guitars, handwritten drafts of lyrics to legendary songs, old copies of Rolling Stone and more, the museum is something to be seen (but not photographed, which is why you'll see no pictures here. Cameras are not allowed). While casual music fans will certainly be interested, music junkies will be enthralled.

I'd hate to spoil it for anyone by rattling off a list of what I saw yesterday, but suffice it to say that there are legendary things in that place. There also are many unexpected finds, like record-label rejection letters sent to U2. You know, the kinds of things that make you shake your head and think, "Oh, if only they'd known back then ..."

The funny thing to me is that some of what you'll find in the Rock Hall is so fascinating-yet-random that you kind of understand for a moment how people become packrats. Tons of news clippings, letters and other compelling artifacts on display wouldn't be there if someone hadn't thought to hang onto them "way back when." And I'm glad they did, because my music history education is more complete because of it.


  1. Lindsay,
    While you were visiting The Rock Hall of Fame yesterday, I was doing a show with one of it's inductees - Jeremy Spencer from Fleetwood Mac. We (the Boa Constrictors) backed him Friday at the Magic Bag in Ferndale and yesterday at his induction into the Canadian Blues Hall of Fame. Small world, eh?

    Your musical abilities reside in your ability to know good music when you hear it. That is not as common as you may think. You have NEVER mistaken crap for good music. Smile.

  2. The neatest thing about the R&RHOF&M is that I went for the second time on Saturday with Lindsay and other friends, and I learned new things, too. I was surprised to see how many Inductees I both did and DIDN'T know, as well as some who have not been inducted yet. Everything there is a delight to the senses, and needs to be on the Bucket List of anyone who has ever enjoyed listening to rock & roll and modern-era music.