ROAD TRIP: MCB Does Cleveland- The Road To The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame DAY TWO (Friday- part 2)
Friday included my first ever trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. We were greeted by Howard Kramer who is the curatorial director at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Howard hooked us up by taking us through the back and also answered any questions we had and shared personal museum stories.
The Museum is massive. 6 floors of exhibits. I had only two hours to spend in the museum and I spent close to two just on the first floor. I had to quickly glance at the other floors. The place is quite epic for a music fan like myself.
The Museum is set up to start with the early days of music like the blues roots, Americana, and country. From there it leads to early pop rock from the 50's and 60's. Some of the larger names had massive displays for themselves including the first superstar who was non other than Elvis Presley. They had Elvis stage outfits as well as his' 1975 Lincoln with the TCB logo embroidered on the seats plus his own personal TCB stationary. Some of the other notable superstars who had large displays at the museum included The Rolling Stones who had stage outfits spanning from the 60's to today, The Beatles in which the museum acquired John Lennon's piano from 1979, his passports, his 1965 acoustic guitar, and his Sgt. Pepper's outfit he wore on the albums cover. Jimi Hendrix had a large selection of his clothing and guitars on display as well as personal drawings he did as a youth. He loved drawing football players. There was a nice display dedicated to The King Of Pop Michael Jackson which included his glove he wore for the song beat it on the Dangerous tour. His 1984 Grammy award for album of the year, jackets and suits including the original black and red leather Thriller jacket from 1983, and a thriller werewolf mask used on his 1992 tour.
Other items I enjoyed viewing were a smashed Cramps drum head from 1977, a 1978 yellow Devo outfit from Mark Mothersburgh, a Jacket and necklace from Mike D from the Beastie Boys from 1986, Axl Roses suspenders, Ice-T contract releasing him from Sire records due to his "Cop Killer" controversy in which he paid $70,000 to get out of it, the letter from the F.B.I. to Priority records letting them know they thought N.W.A's songs were degrading to officers, a 1965 organ from Ray Manzarak from The Doors, Jim Morrison's cub scout uniform, Lady Gaga's sphere outfit worn in her "Bad Romance' video, Lead Belly's hat, Ray Charles glasses, Hank Williams suit and boots, Howlin' Wolfs money case, Roy Orbison's glasses, Ritchi Valen stage outfit, A shirt from Sid Vicious as well as his rings, a jacket from Joey Ramone, a photo booth film strip of Johnny Rotton from the Sex Pistols and Sylvain Sylvain from the New York Dolls which Sylvain lent out to the museum himself, one of Flavor Flavs clocks from 1988, a huge leather jersey from Notorious B.I.G. from 1995, Run DMC's adidas shoes and glasses from 1985, Metallica's scales of justice stage prop from their 1988 ..and justice for all tour, Kurt Cobains fender stratocasterguitar used at the infamous 1992 reading festival, A 1970 James Brown jumpsuit with the word "sex" emblazoned on the front, a handwritten contract between Soundgarden and Sub Pop from 1987 which was written in pen and including scratched out sentences, Claymation Dolls of Alice In Chains used in their "I Stay Away" music video, Angus Youngs infamous school boy outfit worn at AC/DC concerts, a teenage Max Cavalera notebook in which he drew a Sepultura logo 2 years before the band even formed, Janis Joplins 1965 Porsche, The infamous Jack Daniels bass guitar Michael Anthony played in Van Halen, a collection of David Bowie and Stevie Nicks stage outfits, a 1967 drum head for The Who, a collection of handwritten lyrics from artists such as The Clash, Bob Segar, Bruce Springsteen, and Jimi Hendirx. My favorite item may be Slick Rick's eye patch from 1985.
The museum has rotaing special exhibits. The current one is a Grateful Dead exhibition. I'm not a big fan of the band and didn't have much time to spend in it, but I can see a Deadhead being in heaven over it. The museum has got all genre bases covered in it. From hip hop, to pop, country, metal, and of course Rock N' Roll. They even have dull display cases devoted to Joy Division/New Order and Genesis if that tells you anything
Being the MOTORYCITYBLOG we can't leave out Detroit. Detroit was represented in a case of it's own titled "Detroit: Dancin In The Street 1959-1971". Included in this case was Iggy Pops gloves from the Stooges in 1973 and motown of course. Another display broke it down my region and in that Kid Rock and ,The White Stripes were represented. They even had a jacket donated by Detroit's own legendary rock drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek from the Rockets and so many other current Detroit bands.
Photos were not allowed in the museum, but some items in the lobby were able to be photographed and I would like to share them with you.
This is CBGB's original awning from 1987...
Alex Van Halen drum kit used on the 1980 Van Halen tour...
The ZZ Top eliminator car...
It's so worth the admission price and would make for a great getaway to get out to Cleveland to check it out. Plan on spending half the day in it if your a music fan.
Visit www.rockhall.com and start planning that trip now.